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Laser Background covers “Strange Eyes” for Magnetic Fields tribute to benefit No More Dysphoria

Laser Background | photo by Koof Ibi Umoren

A new benefit compilation, You Can Sing Me Anything: A Tribute to 69 Love Songs, will pay tribute to the classic Magnetic Fields album in honor of its 20th anniversary while also raising money for a good cause. The full, 69-track compilation features a different artist interpreting each song on the album, and proceeds from its sale will benefit No More Dysphoria, a non-profit that helps trans and nonbinary individuals with medical costs. The roster of artists lined up for the comp include Palehound, Sidney Gish, illuminati hotties, and lots more; we previously heard Worriers’ cover of “Grand Canyon.”

Now, there’s another single out before the entire compilation becomes available: Laser Background‘s cover of “Strange Eyes.” The Philly psych pop outfit put their own twist on the song, swapping out the original’s upbeat electronic sound for a more hushed, staticky sound that gives it a haunting feel. Continue reading →

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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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Tonight’s Concert Picks: West Philadelphia Orchestra at Spruce Street Harbor Park, MH the Verb’s Vibe House at South Bowl, Laser Background at Johnny Brenda’s, and more

west philadelphia orchestra
West Philadelphia Orchestra | photo courtesy of the artist

West Philadelphia Orchestra are this week’s featured headliner at Spruce Street Harbor Park’s Waterfront Sessions. The mammoth sized crew will be rocking two sets of their horn-heavy Balkan dance. Check out info for the show on the Facebook event page, and watch their Tiny Desk Concert entry below. Continue reading →

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Stream Laser Background’s new psych oddity Dark Nuclear Bogs

Laser Background | courtesy of the artist | Photo by Natalie Piserchio
Laser Background | courtesy of the artist | Photo by Natalie Piserchio

Ahead of April 28th, Philly artist Andy Molholt — better known these days as Laser Background — released an early stream of his new record Dark Nuclear Bogs, which is actually an anagram of his stage name (*’The More You Know’ star flies across the sky*). His follow-up to 2016’s Correct sees Molholt’s building confidence warping pop to an almost uncomfortable level, bringing expansive production and saccharine melodies to the world of modern psychedelia.

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Laser Background shares new trippy single “Climb The Hill”, expands US tour

Laser Background | courtesy of the artist | Photo by Natalie Piserchio
Laser Background | courtesy of the artist | Photo by Natalie Piserchio

Andy Molholt, better known as Laser Background, continues to tease his new record Dark Nuclear Bogs (out April 28th), this time with the anxious drum-machine heavy track of “Climb The Hill.” Molholt floats along the synth-filled track, throwing a sprinkle of tasty guitar licks in for good measure. It’s dad rock for digital natives, bringing Demarco’s cool and collective pop to an electronic-heavy world, and man, is it captivating.

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PREMIERE: Watch Laser Background shapeshift in new visual for “Hymnals”

Laser Background | photo by Natalie Piserchio | courtesy of the artist
Laser Background | photo by Natalie Piserchio | courtesy of the artist

In a little over a month, Andy Molholt’s Laser Background will drop their latest LP, Dark Nuclear Bogs. Considering the sludgy, warped psych pop this project drops year after year, the title’s a natural fit, but it actually began its life as an exercise in finding anagrams of their name. Wherever it came from, though, it’s a excellent primer for what to expect on its first single “Hymnals.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Pinkwash at LAVA Space, Laser Background at Ortlieb’s, Pkew Pkew Pkew at Deep Sea Hideout and more…

Pinkwash |photo by AmyJuneBreesman | courtesy of the artist
Pinkwash |photo by AmyJuneBreesman | courtesy of the artist

After a series of cathartic, aggressive and gripping early releases, Philly power duo Pinkwash stepped up their game even more for their debut LP Collective Sigh, out today on Don Giovanni records. Everything that was awesome about the Your Cure Your Soil EP and the Cancer Money 7″ – the bare-knuckled riffage of Joey Doubek, the propulsive rhythms of Ashley Arwine, the interlocking and sort of proggy complexity – is totally intact. What’s new is a huge embrace of hookiness, making it one of the hardest-hitting indie pop albums you’ll hear this year (or one of the catchiest punk records). Pinkwash headlines West Philly’s LAVA Space tonight before heading on a month-long tour; tickets and more information on the show can be found here. Read the band’s recent interview with our John Morrison and listen to Collective Sigh in its entirety below.
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The Key Studio Sessions: Laser Background

When we last heard from them, Philly’s Laser Background was feeling a lot more confrontational. The project of songwriter-composer Andy Molholt led its psychedelic pop tunes down dark and abrasive corners, exploring harsh realities of life in a candy-coated sheen that was equal parts hooky and demented.

In our interview from 2013, Molholt talked about that process of drawing his listeners in, pushing them over the edge and then pulling them back from the abyss. A few years time has passed, and on the new LP Correct – out on May 13th via La Société Expéditionnaire & Endless Daze – Molholt feels less angry and more focused. The project is still unconventional, to be sure. It might still pose a challenge to listeners who, when they think psychedelic, they think The Monkees.

But it also finds Molholt keeping his pop craft front and center as it assembles lucid lyrical puzzles evoking the clash between nostalgic memory and alternate reality. Continue reading →

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Watch Laser Background’s unsettling video for “Jawbreaker”

Laser Background | Photo by Natalie Piserchip | courtesy of the artist
Laser Background | Photo by Natalie Piserchio | courtesy of the artist

Philly sci-fi pop freaks Laser Background have shared the music video for their newest 7″ single, “Jawbreaker”.

The video, which was directed by Ross Brubeck, is a nightmare sequence showing various dark and creepy images set to the band’s ambient and psychedelic song. There are shadow monsters, toothbrushes, bamboo, all mixed together in ways that probably shouldn’t be, but we’re intrigued nonetheless. (It’s also vaguely NSFW for about five seconds, but it’s the weekend so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.) Continue reading →

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Enter a psychedelic trance with Laser Background’s new song “Jawbreaker”

Laser Background | Photo by Natalie Piserchio | courtesy of the artist
Laser Background | Photo by Natalie Piserchip | courtesy of the artist

Lo-fi psych rocker Laser Background (aka Andy Molholt) has released a new track called “Jawbreaker,” the first single from his new record, which is to be released this spring.

The song is personal for Molholt, as he wrote it about a roommate he witnessed living through a toxic relationship. On the track, Molholt doesn’t mince his words, beginning bluntly, “I can’t tell you how much I feel that you are sleeping with the enemy.” Continue reading →