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Just Announced: Mates Of State are back in action at Boot & Saddle

Mates of State | courtesy of the artist

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from indie pop duo Mates Of State. Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel formed the band in Kansas in 1997 and released several albums throughout the aughts. Now based in Connecticut, Mates of State released their last full-length album, Mountaintops, in 2011, and returned briefly in 2015 with the You’re Going to Make It EP. Continue reading →

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#XPNFest artist Ali Awan shares tender State House Session

Ali Awan | photo by Caitlin Phillips | via statehousesessions.com/ali-awan

It’d be weird if Ali Awan did something we didn’t love. Everything he touches seems to turn to gold. His latest gift to us all is a two-song State House Session. Backed by his band, Awan treats viewers to mellow renditions of “Be a Light” and “Butterfly.” Compared to his bombastic NON-COMM set, this session shows off Awan’s tender and soothing side.

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Gregory Alan Isakov’s vintage “Southern Star” video is understated drama at its peak

Gregory Alan Isakov | Photo by Blue Gabor Caleel

Singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov has seen a lot of recent success with his latest album, Evening Machine, reaching #1 on Billboard’s Folk and Americana charts. As he heads out on tour in support of it, he released a new music video for one of the songs off of the album.

Shot in widescreen with a vintage style title sequence and a grainy filter, “Southern Star” is set in a glamorous Boston estate with grand staircases, elaborate wall molding, and a massive chandelier. Looking quite out of place, Isakov strums his guitar wearing a brimmed hat, a t-shirt, and jeans. He sings into a nearby mic accompanied by band members playing their respective instruments. At one point, his percussionist is seen vigorously hitting the drums alone at the center of the staircase. “Southern Star” is understated drama at its peak. Continue reading →

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The women of Tate have had enough in new “Cheerleader” music video

Tate | still from video

Tate released their latest creation just last week: their first ever LP After You. The new record is chock full of unapologetic introspection, set to the tune of floaty melodies and Tate Kamish’s tender vocals. The band’s brand new music video for “Cheerleader” delivers a visual display of the album’s emotions.

The video features three scenes where the women of Tate are looked down upon by men — in a bar, on a basketball court, and in the workplace. At the end, they come together in cheerleading uniforms, only to “quit” cheering for the men that surround them.  Continue reading →

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Tate packs emotional punches in their first LP After You

Tate | photo by Sarah Casper Rudderow | via facebook.com/tatethings

Tate has hit us right in the feelings twice so far this year, first with their single “Lombard” in May, and then with “Bad Hangover” in June. Both songs have reappeared on the group’s first ever LP After You, along with six others that’ll make you laugh, question how you’re living your life (and maybe cry a little). Continue reading →

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The Prince Estate shares rare Paisley Park footage set to “Manic Monday” demo

Prince Originals | via The Current

Last year, the Prince estate shared Piano & a Microphone 1983, a release that blurred ethical lines for many. When Prince died in 2016, a hefty collection of unreleased music was left behind — a collection that the legendary artist clearly intended to keep hidden. This year, his estate has shared a compilation of polished demos for songs he gifted to other artists, many of which went on to become those artists’ signature songs. 

Raising further questions about whether or not Prince would be devastated to know that these recordings reached the public’s ears, Originals features tracks like “Sex Shooter” (originally for Apollonia 6), “Jungle Love” (originally for Morris Day and The Time), and “Nothing Compares 2 U” (made famous by Sinéad O’Connor). Continue reading →

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Isolation feels familiar in Tate’s new single “Bad Hangover”

Tate | Photo by Sarah Rudderow | via facebook.com/tatethings

Everyone is familiar with occasional feeling of loneliness where you feel oddly detached from a person or a place you’re usually connected to. Maybe somebody screwed you over, or maybe you’re exhausting yourself by repeating your own mistakes. Either way, you’re unsettled. Philadelphia four-piece Tate conveys this aura in their latest indie-rock single “Bad Hangover.” We’ve all been there. Continue reading →

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Michael Cormier of Hour and Friendship meditates on memories in “Dinners” from new solo album

Friendship
Friendship | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

In the two years since the release of his debut solo album, Michael Cormier has been very busy. He has released two albums with Hour and one with Friendship. Now, the Philly based multi-instrumentalist has announced his second solo record. Titled Days Like Pearls, the album is set to be released on June 9th via Cormier’s own Dear Life Records.

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Tate will have you crying on the way to the subway with their new single “Lombard”

Tate | photo by Sarah Rudderow | courtesy of the artist

Ever get such anxiety that you get lost in your own thoughts as you’re trying to make your way through your day? You misplace your keys or wallet, you constantly repeat yourself in conversation, you forget where you’re walking, or driving, or riding to. Philadelphia indiepop four-piece Tate captures that moment on their breezy new single “Lombard.”  Continue reading →

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A Philly DJ Roundtable: Exploring the state of the art of party rocking in 2019

DJ Lean Wit It
DJ Lean Wit It | photo by Dvvinci | courtesy of the artist

From the reggae sound systems of Jamaica in the 70s, to England’s illegal pirate radio stations of the 1960s and beyond, the history of global DJ culture is impossibly rich and complex. In music circles around the world, Philadelphia is recognized as a breeding ground for some of the world’s best DJs. Having to bridge the gap between technical skill, taste and a deep knowledge of the music one plays, the art of being a (good) DJ in this city no simple task. Club culture in this city is built upon a foundation of decades of history and tradition.

In the wake of the cultural and economic boom of the disco-era (led by Philadelphia International Records), the essence of modern DJing as we know it began to take shape. Spurred on by a few key technical innovations — most notably, the creation of extended, “remixed” versions of popular R&B / soul cuts, the 12” vinyl single, and the practice of creating a seamless flow of music by mixing two records together on two turntables and a mixer — the disco-era initiated a gradual shift of focus away from bands and concerts, toward DJs and clubs, and effectively changed the way we experience music. Continue reading →