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The Vernes





The Deli Philly’s November Record of the Month: Maybe I'll Feel Better When I'm Dead - The Vernes

Maybe I’ll Feel Better When I’m Dead, the sophomore LP from The Vernes, is the band’s first official studio album, which was produced by Joe Michelini (American Trappist, ex-River City Extension) at Berlin Studios. Building off the skillful songwriting and lyricism, found on the project’s self-titled debut full-length (on which frontman Matthew Gragg also wrote and played all the instruments himself), this is the quartet’s first collaborative effort that features Fabian Mera (lead guitar), and Cole Berggren (bass), and Pat Degan (drums).

Its opening/title track is an ideal representation of Gragg’s songwriting style, as he tends to tackle shadowy themes amid the backdrop of rather upbeat instrumentation. That dichotomy finds a lovely balance between sadness and hope, making the deeply personal and introspective tales feel universal, while taking on struggles and thoughts that we all most likely have conjured up, at one point, in our minds. The themes of maturing and not exactly knowing where one belongs are reoccurring ones throughout the record. “Maybe I’ll Feel Better When I’m Dead” is followed by “1994,” the first song that was actually written for the LP. Inspired by a visit from his brother, while Gragg was living in San Francisco, and the positive changes that he had noticed in him during their time together at Big Sur, the guitars find a sweet spot between its textured layers and fiery conclusion that ultimately makes for the heaviest rocker on the album.

“Zurich 1953” is an acoustic instrumental that’s a fitting prelude to “Untitled, No. 2”. The songs seem to easily flow together on the album. “Some say that you’re the chosen one/But I don’t look at you that way/Say that you’re the only one/I’m sort of hoping that you go away” – that “chosen one” reference finds its way later on among the crunchy guitars of “Bug(s)”; however, “you are not the chosen one and I am not the chosen one” is realized, casting a melancholy that seems to blanket the entire collection. An ominous rumble introduces “Everything Goes Away,” before hearing the nostalgically poignant verse – “In this city that I call my home/Well they’re cutting down trees and they’re building new roads/And they name all the streets after all of the trees that they cut down to build all the roads that we see.” Change seems inevitable, though our protagonist refuses to give into it.

Closing out the album is “Tired Shoes,” with what sounds like a ballad being played on a lonely player piano to a melody reminiscent of “Auld Lang Syne”. Like the New Year’s classic (and the record's title track), there is a hint of sadness and hopefulness for the end. With that existential struggle rearing its head throughout the LP, we can only hope to be “proud of the roads that we choose.” The Vernes definitely have the right to be proud of the choices that they’ve made on their latest release. (Photo by Bob Sweeney) – H.M. Kauffman





New The Vernes LP Available for Streaming & Purchase

The Vernes' new full-length album, Maybe I'll Feel Better When I'm Dead, whimsically drifts with a loose, strolling sense of nostalgia. Produced by Joe Michelini (American Trappist, River City Extension), the songs maintain an ease, led by its caught-in-daydream crooning. However, that mesh of heartfelt yet carefree, twinkling lo-fi is capable of morphing and exhibiting a volatility. You can find The Vernes at Boot & Saddle on Thursday, October 11, as part of a lineup that also includes Peach Pit and Sun Seeker. (Photo by Crosby Clouse)





New Track: "Maybe I'll Feel Better When I'm Dead" - The Vernes

Produced by Joe Michelini (American Trappist), Maybe I'll Feel Better When I'm Dead, the forthcoming album from The Vernes, is marked for release on September 28. A wistful nostalgia disperses on the record’s title track and lead single. There’s a certain rainy day sadness, as one sifts through memories. Places are the same; the person isn’t. That cathartic, melody-driven walk, even when your stuck in a rut, can be rewarding. You can find The Vernes supporting American Trappist this Saturday, August 25 at Boot & Saddle, along with Carroll.





