Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania’

Using their time in lockdown wisely, The Menzingers have re-recorded their brilliant 2019 album “Hello Exile” and reimagined the 12 tracks for a new stripped-down record, “From Exile”.

To coincide with the announcement of the LP – which is due out on September 25th digitally, and available on vinyl from November 19th – the Philly punks have also unveiled new renditions of Strawberry Manson and High School Friend from the album, which you can check out below.

“The live music industry vanished before our eyes, and just like that we were out of work like tens of millions of others,” explains singer/guitarist Greg Barnett of how From Exile came about.

“As the weeks progressed the upcoming tours got rescheduled, then rescheduled again, then effectively cancelled. There were times when it all felt fatal. There’s no guide book on how to navigate being a working musician during a global pandemic, so we were left to make it up as we went along. We wanted to document and create in the moment, and though we couldn’t be in the same room together due to social distancing lockdowns, we got creative.”

Greg continues: “We would track the songs from our own home studios, share the files via Dropbox, and pray it all made sense when pieced back together. Initially, we planned for the album to be similar to our acoustic demo collection On The Possible Past, but we quickly found out that this batch of songs benefited from more detailed arrangements

“We rewrote, and changed keys and melodies. We blended analogue and digital instruments in ways we never had before. We dug through old lyric notebooks and added additional verses. We got our dear friend Kayleigh Goldsworthy to play violin on two songs. No idea was off limits. Hell, I even convinced the band to let me play harmonica on a song – no small feat! The recording process ran from mid-March till June, and upon completion we sent it over to our dear friend and close collaborator Will Yip to mix and master.”

http://

The Menzingers are:
Eric Keen – Bass
Greg Barnett – Vocals, Guitar
Joe Godino – Drums, Percussion
Tom May – Vocals, Guitar

Recorded in isolation in Philadelphia, PA Spring of 2020. Releases September 25th, 2020

Image may contain: one or more people and child

Katie Ellen’s debut album, 2017’s Cowgirl Blues, saw frontwoman Anika Pyle kicking against the traditions and norms that come with adulthood—namely, love, major life changes, cohabitation, and domesticity. She penned the anti-marriage anthem with “Sad Girls Club,” a standout track that featured the defiant heartbreaker of a chorus: “Sad girls don’t make good wives.” On the Philly band’s new, five-song EP, Still Life, Pyle is still trying to wrap her head around these things. On opener “Lighthouse,” Pyle reckons with warring thoughts—wanting to be brave enough to swim into life’s uncharted deep end, but feeling tied down by the anchor of fear and anxiety. Later, on the EP’s title track, she surrenders to the idea that love is more powerful and wild than our capacity to tame it: “You can’t make love stay / Do your best to hold it in place.”

Musically, Pyle flexes a few new tricks she’s trying out, like on “Still Life,” where her voice spirals into borderline operatic delivery, a far jump from the quick and dirty style she cut her teeth on in her former pop punk project Chumped. Was so excited at the news of this EP, considering that Cowgirl Blues was one of my favourite albums of 2017. I’ve had this on repeat since it came out. “Still Life” is particularly resonant for me. It feels so different as Anika showcases her vocal skills even more, with a fuller band sound and even backup vocals, but the emotional quality and content of the song still feels 100% like Katie Ellen.

http://

Still Life is out on July 20 from Lauren Records.

Katie Ellen’s debut album, 2017’s “Cowgirl Blues”, saw frontwoman Anika Pyle kicking against the traditions and norms that come with adulthood—namely, love, major life changes, cohabitation, and domesticity. She penned the anti-marriage anthem with “Sad Girls Club,” a standout track that featured the defiant heartbreaker of a chorus: “Sad girls don’t make good wives.”

Every now and then an album comes into your life and utterly wrecks you. It resonates with you on a level where you can’t tell if it’s easing the knife out of your wound or if it’s twisting it more. But you keep coming back even if it’s destroying you because as painful as it might be, living without it is even more painful. Katie Ellen’s ‘Cowgirl Blues’ is one of those albums. I can honestly say that this album kept me from spiralling out when I was at my lowest and I’ll forever be grateful. It’s full of sparkle pop twang punk fuzz core.

