By

Listen to Wolf Alice’s latest, catch them at The Foundry Saturday night

Wolf Alice
Wolf Alice | Photo by Matthew Shaver for WXPN | brightloud.com

The second full-length album from Wolf Alice is on the way, due out Sept. 29, and the UK-based band shared a few more pieces of it Wednesday. Along with the artwork of Visions Of A Life, they released another single entitled “Don’t Delete The Kisses.”

This is the second single from the album, following up “Yuk Foo.” As opposed to its predecessor’s angry rant of a song, “Don’t Take The Kisses” laces Ellie Rowsell’s whispering verses with an echoey chorus, all throughout a spacey pop beat that soothes instead of scolds. The shredding from the first single is replaced with layers of synths. On Apple Music’s Beats 1 Radio, the four-piece explained Wednesday that the gap between the two songs won’t seem as wide once the whole album is out. We’ll hear the proof in a couple of months. Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Japanese Breakfast at Ortlieb’s, Wolf Alice at Union Transfer, Roof Doctor at Lavender Town, and more…

Japanese Breakfast
Japanese Breakfast | Photo by Julian Master | courtesy of the artist

Japanese Breakfast holds the album release show for their acclaimed new LP Psychopomp. We’ve loved what we’ve heard so far: album singles “The Woman That Loves You”, “In Heaven”, and “Everybody Wants To Love You” have all rocked so far, and surely the rest of the album will too. Also performing will be Littler (who just released their new album Of Wandering) and Myrrias. More information can be found via the XPN Concert Calender. Continue reading →

By

UK noisemakers Wolf Alice own The Troc

Wolf Alice | Photo by Matthew Shaver | brightloud.com
Wolf Alice | Photo by Matthew Shaver | brightloud.com

Wolf Alice is some sort of weird wonderful mishmash between past and present. Their debut album, My Love Is Cool, belies the thundering nature of their live show. Like watching Garbage channel British shoegaze through modern alt-rock aesthetics, it is a beautiful sight. The band clicks together perfectly, and The Troc, though an unexpected venue, was a perfect fit for them. From the crushing rock choruses of “Moaning Lisa Smile” and “You’re A Germ” to the gentle beginnings of “Swallowtail” that lead to reverb soaked walls of guitar, it was a fantastic display of rock prowess and showmanship. A promising Philly set from a promising UK band. Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Bully at Boot and Saddle, Wolf Alice at The Trocadero, Air is Human at Kung Fu Necktie

Bully| Photo by Matthew Shaver | brightloud.com
Bully| Photo by Matthew Shaver | brightloud.com

After making a huge splash at all the summer festivals they played (and there were a lot of them), Nashville rockers Bully headed out on a solo tour that brings them to Boot and Saddle tonight. Their debut LP Feels Like dropped on Colombia Records this summer, and their music is loud and gritty guitar rock (the best kind of guitar rock). More information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Listen to Feels Like below. Continue reading →

By

Now Hear This: New songs by Sylvan Esso, Juana Molina, Colin Stetson, White Reaper, Shugo Tokumaru, Alice Coltrane and more

sylvan esso
Sylvan Esso | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist

Every month, noted song expert K. Ross Hoffman presents Now Hear This, a sampling of fresh specimens for your consideration.

Let’s see. Cruel April gave us DAMN., Coachella, the debacle-du-spectacle that was Fyre Festival (not actually much a music story, as it turned out)… oh, and Record Store Day. Which, I gotta say, is the one capitalism-based holiday I can fully get behind – not so much for the cavalcade of exclusive releases, which feels more extraneous and vaguely exploitative every year, but for the explicit excuse/occasion to go hang out in record stores, which I sadly rarely do otherwise. And also because quirky devised human-scaled social rituals like that are just great.

