The Hook Exclusive

The Hook: A Comeback Story (Or Something Like It)

Photographer:  Richard Sanders

Photographer: Richard Sanders

This is the beginning.

In 2016, we started our site in a dimly lit bedroom on the corner of Locust & 15th in a basement apartment. Since then, we have grown exponentially and without limit. We could not be more appreciative of the music scene, not only here in Philadelphia, but the entire East Coast. We would not be who we are without the bands & artists that fuel us further, push us harder than what we believed.

In the two years since our beginning, we have hosted dozens of showcases, reviewed hundreds of albums, and put our stickers on lots of stop signs in different places around the country. We have been supported by volunteer writers, photographers and artists. We have paid every artist who has worked with us, and donated more than three-hundred dollars to different Philadelphia non-profit organizations. Without our scenes, near and far, we would not be where we are.

So, here we are. Two and a half years later, and we’re ready to get started. We will continue to host shows, to create charity EP’s to donate to important non-profit organizations, we will continue to review and talk about local music. We hope to begin to give voices to those who don’t always have them in our scene, we want to create critical op-ed pieces to, not only fuel and better our scene, but to also better ourselves as people in a world. It’s time to talk about it, so we will. We welcome guest writers, bloggers, and artists to host their work on our site. We welcome those who are in need of a safe space, of suggestions for shows, albums, groups that will allow every body in our scene the place it deserves.

If you're interested in learning more about us, we've got a handy video now, so check it out below!

To begin, we have our first returning showcase on July 13th at our place, so if you’ve never been to a Hook Show, this would be the one to get to. We will be hosting a show on July 17th at Century Bar, and future shows will soon be announced. We are in the works for a 5th Charity EP, featuring all unheard, local music for a good cause.

As always, you can check out our social media down below to keep up while you're on the move. More announcements to follow, so stay tuned!

The Hook Journal: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

"Didn't Ask For A Dime" From Goodnight/Goodluck Out Now

Philadelphia's own Goodnight/Goodluck are celebrating the second release off their upcoming EP - missing, is expected out on May 12th. In the meantime, fans can enjoy and appreciate their latest release off of the EP, "Didn't Ask For A Dime."

A self-recorded four-track demo was released in April 2017, and picked up the very next day and favorably reviewed by WXPN's The Key. Buoyed by the positive reception and a string of well-received live performances, the band recorded their debut EP the following winter with Joe Reinhart (Hop Along/Algernon Cadwallader) at The Headroom in Philadelphia. goodnight/goodluck is Sarah Puleo, Eric Zrinsky, Ed Taylor, Jayson Verdibello, and Alex Brown, together they create a sound that is electric, fun and feel good.

Check out the track streaming below!

The track is a folksy, easy going and mixes an interesting set of voices and sounds together to create a catchy fusion. missing is being released on May 12th - the release show is at Boot & Saddle with openers Secret Americans and WAX WAV. With "Didn't Ask For A Dime" boasting itself over a month in advance for listeners, goodnight/goodluck have given fans and listeners plenty of time to hype themselves up for the release!

We sure as heck couldn't be more excited to see, and hear, what is to come. Check out their social media down below to follow goodnight/goodluck on their journey!

Goodnight/Goodluck: Spotify // Facebook // Instagram // Bandcamp

John Whip's 'Electric Love' Debuts Today

Photographer: Steph Defeo @solidstares

Photographer: Steph Defeo @solidstares

Philadelphia local, John Whip, is celebrating today with the premiere of his latest single, and greatest effort, "Electric Love." The jazz infused-pop single is one listeners can easily fall in love with, and Whip creates an intimate scene for you to get lost in.

Whip is an impressive force, but the singer did have help putting "Electric Love" together, of course. With the help of his regular band as well as some outsourcing, "Electric Love" includes John Whip (keys, vocals, production), Sam Carlen -(guitars, bass, additional keys), Craig Hamilton - drums & percussion), Ilya Setrakian - (keys for Electric Love), and Henry Tirfe - (tenor sax for Electric Love).

Between Whip's smooth voice and tender lyricism, his band also follows suit in a defined, crisp manner to make this track a true delight and experience to listen to. We've got the exclusive premiere of the track, streaming here on The Hook only!

