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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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Joe D’Amico

Joe D’Amico Record Release Celebration at KFN Jan. 24

From his time as a founding member of Brothers Past to his current station backing Mason Porter, Joe D’Amico is a local area musician who has worn many hats over the years. However, the West Chester artist has also had a successful solo project over the years. His 2011 full-length, Asleep In My Shoes, contained a nice blend of ambient tones and rustic folk singing. For his latest solo effort, A Short Time’s A Long Time, he has explored territories that were previously uncharted in his works by usingvibrant power pop, melodic yet aggressive rock harmonies, and expansive prog. D’Amico is celebrating the album’s release tonight at Kung Fu Necktie, and he’ll be joined by his longtime friend Reverend TJ McGlinchey and Ben Smith. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 8pm, $10, 21+ (Photo by Lisa Schaffer) - Bill McThrill

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