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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Basia Bulat, Sidewalk Atlas, Trophy Wife and more

 

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

Folkadelphia welcomed Basia Bulat into the studio for a live session last fall and premiered it this week on XPN.  The singer-songwriter performed poignant songs from both her recent Tall Tall Shadow release and her debut Oh, My Darling.  Stream and download the stripped-down performance below.

Trophy Wife stopped by for this week’s Key Studio Session.  The local genre chameleons recorded raw takes of songs that will appear on their upcoming third LP, expected later this year.  Check out the “metaphysical pondering” of “Transition” below and get the full set here.

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A refocused Traffic Nightmare returns with its thought-provoking new LP Galaxy Concerns

Traffic Nightmare | Photo by Abi Reimold
Traffic Nightmare | Photo by Abi Reimold

Local indie rock outfit Traffic Nightmare have released their new full-length Galaxy Concerns via Bandcamp this week.  After a very prolific 2012 (which saw five EP / LP releases) last year seems to have been a time of sonic refocusing for the four-piece and Galaxy Concerns is the result of some beneficial transitions.

The most noticeable difference between the new record and earlier Traffic Nightmare releases is the clarity of the guitar parts.  With the exception of “Question Time” (a manic, sixties psych kind of mind-journey), each track treats the guitar melodies as a second voice, joining an increased presence of keys in supporting frontman Kevin Stairiker’s narrative and thought-provoking lyrics.

And the lyrics are the most intriguing part of the LP, meditating on societal norms and cosmic nuances like celebrity culture and environmental concerns, simulated reality, material values and death.  That said, it might make more sense to compare the record to other things based on its social commentary focus (like Hollywood films WALL-E or Simone) rather than what it sounds like, but Galaxy Concerns is enjoyable whether or not you dig into the underlying cultural analysis of each atmospheric, sometimes-jazzy track.

Take a listen to the stream below, followed by a stripped-down video of “Kurt Cobain Action Figure.”

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Watch Traffic Nightmare perform “Kurt Cobain Action Figure” on a couch

Photo by Abi Reimold
On the heels of appearances at Kung Fu Necktie and Fergie’s Pub for Temple University’s Songwriter Showcase this past week, Philly’s Traffic Nightmare have shared a set of live videos recorded with the folks over at Maggot House for the latter’s recurring Piss Couch Sessions.  Traffic Nightmare stripped down three tracks including “Tired of Your Psychedelics,” the original version of which you can download here.  Below, watch the video of “Kurt Cobain Action Figure” and check out the other Piss Couch sessions here.

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Download Wish it Stopped from Abi Reimold (playing Fergie’s Pub tonight)

Temple University student and musician Abi Reimold will perform at Fergie’s Pub tonight with John Francis’ Magic Hour Showcase, this week working in conjunction with Temple’s Music and Entertainment Industry Student Association.  With a captivating vocal style echoing Angel Olsen and Jessica Pratt, Reimold’s recordings are honest and intimate but still reach an atmospheric depth with the occasional haunting looping sequence.  Also participating in the Temple Songwriters Show tonight are Kevin Stairiker (Traffic Nightmare), Brianna Judge, Chet Williams and Brittany Ann Tranbaugh.  The 21+ showcase is free and begins at 9:30 p.m.  For more information, visit the Facebook event page here.  Below, stream and download Abi Reimold’s Wish it Stopped, her half of a recently released split with Maryland’s Infinity Crush.

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Photo Recap: Catnaps, Roof Doctor, OhBree and more at Kung Fu Necktie upstairs

Last night, the new-ish upstairs show space at Kung Fu Necktie hosted a mostly local bill with punky indiepoppers Catnaps, alt-folk group Roof Doctor, quirky ensemble OhBree, lo-fi rockers Traffic Nightmare, and New York City noisemakers Incorporated Village of Ghost. Check out photos from the show in the gallery above.

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Download Roof Doctor’s “I Am Going to Die” (playing Maggot House tonight)

We met Philly DIY collective Roof Doctor back in October when The Key interviewed lead guitarist/vocalist Mark Harper about his band’s beginnings and desire to start a beef with Conor Oberst.  While the beef never happened, the folk-rock-with-a-saxophone band has been busy since that interview, remastering their first album I Am Going To Die for CD release, starting work on their follow-up called Mobile Freedom Home (expected spring 2013) and opening for New Jersey pop/punk outfit The Front Bottoms.  With word spreading down Broad Street of Roof Doctor’s energetic baroque folk, now’s a great time to grab a name-your-own-price copy of I Am Going To Die from their Bandcamp and to check them out live tonight at Maggot House with Alex G., Pill Friends, Kiddo Marink, Traffic Nightmare and Kendrick.  More information can be found on the event page here.  Below, stream “Ocean City.”

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