Check it out below!

Whip describes how "Electric Love" came to fruition for us, "I wrote this song after accidentally falling in love with someone.  The way we all do when someone just says the right thing or smiles at you the perfect way.  They way that maybe we all think we shouldn’t because there are so many options and reasons to be alone. I knew I didn’t want it to be a jazz song though as that would limit my possibilities in a commercial world, but I knew that if I sung it a certain way and packaged the song a certain way, it could be pop - but still a different kind of pop.

I've just fallen in love with a lot of guys and wanted to explore what that means and who that makes me in the world we live in.  

I just wanted people to relate to that other side of hookup culture that we don’t sing about. The part when we catch feelings / usually the worst part because feelings aren't always reciprocated ya know?"

Of course we relate to that, and "Electric Love" is the perfect song to put on while getting over those post hookup blues. John Whip should have lots more to give us if this is what he's already putting out - polished, professional work.

To keep up to date with John and what he has coming out, check out his social media down below to never miss an update!

John Whip: Facebook // Soundcloud

BLOOMER's Latest Release 'Last Star' Sure To Catch Your Ear

Photography: Marie Machin

Photography: Marie Machin

BLOOMER have been killin' it in Baltimore since 2012, and now they're making some noise with their latest release, "Last Star." The track is a pure rock jam that'll definitely get you pumped up and into BLOOMER (if you aren't already, why aren't you).

With a release two weeks ago, BLOOMER are riding the high of a brand new track - and we are too. Down below we've got "Last Star" streaming for you to check out, so let us know what you think!

Let BLOOMER know what you think as well!

The track is a hard hitting, poignant sound that is easy to listen to, but also fun. BLOOMER definitey have something with this track, and we're looking forward to what they've got coming up next!

Until then, check out BLOOMER's social media links down below to never miss an update!

BLOOMER: Website

Exclusive Premiere: Ernston Shares New Single "Simple!"

Simple! Cover.jpg

We have the pleasure of announcing Ernston's brand-spanking-new single, "Simple!" which comes to us as a triumphant return for the New Jersey vets!

With help of other NJ friends like Chris Flannery (Save Face) on drums, as well as produced/mixed by Doug Gallo at AGL Sounds, and mastered by Adam Cichocki at Timber Studios. The comeback for Ernston includes members Errol Beutell- Guitars), Jimmy Fasulo (Vocals), and Ryan Hillsinger (Drums) - hopefully a call to action for the threesome for some new tunes and vibes.

"Simple!" is a goofy, power pop track that doesn't ever take itself too seriously. I mean how can you take yourself too seriously when your girl asks you to write her a song?

Check out the official lyric video down below!

With the excitement of a brand new single, Ernston aren't stopping there!

The three piece has two shows coming up, both of which are happening in their (and our) home state of NJ, so we'll give you those dates down below so there aren't any excuses! Aside from that, you should check out Ernston's social media so you'll never miss an update, and I'll include that down below for you as well!

Peep those show dates, check out that lyric video, and keep your ears & eyes peeled for what Ernston has up their sleeve!

Ernston Show Dates:
3/30: Union County Performing Arts Center - Rahway
4/14: Mt. Moon - New Brunswick

Ernston: Facebook // Twitter // Bandcamp // Spotify

Exclusive Premiere: Serencia Shares 'I Touch Heaven'

I Touch heaven.jpg

What kind of Valentine would we be if we weren't giving you a gift? Well, don't you worry, we didn't forget - and neither did Pennsylvania favorites, Serencia; because what better gift is there than the gift of music?

The 4 piece indie/folk band from Lancaster, PA is comprised of Derek (Vocals-Guitar), Lily (Cello), Hannah (Vocals), and Bryce (Guitar). Together, with AGL Sounds, Serencia made their most recent album Morning Blues, which released in November of 2017. Both Morning Blues & their first album, A Leap of Faith, A Violent Shove, are available for stream & download. 

However, we're not here to talk about that - as much fun as it is. We're here to exclusively bring you a Valentines Day dreamboat of a song. "I Touch Heaven" is Serencia's latest release, a tribute to Grandfather, Dick Hanna, and his original song "I Touch Heaven (With My Hand)" recorded in the 1980's. 

