The wait is almost over forThe Lone Bellow‘s long-anticipated Union Transfer appearance, the band’s first Philly show in two years. If you missed out on today’s sold out Free at Noon, you can still catch the folk rockers tonight, along with openers The Wild Reeds. The Lone Bellow released their third studio album Walk Into A Storm in September. Find tickets and more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
Paris-born, Philly-based songwriter and soundscaper Ganou makes her art at her own pace. After capturing our attention with 2013’s brilliant Catharsis LP — a collection of sounds and feels reminiscent of James Blake and Banks — she turned her attention to shorter-form projects: a one-off collab with Ill Fated Natives, a series of standalone singles and videos, a cover of Taylor Swift. It’s been a couple years since she crossed our newsfeed, though, so the new single that emerged late last week is a treat. Continue reading →
Philly’s Ganou definitely decided to cover the right artist. Taylor Swift is one of the most prominent faces in American music and her transformation from a modest country singer to lustrous pop star is compelling; her songs, though, aren’t the easiest to cover unless the artist doing it puts a unique spin on them.
Amir Richardson might come off as an underdog. That’s because he is. Known in the Philly hip hop world as The Bul Bey, he recently released his debut album with Illvibe Media, titled Shaking Hands and Kissing Babies. And although he’s been making, writing and releasing music since 2007, he refers to this album as his “formal introduction to the masses.”
He’s coming out of his shell and Richardson, 27, admits that he sometimes thinks it took him a while to get to this point.
Without completely cuing the Fresh Prince, Richardson is a homegrown West Philadelphian who’s been shaped and molded by his experiences in the city, both good and bad. Shaking Hands and Kissing Babies is largely a product of this upbringing – one laced, quite honestly, with paranoia and fear. Continue reading →
Local electronic singer-songwriter Ganou has shared an intimate interview clip ahead of the release of her new music video for “Set Yourself Free.” In “Ganou: An Introspective,” the Paris-born musician is shown picking berries in an overgrown lot along the Reading Viaduct, singing a short a capella excerpt and talking about how she seems to be most creatively active while riding her bike. Continue reading →
Philly’s ill Fated Natives return with another brilliant song, the second single from their debut E.P. Savages, due out later in the summer. Last year, the band played an energetic live version of “Living Water” for Philly Sound Sessions. The young band performed at World Cafe Live for Revolt TV and the Questlove Stage during the Fourth of July concert as back up to Brianna Cash. In an interview with Paradigm Magazine, Joey Pointer talked about making music, explaining “It has its ups and downs, but at the end of the day it all plays into the plan. The feelings, anything that I’m dealing with, that all goes into what I play.”
Recently, the band released “Spanish Horses” with vocals by Philly’s Ganou (aka Morgan Fouse). Fouse recently did a phenomenal Key Studio Session, performing songs off of her genre-bending debut album Catharsis. Recently, she released a video for the track “God is in the…”. Ganou creates eclectic variety of music, from raps to sparse electronic composition. Throughout it all, her powerful vocals shine.
Earlier this year, ill Fated Natives released their first single “That Don’t Mean I Don’t Love You”, a hard hitting blues anthem. In comparison, “Spanish Horses” is a languid, soulful affair. The song starts slow, but builds into a full blown crescendo, accompanied by piano and jazzy drums. The stunning, passionate vocals take front seat and really drive the lyrics home.
In Ganou‘s new self-produced music video, she shows off not only her film making skills, but also her beautiful singing voice and poetic abilities. The video features artistic visuals of living in a metropolis – the lights, bridges, and buildings that surround a city goer as he or she walks down a sidewalk or drives down a street. The track featured in the video, titled “God is in the…,” is a serenading ballad of a song which lends itself to the likes of Sade or Imogen Heap. Check it out below.
Summing up an entire region’s music scene in an hour-ish long compilation is pretty much impossible. But dangit, we try our best. I’m very psyched for the roster of artists we’ve lined up on The Key Studio Sessions Volume 10, out today as a free download you can grab below. Pop-punk wave makers Modern Baseball did a version of “The Weekend” from their 2012 debut LP Sports, and the mini XPN shoutout they deliver at the end of the first chorus might be my favorite moment of the set. Continue reading →
Folkadelphia welcomed instrumental guitarist Marisa Anderson in to the studio for this week’s live session. The Oregan based musician released two divergent records in 2013; get a sampling of her music with this session, available as a free download below.
Power Animal, a local project built around Keith Hampson, has returned with a new single called “Unkept.” This new experimental / electronic material is focused on Hampson’s experience with mental illness, which he discussed in an accompanying essay for Impose Magazine. Stream and download “Unkept” below
Late last year, Morgane Fouse released a mixtape under her stage name, Ganou. It was called Catharsis, and it was quite literally an act of catharsis for the Paris-born, Philadelphia-based electronic composer and vocalist. Fouse tells me that making music is, for her, a means of coping with depression; you easily notice it in her song titles (“This Is Why I Make Music”; “Can’t Sleep? Make Music”) as well as the emotional release you hear in her performances. Take a listen to her Key Studio Session take on “Detainment;” after a heartfelt bridge where Ganou raps about trying to confront pain but being dismissed and discouraged by those around her, her vocals soar into a tremendous coda – “How do I move on, how do I move on, from the monsters in my soul?” It’s powerful, exhilarating stuff.
But it’s also very beautiful, serene and tender. There’s an element of playfulness to her sound, most evident in “Hey Ya (Cover of a Cover).” And there’s a contemplative side. Ganou studied music at West Chester University, but has been practicing all her life, taking piano and voice lessons since she was in elementary school and taking part in choirs in high school. When she warmed up for our session, she did it in the proper vocal student way: by singing her way through an octave of scales.
Feeling creatively restricted, Ganou dropped out of school, moved to Philly and developed the sound she has today – an eclectic fusion of genres. You can hear the haunting minimalism of James Blake in the evocative “Waves,” which she performed for us, but she also finds inspiration in deadmau5 and Animal Collective. Two of the songs played – the yearning opening of “Set Yourself Free,” the reflective conclusion of “Fell In Love With A Boy” – are brand new, seeing their first release here. But where and when they will come out in finished form is still uncertain. We caught Ganou just before she went into a creative hibernation of sorts; she tells us its not permanent, but rather a means of calming some of the hurt she sings about while seeing how music and art can fit in her life. Doing this “is shedding a lot of light on my future,” Ganou says, “and I can’t wait to see my creative end results.” Neither can we.
Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head