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Folkadelphia Session: Mac McCaughan (of Superchunk & Merge Records)

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Mac McCaughan | Photo by Lisa Gotwals

Back in May, Folkadelphia teamed up with Drexel University’s Music Industry Program and a group of their insanely smart, inquisitive, and super helpful audio engineer students to live record a handful of in-studio sessions over a three day period. The results have been fantastic. We already shared one session with you, our encore with Christopher Paul Stelling. Now we bring you the second in this set – Mac McCaughan, best known for being the leader of Superchunk, Portastatic, and co-founder of Merge Records, which has brought you countless “this is my favorite album” albums. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Sessions: Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons, Emilyn Brodsky, and vio/mire

Allegory of Music (de La Hyre)

My summer vacation has led to a summertime bounty for you. I am just returning from a road trip and have been less than active online, but as you know, the Folkadelphia in-studio sessions don’t stop airing – not for me or for anyone. That being said, today we present a special, one time only, three-for-the-price-of-one-and-that-one-was-totally-free-anyway deal. I’m pleased to present our three most recent Folkadelphia Sessions featuring Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons, Emilyn Brodsky, and vio/mire. I couldn’t have asked for three more diverse sets to show off the range of what we consider folk music and the amazing people creating it. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Lydia Loveless

Photo by Patrick Crawford
Photo by Patrick Crawford

Our love for Lydia Loveless is well documented. Off and online, we stood on top of any platform that would have us and shouted to the world “LISTEN TO SOMEWHERE ELSE, FALL HARD FOR LOVELESS!” Lydia and her band are pros at creating music that hits the sweet spot between country twang, rock with abandon, and pop sensibilities. There are songs to shout, songs to sing along to, and songs to feel deeply with. We were honored to welcome Lydia and her crew to the XPN Studios. The band took a load off and let Loveless perform as a duo with guitarist Todd May. Though the bark of the full band was absent, the bite inherent to the music was still very much there. Take a listen and go see Lydia Loveless support Ben Bridwell and Iron & Wine at Union Transfer on July 28th. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Bad Braids

Bad Braids | Courtesy of the artist.
Bad Braids | Courtesy of the artist.

We post up our newest Folkadelphia Session with Philadelphia’s Bad Braids in a bittersweet mood. Over the years, Megan Biscieglia, the constant in the collective, and her rotating cast of bandmates have produced a bounty of spaced-out, psych-tinged, folk-inflected close listening jams. While their music has evolved between three LPs and various releases, Biscieglia and co. have never strayed too far from that hypnotic sound, an audioscape as edgeless, mystical, and mesmerizing as if staring deeper and deeper into a stormy crystal ball. This year, Bad Braids allowed us to peer behind the veil again with an excellent new album EYE OF NIGHT, further fleshing out the full band sound and their untapped sonic potential. The name of the game is dynamics, and Megan and her band have honed their lunar-like powers of ebb & flow over what the listener perceives from second to second. They have created mini-epics, songs that swell up with power and dissapate with a shimmer, along with the occassional whirlpool that pulls you down under now and again. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Mitski


What you put into it is what you get out of it. I’m talking about Bury Me at Makeout Creek, the latest album from Mitski, one that’s been raved about since its release for good reason (and on a personal note, spun many a time in the rooms of my apartment). If you want to be moved, you can be – if you want to feel, if you want to rage, cry, yell, laugh, you can. Mitski creates a rare opportunity, a surefire way for this to occur, all you have to do is allow yourself to experience. You just need to be to open to stripping away facade, pretenses, and resignations. Equip yourself with a tolerance of spirit, a fullness of heart, and a clarity of mind, then let Mitski rip. Yell and Mitski shouts back. Laugh and Mitski brings on levity. In many ways, Bury Me at Makeout Creek gives you exactly what you need at the right time. Sometimes acting as a confessional, as a diary, as commiseration, even a party or a jolt of energy. Mitski isn’t hiding behind anything, this is laid bare kind of music, so why should the listener or the concert attendee act any differently? If we are being honest and open with each other, it’s only going to lead to greater love, understanding, acceptance, and growth in all of us. With each listen, I feel like we’re getting one step closer to that.
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Folkadelphia Session: Christopher Paul Stelling


In 2013, I met Christopher Paul Stelling on one of his visits to Philadelphia and watched him perform a couple of times (we also tracked our first session with him). I came face to face with the embodiment of enthusiasm and passion in songwriter and performing. This is no hyperbole – Stelling is as genuine as anyone I’ve ever met and it comes across in all of his actions and his inventions. Over the course of his recorded career, now three albums in with his brand new release Labor Against Waste out now via Anti Records, Stelling has sung of people, politics, persecution, of everyday struggle and of everyday success. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Kristin Andreassen


Week after week, you may have noticed that we continue to post up new Folkadelphia Sessions. With each session, we are afforded the opportunity to meet, spend time with, and record brilliant and inventive musicians. We often make new friends. As music lovers often do, our friends recommend new artists for us to check out, projects to listen to, albums to spin. Such is the winding road of recommendations that led us to Kristin Andreassen and her Folkadelphia Session.
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Folkadelphia Session: Indigo Girls


At this point from my end, it’s hard to say anything about the Indigo Girls that hasn’t been said before. Emily and Amy are complete legends and also wonderfully down-to-earth humans. They’re hard working, prolific, politically active, and positively fantastic performers. Their influence is untold and they continue to influence time and again with each new release. Growing up in New Jersey, I always heard the name, but never made the connection with the music. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Spuyten Duyvil


As a college radio station music director, I quickly learned to love the daily mail delivery. Whether it was physical snail mail or digital deliveries, I couldn’t help but get excited about the prospects of what those packages had to offer. I could be one envelope tear (or click of an email) away from finding my new favorite band. To this day, I try to maintain this enthusiasm for the unlistened album with each new one I receive. Click play, track one fires up, you never know what you’re going to hear and how it’s going to make you feel.
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Folkadelphia Session: Emma Ruth Rundle


On Emma Ruth Rundle‘s latest solo outing Some Heavy Ocean, she reconciles in a bold and beautiful manner her diverse musical styles and interests honed over the years while performing in groups like Marriages, Red Sparowes, and the Nocturnes. Her voice is truly the centerpiece of the album – strong, defiant, and upfront. Rundle is cast as the beacon of light in a soundscape that exists as dense fog-like endlessness. It’s a sound as attractive and with the destructive potential of a black hole. Space, outer, inner, or otherwise, plays an important role here too. The songwriter has a deep understanding of dynamics. There’s drama, there’s build, there’s tension and release. On this heavy ocean, the waves ebb and flow to create emotional peaks and valleys. All the while, Rundle gives us her monochromatic all, an infinite variety of diversity in between the black of the void and the purest white light.
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