After trying on a new moniker for size earlier this year, local lo-fi pop artist James Harvey has returned to his White Birds roots this month, releasing a new track called “Woman.” The song comes from a place of joy, “not a typical source of inspiration for this project” Harvey says. “Woman” is much more euphoric than White Birds’ older releases, with operatic backing vocals and lyrics about love, though the lo-fi production preserves the fragile and vulnerable nature of the project. Stream and download the track below via White Birds’ Bandcamp page.
You can count on the factions of the fractured Philly band Drink Up Buttercup to keep us on our toes. When the group split in 2011, three of its four members re-formed as the ethereal echo-folk project White Birds. That band had a nice run, put out a solid EP and full-length, then fell off the map.
Last year, White Birds alums Farzad Houshiarnejad and Mike Cammarata emerged as the groove-pop outfit Night Panther, leaving us wondering what became of singer and songwriter Jim Harvey. An apologetic White Birds song late last year was the final blip from him in this incarnation, before he re-emerged this week as Forever Evers.
Got all that? It’s okay, we’re a little confused too. Basically, what you need to know is Harvey is still making music, his singing is still soaring and melodic, Houshiarnejad is still working with him (they’re brothers, after all) and the tone is still echoed-out, but with a dance-pop sensibility that we didn’t hear in either of his previous two bands. Grab a free download of Forever Evers’ song “I Could Stay” below.
The 12 Days of Local Christmas are back this year, kicking off with a track called “Christmas Eve With You” by Aaron Brown & The York Street Hustle. Mid-day host Helen Leicht has curated a great compilation of original holiday songs by local musicians, featuring music by Good Old War, Deb Callahan and more – go here to download the full set, and listen in to XPN to hear the songs played back during My Morning Download with Morning show host Michaela Majoun in the 9 a.m. ET hour and on Helen’s Philly Local pick of the day in the 1 p.m. ET hour.
As though the song couldn’t get any catchier already, Philly lo-fi disco duo Night Panther – descendants of White Birds and Drink Up Buttercup – recorded and released a cover of Grizzly Bear’s hit “Two Weeks” last month. It’s a bright and blooming rendition, reaching for (and getting close to) Passion Pit stratospheres. Download it below, and catch the band in concert this Saturday night, September 15, when it performs at Kung Fu Necktie with Maria Minerva. Tickets to the 21+ show are $10 and available here.
From the band’s upcoming limited-edition cassette, When Women Played Drums (featuring new music, art, and more), due June 10th via Grizzy Records. (“Waters” premiered earlier today over at My Old Kentucky Blog). You can give it a listen below.
Today, the members of White Birds release their debut full-length, When Women Played Drums. Born out of the ashes of Drink Up Buttercup, White Birds is James Harvey, Farzad Houshiarnejad, Mike Cammarata and Chris Radwanski. Where the music of Drink Up was quirky psychedelic pop, White Birds’ songs are lush sounding, reverbed pop tunes that bring to mind Fleet Foxes and the Beach Boys. Though the band’s gorgeous harmonies are enveloped by a Phil Spector-esque “Wall Of Sound,” the songs never get lost in the haze. The band plays Johnny Brenda’s on Tuesday, March 20th, with Pond and Oberhofer. Tickets and more information about the show are here. Last November the band recorded a Key Studio Session, which you can listen to and download here. Listen to and purchase When Women Played Drums below.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3rd
Scott Hansen is an artist with a vision. Before he debuted on the music scene as electronic composer Tycho, Hansen was known by his graphic design pseudonym, ISO50. As ISO50, Hansen produces intricate, often illusionary water color pieces—images that make an appealing first impression and grow more complex when scrutinized. His songs sound about the same. Hansen’s 2002 EP, Science Of Patterns, and the 2004 album Sunrise Projector hinted at his musical ideas, but it wasn’t until his 2011 album, Dive, that Tycho seemed to communicate in music what ISO50 did in visual art. Not surprisingly, Tycho’s current tour features a video component, which Hansen appropriately debuted on the ISO50 blog. Hansen will be playing both his music and visual art tonight in a show that’s certain to be sunny and synesthetic. Tycho performs with Beacon at 8:30 p.m.; tickets to the all-ages show are $5–$15. —Naomi Shavin
Since forming from the remains of Drink Up Buttercup, the members of White Birds have been quick to separate themselves from their former endeavor. Where Drink Up was fast and frantic, White Birds is slow and mellow. The band’s self-titled EP demonstrated just how much the members have evolved, with a dreamy tone and echoing harmonies. White Birds’ new album, When Women Played Drums, expands the fuzzy pop sound; the album comes out February 14th, but you can pre-order it now on Bandcamp. White Birds be joined at Kung Fu Necktie by Univox, whose Key Studio Session we posted earlier this week. White Birds performs with Univox and Tutlie at 8 p.m. at Kung Fu Necktie; tickets to the 21+ show are $10. —Nicole Soll
Snowmine front man Grayson Sanders has received praise for his mellow and melodious voice, with many noting similarities to both Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes and Jim James of My Morning Jacket. The Brooklyn-based indie pop band’s debut album “Laminate Pet Animal” is obviously a tribute to all things natural and lullaby-esque, what with the use of odd instruments (including arbitrary household items, such as dish brushes and brooms) that help create a cultured sound. The band was featured as Weathervane Music’s Shaking Through artist for the month of November, and brings its Fleet Foxes-caliber potential to Johnny Brenda’s for the Philadelphia Bandcamp Hunter showcase. Snowmine performs with Gracie and Tours at Johnny Brenda’s at 9:15 p.m; tickets to the 21+ show are $5. —Lisa Henderson
Augustana had a rough 2011. The San Diego-based quartet was dropped from its label, Epic, following disappointing sales of its third album, had to cancel a summer tour with Jack’s Mannequin, and lost several of the original band members. But just as rumors of the band breaking up surfaced, lead singer Dan Layus announced he and the remaining members would continue making music under the name Augustana. Dan Lamoureux, who had previously played keyboard with the band, returned on drums, and Augustana released dates for a short winter tour. Despite the changes in the band, Augustana’s rock sound remains the same, and their set will feature both new music and hits off previous albums, such as “Boston” and “Sweet and Low.” Augustana performs with Graffiti6 at 8 pm at Theatre Of Living Arts; tickets to the show are $17. —Nicole Soll
Also Playing: Arctic Splash + DJ Deejay at PYT (10 p.m., free)
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4th
Brown Recluse + Acres Of Diamonds, Instamatic at Milkboy Philly (9:30 p.m., 21+, $8–$10); Jedi Mind Tricks + Diabolic, B. Lynch at Union Transfer (8:30 p.m., all ages, $18–$20); Jack’s Mannequin + Jukebox The Ghost, Allen Stone at Theatre Of Living Arts (7 p.m., $30.50); SOJA + The Movement, Fear Nuttin Band at Electric Factory (8 p.m., $25.95)
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5th
Rock To The Future Benefit featuring Polar Ice Cap + The Danger O’s, Fast Car, Jampa! at World Cafe Live (7 p.m., all ages, $7)