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Watch singer-songwriter Brooke DiCaro perform “Coffee” with Trap Rabbit at Rittenhouse Soundworks

Brooke De Caro | still from video

South Jersey native Brooke DiCaro is making strides combining typical elements of the singer-songwriter scene and adding an unconventional, jazzy twist. Brooke got her start covering artists like Adele, Carly Simon, and Amy Winehouse but soon moved onto writing original music. On May 28th, she released a soulful new single called “Coffee,” accompanied by a video of her studio session in Rittenhouse Soundworks. “Coffee” is DiCaro’s latest original release since “Blame,” released in 2016. Continue reading →

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Trap Rabbit commands the studio with new video “Upward Mobility”

Trap Rabbit | photo by Kuf Knotz | courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia alt-jazz duo Trap Rabbit are back again with an electrifying new song that will make you question why we ever invented music genres in the first place. Their new music video, “Upward Mobility”, delights as bandmates Arjun Dube (drums) and Logan Roth (keys) stack melodies on top of melodies until an entirely new and fresh sound emerges. Trap Rabbit’s sound is hard to pin down, but that’s the fun of it. It’s a synthesis of jazz, funk, hip-hop, and rock that ranges from dance inducing beats to near-lyrical contemplations. This new video features all of it without apology or compromise. Continue reading →

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Trap Rabbit talks virtuosity, collaboration and Philly on the 25 O’Clock Podcast

Trap Rabbit
Trap Rabbit | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly instrumental duo Trap Rabbit gets around, whether they’re backing rappers like Kuf Knotz or working with singer-songwriters like Sophie Coran. For the latest episode of the 25 O’Clock podcast, bandmates Arjun Dube (drums) and Logan Roth (keys) chat with host Dan Drago about their origins, their entry point into the Philadelphia music scene, and how they’ve managed to stay so busy as musicians. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Trap Rabbit

A couple years back, renowned jazz trumpeter Christian Scott introduced the concept of “stretch music” in his album of the same name. The idea was one not of total re-invention or boundary-smashing, but rather of taking one’s creative vocabulary and stretching it to include as much style and range as possible, incorporating uncommon influences while remaining true to one’s musical roots.

Philly duo Trap Rabbit could easily qualify as stretch music for the local scene…though they might prefer their own category of “weirdo beat rock.” Indeed, Arjun Dube’s complex drumbeats are prominently present in the band’s work, propping up and goading on Logan Roth’s expressionistic keyboard playing. Continue reading →

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Watch Trap Rabbit take it to the streets on their new music video for “Empress”

Trap Rabbit
Trap Rabbit | photo courtesy of the artist

Unlike their name may lead you to believe, Trap Rabbit does not make trap music. Rather, the instrumental key/drum duo from Philly creates a dynamic mixture of progressive jazz, rock and hip-hop beats in their live shows and on their most recent project, 2018’s Empress EP.

Late last week, music blog OkayPlayer debuted the music video for title track, “Empress,” following the duo of drummer Arjun Dube and keyboardist Logan Roth in what seems like a normal get together. The Bob Sweeney-directed video starts off with the duo hanging out in the band’s Fishtown studio, but slowly devolves into a full-blown fistfight out on the street. Continue reading →

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Listen to Trap Rabbit’s new EP Empress ahead of their Bourbon & Branch release show

Trap Rabbit | photo by Rachel Andie | via the band’s Facebook page

If you’re into trap music, don’t get your hopes up when you see the name of the band Trap Rabbit. They make it perfectly clear on their Bandcamp page that, despite the moniker, they don’t make trap music — they fall more along the lines of instrumental hip-hop meets prog rock with some soul and jazz influences. But their music defies easy categorization, so perhaps it’s best to just call Trap Rabbit what it is at its core — a keys and drums duo that makes some really cool tunes. Continue reading →

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Melbourne indie rockers The Temper Trap electrified Union Transfer (photos, recap, setlist)

The stage at Union Transfer was dark Sunday night until a booming news broadcaster announced, “Another night of rioting in England.” And then an orange light flashed. Everywhere.

Melbourne indie pop-rockers The Temper Trap electrified the crowd at Union Transfer as they opened with the lively “London’s Burning (Repeater).” The band played through the evening with an unwavering energy that surged through the crowd, keeping fans dancing the entire show. Dougy Mandagi boogied around the stage, seeming to effortlessly transition melodic tenor vocals to the sweet falsetto that has become part of the band’s signature sound.

Critics who call The Temper Trap “soft” has probably never seen the group connect with a crowd as enthusiastic as this one. Mandagi’s voice soared through his smile, which was nearly as wide as the stage when he addressed the “city of brotherly love, and sisterly love,” mirroring the faces of the other band members. The happiness onstage transcended into the crowd through Mandagi’s heartfelt vocals and bassist Jonathon Aherne’s animated dance moves. Continue reading →

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Listen to Philly multi-instrumentalist Will Brown’s debut album No Relief

Will Brown | photo by Dana Davis | instagram.com/famousdanadavisvia willbrown.bandcamp.com

Multi-instrumentalist Will Brown is no stranger to the Philly music scene. Playing in multiple Philly groups such as Deadfellow and Rylan Brooks, Brown has made his presence known around the region. This week, he released his album No Relief, entirely recorded and mixed by himself. The record spreads through multiple styles and textures and is a compelling listen for fans of anything from psych rock to hip-hop. Continue reading →

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Watch a mystical music video for Philly art rock group Upholstery’s new song “INGA”

Upholstery | Kate Raines | courtesy of the artist

Upholstery have shared the moody and ethereal video for their new single, “INGA”, which serves as the first single off their new album. The album, also titled INGA, is the Philly band’s fourth full-length release and their first on Exotic Fever Records. Produced by Johann Sebastian, the album sees the arty group exploring darker grooves. Members of Hardwork Movement, Trap Rabbit, Settled Arrows, Pattern is Movement, and West Philadelphia Orchestra all contributed to the record, making it an impressive testament to Philly’s vibrant music scene. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Sophie Coran

Making music is a process of constant re-invention. Meticulously crafted studio recordings are re-shaped onstage, the onstage energy influences the direction of the next studio recordings, and the cycle continues back and forth over an artist’s lifespan.

Sophie Coran has already experienced quite a bit of that in her four years as a singer and songwriter working around Philadelphia. Her earliest work, the Better EP from 2015, took on a piano-driven identity in the vein of Carly Simon and Paula Cole. Last year, her follow-up, All that Matters, folded in elements of jazz and soul. And as Coran began playing shows around town in support of that release, she connected with Logan Roth and Arjun Dube of the experimental instrumental band Trap Rabbit. They became her live band, and the chemistry she developed with them — as well as bassist Mike Morrongiello — pushed her music into new realms.

The recent “Duller Star” single is the first example we’re hearing of collaboration. It’s a song that breathes in a husky tenor, its melodic skeleton fusing with Roth’s layers of synthesizer soundbanks and melodic leads to create an arty pop air reminiscent of Fiona Apple. There’s also a rhythmic pulse, care of Dube, that isn’t too far off from the crowd-galvanizing concepts of EDM.

Watch the video below as the song opens on a solitary Coran, playing her Nord and singing about a cigarette abandoned on the nightstand. As the verse progress, Morrongiello’s bass enters along with Roth’s keys, gently at first, and then becoming more defined. They unite with Dube’s drum stand pings and light rhythms, until the cymbals emphatically swish, then breathlessly cut to silence at the end of the pre-chorus. The beat drops. The song is under way. And as I said in an NPR blurb about Coran earlier this week, it will “in its own, downtempo jazz-pop kind of way, get you moving.”

Continue reading →