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September 2014
Seagulls
"Great Pine
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mp3
With spindly strings horning in the opening instrumental, “Dragoon” awakens Seagulls' debut LP Great Pine, seamlessly transitioning into “Swimmin’,” a song that is initially given a steady-footed beat around which a more intricate and illuminating composition is built generating a peaceful yet purposeful layered sound, setting the tone for what lies ahead. “You and Me” plays like a surf-folk love letter, developing a warm, earnest vocal confession, while fitting nicely with the tug and pull groove of the scratching guitar and persistent bass. The vocal harmonies provide a sweetness accompanied by reserved bursts of trumpet and accordion-like effects offer a tease of nostalgia.
 
“Love, Give” follows a similar theme as vocals, strings, and snap-percussion set a pleasant, pensive, strolling pace as echoing harmonies and backing vocals reinforce, “Love give your hands to me, for someday I’ll be on bended knee.” “Old Habits” maintains an up close lo-fi aesthetic and underlying 8-bit accents, but the perspective has changed, shining a light on the dark side of relationships and a groove that has a somewhat worn and dusty ascetic, enhancing the lyrics meaning - “Old habits, die hard or they never do/so keep lying til they all catch up to you.” A well-placed take on Big Star’s “Thirteen” incorporates the honest-loving sentiments of adolescence, falling neatly inline with the group’s heartfelt vocal honesty, while simultaneously acknowledging one of their potential influences.
 
The record’s title-track “Great Pine” serves as a breath-catching ambiance builder before the turbulent “Holy Smokes” emerges. Enlisting peaks of aggressive kick-in-the-door instrumentation - particularly percussion between smooth stretches of vocally dominant valleys - in essence, layering pieces of clear skies between moments of violent storms.
 
“Distracted” concludes Great Pine with an uplifting blanket of vocals, allowing the guitar to stretch its sea legs as the backend force steers the musical ship; holding the course. This album starts on the shore, and while there are moments where it seems destined to searchingly drift out there, Seagulls appropriately demonstrate an ability to reel it in, taking a beautiful inaugural voyage. - Michael Colavita

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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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