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Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: Mass Gothic

Mass Gothic | Photo by Katie Tapman for XPN

Joining us in the studio for this Indie Rock Hit Parade session is a group that truly is a family affair. Led by the husband-and-wife duo of guitarist Noel Heroux and bassist Jessica Zambri, Mass Gothic released their second full-length album for Sub Pop, I’ve Tortured You Long Enough, earlier this year. Its title a winking nod to the often tumultuous nature of married life, the album weaves heartfelt ballads with experimental rockers in a thrilling and eclectic (and brightly colored) package. Just like on the record, Noel and Jessica are joined in this performance by keyboardist Cristi Jo Zambri (a performer in her own right and, as you might have deduced, Jessica’s sister) and drummer Joseph Stickney, who is Christi Jo’s partner. The fluid interplay between each member of Mass Gothic suggests a band that has ironed out all the kinks, but that doesn’t tell this album’s whole story. Listen to the live performances and hear the album unfold:

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Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: Speedy Ortiz 2018

Speedy Ortiz | photo by Taylor Johnson for WXPN

Joining us in the studio for this Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session is a band that visited us back in 2015 when their last album was released. In the years since Foil Deer, Speedy Ortiz and its leader, singer/guitarist Sadie Dupuis, have kept rather busy. In addition to releasing a solo album as SAD13, Sadie relocated to Philadelphia and revamped her main band with a few new friends. Joining Sadie in the studio for this session are founding drummer Mike Falcone, guitarist/keyboardist Andy Molholt (also of Philly’s Laser Background), and bassist Audrey Zee Whitesides (whose credits include stints with Mal Blum and Lucky Cat). Speedy Ortiz dropped by our studios before they opened a sold-out show with Liz Phair at Union Transfer to perform songs from their newly released third album, Twerp Verse.

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Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: Khruangbin

Khruangbin | Photo by Katie Tapman for WXPN

Joining us in the studio for this Indie Rock Hit Parade live session is the band behind my favorite album of 2018 (so far, anyway). The road to Khruangbin’s formation is as swirling and easily-paced as the band’s music. Guitarist Mark Speer and drummer Donald “DJ” Johnson originally met when they played in a gospel band in their hometown of Houston, Texas. Later, Speer met bassist Laura Lee while touring with another band and the idea came up to form a group focused on performing a mélange of globally influenced music. Once the trio was assembled, their fusion of Thai funk, jazz, film music and more immediately caught people’s attention. Earlier this year, Khruangbin released their second album, Con Todo El Mundo. The album is an expertly crafted blend of in-pocket grooves, textural vocals and the occasional funk breakdown. Before the first of two sold-out shows opening for Leon Bridges at the Fillmore, Khruangbin stopped by our studio for a career-spanning live performance.

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Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: BODEGA

BODEGA | Photo by Katie Tapman for XPN

Joining us in the studio for this Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session is a band whose debut album is packed with energy, wit and irreverence. Formed out of the ashes of singer/guitarist “Bodega” Ben Hozie and singer Nikki “Icky” Belfiglio’s previous group, Bodega Bay, BODEGA‘s guiding principles are as much about stylistic exclusion as inclusion. With mantras like “No references to Glam Rock” and “No vocal effects,” BODEGA quickly rose as a fresh and exciting entity in the Brooklyn punk scene. It didn’t hurt that Austin Brown, co-leader of Parquet Courts, took notice and produced the band’s 2018 debut album, Endless Scroll, even employing the same recorder that his own band used for their 2013 breakthrough, Light Up Gold. After the dissolution of Bodega Bay, Hozie and Belfiglio teamed up with a new crew of musicians, including bassist Heather Elle, lead guitarist Madison Velding-Vandam, and drummer Montana Simone . The quintet made a special trip down to Philadelphia to record this session, which showcases a young band that’s already locked into a solid groove.

