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Artist of the Month
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July 2016
The Retinas
"chaba
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Post-garage rockers The Retinas' new EP chaba is an unexpected essential for surviving the dog days of summer. Chock-full of lo-fi backbeats and skull-buzzing riffs, the five track stunner transforms the grit and grime of urban summers, late nights, and complicated feelings into memorably evocative songs worth dancing to alone or with friends.

 

Opening with the trippy hiss of “Accident,” chaba’s first track is seeped in xanax-coated romance and the sort of self-awareness that made great’s like Daniel Johnston iconic. The song's lyricism hums with recognizable disenchantment that is bound to resonate at an instant with listeners. Tom Mchugh’s diction brings to mind the cinematic apprehension of Andrew Bujalski’s mumblecore masterpiece Mutual Appreciation meshed with the emotional imprint of “Tame the Sun” by Male Bonding. “Accident,” much like it’s namesake, ends abruptly without warning, leaving its listener to cope with its passing before “Aries” begins.

 

chaba’s second anthem paints a familiar portrait of the post-adolescent malaise of cynical dreamers with earnest hearts. Lo-fi in all the right ways, “Aries,” like a mirror, reflects reality without pretense. Like the less anxious version of Happy Birthday’s “2 Shy,” the charm of “Aries” is undeniably sincere. The oscillating intro of “Cheesepuffs” quickly evolves into a surf-pop banger - reminiscent of The Jacuzzi Boys; the track’s fervent riffs and fuzzed-out screams serve as the perfect preface to the notably catchy “Beat It Out”. The energy of the song doesn’t falter, keeping the momentum of chaba as cymbals crash and Mchugh croons - “Cause you chew my bones, acid soul/I've been off time with myself, I don't mind” - a sentiment that is echoed in the EP’s final track “Hey Julia.”

 

After listening to The Retinas' latest record, you will find yourself hungry for more. - Dianca London


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The Spinning Leaves

Lovers League Album Release Show at JB's June 26

Head on over to Johnny Brenda’s this evening to celebrate the debut release and witness the collaborative musical union of Reverend TJ McGlinchey and Dani Mari with Christopher Davis-Shannon and Dean Gorfti completing the quartet known as Lovers League. Melding their vocals, McGlinchey and Mari create a smooth yet earthy, enriching texture with a folk-oriented acoustic country-blues foundation that provides a natural heartfelt penetrating sound on their promising self-titled debut LP. However, the lineup tonight is chock full of excellent local talent. In fact, the Raph Cutrufello-led creative folk collaborative known as Hezekiah Jones will headline the bill, taking the concepts of folk and reshaping them via unexpected, slightly twisted maneuvers, generating an excitement and energy in the process. The Spinning Leaves, whose members share strong ties within the bill, help to make it a family & friends affair. Wilmington-based indie folk-rock five-piece New Sweden, whose latest EP Fabric Room is due out July 15, will kick off the festivities that is presented by the Philadelphia Folksong Society. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 8pm, $10, 21+ - Michael Colavita


The Spinning Leaves 7” Release Party at Underground Arts April 27

For their latest album Head Aglow, the Spinning Leaves recorded with Henry Hirsch (Lenny Kravitz, Madonna) from Waterfront Studios inside a 19th century church in Hudson NY. If you’ve tuned into the bands website over the past few days, then you’ve most likely already streamed the soulful acoustic melodies of their latest 7”, which is being released today on vinyl (digital May 1) by Drexel’s Mad Dragon Records. And when James Michael Baker and Barbara Gettes play at Underground Arts tonight they’ll be backed by the likes of Ross Bellenoit, Jonas Osterle, Phil D’Agostino and an array of special guests. Just 2 months ago Lightninging celebrated the release of their EP in the very same building, so they’ll be right at home when they open the evening. The album release celebration will also feature the latest project from The Weeds' Emily Ana Zeitlyn called Divers and the humorous storytelling of Juliet Hope Wayne. Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., 9pm, $10, All Ages - Bill McThrill

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The Spinning Leaves New 7” Available for Streaming

The Spinning Leaves are releasing a new 7” record entitled Head Aglow on April 27 (digitally May 1) via Mad Dragon Records. You can stream the album HERE. They’ll also be celebrating its release this Friday at Underground Arts with Lightninging, Divers and Juliet Hope Wayne.

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