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Swearin’s Kyle Gilbride takes the lead on Fall into the Sun closer “Future Hell”

Swearin
Swearin’ | photo by Alexander Rotondo | courtesy of the artist

The first Swearin’ record in five years, Fall into the Sun, comes out in just one month, and ahead of the release date the band has shared “Future Hell,” the album’s third single and closing track. While the new record, much like Swearin’s previous material, has both Allison Crutchfield and Kyle Gilbride sharing songwriting duties and trading off on vocals, this is the first new song we’ve heard that’s lead by Gilbride. Continue reading →

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Listen to Mirah ride the waves of love in “Ordinary Day,” from new LP Understanding

Mirah | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist

Before Mirah releases Understanding, her first album in four years, next week, she’s shared another single from the record with BrooklynVegan. “Ordinary Day” is the fourth song the Pennsylvania-rooted, New York-based songwriter has shared from the forthcoming album, which will be released September 7 on her own label, Absolute Magnitude Recordings. Continue reading →

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Watch Ivy Sole and Anyee Wright ride around in “Backwoods” music video

Ivy Sole | photo by Matthew Shaver for WXPN | brightloud.com

Part time crooner, part time rapper Ivy Sole is back with new music today, the latest track from her just-announced debut studio album. “Backwoods” follows up the previously released “Rollercoaster” from June, both tracks set to appear on her debut album OVERGROWN, out September 18th on Les Fleurs Records. On the track, Ivy Sole teams up with local artist Anyee Wright who delivers a fire guest verse, both artists rapping over the smooth beat care of producers CRO and Corey Smith-West. Continue reading →

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Take a ride with Ivy Sole in her new music video “Roller Coaster”

Ivy Sole
Ivy Sole | photo courtesy of the artist

You can’t get more Philly than Ivy Sole’s new music video for her June release track “Rollercoaster.” Philly is a city filled with so much love for music and bikes, and Sole brought the heat, Meek Mill style. Throughout the video, you just see a bunch of people riding dirt bikes, tricked out cars, and four-wheelers in the streets. If you truly rep the 215, you already know.

“Rollercoaster” is more than a catchy, upbeat track though. Sole explains in a press statement that the song “is about the sweet spot in a love-hate relationship and the feeling of knowing that someone is less than ideal, but for whatever reason, they’re your weakness.” Continue reading →

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Ivy Sole will take you for a ride on “Rollercoaster,” the new single from her upcoming EP OVERGROWN

Ivy Sole | photo courtesy of the artist
Ivy Sole | photo courtesy of the artist

The last time we heard from Ivy Sole, was when she released her duo EPs West and East last year. Early this week, the Philly rapper released the lead track off of her upcoming EP OVERGROWN titled “Rollercoaster”, which is set to drop in the fall via her new Les Fleurs Records. Produced by CRO, Kam DeLa, and Ethan Tomas, the single has a nice bounce that will get you boppin’ in your seat. What gives you that rollercoaster effect is Ivy’s lyrical work. It dives deep into feelings of being mistreated and ignored — “You gon hate me til you love me again / You gon hate me til I’m at your doorstep / Hate me til I’m getting undressed / Love me when you hear that door lock” — and her vocals are so smooth on top of that laid-back melodic rhythm. Continue reading →

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St. Vincent took the Electric Factory on a rapturous, emotional ride

St. Vincent | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

As if we needed further evidence that Annie Clark can successfully pursue pretty much whatever she wants to do creatively, the mastermind behind St. Vincent held the Electric Factory in rapt attention for two hours last night with a one-woman show. It was just her voice, her guitar and various elements of her creative vision adorning the stage. We saw Clark as a writer and filmmaker, as a design visionary with a flair for non-sequitur fashion; the performance showcased, obviously, her remarkable range on the guitar, and her physical expressiveness in the realm of theatrical gesture and (at points) dance. And it showcased her compelling songwriting, which reaches new emotional depths on the harrowing beauty of MASSEDUCTION, her 2017 album that got a front to back performance.

Since initial images and video clips of the Fear the Future tour began trickling out on social media a month or so ago, the production has been met with some degree of uncertainty. Where’s the band? Wouldn’t it get boring with nothing but Clark and a minimal stage setup? Isn’t this just St. Vincent karaoke? These are all things I heard people say, either online or in person, leading up to the gig. And even taking into account the degree of chauvinism evident in those slags — would you be saying this stuff if Bon Iver decided to rip it to tracks, brah? — the unconventional setup nonetheless meant ticketholders were taking a bit of a leap of faith with this show. In my estimation, they were well rewarded. Continue reading →

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ILL DOOTS to stage multimedia performance as part of Painted Bride arts and advocacy project

ILL DOOTS | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com
ILL DOOTS | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Painted Bride Art Center has been building its BrideNext arts and advocacy project throughout the year, and the initiative will celebrate with a culminating showcase featuring Philly hip-hop collective ILL DOOTS. The double presentation and gallery showcase will take place over two nights later this month, with ILL DOOTS and the other featured artists presenting programming that addresses local issues.

