Brown Recluse calls it quits, plans posthumous compilation “Odd Ends”

Over the weekend, Philly popsters Brown Recluse quietly announced that they were calling it quits after seven years, an EP and full-length with revered indie label Slumberland Records, and several self-releases. From the band’s Facebook page:

Brown Recluse has formally dissolved its collective efforts in performance and production. Work is in progress on a collection of unreleased tracks, alternate mixes, and demonstration recordings titled “Odd Ends,” which should be available by the end of the year.

We offer our most sincere thanks to all our colleagues, Slumberland Records, Dead Format, and our fans and friends for their endless support. You helped make it beautiful.

Activity from the band had been sparse since the release of its full-length, Evening Tapestry, in 2011. Later that year, guitarist Herbie Shellenberger exited to focus on his band Pet Milk, though Brown Recluse made a handful of appearances as a four-piece – including a great set at MilkBoy Philly earlier this year with Instamatic and Acres of Diamonds.

The announcement was made around founding member Tim Meskers’ set opening for Gruff Rhys at PhilaMOCA. It’s not clear yet what might be on the odds-and-ends compilation referenced in the announcement, but a physical release of Brown Recluse’s digital-only EP Panoptic Mirror Maze would be cool indeed. Stream that collection here, download their song “Impressions Of A City Morning” below and leave your condolences on Brown Recluse’s Facebook page.


The Key Studio Sessions: Pet Milk

Photos by Madeleine Lesperance

Meeting at the crossroads of introspective indiepop and aggressive punk is Philadelphia’s Pet Milk. You see it in the group’s pedigree – drummer Josh Agran also plays in the mighty Paint it Black, a long standing local hardcore act, while singer-guitarist Herbie Shellenberger is an alumnus of South Philly-based Slumberland Records popsters Brown Recluse. Bassist Adam Herndon straddles both worlds, playing in dreamy local favorites A Sunny Day in Glasgow, as well as the hyper-spastic Faux Slang. Rounding out the group is singer Adriane Dalton – whose voice is warm and melodic but whose demeanor takes no guff – and guitarist Richie Roxas, who plays one six-string from two amps. Maybe one is his twee amp and one is his punk amp. I kid, but Pet Milk’s truly is a sound that doesn’t fit easily into either world – melancholic minor key musings on ex-lovers and the mid-twenties post-adulthood crash, but with a rough-hewn, gnarly edge showing that, for this crew, the fire isn’t out. Download its recent Key Studio Session below – including songs from its its 2011 EP Philadelphia Punklife, as well as a couple unreleased numbers – and catch Pet Milk in concert Saturday June 23 at Johnny Brenda’s when it plays with Arc in Round, Tadoma and Beige.


Philly Local Phile PREMIERE: Acres of Diamonds’ “Penultimate”

“Our recording process has been somewhat glacial,” jokes Sarah Davis, the singer and keyboardist / glockenspielist for earthy, expressive Philly rock combo Acres of Diamonds. The band’s excellent self-titled EP dropped in summer of 2010, and it has been working on the followup at an extremely measured pace in the time since. But that’s completely fine; if the end result is a collection of songs as rich and inspired as today’s Philly Local Phile, AOD’s brand-new number “Penultimate,” it will be absolutely worth the wait. Stream or download the song below, and catch Acres of Diamonds in concert next weekend when it plays Milkboy Philly on Sat. Feb. 4 with Brown Recluse and recent PHL Bandcamp Hunter stars Instamatic.


Rockaphilly presents Brown Recluse, Lushlife and Sunny Ali And The Kid at Johnny Brenda’s on Oct. 28th

Rockaphilly is presenting a concert with Brown Recluse, Lushlife, and Sunny Ali And The Kid on Friday, October 28th, at Johnny Brenda’s. Doors open at 8:00 p.m.; show time is 9:00 p.m. Tickets to the 21+ event are $10. For more information and set times click here. Rockaphilly is also having a contest to win a pair of tickets to the show if you’re one of the first two people to identify the pictures of rock stars on this poster. Below, listen to a song from Brown Recluse and Sunny Ali And The Kid.


