Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia’

LP5000, is the sardonically titled follow-up to 2014’s LP3, “No, I don’t wanna hear that name again,” Jon Loudon sighs during “Melt,” as the dreamiest but bleariest Restorations song yet recreates the feeling of breaking a promise to yourself not to check Twitter the moment you wake up.

Over the course of its catalouge, it’s become evident that Restorations’ output is more than the sum its parts, with cathartic choruses, gratuitous guitars and honest admissions of anxiety declared at decibels that reach the rafters. While this Philadelphia five-piece shares characteristics of its contemporaries, the kind of bands making guitar-and-gravel-voiced celebration rock.

At just seven tracks,LP5000, the group’s first album in four years, is a cohesive distillation of what the band does best: In under 30 minutes, there’s both heft and heart, incendiary musicianship and insightful meditations on the relationships we forge and the toll time takes on us and our surroundings. The lead-off track, “St.,” offers an invitation for the uninitiated; like the band’s logo, it’s a welcoming open door of sorts: “I’ll tell you what you already know / You can’t do this all on your own.” Restorations still stand alongside bands like the Constantines and Menzingers on a thorny branch of the Tree of Springsteen. It doesn’t take much to pierce this armor of red flannel and Born to Run vinyl, to release repressed feelings of masculine shame and creeping obsolescence that explain why these guys sound like they have to drink themselves to sleep every night. “Remains” is a rollicking realization that the place you once knew has become unrecognizable (“And now you can’t afford to live in the town you were born in”). The stunning single “The Red Door” twinkles, balancing defeatist impulses with a shaken sense of perseverance.

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The peaks of LP3 were pure wish fulfillment for workingman’s dread: “Imagine that focus in real life/Imagine going outside,” Loudon roared over Telecaster feedback on “Separate Songs,” a call to throw your laptop from a moving car. “Misprint” could make anyone cooped inside a compact stuck on the interstate feel like they were cruising down some bucolic back road instead. Those moments don’t ring false in 2018, but they do seem like emotional luxuries we can no longer afford. “Threw your back out just trying to stand up straight,” Loudon sings now during opener “St.” Regardless of how hard they thrash and throttle, Restorations land on the resilience to make it through this shit, one day at a time.

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Throughout I’ll Sing, Shannen Moser reveals a strong understanding of relationships – not only the influence they have on us but also the inner turmoil they create. “Haircut Song” is a deeply poignant, often haunting portrayal of the power this human connection has over us. Recalling a relationship, she presents us with a different kind of love song: You said I’m doomed to love you, and that’s the truth/It’s a sort of ***ed up way to say it, but I loved you too. As the song progresses, she lays bare her desperation when things go sour: A Broken heart will convince itself of many things/I will silence my own beating heart, that’s the sh*t you don’t want to hear/I would sell myself out for a lifetime of “I love you, love you, my dear”. The song is beautiful, sarcastic and heartbreaking all at once. It hits all the right receptors in the brain, leaving you wanting more; this is ok, because the rest of I’ll Sing delivers the goods.

Although Moser’s lyrics are her greatest asset – giving I’ll Sing an extra bite through witty storytelling – there’s no denying her skill as a musician. Effortlessly blending folk, blues and country, there’s a good deal of variety throughout her songwriting. Sometimes, we get nothing but the dialed-down plucking of a guitar, but “Hallelujah” busts out the banjos and enters borderline ho-down mode as it progresses. Whichever method she employs, all the songs are given an extra jolt of life by her soaring vocals and relatable themes of love and friendship. “One For Mama” is a real tear-jerker, with bluesy guitars and strings making way for the croon of Momma, I’m never too old for your love. And as she closes with the Americana-tinged title-track, she makes it apparent she plans on making the best of life – pressing on and “singing” even in its most vicious moments. It’s one hell of a way to conclude such a powerful album; the slower pace allows her voice to really capture the moment in perhaps her most alluring performance here. If any of the tracks could be called soulful, this is it. It’s only one piece of the gorgeous puzzle, though. In its entirety, I’ll Sing is overwhelmingly affective – one of those albums that connects with you on a personal level. There are other notable songwriters this year, but few of them, if any, have as much to say as Shannen Moser does on her gripping sophomore effort.

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released September 7th, 2018

Recorded by Cameron Konner & Eric Muth in Philadelphia. Vocals and guitars- Shannen Moser

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Philadelphia has churned out a great many indie rock and indie punk bands over the last few years, Swearin’, Hop Along and Cayetana among them. Another of those Philly-based groups is Mothers, who’ll release the follow-up to their 2016 debut, When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired, this month. On the second single, “PINK,” frontwoman Kristine Leschper, originally from Athens, Ga., melds indie folk singsong with focused punk to create a winding, nearly seven-minute thrasher. The band describes their sophomore LP as “an assemblage of personal vignettes and imagine scenarios that examines consent, escape of the body, power & powerlessness, and the act of making.” “PINK” is the new single off our upcoming record out September 7th on Anti Records.

“PINK” by Mothers from the album ‘Render Another Ugly Method,’ available September 7th

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Since 2014, Zoe Reynolds has been making music under the Kississippi moniker, but the release of her debut full length, Sunset Blush signals a change for the artist.

Following a series of demo releases and EPs, Reynolds believes she has finally found her voice, calling Sunset Blush an honest recognition of the music she always wanted to make.
The album fully immerses listeners in Kississippi’s sincerely heartfelt world, with Reynolds sharing every strength and struggle that fueled her writing.
The album’s namesake comes from a flavor of boxed wine that’s frequently appeared throughout Reynolds’ adulthood; consumed on rooftops reached by ladders or in between sets at house shows.
The album enlivens these moments saturated in nostalgia for listeners, Sunset Blush is more than just a debut, it’s Reynolds’ reassurance to herself and others that even when things are at their worst, brighter days are ahead, and you have the strength needed to get through it.

