Crybaby from West Chester delivers sensorial lyrics through equally textured vocals to head-banging, mosh-inducing pop punk. The band is barely a year old, but their debut album, Coming Undone is a kind of melodic anxiety attack you want to repeat; think nostalgia for PTSD. Coming Undone is a smart and classic pop punk composition of guitar, drum and bass combined with the most articulately metaphoric lyrics about anxiety and self-doubt. The first song, “Canyon” is fun but also fueled with a lot of anger. Consider the lyrics: “you’re a coward who finishes first / you’re a swinging fist, a fucking symptom that lurks / years after treatment, passively fearing the worst.” How much more can this band cut to the bone? The lyrics can really bring you down in a cathartic sort of way, and the upbeat drum and bass with playful guitar riffs make for an album and show you don’t want to miss. They play tonight at West Philly’s Golden Tea House with Ma Jolie, Two Hand Fools and Martin; information can be found at the event’s Facebook page.
Golden Tea House
Congrats to Philly indie-punk three-piece Cayetana on signing with Tiny Engines Records. Formed last year by longtime punk scene sisters Kelly Olsen, Allegra Anka and Augusta Koch, the band kicks out minimal and poppy fuzz-rocker tunes, kind of in the vein of Helium, Velocity Girl or – for more recent parallels – Dum Dum Girls and Grass Widow. The label announced the new deal today, with some emphatic gushing care of The Menzingers’ Tom May:
These three ladies came together about a year ago, which also happens to be when they started playing their instruments. This has let them develop a chemistry that takes other bands years to achieve, if at all. They’ve jumped head first with their clothes on into the pool at the raging party that is the Philadelphia punk scene. Their self-released demo/e.p. is quite the piece of ear candy. The contemplative and sometimes poignant lyrics delivered in a sincere and oft-urgent croon are perfectly complimented with a locked-in rhythm section comprising of melodious bass lines and driven, hoppy work on the skins. You can expect to hear a lot more from Cayetana in the coming months.
The band is currently recording new material for an LP release on Tiny Engines this summer. In the meantime, you can listen to its 2012 demo below, grab a pay-what-you-wish download here and see them Friday night at Waxahatchee’s album release show at Golden Tea House with Swearin’ and Radiator Hospital, capping off an already insanely stacked lineup.
Going acoustic and pulling it off is one of those marks of a great songwriter. A piece of music, you’ll hear quite often, should be able to stand alone, unadorned, without full-band bombast or lush orchestrations – those things can accent a song, but shouldn’t define it.
Katie Crutchfield took the opposite approach with her band Waxahatchee. She started alone, and then built up. Her buzzed-about 2012 LP American Weekend led to this year’s Cerulean Salt, being released next week on Don Giovanni Records, and the lo-fi acoustic calls of the first one answered with a more band-oriented sound this time around, peppered with hints of Rilo Kiley and Built to Spill. The record sounds great – hear it for yourself via NPR’s First Listen series – and we’re excited for its release party at Golden Tea House in West Philadelphia on Friday (Crutchfield’s twin sister Alison opens the show with her band Swearin‘; as does her bassist, Sam Cook-Parrot, with his band Radiator Hospital). But we’re also excited to present you with a set of stirring, solitary performances in this week’s Key Studio Session.
“Blue Pt. II” is particularly haunting in translation, while “Noccalula” is as much a heart-wrencher here as it is on American Weekend. For a bonus, watch video of Crutchfield performing the 1950s country tune “Dark Moon” – written by Ned Miller and popularized by Loretta Lynn, Elvis Presley and others.
It’s been a minute since we heard from Philly indie four-piece Catnaps. Last Valentine’s Day they released Boys Drool, a fuzzed-out punk departure form the synth-based pop of their first album, Why Don’t You Whisper. Their new song “Cherry Lips” continues in that direction, fleshes it out with a singalong hook, and pairs it with a great music video. Ever the romantics, Catnaps here chose to follow a nervous young astronomer / awkward sci-fi dude who falls for a girl from outer space in 30th Street Station – totally adorbs. Watch the video below, look for it on the three-song Shuteye EP that Catnaps is releasing on January 29th, and catch the band in concert this Thursday, January 17th, at Golden Tea House, or at Kung Fu Necktie on January 26.