The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Vacationer, Busses, Tiani Victoria


With mixing already under way, Philly’s Vacationer tossed two last minute tracks on to their debut LP Relief, which we featured this week on Unlocked.  “In the Grass” is influenced by LCD Soundsystem, with a clear danceability paired with the band’s signature “nu-hula” vibe.  Stream and download the track below, and check out the full Unlocked profile here.

Folkadelphia welcomed musician and songwriter Marissa Nadler in for a mega-session, recorded over two visits in November of last year and this past March.  Joined by cellist and singer Janel Leppin, Nadler’s session pulls tracks from her latest July LP.  Take a listen and download the songs below.

Tiani Victoria brought a powerful and fun rap performance into the studio for this week’s Key Studio session.  She’ll release a debut full-length called Hard Candy later this summer, and has a steady stream of singles posted on her Soundcloud page.  Check out “Marinate” below and get the full set here.

Grammy Award winning cajun trio The Band Courtbouillon brought their Louisiana roots sound to Norristown’s Holy Saviour Club last night for what was sure to be an incredibly fun show.  If you missed it, you can still grab a free download of the band’s song “Mamou Two Step” below.

Fishtown’s Busses have released the first single off of their forthcoming record, which they have been working on for that last two years.  The instrumental breaks in “Overload” sound like an expansive movie score, channeling Other Lives with a cinematic rock that has hints of Americana.  Stream and download the song below.



Folkadelphia Session: Marissa Nadler

Courtesy of the artist
Courtesy of the artist

In 2014, Marissa Nadler released July, a collection of story songs that only she could have made. By that it is meant that without Nadler, these songs don’t exist, they could not possibly exist in this world. July is both the essence of and the essential Marissa Nadler. On this her sixth full-length album, she gives off the aura of mastery, displaying her growth as both a creative entity and unique voice in the folk world. While all of the musical pieces may not have been in place like they are now, from even her first album, Ballads of Living and Dying (2006), Nadler has had a strong conception of self and style. Her evolution has been subtle and calculated, fully incorporating sounds and ideas into her art – gothic songwriter on Little Hells, shimmering Americana on her self-titled album, and now, atmospheric elegance on July. For this record, Nalder worked with producer Randall Dunn, best known for work with noise and metal bands like Sun O))) and Earth, but also the avant-psych-folk of Six Organs of Admittance for instance. Dunn adds textural embellishment to Nadler’s world; on previous records, Nadler has sung from the deepest subterranian depths and resonant caves or from the empty woods and loamy ground, here Dunn gives her a new stage, the darkened night sky from which to command.

Nadler’s stories often touch on our mortality, existential issues, and time, but it is the strong feelings and the slow burn of emotions that remain with the listener even as the words fade away. When I hear Marissa Nadler’s music, particularly with July, I imagine those large bindered photo albums that exist in everyone’s hallway closet, gathering dust and being largely forgotten. I like to think that Nadler is the champion of these books of small, intimate stories that are spread across time and space, that all of us have within us. She imbues her sound with the silver-tinged, the black and white contrast, the sepia-toned, and the fading colors of these photographic stories. The more I consider it, the more I hold it to be true – Marissa Nadler is the folk singer of our memories.

This Folkadelphia Session has been a long time in the making. We first collaborated with Marissa back in November of 2013 while she was in the Philadelphia area. This was before she had fully conceptualized her live set-up for the songs of July. She told us that she would return, armed with a larger sound. Fast forward to March of 2014, she returned with celloist, songwriter, and vocalist Janel Leppin. For the listener, we present a nearly album-sized collection, pulling mostly from the latter session.