I missed RSD this year for the first time in a while, but I made up for it later in the week by swinging by the Numero Group “Factory Outlet Roadshow” tour stop in Kensington: a traveling pop-up shop from the peerless Chicago-based reissue label: where I stocked up on gorgeously-packaged reproductions/assemblages of 20th-century pop ephemera. (Including, to keep things semi-2017-related, the supafunky sample source of Jens Lekman’s megajam “How We Met (The Long Version)” which has also been in my head for about a week.) So far I’ve barely even scratched the surface of my Numero haul – I’ve been much too busy combing through new releases in order to winnow out the month’s absolute finest strains to share with you, dear reader – but I’m pretty amped to dig in deeper as soon as I hit publish! Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Radiator Hospital at Random Tea Room, Alex G at Union Transfer & more

Radiator Hospital | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Tonight in Northern Liberties’ Random Tea Room, Philly-based Radiator Hospital will play a solo set along with Strawberry Runners and Veev. Radiator Hospital is the project of Sam Cook Parrott, a sometimes solo, sometimes four-piece punk rock band that brings high energy sets from beginning to end. Although the band hasn’t released new music since 2014’s LP Torch Song, they have remained active performing in local venues and benefits and beginning a number of other projects. For more information, click here. Continue reading →

By

Buzzing UK act The Japanese House bring vibrant dream pop to The Foundry

The Japanese House | photo by Lauren Rosier for WXPN
The Japanese House | photo by Lauren Rosier for WXPN

English indie pop act The Japanese House played to a sold out crowd at The Foundry on Saturday night. Amber Bain, the 21-year-old behind the band, performed with a 3-member backing band for a solid, and their12-track set featured standouts like “Clean,” “Cool Blue,” and a brand new track titled “Leon.” The Foundry was packed with fans of the band and was an all-ages show, so the crowd was a mixed in age but thoroughly excited by the set. Continue reading →

By

Best of 2015: Who voted for what

Best of 2015: Who voted for what

The albums that moved us in 2015
The albums that moved us in 2015

RULES OF PLAY: Each contributor’s top-five list was entered into an excel doc with their picks assigned a point value. For ranked lists, the number one album was issued five points, the number two album was issued four points, three was three, four was two, five was one. For lists submitted in no particular order (the “equally-ranked lists” you’ll see below), each album was issued three points. My picks were given the same weight as everybody else’s. This is the hard data, the math, and math tells us that Hop Along ruled 2015. – John Vettese, editor

Tom Beck, contributing writer

1. Hop Along – Painted Shut
2. Alabama Shakes – Sound and Color
3. Wilco – Star Wars
4. The Districts – A Flourish and a Spoil
5. The Sonics – This Is The Sonics

Kate Bracaglia, contributing writer

1. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit
2. Tame Impala – Currents
3. Deerhunter – Fadine Frontier
4. Belle and Sebastian – Girls in Peacetime Just Want to Dance
5. Jacuzzi Boys – Happy Damage

Jay Breslin, contributing writer

1. Battles – The Yabba
2. Kurt Vile – b’lieve i’m goin’ down…
3. Hop Along – Painted Shut
4. Loose Tooth – Easy Easy East
5. Mutoid Man – Bleeder

Shaun Brady, contributing writer

1. Charles Lloyd – Wild Man Dance
2. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
3. Steve Coleman and the Council of Balance – Synoviall Joints
4. Matt Mitchell – Vista Acumulation
5. Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra – Cuba: The Conversation Continues

Bill Chenevert, contributing writer

1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
2. Jamie xx – In Colour
3. Hop Along – Painted Shut
4. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie and Lowell
5. Kamasi Washington – The Epic

Rachel Del Sordo, contributing photographer

1. Hop Along – Painted Shut
2. The Front Bottoms – Back On Top
3. Waxahatchee – Ivy Tripp
4. All Dogs – Kicking Everyday
5. Saintseneca – Such Things

Joe Del Tufo, contributing photographer

1. Steven Wilson – Hand.Cannot.Erase
2. Noah Gundersen – Carry the Ghost
3. San Fermin – Jackrabbit
4. Zella Day – Kicker
5. Dawes – All Your Favorite Bands

Maura Filoromo, contributing writer

1. Beirut – No No No
2. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie and Lowell
3. La Luz – Weirdo Shrine
4. Jonagold – We Threw Our Applecore
5. Harsh Crowd – Don’t Ask Me