ILL DOOTS will present Existence, Resistance and the Sounds of Surroundings, a multimedia concert on the theme of gentrification that “uses music to amplify the stories, grievances, and desires of the residents neighboring the ever-expanding campus of Temple University,” along with an accompanying installation in the gallery space. Choreographer Belle Alvarez will present Ageless Dream: Historias Nuestras, which comments on the issue of immigration. Alvarez also worked with The Key’s own Jeremy Zimmerman on a series of portraits and interviews that follows the stories of millennial organizers. Continue reading →

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Perseverance, Pride, and Percussion: Remembering the incredible life of Elaine Hoffman Watts

Elaine Hoffman Watts drums at a Curtis Institute of Music holiday party in 1951 | photo courtesy of Mark Rubin

When Elaine Hoffman Watts passed away last month at the age of 85, the celebrated percussionist left behind an exceptionally multifaceted legacy, both in terms of the music she played and her own personal history. Raised in Southwest Philadelphia, Hoffman Watts was klezmer royalty, the next generation in a family whose musical history stretches back to before they arrived in the country from Ukraine. Her father, Jacob Hoffman, was a noted xylophone player and percussionist who was a fixture in Philadelphia music for decades, especially when it came to the klezmer bands that would play at weddings and other occasions in the local Jewish community. It was under his tutelage that she originally learned how to play the drums in the basement of their house at 63rd and Ludlow.

Hoffman Watts quickly became a formidable drummer. She was so talented that she was accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music, the first woman allowed into the the percussion department there. When she graduated in 1954 she was soon hired as a timpanist in the New Orleans Symphony. That was the first of countless jobs in orchestras, jazz groups – including sitting in for Duke Ellington and Count Basie! – and many other bands. While she’d occasionally get to play with her father’s band, klezmer gigs were incredibly rare, despite her family history and obvious talents. That’s because the genre was almost entirely closed off to women playing instruments and nobody would give her the time of day. Continue reading →

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Celebrating the​ ​25th​ ​anniversary​ ​of​ ​​Bizarre​ ​Ride​ ​II ​The​ ​Pharcyde​​​ at​ ​Coda

The Pharcyde | photo by Reji B. for WXPN | rejibphotography.com

Every​ ​musician​ ​alive​ ​can​ ​name​ ​at​ ​least​ ​a​ ​couple​ ​albums​ ​that​ ​genuinely​ ​impacted​ ​them, whether​ ​they​ ​were​ ​direct​ ​influences​ ​on​ ​their​ ​own​ ​work​ ​or​ ​just​ ​sources​ ​of​ ​pure​ ​nostalgia;​ ​we​ ​all have​ ​some​ ​of​ ​THOSE​ ​albums.​ ​Some​ ​of​ ​those​ ​albums​ ​that​ ​will​ ​forever​ ​be​ ​dope​ ​to​ ​us,​ ​maybe because​ ​of​ ​the​ ​place​ ​and​ ​time​ ​we​ ​were​ ​in​ ​when​ ​we​ ​first​ ​heard​ ​them,​ ​or​ ​maybe​ ​because​ ​they’re just​ ​THAT​ ​important,​ ​that​ ​seminal,​ ​that​ ​damn​ ​good.​ ​LA-based​ ​hip-hop​ ​legends​ ​The​ ​Pharcyde’s debut​ ​​Bizarre​ ​Ride​ ​II​ ​The​ ​Pharcyde​​ ​is​ ​one​ ​of​ ​those​ ​albums​ ​for​ ​me.​ ​When​ ​I​ ​heard​ ​that​ ​former members​ ​Fatlip​ ​and​ ​SlimKid3​ ​would​ ​be​ ​performing​ ​the​ ​album​ ​in​ ​full​ ​at​ ​Coda​ ​in​ ​Center​ ​City,​ ​I already​ ​knew​ ​I​ ​had​ ​to​ ​go.

On​ ​the​ ​way​ ​to​ ​the​ ​venue,​ ​I​ ​wound​ ​up​ ​randomly​ ​sharing​ ​an​ ​Uber​ ​with​ ​my​ ​friend​ ​Slaughter Rico,​ ​a​ ​Philly​ ​rap​ ​legend.​ ​He​ ​was​ ​performing​ ​in​ ​the​ ​opening​ ​set​ ​alongside​ ​the​ ​rest​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Sensi Starr​ ​collective,​ ​a​ ​crew​ ​that’s​ ​been​ ​making​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​noise​ ​in​ ​the​ ​tri-state​ ​underground​ ​hip-hop scene.​ ​Luckily,​ ​we​ ​made​ ​it​ ​to​ ​Coda​ ​right​ ​on​ ​time​ ​for​ ​him​ ​to​ ​hop​ ​on​ ​stage​ ​with​ ​his​ ​squad. Continue reading →

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Watch B-Eazyyy take three perspectives on a fateful car ride in “Worth The Gold”

B-Eazyyy | photo courtesy of the artist

You can hear definite growth in Trenton’s B-Eazyyy. Since his last project Ezekiel, it seems as if the young MC has taken a step towards becoming a bolder rapper. After releasing his EP Manifesto a couple months ago, B-Eazyyy is more vulnerable with his rhymes and willing to open up to his listeners about the thoughts and emotions that he’s encountered down.

This growth can be seen in his recent video “Worth The Gold,” where we find B-Eazyyy driving through the city to reach his destination. Continue reading →