The Key Studio Sessions: Swim Camp

There’s a certain degree of mystique to the Philadelphia indie project Swim Camp, due in no small part to the hazy melodies and drifting tempos their songs are imbued with. Then again, this is a band that, when you Google their name, you’re met with more links to actual swim camps in the region than to their music.

The project of singer-guitarist and songwriter Tom Morris, Swim Camp been floating under the radar since debuting in 2017, building up their name in South Philly DIY show lineups and on stage at venue’s like Ortlieb’s in Northern Liberties. But with their beautiful debut album Barlow Hill, released this spring on Z Tapes, the band is beginning to surface. Continue reading →


Swim Camp relinquishes past pain on “Pretty Bird”

Swim Camp | photo by max kulicke | via

Swim Camp emerged into the Philly music scene with their first album Scuba, released in 2017. The band is the unique brainchild of Tom Morris (backed onstage by Brian Sanderson, Taylor Cullen, and Mark Watter) and it has a distinct ambient, synth-meets-folk sound.

The band released a music video earlier this week for what is set to be the third song off of their upcoming sophomore album. “Pretty Bird” is a somber, angsty, ode to loss and the struggle of coming to terms with inevitable endings. In a muffled, gravely tone, Morris can be heard repeating the line “watch the pretty bird fly,” throughout the piece. The track is dominated by its instrumentals and most notably features violin from Molly Germer. Continue reading →


Birdie Busch and Rachel Alina tackle time, place, friendship and growth in multimedia project Locals // If You Swim Far Enough

Birdie Busch and Rachel Alina | photos courtesy of the artists

Local songwriter Birdie Busch has teamed up with sound engineer and poet Rachel Alina and illustrator Ashley Smestad Vélez for a collaborative project. Locals // If You Swim Far Enough sees each artist drawing on their respective creative forms to build a work that tackles time, place, friendship and growth.

Alina’s chapbook of poetry, Locals, is accompanied by over 80 of Vélez’s illustrations, and complements Busch’s acoustic album If You Swim Far Enough, which she recorded with Alina several years ago at Scullville Studios in New Jersey, featuring acoustic versions of several previously released songs from her catalog Continue reading →


Meet Lancaster’s Sleepy Limbs, joining Cayetana, Worriers and Camp Cope in York next month

Sleepy Limbs | photo via

A lineup that includes the likes of Cayetana, Worriers and Camp Cope is good enough on its own. To ask for anything more than a trio of that quality would just be greedy. But when the three bands play next month at Skid Row Garage in York (the show was originally supposed to be in Lancaster at Chameleon Club’s Lizard Lounge, but has since been moved), one more newly added group of rockers will join them: Lancaster’s Sleepy Limbs. Continue reading →


An ocean swim almost took Peter English’s life. It gave him this single instead.

Peter English | via

Sometimes inspiration is just one life-threatening moment away. For Peter English, that moment was what began as a harmless trip to the Jersey Shore a few years ago. One dangerous attempt at reaching a sandbar later, English had the basis for his new concept single, “Like Remora,” two songs that tell a cohesive story of that swim in the sea. Continue reading →


Go “Swimmin'” with sunny day Bucks County band Seagulls

Seagulls/ via
Seagulls/ via

Seagulls is a fitting name for a band whose music easily places you into a sunny state of mind. The Bucks County natives released their full-length album, Great Pine, back in April and as summer is slowly creeping in, this album should definitely be on your playlist. Seagulls is as if Fleet Foxes and Monsters of Folk had a little folksy baby. The songs are rooted in a folk with rich harmonies and smooth conformity. The album starts off strong with the ambient “Dragoon” and ends just as strong with “Distracted.” You’ll find yourself completely dissolved into the album and not realize how much time has gone by. Great Pine is pleasant to the ears and perfect for a nice tranquil summer afternoon. Download the entire album at Bandcamp, listen to the song “Swimmin'” below, and see the band tomorrow night at Kung Fu Necktie; information at the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.


Listen to a new song by Younger Me, “Swimming Pool” (playing The Station Bar & Grill on Saturday 8/17 with Our Griffins)

younger me

Younger Me, haling from the York and Lancaster, Pennsylvania area, create a strong brew of indie rock and pop, somewhat in the vain of Local Natives and Phoenix. The band includes singer Brent Gregory on keyboards, Brandt Imhoff on bass and Ian Hermanns on drums. In November 2012, the group released their self-titled debut LP, and now they’re back with the solid summer song, “Swimming Pool.” Swirling keyboards and echoing drums accompany the Gregory as he croons about fleeting summer days. Listening, you can almost see the sun setting on a warm summer night, knowing that it was an incredible day and feeling happy for the summer memory. The song slowly builds in energy, bubbling up as Gregory soaks up the rest of the season’s warmth. The band plays The Station Bar & Grill tomorrow evening, Saturday, August 17th with Shark Week (from Washington D.C,) and the very talented Philly singer-songwriter Our Griffins. Go here for more information about the show.


Listen to “Swim,” a new track from Auctioneer

Photo by Emily "Birdie" Busch
On the tail of its Shaking Through Session with Weathervane Music, Auctioneer slips us a new track fresh from its upcoming release. “Swim” is a slow incline of chords that builds with waking keys, a lyrical journey, a watery travelogue of what-if’s and what-will-be’s. Be on the lookout for a slow leak of songs in preparation of the folk-tinged art outfit’s newest release, due out this winter.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Kendrick Lamar at the TLA, Ian Hunter at World Cafe Live, Panic Years at MilkBoy, Attic Dancers at The Fire, Camp Jam in the Pines

Kendrick Lamar is an emerging rapper from Los Angeles who’s been praised for balancing hard-hitting contemporary hiphop sounds with a message behind the music. His album good kid, m.A.A.d city is being released on Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Records in October, and he plays The TLA on South Street tonight. The all-ages show begins at 7 p.m. and admission is $36; tickets and information are available here. Below, check out a video for Kendrick Lamar’s song “Swimming Pools.”

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