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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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In the Indiestry: YVYNYL/Small Plates Records’ Mark Schoneveld

In the Indiestry: YVYNYL/Small Plates Records’ Mark Schoneveld

The music industry has always been dictated by a bevy of tastemakers - one way or another. Back in the day, the gatekeepers who decided if a performer would make it in the biz were usually music executives who managed to maneuver through and survive the shark-infested waters of the industry. However, as we have learned especially in more recent times, those in charge of making the big decisions probably had/have more business sense than actual taste and passion for music. Well, the music industry is at a very interesting crossroads now with the interweb evening out the once very slanted playing field. The suits with the big expense accounts aren’t the only people holding the keys to the gate for young artists to make it onto the big stage. Instead, you’ll find a bunch of them climbing the walls with a boost from a new generation of passionate music lovers who are using and evolving with modern day technological advances to change the archaic ways of a truly flawed system. One such self-professed “music nerd” is music blogger (YVYNYL) and indie record label co-owner (Small Plates Records) Philly’s own Mark Schoneveld. We recently had a chance to pick the brain of the tall, bearded art and social media loving all-around good dude about the past, present, and future of music as well as some personal stories from his life that helped to make him who he is today. You can read all about it in our interview with Schoneveld HERE.

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