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Summer Scouts hold on to hope in the darkness of the “Flourish” video

Summer Scouts | photo by K. Egan | courtesy of the artist

Lehigh Valley modern rock five-piece Summer Scouts will release their new record, Endless Light, on June 21st, and the lead single from it continues to balance the band’s heavy atmospheric playing in the vein of Explosions In The Sky with lead singer Katherine de Menno’s infectious pop vocals, reminiscent of Paramore’s Hayley Williams and CHVRCHES’ Lauren Mayberry.

The new single from that record, “Flourish,” is about keeping a grip on hope, even in our darkest hours where “I’ve become the sum of all my fears / looking back on all those wasted years.”  With counterpoint vocals from guitarist Ross Huber, Summer Scouts take us though that journey of self-doubt to the point where “I flourish inside / you’ll find me alive.” Continue reading →

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Ivy Sole reflects on mothers, daughters, and generational trauma in new “Lovely Fiction” video

Ivy Sole | still from video

Philly rapper Ivy Sole got intensely personal on last year’s Overgrown LP, reflecting on heartbreak, personal trauma, and the deep sort of introspective thoughts you feel in early adulthood. Ivy was 25 when she wrote the opening track “Lovely Fiction,” and it is about her appreciation of mothers and motherhood, but also her anxiety about one day becoming a mother herself — as she put it in a press release, it’s about “the fears of raising a Black child in America and finding love despite that.” Continue reading →

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Sophie Coran explores personal duality in a surreal new “Duller Star” video

Sophie Coran | photo by Bob Sweeney | courtesy of the artist

Philly’s Sophie Coran styles her unique slant on the singer-songwriter genre as “noir & B,” so named for her love of classic B&W mysteries, and the timeless music and elegant fashion that went along with them.

Her new video for the recent single “Duller Star” takes that aesthetic to a visual level, filmed by Bob Sweeney in the frozen-in-time surroundings of Atlantic City on a misty winter day. Settings include a grey beach, a retro-50s diner, and a seedy motel, and the visual gets increasingly compounded and mysterious as the video goes on. It becomes less of a Maltese Falcon-esque literal story, and more of a surreal tapestry. Jessica Tramarin is Coran’s co-star in the video, and plays her doppelgänger; they two are separate halves of a single character in the vein of Ingmar Bergman’s Persona and David Lynch’s Mullholland Drive.  Continue reading →

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NON-COMM Recap: Cherry Glazerr shows us what punk looks like

Cherry Glazerr | photo by Emily DeHart for WXPN

At one point in Cherry Glazerr‘s set, frontwoman Clementine Creevy turned her back to the microphone, leaned back limbo-style, jumped up and down — and didn’t miss a beat. That’s what frustrated feminist punk looks like in 2019 according to Cherry Glazerr, and if you weren’t immediately dancing along, ready to join the band or start one of your own, you must have been watching a different set. Continue reading →

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Cub Sport’s new “Limousine” video celebrates self-acceptance, personal growth, and vampires

Cub Sport | photo by Natalie Jurrjens | via facebook.com/CubSport

Brisbane, Australia pop four-piece Cub Sport has been throwing all of their personal selves into their music for the past several years. On their 2016 debut, lead singer Tim Nelson sang intensely about depression and repression, about personal lows; the band’s 2017 album Bats was a brilliant and candid chronicle of Nelson coming out as a gay man, a journey he made with his bandmate and now-husband Sam Netterfield.

This January, Cub Sport released their self-titled third record, and it follows Nelson more deeply along that personal journey — not only self-acceptance but self-comfort and self-love, the process of fully embracing who you are. Continue reading →

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#XPNFest artist J.S. Ondara plays “Saying Goodbye” in a greenhouse for a breathtaking KXT performance

J.S. Ondara | still from video

Folk newcomer J.S Ondara delivered a moving performance of his song “Saying Goodbye” for KXT this week. For fans of Bob Dylan and Neil Young, Ondara will certainly evoke a sense of nostalgia for their respective heydays.

The 26 year old hails from Minneapolis, but has his roots in Nairobi, Kenya, where his love of Dylan first flourished. After obtaining a Green Card visa, Ondara set out for Dylan’s home state, Minneapolis. As the years passed, Ondara solidified his sound, performing and working his way up to where he is now: a major label deal with Universal Music Group. Ondara released his debut album Tales of America back in February, and it has been met with widespread praise. Continue reading →

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Thantophobe watches Philly life flash by in the dreamlike “Saints” video

Thantophobe | photo courtesy of the artist

Thantophobia is the fear of death, something I’d guess every one of us has to some degree. Thantophobe the Philly rock band makes music that reflects on the dizzying whirlwind of life, that tries to remain in the moment as it passes us by.

Today, the band released its latest EP, Life So True, and it’s bursts out the gate with the radiant rocker “Saints,” a speedy dreamscape with War On Drugs-esque guitar leads and pulsing rhythms — a vibe that’s not surprising when you hear that the band worked with Drugs collaborator Jeff Zeigler at Uniform Recording on the EP. Zeigler helped singer-guitarist Thomas Johnsen and drummer Eric Scattareggia build out four-track demos recorded at home with layers of instrumentation and vibe; additional work was done at Aaron Levinson’s Range Recording. The result is a glorious sonic tower, but it keeps those raw home recordings as the skeletal foundation. Continue reading →

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See Kacey Musgraves as a centaur in her new video for “Oh, What A World”

Kacey Musgraves | still from video

After appearing as a real-life Barbie at Met Gala on Monday, Kacey Musgraves transforms yet again; this time into a centaur.

This morning, the Grammy award winning Country star shared the colorful and trippy video for “Oh, What A World” off last year’s Golden Hour. The animated video, created by TRIPPYOGI, is a psychedelic homage to the many wonders on Earth. At points, a Sims-esque Musgraves cradles a glittering globe, or stands as a centaur in a crystalline and star-filled field. Continue reading →