#XPNFest artist Ali Awan shares tender State House Session

Ali Awan | photo by Caitlin Phillips | via

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 →


Your #XPNFest 2019 set times have arrived!

*Updated July 9, 2019 @ 12 p.m.

We are 18 days out from this year’s edition of the XPoNential Music Festival, and this morning the set times have been announced. Check out the above graphic for the rundown of who is playing when on the Camden Waterfront, from the Friday afternoon opening set by Foxtrot and the Get Down to the Sunday closing set by Amy Ray Band, with headlining sets in between by Hozier, Japanese Breakfast, Elvis Costello, and Blondie. Continue reading →


Lucy Dacus walks the line between pride and shame in Fourth of July inspired single “Forever Half Mast”

Lucy Dacus | photo by Elizabeth Weinberg | courtesy of the artist

For the third installment of her holiday-themed single series, Lucy Dacus has shared a Fourth of July inspired track. The song follows her cover of “La Vie en rose“, released for Valentine’s Day, and her Mother’s Day/Taurus Season inspired “My Mother & I“. “Forever Half Mast” is a colorful and hopeful contemplation on the dissonance we, as Americans, often experience. The chorus sees Dacus attempting to console a troubled America and reassure her that “yes you’re evil, but you’re not that bad.”  Continue reading →


Free at Noon Flashback: Amy Ray and her band offer a delightful start to the holiday weekend

Amy Ray and XPN go way back. She has appeared at World Cafe Live and on World Cafe the show countless times, both as one half of Indigo Girls and as a solo artist. She will play World Cafe Live again tonight and XPoNential fest in July. Before all that though, she and her band treated us to a fantastic Free at Noon set. It was a great way to roll into the long weekend.

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Let the music move you in Hozier’s “Sweet Music” video

Hozier | still from video

Irish singer-songwriter Hozier knows a thing or two about connecting music with deep sentiment, and in his new music video, he adds an element of motion to all that emotion.

The snappy “Sweet Music” boasts a slight electronic groove and a massively catchy melody, and as the song plays out, we find Hozier performing it in a warehouse space, surrounded in various corners by musically-inclined people dancing to the rhythm: a cellist and a jazz trio, a tap dancer and a couple pulling interpretive moves in their apartment. Continue reading →


Dave Hause wants you to hold on to the things you love in “Fireflies”

Dave Hause | photo by Kyle London | courtesy of the artist

Tonight, Philly son Dave Hause kicks off a sold-out two-night stand at South Philly rock club Boot and Saddle, but if you missed out on tickets, your next chance to see him is right around the corner. Hause plays the 2019 edition of the XPoNential Music Festival in July, his fifth appearance at the fest, and by then, his fourth solo album Kick will be released on Rise Records — so fans will have ample time to absorb the lyrics for maximum shouting-back-at-Dave potential.

Ahead of the album’s April 12th release, Hause shared one final teaser single from Kick with us today. Where “The Ditch” was a driving punk anthem, and “Saboteurs” is a simmering midtempo burner, the new “Fireflies” finds Hause in introspective balladeer mode, thinking about his life and his hometown. He’s a person who’s been constantly uprooted — whether it be on tour with punk bands like Kid Dynamite (as a roadie) or The Loved Ones (as a front man), or criss-crossing the country and globe as a solo artist. Over the past five years, he moved to Los Angeles, sobered up, got married, welcomed twins into the world with his wife Natasha, and just last month celebrated his 41st birthday. Continue reading →


And now, your full #XPNFest lineup: Elvis Costello, Blondie, Guster, J.S. Ondara, Lucy Dacus, and much more

clockwise from left: Elvis Costello, Guster, J.S. Ondara, Lucy Dacus, Blondie | photos courtesy of the artists

“When is the XPoNential lineup coming?” seems to be the question of the year over here at XPN HQ, and today we finally have a good answer for you: the full lineup is here. Right now.

We got a teaser of the 2019 XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru last week when we announced our Friday night headlinersHozier and Japanese Breakfast — along with the Wiggins Park lineup for that day, from Foxtrot and the Get Down to Dawes.

Today, the full lineup is here, capped by a headlining double-header on Saturday, July 27th with Elvis Costello & The Imposters and Blondie at BB&T Pavilion. Sunday’s concert will take place entirely at Wiggins Park, and will feature festival-closing sets from Kathleen Edwards, Guster, and The Amy Ray Band. Continue reading →


Hozier headlines #XPNFest’s Friday lineup, with Dawes, Bettye LaVette, Japanese Breakfast and more

Hozer | photo courtesy of the artist // Dawes | Magdalena Wosinska // Bettye LaVette | photo by Mark Seliger | courtesy of the artists

The XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru returns to the Camden Waterfront in just a few short months, the weekend of July 26, 27, and 28.

Headlining the BB&T Pavilion on Friday, July 26 is Irish singer-songwriter Hozier, who debuted in 2013 with “Take Me To Church,” a ubiquitous song that led his 2014 self-titled album to double-platinum status. He returned earlier this month with his sophomore album, Wasteland, Baby! Watch him perform the opening track, “Nina Cried Power,” on World Cafe below.  Continue reading →