Who’s that a-writin’ about tonight’s Folkadelphia Radio with a session from Marissa Nadler


Blind Willie Johnson’s influence will likely outlast us all. I say that as a matter of fact  because his 1927 recording of “Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground” was included in the 1977  Voyager “Golden Record.” Today though, we’re going to talk a about the traditional song “John The Revelator,” first recorded on April 20th, 1930. This recording session, for Columbia Records, would be Johnson’s last. “John The Revelator” is a call-and-response Gospel song, where Johnson “calls” “who’s that writin’?” and Willie Harris, Johnson’s first wife, “responds” “John The Revelator.” The song did not originate with Johnson, but as of time of writing, I could not find any previous instances of the song being performed or the history of the song. The song references John the Apostle, reputed author of the Book of Revelations in the New Testament, describing visions he had about the opening of the seven seals, the coming return of Christ, and the Final Judgment. When listening to the song, Willie Johnson sounds powerfully impassioned and almost fanatical in delivery, while Willie Harris sounds small and distant in comparison. Many may have heard this song as part of Harry Smith’s legendary Anthology of American Folk Music collection. Or perhaps, they may have heard any number of rendition over the years, from Son House, to the Blues Brothers, to Beck, to Steve Vai, to Depeche Mode. Many try to replicate the sheer force and urgency of the original record, but very few come close.

I often consider “Folkadelphia’s essential artists,” or core musicians that exemplify qualities of what we find important in modern folk music. One part of what we try to do here is to give a platform for musicians and artists that bridge the gap between the old ways and the new sounds and ideas, who are continually evolving, changing, manipulating, and weaving – working in different aspects of folk music tradition and storytelling into their craft. Since the beginning, Marissa Nadler has been one of the artists. Hear why tonight on Folkadelphia Radio, where we will premiere an excerpt from Marissa Nadler’s Folkadelphia Sessions, recorded 11/10/2013 and 3/16/2014, the latter featuring Janel Leppin on cello and backing vocals.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Hundred Acre Woods at Kung Fu Necktie, Commonwealth Choir at MilkBoy, Marissa Nadler at Johnny Brenda’s and more

Photo by Rachel Del Sordo |
Photo by Rachel Del Sordo |

Philly folk outfit The Hundred Acre Woods recently joined us for their stellar Key Studio Session and tonight they play at Kung Fu Necktie. A folksy take on pop-rock, their sound is lively and fresh as heard on their latest 7″ Cold In The Morning. Check out a video of the band performing “All I Love” at their session and get $5 tickets tonight at the door before the show kicks off at 8:00 p.m.

Milkboy welcomes Commonwealth Choir to its stage tonight. The Doylestown natives released their Shirtless EP with a rock-based pop sound reminiscent of The Smiths and The Replacements. Watch a performance of “Pacers” below from their recent Key Studio Session and get tickets here.

Fresh off the release of her new album July which Stereogum calls “an ethereal spine-tingler”, Marissa Nadler brings her folksy dream pop to Johnny Brenda’s stage tonight. With underlying gothic themes, Nadler’s music is haunting and pretty all at once. Watch the video for “Dead City Emily” below and get tickets here.


Also tonight…

You Do You at Boot and Saddle (8:30 p.m., $10, 21+)

Hogmaw at The Depot (9:00 p.m., $5, 21+)


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Radiohead at Susquehanna Bank Center and Marissa Nadler at Johnny Brenda’s

Photo bu Darryl Kitchner

Since 1992 with the release of ‘Creep’ Radiohead has seeped into all of our speakers with their experimental indie rock vibrations. As they have grown and progressed, their music has taken influences in other forms, using the computer to generate a different type of sound. With the release of OK Computer, you began to hear a change in their sound, incorporating electronic synthesizers and experimenting with new ambient noises. Preceding that album, they became an international sensation, achieving an abundance of commercial success. Now, with their eighth studio album out, King of Limbs, they are still going strong and creating new, enthralling music with each and every track they make. Their music will break into your mind, intoxicating you with a hyper-frenzy of passionate sound.

They play at the Susquehanna Bank Center tonight at 7:30 PM, tickets are $52.25, all ages

The sweet, somber sounds Marissa Nadler makes with her acoustic guitar combined with her infectious voice create a hazy dream. Her music resonates feelings of mystification and intrigue, with influences such as Patti Smith and Leonard Cohen. She has released six full-length albums since 2004, most recently, The Sister that was released on May 29th. The haunting, heavy hearted, and peaceful album is a piece of work so beautiful it echoes right into your soul. It was recorded in Philly at Miner Street recording with Brian McTear. One of the opening bands is Faces On Film, a Boston group that recently recorded a session for Shaking Through, curated by Nadler.

