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Stream Radiator Hospital’s LP Torch Song

Photo via facebook.com/RadiatorHospital
Photo via facebook.com/RadiatorHospital

Local indie rock band Radiator Hospital return with their 2nd full length album Torch Song, out September 1st. Earlier this year, lead singer Sam Cook-Parrot did an acoustic Space Jam Session. Guitarist Cynthia Schemmer also formed the band Heavy Bangs last year. The album follows their earlier split LP Total Request with Kyle Kaos released in February.

Like 2013′s Something Wild, the new album revolves around the timeless themes of unrequited love, heartache and moving on. However, the new music sounds more polished, mature and definitely darker. In particular, the tracks like “I’m All Right” and “181935″ have very minimal instrumentation, allowing lead vocalist Sam Cook-Parrot’s voice to serenade the audience. One of the many cool things about the album is the track “Firework” where Maryn Jones from All Dogs sings about a night with her lover and then, on “Fireworks (Reprise)” Cook-Parrot responds by singing the same lyrics in a different manner. Both artists give the song different feels, pointing out the different layers that Torch Song has.

Look out for vocals from Waxahatchee on “Blue Gown” and “Five and Dime”; Schemmer sings “Honeymoon Phase” too. It’s another great album from Radiator Hospital and points to even greater things in the future. Listen to “181935″ below.

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Watch Radiator Hospital mix up new and old songs for the Space Jam Sessions

419149_374192832599552_1168185624_nPhilly based songwriter Sam Cook-Parrot, who leads poppy DIY scene faves Radiator Hospital, recently sat down with Space Jam Sessions to play a couple songs acoustically in front of filmmaker Allison Newbold’s trademark fisheye lens. He leads off with a brand new song, “Absent Year,” which has a nice Ryan Adams thing going on, a contemplative gentle strummer with hints of classic Nashville, though filtered through Parrot’s husky high-register voice. Also performed was a slowed-down version of “You Call That a Kiss,” which appears in a speedier punkier version on Radiator Hospital’s 2012 EP Can You Feel My Heart Beating? Check out both videos below.

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Radiator Hospital releases new songs on a new Total Request split EP

Radiator Hospital | via Facebook
Radiator Hospital | via Facebook

Local pop outfit Radiator Hospital recently recorded six brand new, ultra lo-fi tracks for a split EP called Total Request with Chicago musician Kyle Kaos.  With its AM-radio fuzz and lyrics that are sometimes no more than one line, Sam Cook-Parrott’s tracks seem like loveful, painful and doubtful notebook scribbles that jumped off of the page and onto a cassette.  Stream and download Radiator Hospital’s six tracks below and check out the other half of the split here.

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Julie Miller’s Top 5 live sessions of 2013

Sam Cook-Parrott of Radiator Hospital
Sam Cook-Parrott of Radiator Hospital

Year End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2013 awesome. In this installment, Key contributor Julie Miller shares her favorite video sessions of the year.

Live session videos are great because they give the musician a chance to experiment with their music and perform it in an unusual setting or surprising way.  From Out of Town Films to La Blogotechque’s Take Away Shows, there are more and more series popping up each year that put unique spins on the music video art-form.  These are five of my favorite live session videos of 2013:

1. Radiator Hospital – “Our Song” Piss Couch Session, filmed by Maggot House Records.  This is one of the most honest break-up songs since Bob Dylan’s demo recording of “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” and the guys over at Maggot House got an incredibly intimate and vulnerable recording of it.  Sam Cook-Parrott released a studio version of the song on his Something Wild LP a few months after the filming but this version is still my favorite.

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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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Download Radiator Hospital’s holiday song “Christmas Island” (playing Boot & Saddle on 1/9)

RadiatorHospitalWith the big day less than 48 hours away, here’s another new yuletide song to add to your Christmas Day playlist.  Radiator Hospital has contributed a song to Charlotte, NC based label Scaredy Cat Records‘ charity compilation Sad Christmas alongside Dollar Signs, Nuns and more.  The local pop outfit covered “Christmas Island,” originally performed by boogie-woogie era close harmony group The Andrews Sisters.  For the re-working, Sam Cook-Parrott and his band gave the oft-covered track their personal mark with some quintessential home-recording fuzz and both electric and acoustic guitars.  Stream the song below and get a name-your-own-price download here.  All profits from the compilation will be donated to Unicef.  Radiator Hospital will open for Potty Mouth at Boot & Saddle on January 9th; tickets and information can be found here.

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Guest VJ Maeve Walker of WKDU previews previews this month’s Tuesday Tune-Out (kicks off tonight at PhilaMOCA)

KDU
WKDU’s famed vinyl library: 41 years of collecting, one room to house it

For fans of PhilaMOCA‘s music-and-film Tuesday Tune-Out series, any month with five Tuesdays is extra awesome, allowing the curators to stretch out for an additional week and dig that much deeper into their field of expertise. This October, the venue brought on the folks from WKDU, Drexel University’s non-commercial free-form student station, to curate the lineup, and it’s a fantastic cross-section of the city’s DIY music scene. I caught up with program director Maeve Walker over email to get a preview of what’s in store this month. All shows are all ages, begin at 7:30 p.m. and are $5 at the door. For this month, all films are TBA.

From Maeve:
WKDU is the biggest free-format, student-run radio station in Philadelphia. We play literally any kind of music that you don’t hear on regular radio, and we wanted to highlight that through our curation of PhilaMOCA’s Tuesday Tune Out. By choosing up-and-coming bands, currently popular, or old pros, it really shows the variety that we have here on the station. We are excited to show off bands that we regularly play, and let them experiment and shine in this excellent opportunity! Continue reading →

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