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Artist of the Month
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February 2015
Suburban Living
"Suburban Living
"
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Suburban Living’s self-titled debut LP (PaperCup Music) is a memorable showcase of moody dream pop and lush emotives. The anticipated follow-up to the well-received Cooper’s Dream EP and 2013’s “Always Eyes” 7” single, Suburban Living enhances a sound familiar to fans of Beach Fossils, while channeling the percussive pulse and melancholy of post-punk legends like Joy Division. 

Opening with “Faded Lover,” the album’s first track unfolds with guttural riffs and an unrelenting backbeat that perfectly frames frontman Wesley Bunch’s emotionally wrought yet controlled vocals. The song falls somewhere between the driving tempo of Echo & The Bunnymen’s “Stars Are Stars” and The Cure’s “Primary,” making it a suitable metaphor for willing romantics. A crystallization of everything quintessential about the dissonance of post-punk and the catchy melodics of shoegaze, “Faded Lover” lingers like a ghost with its listener, dissipating into a silence that begs for subsequent returns.
 
“New Strings” impresses with cinematic reverb and percussion that gradually swells into a melodic narrative that proves to be just as upbeat as it is brooding. Bunch’s knack for crafting duality and juxtaposition keeps tracks like it from becoming merely sentimental. The sincerity of Bunch’s diction is one equally fostered by disenchantment and passion alike. As if tapping into the emotional core of what made fellow shoegazers The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart so relatable, Suburban Living’s “New Strings” manages to tug at the heartstrings without playing puppeteer. 
 
“Wasted” kick-starts with beach-y chords and mellow diction that intensifies midway through the song’s duration via shouts that seem to beckon a sense of urgency in Bunch’s audience. With ease, it signals a shift in the album’s tone preparing listeners for the more subdued yet earnest “Dazed,” whose instrumentation embodies the state evoked by its namesake. As if it were a millennial epilogue to the sentiments of Psychocandy, the song proves to be just as pensive in its own rite. With jangly hooks and introspective vocals, it feels synonymous with early cuts by Real Estate or a kindred spirit with the unabashed sincerity of the Stone Roses. Here, Bunch is anything but withholding.
 
The dance-y synth and cadence of “No Fall” perfectly compliments the track’s energy. Suburban Living’s sixth track is a probable favorite for fans. “Hotel Unizo” serves as an instrumental prelude to the album’s closer, “Different Coast,” which is similarly orchestrated in the sense that it captivates. Fashioned by straightforward feelings that confess of vulnerability and modes of coping, “Different Coast” is deliberately constructed to mesmerize its listener towards catharsis. 
 
In the end, it is clear that Suburban Living’s latest release is the beginning of something monumental. - Dianca Potts

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Q.D. Tran’s 40 Favorite Philly Releases of 2012

Q.D. Tran’s 40 Favorite Philly Releases of 2012

Every year I never have the intention of making a year-end list, but then I start seeing others rolling out, and think to myself - why not? There are plenty of Philly releases that deserve to be mentioned each year. I might as well give into the fact that another one will be coming next year. 2012 is/was a great year for local releases. I started off wanting to keep my list to 20, and obviously things didn’t go as I had planned. I just kept coming across more albums that I felt should be included. I finally decided to cap it off at 40 (though I still could’ve added more - my apologies to those who weren’t mentioned) or else I would’ve never gotten around to getting it up. Well, here is my final post of 2012. I look forward to seeing you on the other side. Happy New Year, and cheers!!! - Q.D. Tran

 

1. Spacin’Deep Thuds (Richie)

 

2. LushlifePlateau Vision (Western Vinyl)

 

3. Ghost LightAwful Feelings (Single Girl Married Girl)

 
4. Cousin BrianFirst (Mallrat)

 
5. TJ Kong and the Atomic BombManufacturing Joy (Self-released)

 
6. Dr. DogBe the Void (ANTI-)
7. Hop AlongGet Disowned (Hot Green)
8. AsaadWhite (Self-released)
9. Daniel BachmanSeven Pines (Tompkins Square)  
10. Work DrugsDrift (Bobby Cahn/State Capital)
11. StreetwalkersCassette One (Self-released)
12. Cold FrontsPretty American (Self-released)
13. Grande Marshall800 (Self-released)
14. VacationerGone (Downtown)
15. Ape SchoolJunior Violence (Hometapes)
16. GracieTreehouse (Small Plates)
17. Radiator HospitalSome Distant Moon (Forward)
18. PO PODope Boy Magick (Mad Decent)
19. Swearin’Swearin’ (Salinas)
20. Meek Mill Dreamchaser 2 (Self-released)
21. Family Band Grace & Lies (No Quarter)
22. Sun Airway Soft Fall (Dead Oceans)
23. White BirdsWhen Women Played Drums (Grizzly)
24. Wrecking CrewWu Tang Pulp (Self-released)
25. Arc in RoundArc in Round (La Société Expéditionnaire)
26. NothingDownward Years to Come (A389)
27. Far-Out FangtoothThe Thorns (HoZac)
28. Residuels – Residuels (Self-released)
29. Rich MysticsLOVERDOSE (Self-released)
30. Orbit to LeslieWhitemarsh Woods (Self-released)
31. Power AnimalExorcism (Human Kindness Overflowing)
32. LanternDream Mine (Bathetic)
33. Buried BedsSmall Stories (Self-released)
34. Brendan CodeyCasco (Treetop Sorbet)
35. Laser BackgroundLaser Background (Stroll On)
36. Ghost ShipGolden Girls (Self-released)
37. Cheers ElephantLike Wind Blows Fire (Self-released)
38. Strand of OaksDark Shores (Self-released)
39. Chris ForsythKenzo Deluxe (Northern Spy)
40. Night SinsNew Grave (Avant!)
 
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