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Listen to Native Harrow’s Happier Now, The Tisburys’ Wax Nostalgic, Dave Hause’s Kick, and other Philly albums out today

Native Harrow (left), The Tisburys (center), and Dave Hause (right) | photos courtesy of the artists

There’s always amazing music coming out of Philadelphia. But when the stars align and numerous albums we’re excited about are released in a single day, well, we tell you about it

Local rock and roll fans have a lot to be excited about today, from the high profile of Dave Hause all the way to upstart scale of Manauynk faves The Tisburys. (But knowing Hause’s affinity for the Ridge Avenue river wards, how sick would a double bill of those two be? Sure, he’s got a gig tonight in Chicago. That’s not till late. Hop on over for an afternoon doubleheader at Main Street Music, Dave!) Then again, you’ll also find mind-bendy psych, dreamscapey folk, and upbeat indie punk in the mix today from the Philly music community. Read and listen on.

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Five artists to see at the Exit Zero Jazz Festival

Preservation Hall Jazz Band | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

The Exit Zero Jazz Festival has been setting up shop in Cape May, New Jersey every spring since 2013, bringing a vibrant mix of jazz and jazz-adjacent sounds to the Jersey shore for some springtime revelry. The festival kicks off tonight, and runs through Sunday, and has a stacked lineup of players, many of whom will be quite familiar to XPNFest regulars. Here are five artists to see at this year’s edition of Exit Zero Jazz Fest. Continue reading →

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Race through a saturated cityscape in Nilüfer Yanya’s “Baby Blu” video

Nilüfer Yanya | photo by Molly Daniel | courtesy of the artist
Nilüfer Yanya | photo by Molly Daniel | courtesy of the artist

After a year of attention-getting buzz, London singer-songwriter Nilüfer Yanya debuted last month with her Miss Universe album, a set blending emotionally gripping songwriting with massively accessible pop. Those worlds collide in a big way on the new video for “Baby Blu”; filmed by Molly Daniel on New Year’s day in Tokyo, it finds Yanya racing through the bright lights, saturated neon tones, and frantic energy of the city as she sings the song, which builds from piano-driven tension to electropop euphoria. Continue reading →

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Charly Bliss confronts their fears in the “Hard To Believe” video

Charly Bliss | photo by Ebru Yildiz | courtesy of the artist

NYC indie rock band Charly Bliss is readying the release of their second album, Young Enough, and its already sounding like a big step ahead from the infectious indie pop of their 2017 debut Guppy. As the release and its adjacent spring tour nears, the band just dropped a music video for the ear candy single “Hard to Believe” that is equal parts paranoid and hysterical. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: PUP will headline Franklin Music Hall this September

PUP | photo by Vanessa Heins | courtesy of the artist
PUP | photo by Vanessa Heins | courtesy of the artist

By the looks of it, Toronto punk four-piece PUP is about to spend most of the next year of their life on tour around the world. And deservedly so — their new Morbid Stuff record is their strongest work to date, amplifying and expanding their trademark gang vocal ragers about mental health into sonic territory reminiscent of R.E.M. (the opening title track) and The Hold Steady (listen to frontperson Stefan Babcock get his Craig Finn on during the spoken-sung “Kids”). Continue reading →

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Lancaster’s Lyncs finds herself in an emotional “Black Hole”

Lyncs | photo by Quinn Staley | courtesy of the artist
Lyncs | photo by Quinn Staley | courtesy of the artist

Over the past year, Lancaster musician Jacqueline Hynes has taken her project Lyncs from easygoing acoustic tuneage to ethereal electro-pop singer-songwriting. And as it happens, her latest release features a jam that aligns perfectly with the cosmic event that took over our collective social media feeds yesterday.

Though we should note that, no, Lyncs did not write, produce, and release the song “Black Hole” in the wake of the first-ever photograph taken of a supermassive black hole large enough to swallow our entire solar system and then some. That would be some impressive trend-hopping, but the song actually dropped two weeks prior, on March 29th, and just hit our inbox at The Key yesterday.

What timing. But also: what a song. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Full Bush

There are various reasons we’ve been losing our minds over Philly rock four-piece Full Bush these past couple years, but honestly, the biggest one might be how real they are.

Sure, they’ve got awesome moments of cheeky and clever commentary. They deservedly take down busted dudes in “Ill Tempered,” with indomitable vocalist Kate Breish hysterically running down a litany of shortcomings (“your mom still pays for your phone, you’re a virgin, and you can’t drive”) over wiry punk arrangements from guitarist Jayne Rutter, bassist Cassie O’Leary, and drummer Adesola Ogunleye. Meanwhile, the amazing garage rocker “Ray’s” looks to the famed South Philly dive for cathartic release from work-life ennui and toxic people in a gang-vocal shoutalong: “I! JUST! WANNA! GET! FUCKED UP!”

It’s catchy, it’s fun, it’s funny. But Full Bush are so much more than a funny band. Continue reading →

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Watch Amos Lee collaborate with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia at The Met

Amos Lee and Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia at The Met Philly | photo by Helen Leicht for WXPN

On Saturday night, singer-songwriter Amos Lee headlined The Met for his Philly show in support of last year’s My New Moon album, and it was full of hometown collaborations, including one with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.

Under the direction of singer-songwriter Andrew Lipke, the 9-piece string section added an elegant and emotional accompaniment to much of the night’s setlist, particularly “Violin” from 2011’s Mission Bell, a song that’s a huge tear-jerker to begin with. Continue reading →

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Argyle delivers potent minimalism and magnetic lyricism on im up!!

Argyle | photo via yoshisworld.bandcamp.com

The first time we wrote about Philly wordsmith Argyle in late 2017, we noted that “this dose of hip-hop philosophizing is especially cosmic.” We obviously did not know how much further out the MC would be traveling a little further down the road. Though Argyle’s Stage 4 project caught our ear with jazz-tinged songs engaging videos, the new four-song EP im up!! ventures into more expansive and expressionistic atmospheres. Over five songs, minimal beats work like light brushstrokes over a colorfield canvas, setting a backdrop to Argyle’s poetic proclamations in the forefront. Continue reading →

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#XPN5050: 2014

For fifty weeks this year, we’re celebrating the music of a specific year every Saturday on WXPN. We’ll be choosing the years randomly; for this week’s #XPN5050, Mike Vasilikos is putting the musical spotlight on the year 2014.

It was the year that The War on Drugs got Lost in the Dream, Lana Del Rey lit our way with Ultraviolence, Beck revisited his introspective side on Morning Phase, Taylor Swift broke records with 1989, St. Vincent’s self-titled record blessed us with “Digital Witness,” and Sam Herring of Future Islands danced our way into our hearts. Continue reading →