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The Wonder Years played two packed houses at The Fillmore Philly with Tigers Jaw, Tiny Moving Parts and Worriers

The Wonder Years | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | agellmanphotos.com

Last weekend, Philly modern rock heroes The Wonder Years brought their tremendous new record Sister Cities home for two nights and two packed houses at The Fillmore Philadelphia. Joining them on the bill were Scranton indie pop band Tigers Jaw, as well as punk outfits Tiny Moving Parts and Worriers. Check out photos from the tremendous lineup below, care of Ashley Gellman.
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The Week Ahead: Harmony Woods, Kendrick Lamar, Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, The Wonder Years and more

Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar in the “Alright” video | still from video

Between the ridiculous rain and the Ticketfly “cyber incident” shutdown, it’s been a weird week to be a concertgoing Philadelphian. Don’t let that stop you from getting out and getting to the gig, though. Here are 22 concerts you can see in and around town in the next week, from indie folk true believers The Decemberists to reigning rap king Kendrick Lamar and his Top Dawg Entertainment showcase tour. Continue reading →

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The Wonder Years find parallels between Philly and Japan in the “Raining in Kyoto” video

The Wonder Years
The Wonder Years | photo by Jonathan Weiner | courtesy of the artist

The Wonder Years‘ new album Sister Cities is built around the idea of human connection. It’s only fitting, then, that the band would continue this theme on film. The Wonder Years have shared a video for the track “Raining in Kyoto,” the opening track off Sister Cities, and one of the most personal songs on the new record.

“Raining in Kyoto” reflects on the death of vocalist/songwriter Dan Campbell’s grandfather, who passed away when The Wonder Years were on tour in Japan. Unable to attend the service, Campbell had to find a different way to pay tribute to his grandfather — on the song, he sings “Raining in Kyoto, I’m starting to shake / They’ll hold a service tomorrow, I’m an ocean away.” Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: The Wonder Years

photos by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | agellmanphotos.com

It should be no surprise that the word “connection” comes up a lot when talking about The Wonder Years‘ sixth album, Sister Cities.

For one thing, it’s the primary theme that singer and lyricist Dan Campbell wanted to explore this time around — the idea of coming together, while also being further apart than ever before, both geographically and philosophically. The idea of finding common ground between humans divided by cities and continents, by the distance between Kyoto, Japan and Santiago, Chile and Cheyenne, Wyoming and their hometown of Philadelphia. There are Wonder Years fans in all of those places, and by superficial traits, they could not be any more different, but get them in front of a stage and they’ll be equally passionate about screaming along to “Dismantling Summer” or “Coffee Eyes” or “Came Out Swinging” or “Logan Circle.”

That’s the other reason why connection is an enduring theme of The Wonder Years. There’s a distinct feeling, being in the crowd at one of their gigs, an electricity in the air as the lights dim low and the bandmates step to the stage — Mike Kennedy on drums, Josh Martin on bass, Casey Cavaliere on lead guitar, multi-instrumentalist Nick Steinborn, rhythm guitarist Matt Brasch, and Campbell taking the lead vocal mic. The endorphin rush is palpable, the physical rush is sometimes treacherous as the audience surges forward to create as little distance as possible between them and the band. They want to lock eyes and grip hands, they want to share the moment with one another and with the band. To say The Wonder Years have a connection with their fans is an understatement.

And there’s also their connection with one another. Of the band’s six members, five have been in the lineup since first getting together in 2005 in the suburbs of Lansdale; Steinborn is the closest thing to a “new kid,” and he’s been on board since 2009. The band toured its last record, 2015’s No Closer to Heaven, for a solid two years of international dates. Those travels inspired much of the music on the new record, but when they concluded, the band fanned out to their separate lives. These fixtures of the punk community are no longer banging on in a South Philly basement every night; they’ve moved to different places in the greater Philadelphia orbit, many have wives or long-term partners, and the time they get together as a band is increasingly rare and precious. But when it happens, that connection is such a strong one that there’s no warm-up period — they go all in from the start.