From The Ashes of Chumped comes Anika Pyle’s first solo foray.
Great Alt-Indie Pop/punk flow with the same biting lyrical content that made her former band a joy to behold with just enough edge to keep things real.

http://

The Band:
Anika Pyle – Vocals, Guitars
Anthony Tinnirella – Guitars
Dan Frelly – Drums
Eric Sheppard – Vocals, Bass

All songs written by Anika Pyle

Originally released July 14th, 2017

Katie Ellen’s debut album, 2017’s Cowgirl Blues, saw frontwoman Anika Pyle kicking against the traditions and norms that come with adulthood—namely, love, major life changes, cohabitation, and domesticity. She penned the anti-marriage anthem with “Sad Girls Club,” a standout track that featured the defiant heartbreaker of a chorus: “Sad girls don’t make good wives.” On the Philly band’s new, five-song EP, Still Life, Pyle is still trying to wrap her head around these things.

Was SO excited at the news of this EP, considering that Cowgirl Blues was among my favourite albums of 2017.  “Still Life” is particularly resonant for me. It feels so different as Anika showcases her vocal skills even more, with a fuller band sound and even backup vocals, but the emotional quality and content of the song still feels 100% like Katie Ellen. On opener “Lighthouse,” Pyle reckons with warring thoughts—wanting to be brave enough to swim into life’s uncharted deep end, but feeling tied down by the anchor of fear and anxiety. Later, on the EP’s title track, she surrenders to the idea that love is more powerful and wild than our capacity to tame it: “You can’t make love stay / Do your best to hold it in place.”

http://

Musically, Pyle flexes a few new tricks she’s trying out, like on “Still Life,” where her voice spirals into borderline operatic delivery, a far jump from the quick and dirty style she cut her teeth on in her former pop punk project Chumped.

Still Life from Lauren Records. originally released July 20th, 2018

It isn’t like Katie Crutchfield to slow down. For the past 15 years, the 31-year-old artist has been a member of four different bands, starting with the Ackleys when she was still in high school. The moment one project ended, Crutchfield always seemed hard at work beginning a new one, churning out an endless quality of music with bands like Bad Banana, P.S. Eliot, and Great Thunder.

In 2017, Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfeld quite literally blew the music world away. Her record Out in the Storm, one of the best albums of that year, displayed a whole new side of the singer. Gone were the fortified bedroom pop of 2015’s Ivy Tripp, the rock-tinged freak-folk musings of her 2013 stunner Cerulean Salt and the brainy lo-fi recordings of her 2012 debut American Weekend. Out in the Storm sounds like its title suggests: loud, windy, chaotic and emotionally intense—a tried-and-true breakup album and a throwback to Crutchfield’s punk roots. While she was already beloved among indie circles, that release took her to the next level—new fans, considerable press buzz, a massive tour starring her and her twin sister Allison.

But 2018 was different. Crutchfield had spent years trying to quit drinking, but after a raucous European tour with Waxahatchee, she decided to commit to the decision. “I was telling everyone around me, ‘I’m just gonna take a break,’” she says “Then in my head, I was like, ‘I am done.’”. “For a while, I completely didn’t recognize myself,” she continues. “When you’re in kind of a bad way on tour, there’s just nothing worse than going on stage.”

The decision was part of a larger plan to slow down in general. Where she used to rush to process her feelings through songwriting, Crutchfield now found herself pausing to take care of herself first, to use therapy to work through her emotions before considering them as material for her songs.

 

Crutchfield’s fifth album as Waxahatchee, is the result of Crutchfield taking that time to breathe. It’s an album about seeking security in relationships, whether they’re romantic or platonic. Throughout, there’s a beautiful simplicity to Crutchfield’s writing. “When you see me, I’m honey on a spoon,” she sings on “Can’t Do Much,” a folky love song built on big, strummed guitar. There are also moments of self-doubt and weakness, the kind that cuts right to the big questions that hang over relationships like storm clouds. “We can try to let the stillness be,” she states cautiously on “The Eye,” “But if I spin off, will you rescue me?”

I feel like in the past I’ve been like, ‘You’re doing this and you’re doing that,’ like—pointing the finger,” Crutchfield says, jabbing the air. “At times, that’s been important and good for me to do. But with this record, I’m really pointing the finger at myself, and loving my people unconditionally.

In the past, the music Crutchfield made as Waxahatchee was defined by a kind of jagged quality—her soft vocals offsetting a crunchy, wall-of-sound indie rock (“chaotic and claustrophobic,” is how she describes her last full-length, Out in the Storm). But there’s a startling clarity on Saint Cloud, which traffics in a minimalist, Americana sound that makes Crutchfield’s voice sound naked in comparison to her previous work. “[My producer] Brad Cook was like, ‘We follow your voice,’” Crutchfield says. “He would help me build songs around the way that I was strumming, the way that I was singing. That was the first time a producer had done that. In the past people were either not paying attention or trying to shape it.”

http://

That clarity is also the sound of Crutchfield settling into a genre she admits, to some extent, she’s been fighting her whole career: country music. Growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, Crutchfield was raised on artists like Emmylou Harris and Loretta Lynn, and she emulated them as a child. But when she discovered punk as a teenager, she rejected country in a fit of textbook rebellion.

