It’s the nicest day of the year so far. I should be writing right now, but I keep looking to the window and the warm sun shining down on Walnut Street; I think about how glad I am that I don’t need my jacket; I think about taking a long walk across Cliveden Park later tonight. It’s a day for a wandering mind and an emphatic exhale, and the new EP from Philly singer-songwriter Mariah Welch seems somehow perfect.
The homies at The Deli hipped me to the release of Bed Bugs last week as Welch was gearing up to play a West Philly Matinee show this weekend. I was excited to hear it, since I’ve been nerding out about Welch’s demos this past year. Maybe the Mirah/Mariah parallel is a too obvious one, but Welch’s music is imbued with that same K Records style simplicity, honesty, straightforward introspection, a tender touch of heartbreak and a lot of warm comfort. This set (her third self-release) is her most sophisticated in its textured harmony layers and haunting use of sonic space; the songs are, in the end, voice and guitar, but they feel like so much more. Bonus points for the excellent Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure reference on the opening track “Wrestle You.” Stream or download Bed Bugs below and listen to it in some breezy outdoorsy location later tonight.