#XPNFest set times announced, single day tickets available, Katie Frank replaces Forth Wanderers

photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN

The 2018 edition of the XPoNential Music Festival is right around the proverbial bend, and this morning we’ve got a few items of interest for all you music lovers converging on the Camden Waterfront in a couple weeks.

First, the set times have been announced — and while XPNFest, for the most part, does not make you choose between competing sets like so many other summer festivals might, it’s still a helpful detail to plan out your weekend. You can peruse the rundown of who’s playing when at the XPNFest Website, or in the handy dandy graphic at the bottom of this post. Continue reading →


#XPNFest announces more artists, incl. Natalie Prass and The National Reserve

Natalie Prass | photo by Tonje Thilesen // Fantastic Negrito // The National Reserve | photo by Michael Cooper // Forth Wanderers | photo by Julia Leiby // all photos courtesy of the artists

77 more days, 11 weeks left, a little over two months to go – however you want to say it, you better believe XPNFest is coming up quickly! Kicking off on Friday, July 27 across the river in Wiggins Park, NJ, the annual festival is returning for its 25th rendition. Today, we’re pleased to announce four more artists set to appear at the fest.

Joining the Wiggins Park crowd on Friday is Brooklyn’s The National Reserve, who just wrapped up a Free at Noon set earlier this afternoon. The Brooklynites show off their bluesy brand of Americana rock on their latest album, Motel La Grange, which just so happens to be out today. Give the album a spin if you missed the band’s set, or relisten to some of the tracks the band played earlier on air. Continue reading →


XPNFest adds artists incl. Darlingside, Blind Boys of Alabama, Harmony Woods, &More

clockwise from left: Darlingside | photo by Ellen Miller for WXPN // Blind Boys of Alabama | photo by Jim Herrington | courtesy of the artist // Harmony Woods | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN // &More | photo by Dejanaya Spicer | courtesy of the artist

These are exciting times, folks. As if this year’s XPoNential Music Festival lineup wasn’t already stacked enough, today we’re thrilled to announce several more artists that will be joining us this summer on the Camden Waterfront. Continue reading →


Lukas Nelson’s “Fool Me Once” video is an honest travelogue of life on tour

Lukas Nelson | photo by Myriam Santos | courtesy of the artist
Lukas Nelson | photo by Myriam Santos | courtesy of the artist

He and his bandmates have been the backing players for Neil Young, he’s collaborated with his famous father Willie Nelson, and last year, rootsy singer-songwriter Lukas Nelson struck out on his on with his debut album Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real.

Released in August, the album established Lukas as an artist in his own right, not just someone with a famous last name; he was named an XPN Artist to Watch in November, and is on the lineup of this summer’s XPoNential Music Festival.

Today we’re happy to give you a first look at a new music video from Nelson and Promise of the Real; “Fool Me Once” is classically countrified song with a travelogue video that handily depicts life on the road for a working artist. Continue reading →


Listen to new albums out today by XPNFest artists Sunflower Bean and Courtney Marie Andrews

Sunflower Bean | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

New Music Friday has blessed us this week, with the release of two new full-lengt albums from artists we’ll be getting better acquainted with this summer at XPNFest.

First, Sunflower Bean‘s Twentytwo In Blue – written while the band were all 22 years old – sees the New York City trio grappliing with an array of modern day topics, ranging from dealing with relationships to reacting to the current political climate. An eclectic range of sounds, the band takes inspiration from glam rock and punk, shoegaze and hints of folk. XPN hosted the trio of Brooklynites for a Fee at Noon set this past January, and the then-unreleased songs sounded sublime.

Throughout the album, frontwoman Julia Cumming displays her wide vocal range, from the angsty anthemic-punk track “Crisis Fest” to the blissfully atmospheric “I Was A Fool.” On the former, the band channels everyday anxieties, ranging from mounting student debt to seemingly-more-frequent missile tests and false alarms. Cumming shouts “Reality’s one big sick show,” a sentiment many can relate to in this day and age. Read our recap of their Free at Noon set and stream today’s World Cafe Session including a live performance and interview with contributing host, Stephen Kallao. Continue reading →


#XPNFest headliner David Byrne has a lot up his sleeve for 2018

David Byrne | Photo by Jody Rogac

2018 is going to be a great year for music icon David Byrne. The former Talking Heads frontman released American Utopia, his first solo album since 2004’s Grown Backwards, and announced an expansive world tour, with various shows already sold out. Part of that tour involves Byrne will also be stopping by the BB&T Pavilion in Camden to headline the XPoNential Music Festival with other amazing artists such as The War on Drugs, Sturgill Simpson, Sylvan Esso, and more. (For more updates and information, head over to the XPN Fest website.)

The visual approach to the tour is captivating; Byrne has referred to the staging as a blank canvas, where he and his backup singers use headset mics, his band plays their instruments wirelessly, there are no boom stands or instrument cables or drum risers in the way. Essentially it opens up the entire stage for movement and expression; watch a roundup of fan videos from recent shows below.  Continue reading →


Listen to #XPNFest artist Courtney Marie Andrews’ new album May Your Kindness Remain via NPR Music

Courtney Marie Andrews | photo by Laura E. Partain

Courtney Marie Andrews has spent a lot of time on the road — so much that she wrote an entire record about what she’s learned, about herself and about the world, along the way. The Americana singer-songwriter is taking no break from the tour life anytime soon, but before she heads our way to play the 2018 XPoNential Music Festival this July, she’s releasing that record. Continue reading →


XPNFest 2018 brings Josh Ritter, Margo Price, Bermuda Triangle, Phoebe Bridgers and more to Wiggins Park

clockwise from left: Josh Ritter | photo by Liz Waldie for WXPN // Margo Price | photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN // Phoebe Bridgers | photo by John Vettese for WXPN // Bermuda Triangle | photo by Harvey Hale courtesy of the artist

The Wiggins Park lineup of the 2018 XPoNential Music Festival was rolled out today, and it will bring veteran singer-songwriter Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band to the Camden Waterfront this July, along with country breakout Margo Price, the Nashville trio Bermuda Triangle (featuring Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, Becca Mancari and Jesse Lafser) and returning festival favorites The Lone Bellow. Continue reading →


XPN Fest headliner David Byrne collabs with Oneohtrix Point Never on new track, “This Is That”

David Byrne | Photo by Jody Rogac

Before David Byrne burns down the house this summer at this year’s XPN Fest — haa bet he never gets that one — the music icon will release a new album titled American Utopia on March 9th via Todomundo/Nonesuch. And before then, you can listen to one of the new tracks right now as he’s just shared “This Is That” with BBC Radio. Continue reading →


Watch #XPNFest headliner Sturgill Simpson perform with Chris Stapleton on SNL

Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton | still from video

Call it a meeting of metamodern country greats. Last night on Saturday Night Live, Nashville’s Chris Stapleton was the musical guest, in support of last year’s two-volume From A Room project. As a surprise for fans, Stapleton’s lead guitarist was his Kentucky neighbor Sturgill Simpson, who co-headlines this year’s Saturday night concert at the XPoNential Music Festival alongside The War on Drugs. Continue reading →