Weekend Warrior, March 23 - 25

Sundays are usually a good day to wind down and reset for the workweek, but if you are looking to squeeze in some more sweet tunes before you return to your studies or that job you should have left months ago, head on over to Johnny Brenda’s! You’ll find the beautifully melodic garage-pop of The Vernes kicking off the festivities with a new batch of tunes, helping you to forget the trials and tribulations of life. However, if you are ready to delve deep into the corners of your mind, the contemplative tunes of indie darling Abi Reimold will surely help to stir up some emotions that you just might not have known were there. All this rad local support will be leading the way to the synth-pop concoctions of Nawlins duo Video Age. (Abi Reimold Photo by Bob Sweeney) – H.M. Kauffman

Other places where you can wait for spring to arrive already…

Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI Philly Loves Phife & ATCQ, SUN Abi Reimold, The Vernes

Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) FRI Taggart, Thee Glitterbombs

Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Northern Liberties/Ramona, Tiny Hueman/DJSC/Trieves, SAT Earth Telephone, Tact/Shawn Kilroy/Fame Lust/Stateschoolgirl, Leo, Phil Yeah, SUN Blank Pill, Tim Motzer

Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) SUN Loverlorn

The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) FRI Andrea Valle, SAT Heavens Edge

The Foundry (1000 Frankford Ave.) SUN In the Presence of Wolves

World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI (Upstairs) Deb Callahan Band, SAT (Upstairs) DJ Rahsaan, (Downstairs) Echoes, SUN (Upstairs) Sistahs Attune

The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Wrong Planet, SAT The Parsnip Revolt, Civil Holdup, Zupang

MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI DJ HA

Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI Heavy Temple, High Reeper (Release Show), Hound, SAT Tioga, Vanderlyle, SUN American Trappist, Jackson Pines

The Barbary (951 Frankford Ave.) FRI Internal Rhyme, Tiani Victoria, Kohn, The Digital Crates, Balmour, OG Juan Shinobi, SAT The Rectors, RunHideFight, SUN Voltheque, The Dull Blue Lights/Knightlife, Los Festingos, Curtis Jr.

Bourbon & Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) FRI Dave Joyce, SAT Possum Kingdom, Lithium, SUN Reece Stacks

Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) SAT DJ Deejay

Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) SAT Dirty Soap Blues Band, SUN Rusty Cadillac

Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI Ty Asoudegan, Paulette Branson & Mixed People, Chad Jenkins Band, Michaela DeBenedictis, SAT Primatives (Album Release), Andorra, Knightlife, At Best, The Good Mess

Century Bar (1350 S. 29th St.) FRI Resilient, SAT Clamfight, Goat Wizard

Voltage Lounge (421 N. 7th St.) FRI Left To Vanish, SAT DJ Mighty Mike Saga

Frankie Bradley’s (1320 Chancellor St.) FRI Philly's Foxes/DJ Chris Urban, SAT DJ Brian Toll

The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Xpresidents, SAT Jac with no K, Easily Fooled, Tyler Asay

Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.) FRI Splintered Sunlight, Control For Smilers, SAT Cabin Dogs, SUN The Whiskeyhickon Boys

Creep Records (1050 N. Hancock St.) FRI Heavensake, Midfield

Everybody Hits (529 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Dark Thoughts, Loose Tooth, SUN Mavis The Dog

The Pharmacy (1300 S. 18th St.) FRI Fred Beans, Tristan Kavanagh, SAT DJ-Sun, The GoAround/Slow Reader, Patches and Pins

Tralfamadore (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Rebecca Zimmerman

JJ’s Diner (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Coping Skills, Snakeboy

Hole Foods (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Slaughter Beach, Dog, Sleepy Freak, Greg Mendez, Moto Surf





New Music Video: "Summer's Gone" - The Vernes

Reflectively serenading pleasant memories, The Vernes' video for “Summer’s Gone,” directed by Cody Kussoy, captures a behind-the-scenes encapsulation of touring life. Merging elements of traveling, scenery, silliness, performing etc., it’s a playful, mellow daydream temporarily pulling one out of this deep freeze. Warmth is right around the corner, and the band’s second album is in the works.

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