WXPN Welcomes Philly Music Fest featuring Marian Hill

Sadurn, Trap Rabbit, Sophie Coran, Julia Pratt, Ryan Gilfillian

Wednesday, October 11, 2023
Doors: 6pm | Show: 7pm

Philly Music Fest will take place on both stages at World Cafe Live. One ticket gets you entry to all performances in The Lounge and the Music Hall; you are welcome to move throughout the venue.

World Cafe Live is a nonprofit independent venue where artistry meets social impact. Every purchase helps support our free music education & community programs.

There’s a palpable feeling of intimacy throughout every moment of Radiator, the debut album from Philadelphia’s Sadurn. The band’s spare-yet-satisfying instrumentation, diary-like lyrics, and graceful vocal harmonies bring you in extraordinarily close, breaking down any walls between artist and listener to offer fleeting glimpses of life’s most internal moments—as well as one of the most compelling debut records in some time. Sadurn started as the solo project of Genevieve DeGroot, who picked up the guitar in 2015 in an effort to delve deeper into songwriting. “I came to the game really late relative to most people,” DeGroot explains, “I didn’t start playing guitar and really writing songs until after college. I’d always been a singer but I just felt like I needed an instrument to really write songs on.” It wasn’t long until DeGroot was creating the music that would eventually become Sadurn. “When you reach into a new creative outlet, it’s really exciting because there’s just so much there. I didn’t have this idea that I was going to go and become a musician, but I was learning new chord progressions and writing, and I’d moved to Philly and was surrounded by other songwriters.” One of these fellow musicians was guitarist Jon Cox, who joined up with DeGroot to form an early incarnation of Sadurn. The two started playing DIY shows in the city and released several homemade, charmingly lo-fi EPs, then in early 2020, a chance experience kicked off the next phase of Sadurn. “My friend Amelia [Swain] was just learning to play drums, we started playing some of my songs together and it just made sense, we both had this feeling that we had to do this.” The group was soon joined by Tabitha Ahnert who had recently taken up bass, and Sadurn’s new lineup was complete. With new members and an evolving sound, the beginning of 2020 was meant to be the four-piece’s debut, but the world had other plans. “I’d already been scheming about making a record before the pandemic because I was excited about the full-band songs,” says DeGroot. “We played one gig together and then everything got put on hold for a while.” After months of isolation and waiting, Sadurn figured out a way to push forward. “The only way we thought it could work was if we isolated together for a couple weeks, so we found a cheap Airbnb in the Poconos and our friend Heather Jones brought out all this recording gear.” The band moved the furniture and created a makeshift recording studio, tucking themselves away in close quarters, with only passing animals around to witness the making of what would become their first full-length. “We didn’t even know if we were going to do enough songs for an album at first, it was kind of a mystery of what was going to work,” DeGroot explains. “The whole project up to that point had been so lo-fi, so close to the source and unproduced. I wanted the band and the new recordings to still have that to some extent. We’re all so close and we were living in this cabin for two weeks making this thing, I think it was sort of the special circumstances that lent themselves to the way the album turned out.” That warmth and familiarity permeates Radiator, with its roomy recording and lean instrumentation nimbly serving the songs, bolstering DeGroot’s stunning vocals and conversational lyrics. Sadurn’s affecting indie folk draws on a range of influences from Jason Molina, to Gillian Welch, to Alex G and Elliott Smith, working in the tradition of songwriters whose melodies are as captivating as the words within them. Radiator explores the struggles and eventual beauty of grappling with multiple emotional realities, particularly when it comes to relationships. “I definitely write as a way of processing what’s going on,” says DeGroot. “I’m usually making space for a feeling or a thought that, for some reason, I can’t talk to other people about because it’s too destructive.” Indecision, doubt, heartbreak, the idea of being forced to choose–these internal conflicts are wrestled with throughout Radiator. Tracks like “snake,” the album’s instantly powerful opener, and “golden arm,” an unhurried ballad that shows its truest colors with time, are full of memorable moments and emotional detail. Elsewhere “moses kill” tries to make sense of unresolved feelings around identity and family overtop acoustic guitars recorded so closely that you can hear fingers moving from fret to fret, while mid-album highlight “special power” is an unabashed breakup song with a soaring chorus that belies its aching lyrics. “If you’re having doubts about a relationship, there aren’t many places you can air them,” DeGroot says. “Writing about that kind of thing is a way to wrap your mind around them.” Radiator culminates in the penultimate song, “icepick”–a mix of gentle guitars, a hazy drum loop, and DeGroot’s revealing lyrics that slowly tumbles into album closer “<---.” This final track is a cascading reversed version of “icepick” that plays almost like an instrumental plea to go back in time, armed with the perspective and knowledge gained from a challenging experience. A sense of daring-but-necessary honesty emerges as “<---” abruptly ends, and you start the album over. True closeness isn’t always easy to achieve, but with Radiator, Sadurn prove that it’s worth the risk.
