September 01, 2018
In the streaming age, it’s easy to be paralyzed by choice and feel like good music is passing you by every day.
A few years ago, it seemed everyone sort of realized at once that a lot of that good music was coming from Philadelphia.
They were right.
To try and help keep you up to date with the best stuff coming out of the city and its surrounding areas, we’re going to regularly highlight a few songs we’ve been listening to from local bands.
If you have your own recommendations, feel free to shout them out in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Yes, this means you have permission to @ me.)
Let’s get listening.
The nihilism is real in this one. Jon Loudon doesn’t hold back with his wide-lens look at the world, and as a patient drum track and relentless guitar picking run in the background he drops one of the best couplets of 2018: “I love your protest lines/Oh, but who has the time?” Tell me about it, Jon. The chorus is awash in reverb-y guitars and the outro melts beautifully into white noise. They’ll be at First Unitarian Church in late October.
“LP5000” is out Sept. 28 on Tiny Engines.
We’re bending the rules just a bit to accommodate Asbury Park rockers Dentist, but not without good reason. The title track from their latest record sounds, at first blush, like a crossover between Alvvays and Best Coast — until Emily Bornemann's vocals make it very clear on the off-kilter chorus and warbling bridge that this is decidedly a new sound. The second half of this track devolves into a showcase for Justin Bornemann’s guitar: the chords get darker, a solo slices through a previously glimmering song, and in the end you’re somewhere entirely new.
“Night Swimming” is out now on Cleopatra Records.
Working with Philly producer Kyle Gilbride — think Waxahatchee, Swearin’, and more great northeast rock — Maryn Jones sounds like she’s got another album full of gut-wrenchers on the way. Her voice darts in so many directions. The simple four-chord acoustic guitar during the verses mesh with a shuffling drum to create a dusty backdrop for Jones to remind you that she is still here. It’s easy to put this song on repeat.
“Black Dog In My Path” is out Oct. 12 via Double Double Whammy.
Unsurprisingly, one of Vacationer’s artist-assembled Spotify playlists includes a track from Tame Impala’s last full-length album, 2015's "Lonerism." The dreamy vocals that seem to float on waves to infinity, the stop-start synths and the heavy bass line — the influences are all laid out clearly. Vacationer’s Audiotree session from last month is also worth a listen, but this, the original version of the album opener, is a bulletproof tune.
“Mindset” is out now on Downtown Records.
You can listen to every song from Philly Music We're Listening To in this Spotify playlist: