Local dream-folk outfit Rosu Lup have been holed away in Miner Street Recording, working on a new single that will be on the band’s upcoming debut full-length. ”Guard Your Name” was recorded with Jon Low and is the first track from the new album, expected to be released this coming winter.
“We’re going to play an album,” Matt Pond tells a Philly crowd in the colorful low lights of a basement room. “And it goes something like this.” The singer and songwriter then launched straight into Emblems’ opening track, “KC.”
It’s been 10 years, down to the month, since the release of the haunting Matt Pond PA album Emblems. And now 5 full-lengths, 7 EPs, 9 singles, and a name strip-down later, the band is briefly slipping back on the “PA” for a May-long, mini North American tour. Coming back to its early roots Friday night, Matt Pond and his band – who were based in Philly once upon a time – celebrated the album’s 10th anniversary with a three band bill at Underground Arts.
First to the stage was Philly’s rising folk rock group Rosu Lup. Backed by strings and light orchestrations, the core trio blends beautiful Americana-esque harmonies with the powerful elegance of cello, violins, and a bit of trumpet. Giving the audience all that they had, Rosu Lup played an ethereal set complete with tunes off of their recent Currents EP, a cover of Matt Pond’s “Brooklyn Fawn,” and a well-received cello solo. Although their inspirations seem to be somewhat eclectic, Rosu Lup’s dynamic orchestrations stitch together a variety of thoughts and sounds seamlessly. I’m not one to catch too many trends before they happen, but this is definitely a band you should keep your ears on.
Next, Ohio pop-folk quad The Lighthouse and the Whaler took over the stage with their jaunty tunes and knee-bouncing energy. Touring alongside Matt Pond for the 10th anniversary, the band brought along a violin / keyboard floater who added in a certain oomph to their already-invigorating blend of mandolins, glockenspiels, guitars, and drums. Getting the crowd on their toes while keeping on his own, lead singer Michael LoPresti lead the band through a series of tunes including the title track off of their 2012 album This is an Adventure. With a sound similar to The Last Bison and Lord Huron, this is one band you don’t want to miss next time they’re in town.
Finally Matt Pond took to the stage, humbled that so many fans came out to support the tour and their upcoming happenings. “It’s like ‘people know this stuff?’” Pond tells me bewildered while shaking hands after the show. But when it comes to knowing Matt Pond’s work, Philly knows it to a tee. “I’m going home, back to New Hampshire. I’m so determined. I’m so determined…” the crowd sang long in awe as Pond and his band flawlessly played though the “honest dose of melancholy” album, as Paste Magazine described Pond in 2004. To complete the nostalgic show, the band came back to the stage for a four song encore including “Love to Get Used” from their 2013 release The Lives Inside the Lives In Your Hands.
As a ‘thank you’ to all of his listeners, Pond recently released Skeletons and Friends via Noisetrade. “It’s an album of brightened corners and beautifully incomplete sentences. It’s the structure and skeleton of what’s to come,” Pond describes, which is the perfect way to describe the framework tracks in my opinion.
Check out and reminisce with the photo gallery and set list from Friday’s show below.
Joshua Stamper has been in the composing game for two decades now and his newest album, the skin, the sea, the sound, out April 1, is a reflection of his long-standing work in the business. With his last album released nearly three years ago, Stamper’s been counting down the days to his latest endeavor all over social media by releasing preview videos and singles. His latest teaser was a minute-long album trailer that’s as experimental and smooth at Stamper’s sound. The avant-garde video shows moving rectangles and men wandering in a dark room is scored by a rebellious oboe that slows and speeds, allowing the softer notes of a flute to join in.
Celebrating along with Stamper will be indie-folkers Rosu Lup, who just released their newest album Shorelines this past February. Bearing similar sounds to J. Tillman aka Father John Misty, the band’s folky harmonies and Americana-rock guitar riffs will fit perfectly as an opener to Stamper’s classical sound. The third opener, Liz & the Lost Boys, is like a little combination of both bands with jazzy / experimental instrumentation and lead singer Liz Ciavolino’s perfect diction and harp playing. The show will start at 8 p.m. and tickets can be purchased here.
Tonight at The Fire, day two of Northern Liberties Winter Music Festival is in full swing with slated performances by a bunch of local acts including Pine Barons, Family Vacation, Rosu Lup, Keepers, Chelsea Mitchell (of Dirty Dollhouse). Hailing from New Jersey, experimental indie-rockers Pine Barons released their self-titled debut album last year. Last month, the four-piece joined us for a Key Studio Session where their signature harmonies stole the show. Listen to “Smile America” below. North Philly’s Family Vacation released their indie pop album Trails last year. Watch “Mountain Dreams” below and get more details on the event here.
Violins, horns, handclaps, and acoustic guitar all blend perfectly in Rosu Lup’s new tune “Shorelines”. The minute-and-a-half intro sounds like something from an old TV show before progressing into what you could call a power folk ballad.
The new release builds more buzz around their upcoming performance at the Northern Liberties Winter Music Festival on February 12th at The Fire where they will be joined by other local acts such as Pine Barons, Family Vacation, and Chelsea Mitchell (of Dirty Dollhouse). Get tickets here.
The Northern Liberties Winter Music Festival returns to The Fire on February 11th to the 16th. With six straight days of local music showcases, the annual event will feature over 20 acts covering every genre from hip hop, folk, indie pop and more. The event kicks off with Grizful Dead on the 11th, a tribute to the Grateful Dead from Griz and friends. Other bands participating this year include Family Vacation, Rosu Lup, Cee Knowledge, Adrien Reju and Up the Chain. Tickets and information will be available here. Check out some of the bands below.
Low Cut Connie
Howe Gelb (PA)
Rivers of Nihil (Reading PA)
Vikesh Kapoor (Lock Haven, PA)
Rosu Lup (Oaklyn NJ)
Jonah Tolchin (Princeton NJ)
Dots Will Echo (Ridgewood DE)
Madi Diaz (Lancaster native, relocated to Los Angeles)
These folks join Philly’s G Love, whose official showcase was announced in the second wave. Also on the bill by way of North Jersey are Nicole Atkins and Brick and Mortar. South By Southwest takes place March 11 to March 16 in Austin, TX.
Indie rock singer-songwriter Kevin Devine plays Union Transfer tonight. Devine put out two new records last month on his own label, showing two distinct sides to himself - Bubblegum is an amped-up rock and roll collection, while Bulldozer comes from a singer-songwriter direction. Tickets and information can be found here. Watch the video for “Bubblegum” below.
On the day that celebrates make-believe and escaping from reality, it is appropriate to take in Rosu Lup‘s new video for “Dust & Days.” The clip depicts a young boy clad in cape and mask and armed with stick, conquering the woods and rails of West Deptford, NJ. Much like Max in Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, it appears that the boy is trying to escape his real life as he runs deeper into the tall trees, favoring the adventure and autonomy of living alone in his own make-believe kingdom. Rosu Lup will perform at Milkboy on November 21st with Yarn; tickets and information can be found here. Watch the video for “Dust & Days” below.
New Jersey punk outfit Aspiga will play at Kung Fu Necktie tonight. The band released their split 7 inch record Aspiga/Among Giants back in July. Stream the record below and revisit their performance from our Key Studio Sessions here. Tickets are available at the door for $8.