After releasing her new record I’ll Sing in the fall, Shannen Moser has kept a steady touring schedule throughout the last few months. When she was in Chicago a while back, Moser and her bandmates stopped by Audiotree Live to record a session, which is out now. Accompanied by Julia Peters on cello and PJ Carrol on guitar, the Philly-based singer-songwriter fits a full eight songs into the 37-minute session, mostly playing tracks off the new album but adding in a few old ones, like “Alex (282)” and “Yr Undertaker.” Continue reading →
Some people move to places like Philadelphia for the appeal of city life — to leave the rural or suburban communities they came from far behind. That’s not the case for Shannen Moser. When the songwriter talks about growing up in the mountains of Berks County, Pennsylvania, her words spill out of her. Both her love for her hometown and the influence it’s had on her music are immediately evident; she speaks as passionately about the details of her rural former home as she does about her career as a musician. So if Moser’s songs make you think of back country roads, looming mountain ranges, and crisp fall days, then you’re on the right track.
After five years in the city — years spent becoming a key figure in a music scene that is full of heavier, louder music than her own — Moser still returns to the kind of music that has always come the most naturally to her. She’s back with her latest record, I’ll Sing, out now. It’s 15 tracks of what you could call folk, even country (though Moser herself prefers to just call it storytelling), but either way, it’s music that transports you to a different time, a different place. And yet it’s incredibly real — and proof that Philly music doesn’t have to sound like it comes from Philly. Continue reading →
Berks Co. native Shannen Moser released the second single to her sophomore album. The track, “Haircut Song” follows up the previously released “Arizona (I Wanna Be Your Man),” a continues to draw on her folk and country influences.
“Haircut Song” paints a painstakingly beautiful narrative split into two parts, “before i cut your hair, and when I gave you haircuts,” from the song’s opening lines. Distant, trodding drums anchor the song through its two minutes and change, while twangy guitars accompany Moser in her register. The space between is filled with atmospheric, emotional keys, care of guest Cameron Konner on the track. The vignette painted on this single, along with the previously released “Arizona,” highlights Moser’s penchant for narrative-style songwriting and builds anticipation for the upcoming album even further. Continue reading →
Fixtures of the Philly scene Thin Lipsand Shannen Moser have a few things in common — not only are they Lame-O Records labelmates, but they both have new records either just-released or forthcoming.
To celebrate the new tunes, the two bands have joined forces for a double record release show at the First Unitarian Church on September 22, with fellow Philadelphians So Totally and Cheer Up lined up as support. Continue reading →
“High Key” is a series of profiles conceived with the intent to tell the story of Philly’s diverse musical legacy by spotlighting individual artists in portrait photography, as well as with an interview focusing on the artist’s experience living, creating, and performing in this city. “High Key” will be featured in biweekly installments, as the series seeks to spotlight artists both individually and within the context of his or her respective group or artistic collective.
A little over a year ago, Philly folk singer Shannen Moser released a debut studio full-length, Oh My Heart, on Philly-based indie record label Lame-O.
Moser is open about how emotional attachment affected everything from the approach to recording it to stagecraft. While her first tour in support of the material last summer was with a full band, her set at last fall’s Philly Music Fest — where we conducted this interview — was stripped down to herself and cellist Julia Peters, who’s worked closely with Moser since Peters moved to the area a few years ago. Continue reading →
Though the inherent weary restlessness of folk music can never truly be contained, local folk organization, Folkadelphia, has a home here at WXPN on the air and at The Key through Fred Knittel’s studio sessions. This past year hosted a particularly gem-filled handful of folk discoveries, which is documented in the fifth installment of the Folkadelphia Sessions compilation featured below. Continue reading →
If the term “field medic” only and immediately conjures a mental image of medical personnel tending to wounded soldiers in combat, you’re probably wondering who this ginger-bearded DIY lad is that’s currently staring at you from the picture above. At least those were my thoughts a couple of months ago when I first soaked in the bill for the now-upcoming gig at Everybody Hits with Kississippi, Field Medic, Shannen Moser (replacing Harmony Woods), and Cherry. Three of these names I knew, of course — they’re the shining scene stars of Philly. ‘Twas the red-headed string bean who stumped me.
So I took to Field Medic’s Bandcamp, where the hardcore metal-esque black and red profile reading “freak folk/bedroom pop/post-country,” began spinning out a bluegrass-level, live-recorded traditional folk singalong called “do a little dope” — complete with whistles and pup-like howls and hollers. Utterly confused but in a happily surprised sort of way, I chuckled through the array of meme aesthetic titles (e.g. “p e g a s u s t h o t z,” “NEON FLOWERZ,” “me, my gibberish, & the moon,” etc.) and decided on the track “OTL” next. Harmonica-driven with self-aware, goofy lyrics like the line “I’m at the grocery store buying EBT sushi, wasabi soy sauce one true love,” mixed with true hopeless romantic sincerity, I knew I would be hooked on whatever else awaited me from this refreshing project.
But that left me with the question of who in sam heck is this colorful DIY character who crafts sweet love songs in the most authentic folk tradition? It’s Kevin Patrick, the San-Francisco artist who now splits his time halfway between San Fran and LA, that’s who. He’s had a pretty good year, I’d say, as 2017 brought an induction to the Run For Cover family and the resulting release of his first full-length album, Songs from the Sunroom, with them. But this record is really like a compilation of sorts, as Patrick has been making and sharing self-recorded tracks on Bandcamp for years now — those of which past gems make up this record.
Still left with many questions about the project, I was able to speak with Patrick on the phone last Wednesday morning while he was strolling the streets of San Francisco following his fruitless attempts at thrifting for a boom box to use on tour. Continue reading →
Lame-O Records‘ annual Rock Residency benefit series at Boot & Saddle returns for its third year next month, and WOW would you look at that lineup. A Lame-O event never disappoints, but this year they’ve put together an exceptionally stacked roster of labelmates and friends to take over Boot & Saddle every Thursday in January. And it’s all for a good cause — the proceeds from each show will benefit several local charity organizations. Continue reading →
Lame-O Records’ 5th Birthday bash is coming up this Sunday at First Unitarian Church, which will be a big Lame-O family gathering featuring performances by Slaughter Beach, Dog, Shannen Moser, Cherry and no thank you. And now, there’s an official pre-party for the party. Located in the Church’s Side Chapel will be an acoustic pop-up show featuring “Lame-O and Friends.”
Though the specific “friends” are not detailed, a Facebook post notes that “A LOT of friends will be playing.” And knowing how stacked the record label’s artist roster is, I think it’s safe to assume this is going to be quite a merry time. Continue reading →
Local favorites Strand of Oaks blew us away at Philly Music Fest this weekend, but if you missed the show or just couldn’t get enough, we have some good news. Tim Showalter just announced this year’s Winter Classic, an annual year-end event that’s become a tradition for the band and fans alike. It’s all happening over three nights this December at Boot & Saddle, and Oaks have enlisted a terrific roster of locals to open the stripped-down shows. Continue reading →