Stream Death Cab For Cutie’s Thank You For Today via NPR First Listen

Death Cab for Cutie
Death Cab for Cutie for WXPN | Photo by Matthew Shaver |

Thanks to NPR Music’s First Listen series, Death Cab For Cutie’s ninth album, Thank You For Today, is available to stream before the full release this Friday, August 17th.

Third track and lead single “Gold Rush” has been a favorite around the station leading up to the album’s release. The track touches on the gentrification of a hometown, seemingly changing overnight or without any notice. Themes of change are riddled throughout the album, from the location-slanted “Gold Rush” to physically leaving a space, like on “You Moved Away.” While vocalist Ben Gibbard’s lyrics are at the forefront of each track, the backing instrumentals are not to go unnoticed. Swirling synths accompanied by drums, bass, guitar, and piano, perfectly paired with Gibbard’s register, weave a sense of nostalgia and hope throughout the album. Continue reading →


(Sandy) Alex G’s Live at Third Man Records set is available now

Alex G. | Photo by Josh Pelta Heller for WXPN |
Alex G. | Photo by Josh Pelta Heller for WXPN |

Philly indie rocker (Sandy) Alex G announced the release of a new live set via Third Man Records, a recording of his performance in the Nashville label’s Blue Room series. The Live at Third Man Records LP features tracks from his latest album, the indie-folk pop outing Rocket, which he’s been promoting on this past tour. The self-released lo-fi bedroom singles that prompted his rise in the DIY scene also resurface on the live record. Listen below for a sample of this intimate, unplugged take on “Bobby,” and grab the full LP here, via Third Man Records. (Sandy) Alex G will play Festival Pier June 23 with Dr. Dog. Tickets and info at the WXPN concert calendar. Continue reading →


Low announce new album and tour dates; release three new singles

Low | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller |

Slowcore veterans Low announced the release of a new album today, their twelfth to date. Titled Double Negative, the album is due out September 14th via Sub Pop. Along with the album announcement, the Duluth, MN-based band released the opening three tracks from the album, “Quorum”, “Dancing and Blood” and “Fly,” along with an accompanying suite of music videos. Continue reading →


Listen to two new Gorillaz songs, “Humility” and “Lake Zurich,” see them at Wells Fargo Center in October

Gorillaz | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN

Good news in the Gorillaz-verse! Earlier this week, Gorillaz announced new album The Now Now, the quick follow up to 2017’s Humanz. Today, the virtual band released two new tracks off their 6th studio LP, groovy bop “Lake Zurich” and album opener “Humility,” which features George Benson on guitar and vocals. Along with the two new tracks, the band provided more details on their upcoming album, which is set to release on June 29th. View the full tracklist and album artwork below. Continue reading →


Listen to The Menzingers’ high-energy new single “Toy Soldier”

The Menzingers | photo by Rachel Del Sordo
The Menzingers | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Local punk favorites The Menzingers released a new track out of the blue this week, titled “Toy Soldier.” Vocalist/guitarist Greg Barnett first performed the then-unreleased track solo this past April at The First Unitarian Church, the night of the “Roger Harvey & Family” concert. The full band studio version kicks the track into high gear featuring driving guitars and punchy drums and Barnett’s signature gravely vocals leading the way.

Continue reading →


NonCOMM Recap: King Tuff transports crowd to the cosmos with a space horn

King Tuff | photo by Senia Lopez for WXPN |

“Anybody know what this is?” asked Kyle Thomas, the colorful frontman of King Tuff, as he raised a peculiar cylinder device in his hand. He looked side to side, faced the crowd, and deadpanned: “It’s called the space horn.”

And with that, the wonderfully strange cosmic flute beamed the last bit of the crowd into Thomas’ zany, trippy, mystical outer space universe as “Neverending Sunshine” began to play. Although, with opening tracks like the saucy video game odyssey, “Raindrop Blue,” the laid-back and sunny daydream, “Thru the Cracks,” and the funky disco jam, “Psycho Star,” the packed upstairs PRX stage audience was already by that point pretty fairly transported to another world. Continue reading →


Caroline Rose brings some body positivity to her music video “Bikini”; hear her World Cafe session and interview

Caroline Rose | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN |

Through her transition from folk to self-made genre “schizodrift” (a self-styled blend of surf rock, country and folk), Caroline Rose has created a name for herself in recent years, attracting the attention of The New York Times Magazine, NPR, Pitchfork as well as us here at WXPN, who named Rose “Artist To Watch” for May. The NYC-based songwriter’s latest record LONER’s success is attributed to taking a more pop approach, but at the same time still staying true to her aesthetic self. Continue reading →


Listen to Low Cut Connie’s Dirty Pictures (Part 2) via NPR First Listen

Low Cut Connie | photo by Marcus Junius Laws | courtesy of the artist

Hometown rockers and XPN-faves Low Cut Connie are notorious for their raucous live shows and their vivacious brand of sweaty rock music. Often labeled as torchbearers of rock n roll for this reason, the group scaled back the pizazz on their latest, Dirty Pictures (Part 2), in favor of stripped down, emotionally complex tracks.

In an interview with NPR, frontman and upright pianist Adam Weiner said Part 2 — streaming a week early at NPR Music — is more “character driven, exploring the way people and their emotional lives are a little more than this bar-culture thing that we had been doing for a while.” Continue reading →


Courtney Barnett releases instructional video for new single, “Sunday Roast”

Courtney Barnett | still from video

Courtney Barnett’s latest video opens like many YouTube tutorial videos may open. “Hey guys, its me, Courtney Barnett. Today I’m going to show you how to play ‘Sunday Roast,’” Barnett says, greeting the viewers on the other side of the screen. The instructional video doubles as Barnett’s latest single release off her upcoming album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, out May 18.

The video features Barnett sitting on a futon strumming along to the track, flanked by two figures cropped out of the frame. Close-up shots of Barnett playing the guitar float across the screen throughout the 4-minute video, instructing viewers on how to play along at home.  Continue reading →


Just Announced: Waxahatchee will open for Courtney Barnett this October

Waxahatchee at Union Transfer | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Just announced as opening support for Courtney Barnett’s Fall run of U.S. shows is local-favorite Waxahatchee, which includes a stop at Fishtown’s Fillmore on October 23. The announcement comes the day after Waxahatchee rocked Union Transfer, and we couldn’t be more excited for the pair of rockers’ show in October. Check back in to The Key later this afternoon for our recap of Waxahatchee’s set at last night’s co-headlining gig alongside Hurray For The Riff Raff. Continue reading →