Trap Rabbit is a band and production team born and based in Philadelphia. The founding duo, multi-instrumentalists and producers Arjun Dube and Logan Roth, met in the Princeton University Jazz Ensemble. They have been working in the Philadelphia since they moved to the city in 2015, and have since respectively become staples in Philly's underground music scene, working with bands and artists at venues and studios across the tri-state area. Most recently, Logan began playing with Ms. Lauryn Hill as well as recording and touring with Drexel-bred indie darling Slaughter Beach Dog. Arjun, meanwhile, was discovered by internationally acclaimed producer and multi-instrumentalist, FKJ. He will embark on his second international tour as FKJ's drummer in early 2023. As a band, Trap Rabbit has sold out venues and basements alike across the east coast, scoring opening spots for Taylor McFerrin, Mark Guiliana's Space Heroes, Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, Nate Wood's fOUR project, Octave Cat, and The Wednesday Night Titans. Their live performances frequently feature special guests and almost always include bassist Jon Colman (Muscle Tough) and guitarist Dave D'arville. Live and studio collaborations have included Eric Bazilian, Phil Nicolo, Maxfield Gast, Sam Greenfield, Sophie Coran, Kyle Sparkman, Yesseh Furaha-Ali, MH the Verb, and Kuf Knotz among many others. Individually they've worked with acclaimed artists such as Ms. Lauryn Hill, Chris Bullock (of Snarky Puppy), FKJ, Slaughter Beach, Dog, Taylor Kelly, and Suzanne Sheer. Their recent music has been a different kind of fusion, combining their earlier brand of basement beat prog with lush studio textures and glitchy production. The result is an ear-candy filled concoction that references important figures in acid jazz, instrumental hip-hop, and art rock.
NYC's famed alt-pop duo Marian Hill are officially on the rise. Latest release "oOo that's my type" ft. the fiery Yung Baby Tate has caused quite a ripple in the social media sphere and has been praised by the likes of PAPER, Paste Magazine, Revolt, and more as their hit single "Down" is once again moving up the Shazaam charts. Now the duo, known for innovative alt-electronic music, are announcing new single "omg," due for release July 21st. "OMG" continues to push the limits of indie electronic by infusing elements of hip-hop, R&B, and pop alongside Samantha's distinctly sultry vocals, ushering you into a playground of dark bass and playful production choices. The sensual song brings us once again into the nocturnal dreamscape roguery that Marian Hill is known for creating. Chances are you're familiar with the established duo- comprised of producer Jeremy Lloyd and vocalist Samantha Gongol - who released their debut EP, Play, in 2013. Two years later came Sway, an expanded collection of songs, this time officially released through Photo Finish and Republic Records. The seven track project featured the smokey, trap-jazz hit "One Time," which went viral on Vine and rewarded Lloyd and Gongol with a gigantic bump in popularity. "One of the most amazing things about being discovered on the internet is you don't have to tough it out at bars and shows, it kind of happens over night," Gongol says. "But it also didn't give me time to figure out my performance, to become confident." Act One, their debut record, arrived in 2016 and brought the spotlight of virality onto the duo again. Apple featured the album's single, "Down," in an AirPods commercial nearly a year after Act One's release, boosting the infectious single to #21 on the Billboard 100, and pushing Marian Hill through the mainstream bubble. The duo have garnered 2.2 Billion worldwide streams, have played coveted late night shows like Fallon, and performed at Grammy parties. Marian Hill showed how prolific they can be when they returned with their sophomore record only a year later. Unusual (June 2018) is 10 taut tracks including lead single "Subtle Thing" and garnered various tastemaker press approvals from the likes of PAPER Magazine, Billboard & Refinery 29. The record saw the duo solidify their position as a singular voice in modern pop and was paired with a series of ten one-minute visual episodes invoking the work of filmmakers Roy Andersson and Peter Campus. Their latest album, Why Can’t We Just Pretend?, featuring “ooo (that’s my type)” and “omg” is due in Fall 2021.
Sophie Coran’s sonic world is crafted with firm intentionality, effortless poignancy, and imagistic se-duction. The genre she feels the most at home in, her signature Noir & B style, is a blend of R&B, jazz, and classical composition, tied together with a ribbon of hyper-sentimentality. Her debut album, S P A C E, detailed the struggle of unrequited love, and learning to balance the imperative nature of self-worth with desire. Inspired by high-profile artists like Fiona Apple, Nick Hakim, and Amy Winehouse, she pulls contemporary swells from pop music and overlays them with intimate string and piano arrangements. Pair that with her affinity for classic films, vintage landscapes, and the romanticism of Europe, and you have a uniquely visceral experience that only she can so masterfully deliver. Sophie is currently preparing to release her sophomore album, i don’t go to new york anymore. She is joined by longtime producer and engineer Michael Cumming of Treacle Mine Recording in Philadelphia, PA, and is backed by her band, Logan Roth (keys), Arjun Dube (drums), Mike Morron-giello (bass) and Rob Pallett (guitar, vocals). Tipped as one of 10 Artists You Should Know from Phila-delphia on NPR music, “Singer-songwriter Sophie Coran fancies her aesthetic Noir & B, which is a clever way of packaging an artist who boasts both a faux-fur coat vintage Hollywood look, and a smoky-voiced after-hours lounge sound. Below the surface, though, Coran's songs are complex studies of hu-man connection — between lovers, between parents and their children, between strangers.
Julia Pratt is a 22 year old singer-songwriter based in Philadelphia. A songwriter at heart, Julia’s music blends pop, jazz, r&b, and folk, with dashes of electronic production. Grounded in poignant lyricism inspired by songwriters such as Kevin Garrett, Amy Winehouse, and Hozier, Julia writes about family, love, betrayal, and grappling with the concept of “the self.” Fresh off of a national tour opening for Australian ambient pop artist Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Julia is gearing up for a series of releases throughout the rest of 2023 while continuing to perform.