“I began to fight with those tendencies, and I think that resulted in some really cool music on my early records—fighting with my more traditional sounding voice or saccharine melodies,” she says. “But I’m kind of reaching this point where I’m like, no, this is a really big part of who I am. And it’s always been a part of the way I tell stories and the people who influenced my storytelling. It’s almost like this weird self-acceptance.” The way Dolly Parton wrote about frustrating relationships—what Crutchfield calls her “fun, jaunty” approach to them—influenced the song “Hell.” Borrowing some of Parton’s over-the-top intensity from songs like “Jolene,” Crutchfield sings: “I hover above like a deity, but you don’t worship me.” “I wanted to write a song that’s a little bit psycho,” Crutchfield says. “Everybody feels that way sometimes.”

Nostalgia for the music she grew up with soon became a kind of general nostalgia for the South. A Philadelphia resident for nearly eight years, Crutchfield decided she was going to move back to Alabama and buy a house. “Then I got to Birmingham and realized there were a million reasons why I left,” she says. She ended up settling in Kansas City after spending long stretches of time there with resident and boyfriend Kevin Morby. “I live such a relaxed life right now,” she says. “We have a sauna at our house,” she says, laughing.

Talking about Saint Cloud, it’s clear Crutchfield has completely retooled her relationship with music and touring. “In the past I’ve been a pusher, just kind of rushing and compromising a lot just to get it done,” she says. “I forced myself to slow down.”

Every time you make a record, you have a vision, but it’s a bit of a crapshoot how it’s actually going to turn out,” she says. “You just get on the bus and hope it gets you to your destination. And I’ve never hit the bullseye more than I did with this.”

Saint Cloud, Crutchfield’s fifth album under the Waxahatchee alias out Friday, March 27th on Merge Records

saintcloud_albumcover_march2020.jpg

Empty Country is a new project from Cymbals Eat Guitars frontman Joseph D’Agostino, and he just announced that he’ll release his debut album on Tiny Engines in 2020. Ahead of that though, he just shared his debut two-song single, “Ultrasound” / “Jets.” And making it even more exciting, “Ultrasound” features Charles Bissell of The Wrens.

With Cymbals Eat Guitars, Joseph D’Agostino trafficked in indie-minded iterations of classic rock, from epic Built To Spill freakouts to neon Springsteen worship. So it only follows that his new project would plow headfirst into the great wide open. D’Agostino’s debut album as Empty Country plays like a drive through the heartland, except instead of coast to coast it takes you to the 1980s and back. Along the way it connects the dots between “Pink Houses,” Red House Painters, and the houses on all those memorable emo album covers.

http://

The Cymbals Eat Guitars guy has a new project and it sounds like Desparacidos. Well, it doesn’t quite evoke the ire of fifty Kum & Gos, but “Ultrasound” paints with the same sonic palette as Conor Oberst’s snarling anti-consumerist ventilation, blending Joseph D’Agostino’s sludgy garage-punk instrumentation with a vocal performance a few quivers shy of a jorts-clad Oberst. At times it sounds like a demo version of a LOSE-era Cymbals Eat Guitars track, though it mostly feels like a totally new direction for the Philly-based songwriter.

Empty Country “Ultrasound” released at the end of last year on Tiny Engines Joseph D’Agostino, the lead singer/songwriter of Cymbals Eat Guitars, announced his new project Empty Country. Debut Album out on Tiny Engines

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage, playing a musical instrument, night and guitar

Maxwell Stern has been writing songs and touring internationally for over 15 years now, both solo and in numerous bands. He grew up in Cleveland, OH and currently resides in Philadelphia, PA. He is trying to ride his bike more. He is absolutely not the person writing this.

