With 2016 coming to its hotly anticipated close, it’s about time we got a little sentimental. The eve of yearly self-reflection is upon us, and with that in mind, maybe some sad, slow country songs from The Secret Sisters were just what the doctor ordered. Laura and Lydia Rogers were self-deprecating throughout, calling their music “depressing,” but they backed it up with a passionate, arresting performance that I’ll be thinking about into the new year. Continue reading →
The Pretenders made the Free at Noon stage their second home, blazing through a set filled with some old and new tunes, all in the name of the band’s comeback release Alone. After keeping quiet for a good couple years (last releasing a record in 2008), these English/American legends blessed the world with the recent release of their new full-length and announcement of an extensive tour with the one and only Stevie Nicks. Lucky for us, World Cafe Live got a sneak preview of what’s to come for the legendary group.
Every week has a weekend. And after all the yelling, accusing, and all-out Facebook warfare of last week, maybe a psychedelic dance band from Australia is exactly what the doctor ordered. It was for me, at least, and Friday afternoon at World Cafe Live, Jagwar Ma filled that prescription to a T. Continue reading →
Two of Indie-Rock’s finest will put out their ten-track LP I Had A Dream That You Were Mine on September 23rd under Glassnote Records. Hamilton Leithauser formerly of The Walkmen and Rostam Batmanglij who left Vampire Weekend this past January have collaborated before, but this will be the first time they release work under the name Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam.
Fittingly, the album as a whole invites listeners into the neo-blues/rock dreamscape born of the collaboration between these established musicians. The introductory track of the album, “A 1000 Times,” eases listeners into the hazy world created by I Had A Dream That You Were Mine with Leithauser’s nostalgic vocals worthy of any lullaby accompanied by twinkling piano notes played by Batmanglij. As the narration continues, the mood of each track grows increasingly more persistent in regards to the love interest that Leithauser seems to have been pursuing for some time now. Continue reading →
Based on their super casual demeanor and lead singer Andrew Davie’s repeatedly thanking the crowd for attending- you would never know that UK-based duo Bear’s Den accumulates an impressive 1 million listeners per month on Spotify.
The duo, consisting of Andrew Davie as the lead vocalist/guitarist and the multi-instrumental Kev Jones, was backed by an impressive four man band at today’s Free at Noon concert. The band was promoting their sophomore album Red Earth and Pouring Rain which was released on July 22. With the rise in popularity of folk-rock, it is easy for Americana inspired bands to get overlooked because of the influx of other groups also falling into this genre. Not Bear’s Den, Davies put a truly poetic spin on the typical themes of lost love and navigating adulthood. Lyrics like “There will still be a trace of our love left behind in the dew upon the vine” from Dew on the Vine and “I was too young to understand the flowers slipping from your hands” from their international hit Above the Clouds of Pompeii were enough to catch the ear of any prose enthusiasts in the crowd. Onlookers was mesmerized for the entirety of the thirty-minute set. Not a sound was made anywhere in the room except in between songs at which time the crowd enthusiastically whistled and cheered for the bashful men on stage. Continue reading →
Onetime local singer-songwriter Carsie Blanton has been hiding out in New Orleans for the past five years, but she made a return to the Philly area this week on a run of shows in support of her latest LP, So Ferocious. The new record, her sixth, made up the bulk of today’s setlist, with the groovy “Hot Night” giving way to the playful “So Ferocious” and Blanton’s quirky yet controlled voice sitting in the center amid dulcet tones. Continue reading →
Georgia native rocker Butch Walker joined the XPN community today, putting on a wonderful Free at Noon show from start to finish. He was joined Suzanne Santo of Honey Honey who sings the harmony vocals on his songs. Walker kicked off his set with the title track off his new album, Stay Gold, which just dropped today on Dangerbird Records. “I’m really proud of this record, even though it doesn’t look like it,” Walker told the crowd before playing “Stay Gold”. Later on in his set, he went on to tell us again just how proud he truly is of this new album. Continue reading →
Early on in The Stray Birds‘ Free At Noon set Friday, Oliver Craven took a moment to instruct the audience. “We were told to avoid dead air,” he said. “So keep clapping.” It was a playful moment during a special set for the trio-turned-quartet from Lancaster. Friday marks the release of their newest album Magic Fire, produced by the legendary Larry Campbell, and as Maya de Vitry added after Craven’s remark, the band was having so much fun finally playing some new songs. Continue reading →
After a dreamy psychedelic performance at Johnny Brenda’s in March and as one of the must hear new acts at Firefly Music Festival last month, we were more than excited to welcome back the New England indie rockers Quilt for a Free At Noon show before their headlining gig at The Foundry later this evening. Riding a wave opportunities following the February release of their third LP Plaza, the band is back and ready to inspire with a fresh batch of airy tracks that exude their mellow rock influences.
More than half of the band’s set was dedicated to the new material, including the Plaza standout “Roller” near the end of the set, where vocalist and guitarist Anna Fox Rochinski floats through this impossibly light song. Throughout the set, Rochiniski and vocalist and guitarist Shane Butler would swap vocal duties, even having drummer John Andrews join in on the fun for his own verses. But the band was its strongest when it came together for group vocals, a perfectly synced listening delight. Continue reading →