Emily Cross is Cross Record. The only way to experience Cross Record is to listen. It’s hard to describe the sounds you’ll hear. The sonic landscape shifts and morphs from piece-to-piece, from second-to-second. The listener, at first will be lost in this wilderness of acoustics and electronics, sudden sound giving way to sudden silence, but the constant changing becomes comforting. Cross is a truly adept songwriter, but it might not be the type of songs you expect. Let’s call them sound collages. There are bright flashes of percussion, colorful static, and Cross’s effect-laden voice beckoning you forward, now to the left, right into a barrage of distorted electric guitars, but beyond there, a swell of droney acoustic instruments. Her album Be Good is an adventure record – just click play and see where it takes you.
All week long for our My Morning Downloads, we’re showcasing Philly Local bands who covered songs by Jason Molina, as part of Folkadelphia’s tribute to the songwriter, Unsung: Songs: Ohia. The recent 13th anniversary of the album Didn’t It Rain by Songs: Ohia, was the occasion for a recent feature produced by Folkadelphia’s Fred Knittel. Molina came to prominence in the late Nineties performing and recording as Songs: Ohia, solo projects. and as the Magnolia Electric Co. Molina sadly passed away from alcohol abuse-related organ failure in 2013. He was 39 years old. Continue reading →
Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
Texas multidisciplinary artist Jess Williamson is our first Folkadelphia Session back after working on and airing our Unsung Episode on Jason Molina and Songs: Ohia, which you can listen to here. Perhaps my mind is just very stuck on Molina’s particular style and tone, but I can’t help making certain comparisons between the two artists, especially with Williamson’s most recent collection of songs, last year’s Native State.
As with Molina, Williamson has a knack for making music that seems so personal and introspective that it suddenly starts turning to become embracing to all of the listeners. Continue reading →
Folkadelphia premiered a new project called Unsung this week. The radio show / music explorers explain that “In the history of music, there are many unsung artists and albums that we firmly clutch close to our hearts” and they will dig into some of those albums in the coming months. The first chapter features Songs: Ohia’s Didn’t It Rain and conversations with the people who were a part of it. Listen to the special here and download a compilation of local artists covering the songs below.
Welcome to the first chapter of Folkadelphia’s new project that we’ve gotten in the habit of calling Unsung.
In the history of music, there are many unsung artists and albums that we firmly clutch close to our hearts. These artists create the kind of music that we wish other people knew more about or cared more deeply for. We wish that we could share with others our exact feelings about how we’ve been touched and affected by some musicians. We want to show them the light. We want to sing these musicians’ unsung song for everyone to hear.
With this series, we hope we can provide a way for people to connect with music that has been influential beyond its commercial impact and, perhaps, appeal. It’s never too late to find a new favorite band and honor their legacy and discography.
For this first part, we focused on what has become one of my favorite albums: Songs: Ohia’s Didn’t It Rain, which was recorded in Philadelphia in 2002. Continue reading →
In 2015, Rose Windows, the Seattle-based, hard-to-pin-down-exactly-what-they-do, psychedelic rock band on Sub Pop Records, will release their highly anticipated second full length album. This follows their debut The Sun Dogs released a couple of years ago which made quite an impact on most all who heard it. What initially drew us to Rose Windows was their sonic connection (perceived by us) to our favorite era of experimental British folk-rock, updated for the modern era. We thought they carried that torch well. We stuck around because of their intensity, their multi-layered sound that becomes apparent with repeated listens, and, perhaps most importantly, their powerful and mesmerizing live show. If you take anything away from this session, it’s that Rose Windows is a band you need to see in action. Continue reading →
Whenever I end up writing these little introductions to Folkadelphia Sessions, I look back at how the session came about, how I initially communicated with the featured artist, and I try (and often fail) to remember the first time I heard their music. This week, I wrack my brain trying to recall the first time I became acquainted with the beautiful and tender songs of Melaena Cadiz. Continue reading →
Homegrown, homespun, and completely organic, Diane Cluck‘s songs and art appeal to the very core of my “music fandom.” You find that she strips away the excess of stature, bravado, career trajectory, critical bias, and other non-musical artifacts that make their way into others’ music that you think about when you listen to them or see them perform live. Cluck’s art is like the fresh tomato ripe off the vine that you gingerly pick from the garden that you planted. A lot of other music, well, it’s like the sketchy, bizarrely uniform, overly green and shiny apple you drop into your cart at the supermarket, trying to push out “GMO” and “pesticides” from your mind. For Cluck, I’ve only ever thought about her songs, the words and music, and tiny worlds and narratives she creates within. Nothing else entered this serene space. Continue reading →