philly local

Fallow - Self Titled EP Review

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Bryan Patrick & Tess Eileen have partnered together in more ways than one recently, especially with their latest put-out, Fallow. The sweet little bedroom pop duo have created a space to get lost in the sweetness of Eileen's voice and lyricism. Patrick's gentle touch on the synthetic sound, drums, and guitar give way to a dreamlike sequence of a listen.

Four tracks to get lost in, check out the tracklist for the Self Titled release below.

Fallow Tracklist:
1. Don't Board
2. Burn Barrel
3. Say We're OK
4. Evergreen

Opening track "Don't Board" is a sweet track full of longing and wonder. It follows suit with "Burn Barrel" and "Say We're Ok," where Eileen explores the essence of tender love, of want and emotion. Patrick, of We Have Ghosts, adds that special touch to create for listeners a world that feels layered and soft to touch. Closing track "Evergreen" is especially delicate not only in lyricism but instrumental performance.

Overall, a fantastic output of sound for the duo, one that feels important & meaningful, and I'd be damn sure happy to hear more of. Check out the tracks above to hear what Fallow is all about, and in the meantime, stay tuned, maybe we'll hear more from them soon!

Georgey V - Trying Review

A true Philadelphia DIY machine is Georgey V, and everything they've ever put out has, and probably always will, be amazing. Their latest release, Trying, made it's debut on November 9th, 2017 and is special in more ways than one. The lo-fi rock & roll 12-track album, in true DIY nature, was recorded in Georgey's West Philly home on their Boss BR-600 Digital 8 Track.

Impressive right?

Even more impressive is the range Trying has, considering Georgey V tracked all parts of every song, with the exceptions of a few tracks including drums on "The Story Of A Madman" and "Try Again," which were performed by Zeth Marra. The violin on "Nowhere Boy" was performed by Jason Loux. In mixing and mastering, Georgey V got some help from Tim Jordan & Paul Marchesani.

That's all for logistics, we've got the tracklist below!

Artwork: Sean Clark

Artwork: Sean Clark

Trying Tracklist:
1. Friends
2. Changes
3. Modern Day Love Song
4. The Story Of A Madman
5. Ghostly Grove
6. Boi
7. Sweet Symphony // ???
8. Nowhere Boy
9. Something About The Way
10. Try Again
11. Goodbye
12. Toi


This album is not for the faint of heart in length.

A truly dedicated listener is required here to really appreciate what Trying is...well, trying to do. Existing in a world that it creates, Trying ebbs & flows through the highs & lows of instrumental tracks, story-telling, and general mischief. The album never takes itself too seriously, while it can take on some more somber traits, it seemingly always picks itself back up.

Our favorite track off the album is definitely "Modern Day Love Song" because out of all the tracks it is it's own entity. It brings a great amount of life to Trying, which sometimes can feel listless as it passes itself by. The back and forth lyricism encompasses what the album might be trying to do in other tracks - and is just plain fun, heck. This song feels like that moment in movies where they're spinning around in a field of flowers, laughing, smiling, and the camera keeps switching perspectives between the two.

Gosh, what a good song.

Other stand out tracks, we wont spend too much time one but you should definitely check out, are "Sweet Symphony // ???," "Nowhere Boy," and "Goodbye." Overall, Trying is telling us a story that Georgey V wanted us to hear. Whatever that story is, well, we want to hear it from now on. Check out this album as soon as possible, and check out Georgey V on social media down below to never miss an update.

As always, thanks for reading, and we'll see you soon.

Georgey V: Facebook

Curtis Cooper - Messy Review

Photographer:  Stavi Xinou

Photographer: Stavi Xinou

It's been almost two years since we first met Curtis Cooper in a coffee shop on the corner of 13th and Pine Street in Philadelphia, PA. Our friendship with Curtis has only gotten stronger since that first interview over hot chocolate and tea, and Curtis has grown in innumerable ways that only make us feel proud to know them.

Their latest achievement being Messy, an 11-track deluge of emotional outpouring that breaks out from Curtis' Laughing In Line in a way that remains, at it's core, everything that we already loved, but more bruised and bleeding and ready to give. Released on November 13th, Messy has been ruminating in our minds since, a daily listen on the car ride home or while writing - and we're pretty sure you'll feel the same after taking a listen.

But first, semantics.

