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The Key Studio Sessions: Thin Lips

“I was going to tell you what this song is about,” Chrissy Tashjian told a sold out crowd at PhilaMOCA last month, “but you’re smart. You’ll figure it out.”

The jam in question, a two-and-a-half minute rager called “South America” from the latest Thin Lips record Chosen Family, doesn’t require a ton of decoding. It wears its message very much on its sleeve — or rather, in its hook: “And now you’ll go to South A-MER-I-CA / with a woman that you only met last month.” So it’s a very literal breakup story, yes, but the telling of it is much more complex than such a label would imply, exploring themes of incompatibility, impatience, rejection, and unappreciated emotional labor: “let’s hear the line / the one that goes ‘Chris, I’ve never seen you try.’ / The line, the one that goes / ‘All I do is try.'”

I mentioned that its a rager, yeah? In the hands of Tashjian and her Thin Lips bandmates, the story behind “South America” becomes a soaring emo anthem, a song with interlocked instrumental complexity that’s incredibly fun, even as it unpacks personal lows. But that’s what this band has been all about since emerging on the Philly scene back in 2013 with the Gemini Moon EP — Tashjian took the name Thin Lips for her band because she is terrible at keeping secrets, and in their telling, she transforms them into something uplifting and pure.

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Slaughter Beach, Dog and Thin Lips sweat it out at PhilaMOCA

Slaughter Beach, Dog | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Two great Philly forces combined this past Saturday at PhilaMOCA, where Thin Lips and Slaughter Beach, Dog co-headlined along with opener Queen Jesus. It was a sold-out show coming at the tail-end of a hot summer. Fortunately, these are bands to sweat to. Thin Lips have a classic sensibility about their hooks that you have to move to, with clean riffs and sobering lyrics. Slaughter Beach, Dog, led by former Modern Baseball guitarist Jake Ewald, can play with a crowd instead, going from punk anthems (with a bit of Gibson twang) to solemn folk-inspired jams. Regardless of their duality, the crowd that night seldom could be found not echoing every word from the bands. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Thin Lips and Shannen Moser are teaming up for a dual record release show

Thin Lips | photo by Scott Troyan | courtesy of the artist // Shannen Moser | photo by Emily Dubin | courtesy of the artist

Fixtures of the Philly scene Thin Lips and 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 →

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Find your NACHOSen family with Thin Lips at Honest Tom’s this Friday

Thin Lips
Thin Lips | photo by Scott Troyan | photo courtesy of the artist

Nothing goes together quite like local bands and local businesses, especially when Thin Lips and nachos are involved. To celebrate the release of their new album Chosen Family, Thin Lips and Lame-O Records are teaming up with Honest Tom’s Plant Based Taco Shop this Friday, July 27, to offer the best deal in town — a bundle that includes the new LP and an order of nachos for only $20 (sounds like the perfect way to fuel up before heading over to XPNFest, if you ask me). Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Slaughter Beach, Dog and Thin Lips at PhilaMOCA

Thin Lips | photo by Scott Troyan | courtesy of the artist // Slaughter Beach, Dog | photo by Jess Flynn | courtesy of the artist

Not much beats a stacked double bill of local favorites, and that must be just what Slaughter Beach, Dog had in mind when booking their upcoming tour. It’ll be the band’s first headlining run since last fall, when they released their debut LP Birdie, and for the East Coast leg of the tour, Thin Lips is coming along (the second half of the tour gets Gladie, which is pretty cool, too). The two Lame-O labelmates will join forces at PhilaMOCA on August 25. Continue reading →

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Things are about to pop off with Thin Lips

Thin Lips | photo by Scott Troyan | via facebook.com/XThinLipsX

Even if the exact details of this news are still a little fuzzy, it’s great news nonetheless: Thin Lips appears to be releasing something in the very near future. It’s been two years since the Philly power punk trio lead by Chrissy Tashjian released its last full-length, Riff Hard, but they’ve since kept busy with lots of touring (for Tashjian, that includes touring in Hop Along), plenty of local shows, and a Shaking Through session.

Now, we have reason to believe that new tunes may be on their way. This afternoon, Lame-O Records posted something on its social media accounts that caught our attention. It’s a video clip, and it’s only a minute long, but it seems like it just may be a snippet of a new Thin Lips song. Thin Lips shared the video, too, writing simply, “Things are about to pop off!!!” Fine with us. Continue reading →

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Best buds Thin Lips and Frances Quinlan tackle anxiety in their Shaking Through session

Thin Lips and Frances Quinlan | photo courtesy of Weathervane Music

In the latest installment of Philly’s premiere music doc series, Shaking Through, Brian McTear and the rest of the gang at Weathervane Music welcomed local punks Thin Lips, along with Hop Along’s Frances Quinlan, to record a new track titled, “So Stoned.” Spoiler alert: it’s a pretty flippin’ good episode. Continue reading →

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Hear Thin Lips’ Chrissy Tashjian discuss overcoming fears and anxieties on WHYY’s The Pulse

Thin Lips
Thin Lips | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN

Times are busy for Philly’s Thin Lips — the band has a new record in the works and an episode of Weathervane Music’s Shaking Through series coming out in a few days, and now singer/guitarist Chrissy Tashjian is featured on WHYY’s The Pulse health and science podcast, discussing some of the challenges she faces while making music. Continue reading →

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Listen to Kyle Pulley of Thin Lips talk Beatles, bass, and producing Philly’s coolest tracks with Dan Drago on 25 O’Clock

Thin Lips | photo by Jessica Flynn | courtesy of the artist
Thin Lips | photo by Jessica Flynn | courtesy of the artist

After preparing some tasty frittatas in Drago’s kitchen, Kyle Pulley of Thin Lips joined Dan for an early morning convo for the 80th episode of 25 O’Clock.

The two begin their chat how all chats should start: by paying reverence to the gods that are the Beatles. This transitions into a bemoaning of the stupidly low appreciation for bass players, and the need for negative space in songs — all of which are stances I totally concur with. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Project Pabst Philly lineup feat. The Menzingers, Peaches, Big Thief, Speedy Ortiz, and more

The Menzingers | photo by Rachel Del Sordo
The Menzingers | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Project Pabst was so kind as to include Philly in last year’s expansive move to become a four-city festival installment — along with Denver, Portland, and Atlanta — and they’re back at it again this summer on September 16th at the Electric Factory. The lineup for this Philly edition was just announced, and it features a big, hearty heaping of good tunes. Continue reading →