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Written for and turned down by Rihanna, Grimes shares a new song, “Go”

Photo courtesy of the artist via Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/actuallygrimes
Photo by Mac Boucher courtesy of the artist via Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/actuallygrimes

Canadian musician and producer Claire Elise Boucher, known as Grimes, recently announced that a song she wrote with Blood Diamonds was turned down by Rihanna. Yesterday, Grimes shared her studio recording of the sultry, electro influenced R&B song, “Go,” that you can download below. Grimes debuted the new song when she played at Governors Ball several weeks ago. “Go” pulsates with stuttering electronics and beats, has a lush, ethereal chorus and has her moving in a more accessible pop direction. She plays Made In America in Philly over Labor Day weekend.

Below, download “Go.”

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Download a new song by Montreal psych-rockers, Elephant Stone

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

The Montreal indie rock band Elephant Stone are releasing their new album, The Three Poisons, on August 26th on Hidden Pony Records. The band was started in 2009 by sitarist/bassist Rishi Dhir, one of the most highly sought out sitar players in the international music scene. He’s recorded, performed and toured with Beck, the Black Angels, Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Horrors, and many more.

They band has released two albums and an EP, and with each new release the band garners more fans and greater acclaim for their psychedelicized groove laden “Hindie” rock. The new album, Three Poisons, is their best yet.

Dhir explains the story behind the making of the album:

It all started on January 1st, 2013. I got a call from my brother-in-law; he had found a box of vinyl on his door step and offered to let me take my picks before he dropped them off at the local vinyl shop. He mentioned there was some Echo & The Bunnymen and bunch of stuff he didn’t recognize. Being the vinyl junkie that I am, I headed over.

What I found in that box was beyond anything I could have imagined. Yes, there was Echo’s “Songs to Learn & Sing”, but there was also a 12” single release of the Happy Mondays “Step On” and “Kinky Afro”, Spaceman 3 “Recurring”, The Stone Roses “Waterfall” and “One Love”, New Order’s house masterpiece “Technique”, Ride’s “Today Forever”, and the list went on. I was dumbfounded as to why someone would abandon such treasure. Were they starting off the New Year by purging themselves of their material possessions? Payback from a wounded lover? Divine intervention? Whatever it was, I lucked out and began reacquainting myself with Shaun, Rowetta, J Spaceman, Sonic Boom, Ian, Bernard, Hooky, et al.

Fast forward a year later and the band is in deep, working on the follow-up to our self-titled 2013 release. I don’t think it was just me, but things felt different this time around. The grooves were groovier, the sonics rumbled heavier, and the songs were connecting to something bigger. It wasn’t until Malika Tirolien came in to record her inspired backing vocals for “Knock You From Yr Mountain” and “All Is Burning” that I reflected on that abandoned record collection I inherited and the trip it took me on. In that moment I heard the groove of the Mondays, the darkness of Echo, the jangle of Ride… but what I truly heard and felt coming together in these new batch of songs was—and is—unequivocally the sound of Elephant Stone.

Below, download this psych-groove song from Elephant Stone’s forthcoming release. It’s as good a Primal Scream A-side as you can get. Look for Fall tour dates to be announced soon.

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Download a World Cafe version of “Indefinitely” by Old 97′s

Photo by Eric Schuman
Photo by Eric Schuman

Alt-country rockers Old 97′s return to WXPN’s XPoNential Music Festival on Sunday, July 27th. Rhett Miller and the 97′s have a long standing history with XPN and the festival. The band first appeared at the festival in 1999, when the festival was called “Singer-Songwriter Weekend.” Always a crowd favorite, the 97′s recently released Most Messed Up, and made a stop at WXPN to record a session for World Cafe. Listen to their full session (interview and performance) here. Below, download a Cafe version of “Indefinitely.”

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Download a free music sampler from Shovels & Rope

Photo by Molly Hayes
Photo by Molly Hayes

Shovels & Rope who return for a WXPN Welcomes show to Union Transfer on September 24th, are releasing a new album, Swimmin’ Time, on August 26. The self-described phrase of “sloppy tonk” is a perfect way to explain the music of the Charleston, South Carolina-based duo, Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent. They’re a high energy, roots rocking two-piece band who play beat up guitars, harmonica, keyboard, and a junkyard drum kit. They make more noise (in a good way) than a five piece band, and their live shows are incredibly fun.

The band’s new album two years after the band released their acclaimed debut, O’ Be Joyful. Below, via Noistrade, download a sampler of songs from their debut and the 2008 collection they released under their names before taking on the moniker of Shovels & Rope, and a video of a new song, “The Devil Is All Around” they performed at WXPN’s Non-COMMvention this past May.

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A cunning blend of beats and acoustics: download “Looking Too Closely” by Fink

Photo by Zdenko Hanout | @hanoutphoto | http://www.hanout.eu/
Photo by Zdenko Hanout | @hanoutphoto | http://www.hanout.eu/

Fin Greenall is UK singer-songwriter Fink and he has a new album, Hard Believer, coming out on July 14th Ninja Tune Records.

Early in Fink’s career, inspired by The Orb, Moby and Aphex Twin, he became an ambient musician and his behind-the-scenes music industry travels have led him to working with Amy Winehouse and John Legend, eventually trading in his wheels of steel for a guitar. The singer, songwriter, producer, DJ, and remixer released his debut in 2000, a collection of down tempo, ambient trip-hop. Six years later, he released his first collection of songs as a “singer-songwriter,” Biscuits For Breakfast. Since then, he’s released gorgeous, warm sounding albums including 2009′s Sort of Revolution, which included contributions from John Legend. Fink is an original, unique songwriter who craftily blends beats and acoustics. Below, download “Looking Too Closely.”

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The swingin’ jazzy sounds of Chelsea Reed & The Fairweather Five

Chelsea Reed and the Fairweather Five | Photo by Cameron Pollack
Chelsea Reed and the Fairweather Five | Photo by Cameron Pollack

Several weeks ago we did a Key Studio Session with the Philly jazzy swing band Chelsea Reed & The Fairweather Five. Chelsea and the band draw on influences including Bessie Smith, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday. Writing about the session, The Key’s John Vettese said:

The Fairweather Five has become one of the more recognizable young players in Philly’s ever-evolving jazz scene. The combo digs into standards and classics from the early 20th century (“Basin Street Blues” dates to 1917) and recasts this century-old music for today’s ears. That doesn’t mean they put some sort of “modern twist” on the music, though. Listening to the band perform, they play it like a jazz band of old would – a vocal theme at the beginning, a string of impressive solos swapped between all the players, and a return to the theme at the end. Reed and her bandmates – trumpet player Noah Hocker, saxophoneist Chris Oatts, guitarist Jake Kelberman on guitar, bassist Joe Plowman and drummer Austin Wagner – are not a pop singer-songwriter outfit with jazz leanings; rather, they’re jazz musicians with a great singer in the mix.

Below, download “the Devil’s Gonna Getcha” from the session. They play Chris’ Jazz Cafe on Saturday, July 5th.

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Free download: Islands share a new song, “Aloe Hills Are Blooming”

Photo via Facebook.
Photo via Facebook.

Coming off of playing Primavera Sound in Barcelona, Montreal indie rockers Islands recently announced a Fall tour. Sadly, there’s no date in Philly yet, however they’ve shared a “bonus” song from their 2013 album, Ski Mask. Below, download “Aloe Hills Are Blooming.” Let’s hope they add a stop in Philly during their September tour.

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