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Artist of the Month
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July 2016
Spring Onion
"Please Relax
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mp3

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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Montreal vs. Philly w/Streetwalkers and More at House Show April 27

Montreal vs. Philly w/Streetwalkers and More at House Show April 27

Some bands attempt to play up their sound by adding pieces that just don’t fit, in a word overproducing. Philly’s Streetwalkers don’t over dress for the occasion. It’s simply jeans and t-shirt indie rock. The guitar riffs are simple and slightly raw, but that rawness is a technique meant to demonstrate the band’s style. Streetwalkers are comfortable in their own skin and the slightly worn appearance. The straightforward “we are what we are” approach gives an air of natural authenticity. The bass guitar thumps along in a slightly irritated manner that matches the six-string while the drums come along for the trip.  When the guitar decides to step to the front, the sound is heavy yet controlled pushing up to the edge, but not over it. They’re a band that can play the clean-cut rock ‘n’ roll. But they prefer to be themselves rather than dressing the part - frayed edges and worn boots take it or leave it. Tonight Streetwalkers will be performing in South Philly at a DIY house show as part of a Montreal vs. Philly showcase with Satellite Hearts, Alpha Wavez, Crabe and Leamers. House Show, (Please contact one of the acts for more details.), 7pm, $6, All Ages - Michael Colavita

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