Yip has produced albums for numerous Pennsylvania bands, including Circa Survive, Title Fight, Tigers Jaw, Balance and Composure, Nothing, and Superheaven. He works out of Studio 4, a legendary area recording space run by Phil Nicolo. The article explores his work with some of these bands in-depth, observing their genre-bending tendencies that draw heavily from music of the latter 20th century. It also touches on the fact that Yip’s bands have reached younger generations that are constantly told underground music scenes are “dead”. Continue reading →
Doylestown’s Balance and Composure wrapped up their headlining tour Saturday night at Theater of Living Arts. They released their second album The Things We Think We’re Missing in fall of 2013 and have been on the road ever since. Saturday night they played all the jams from this album, along with some older stuff including songs off Separation. Ending a great set, B&C closed with “Notice Me,” a collective favorite among fans. Keeping with the heavy emo genre, California’s Seahaven was the opener during the whole tour. Vocalist Kyle Soto opened with an acoustic “Honey Bee” before getting down and heavy with the rest of the band for “Black and White.” Starting out the night were Philadelphia-bred noisemakers Creepoid (now based in Savannah) who joined the tour halfway through after a long run with Against Me!. Plenty of family and friends came out for the celebration of the two hometown bands. Check out the photos from the show in the gallery below. Continue reading →
80′s pop rock sensations The Bangles headline World Cafe Live tonight. After a long 8-year hiatus, the women produced their first album in 2011, Sweetheart of the Sun, and rejoined the music scene with gusto. The group achieved early success with their pop hits including “Eternal Flame” and “Walk Like An Egyptian” and became one of the handful of all-female groups to achieve international attention in the 80′s. You can watch their music video for their hit “Manic Monday” below. Find more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
Doylestown’s Balance and Composure just announced a late summer / early fall headlining tour with Seaheaven and The American Scene that will wrap up with a homecoming show at the TLA on October 4th. (EDIT: While The American Scene is on earlier dates of the tour, Creepoid joins the tour for the latter half, and will play the TLA show.) Tickets go on sale Friday at noon via Live Nation. The heavy emo five-piece released their sophomore album, The Things We Think We’re Missing, last fall and have been touring it hard ever since. They stopped in for an acoustic Key Studio Session in October; check out an acoustic performance of “Reflection” from it below, and download the entire set here.
Last month Atlanta-based indie rock band Manchester Orchestra released their fourth studio album, Cope, via Favorite Gentlemen, the band’s own independent label. To support their new record, the band has been on an extensive spring tour of the US and Canada with Doylestown’s Balance and Composure as well as Kevin Devine (who’s also in Bad Books, band with Manchester’s frontman Andy Hull).
The tour sold out two nights at the Theater of the Living Arts well in advance, and as soon as the doors opened on night two, the crowd rushed inside and two the front. Devine appeared on stage first, dancing and clapping his hands, getting the crowd pumped to songs such as “Cotton Crush” and “I Could Be With Anyone”. Throughout his set, Devine jumped up, down and across the stage, always rushing back to the microphone to make sure he didn’t miss a lyric. He closed his set with “Brother’s Blood,” performed full band, leaving the crowd in awe.
Next to take the stage was melodic indie-rock band Balance and Composure, on tour in support of their second LP The Things We Think We’re Missing, which was released last year via No Sleep Records. Opening their set with “Quake” off of their first LP, Separation, Balance made a perfect entrance. A majority of the set drew from their newest record including singles “Reflection” and “Tiny Raindrop.” On stage, the band used fog machines which might have made it difficult to see the band members, but it did enhance their set aesthetically. Closing with two new songs, Balance and Composure played a powerful set championing their latest material.
Manchester Orchestra opening their headlining set with the acoustic track “Deer”, the first song off of their LP, Simple Math, and the crowd was instantly covered with goose bumps. Playing a different set than the night before, the band played an interesting array of songs, including a Bad Books song with Kevin Devine. Promoting their new record, Cope, Manchester Orchestra performed “Top Notch,” as well as album title track, which the crowd enjoyed (based off of the crowd surfing and the mosh pit). The set closed with slower songs “Virgin” and the title track from Simple Math (which they did not play the night before). After their set, the crowd cheering “one more song” for several minutes chanting for an encore that never came – the sound engineer announced after fifteen minutes that the show was over and asked the crowd to leave. Even so, Manchester Orchestra played a tremendous set that left me and the audience speechless.
