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Songwriters

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Album of the Month: Thad Kopec's "The Shadow & the Caster"

It’s been called baroque, ambient, and psychedelic, but whatever it is, Thad Kopec’s style of songwriting cuts through the noise created by today’s two dimensional “indie folk” crowd. Immersing himself in a creative tradition of poetry and southern gothic literature, his lyrics build layers of imagery over complex orchestral arrangements and unique sonic collages that showcase a knack for songwriting talent and undeniably good aesthetic taste.

The Shadow & the Caster isn’t content to offer listeners anything other than total sonic immersion and its songs feel as unlimited and as expansive as the landscapes they often describe. In the literary vein of John Steinbeck or Flannery O’ Connor, much of the narrative and symbolic elements Kopec wields in his work center around the natural world and the descriptive nature of his language is undoubtedly born out of past experiences on a rural Florida farm.

In addition to the literary traditions the album keeps alive, it also displays a fondness for modern folk god influences like Fleet Foxes or Sufjan Stevens. He manages, however, to stay away from the caricatured second-generation style imitation that haunts indie folk today. Even Kopec’s voice feels entirely authentic with its relaxed disregard for being always perfectly pitched.

As a body of work, The Shadow & the Caster masterfully balances variety and elemental agreement. The songs all float down the same stream, and despite immediate twists and turns or sudden directional disorientation, every song comes out as a simple break in the current. All the water comes from the same source and goes to the same place.

Be sure to make it to Thad’s release show on Friday, May 12th at WELD Nashville and pick up a copy of the album. His live performances are magical.

-Andrew Strader

 

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Bonzie "Combback"

Bonzie (aka 21-year-old Nina Ferraro) has released a second single from her forthcoming LP Zone on Nine. The single is called “Combback”, and is a mostly acoustic and dark, emotional journey. Zone on Nine will be released on May 19th.

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New Track: "Tell Me" - Lizdelise

Lizdelise seems to have channeled St. Vincent in its latest single, “Tell Me”. Framed in the clean, percussive, drum-machine snap and rough around the edges guitar riffs, the contrasting, silky, vocal texture provides an adhesive sonic foil. It’s a cliff-hanging example that will keep our ears to the grindstone for future developments from the group's new label, Odd Gift Records. You can catch Lizdelise at PhilaMOCA on Sunday, May 28, as part of a lineup that also includes Lady Parts, Adler Hall, and Carroll.

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Debut Harmony Woods LP Available for Streaming

Philly singer-songwriter Harmony Woods, a.k.a. Sofia Verbilla, shook our foundation with her latest single "Renovations". Her debut full-length album, Nothing Special, is set to come out this Friday, May 5 via Honest Face Records, but you can stream the LP below in its entirety. It was recorded by Modern Baseball's Jake Ewald with bandmate Brendan Lukens accompanying on lead guitar. You can also join Verbilla and friends the evening of her release at JJ's Diner, where she'll be supported by Major Pursuit and Soft Idiot. (Photo by Emily Dubin)

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Fresh Traxx: Rasheed Jamal - "Better Off $$$"

*photo by RoseLeon

Rasheed Jamal is one of the leading voices in Portland hip hop, flowing about relevant, thought provoking subject matter over bumpin' beats. Many flock to Jamal's tracks for insight, and he just dropped a new one with a bomb beat and some quick rhymes.

"Better Off $$$" could be a club banger. Jamal goes in expressively hard with his words over the trappy beat. It even landed its own spot on Vortex Music Magazine's 3rd anniversary collectible vinyl compilation.

Dive into it below.

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