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The Key Studio Sessions: Thin Lips

“I was going to tell you what this song is about,” Chrissy Tashjian told a sold out crowd at PhilaMOCA last month, “but you’re smart. You’ll figure it out.”

The jam in question, a two-and-a-half minute rager called “South America” from the latest Thin Lips record Chosen Family, doesn’t require a ton of decoding. It wears its message very much on its sleeve — or rather, in its hook: “And now you’ll go to South A-MER-I-CA / with a woman that you only met last month.” So it’s a very literal breakup story, yes, but the telling of it is much more complex than such a label would imply, exploring themes of incompatibility, impatience, rejection, and unappreciated emotional labor: “let’s hear the line / the one that goes ‘Chris, I’ve never seen you try.’ / The line, the one that goes / ‘All I do is try.'”

I mentioned that its a rager, yeah? In the hands of Tashjian and her Thin Lips bandmates, the story behind “South America” becomes a soaring emo anthem, a song with interlocked instrumental complexity that’s incredibly fun, even as it unpacks personal lows. But that’s what this band has been all about since emerging on the Philly scene back in 2013 with the Gemini Moon EP — Tashjian took the name Thin Lips for her band because she is terrible at keeping secrets, and in their telling, she transforms them into something uplifting and pure.

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The Week Ahead: Childish Gambino, David Byrne, Thin Lips, The McCrary Sisters and more

Childish Gambino’s This Is America | still from video

We hope you’ve got your schedule cleared, because the next seven days are seriously busy on the live music front. Kicking off tonight with Childish Gambino’s long-awaited headliner at Wells Fargo Center, and running through the return of punk legends The Vibrators on Monday, here are 23 concerts you can see in and around Philly over the next seven days. Continue reading →

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Slaughter Beach, Dog and Thin Lips sweat it out at PhilaMOCA

Slaughter Beach, Dog | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Two great Philly forces combined this past Saturday at PhilaMOCA, where Thin Lips and Slaughter Beach, Dog co-headlined along with opener Queen Jesus. It was a sold-out show coming at the tail-end of a hot summer. Fortunately, these are bands to sweat to. Thin Lips have a classic sensibility about their hooks that you have to move to, with clean riffs and sobering lyrics. Slaughter Beach, Dog, led by former Modern Baseball guitarist Jake Ewald, can play with a crowd instead, going from punk anthems (with a bit of Gibson twang) to solemn folk-inspired jams. Regardless of their duality, the crowd that night seldom could be found not echoing every word from the bands. Continue reading →

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Thin Lips helps their loved ones rest in power in the new “A Song For Those Who Miss You All The Time” video

still from video

For all their joyful melodies and hummable hooks, Philly punk four-piece Thin Lips often return to lyrical themes of coping with loss.

The first single from their awesome new Chosen Family LP, “A Song For Those Who Miss You All The Time,” is about frontwoman Chrissy Tashjian’s brother Billy, who passed away at age 22 in 2014. The process of grieving isn’t something that starts when tragedy strikes and then concludes in a short period of time; it never truly ends, and the heartwrenching lyrics behind the bouncing beat talk of what it’s like for Tashjian and her brother Mikey (Thin Lips’ drummer) to continue living day to day without their brother.

Just like “A Song For Those Who Miss You All The Time” transforms their personal loss into something uplifting and joyful, its new music video for transforms a host of losses into something beautiful. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Thin Lips and Shannen Moser are teaming up for a dual record release show

Thin Lips | photo by Scott Troyan | courtesy of the artist // Shannen Moser | photo by Emily Dubin | courtesy of the artist

Fixtures of the Philly scene Thin Lips and Shannen Moser have a few things in common — not only are they Lame-O Records labelmates, but they both have new records either just-released or forthcoming.

To celebrate the new tunes, the two bands have joined forces for a double record release show at the First Unitarian Church on September 22, with fellow Philadelphians So Totally and Cheer Up lined up as support. Continue reading →

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Find your NACHOSen family with Thin Lips at Honest Tom’s this Friday

Thin Lips
Thin Lips | photo by Scott Troyan | photo courtesy of the artist

Nothing goes together quite like local bands and local businesses, especially when Thin Lips and nachos are involved. To celebrate the release of their new album Chosen Family, Thin Lips and Lame-O Records are teaming up with Honest Tom’s Plant Based Taco Shop this Friday, July 27, to offer the best deal in town — a bundle that includes the new LP and an order of nachos for only $20 (sounds like the perfect way to fuel up before heading over to XPNFest, if you ask me). Continue reading →

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Thin Lips’ new single “Gaslight Anthem (The Song Not The Band)” features a hit-parade of Philly favorites

Thin Lips
Thin Lips | photo by Scott Troyan | photo courtesy of the artist

Ahead of their upcoming album Chosen Family, Thin Lips have released a second single, titled “Gaslight Anthem (The Song Not The Band)” featuring vocal contributions from Frances Quinlan of Hop Along, Brendan Lukens of Modern Baseball, and Zoe Reynolds of Kississippi. And if that lineup doesn’t get you excited to hear it, what will? Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Slaughter Beach, Dog and Thin Lips at PhilaMOCA

Thin Lips | photo by Scott Troyan | courtesy of the artist // Slaughter Beach, Dog | photo by Jess Flynn | courtesy of the artist

Not much beats a stacked double bill of local favorites, and that must be just what Slaughter Beach, Dog had in mind when booking their upcoming tour. It’ll be the band’s first headlining run since last fall, when they released their debut LP Birdie, and for the East Coast leg of the tour, Thin Lips is coming along (the second half of the tour gets Gladie, which is pretty cool, too). The two Lame-O labelmates will join forces at PhilaMOCA on August 25. Continue reading →

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Thin Lips share the heartwrenching single “A Song For Those Who Miss You All The Time” from new LP Chosen Family

Thin Lips
Thin Lips | photo by Scott Troyan | photo courtesy of the artist

Yesterday, Thin Lips graced us with an excitingly ambiguous teaser for a July 27th release titled Chosen Family. Now the queer-punk trio have delivered the album’s lead single, the bittersweet rocker “A Song For Those Who Miss You All The Time.” Channeling the fuzzy spirit of their 2016 Riff Hard LP with a shiny new coat of hi-fi production (assisted by Hop Along’s Frances Quinlan), the song pits an infectious riff against heartfelt lyrics that pay tribute to the late younger brother of vocalist Chrissy Tashjian. The words are heartbreaking, but the song is far from morose. The jubilant interplay between howling dual guitars and Tashjian’s soaring vocals make for a cathartic anthem that reaffirms the singular power of pop music to draw strength, release, and even a melancholy joy out of heartbreak. Continue reading →