Check it out exclusively streaming below via Serencia's bandcamp & The Hook Journal and get the tissues ready!

The sweet, somber track is right in line with Serencia's current sound - a perfect addition to the discography and collection they're currently building. 

"This song is especially important to me, it is a song that my Great Grandpa wrote back in the 1980's and had pressed onto vinyl. I've always loved the song and wanted to honor his work by bringing it to a new generation. Lily (Eckman) and I originally recorded it on our first album A Leap of Faith, A Violent Shove, but since we added Bryce (Sadler) and Hannah (Hensely) and had such a great experience working with AGL Sounds on our new album Morning Blues, it felt like this was a great time to revisit this song as a full band interpretation," says Derek Paris Frantz of the revival track.

So, spend this Valentines Day with someone or something you love, put on "I Touch Heaven" and drink lots of water. Check out Serencia on their social media, and definitely check out their most recent album release Morning Blues if you dig this. Otherwise, as always, thanks for reading and make sure to catch up on their social media links to never miss a moment!

Serencia: Facebook

Exclusive Premiere: Lazarus Wilde Teases Listeners With New Single


The vulnerable, ever talented Lazarus Wilde has spent the new year preparing for their upcoming March release - an EP that explores the raw emotion of being, and one we're personally anticipating - but, in the meantime, Wilde has teased fans and listeners with a sneak peak of what's to come: a brand new single.

Exclusively on The Hook, we're premiering Lazarus Wilde's latest track "Angor Animi" for everyone to check out. We have a streaming video down below for you! The third release under Lazarus Wilde is anticipated release on March 1st, just a few weeks away. The Condition Of Human Dilemma will feature four tracks including "Angor Animi," and is sure to knock your socks clean off.

Check out the video below!

"I wanted to create a song that explored the feelings of someone going through an anxiety attack for the first time, i know when i myself had my first panic attack, i felt as though something was seriously wrong, in an extreme thought even possibly dying or having a heart attack. We as humans tend to internalize our emotions when things get hectic forgetting that sometimes we need to express our feelings in however way we see fit. This song was my approach in expressing a feeling that many of us experience often," says Wilde of the track. 

So, you heard it hear first, "Angor Animi" is the first track off of Lazarus Wilde's March 1st EP - so stay tuned, because if you dig this then you're gonna dig the whole damn thing. As always, social media links down below to keep up with everything that is Lazarus Wilde!

Lazarus Wilde: Facebook


Exclusive Premiere: Goodfight Share New Music Video

Anticipating their upcoming East Coast tour, power-pop duo Goodfight is celebrating with a brand new track and music video for listeners! "Lucy" is a trippy, funky little video sure to make you fall in love if you aren't already!

Check out "Lucy" below!

Based in Brooklyn, New York City, Goodfight are cooing songs for both the lovers and the broken hearted. Andrew Forman and Annique Monet float as the yin-yang of young love with their pastel melodies and goosebump anthems. The duo are on a self organized east coast tour from July 14-28, Goodfight is spreading the band's gospel and song before their debut EP's fall release. 

On July 14th you can catch Goodfight at The Hook's July Showcase, so you definitely don't want to miss out on that, and their kickoff to tour as well - so you're in for a treat!

To keep up with Goodfight, check out their social media so you don't miss a moment!

Goodfight: Website // Facebook

OUT TODAY: The Hook Journal's Charity EP 'The July EP'

Out today is the anticipated Hook Journal Compilation Charity EP!

The EP features 5-tracks from some of Philly's best, and most talented bands including Nikolai, yeenar, Architect The Destroyer, Andross, and Adventure LostJuly's EP donations will go to Books Through Bars, a non-profit organization dedicated to the faciliation of books & education texts to inmates all across the United States. Located in Philadelphia, PA this organization is close to our heart, and we're excited for the opportunity to help a hardworking organization doing work for an incredible cause!

Check out the EP below, and make sure to purchase it to help donate to a great organization!

We will also be accepting book donations along with this July EP, and you can check out our Facebook for more information on how to donate books!

