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Songwriters

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Kip Berman of Pains of Being Pure at Heart plays Baby's All Right on 10.01-02

Kip Berman has made a name for himself as the singer/songwriter behind The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, but he's now begun to express his musical side outside of the band setting as The Natvral. Berman calls his new musical outlet "neither solo project nor side project", although his more stripped-down folk style counters the driving nature of songs on his Pains albums. His first EP as The Natvral, called Know Me More, does in fact allow the listener to know more of Berman, who has married, had a child, and moved to Princeton in the last few years; songs such as the opening title track reveal Berman's growth over the course of those events, with little more than an electric guitar to back up his metaphorical lyrics. Berman will perform as The Natvral throughout the beginning of October in venues across the Northeast; he'll take the stage at Baby's All Right tonight and tomrrow (October 1-2) to open for Hatchie. Listen to the title track off of Know Me More below. - Will Sisskind 

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The Deli Philly’s October Record of the Month: I'll Sing - Shannen Moser

Berks County native Shannen Moser’s I'll Sing (Lame-O Records) is an unexpected yet melodic balm. A timely follow-up to 2017’s Oh, My Heart, her sophomore release reveals not only her depth as a singer-songwriter but her strength as a storyteller. From start to finish, it’s an immersive homage to coming of age, framed by delicate chords, earnest vocals, and truth-laden lyricism.

Beginning with “47th Street,” I’ll Sing’s emotion is unabashed, even in its earliest moments. The track opens with a stripped-down subtlety that builds into a fuller soundscape and further crystallizes lines like “I don't cry anymore” and "It’s just a feeling, that’s what feeling is for.” When Moser sings, “If I could feel something good, I would share with you, you know I would,” listeners will believe her without a shred of doubt. A noteworthy anthem about desire and the way the past can shape a person, “47th Street” is the flawless start to a deeply personal LP.

In a similar fashion, “Haircut Song” centers around a memory and an intimate request that becomes a two-fold remembrance of how caring for another person can reveal the beauty and damage that go hand-in-hand with human closeness and the unreliable nature of a broken heart. Amplified by steady strums of acoustic guitar and the hiss of snare, Moser’s song manages to be sincere without resorting to melodrama. The album's third offering, “Joanna,” brings to mind Chan Marshall's earliest cuts and the heartfelt harmony of First Aid Kit's The Big Black and the Blue. Here, Moser turns a plea into a praise song of yearning and transformation. It’s a stunning example of songwriter’s ability to turn even the most ordinary of moments into a vivid melody. Through her voice, the personal becomes universal.

“Everytown” continues to showcase I’ll Sing’s emotive relatability through the swoon-worthy swell of guitar and Moser’s steady diction. When she sings, “It’s easier to feel in love when it’s warm,” and insists that “in every town there’s someone just like me missing someone like you,” the tune feels like the biography of anyone whose life has been shaped by friendship and romance. It’s an ode to small towns and the transformative power of kindness and intimacy. “Baby Blue” is like a contemporary riff on country classics like Loretta Lynn’s “Color of the Blues” and  Skeeter Davis’ Here's the Answer, while “Arizona (I Wanna Be Your Man)” brings to mind the unforgettable passion of cuts by Lucy Dacus and the equally affecting Julien Baker.

“Hallelujah” possesses an instantaneous warmth that amplifies its disillusioned honesty. A ballad for modern cynics and believers alike, Moser’s hymn appears most holy when it captures the duality of the world that surrounds us. As she sings, "Hallelujah the world is all broken and bad, Hallelujah for love and caring for this land," it is difficult not to experience a sense of revival from the searing truth of her chorus. “Blacktop Mountain” and “The Ballad of Freddie Jones” are audibly haunting and bound to bring to mind the instrumentive progression of old favorites by The New Amsterdams and the confessional candidness of Lissie’s “Shroud” or Jenny Lewis’ quintessential Rabbit Fur Coat.

In “Your Window Seat,” the necessity of communication and connection comes through with each line Moser breathes, undoubtedly reminding her audience of the people in their own lives who they turn to, whether it be in times of need or joy. An understated hint of vibrant sorrow echoes throughout “West Texas Blues,” making the track memorable in a satisfyingly unshakable way. The vibrating strings and striking lines of “One for Mama” are similarly gripping, proving that although Moser is still in her twenties, she is aware of the way the world can weather a person. “Trouble” and “Pleasantville” feel urgent yet timeless, while “I’ll Sing,” the LP's title track, leaves listeners transfixed by the artist’s wisdom and her dedication to sharing her songs with those who are willing to listen.

