Cub Sport beam with self acceptance at The Foundry

Cub Sport | photo by Maureen Walsh for WXPN

When I spoke to Tim Nelson of the Brisbane band Cub Sport last week, he remarked his confidence has just been building and building. Tuesday night at The Foundry he demonstrated just how confident he has become. Despite performing in little more than leather pants and a web of leather straps and metal chains, Nelson never once winced or shivered. He swayed boldly as he sang about personal struggles, coming to terms with his sexuality, and accepting love. Every movement felt purposeful, either because they were, or because Nelson has moved beyond doubting himself.

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Building Confidence: Cub Sport on where they are and where they’re going

Cub Sport | photo by Joe Agius | courtesy of the artist

“Unwinding Myself”, the opening track of Cub Sport‘s eponymous third album, signals that the record that follows is a different beast from its predecessors. Where This Is Our Vice focused on depression and BATS chronicled Tim Nelson’s experience with coming out, Cub Sport is marked by self love and acceptance. The album, released in January, comes after Australia finally legalized same-sex marriage, allowing Nelson and bandmate Sam Netterfield to wed last August. Bursting with catchy hooks, addicting synths, and beautiful lyrics, the album is both a personal and musical triumph.

The Brisbane band is currently on a North American tour in support of the album. They will play The Foundry on on Tuesday. Before their show in Montreal this past Friday I got the chance to catch up with Nelson over the phone. Conversation ranged from fans’ responses to the album, where he sees the band going next, and being serenaded by Solange.  Continue reading →


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

Cub Sport | photo by Natalie Jurrjens | via

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 →


Brisbane’s Cub Sport share a soft and soulful video for “Chasin” and U.S. tour dates

cub sport
Cub Sport | photo courtesy of the artist

Following the release of their latest album, BATS, Australia’s Cub Sport have announced that 2018 will bring them back to the US — and their tour includes a stop here in Philly. The four-piece dream pop outfit will appear April 7 at The Foundry, and to hold us over until then, they’ve shared a new video for soft and soulful BATS track “Chasin’.” Continue reading →


Spend some time in the studio with Dean Wareham, The Front Bottoms, Cut Copy and more on tonight’s very special Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Eternal Summers | Photo by Eric Schuman

There’s simply no better way to celebrate America than with a special edition of the Indie Rock Hit Parade! Tune in to XPN tonight at 10pm as we head back into the studio and revisit favorite selections from our assortment of Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Sessions! We’ll hear exclusive performances from newcomers like Cub Sport and Dresses, as well as established folks like Woods and Eternal Summers!

It should be mentioned that all of our IRHP Sessions are available for download. Right HERE, in fact!

For your ongoing enjoyment, here’s a Spotify playlist of last week’s ‘Compact’ show, featuring Strand Of Oaks, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart and Ought!

See you tonight at 10pm for a very special Indie Rock Hit Parade on XPN!


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Cub Sport / Communion Philly at Underground Arts, Mobb Deep at TLA, Prism Quartet at World Cafe Live and more

CubSportAustrailian indie-pop outfit Cub Sport will play this month’s Communion Club Night at Underground Arts for their very first show in Philadelphia. This tour is the first US/Canada run for the band who self-released their Paradise EP last year. Their sound is super energetic and poppy at times (see “Paradise”) and more mellow and subdued at others (see “Shuffle”) but it’s all done in a dewy dream pop context that’s pretty hard to resist at both ends of the spectrum. Watch “Paradise” below and get tickets here.

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Cub Sport, Heyward Howkins, Joey Sweeney, Bootstraps tapped for May Communion Night at Underground Arts

Photo via

The lineup for May’s Communion Club Night show at Underground Arts was just announced, and it’s a sweet one. Making the trek from Australia for their Philadelphia debut (unless you count the sorta-debut when they played on the Indie Rock Hit Parade during CMJ last October) is Brisbane indie pop five-piece Cub Sport. They released a delightful EP called Paradise back in the fall that, like Vampire Weekend, blends electropop beats with world music arrangements and infectious hooks.

Also on the lineup is this month’s XPN-curated Communion artist Heyward Howkins. His second LP, Be Frank Furness, was released in December via BITBY Records, and it saw his lyrical wit and knack for melody in top form. We featured it in an Unlocked spotlight at the time – read the interview here.

The show also features a set of lush arrangements from Joey Sweeney and the Long Hair Arkestra, alt-rock drama from LA rockers Bootstraps and much more. Get more information on the show at its Facebook event page, and check out music from some of the artists below.


The Key’s Year-End Mania: Maureen Walsh’s Top 5 Songs You May Not Have Heard in 2013

Cub Sport outside WXPN Studios with a giant pizza from Allegro | photo via
Cub Sport outside WXPN Studios with a giant pizza from Allegro | photo via

Year-End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2013 awesome. In this installment, our contributing concert reviewer Maureen Walsh runs down some lesser-heard jams.

These are 5 songs I have been listening to this year that are missing from many a year end list:

1. “Glitterbombed” by Charlotte Church – Yes, that Charlotte Church. The “voice of an angel” that stole our hearts on many a PBS special has returned with a set of EPs that feature epic soundscapes and Church’s amazing voice. Think Explosions in the Sky meets Sinead O’Connor. This year Church also had the honor of delivering the 2013 John Peel Lecture taking on the theme of Women’s Place in Music.

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