8 Philly Bands You Should Be Listening to Right Now
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.