Marissa Nadler with Faces On Film and Edison opening perform Johnny Brenda’s tonight at 9:15, tickets are $10-12, 21+


Marissa Nadler debuts new video, “The Wrecking Ball Company” (playing Johnny Brenda’s in June)

Marissa Nadler debuted a new video for the song “The Wrecking Ball Company” from her new album, The Sister. The album, out on May 29th, is being released on Nadler’s own label Box of Cedar Records and works as a companion to her 2011 self-titled release. Like Nadler’s self-titled album, The Sister was produced in Philly at Miner Street Recordings by Brian McTear. Marissa returns to town on Wednesday, June 13th at Johnny Brenda’s with Faces On Film. Nadler curated the
recent Shaking Through episode with Faces On Film that you can check out here. Below, watch the new video for Nadler’s “The Wrecking Ball Company.”


Download Marissa Nadler’s cover of “The River” by Bruce Springsteen

Boston singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler released a new self-titled album this past June. It was recorded and produced here in Philly by Brian McTear at Miner Street Recordings. Nadler is in town this week recording new material for an upcoming release, however on November 8th she is releasing a 13 song collection of cover songs called Covers Volume II which she’ll self-release on ETSY. The album includes covers by Bob Dylan, Clinic, and below, a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “The River” that you can download for free.

The River (featuring Faces on Film and Red Heroine) by marissanadler


WXPN Welcomes the Philly F/M Fest: shows Sharon Van Etten, Marissa Nadler, Hezekiah Jones and the Philly F/M Festival BBQ

WXPN Welcomes two shows at this year’s Philly F/M (Film & Music) Fest happening September 22-25th. The first show features Sharon Van Etten, Marissa Nadler and Hezekiah Jones on Friday, September 23rd at World Cafe Live. On Sunday, September 25th 15 bands on two stages will be at the Festival BBQ at The Ukie Club starting at 11AM. Some of the bands include Jukebox The Ghost, The Head and The Heart, Reading Rainbow, Birdie Busch, Good Old War, Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, Toy Soldiers, The Parson Red Heads, Nicos Gun and more. Ticket information for both shows can be found here. Below, some videos of Hezekiah Jones, Reading Rainbow, and Sharon Van Etten from WXPN’s and Weathervane Music’s Shaking Through series.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Canon Logic at the North Star, Marissa Nadler at the First Unitarian Church Side Chapel, and Wanda Jackson with Imelda May at the Trocadero

As we head towards the weekend, there’s some excellent shows this evening in town. Style wise, there’s a lot to choose from. Here’s our picks for tonight.

The Canon Logic combine rock vocals borrowed from The Killers with a sixties pop harmony sensibility. The Brooklyn-based band (who met at the University of Delaware) released their full-length debut, FM Arcade, in 2010. The album highlights the Canon Logic’s love for Beach Boys-era choruses, undercut with an indie rock construction. The Canon Logic perform with City Rain, Sleeper Agent and Run to Sandy at the North Star Bar this evening at 8 p.m. Tickets to the 21 + show are $10.00

Boston based singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler has made the best album of her career so far. Her recently released self-titled album is a gorgeous collection of songs recorded right here in Philly at Miner Street with Brian McTear of Weathervane Music, WXPN’s partner in Shaking Through. The album was produced by McTear and engineered and mixed by McTear with Jonathan Low. Throughout the album Nadler spins a mesmerizing spell of songwriting and singing. She performs tonight at the First Unitarian Church Side Chapel with Faces on Film at 8 p.m. Tickets to the all-ages show are $10.00.

The Queen of Rockabilly Wanda Jackson performs tonight with Imelda May at The Trocadero. Doors open at 7 p.m. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets to the all-ages show are $25.00