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Key Fest At-A-Glance, Part Two: A folk / rock ramble with The Lawsuits, Rosu Lup and Dylan Jane

The Lawsuits | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
The Lawsuits | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

While Thursday night starts out Key Fest with a indie / punk bang, Friday opens it up into something more spacious with a night of expansive, Americana-tinged folk / roots / rock and roll. Continuing our series of preview rundowns for this first-ever Key-curated celebration of local music, today we’ll take a closer look at the three artists joining us for the second night at MilkBoy. Continue reading →

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The Friends With Wolves Festival looks like it’s going to be great

 

Rosu Lup
Rosu Lup | photo courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia is in for a treat come March 14th when the Friends With Wolves Festival moves underway. From 2 until 9 p.m., Underground Arts will host the festival made up entirely of Philadelphia talent including the organizers of the initiative, orchestral folk ensemble Rosu Lup. The lineup also includes local experimental quartet Square Peg Round Hole, art rock collective The Chairman Dances, folk groups Liz & the Lost Boys and Sympathy and the Lion, singer/songwriter Gretchen Lohse, Sierra Cooke and DJ sets from The Key’s own John Vettese. Continue reading →

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A solemn but explosive set from Rosu Lup capped a solid local bill at World Cafe Live

Rosu Lup | Photo by John Vettese
Rosu Lup | Photo by John Vettese

“Life and death are opposing shores,” sang Josh Marsh to the upstairs crowd at World Cafe Live on Tuesday. “But we walk along till our feet are sore.”

Maybe it was the grey afternoon and licks of ice patching the sidewalk. Maybe it was the reminder of a ridiculously treacherous travel conditions not 36 hours before that had semis plummeting around the highway, claiming the lives of four commuters and injuring dozens more. Maybe it was my friend at the bar, moved by the headlines, talking about the preciousness of life.

In any case, the Tuesday night tour homecoming by Philly’s Rosu Lup struck a tremendous chord in that regard, imbuing tragedy with beauty in an explosive catharsis. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Pick: Rosu Lup, The Chairman Dances and Caroline Reese at World Cafe Live

Rosu Lup
Rosu Lup | photo courtesy of the artist

A solid triple bill of Philly music is setting up shop upstairs at World Cafe Live tonight. The symphonic, ethereal indie-folk outfit Rosu Lup is headlining the show; the project of songwriter Jonathan Stewart released its latest single, “Hem,” last week and is gradually shaping up a followup to their 2013 EP Currents. (Download their Folkadelphia session here.) Joining them are indie rock literati The Chairman Dances, whose 2014 record The Death of Samuel Miller was a conceptual narrative following the life of a single parent from the 50s through the 90s. (Read Kate Bracaglia’s interview with the band here.) Rounding out the lineup is Caroline Reese from Reading, a countrified pop songwriter with strong hooks and an engaging voice. She released her EP The Electric Year last may and also recorded a Folkadelphia session that you can download here. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Listen to music from each of the artists below. Continue reading →

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Listen to Rosu Lup’s new single “Hem,” see them at World Cafe Live

Rosu Lup
Rosu Lup | photo courtesy of the artist

Local indie-folk band Rosu Lup released a new single this week. The track, titled “Hem,” is hauntingly beautiful and soars with spacious, flowing instrumental sections. The unique instrumentation includes both drums and electric guitar as well as cello, viola, and trumpet. It creates a dynamic texture that is complimented perfectly by the full, intense vocals. Continue reading →

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Rosu Lup release new song “Guard Your Name”

Rosu Lup
Rosu Lup | photo courtesy of the artist

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.

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Matt Pond celebrates 10th anniversary of Emblems at Underground Arts

Matt Pond / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko
Matt Pond / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko

“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.

The Lighthouse and the Whaler / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko
The Lighthouse and the Whaler / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko

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.

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Joshua Stamper prepares to leave his jazzy, experimental mark at album release show

Courtesy of joshuastamper.wordpress.com
Courtesy of joshuastamper.wordpress.com

On April 5, the walls of Johnny Brenda’s will ricochet with intricate instrumentation and the classical stylings of three Philly artists: Joshua Stamper, Rosu Lup and Liz & the Lost Boys.

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.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Pine Barons / Family Vacation and many more at Northern Liberties Winter Music Fest at The Fire and Dead Meadow at Underground Arts

Courtesy of the artist
Courtesy of the artist

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.

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