Alex Yaker has kept busy. Busy playing in bands like Summer Fiction, Grammar Debate and, most recently, Honeychurch. So busy, in fact, that his own material makes only sporadic appearances. But it’s a treat when we get glimpses of his indie pop / bossa nova project Roomtone, and today is one of those days. “Dark Blue Ink” is the first single from a forthcoming Roomtone album, following up 2012’s Turkish Saddle full-length.
Last night Ken Stringfellow performed to an intimate crowd at the North Star Bar. The Posies frontman, R.E.M. and Big Star collaborator was joined by Philly’s Roomtone and Josh Levandowski, formerly of New Motels. Check out a scenes from the night in the gallery above.
The latest edition of our Key Studio Sessions compilations is out today – now streamable and downloadable from Soundcloud! Check out highlights from fall of 2012 with The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 6, including some hard-hitting hip-hop from Ethel Cee and Reef the Lost Cauze, expressive Americana from The Districts, bright pop-rock from Kingsfoil, dense shoegaze from Nothing and more. Special thanks to guest engineer Chris Williams and production assistants Beth Ann Downey, Fred Knittel, Madeleine Lesperance, and Dan Malloy as well as photographers Laura Jane Brubaker, Kyle Costill, Shamus McGroggan, Marley McNamara, and Julie Miller for sharing their work. Continue reading →
Bucks County country-folk group Honeychurch will be playing at Puck in Doylestown Saturday, December 1st. The five-piece band released Will You Be There With Me? in February, their first collection of new tracks since 2004. Honeychurch, a stage moniker singer Shilough Hopwood has been performing under since the ’90s, is made up of Hopwood and his wife Larissa, guitarist Tim Kratz, drummer Greg Millward, and Alex Yaker of Roomtome on piano. Tickets for the 21+ show are available here. Below, check out Honeychurch’s opening track “Winter Part 1” from Will You Be There With Me?
There’s nobody in the Philadelphia music scene that sounds quite like Roomtone. Just the fact that the band incorporates bossa nova stylings to the extent it does makes it stand out, but there’s more. Alex Yaker’s songwriting is at once fresh and timeless, a product of time spent digging into old 60s pop LPs and movie soundtracks, huddled in the corner of some record store – as one title suggests, “Inside a Bargain Bin.” The bad’s Key Studio Session moves between smooth, suave tones (the loungey “As Far as I Can Tell,” the folky “Solitare”) to jangely pop (“Hey,” “Fire Fire”). Yaker has played bass in Philly acts like Summer Fiction and Grammar Debate since the mid-aughts, and the return to his own songwriting in Roomtone has been a long time coming. Their latest LP, Turkish Saddle, is out this week, and the band celebrates its release with an appearance at The Maas Building on Saturday September 8.
Alex Yaker is one of those way-busy Philadelphia musicians. Most recently, you’ve probably seen him rock his bass-playing swagger in Summer Fiction. In the past he’s performed with Grammar Debate, The Yaker Bros and done a bit of production with Surreal Sound Studios. With everything going on, it’s not unsurprising that his own project, Roomtone, only makes periodic appearances, but whenever it emerges, it’s worth the wait. This weekend, the band Yaker also refers to as “The Official Indie BossaNova Goosebump Machine” plays its first show in over a year and a half at Johnny Brenda’s, and best of all, they’ve got new material in tow. Snag a download below in this week’s Philly Local Phile, the buoyant new “Your Golden Crown.” Roomtone plays Sun. Feb. 12 at Johnny Brenda’s with Honeychurch and The Explorers Club. Tickets to the 21+ show are $10.