All songs were written and arranged by Curtis Cooper, engineered by Scott Stitzer and Nick Barnes, produced by Scott Stitzer, and mastered by Ryan Schwabe. Curtis Cooper (vox, guitar, synth, drums track 11, whistle), Jack Zaferes (bass), and Scott Stitzer (drums, synth, percussion, mad scientist) put together Cooper's ideas to create Messy & with all of that tandem effort, you have an impressionable, inescapable album to get lost in.

Check out the tracklist below to follow along!

Album Art: Erik Savage

Album Art: Erik Savage

Messy Tracklist:
1. Freak Out
2. Philly Jelly
3. Crazy
4. Interlude 1
5. Percs of Life
6. Yeah, No
7. JKayla
8. Everyone Loves You
9. Everybody's Dying
10. Interlude 2
11. Is It Real


Messy has taken Curtis a step further, if we're allowed to say so. In comparison to Laughing In Line, Messy's realness leaves listeners feeling connected to Cooper in a way that Laughing In Line always kept at arm's length - while that isn't to discredit the debut album in anyway, as it's still one of our favorites, it seems more so to do with the fact that Curtis Cooper is growing as an artist and Messy is just that - messy and trying to figure that out with the poise and grace that only Curtis knows how to show.

Opening track 'Freak Out' is unlike anything we've heard before from the artist, a stellar opening track as it jumpstarts the rabbit hole that Messy cultivates, fall into the spaces of mind you haven't been dealing with. With obvious rock influence, this track maintains a tone that feels comfortable for the album to begin with. 'Philly Jelly' and 'Crazy' are going to be staples of the album, reminiscent of Laughing In Line in sound and form, with important lyrical content that we feel also really makes up a huge chunk of this album. 'Percs of Life' and 'Yeah, No' follow suit, are easy to listen and relate to.

The two interludes are really interesting to me because the only successful interludes I've ever heard are in more conceptual albums and usually flow casually in between tracks. However, the interludes here feel more weighted and exciting as they not only flow between tracks, but they also offer up feeling whether that be via whistling in 'Interlude 1' or the pure instrumental of 'Interlude 2,' honestly I was just really blown away by the cohesiveness of these two tracks because at first glance it can be a bit off putting. 

Stand out tracks for us are 'Everyone Loves You,' 'Everyone's Dying,' and 'Is It Real.' These tracks stand out because they feel new, fresh and exciting for Curtis. Maybe it's just where our head is at right now, but we really connected to these three tracks on every level they experience - especially 'Is It Real' the closing tracks of all closing tracks, seriously what the heck listen to it right now. Honestly, though, we could be here forever talking about how much we love Curtis Cooper. Their sound is ambitious and addictive. They take what we love about the Philadelphia music scene, that guttural, instinctual, clenched feeling of emotional expression and put it into one place. This album is easy to listen to, it ebbs & flows against itself in a way that feels familiar but also new. 

Check out Messy, check out Curtis Cooper, their album release show is on January 19th and you definitelty don't want to miss out on that or this album. Below we've got their social media links, and you can check out their bandcamp via the tracklist above! As always thanks for reading and catch up with us next time!

Curtis Cooper: Facebook // SoundCloud

Honeytiger - Tangerine Review

Anyone can tell you that here at The Hook we freakin' love Honeytiger. We've been in love with them since their album Half Clean in 2016 and we won't ever stop loving them (babe). Good news for us, and for you, is that on August 11th Honeytiger released their newest EP Tangerine for listeners and fans alike!

Can you feel the excitement in these words because we are excited!

A sophomore EP can be a challenging task for a two-piece especially, but Josh Glauser & Isaac Clark are up for the challenge of reinventing themselves in this new 5-track album. While I wouldn't say that Honeytiger are doing anything especially outside of their box, it feels good to hear new things that push them a little bit ahead of what Half Clean was. 

Check out the tracklist below!

Tangerine Tracklist:
1. Interviewer
2. Is It Midnight?
3. Warm Drug
4. Harold Greengard
5. Mannequin

 

 

 

 

Opening tracks "Interviewer" and "Is It Midnight?" bring listeners back into the world that is Honeytiger. That brash guitar, Clark's cooing voice. They bring out just the right amounts of indie and rock so that you can sing along but also jam the heck out. And, as always, the lyrical content is impeccable. 

Stand out track "Warm Drug" feels chillingly dark for Tangerine. Hidden in the middle of the EP, the track sneaks up on listeners in a brooding type of fashion, snarling. I love that it juxtaposes a usually more light hearted sound. It also denotes a quick and quiet shift in the latter half of the EP, one that shows off Honeytiger's improved upon sound, one that begs you to take it more seriously, but not too seriously in tracks "Harold Greengard" and "Mannequin."

