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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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Classic Juke-joint Appeal w/Toy Soldiers at KFN Feb. 15

Classic Juke-joint Appeal w/Toy Soldiers at KFN Feb. 15

Blues may be the tie that binds all three acts on the slate tonight at Kung Fu Necktie. Headlined by Toy Soldiers, while we await the spring release of their sophomore record The Maybe Boys, which is produced by Bill Moriarty, the group is guaranteed to bring their patented combination of steady-rolling, train-churning, funky blues and soul. Whether it’s Ron Gallo’s “no holding back vocals,” the unrelenting boogie-down groove perpetuated by the threefold marriage of bass, keys and percussion, the simple thick country-blues guitar riffs, or the sweet moans of the blues harp, this group has that classic juke-joint appeal. Their sound will celebrate the joy of the oncoming weekend of freedom. Toy Soldiers will be joined by North Carolina duo Goodnight, Texas, who also dabbles in the folk/blues milieu. August John Lutz II from Levee Drivers will be making a solo appearance playing gritty, hard-driving blues to round out The Swollen Fox-presented bill. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., $12, 7:30, 21+ - Michael Colavita

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