Maxwell Stern of Signals Midwest collaborated with some notable punks in Ratboys, Modern Baseball, Into it. Over it and more to create a John Prine inspired track called “Tying Airplanes To The Ground”. The track was written by Stern a day after Prine’s death and the collaborative process was conducted while in quarantine.

http://

Released May 21st, 2020

Maxwell Stern (Signals Midwest, Timeshares) – guitar, vocals, composition
Adam Beck (Sincere Engineer, Into It. Over It.) – keys, drums, percussion, engineering
Ian Farmer (Slaughter Beach Dog, Modern Baseball) – bass
Evan Loritsch (Mother Evergreen) – Fender Rhodes piano
Julia Steiner (Ratboys) – vocals
Dave Sagan (Ratboys) – lap steel

This album is nothing less than transcendently beautiful. The heart and soul of everything that made me fall in love with Cymbals Eat Guitars now lives on in the form of Empty Country with new twists and complexities that make EC it’s own clearly unique entity as well. A great transitional document for Joseph D’Agostino as he moves on from Cymbals Eat Guitars (still sad they are over). This album is great in that it’s not a huge departure , yet it is still distinctly D’Agostino’s own thing. It’s got the great melodies and catchy hooks of Cymbals Eat Guitars with that characteristic melancholy. But with more acoustic guitar, Empty Country sounds more personal.

Up there with Joe’s best work, it feels like it pulls from every record he’s done before while still being completely distinct from any Cymbals record in the way it combines the psychedelia and accessibility with some of the lushest, most ornately arranged music I’ve heard. Plus the guitars still rock, the solos fucking slap, and the ballads somehow slap just as hard. The narrative based lyrics also hit a sweet spot in Joe’s lyricism — direct but inventive, descriptive and endlessly compelling.

http://

released March 20th, 2020
Music and lyrics by Joseph D’Agostino

Image may contain: one or more people

Recorded September 14th, 2019 before a packed and enthusiastic hometown crowd at Johnny Brenda’s in Philadelphia, Peoples Motel Band catches Chris Forsyth with Garcia Peoples (plus ubiquitous drummer Ryan Jewell) re-imagining songs from Forsyth’s last couple studio albums with improvisatory flair.

Forsyth and Garcia Peoples played a number of 2019 shows together, beginning with a semi-legendary jam set at Nublu in NYC in March (see NYCTaper.com), through a couple dates on Forsyth’s month-long weekly residency at Nublu in September and concluding with a five-date tour of the Northeast in December. The chemistry between the players is tangible.

As is often the case with Forsyth shows, the gloves come off quickly and the players attack the material – much of it so well-manicured and cleanly produced in the studio – like a bunch of racoons let loose in a Philadelphia pretzel factory.

Recorded and mixed with clarity by Forsyth’s longtime studio collaborator, engineer/producer Jeff Zeigler, the record puts the listener right in the sweaty club, highlighted by an incredible side-long take of the chooglin’ title track from 2017’s Dreaming in The Non-Dream LP (note multiple climaxes eliciting wild shouts and ecstatic screams from the assembled).

http://

This is not the new Chris Forsyth album, exactly, but then again, it kinda is because whenever he sits down to play, he makes it new.

Released March 20th, 2020

Chris Forsyth: guitar/vocal
Tom Malach: guitar
Danny Arakaki: guitar
Peter Kerlin: bass guitar
Pat Gubler: organ/synthesizer
Cesar Arakaki: drums
Ryan Jewell: drums & percussion

Recorded by Jeff Zeigler 9.14.19 at Johnny Brendaʼs, Philadelphia

James Alex’s Beach Slang is back with his first LP since 2016’s A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings. I didn’t know what to expect when I clicked on that link but this first single rips from front to end. Replacements Tommy Stinson helps out on this album.

While James Alex has always infused his anthemic power pop with the earnestness of a gutter poet, Deadbeat Bang sneaks up on you. Like all Beach Slang albums, the eleven tracks are all written and arranged by James. It’s big, loud, and brash, immediately setting the tone for a record more inspired by the stadium classic rock of Cheap Trick than early Replacements. The record was mixed by heavy-hitter Brad Wood, celebrated for his work with the Smashing Pumpkins and Liz Phair.

Downtown lust, switchblade blues, runaway stutter going tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick boom. Lipstick thump, baby, I’m bulletproof. Boulevard thunder going tick-tick-tick-tick-tick. Bam rang rang. Go bam rang rang. The deadbeat bang of heartbreak city. I’m a cigarette with nothing to lose. I’m a filthy rat, a heart attack, a no-good nothing with an itch to scratch. Bam rang rang. Go bam rang rang. The deadbeat bang of heartbreak city. I got a dimestore strut and a cold gin stare. I’m a loaded gun with a sawed-off sneer. You betcha.
From the upcoming full-length album “The Deadbeat Bang Of Heartbreak City”
Released October 14th, 2019

Image may contain: text