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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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scene blog

Photo Recap: WHYY Connections Fest

Photo Recap: WHYY Connections Fest

Mayor Michael A. Nutter welcomed the WHYY Connections Festival as an annual occurrence midway through the event’s debut run. The festival housed a copious amount of well-respected artists, including hometown favorites Dr. Dog with their eclectic ‘60s pop-rock vibe closing out Saturday night. Other acts included Texas country rocker and son of Steve Earle, Justin Townes Earle, who supplied a suiting set of blues and country, The Baseball Project with its anecdotal rock about America’s pastime, Philly’s own Kuf Knotz providing his positive rhymes and beats with aesthetically pleasing instrumentation, easy-listening folk songstress Birdie Busch, Toy Soldiers with their vintage rock ‘n’ roll-inspired energy, and the synchronized Japanese-influenced drumming by Kyo Daiko. In-between the featured artists included special appearances by First Person Arts’ Story Slam Champion R. Eric Thomas and Community Rocks! organization leader Sara O’Brien and her girls. You can check out our photos from the WHYY Connections showcase that helped to bond Philly’s community for the day HERE.
 
 
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