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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Slingshot Dakota at Everybody Hits, Aphra at Bourbon and Branch, The Smith Street Band at Boot and Saddle, and more…

Slingshot Dakota | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com
Slingshot Dakota | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com

Bethlehem indie-punk duo Slingshot Dakota released their new album Break earlier this month via Topshelf Records, and they will be throwing their Philly record release at Everybody Hits tonight. The bill will also include Petal, Hurry, and Mercury Girls. We also premiered the band’s Key Studio Session on Thursday. Tickets and more information can be found via the XPN Concert Calender. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Slingshot Dakota

A lot can change in three years. When the Lehigh Valley indie pop duo Slingshot Dakota first visited The Key Studio Sessions in 2013, drummer Tom Patterson’s hair was short and frontwoman Carly Commando’s hair was brown. They were capital-L Loud – still are, to be sure – but back then, it was so much so that we had to tuck Commando and her keyboard in an impromptu isolation booth (the studio vestibule, actually). Their album at the time was the heavy and melancholic Dark Hearts – released on Topshelf Records, it’s a collection of songs about finding love in the tumult of early adulthood, a time when you’re learning to cope with things like death and distance and change. It was terrific, poignant and very criminally underrated.

Three years later, Patterson’s hair is long and Commando’s is red. The duo is more confident and in control than ever, so much so that they were able to loudly rock out in the same open studio space sans isolation for this week’s Key Session and still sound remarkable. Continue reading →

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Stream Slingshot Dakota’s new release Break

slingshot dakota
Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com

Stereogum is streaming Slingshot Dakota‘s latest LP Break, released last week via Topshelf Records. The Bethlehem, PA duo of Carly Comando and Tom Patterson got married during the writing and recording of Break and that major life change is reflected in the song lyrics. Tracks like “Paycheck” and “Lewlyweds” acknowledge that things might not always be easy from this point on, but as Stereogum’s James Rettig points out below, there is an overarching theme of love and devotion that comes from a very real place.

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Slingshot Dakota deal with real life on “Lewlyweds”

slingshot dakota
Slingshot Dakota at Key Fest | photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com

Things are settling down for Slingshot Dakota in some ways and picking up steam in others. In an NPR article that premieres the Bethlehem pop-punk duo’s new track “Lewlyweds,” recently-married Carly Comando and Tom Patterson discussed the stressful, unneighborly circumstances that put a damper on their days as newlyweds. But with their living situation now under control, Comando and Patterson can focus on the release of their new record Break (out March 11th via Topshelf) and the subsequent tour that will take them down to SXSW.

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Slingshot Dakota’s long-awaited new LP Break is coming

Slingshot Dakota | photo by Megan Kelly
Slingshot Dakota | photo by Megan Kelly

The wait is over, people. Bethlehem indie / punk / pop duo Slingshot Dakota today announced their much-anticipated new LP Break, out March 11th. We’ve heard it, so trust us when we say it’s totally worth the wait – and when you preorder the album in clear vinyl (with violet and pink splatter) via TopShelf Records, $1 from each record goes to the Third Street Alliance for Women and Children in Easton.  Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Slingshot Dakota and Summer Scouts at Alternative Gallery, Clutch at Electric Factory

Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com
Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com

Allentown two-piece Slingshot Dakota is ramping up for a busy 2016. The release of their long-awaited followup to 2012’s Dark Hearts LP is looming on the horizon (hoping to report details on that soon), but the band is also reissuing its 2010 debut EP, Their Dreams Are Dead, But Ours Is The Golden Ghost, on vinyl via Square of Opposition Records. In addition, siger-pianist Carly Commando dropped an instrumental record. Tonight, the band closes out 2015 on a positive note with an all-ages show at Allentown’s Alternative Gallery with recent Key Studio Session stars Summer Scouts, whose post-rock / pop fusion shone on this year’s Deep Breath EP. Listen to music from each below and get more information on the show at its Facebook event page. Continue reading →

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Key Fest At-A-Glance, Part One: A high-energy indie / punk opening with Cayetana, Commonwealth Choir, Hurry and Slingshot Dakota

Slingshot Dakota | photo by Megan Kelly
Slingshot Dakota | photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

The first-ever Key Fest is nearly upon us, and anticipation around these parts is high. Three nights of music by Philadelphia artists, a spectrum of sounds and styles, and a lot to look forward to. It’s essentially the first time a local venue has turned over three nights of their calendar to us and said “here, have fun” – and we tried to do right by them in curating three unique bills of artists that we felt worked alongside one another and, more importantly, that we’d want to go see.

All this week, leading up to opening night, we’ll bring you night-by-night Key Fest At-A-Glance rundowns, telling you who these artists are we booked and why we’re pumped to have them on the show. To begin at the beginning, let’s look at opening night. Continue reading →

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Slingshot Dakota release grungey new jam “Grudge”

Slingshot Dakota | photo by Ryan Russell | www.ryanrussell.net
Slingshot Dakota | photo by Ryan Russell | www.ryanrussell.net

After Bethlehem Carly Commando and Tom Patterson announced their full-time commitment to Slingshot Dakota by dropping their day jobs and jumping on tour with Citizen and You Blew It!, the newly married duo also put out a new track entitled “Grudge.”  The track premiered on Noisey yesterday, along with an interview where Commando discusses the band’s slow-burn approach to its career. Continue reading →

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Pi Lam announces line-up for Human BBQ XXXVI, including Slingshot Dakota, Laser Background, Alex G and more

Slingshot Dakota | photo by Ryan Russell | www.ryanrussell.net
Slingshot Dakota | photo by Ryan Russell | www.ryanrussell.net

West Philly’s punk frat house Pi Lam has announced the line-up for its 36th annual Human BBQ, taking place Saturday, April 5th.  The 18-band, day-long festival will feature performers from across the genre spectrum, including Haverford fan favorites Alex G, psych-Americana outfit Heat Thunder and “rotten fuzz punk” four-piece Mumblr.  Heading up the meat and music event are upbeat pop punkers Slingshot Dakota, post-hardcore emo outfit Secret Plot to Destroy the Entire Universe and indie rockers Cold Fronts.  The mostly-local bill is filled out by Laser Background, Roof Doctor, ScooterJinx, Told Slant, Is and of The, No Stranger, Memorial Gore, The Interest Group, David Phosphor Walrus and Teenage Bigfoot.  More information can be found on the Facebook event page here.  Check out music from some of the acts below.

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Photos: A hardcore / pop-punk free-for-all with Slingshot Dakota and Iron Chic at the First Unitarian

Slingshot Dakota | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Slingshot Dakota | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Last night the regional hardcore and pop-punk scenes collided in the basement of the First Unitarian Church. Keyboard-led Lehigh Valley pop-punkers Slingshot Dakota co-headlined with Long Island hardcore crew Iron Chic, and both bands whipped the capacity crowd into a frenzy. Check out photos from both sets in the gallery below.