The EP feels all at once quick and slow, and I liked existing in it. Tangerine, if we look at it against real life tangerines (you know the fruit), which are less sour and a bit sweeter than regular oranges, you can equate that to how this Tangerine functions. This EP doesn't disappoint, and you'd be silly to skip on a listen.

Check out Honeytiger's links below to keep up to date with all that they do and definitely check out Tangerine immediately!

Honeytiger: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Website

HAZYY - BREATHE Review

Another Philadelphia native is up at bat here at The Hook, and we're ready for HAZYY to take a swing! The chillwave, indie pop foursome is celebrating the August 11th release of BREATHE their latest EP.

Comprised of Benjamin Wright (Vocals), Patrick Radecki (Bass, Synths, Beats), Jesse Christaldi (Guitar), and Stephen Jasinski (Drums), the project shared their 5-track EP, BREATHE, over a month ago. It was recorded and mixed by Patrick Radecki, and mastered by Mark Trewella at Full Circle Mastering. BREATHE is a vibin' lil EP that brings out what you like most about a more progressive indie pop sound. 

Check out the tracklist below!

Artwork by Yuri Zalewski a.k.a. Jay Di

Artwork by Yuri Zalewski a.k.a. Jay Di

BREATHE Tracklist:
1. Gone Cold
2. Wrong
3. Hangin' On
4. Pulse
5. Stay

 

 

 


With hints of R&B influence and also the assurance of a good beat, BREATHE opens up with "Gone Cold" the first of five chilling songs that combine ideas of heartbreak, of loss and longing. The EP moves along in a dreamy, understated way that makes the tracks feel underwhelming at first until they prove themselves. "Wrong" is my favorite off of the album. The sultry beat and vocal combo makes it an instant hit off the EP. I'm also a huge fan of distortion and this track has that which is tight! It also is super catchy. A song you want to grind all up on someone with, passionate might by the word I'm looking for.

"Hangin' On" is a much more typical alt-rock jam, similar to bands like Portugal The Man or Cold War Kids. "Pulse" is a funky, very electronic mid-way song that reverbs hard against those that surround it. This one gave me an 80's new wave vibe for sure. Lastly "Stay" closes out the EP with a sassy beat that dances around the listener. Albeit the lightest track of the album, this one feels like something you'd hear on the radio (and maybe we will one day). 

Overall, HAZYY isn't reinventing the wheel, but they are making good music that you can get hooked on and that is all that matters. You definitely want to check out BREATHE and check out HAZYY's social media to keep up with everything they've got going on down below!

As always thanks for reading.

HAZYY: Website

Cerulean Blue - Take It or Leave It Review

A Philadelphia favorite, sweet friends in Cerulean Blue have been ruminating in our ear buds for over a month now. The DIY experimental project is headed by Kevin Brusha and encapsulates a more laid back 'do it yourself, can do' attitude that is wildly transparent in the Philadelphia scene!

Their most recent EP, Take It or Leave It, was released on July 15th of this year! The 4-track EP is a sweet, concise little diddy that explores rock, love, and lots of chiming noises. Brusha self describes Cerulean Blue as a "glam rock band with a focus on challenging pop song structure and performance by making music that is odd/accessible."

Check out the tracklist below to follow along!

Take It or Leave It Review:
1. Rebirth
2. Library
3. Lighthouse
4. Pale Blue Light

 

 

 

 

"Rebirth" opens up the EP in the sweetest of ways, one that welcomes and charms listeners into the placidity of Cerulean Blue. The vocals are far away, barely tangible while the music envelopes you and the things you're doing. I wrote many an album review listening to this EP, as it is comforting and happy to me.

Tracks like "Library" and "Lighthouse" feel like tracks out of ethereal movies where they're both in a field, spinning and loving so hard until it ends, until it all ends. Take It or Leave It exists in a space all it's own, a fairy. Closing track "Pale Blue Light" encapsulates the entire album and presents it as one concise song for listeners - screeching violin and all. The penultimate before the gaping hole that Take It or Leave It left with me, a moment to retract the globs of myself and become one again.

I really like this, and Cerulean Blue is definitely Hook Approved, so check it out. Links below for your consideration!