Doylestown natives Balance and Composure are offering a New Year’s gift to their fans: a free download of an acoustic version of “Tiny Raindrop” from their latest LP The Things We Think We’re Missing. The original is already excellent, but there’s just something special about a great song being completely stripped down to its bare bits and being delivered just as beautifully. It’s emo at its finest and brings to mind Sunny Day Real Estate. Watch the video for the original “Tiny Raindrop” below and download the new version below.
Today we bring you our latest Key Studio Sessions compilation, pulling together the best of what we’ve recorded in the final four months of 2013. I’m always psyched about these comps, but The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 9 in particular presents a tremendous variety of musicians from around the Philadelphia region that I’m excited to showcase for you. Bucks County has a healthy showing, from the acoustic alt-punk swagger of Balance and Composure and the retro-grunge of Daylight to the booming Americana of Levee Drivers and the flower child folk stylings of Lily Mae. We trip away into a spacious, 12-minute jam by Chris Forsyth and his Solar Motel Band, rock out to Amanda X and get chillingly meditative with ambient musician and filmmaker Michael James Murray. A Christmas selection from Jersey’s The Classic Brown makes the cut, sultry new jammers from Delaware’s Mean Lady and Central Pa.’s Kate Faust, a fierce bass-backed rap by Curly Castro, an Afro-Cuban jazz rocker from Toy Soldiers, and more. Special thanks to guest engineers Steve Poponi and Mike Kennedy, to Tom Volpicelli at Mastering House for his post-production help, and to production assistants Dan Hutton and Dan Malloy as well as photographers Rachel Del Sordo, Megan Kelly, Laura Lynn, Caitlin McCann, Ally Newbold, Kellie O’Heron, Tony Oppenheim, Matthew Shaver, Mike Trutt and Tiffany Yoon, and videographers Bands in the Backyard and Bob Sweeney for sharing their work this fall. Listen to the 17-song set and get a free download below.
Want more? Get a roundup of our previous free-downloadable Key Studio Sessions compilations after the jump. Continue reading →
Doylestown rock outfit Balance and Composure recently released a half hour documentary on the making of The Things We Think We’re Missing. Featuring interviews with all the band members and Studio 4‘s Will Yip, the video takes you through every aspect of the album creation process. From writing the songs in a remote Pennsylvania cabin to recording them in Conshohocken, Balance and Composure fills us in on how the album was formed alongside their goofing around. According to the doc, guitarist Andrew Slaymaker almost lost his mind, and Bailey Van Ellis couldn’t stand drumming in the morning, but the result was more than worth it. Check out the documentary below, and keep an eye out for an upcoming Doylestown area show. Pick up The Things We Think We’re Missing via No Sleep Records here or stream it below.
Kingston, Pennsylvania crew Title Fight marked its ten-year anniversary this fall, and threw a big celebration in true punk rock style: with a sold-out five-band all-ages bill at an American Legion hall in nearby Glen Lyon. Joining them were fellow local noisemakers Balance and Composure and Daylight, along with Wilkes-Barre hardcore band Dead End Path and touring act Justice (a punk band from Belgium, not the dance band from France). In addition to their ten years and dozen or so releases together, Title Fight also had a forward-thinking cause to celebrate: the new Spring Songs EP 7″, available now via Revelation Records. Check out photos from the show in the gallery below.
Before heading off to tour Australia and Japan, Daylight put together a quirky music video for “No One’s Deserving”. The video opens with a man singing along to the lyrics “Afraid / to be myself / alone / I can’t be loved” as he puts on a mouse mascot head. Watch the physical and personal journey this mouse-man takes below, and listen for Daylight on The Key Studio Sessions on tonight’s Philly Local show on WXPN.