Artist of the Month

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July 2016
Spring Onion
"Please Relax

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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New JANK PULSE Community Fund Single Available for Streaming & Purchase

JANK just released a new single, and all proceeds will go to the PULSE Tragedy Community Fund on GoFundMe. "Alligator" and "Ralph" will also appear on the band's upcoming EP. The tracks were recorded, mixed and mastered by Jake Checkoway at UArts Studio. (Photo by Julie Gomez)


The Bul Bey Opening for Black Milk at JB's June 16

With a youthful sense of intensity drawn straight from a soul-injected center, The Bul Bey strikes forth, converting listeners with a composed confident tenacity. Tapping into a tireless energy, Bey delivers authentic, smooth rhymes that echo where he’s from, while suggesting where he wants to go. That down-to-earth, daily sincerity, further molded by widespread ambition, creates a relentless follow-the-leader vibe that’s a mix of grime, celebration and ambition. With new material on the way, he hits Johnny Brenda’s this evening, slotted after local emcee Has-Lo, whom may have a new EP on the horizon this summer. They set the table for Detroit native Black Milk, who, with Nate Turner, develops an all-consuming, soulful brand of hip hop. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 8pm, $15, 21+ - Michael Colavita


New Track: "Bug Juice" - Bad Canoes

Found on Bad Canoes' new EP She’s Too Strong, “Bug Juice” is paced by the casual, creepy combination of keys and percussion. Marissa Paternoster's (Screaming Females) vocals vary, rolling through and then hitting with brief screams of impassioned intensity. Before going on an indefinite hiatus, the band will head out on a mini-tour that will wrap things up at Goldy’s on Sunday, July 10 with Beth Israel, Turnip King, and Neolibz.


New Track: "Keeping A Peace" - Year Of Glad

Below is a new track from Year Of Glad called "Keeping A Peace". It's the first single off the band's forthcoming sophomore effort, I Don’t Know Where I Am Either, and all pre-order proceeds are currently being donated to The Center in Orlando "to benefit the victims from the Pulse Night Club shooting and their families." The four-song EP, which will include a cover of Pearl Jam's "Corduroy," was recorded and mixed by Mike Bardzik at Noisy Little Critter, and will be officially released on July 15 via Lame-O Records.


Search for Meaning & Connection w/Spring Onion at Tralfamadore June 15

Catherine Dwyer is at the controls of the bedroom-folk sound of Spring Onion, performing tonight at Tralfamadore. Dwyer reaches back with an easily accessible, casually-strolling instrumental tone. However, while concise lyrical anecdotes appear to offer a set of temporary images, they also speak to a deeper microcosmic, pensive framework. They’re the type of songs that’ll sit with you for a while, ruffling one’s tucked away search for meaning and connection. With a reserved feel of emotive release capable of bursting at the seams at any time, Buster supplies a bare yet volatile vibe. Rochester-based Sad Cactus artist Big Fred provides quick flashes of fragile fury and levity. The Honeymoon Band rounds this lineup into its final shape. Tralfamadore, (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.), 7:30pm, $5, All Ages (Photo by Becca Hafter) - Michael Colavita



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