Exclusive Video Premiere: Jack Romanov's "Par for the Course"

Photography: David Kinchen

Photography: David Kinchen

The Hook is happy to announce our recent collaboration with Boston's own Jack Romanov to help premiere their latest music video for their track "Par for the Course."

Thanks to Open Casket Productions, everything in the series was shot by the crew, with the help of Jack Romanov. Additional work was done thanks to their friend Harry, who produced the video! Check out this exclusive premiere of "Par For The Course" down below, right here on The Hook!

The 17-minute long video details (in spectacular quality, might we add) highlights a daily look into a life maybe similar or far away from your own. And of course, Jack Romanov's impressive musicianship and quality laid over the video make for a more cinematic, emotional take. 

We really enjoyed the video over here at The Hook, and we're hoping you'll take the time to watch this little story unfold. Definitely don't want to miss this!

For more on Jack Romanov, check out their social media below!

Jack Romanov: Bandcamp // Twitter // Facebook

Exclusive Premiere: Sentient Moss Shares '1999 in Colombia' Anticipating New Album

Photography: Dave McArthur / Moberium Media

Photography: Dave McArthur / Moberium Media

Anticipating a new album is an exciting and tricky endeavor. The guys at Sentient Moss have been preparing for their March 24th release of their upcoming album, Somebody, Somehow, by sharing a track or two with listeners - and this week, The Hook was lucky enough to pair up with the foursome to exclusively premiere their newest track, "1999 in Colombia."

Check out the stream below!

If you're a fan of American Football, or Moving Mountains, Sentient Moss might be right up your alley. The single, "1999 in Colombia" features members Connor McArthur (Vocals & Guitar), Matt Balkovic (Vocals & Guitar), Nigel Whitley (Bass), and Joe Fadem (Drums). Somebody, Somehow was produced / Mixed by Kevin Grossman at The Hangar (Wall, NJ), and mastered by Tom Ruff at Asbury Media (Asbury Park, NJ).

The band first released "Clarity" last week with 36vultures, and "1999 in Colombia" at first starts out like something I've heard before. Traditional alternative rock with the heavy, gruffness of the vocal outlining a stand out guitar riff. The song, though, surprised me as I listened further - that guitar riff breaking itself down into a more methodic, math like arrangement making the track feel unique and more emotionally heavy hitting.

To celebrate the upcoming album release, Sentient Moss will be joining Halogen's (our faves) Homecoming Release Show on March 25th, presented by Electric Oak! Toy Cars and Grin & Bear are joining the show as well, check out the poster below!

So far, with this being their second release off of the album, Somebody, Somehow, is lining up to be a killer collection that you definitely want to stay tuned for on March 24th! For more on Sentient Moss and what they're up to, check out their social media below!

Sentient Moss: Bandcamp // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

EXCLUSIVE: greygoesblack Premieres 'Please'

The Hook is excited to work in tandem with Central NJ indie/electronic group, greygoesblack to premiere their latest single, "Please."

"Please" is the first track off of an upcoming 6-track EP that greygoesblack has spent months working on and perfecting. And inside there was only water will be released Feb 2017 with a limited snow globe USB edition and a standard compact disc along with all digital formats! Which is exciting news for listeners and fans (like us)!

Check out "Please" streaming exclusively on Soundcloud here at The Hook below!

greygoesblack consists of Matt (vocals, guitar), James (bass, keys), and Steve (drums, electronics), and after releasing 2 EPs, the group decided to work on a more complex and deeper sound. To do this they began adding more electronic elements to their songs, which culminated In April 2016 as they went into coffee Haus studios with Engineer Ben Feldman. After 7 months of chipping away on Friday nights they have finally finished their 6 track EP, and inside there was only water.

The band says that this new album showcases a more mature and darker electronic side of the band. "Please" highlights this with in a few different, new, and exciting ways from previous tracks that we've encountered from greygoesblack! Between the wailing, longing vocals from Matt - and the keys highlighting each hard hitting note, while the quiet of the guitar and drums keep rhythmic balance in a song that reminds me of bands like Coldplay.

We personally really enjoyed the new track, and are exciting to witness the completed, finalized EP! For more on greygoesblack, this premiere, or other news, check out their social media links below!

greygoesblack: Facebook // bandcamp