Cerulean Blue: Facebook // Bandcamp

Granz – Winter Street EP Review

Granz is a five-piece mixed-genre band that hails from Philly, and their debut record, Winter Street, is one for the books. Composed of Jack Sweeney on guitar and backing vocals, Jon Urban on bass and vocals, Niko Metricarti on drums and percussion, Grant Gilbert on guitar, keys, and vocals, and the mysterious “Mr. Keys,” Granz is a band that’s all about moving your heart and making you dance, according to their Facebook bio. What began as a solo project in 2013, Granz has grown into the five-piece it is today, and now they’re ready to release their first record to the world. 

Winter Street is a four-track EP that showcases the band’s affinity for blending the genres of indie, pop, and rock. Check out the tracklist for Winter Street down below!

 Winter Street Track list:
1. Winter Street
2. Dog Day
3. Unfrozen
4. When I See You Move

 

 

 

 

 

The first song is a great intro to the album, with an easygoing sound and a distinctly chill feeling to it. Granz’s sound is pretty pleasing to the ears. The songs on Winter Street are relaxing and mellow, with excellent vocals and what I would describe as coffeehouse instrumentals: smooth guitar and soft melodies that make for some soothing songs. This album sounds like you would hear it in the background of a Starbucks, and you might find yourself swaying along to the music without thinking about it. This would also be a good one to play in the background when you’re hanging out with your friends, having a chill night in. 
 
My favorite song off this EP is the title track, “Winter Street.” Then I would say “Unfrozen” comes in second. Though each of the four songs on Winter Street has their own distinctive qualities, their similar sound, particularly the guitar and the vocals, makes it easy to tell that they are all different parts of a whole. Overall, I enjoyed Winter Street, and I’m looking forward to its official release in July. 
 
Until then, if you’re curious about Granz, you can listen to some of their older stuff on their Bandcamp, and follow them on social media for any more updates that might come out!

Granz: Website // Facebook // Bandcamp

Witch H(c)unt - Self Titled Review

Weird, emotional,  and quirky as all hell, Witch H(c)unt by an artist of the same name tackles some very strong, intimate themes via the new wave of DIY punk that lives in the Philadelphia Underground.

Let’s get this out of the way early, musically this album doesn't follow a straightforward path. It interchanges between indie-ish folk and dirty, brash alternative rock. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of folksy vocals, but at times they give off a tone I can only describe as a monotonous mesh between Amanda Palmer and Jessicka Addams. It’s very punk, but maybe outside of havens of punk basements and art spaces, it may be something difficult to get into. 

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Self-Titled Tracklist:
1. i don't like u
2. garrett's song
3. sack of shit
4. Nayo Jones - Black and Queer
5. lil fishies
6. vomit queen
7. Rehan Ahmed - Phone Call and Faith
8. ghost bro
9. transmasc
10. trash
11. Consent †∆† short essay
12. Content Warning
13. fuck boyz never change
14. failed me 2
15. sunshine world
16. Karla Maria - Brown Girl in the Mix-Tuesday Hauntings

Instrumentally, there’s a heavy usage of banjo, and occasionally a very light bit of synthesizer sounds, but otherwise there’s nothing that really grabs you instrumentally. "Vomit Queen" does feature a very driving guitar/bass/drum combo, and it’s possibly the song I enjoyed the most, but most of the album is blurred. 
 
One thing I did enjoy about this album was some of the themes it presented. This is an album that attempts to tackle mental illness, sexual assault, emotional abuse, and trans-masculinity.  The most powerful moments of the album are separate from the music; contained within the spoken word poetry segments. Stories from marginalized members of society strike a personal chord within the listeners and the performers themselves. Even in the musical tracks, the topics portrayed here are deeply personal and the artists themselves are speaking from a very vulnerable place. 
 
Something I realized after finishing this album was that this album isn’t for me. This wasn’t something written to please me. This album is an artistic representation of a scene I don’t participate in and for an audience I will not find myself among. However, there is a correlation I can draw to this. Hell, all musicians can.

This album is purely music as an art form instead of as a form of entertainment. Every musician has created at least one thing that deviates from a need for an audience. An absolute form of self expression meant to make a statement about yourself and the world you live in. As someone who enjoys more well produced, structured and formulaic releases, this really isn’t my cup of tea. But there is an inherent importance to this release. The value in this lies less in the sound, and more in the statement.
 
Witch H(c)unt is a West Philly performance artist, and their self-titled album is available to stream currently on bandcamp, otherwise check out their social media below to stay up to date!

Witch H(c)unt: Facebook // Bandcamp