Unarguably stirring and profound, I’ll Sing should be considered required listening for anyone with a heartbeat. It will transform you for the better.  – Dianca London

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New Pulgas EP Available for Streaming & Purchase

A beautifully twisted portmanteau of candescent pop and arrhythmic flux, Pulgas’ Simon Martinez and Zane Shields return with More Like Us (Astro Nautico). Released as a companion EP to an album coming in the spring, More Like Us takes the listener through four concise yet dense tracks that display a growth in their craftsmanship from previous recordings. Their sense of dynamism in musicianship is fiercely on display, while the production and quality of the recordings are vibrant and smooth. If you’re a fan of DIY-pop aficionados in the vein of Ryan Power or Jake Tobin, the new Pulgas EP will be a welcome addition to your musical wheelhouse. - Josh Kelly

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A Deli Premiere: Katy Rea releases "Actress" from debut EP; plays Elsewhere 10.24

Hot on the upcoming release of her debut EP, singer-songwriter Katy Rea has released the hook-filled track "Actress". Complete with Rea's trademark grittiness, the song looks back on the artist's upbringing in Texas and how her childhood shaped her present. With her band, Katy plays music reminiscent of Laura Marling, with her voice echoing Kate Bush's idiosyncrasies and range. And if you listen closely, you might hear the quirks -- such as alternate tunings and creative chord structures -- singing from Rea's guitar. Her upcoming EP S.K.O.W. -- short for Some Kind Of Woman -- will drop on October 26th with the release show scheduled for the 24th at Elsewhere Zone 1. Listen to the Deli NYC premiere of "Actress" below. - Will Sisskind

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Weekend Warrior, September 28 - 30

When local artists and businesses throughout a music scene unite as a community in celebration and support of each other, good things are the result. Philly Music Fest serves as an opportune event. What began yesterday at Johnny Brenda’s with Pissed Jeans and Soul Glo continues for the next two days at World Cafe Live. Tonight, the elegant hypnotically galvanizing pop of Vita and the Woolf, the endless boogie of Low Cut Connie, the raw and ragged, sweat-saturated, surf-infused, garage rock of The Whips, and the earnest, scene-transporting, songwriting force of Waxahatchee are among those that shape its sonic surroundings. And tomorrow, Palm cultivates an experimental push-pull, hovering between tranquil waves and frenetic, unconventional changes in direction. The melodic, eruptive, dynamic swings of The Districts, the tenacious, cosmic-rocking, riff-combusting charge of Ruby the Hatchet, and the soothing, introspective vulnerability of powerpop trio Hurry are also slated for Saturday. Come take part in this locals only weekend! – Michael Colavita

Other places where locals will be this weekend…

World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI Philly Music Fest: The Whips, The Mysteries, Secret American, DJ Royale/Vita and the Woolf, Waxahatchee, Low Cut Connie, SAT Philly Music Fest: Great Time, Levee Drivers, Orion Sun, Kingsley Ibeneche, Hurry, Man About A Horse/End of America, Hardwork Movement, Ruby The Hatchet, Palm, The Districts

Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI Worriers, Harmony Woods, Earth Telephone, SAT It's The Year 2008: DJ Emynd, Bo Bliz 

Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) SAT Beru Power Trio, SUN Storks

Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI CatBite/DJSC, SAT Automatic Colors, Thank You Thank You, Tapes & Tubes/DJ Lean Wit It, SUN Brother Martin, Jane Carver

PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St.) SUN Drums Like Machine Guns

Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) FRI Dice Raw, SAT DJ Sylo, Joshua Lang, SUN Lyve Harmon, Tray Verse

The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) FRI (Balcony) Tony Season Show, Shawn King, SAT Steal Your Face, SUN Sean Taylor, Folk Fugitive, Andrew Montoya

The Foundry (1000 Frankford Ave.) SUN New Sound Brass Band

North Seventh (421 N. 7th St.) SAT DJ Robert Drake, SUN Philly Bluegrass Revival: Midnight Flyer

The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) SAT Craig Lynch’s 30th Birthday Party

MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) SAT Matt Cappy, SUN Derrick Hodge's Philly State of Mind, Treway & the Now Generation

Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI S.T.O.P., High Reeper, SAT Jukebox Zeros, The Prisoners, Thorazine, SUN The Stone Eye

The Barbary (951 Frankford Ave.) FRI Hootsie, Buddie/A Charity Benefit Show for United We Dream: The Stammer, Full Bush, Young Pilgrims, SUN Birthday Boy, 3weekoldroses

Bourbon & Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) SAT Aleana

Morgan’s Pier (221 N. Columbus Blvd.) FRI Fall Fest: DJ Beatstreet, SUN New Pony

Frankie Bradley’s (1320 Chancellor St.) FRI DJ Chris Urban, SAT DJ Shawn Ryan, SUN Forever 27: A Burlesque Tribute to the Artists of the 27 Club

Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) SAT DJ Deejay, SUN Montoj, Trap Rabbit

Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) SAT James Pace Band, SUN Rusty Cadillac 

Voltage Lounge (421 N. 7th St.) FRI The Lot

Century (1350 S 29th St.) FRI Witching, Night Raids, SAT Violet Waves

The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Rover, SAT The Strange Heat, Athensville(Cd Release), Parsnip Revolt, Scott McClatchey

The Pharmacy (1300 S. 18th St.) FRI Echo Lad, Blueroom

Tralfamadore (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Puppy Angst, Rebecca Zimmerman, Heaven Man

Planet Phitness (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Bad Heaven Ltd, Susie Derkins, In Trouble

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