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Dance to Literature’s upbeat pop on new(-ish) track “The English Softhearts”

Photo via facebook.com/literatureband
Photo via facebook.com/literatureband

Philly indie-pop quartet Literature released their newest track “The English Softhearts”. The song is off of their upcoming album Chorus out August 19th on Slumberland Records. A few months back, the band did a session with The Cherry Blosom Clininc on WFMU. Recently, they played a great show with the UK group Flatmates in Philly.

“English Softhearts” starts off where their previous albums, Tie Dye and Arab Spring left off.  In the intervening year, the group tightened up their sound, and slowed down from the manic energy of Arab Spring.It’s an carefree, upbeat pop affair. As the song’s title suggests, it’s a bit of a tribute to English pop classics like the Cure and the Smiths. The group actually played a version of the song on their Key Studio Session last year.

Listen to “The English Softhearts” below.

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The Flatmates, Literature and more showcase past and present indiepop styles at Connie’s Ric Rac

The Flatmates | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
The Flatmates | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

On Thursday, Connie’s Ric Rac played host to a quartet of time-traveling indie pop acts. Bringing the past to the present was the recently resurrected 1980s U.K. band The Flatmates. Playing music inspired by the sound fashions of the time, whether it be the dreamy (Tender Vision), jangle-pop (Expert Alterations) or a toned-down Cure (Literature), the rest of the lineup were appropriate complements.

With two original members in tow — Martin Whitehead on guitar and Rocker on keyboards — The Flatmates played classics like “Shimmer” alongside songs from an upcoming release and a cover of Prince’s “When You Were Mine.” With new vocalist Lisa Bouvier leading the charge, the songs were quite infectious and had the compact crowd shaking their hips. Despite playing the second-to-last set of the night, they were certainly the highlight.

But each of the other bands had their shining moments, with Philly bands Tender Vision and Literature bookending the night. The reliably elusive Adrianne Gold, formerly of Catnaps, fronted Tender Vision with her catchy hooks. The six-piece may not always have been tight, but their potential was palpable. Baltimore-based Expert Alterations rocked well, while Literature turned the lights down and got the crowd to dance into early Friday morning.

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Melody Chiang’s Top 5 Philadelphia Transplants of 2013

Radiator Hospital | via Facebook
Radiator Hospital | via Facebook
Year End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2013 awesome. In this installment, photographer Melody Chiang shares the best of who’s new to town.

When I first moved to Philadelphia four years ago, alot of people questioned my sanity for electing to leave California. In the beginning, I stayed almost exclusively inside the comfortable, familiar bubble of University City. But with help from some friends, locals, and of course the XPN crew, I began to spend more time exploring other parts of the city and getting to know Philly’s amazing, rollicking music scene a little. Now as I head into my final semester of college that will quickly be followed by another period of terrifying transition, I’ve discovered that I’ve kind of fallen in love with this vibrant, unapologetically spirited, sometimes disconcerting, one of a kind place. And I hope I get to stick around here longer.

So, for my 2013 year end list I wanted to compile my favorite recently local acts who, like me, all hail from elsewhere but have come to call Philadelphia home. Here are my top five Philly transplants of 2013:

5. Maitland
Maitland originally hail from Williamsport, PA. Josh Hines and Jeff Mach play gorgeous atmospheric folk songs that have oft elicited comparisons to Bon Iver and Jose Gonzales. Their EP (from a cabin in the woods), which was technically released last fall in 2012, is sonically minimalistic but chock full of natural imagery and nostalgic snapshots in time.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ali Wadsworth at Ruba Club, The Deli’s 5th Anniversary Bash at PhilaMOCA, River City Festival at Penn Treaty Park and more

Screen shot 2013-08-20 at 9.30.04 PMAli Wadsworth is not a new voice in Philly by any means, but she’ll be releasing her debut solo LP at Ruba Club tonight.  The celebration will be an incredible one: a cocktail hour, sets by Auctioneer, Thom McCarthy and Divers and a “super top secret party band” will surround the centerpiece performance by Wadsworth and her band. Before striking out on her own, Wadsworth was a member of Unlikely Cowboy with Good Old War’s Dan Schwartz, Goldiebox with her sister Claire and Philly super-group Fantasy Square Garden.  The new album, recorded by Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog, Man Man), features songs written for Wadsworth by her friends and fellow musicians.  Tickets and information for the all-night party can be found on the Facebook event page.  Watch Wadsworth perform “Still Not Over You” at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology below.

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Literature, Night Panther heading up The Deli Philly’s 5-year anniversary throwdown

Literature | Photo by Abi Reimold
Literature | Photo by Abi Reimold

Five years really flies! I remember first catching wind of the Philly local music scene bloggers at The Deli when I caught The Armchairs playing a Johnny Brenda’s gig with Jukebox the Ghost back in early 2009. If memory serves, this was a Deli-sponsored show, they had been around for about six months, and brought in banners and handouts and the whole shebang. I left wondering “who are these folks?” And as I discovered over time, they’re a massively positive group of music enthusiasts as well as Philly enthusiasts, knowledgeable and on point about what’s happening in this city, and it’s been a good deal of fun covering the scene alongside them. So big ups to them on hitting the five year anniversary mark this fall, and what a fun show they’ve got lined up to celebrate on Saturday, October 5th at PhilaMOCA: boisterous indie rock four-piece Literature, sexy groove-pop crew Night Panther, and a costume contest. No kidding. Writeth Q.D. Tran of The Deli in their announcement:

Dig out your finest vintage attire, and join us for martinis and plenty of hard stuff on the rocks or neat at our rad free cocktail hour before the music showcase. We’ll be giving away neat prizes, like R5 show passes and your own personal bottle of Jameson (like mine ;o), for the best time-warping outfits.

More info at The Deli. Congrats, dudes and dudettes. Below, check Night Panther’s Shaking Through session and a track from Literature.

Shaking Through: Recording Night Panther from Weathervane Music on Vimeo.

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Catnaps, Literature and more playing a pop-up show tonight at Hausu

catnaps

Catnaps, Literature and Sam Cook of Radiator Hospital are joining Florida’s Cassolette for a pop-heavy house show at Hausu tonight.  It’s a last-minute, semi-secret show that’s got some of the best in Philly indie pop that will range from heartfelt confessions to fuzz-filled twee.  Check out videos of the bands below and get more information at the event page here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Literature at MilkBoy, The Bailey Hounds at Ortlieb’s Lounge, XPN welcomes Paul Kelly to The Tin Angel

Photo by Abi Reimold
Photo by Abi Reimold

Philadelphia-via-Austin outfit Literature open for Pet Milk at MilkBoy tonight.  The psych / pop quartet released their debut album Arab Spring in January 2012 and followed it up with a 7″ single “Tie Dye” a year later.  For their recent Key Studio Session, Literature recorded the single alongside four new songs – check out the full session here.  Tickets and information can be found here.  Below, stream the title track to Arab Spring.

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