That’s exactly what we saw this March when The Wonder Years set up shop in WXPN studios to record a live set for The Key Studio Sessions. Continue reading →

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Listen to The Wonder Years new album Sister Cities a day early

The Wonder Years
The Wonder Years | photo by Jonathan Weiner | courtesy of the artist

Local favorites The Wonder Years have made their sixth album Sister Cities available to stream ahead of its full release this Friday. The band’s latest work sees some of the heaviest material written to-date. Previously noted in the album’s teaser video, frontman Dan Campbell shared that “It’s about how we all eventually lose the people that mean the most to us, it’s about how we all experience grief and successes in these alternating tidal waves of joy and devastation.” Continue reading →

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The Wonder Years share new videos to support Puerto Rico relief efforts

The Wonder Years | photo by Carolyn Ambriano | courtesy of the artist

In addition to churning out hits for over a decade, The Wonder Years are also known for their dedication to using their platform to do good. Last fall, the band played a series of shows in New York that were livestreamed to raise money for Fondos Unidos de Puerto Rico, an organization that aids relief efforts following devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

The performances, which followed the release of The Wonder Years’ acoustic Burst & Decay EP, show a quieter, more stripped-down side of the band, and they were joined onstage by The Little Kruta String Quartet and Laura Stevenson.

Now, months later, Puerto Rico is still far from fully recovered. To continue to raise relief funds, The Wonder Years have released footage of last fall’s performances. The series of five videos is available to watch on YouTube, and donation links are included with each video. Continue reading →

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The Wonder Years go from a whisper to a wail on new Sister Cities track “Pyramids of Salt”

The Wonder Years | photo by Jonathan Weiner | courtesy of the artist

Ever since they formed in Lansdale, PA over a decade ago, The Wonder Years have never been ones to shy away from heavy topics or intense emotions. The band — which has grown from Philly pop-punk to a more genre-defining sound today — has been unveiling detail after detail of their forthcoming sixth album Sister Cities, out April 6, and recently released a second single, “Pyramids of Salt.”

The song is full of sweeping melodies and big crescendos — it’s a bit quieter and bleaker than the lead single/title track “Sister Cities,” but by no means less powerful. At almost five minutes long, The Wonder Years take their time to explore the complicated feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, which take the form of everything from a whisper to a wail. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: The Wonder Years will bring Sister Cities to The Fillmore in June

The Wonder Years
The Wonder Years | photo by Jonathan Weiner | courtesy of the artist

After announcing their sixth album Sister Cities last week, Philly’s The Wonder Years rolled out their spring tour schedule today — and it’s a stacked show.

Joined by scene faves Tigers Jaw, Tiny Moving Parts, and Worriers, the band begins the run this May in Pittsburgh and wraps it up in June in Baltimore, with a stop at The Fillmore Philly on June 8th in between. Tickets go on sale Friday, February 16th at 10 a.m.; more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Listen to the title track from The Wonder Years’ sixth album, Sister Cities

The Wonder Years
The Wonder Years | photo by Jonathan Weiner | courtesy of the artist

After a couple weeks of teasing, Philly six-piece The Wonder Years have unveiled official details for their sixth album.

Sister Cities is out on April 6th, as perviously reported, on their longtime label Hopeless Records. You can grab a pre-order here.

For a band that has never shied away from heavy and heartrending material, Sister Cities sounds like it’s going to be particularly heavy. Continue reading →

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The Wonder Years gear up for the release of their new album, Sister Cities

The Wonder Years | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

This past week has been a good one for Philly. First the Eagles get to the Super Bowl, then they win the Super Bowl, and now hometown pop-punk favorites The Wonder Years are evidently releasing a new album called Sister Cities.

The record (which may or may not be a Hop Along reference) is due out on April 6th, according to Alternative Press, though the band itself and its label, Hopeless Records, appear to still be in teaser mode. The only information that’s “officially”out is a trailer released on Monday, featuring clips from their travels and past shows, explaining that the new album is based on their experiences growing as people while traveling the world on tour. Continue reading →