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Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: OHMME

OHMME | Photo by Eric Schuman for WXPN

Joining us in the studio for this Indie Rock Hit Parade session is a band whose co-leaders first met when they were in high school. Formed in Chicago in 2014, OHMME (previously HOMME) is fronted by guitarist Sima Cunningham and guitarist/violinist Macie Stewart. Though both are classically trained pianists, this project finds them exploring overdriven art-rock and intricate vocal harmonies. Cunningham and Stewart are joined in this session by drummer Matt Carroll, who also supplied all the drum parts on OHMME’s newly released debut album, Parts. The record is an energizing concoction of rock, jazz, folk and world music styles, centered around Cunningham and Stewart’s overlapping vocals. Before their Boot and Saddle show (which featured an opening set from IRHP session veteran Renata Zeiguer), OHMME stopped by to perform some of their new songs live in our studio.

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Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: wimps

wimps | photo by Senia Lopez for WXPN | senialopez.photography

Joining us for this Indie Rock Hit Parade live session is a band whose witty and effervescent songs are sure to bring a smile to your face. Formed in 2012 by three veterans of Seattle’s DIY punk scene, wimps released their fifth album (and second for Kill Rock Stars), Garbage People. Co-fronted by guitarist Rachel Ratner and bassist Matt Nyce, with drummer Dave Ramm rounding out the power trio, wimps blend energetic punk with thoroughly relatable lyrics. Before their show at Boot and Saddle, wimps stopped by our studio to record a session that turned out to be more like a mini radio concert!

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Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: Tanukichan

Tanukichan | Photo by John Vettese for XPN

We’re joined for this Indie Rock Hit Parade live session by an artist who’s a member of an unofficial community that we’ve been celebrating for a few years. Based in Oakland, singer/multi-instrumentalist Hannah Van Loon has been recording as Tanukichan for a handful of years, and earlier this year she released her debut album, Sundays. Produced by Chaz Bear of Toro Y Moi (who’s been on the show with the Mattson2), the album is an extremely intimate listen, with close-sounding vocals and distorted instrumentation giving the impression that Van Loon is singing right across from you. Before her show at Kung Fu Necktie earlier this month, Van Loon and her bassist, fellow Oaklander Matt Horton, stopped by to perform live in our studio.

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Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: (Revenge of) Eternal Summers

Eternal Summers | | photo by Dylan Eddinger | dylaneddinger.com

(Re)joining us for this Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session is a band that’s been on the show more times than any other! We first struck up a friendship with the Roanoke trio Eternal Summers when they were still a duo in 2010. Around then, guitarist Nicole Yun and drummer Daniel Cundiff had just released their debut album, Silver. Not long after, bassist Jonathan Woods joined the fold and Eternal Summers has become one of the most prolific and consistently great bands around. Their newest album, Every Day It Feels Like I’m Dying, came out this spring, and we jumped at the chance to have these regulars come back to the studio.

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Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: La Luz

La Luz | Photo by Katie Tapman for WXPN

Joining us in the studio for this Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session is the surf-pop combo La Luz. Ever since the 2013 arrival of their aptly-titled debut album, It’s Alive, La Luz have charted a focused course through the worlds of garage rock. Formed by guitarist Shana Cleveland, bassist Lena Simon, drummer Marian Li Pino and keyboardist Alice Sandahl, La Luz recently released Floating Features, their third LP for Seattle label Hardly Art. Collaborating with Dan Auerbach, La Luz are in their element on Floating Features, which showcases the band’s deft instrumentation and otherworldly harmonies. While on tour, the group (temporarily operating as a trio without Sandahl) stopped by our studios to perform some of the new songs live.

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Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: Flasher

Flasher | photo by Senia Lopez for WXPN | senialopez.photography

Joining us in the studio for this Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session is the band that’s behind one of 2018’s finest debuts. Though they formed only a few years ago, Flasher have quickly become mainstays of Washington, DC’s bountiful punk scene. Formed by guitarist Taylor Mulitz (who is also a member of the equally lauded band Priests), bassist Daniel Saperstein and drummer Emma Baker, Flasher’s early EPs and singles were released on Sister Polygon, a DC-based label the members founded. When it came time to release Constant Image, Flasher’s full-length debut, they made the jump to Domino Records, who put out the album earlier this year. Before their show at Everybody Hits, Flasher visited our studio to perform a few of the new songs.

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