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Marian Hill’s new “Got It” will get stuck in your head in the best way

Marian Hill | Photo courtesy of the artist
Marian Hill | Photo courtesy of the artist

When they played last month’s Communion Philly show at Underground Arts, Philly electronic pop duo Marian Hill unveiled some of its first new material since releasing the excellent Play EP last winter. One of the songs, “Got It,” featured singer Samantha Gongol delivering a soulful hook with an infectious rise and fall reminiscent of Fiona Apple’s “Every Single Night.” Today the studio version emerged on the internet via Soundcloud, and it sounds outstanding.  Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: RJD2 / Sugar Tongue Slim at Underground Arts, Banks at Union Transfer, Dark Blue at Boot and Saddle and (much) more

RJD2 | Photo via Philly.com
RJD2 | Photo via Philly.com

DJ and electronic dance artist RJD2 headlines the Jump Philly-curated Sound Select show tonight at Underground Arts with Sugar Tongue Slim and Marian Hill. After gaining popularity for his song “Ghostwriter” from 2002′s Deadringer, RJD2 has continued to catch people’s attention with his jazzy, throwback mixes. Many might know his song “A Beautiful Mine,” which was featured as the theme song for AMC’s hit show Mad Men. Infused with samples from big band music and jazz standards, his songs takes from the old and mixes it in a fresh, current style. The artist has most recently been working with rappers on his latest album, More Is than Isn’t, including Philly’s Sugar Tongue Slim, who will be sharing the stage tonight. STS has become one of the top hip hop artists in Philadelphia and continues to maintain his presence in the music scene here. For more information on tonight’s show, check out the XPN Concert Calendar and watch RJD2′s music video for “1976″ below. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Delorean and City Rain at Morgan’s Pier, Douglas Thomas at The Fire, Evening River Band at Kung Fu Necktie

Delorean
Photo by Nacho Vidal via facebook.com/dlrean

Spanish dance group Delorean plays a free show at Morgan’s Pier tonight. Last year, the group released its second album, Apar, produced in the band’s private studio in El Poblenou. The title is a Basque term that means to froth or foam. The sounds in the album, a very minimum instrumentation and vocals, has a feeling of being destroyed yet remaining strong. The band released a playlist of some of the fantastic remixes they’ve done this year, as well as a warped video for “Unhold” featuring Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek. They will be joined by Philly’s City Rain, who were featured on the Key’s Unlocked Series. Similar to Delorean, City Rain recorded its newest album High School Dance near a family shore house. Catch both bands for their free show at Morgan’s Pier. Get more details at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Marian Hill brings soulful sundown synthpop to the Marina Stage

Marian Hill | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Marian Hill | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

“This is the first festival we’ve played outdoors in the daytime,” joked Marian Hill frontwoman Samantha Gongol. The Philly / Brooklyn synthpop band took the Marina Stage at XPoNential Music Fest as the sun was beginning to set, and though the setting may have been new to the band, they rocked it with style and charisma. Continue reading →

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XPoNential Artist Spotlight: The beat-heavy road to the top of Marian Hill

Photo by Paul Gilmore via facebook.com/marianhillmusic
Photo by Paul Gilmore via facebook.com/marianhillmusic

Of all the shining local stars we’ve featured on WXPN, few have seen their fortunes rise quickly as Marian Hill. When they take the stage this Friday at the XPoNential Music Festival, they will be doing so on the heels of escalating tour momentum, glowing reviews in national news outlets, and a boatload of raw talent – all of which has come together within only a year-and-a-half of their official formation.

It would be foolish, however, to think too much of the duo’s relative youth (both as a band and as 24-year-olds). Vocalist Samantha Gongol and producer/beatsmith Jeremy Lloyd possess the rare mix of gracious humility and insatiable, studied ambition that strongly correlates with creative longevity.

“We still have a long way to go, but already realizing so many dreams and having this type of audience…it’s been out of this world,” says Lloyd. Continue reading →

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S.T.S remixes #xpnfest band Marian Hill’s “One Time”

Photo courtesy of the artist.
Photo courtesy of the artist.

Rapper S.T.S (better known as Sugar Tongue Slim), has premiered a remix of Marian Hill’s “One Time”. The song is a part of S.T.S’s ongoing “In the Lab with the GoldRush” mixtape project. Last week, S.T.S released a remix Jamie xx’s “Girl”. Previously, S.T.S. released Gold Rush I and II with remixes of songs by artists like Ed Sheeran, Maroon 5, Kanye West, Fun. and Sleigh Bells.

Marian Hill is a talented, local ambient-electro duo, consisting of Jeremy Lloyd and Samantha Gogol. “One Time” is off of their debut EP Play. Read our review of the EP. The first track from Play, “One Time” has an infectious mix of brass instrumentation, rhythmic beats and sultry vocals. In late March, the duo did an energetic Key Studio Session. Last month, they released the video for “Lovit”, following the release of “One Time”.

S.T.S. takes the insanely catchy beat of “One Time” and raps some sweet lines over it, along the same themes he explored late last year in “Hell Wrong.” The video takes you behind the scenes into S.T.S’s studio, where you can watch DJ BearOne remix the beats and S.T.S. record. The malleable nature of “One Time” points to the elastic nature of Marian Hill, able to transverse between electronic, hip-hop and jazz easily.