This Weekend’s Concert Picks: Brown Recluse at Kung Fu Necktie, Arborea + Lewis And Clarke at First Unitarian Church

Brown Recluse is firmly grounded in Philadelphia. The band’s latest album, Evening Tapestry (released on the iconic indie-pop label Slumberland last spring) was recorded at Sound In The Round Studios in Philly. They’ve even got a song called “Conshohocken Curve.” Despite their burgeoning reputation—Brown Recluse has played with Matt and Kim and Tokyo Police Club, among others—the six-piece band remains committed to their roots. Brown Recluse performs with Arc in Round and Royal Shoals at 7:30 p.m. at Kung Fu Necktie; tickets to the 21+ show are $8.

Brown Recluse “Mirror Mansion” from Slumberland Records on Vimeo.

Also playing: Beanie Sigel + Big Ooh, Kid Boogie, Premavara, Tom Charles, Lynn Charles at The Blockley (9:30 p.m., 21+, $13–$15)

Folkadelphia Presents: Arborea + Lewis And Clarke at First Unitarian Church Side Chapel (8 p.m., all ages, $10); Faux Slang + Nothing, Open Ocean, Deardarkhead (7 p.m., 21+, $10); Mantua Family Day Festival: Old School Concert featuring Naughty By Nature + Slick Rick, Chubb Rock, Kwame (noon, all ages, free); The Dude Hates Cancer Benefit featuring Orbit To Leslie + Hezekiah Jones, Chris Kasper, The Doublewides at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $10)

Male Bonding + Love Inks, Break It Up at Kung Fu Necktie (8 p.m., 21+, $12); Reef The Lost Cauze + Mic Stew, S.I.R., Voss, I.R.V., Teddy Bigglesworth at The Blockley (8 p.m., $7–$10)


Philly Local Philes: Brown Recluse’s “Impressions Of A City Morning” and “Mirror Mansion”

Looking back over the volumes of fantastic music released by Philadelphians this year, Brown Recluse easily stands out – partly because they handily delivered two full-length releases within months of one another. Evening Tapestry came out on Slumberland Records in March, and it’s technically their debut long player; back in January, the band self released its “mini-LP,” Panoptic Mirror Maze, to Bandcamp. The two collections delve deep into the cheery sunshine pop Brown Recluse is known for, as well as a more macabre new direction indulging songwriter Tim Meskers’ fondness for horror movies and harpsichord. Today’s Philly Local Phile explores both sides of this dual personality – the chipper “Impressions of a City Morning,” and the sinister “Mirror Mansion” (which came with a music video to boot).

Brown Recluse – Impressions of a City Morning by Slumberland Records


Creepoid, Brown Recluse, Purling Hiss performing at local Record Store Day in-stores

This Saturday, April 16th, is the Fourth Annual National Record Store Day. From the Record Store Day web site:

The one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists in the United States and in various countries across the globe make special appearances and performances.

There’s a significant amount of special vinyl and CDs being made for Record Store Day—including a 10-inch record of Adele’s Free At Noon performance of “Rolling In The Deep” (with a B-side of the remix by Jamie XX, which you can listen to below). Many Philadelphia area stores are participating in Record Store Day; below is a list of a couple of several in-store performances. A more complete list can be found here.

Main Street Music in Manayunk
Noon Versa Emerge & D.R.U.G.S. will be signing copies of their new CDs
1:30 p.m. Cabin Dogs
3 p.m. Creepoid
4 p.m. Brown Recluse

a.k.a. music
1 p.m. Purling Hiss


Brown Recluse releases Panoptic Mirror Maze EP, new video for “Mirror Mansion”

Brown Recluse has just released a new EP called Panoptic Mirror Maze, less than two months before the arrival of the band’s upcoming full-length, Evening Tapestry (which we posted about the other day). The new EP is available for free here; below, you can download the song “Notorious” and watch the new video for the song “Mirror Mansion.”

Brown Recluse “Mirror Mansion” from Slumberland Records on Vimeo.


Brown Recluse to release new album, Evening Tapestry, on Slumberland Records

Philadelphia’s psychedelic popsters Brown Recluse began in 2006 with Timothy Meskers and Mark Saddlemire, whose love for The Zombies and many things baroque pop was evident in their early recordings. Over the last few years the band has grown to a five piece, and they’ve completed work on their first full-length album, Evening Tapestry. The album is being released on March 15th on Slumberland Records; you can listen to “Impressions Of A City Morning” below. Its strummy guitar energy and dreamy vocal harmonies are backed up by barrel-house rhythms and some hard-hitting Farfisa organ runs.

Brown Recluse “Impressions of a City Morning” by Slumberland Records