Artist of the Month

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October 2015
Shelf Life
"Everyone Make Happy
Everyone Make Happy, the debut LP from Shelf Life, via Lefse Records, finds an absorbing lyrical yet comforting instrumental balance. Scott Leitch (ex-Pirouette/recent drummer for Alex G) cultivates songs that gently sway with internal warmth, while placing listeners in a deeply personal, somber state.
Space-warping synths smoothly land on the surface in “The Curse,” the initial introduction to Everyone Make Happy. Those glowing synths fade to the background as the airy, easily-assimilated acoustic guitar provides shimmers of daylight onto the song’s anguished lyrical tone - “bathe in sister’s blood/talk to the ghost of my dad’s mom/about nothing but heaven and the cancer in her gut.”
Pushed by its percussion, “Mark II” delivers what appears as subtle instrumentation, penetrating beyond the surface as a tight bedroom-pop sound. What starts drearily - “wake me up, when my lungs, start to pump normally” - lifts the shades to the point of optimism. “There’s always something in the sunlight,” riding a casual, almost accidental groove along the way. The album continuously stares directly into sadness, observing a very real place of grief. In “Creature” with its road-worn, country-folk twang , Leitch addresses the questioning nature of a sickness as a somber cloud hangs overhead. “I ask myself what my Father would do/he’d fold his hands lean to belief/but the creature inside him is not inside of me.”
“Low Key Lumber Theft” forebodingly spirals forward as the last dashes of daylight fall below the horizon. The guitar crisply cuts through dusk, venturing further out of sight as it gains momentum and then coolly concludes. With a daydreaming-psych vibe, “Time Traveler” moves into a nostalgic familiar space, which although consoling - “I am meeting the past/it is just how I thought/I have found what I lost” - still cuts - “You had gone away.” An anecdotal throwback, “Double Dare” soaks into your mind with its direct lyricism and catchy melodies, a la Alex G, while “Sinking Just Right” lulls you into a submissive calm of internal self-doubt - “does everybody hate me, just a little, little, little bit” - drifting until your “sinking just right.”
This album delicately balances the weight of emotional darkness with a glimpse of the light, from outside pushing in through the cracks. - Michael Colavita

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Watery Love Opens for Ceremony at the Barbary Apr. 21

Watery Love Opens for Ceremony at the Barbary Apr. 21

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The Barbary’s hosting an afternoon show today with local punk acts Watery Love, Salvation and Dead People Screaming opening for Ceremony. Watery Love is a Philadelphia underground super group of sorts comprised of former Clockcleaner Richie Charles, Daniel DiMaggio (Home Blitz), Meg Baird (Espers) and Max Milgram. Earlier this month, they released three singles for free download [“(I’m A) Skull,” “This World Minds,” and “All Night Long”], as well as a 7-inch single, “Die With Dignity”/“Leave Me Alone.” Their sound features the sneering vocals of Charles fronting the loud, repetitive riffing coming from the rest of the band providing anthems for anti-social misfits. Fans can check out their new music live at today’s matinee gig before making their way to Watery Love's Record Store Day performance at Borderline Records at 9pm. It'll be a day of love, no doubt. The Barbary, 951 Frankford Ave, 5pm, $10-12, All Ages -Dan Brightcliffe



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