Lauren Gruber, contributing writer

1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
2. Joanna Newsom – Divers
3. Jamie xx – In Colour
4. Kamasi Washington – The Epic
5. FKA Twigs – M3LL155x

K. Ross Hoffman, contributing writer

1. Carly Rae Jepsen – E.mo.tion
2. Joanna Newsom – Divers
3. Shamir – Ratchet
4. Miguel – Wildheart
5. Natalie Prass – Natalie Prass

Skye Leppo, contributing writer

1. Florence and the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
2. The Districts – A Flourish and a Spoil
3. Grimes – Art Angels
4. Alabama Shakes – Sound and Colour
5. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit

Hope Helmith, contributing photographer

1. The Arcs – Yours, Dreamily
2. Dawes – All Your Favorite Bands
3. Lord Huron – Strange Trails
4. Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear
5. Leon Bridges – Coming Home

Sarah Hughes, contributing writer

1. Grimes – Art Angels
2. CRUISR – CRUISR
3. Tame Impala – Currents
4. Girlpool – Before The World Was Big
5. Lord Huron – Strange Trails

Wendy McCardle, contributing photographer

1. Mutemath – Vitals
2. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
3. Foals – What Went Down
4. Alabama Shakes – Sound and Colour
5. Miguel – Wildheart

Julie Miller, editorial assistant (equally-ranked list)

1. Panda Bear – Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper
2. Ryley Walker – Primrose Green
3. Vulfpeck – Thrill of the Arts
4. Alex G – Beach Music
5. Friendship – You’re Going to Have to Trust Me

Michelle Montgomery, contributing photographer
1. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie and Lowell
2. Tame Impala – Currents
3. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit
4. Leon Bridges – Coming Home
5. Torres – Sprinter

Josh Pelta-Heller, contributing photographer

1. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit
2. Speedy Ortiz – Foil Deer
3. Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment – Surf
4. Waxahatchee – Ivy Tripp
5. Blackalicious – Imani Vol. 1

Cameron Pollack, contributing photographer

1. Hop Along – Painted Shut
2. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
3. Carly Rae Jepsen – E.mo.tion
4. Jamie xx – In Colour
5. The Districts – A Flourish and a Spoil

Sameer Rao, contributing writer

1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
2. Boots – AQUARIA
3. Lianne La Havas – Blood
4. Miguel – Wildheart
5. Hop Along – Painted Shut

Matthew Shaver, contributing photographer

1. Grimes – Art Angels
2. A$AP Rocky – At Long Last A$AP
3. Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool
4. CHVRCHES – Every Open Eye
5. The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die – Harmless

Chris Sikich, contributing photographer

1. Sleater-Kinney – No Cities to Love
2. Screaming Females – Rose Mountain
3. Lower Dens – Escape From Evil
4. Low – Ones and Sixes
5. Hop Along – Painted Shut

Noah Silvestry, contributing photographer (equally-ranked list)

Braids – Deep In The Iris
El Vy – Return to the Moon
Hop Along – Painted Shut
Christian Scott – Stretch Music
Wilco – Star Wars

Elliott Sharp, contributing writer

1. Ryley Walker – Primrose Green
2. Horrendous – Arareta
3. Daniel Bachman – River
4. Big Brave – Au De La
5. Earl Sweatshirt – I Don’t Like Shit

John Vettese, editor

1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
2. Hop Along – Painted Shut
3. Grimes – Art Angels
4. Friendship – You’re Going to Have to Trust Me
5. Kamasi Washington – The Epic

Maureen Walsh, contributing writer

1. Hop Along – Painted Shut
2. Best Coast – California Nights
3. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
4. Blur – The Magic Whip
5. Kamasi Washington – The Epic

Brian Wilensky, contributing writer (equally-ranked list)

Fuzz – II
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Paper Mache Dream Baloon
Tenement – Predatory Headlights
Ryley Walker – Primrose Green
Waxahatchee – Ivy Tripp