You’ve heard it time and time again: Philly is killing the music game right now. But there’s more to the current landscape than The War on Drugs, Meek Mill and Kurt Vile (no hard feelings, guys — we love you lots). And we understand that it gets a little overwhelming to keep up with every new crop of bands. So to minimize on the anxiety that comes with music-FOMO, here’s a starter kit on five local acts to keep your ear on.
If imminent ruin is your cup of tea, Kississippi’s November-released EP “We Have No Future, We’re All Doomed” is the ultimate crash course in vulnerability. The duo of Zoë Allaire Reynolds and Colin James Kupson came together after meeting on Tinder in 2014, following the release of the EP “I Can Still Feel You In My Hair” — Reynolds’ first under the Kississippi moniker. On the group’s initial foray as a twosome, Kississippi hit the studio with Modern Baseball’s Jake Ewald at the helm to produce “We Have No Future,” a six-track indie-pop EP that softens anxieties into a dreamy mirage where the only solace is in Reynolds’ folk-y vocals and Kupson’s blanketing guitar and synth compositions.
Check Kississippi out here.
On their new album, “Child Sacrifice,” out early February, Pill Friends have track names like “Murder Me” and “Worthless.” Not as intense as nomenclature would have it, the songs are quiet hits of jangly garage rock with surprisingly sweet synth lines and harmonies, a lo-fi rush of blood to the head complete with stream of consciousness, sing-songy vocals.
Check Pill Friends out here.
Florence and the Machine have some competition. Jennifer Pague’s thundering vocals soar above chaotic drumming on the 2014 EP opener “Mary” and her piano arrangements alternate between driving and twinkling — sort of like Regina Spektor. As alluded to on Facebook, 2016 holds promise for Vita and the Woolf. An album, perhaps?
Check Vita and the Woolf out here.
Tunji Ige may be only 20 years old, but his debut mixtape, “The Love Project,” self-released last December, screams maturity. Self-produced in the basement of his dorm at West Chester University, Ige mixes compelling production and confident rhymes, always giving a nod to his roots. On new single “Handstand,” Ige lays the swagger on thick and leaves us wanting more — his next project is completed, though no word yet on release date.
Check Tunji Ige out here.
Jesse Hale Moore has nailed the sexy slow-jam aesthetic. Like a love child between Michael Bolton and a gospel choir, Moore’s soulful R&B vocal stylings and piano-driven instrumentation could’ve soundtracked any ’80s rom-com — only the most intense scenes though. He’s only got two singles out so far, but he’s working on his debut release now.
Check Jesse Hale Moore out here.