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.

Still Life is out on Lauren Records.

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released June 3rd, 2018

KISSISSIPPI promo photo

Since 2014, Zoe Reynolds has been making music under the Kississippi moniker, but the release of her debut full length, Sunset Blush signals a change for the artist.

Following a series of demo releases and EPs, Reynolds believes she has finally found her voice, calling Sunset Blush an honest recognition of the music she always wanted to make.
The album fully immerses listeners in Kississippi’s sincerely heartfelt world, with Reynolds sharing every strength and struggle that fueled her writing.
The album’s namesake comes from a flavor of boxed wine that’s frequently appeared throughout Reynolds’ adulthood; consumed on rooftops reached by ladders or in between sets at house shows.
The album enlivens these moments saturated in nostalgia for listeners, Sunset Blush is more than just a debut, it’s Reynolds’ reassurance to herself and others that even when things are at their worst, brighter days are ahead, and you have the strength needed to get through it.

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This is a solid new album. Zoe’s voice sounds more confident and quirkily charming than ever. From the get-go the band feels tighter and more agile than on any previous release.

Katie Bennett’s voice rarely rises above a whisper on her lo-fi indie-pop band’s new album, on which thinly strummed guitars and gingerly tapped drums sound like they’re being played by a band of lounging cats struggling to wake up after a very successful Sunday nap. But her sturdily crafted songs still echo around in your head, full of vivid personal detail, melodic charm and the thrill that comes with witnessing a wide-open heart and mind discovering the world — even when the people in it don’t always reflect her generosity back. The guitars of “Around You” swirl and chime as Bennett sings about finding someone new to hang out with; the slowly drifting “Be Home Soon” wrings every instant of joy from a work-week-ending subway ride home; “Tom Or Mike Or Pat Or” is a gentle spree of sensual imagery (a mouth full of sunflower seeds, a fast car, bare legs, red lips, a bug bite on her ass) over glistening jangle. Though they are slight, the snow globe sound worlds Free Cake For Every Creature create have a summery verdancy, and Bennett displays a sneaky way with one-liners all over the place (“our bodies were like spaghetti, tangled and sauce-less,” she observes on “Whole World Girl”). Pretty impressive for a band that doesn’t play loud enough to disturb a lounging cat.

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Released August 3rd, 2018

all songs by Katie Bennett
all songs recorded by Katie Bennett, Francis Lyons & Heeyoon Won at home in West Philly
mixed & mastered by Mike Ditrio

Katie Bennett– main vocals & guitar, keys
Heeyoon Won– bass & vocals
Francis Lyons– drums, keys, guitar, vocals on “Be Home Soon”
Meghan Center- vocals on “In Your Car” & “Shake it Out”
Meg McCauley- vocals on “Around You”
Pete Gill- pedal steel on “Sideline/ Skyline,” “Sunday Afternoon,” “In Your Car,” “Hometown Hero” & “Be Home Soon”
Felix Walworth- banjo on “In Your Car”
Evan Marré- guitar on “Riding into the Sunset in a Busted Car” & “Tom or Mike or Pat or”

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In its most direct form, pop punk tends to deal in immediate emotional states, a megaphone blaring about the here and now. But Swearin’ has a more complicated relationship with time. After putting out two lean albums in 2012 and 2013, they slipped into hibernation and return now with a song about the uncanny perspective granted by growing older. “Grow Into a Ghost,” is the first single from the band’s forthcoming Fall Into the Sun LP, pounds with the kind of urgency you might expect in a song about confused youth, even though its lyrics concern a hard, long look at the past.

Allison Crutchfield sings about the phenomenon of drifting away from someone who used to play a huge role in your life—a scenario that could fit into a somber, wistful tune, but has more wallop amid Swearin’s bright, crunchy guitars and pounding drums. “I hang out with old friends/And they unknowingly remind me/Of who I was before we met,” she sings over insistent scrapes of bass. At the chorus, which ranks among the catchiest Swearin’ has written, she repeats the phrase “I watch you” until the words start to jumble together. The phrase is lodged inside a question“Will I watch you grow into a ghost?”—but the incessant repetition of those three words implies that Crutchfield has already answered it as she peers back over the years. A thundering return, “Grow Into a Ghost” crystallizes Swearin’s skill for headbanging away the thoughts that might leave another band hanging their heads.

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releases October 5th, 2018

Swearin’ is
Jeff Bolt
Kyle Gilbride
Allison Crutchfield

All songs written by Allison Crutchfield (Domino Publishing Company [BMI]) and Kyle Gilbride 

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Each Anthony Green album has been a invitation to read his most personal pages of his secrete journals. We get to experience every drop of the grief, joy, anguish, torment, self-doubt, destruction, hope, unification and brilliance this one man has to offer. His bare soul lives between the melodies. These albums are a measure of not only his own self-preservation and redemption but throwing the rest of us a life line;

Keep Your Mouth Shut by· Anthony Green from the album Would You Still Be In Love on Memory Music Records

Kississippi released one of our favorite records last year with We Have No Future, We’re All Doomedan up-close-and-personal collection of songs that don’t just tug at heartstrings, they rip them apart. With anticipation for new material high, singer-songwriter Zoë Allaire Reynolds has now shared a snippet of a new demo over Bandcamp called “who said it first.” The sub-minute track has a simple, looping feeling as layers of guitar and synth float along with Reynold’s hypnotic, almost whispered vocals.

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