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Commonwealth Choir use Philly as their set in nostalgic “Palm Reader” music video

Commonwealth Choir | photo by Ryan Boswell | courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia rock four-piece Commonwealth Choir was on an extened hiatus before releasing “Palm Reader” in December of last year. Six months later, the group has paired it with a cinematic music video using locations around Philly as their backdrop.

The single is about how dreams change as you grow up, the band tells us, and the video reflects this by beginning with a young version of lead singer and guitarist Davis Jameson Howley day-dreaming about rockstardom in his childhood bedroom. Howley “grows up” to work in an office doing what he seemingly never wanted to do, and visits a palm reader on his way home from work. The video concludes with a party thrown by Commonwealth Choir where they’re performing the song “Palm Reader” on stage as the crowd goes nuts. Continue reading →

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NON-COMM Recap: Amanda Palmer reflects on personal freedom in a powerful set

Amanda Palmer | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Amanda Palmer walked onstage tonight with a big glass of red wine and a lot to say. That’s nothing unusual for the artist, who is known for her unabashed embrace of writing political issues into her evocative songs. The major difference between this set and any of her others, though, had to do with time. Palmer is used to playing a set that lasts at least four hours, especially on her current tour behind her new album There Will Be No Intermission. Tonight she had 20 minutes. Continue reading →

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Commonwealth Choir looks into their future with the new “Palm Reader”

Commonwealth Choir | photo by Abi Raymaker | courtesy of the artist

A few years back, indie rock four-piece Commonwealth Choir was a ubiquitous force on the Philly scene. They were always on some bill or another, they had songs pop up on Bandcamp EPs and cassette-only splits. Hell, singer-guitarist Davis Jameson Howely’s mug landed on an XPN digital billboard at one point.

But things slowed for a while, as they often do with groups of friends who have been making music together since their childhood. Though Commonwealth Choir never stopped gigging around the city, the space between releases slowed. After 2015’s “Palace” single, we didn’t hear from them until a 2017 song to benefit the ACLU, “Dark Times.” And after that, we didn’t hear from them until today. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Miguel, Gepe, Deb Callahan, CRUISR, Palm and more

Miguel | Photo by Rachel Barrish for WXPN

As I type this, people around me are fretting about snowfall predictions and travel routes home; kind of unusual for a spring equinox. At the same time, we’ve got the first weekend of the new season ahead of us, and a whopping six concerts to choose from this Friday to kick it off, so things are looking up. From a couple shows from country icon k.d. lang to expansive experimental sounds from Philly’s Palm, punk rock from Yankee Bluff and hip-hop from Tiani Victoria, here are 18 concerts you can’t miss this week. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Palmlines

About this time last year, my digging through Bandcamp’s Philadelphia tag on a regular basis led me to a captivating dream-pop outfit from State College called Sea Offs — and that opened up an even bigger rabbit hole of sorts.

Of the two singer-guitarists in that band, Olivia J. Price was the first to show up elsewhere on our radar in the band Queue and their Spotify hit “Frontier.” But her songwriting partner Rashmit Arora is equally versatile — these are folks rooted in Penn State’s music school we’re talking about here, it makes sense — and his other band Palmlines made the trip down to Philly to record a set of songs for this week’s Key Studio Session. Continue reading →

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Palm delivers an inverted take on rock with their new single “Dog Milk”

Palm
Palm | photo by Dylan Pearce | courtesy of the artist

While everyone else uses drums and bass as the standard rhythm section, Palm opts to flip the script, using vocals and guitar as the primary time-keeping instruments. The Philly based group is in a league of their own in the genre of experimental rock because they do it pretty darn well. Following up on “Pearly,” the first single for their upcoming album Rock Island (out February 9th via Carpark Records), Palm just dropped their second single “Dog Milk” on SoundCloud. Continue reading →

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Palm’s “Pearly” continues to rattle rock predictability in their trippy, tropical paradise

Palm | photo by Dylan Pearce | courtesy of artist

Palm‘s EP Shadow Expert was released just mere months back, but the four-piece indie gang is already putting out new tunes. First of which is a new track called “Pearly” that comes ahead of their upcoming album, Rock Island, and will be out on February 9th with Carpark Records.

Serving as the first track of the new LP, “Pearly” welcomes visitors to Rock Island with an immediate introduction to their characteristically uncharacteristic sound. With them, it seems that their version of a pattern is having no pattern at all; a method that effectively rattles rock music’s (often) predictable core to no end. Continue reading →

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Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 20 (featuring Palm, Sammus, Sorority Noise, Slaughter Beach, Dog and more)

The Key Studio Sessions Volume 20 | cover photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Just in time for your Labor Day weekend rotation, we present you with 16 standout artists from all corners of the Philadelphia music community, performing live at WXPN Studios and recorded for The Key Studio Sessions.

In this, the 20th edition of our regular scene-surveying compilations, we hear veterans — the breezy psychedelic pop of Circadian Rhythms, the pensive and Pink Floydian neuroses of Queen Jesus — and we meet relative newcomers — like atmospheric emo four-piece Small Circle and driving riff rockers Honeytiger. As always, there’s stylistic variety: rapper Ivy Sole lowkey rocks the mic and experimental instrumentalists Palm get weird with interlocking licks and askew rhythms; Katie Frank brings some heartland-y country torch and twang and Ellen Siberian Tiger dials up the studied musical theatrics.

We teamed up with the folks at Folkadelphia to co-present sessions with SΔMMUS and Harmony Woods, captured a beautiful solo electric performance by Sorority Noise‘s Cameron Boucher, mellowed out to windswept Bossa Nova-flavored jazz by Ensemble Novo, and cheered Jake Ewald on as Slaughter Beach, Dog jammed on “104 Degrees” for a roaring six minutes. And, as always, there’s more still, in great performances from basement show staples coping skills and ominous electronic soundscaper Harrowgrove. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Palm at Spruce Street Harbor Park, Erykah Badu at Dell Music Center

Palm | Photo courtesy of the artist

Spruce Street Harbor Park’s weekly Waterfront Sessions continue tonight with Philly experimental indie rockers Palm. Their latest is the Shadow Experts EP, a six-song effort that abides by no certain genre’s boundaries. Part of that comes from the fact that none of the members have no formal musical training, part of it comes from their desire to reverse what popularity demands. At times it sounds a bit mathy, at other moments more noisey. Most of the time, though, it is very much original. The Guests, also a Philly band with more of a grim pop sound, will also perform. The show is free and begins at 6:30 p.m. More info can be found here. Continue reading →