Summer is officially here and we’re welcoming the warm weather with 5 awesome concerts throughout the month of June. Here’s a quick preview of what you can expect from each of these bands (and yes, some hail from Philly!)
Streets of Laredo @ Boot & Saddle, 6/4
At first listen, you may not be aware that New Zealand via Brooklyn five-piece Streets of Laredo are newbies to playing music. They come across so experienced and polished! Their 70′s inspired sound is indie, folk, and country pleasantly blended into catchy tunes that will be hard to get out of your head. Last year released two five-track EPs; Streets of Laredo Vol I and Streets of Laredo Vol II, and they have a handful of demo collections in their back catalog. Check out a video for “I’m Living” from Vol II, and get tickets and info on the show here.
Kins w/ Ryley Walker @ Boot & Saddle, 6/16
Australian quartet Kins have a unique vibe. If we had to place them somewhere, they would fall into an alt-electronic category but they maintain a cohesiveness of indie bands like Real Estate or Grizzly Bear. They like to say they “specialize in the sound of doubt, detachment and muted aggression.” After playing this year’s Bonnaroo, they will stop by Philly to give us a taste of their self-titled album, Kins. Tickets and info can be found here. Listen to “Mockasins” below, and check out their World Cafe Session recorded live at SXSW.
Vacationer‘s Ode 2 Summer mixtape is just a little treat before their new record Relief comes out on June 24th; and this one takes you beyond the beach (though it sounds like they’ve set up DJ equipment right on the sand for the bulk of the set). We only hear singer Kenny Vasoli’s crisp vocals on the opener “Ode 2 Summer”, “Woke Up”, and closing send-off serenade “Held High”. The rest is strictly experimental with touches of hip-hop and old soul.
Beginning with the steady bass and elegant strings of “Moab,” the mixtape digs into hip-hop inspired percussion on “Vibe” and even sneaks in an excellent old school soul sample by the end. “Lake Wynonoah” is a chill follow-up that bleeds right into “Eyes” which ends with the sound of the ocean and an airplane flying in overhead. Timbaland-inspired jam “Newport” has that knock and pull that gives life to hip-hop production. So maybe this section of the mixtape is all a dream…Vasoli sings of waking up with a “hurt head” on “Woke Up” and it sounds like he’s floating back to consciousness with each lyric.
The stuttering beat of “Hawthorne” builds up right into “San Joaquin which features some great drum work. Off we go to “Toronto”, the tape’s 10th and final urban-influenced instrumental and it’s a sweet mid-tempo groove that ends this impressive section. The tape as a whole ends on a mellow but uplifting note with “Held High” as all the melodic meanderings come full circle back around to that simple Vacationer sound.
Every one of their songs takes you somewhere, which may be why they call themselves Vacationer. This time, it’s “In The Grass”, the latest cut from their forthcoming LP Relief (due June 24th). Summer is a more like a state of mind and vocalist Kenny Vasoli cements this idea with his carefree vocal delivery as the bouncy instrumentation pieces the entire aesthetic together. In this respect, it’s a catchy continuation of first single “The Wild Life”. Check out “In the Grass” below.
Last night, power-pop vets Hellogoodbye teamed up with summery locals Vacationer to headline a packed performance at Underground Arts. A lot has changed with Hellogoodbye since their breakout album in 2006, when “Touchdown Turnaround” was the sound track on innumerable summer mix tapes. Since those wasted teenage years the band has released two full lengths, Would it Kill You? on their own label, Wasted Summer, followed by Everything is Debatable in 2013 on Old Friends Records. Philly favorites, Vacationer rounded out the bill delivering their breezy lullabies and synthpop tunes from Gone. The band is currently working on a new album called Relief, to be released in June. The new song, “The Wild Life” has a cool afropop, ‘circle of life’ theme. The Austin, TX band Heavenly Beat opened the show with their buzzing pop vibes. Check out photos from the show in the gallery below.
Local pop bands Weekender and Delco Pacers will hit the Ortlieb’s stage tonight in celebration of their collaborative mixtape, Philly Tapes Philly Volume 2. The first 50 people to the show will receive a free copy of the limited edition cassette. More details here.
They’re the kind of band you can’t quite categorize. Philly’s own Elegant Animals has a bit of every genre rolled into a singular style. Just a few weeks ago, they showcased that unconventional sound during their Key Studio Session. Check them out tonight with Kate Faust and Minka at MilkBoy. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and the $8 tickets can be purchased here.
Just in time for sunnier days and (comparatively) warmer temperatures, Vacationer has returned with a brand new single called “The Wild Life.” In the insatiably catchy and polyrhythmic track, frontman Kenny Vasoli sings about “starting to change, being less guarded and act like I’ve got it, I’m putting my heart in just to give it away.” Sounds like a positive foot to start out a new album on - Relief is due out June 24th via Downtown Records, preorders are available here, and if this track is anything to go by, it’s more of the the band’s breezy beat-oriented pop nuggets in the vein of Vampire Weekend and Ra Ra Riot. Listen to “The Wild Life” below, and see Vacationer live at Underground Arts with Hellogoodbye on April 24th; tickets and information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.