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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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Black Thought’s Let’s Move It Philly! Charity Concert at Sigma Sound Feb. 18

Black Thought’s Let’s Move It Philly! Charity Concert at Sigma Sound Feb. 18

Sigma Sound is opening its doors for very special occasion this evening. The RootsBlack Thought a.k.a. Tariq Trotter will be rallying folks for the Let’s Move It Philly! charity concert, which is held annually to raise funds for his GrassROOTS Community Foundation to benefit poor women and girls. According to AllHipHop.com, this year’s event will also help to bring awareness to childhood obesity in the African American community. Black Thought is scheduled to perform sets with his music brethren ?uestlove and Money Making Jam Boys. Pals Nikki Jean, DJ Rich Medina, and DJ Diamond Kuts (Power 99’s Nikki Minaj) will also be donating their time and talents. The Carson Valley Children’s Aid will be providing additional health services with free HIV testing and other health-oriented activities happening throughout the event where you’ll find participation from State Representative Tony J. Payton Jr. and Mayor Nutter (who most likely will bust-a-move or a rhyme to “Rapper’s Delight” before the evening is over). It’s a good time for a good cause! Sigma Sound, 212 N. 12th St., 8pm, $30 adv/$40 door, 21+ - H.M. Kauffman

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