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Artist of the Month
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July 2016
Spring Onion
"Please Relax
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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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Echo Orbiter CD Release Party at JB’s Sept. 18

Echo Orbiter CD Release Party at JB’s Sept. 18

Talk about an expansive musical career that’s about to unfold in a ray of light onstage! Ever since brothers Justin and Colin Emerle formed Echo Orbiter in 1996, and put out their first two albums with the help of sound engineer virtuoso Brian McTear, they have been about doing things with a little flare. From smashing instruments on stage in a Who-like fashion to recording 2 short film scores, the brothers have certainly demonstrated their adventurous musical nature, and they have 10+ albums to document it. Tonight Echo Orbiter celebrate the release of their newest album Eupnonicmontage at Johnny Brenda’s, and it will also mark the first time the band has played a show in 9 years! Joining them on this momentous occasion will be legendary frontman of the Dead Milkmen, Joe Jack Talcum, who is currently getting ready to bring back the Milkmen for their final show of the year at World Café Live next week for the Philly F/M Fest. Also on the already unique lineup are The Circadian Rhythms, who are currently busy working on 2 new EPs of their own. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9pm, $10, 21+ - Bill McThrill
 
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