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August 2014
A Sunny Day in Glasgow
"Sea When Absent
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mp3
Sea When Absent (Lefse Records) opens like a shoegaze-y car crash. The latest album from A Sunny Day in Glasgow doesn’t bother gradually layering melodic elements; they get right to business from millisecond one, hitting you with reverberating electronic tones, orchestral violins, and the crooning vocals of Jen Goma and Annie Fredrickson. It’s a weirdly aggressive move for such an intensely soulful LP, but it’s pretty emblematic of how the record works as a whole. For an album as focused at creating moments of subtle beauty, Sea When Absent doesn’t have the time to let you gradually pick up on it on your own. A Sunny Day in Glasgow is the rare type of band that takes beauty and emotional resonances and waves it around like a chair in a bar fight.
 
In the strictest possible sense, this is a shoegaze-psychedelic-electronica album with a particular emphasis on vocals. But the more you listen; the more you start to discover what a diverse series of musical influences are rattling around in there. Mixing the electronica stylings of Flying Lotus and Saltillo with the indie-pop elements of bands like Death Cab and Phantogram, the basis is a percussion of grungy electronic tones, topped with a combination of guitar and synth, adding just the right balance, while being mixed in with a cavalcade of classical instruments and outlandish effects.
 
But the crown jewel of the album is Goma and Fredrickson’s understatedly gorgeous vocals. They play off, sometimes bizarre, instrumentations perfectly, complimenting them while also adding a fulcrum of relative normalcy to Sunny Day’s outside-the-box compositions. This is what really gives the album its sense of slick melancholy, creating an ambience of stylish vulnerability in tracks like “Byebye Big Ocean (The End),” where there is a sense of crooning sorrow, while “Oh I’m A Wrecker” sees them go much farther into the indie-pop paradigm.
 
While this record maintains the complexity and delightful weirdness of past A Sunny Day in Glasgow albums, it also comes with a newfound sense of clarity, in great part due to the outside production of Jeff Zeigler (of The War on Drugs and Kurt Vile fame). Zeigler is able to successfully piece together the moving parts of this bi-continental band, with mastermind Ben Daniels orchestrating things from the other side of the world in Australia, making the album’s abrupt left turns from spacey psychedelics to grounded punk-pop a little easier to digest. The wealth of ideas rarely feels busy or forced. Sea When Absent is ultimately proof that weird doesn’t necessarily have to mean messy. 

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Asaad

Asaad Album Release Show at Silk City March 26

Asaad (born Saayid Asaad) has been one of the most prolific and controversial artists in the local hip-hop scene. Since dropping his debut mixtape Flowers in 2009, the North Philly emcee/producer has released seven other albums and nearly a hundred tracks. He first caught our attention with 2011's #DIRTYMIDDLECLASS, which helped to get him nominated for The Deli's annual year-end Best Emerging Artists Poll, where he won Philly's Readers'/Fans' segment of the competition. 2012 proved to be his most productive year to date with the release of New Black History Month, #WHITE, and #TROY, as major music media outlets began to take notice, but the venomous tongue of the brash, young talent and an album cover that depicted Tupac having sex with Notorious B.I.G. seemed to alienate him from the rest of the hip-hop world. An artist, who once thrived on the controversy, began to show signs of wear in 2013. Asaad surprisingly changed his stage name to Saudi Money, attaching it to a handful of releases, and then, after showing great dissatisfaction with the music industry (there were rumors of him being "blackballed" by the hip-hop community), he attempted to delete the existence of himself and his music from the internet. Well, it seems that the time out of the public's crosshairs has helped to rejuvenate the Philly-bred talent. He'll be returning this evening at Silk City under the name Asaad, once again, with a new record, Flowers II, in tow. Come out tonight and experience his rebirth! Silk City Diner, 435 Spring Garden St., 9pm, $10, 21+ (Photo by Snaps NY) - Q.D. Tran

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New Track: "Horror Film" (Feat. Saudi Money) - Reap Howard

Ha...in preparation for last night's Halloween festivities, we admittedly took it pretty easy yesterday as we donned our costumes and make-up with alcoholic beverage in hand, so we're playing a bit of catch up with releases in honor of the beloved holiday. After needing a break from the hustle and social media, Saudi Money, a.k.a. Asaad, provided us with a few bars on Reap Howard's track "Horror Film," reminding us that the controversial emcee is still alive and angry.

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Free Download: Black History Month II - Asaad

While Asaad continues to tease the release of his upcoming EP 006, the prolific North Philly emcee dropped a new mixtape Black History Month II to keep us entertained. You can pass the time today until your weekend starts with his latest below, which is also available for free download HERE.

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Free Download: "AK47" (Feat. Grande Marshall & Wyo) - Asaad

Below is a new track from Asaad called "AK47" that is available to be downloaded for free. It features verses from fellow local natives Grande Marshall and Wyo and production work from Nascent and QB. The nearly ten-minute single is the first offering from his upcoming release, 006, and premiered earlier today via Complex Magazine.

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New Track: "MLKRIP" - Asaad

Asaad is back with a new track "MLKRIP," which was produced by Quiet Explosion. Now, we highly doubt that this most recent offering would really be considered a homage to Martin Luther King, Jr. by most. However, the unique, raw verses and flow are certainly what we've come to expect from the prolific and controversial North Philly emcee.

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Free Download: #TROY - Asaad

Brash, prolific North Philly emcee and winner of last year’s Deli Philly Year End Fan Poll, Asaad, has a new 9-track EP out titled #TROY. You can stream the album below and download it for free HERE. Be on the look out for his long-awaited upcoming release 006.

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Free Download: White - Asaad

Prolific local emcee Asaad recently dropped another mixtape via illroots entitled White. The 20-track offering “is inspired by racism, wack rappers and people that don’t understand the true meaning of respect.” You can download White for free HERE, and catch Asaad live this Thursday, April 26 at the TLA opening for Schoolboy Q.

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New Video: New Black ® History (Documentary) - Asaad

Who is Asaad? Well, you’ll get to learn more about this year’s Deli Philly Fans’ Poll Winner from his candid documentary short film below New Black ® History. It was presented by Brain Bandits and shot/edited by Glassface.

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