Catch Marian Hill at the XPoNential Music Festival on Friday, July 25th. Get more details here. Watch S.T.S’s take on “One Time” below.

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Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 10 (feat. Modern Baseball, Elegant Animals, Marah and more)

TheKeyStudioSessionsVol10Summing up an entire region’s music scene in an hour-ish long compilation is pretty much impossible. But dangit, we try our best. I’m very psyched for the roster of artists we’ve lined up on The Key Studio Sessions Volume 10, out today as a free download you can grab below. Pop-punk wave makers Modern Baseball did a version of “The Weekend” from their 2012 debut LP Sports, and the mini XPN shoutout they deliver at the end of the first chorus might be my favorite moment of the set. The song as a whole is insanely fun and on point, and MoBo’s basement-scene brethren W.C. Lindsay (more synthpop leaning) and The Hundred Acre Woods (more folk-leaning) also make solid appearances. There are several acts on the comp who you’ll see this summer at the XPoNential Music Festival: Ginger Coyle, Commonwealth Choir, Marah and Marian Hill. I love using our studio to allow more experimental-leaning artists to blaze new paths, whether its Trophy Wife‘s expansive rager “Neil Young” (very reminiscent of the Dead Man score for sure), Tutlie‘s elegant dreamscape “Kaito” or Bleeding Rainbow‘s noise-punk jam “Time or Place.” Suave downbeat crooners Elegant Animals knock a track from their back catalogue out of the park, and though the comp is admittedly short on hip-hop, eclectic electronica soundscaper Ganou spits a fierce verse on “Detainment.” (We’ll have a lot more Philly hip-hop on volume 11 in August, don’t worry.) A summation of an entire scene? Of course not. I think of this more of an incomplete but nonetheless awesome snapshot of Philadelphia-area music circa spring 2014, one we’ll continue building on. Major thanks go to production assistants Dan Hatton and Dan Malloy; photographers Rachel Del Sordo, Megan Kelly, Allison Newbold, Dominique Montgomery and Ian Lewis; videographers Bob Sweeney, James PowersRyan Chowansky and Bands in the Backyard; and guest engineers Mattias Nilsson and Adam Staniszewski. Listen to the comp and download it for free below.

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Rodrigo y Gabriela, Hurray for the Riff Raff, The Hold Steady and more top the XPoNential Music Festival lineup

Rodrigo y Gabriela | photo via rodgab.com
Rodrigo y Gabriela | photo via rodgab.com

Dueling acoustic duo Rodrigo y Gabriela, eclectic New Orleans folk-blues combo Hurray for the Riff Raff, and stalwart rock n’ rollers The Hold Steady are just some of the 25 artists announced today in the full lineup of this year’s edition of the XPoNential Music Festival.

These acts will play the two stages in Wiggins Park from July 25th to July 27th of this year, alongside the festival’s headlining concerts at Susquehanna Bank Center featuring Ryan Adams, Jenny Lewis and Dawes (July 26th) and Beck, Band of Horses and The Districts (July 27th).

Hurray for the Riff Raff | Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com
Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com

The Wiggins Park bill is filled with WXPN favorites, like alt-country heroes Old 97s, Jersey singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins and Diego Garcia, all of whom are return-XPNFest-ers.

There is also an assortment of up-and-coming names like countrified Nashville singer-songwriter Caitlin Rose (featured on World Cafe’s Sense of Place: Nashville series); Bear’s Den, a UK rock trio with a flair for drama (they made a splash at the March Edition of the Communion Club Night at Underground Arts), the jazzy / folky vocal combo Lake Street Dive and the art-pop powerhouse Lucius, (who knocked our socks off at Free at Noon late last year.)

Man Man | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Man Man | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

The greater Philadelphia scene is nicely represented as well. Bigger names like avant-garde rockers Man Man (who leaked their appearance last week), punk rock troubadour Dave Hause and reinvented folklorists Marah will mix with emerging artists Commonwealth Choir, Our Griffins, Marian Hill, The Lawsuits, Ginger Coyle and Viv and the Revival.

And adding an even more eclectic scope to the lineup is a taste of zydeco from C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band and some Mississippi blues care of harmonica master James Cotton.

Three days passes for new and renewing WXPN members are available now here. Tickets for the general public go on sale on May 1st; as with previous years, three-day passes will include lawn admission to the Susquehanna Bank Center shows (seated tickets to those are on sale separately, here and here).

Below, listen to a Spotify playlist of the Wiggins Park lineup, and read the complete list of artists after the jump.

Continue reading →

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Watch Marian Hill perform “Lovit” for Out Of Town Films

Photo by Paul Gilmore via facebook.com/marianhillmusic
Photo by Paul Gilmore via facebook.com/marianhillmusic

Rising local electronic pop duo Marian Hill spent some time with local videographers Out of Town Films this winter in the halls of Haverford Middle School, where bandmates Jeremy Lloyd and Samantha Gongol met as kids. We saw the video for “One Time” back in February; today, the blog BlahBlahBlahScience premiered the second video the duo filmed that day, a performance of “Lovit” that you can watch below.

(Hear More – The Key Studio Sessions: Marian Hill)