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Yelle inspires a devoted Union Transfer crowd

Yelle
Yelle | photo by Cameron Pollack |

“Philly! I want to see your hands, and I want to see your hearts!” Yelle’s voice echoed throughout Union Transfer on Sunday night as a packed crowd danced without end. Their hearts were certainly all out on the table, as the screams of the crowd grew with volume after every song. Yelle, in support of her latest album Complètement Fou, promised Philadelphia a night of infectious dance music with lyrics to which Google Translate often does not give justice.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Little Dragon at Union Transfer, Art Sorority for Girls at Kung Fu Necktie, York Street Hustle at Johnny Brenda’s and more

Little Dragon | Photo via facebook.com/littledragonpage
Little Dragon | Photo via facebook.com/littledragonpage

You might know Swedish electro-pop four-piece Little Dragon from frontwoman Yukimi Nagano’s collaborations with Gorillaz (“Empire Ants” and “To Binge” from Plastic Beach…and, confession time, that’s how I was introduced). Or you might just be a fan of their own fiercely eclectic stylings, now four albums deep. Either way, we can at least agree on two truths. There aren’t many artists making music right now that sound quite like them, and the band’s headlining show at Union Transfer will be a high-energy throwdown. Little Dragon is currently touring behind its recent, Nabuma Rubberband, which came in May and shows traces of big-beat 90s dance, groove-pop and melodic sould, sometimes all at once…such as “Klapp Klapp,” which you can check out the video for below. Get tickets and information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Norway’s Kygo and the new EDM niche of trop-house

Kygo
Kygo | photo via thump.vice.com

If you’ve noticed a surge in chilled-out pseudo-house in today’s commercial electronic scene, it’s not just you. In an almost unpredictable turn after adopting high-energy trap and twerk (and moombahton before that) the commercial EDM community has opened its ears to a new, laid-back subgenre known as “tropical house.” Trop-house is possibly one of the most structurally-flexible subgenres of electronica to make it to the forefront of the scene. Drums are typically (but not always) four-on-the-floor, tempo ranges anywhere from 100-128 BPM, and instrumental synthesis tendencies are really up to whomever’s making it. It’s truly a creative-minded producer’s fantasy. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Yelle at Union Transfer, Marketa Irglova at World Cafe Live, The Budos Band at District N9NE, and more!

Yelle | Photo via MTVIggy.com
Yelle | Photo via MTVIggy.com

Tonight, electro-pop superstar Yelle will be performing at Union Transfer. The French singer has successfully released two albums, Pop Up and Safari Disco Club, and is currently working on her third, the name of which has not been announced yet. Any fan of pop music should see the European interpretation of what has become such a staple in the American musical canon, and Yelle is a perfect ambassador. Check out  “Je Veux Te Voir” below and get information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Warpaint played a blistering, mystifying set at Union Transfer

Warpaint | Photo By Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Warpaint | Photo By Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

I’ve long said that Warpaint’s 2014 self-titled LP was the kind of music Radiohead should be making. Then again, the very fact that the Los Angeles 4-piece is churning out records at (or really, above) the standard of the most influential band in music is saying something (and it’s not just because they too work with Nigel Godrich). And by no means is Warpaint just another Radiohead pastiche project; they’ve nestled themselves quite comfortably into their own corner of the music world. So while you might think it would be entirely unfair to compare what happened last night to a Radiohead show, the very fact that I can’t get Warpaint’s ethereal images and haunting sounds out of my head is testimony that really, you can. Continue reading →

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Lykke Li gave an enchanting and engaging performance at Union Transfer

Lykke Li | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Lykke Li | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Swedish indie pop singer-songwriter Lykke Li took the stage to a packed Union Transfer on Wednesday night. Touring in support of her third LP I Never Learn, which was released in May, Li performed a set of upbeat and evocative songs of heartbreak primarily off her latest album and her previous LP Wounded Rhymes. Midway through her set, she broke out two audience favorites from her debut album Youth Novels, “Dance, Dance, Dance” (during which she encourage the crowd to dance along) and “Little Bit.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Lantern at Johnny Brenda’s, Imelda May at Union Transfer, and Christopher Willits at First Unitarian Church Side Chapel

Lantern | Photo by John Vettese
Lantern | Photo by John Vettese

Philly blues-punk outfit Lantern will headline Johnny Brenda’s this evening. The three piece rock outfit have proven that rock and roll is most definitely not dead in Philly. With a distortion-induced sound similar to that of Dan Aurbach, the group has an ability to come out with instant hits that will stick in your head. Their most recent album, Rock n’ Roll Rorschach, received much attention locallly and nationally; Tiny Mix Tapes called their sound “a blessing of garage noir”. Check out their music video for “King Of The Jungle” below and find tickets and more information on XPN’s Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Banks entrances a sold-out Union Transfer crowd

Banks | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Banks | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Up and coming alternative R&B artist BANKS returned to Philadelphia on Saturday night at Union Transfer as part of her Goddess Tour. Despite the fact that her debut album, Goddess, was only released earlier this month, BANKS already has an impressive following drawing a sold-out crowd for an emotional set of evocative, heartbroken songs. With a two-piece backing playing a mix of drums, keyboard, guitar, and electronic effects, her minimal yet soulful performance entranced the crowd throughout the night. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: RJD2 / Sugar Tongue Slim at Underground Arts, Banks at Union Transfer, Dark Blue at Boot and Saddle and (much) more

RJD2 | Photo via Philly.com
RJD2 | Photo via Philly.com

DJ and electronic dance artist RJD2 headlines the Jump Philly-curated Sound Select show tonight at Underground Arts with Sugar Tongue Slim and Marian Hill. After gaining popularity for his song “Ghostwriter” from 2002′s Deadringer, RJD2 has continued to catch people’s attention with his jazzy, throwback mixes. Many might know his song “A Beautiful Mine,” which was featured as the theme song for AMC’s hit show Mad Men. Infused with samples from big band music and jazz standards, his songs takes from the old and mixes it in a fresh, current style. The artist has most recently been working with rappers on his latest album, More Is than Isn’t, including Philly’s Sugar Tongue Slim, who will be sharing the stage tonight. STS has become one of the top hip hop artists in Philadelphia and continues to maintain his presence in the music scene here. For more information on tonight’s show, check out the XPN Concert Calendar and watch RJD2′s music video for “1976″ below. Continue reading →