8 Philly Bands You Should Be Listening to Right Now

The (new) sound of Philadelphia.

philly-bands

On life support not long ago, our music scene is now better — and more varied — than ever. Here are the local acts you need to be paying attention to, each one completely different from the next.

Photo by Stephanie Chermont for Paulette Mag

Photo by Stephanie Chermont for Paulette Mag

Son Little

The Sound: Raw, gritty, honest R&B with a strong Bill Withers and Marvin Gaye vibe.
Essential Song: WXPN loves his 2014 single “The River,” and so do we.
Fun Fact: Son Little—previously known as Roots and RJD2 collaborator Aaron Livingston—actually released three versions of “The River.”
See for Yourself: World Cafe Live, April 22nd.

Photo by Ben Morse

Photo by Ben Morse

Low Cut Connie

The Sound: Good old sweaty rock-and-roll about girls, drinking and all-night parties.
Essential Song: “Boozophilia,” off the debut LP Call Me Sylvia, was one of Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Songs of 2012.
Fun Fact: The band was hatched when the would-be co-founders got stuck in a freight elevator together for hours.
See for Yourself: Underground Arts, April 24th.

Photo by Carrie Davenport

Photo by Carrie Davenport

Cheerleader

The Sound: Totally dreamy pop with no shortage of reverb.
Essential Song: “Perfect Vision,” the first single from the 2014 EP On Your Side.
Fun Fact: They’ve generated a ton of buzz in the industry (and played the SXSW Music Festival twice) without even releasing a full album. Their first, The Sunshine of Your Youth, debuts in May.
See for Yourself: Union Transfer, April 23rd.

Photo by Marie Lin

Photo by Marie Lin

Sheer Mag

The Sound: Dirty punk meets fuzzy classic rock to make “scuzz rock.”
Essential Song: You’ve gotta love any Philly band that has a tune called “Point Breeze.”
Fun Fact: While everyone else was selling downloads, they sold their eponymous 2014 debut seven-inch via mail order, old-school-style.
See for Yourself: Union Transfer, April 26th.

Photo by Shervin Lainez

Photo by Shervin Lainez

Marian Hill

The Sound: Jazz-influenced electro-pop with a minimalist approach and massive quantities of sex appeal.
Essential Song: The voice of vocalist Samantha Gongol practically oozes out through your headphones on “Whisky.”
Fun Fact: Gongol’s collaborator and producer, Jeremy Lloyd, knows a good voice when he hears one: His mother was an opera singer and his father was a choral conductor.
See for Yourself: Boot & Saddle, April 24th.

Photo by Jerrold Adler

Photo by Jerrold Adler

Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlesome Bells

The Sound: Doom-y, gloomy, trippy psych rock, with an occasional country twang.
Essential Song: We suggest lighting a big old joint and putting the dark and roaring “Wooden Nickel” on repeat play.
Fun Fact: The quintet self-released 300 copies of its latest album on hot-pink vinyl in February.
See for Yourself: Ortlieb’s, May 15th.

Photo by Alice Baxley

Photo by Alice Baxley

Girlpool

The Sound: Shrieky, stripped-down lo-fi rock, with some Americana thrown in for good measure.
Essential Song: Breakup ditty “Blah Blah Blah,” which starts off “You leave me crying in the fucking rain. … ”
Fun Fact: We never thought a rock band without drums would work, but the two female L.A. transplants who comprise the band succeed with just guitar, bass, and their two powerful voices.
See for Yourself: Union Transfer, April 8th.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWqzp3JGrRY

Photo by Stephanie DiStefano

Photo by Stephanie DiStefano

Johnny Showcase

The Sound: Sweaty, freaky-deaky funk and soul with ample amounts of swagger.
Essential Song: Crooning sex anthem “Hit It From the Back,” the video for which was recorded all over South Philly.
Fun Fact: Sleazily sexy lead singer Johnny Showcase is actually Philadelphia actor David Sweeny, creator of the 2009 Fringe hit Purr Pull Reign.
See for Yourself: Johnny is currently recording his second album, The Octopus!, due out this fall. He’ll be headlining the Connie’s Ric Rac state in the Italian Market Festival on May 17th.