Buzzing UK four-piece ∆ (that translates into English as Alt-J) plays its first Philly show tonight at Johnny Brenda’s. Moving in similar midtempo electronic / pop territory as The xx and The Notwist, the band is set to release its debut full-length An Awesome Wave on Tuesday, September 18. For now, you can stream the album below. The 21+ show begins at 8:30 tonight, admission is $12, tickets and more information are available here.
After releasing its breakthrough album, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, in 2008, three-piece folk act The Low Anthem became celebrated for its nod to Americana simplicity. With the release of Smart Flesh earlier this year, the band has continued to create soothing, bluesy hymns with eerie, well-trained vocals. Despite the success of their signature sound, the members of the group recently announced that—after they finish their current tour—they’re ready to throw it out and start fresh. A recent post on their Web site tries to explain: “We know the ‘Darwin’/ ‘Smart Flesh’ material inside and out—better than a prominent birthmark… like swimming in bathwater…. It’s really dialed in. Maybe some artists reach this point and become safer more refined imitations of themselves. We’re not interested. So… we’ve decided that this upcoming tour will be the last tour of the chapter. The last tour devoted to this material, this incarnation.” Though this started speculation among fans about a possible break-up, the band members insist that is not the case; they’re just shooting for some kind of rebirth and a new beginning. Tonight, however, you can still catch them in their current state of mind at World Cafe Live. The Low Anthem performs with William Elliot Whitmore at 8 p.m. at World Cafe Live; tickets to the all-ages show are $15-$17. —Marielle Mondon
Drenched in mocking absurdities and bizarre implications, Fruit Bats‘ music videos create a very distinct image of the band. Initially a professional keytarist or flaming coffin might distract a viewer, but the Fruit Bats’ pop/folk melodies manage to charm even the most disinterested listener. The unexpected falsetto of front man, Eric D. Johnson, accompanied by a mellow instrumental still allows Fruit Bats to thrive in the music industry five albums and fourteen years later. Fruit Bats, compared to many of its Sup-Pop counterparts, is not so easily defined; the music the band creates can fall into several genres, which is what ultimately keeps crowds coming back for more. The band’s live performances might not involve wind machines or high-kicking dancers, but those interested can expect some up-tempo chord progressions and genuinely alternative rocking. Fruit Bats perform with Vetiver and Citay at 8 p.m. at First Unitarian Church; tickets to the all-ages show are $12. —Caitlyn Grabenstein