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Artist of the Month
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July 2016
Spring Onion
"Please Relax
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Catherine Dwyer, also known as the guitarist for the alt-rock outfit Sports, offers fans the perfect soundtrack for summer feelings with the release of her solo EP Please Relax. Recorded under the moniker Spring Onion, her new album is DIY at its best. Mostly written and recorded within the walls of her Philadelphia home, Please Relax is an intimate portrait of yearning, infused with dream-pop nostalgia, heartfelt riffs, and candid poetics.

 

“Egg (Driving Song),” the EP’s opener, unfolds with an Aimee Mann-meets-Girlpool earnestness. Telling the story of a commute clouded by desire, the song is a catchy confessional, with lines like “I'm sorry for what I said and didn't say” and “I'll write songs about my flaws/cause that's a way to self absolve.” The lo-fi grit of Dwyer’s anthem instantly tugs at the heartstrings, transforming even the most jaded listener into a hopeful romantic with each iteration of its fuzzed-out beats.

 

That sentiment is extended on "Chili". Twangy chords are quickly followed by Dwyer’s straightforward but evocative vocals, bringing to mind Built To Spill’s “Carry the Zero” and B-sides by indie darlings like The Babies. The track, although laidback, is unflinchingly sincere, the steady build of its instrumentation, urging its audience to actively listen and exist in the moment. The hissing snare and piano of “Poem 3 (Piano)” cast a similar spell, making each reprise of “but I don’t live alone” a testament to the millennial plight of finding solace in a shared space, while the EP’s title track and atmospheric closer serves as a suitably melodic mantra to calm the anxieties and emotional side effects of living.

 

Despite its brevity, the openness of Please Relax is astonishingly raw and brave. Listening to her songs will remind you that you’re not alone. - Dianca London

 

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Many Arms Team Up w/Colin Fisher to Perform New Material at The Rotunda Jan. 4

Many Arms Team Up w/Colin Fisher to Perform New Material at The Rotunda Jan. 4

Nick Millevoi’s way with intricate jazz-rock has spawned a solo career and the consistently impressive power trio Many Arms with bandmates John Deblase and Ricardo Lagomasino, as well as the numerous other projects that his magical fingers have touched. Recently welcomed into the Tzadik Records stable, the patchwork aesthetic of this group is an experimental gem. They play an entrancing combination of punk and free jazz, harnessing the gnashing relentless forward motion of the former to the wild unpredictability of the latter; however disjointed their compositions get, such as the appropriately-writhing “Snakes In The Grass,” though, the rapport of these three musicians shines through, with a clarity to each member's contribution. Their show tonight at the Rotunda is free, and they'll be teaming up with master tenor saxophonist Colin Fisher to perform a set of new material. Fisher will also be opening the evening with a solo guitar set of his own. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St., 8pm, Free, All Ages - Alyssa Greenberg

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