Songwriters

Daniel Rafn on his new track and upcoming album

Whether you know how to pronouce it or not, it's highly likely you've heard the name 'Rafn' thrown around town. The Rafn brothers have worked both together and with others on various projects among the years, but their individual efforts prove fruitfully engaging.

Such is especially the case for Daniel Rafn, who has been working his way through artistically distressed and doubtful feelings to produce his newest track "Shalom," along with his fourth album The Hanged Man, due out later this year.

The first track to be released from the new album, "Shalom" offers the best representation of what can be expected on the album, according to Rafn. "I think it stands alone pretty well as just a song, while most everything else on the album seems to make more sense in the context of the album. "Shalom" was a good way to represent the whole, while the others are all extreme in some way," he says.

Its subtle play on phonetics is more personal than they appear at first, holding a double meaning. "I was born and raised in Salem, OR. Salem is an anglicized version of the Hebrew word 'Shalom,' which means peace. I'm saying in reality I'm from Salem, but in a spiritual emotional sense I like to think we come from a place of peace, like a peaceful pre-existence or something," Rafn says.

Yet the peaceful seeds behind the song oppose the effort put into both the song and album's production. Anyone that's delved into the creative arts knows the trials of continual inspiration, motivation and confidence in fabrication and Rafn himself admits how maturity in music comes with an emotional price tag.

"I contrast the peaceful origin with the angst of adulthood and finding your way...and finding out how to do what you wanna do in life," Rafn says. "The more serious I've gotten about making music or, the more committed you could say, the more "angsty" I've noticed I've become."

"It's the frustration of having this great desire to make art and have it go out and effect people for the better versus the very real struggle of actually getting that art heard and accepted. Not to mention the personal struggle of just having to come to terms that you need to work a fuck-ton to even get better so that your art can be accepted in the first place!"

Most of us aren't strangers to this frustration, especially when it comes to forcing yourself to push through a particular hurdle in the project. For Rafn that hurdle happened to be the next single he's releasing from the album in August, "The I and The All," which he says he had the most trouble in writing.

"That one was just more of an arrangement problem. I had the whole thing done for months and when I came back to it, it just seemed too empty. I wanted to add a little more harmonic complexity to it so just took some going over," Rafn says.

No matter the struggles, every element of Daniel Rafn's newest track is emotionally captivating and elevating. He's having a release show for "Shalom" tomorrow at the Liquor Store with Old Grape God. Give "Shalom" and listen below and be on the lookout for The Hanged Man, dropping in October. 

 

Coping Skills Cope Admirably at Creep Records July 2

"We live for jokes." You can get that sense when listening to the self-described "moderately gay post-ironic bummer pop" tunes of Coping Skills. The duo of Rachel Dispenza and Lauren DeLucca, through their music, seem to cope admirably with the complexities of being millennials in these modern times. Their witty observations make for fun, anthemic lines to sing-along to. The "cool" gals will be opening for Philly's Doubles and Fake Boyfriend as well as New York's Ankle Grease and Wilkes-Barre's Hymn at Creep Records tonight. Creep Records, 1050 N. Hancock St. #76, 7pm, $5 All Ages (Photo by Abi Reimold) - H.M. Kauffman

The Deli Philly's July Record of the Month: Please Relax - Spring Onion

Catherine Dwyer, also known as the guitarist for the alt-rock outfit Sports, offers fans the perfect soundtrack for summer feelings with the release of her solo EP Please Relax. Recorded under the moniker Spring Onion, her new album is DIY at its best. Mostly written and recorded within the walls of her Philadelphia home, Please Relax is an intimate portrait of yearning, infused with dream-pop nostalgia, heartfelt riffs, and candid poetics.

“Egg (Driving Song),” the EP’s opener, unfolds with an Aimee Mann-meets-Girlpool earnestness. Telling the story of a commute clouded by desire, the song is a catchy confessional, with lines like “I'm sorry for what I said and didn't say” and “I'll write songs about my flaws/cause that's a way to self absolve.” The lo-fi grit of Dwyer’s anthem instantly tugs at the heartstrings, transforming even the most jaded listener into a hopeful romantic with each iteration of its fuzzed-out beats.

That sentiment is extended on "Chili". Twangy chords are quickly followed by Dwyer’s straightforward but evocative vocals, bringing to mind Built To Spill’s “Carry the Zero” and B-sides by indie darlings like The Babies. The track, although laidback, is unflinchingly sincere, the steady build of its instrumentation, urging its audience to actively listen and exist in the moment. The hissing snare and piano of “Poem 3 (Piano)” cast a similar spell, making each reprise of “but I don’t live alone” a testament to the millennial plight of finding solace in a shared space, while the EP’s title track and atmospheric closer serves as a suitably melodic mantra to calm the anxieties and emotional side effects of living.

Despite its brevity, the openness of Please Relax is astonishingly raw and brave. Listening to her songs will remind you that you’re not alone. - Dianca London

Spring Onion

CD Name: 
Please Relax
title_color: 
darkorange
Music Link: 
https://springonion.bandcamp.com/album/please-relax
Album Cover URL: 
https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a3362507742_10.jpg
body: 
<p>Catherine Dwyer, also known as the guitarist for the alt-rock outfit Sports, offers fans the perfect soundtrack for summer feelings with the release of her solo EP <em>Please Relax</em>. Recorded under the moniker <a href="https://springonion.bandcamp.com/">Spring Onion</a>, her new album is DIY at its best. Mostly written and recorded within the walls of her Philadelphia home, <em>Please Relax</em> is an intimate portrait of yearning, infused with dream-pop nostalgia, heartfelt riffs, and candid poetics.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Egg (Driving Song),&rdquo; the EP&rsquo;s opener, unfolds with an Aimee Mann-meets-Girlpool earnestness. Telling the story of a commute clouded by desire, the song is a catchy confessional, with lines like &ldquo;I'm sorry for what I said and didn't say&rdquo; and &ldquo;I'll write songs about my flaws/cause that's a way to self absolve.&rdquo; The lo-fi grit of Dwyer&rsquo;s anthem instantly tugs at the heartstrings, transforming even the most jaded listener into a hopeful romantic with each iteration of its fuzzed-out beats.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That sentiment is extended on &quot;Chili&quot;. Twangy chords are quickly followed by Dwyer&rsquo;s straightforward but evocative vocals, bringing to mind Built To Spill&rsquo;s &ldquo;Carry the Zero&rdquo; and B-sides by indie darlings like The Babies. The track, although laidback, is unflinchingly sincere, the steady build of its instrumentation, urging its audience to actively listen and exist in the moment. The hissing snare and piano of &ldquo;Poem 3 (Piano)&rdquo; cast a similar spell, making each reprise of &ldquo;but I don&rsquo;t live alone&rdquo; a testament to the millennial plight of finding solace in a shared space, while the EP&rsquo;s title track and atmospheric closer serves as a suitably melodic mantra to calm the anxieties and emotional side effects of living.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Despite its brevity, the openness of <em>Please Relax</em> is astonishingly raw and brave. Listening to her songs will remind you that you&rsquo;re not alone. - <em>Dianca London</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

New Music Video: "All You Gotta Be When You’re 23 Is Yourself" - Free Cake For Every Creature

Below is a new music video from Free Cake For Every Creature for the track "All You Gotta Be When You’re 23 Is Yourself," which was directed by Allysa Yohana. It stars the band subdudely performing at a bday party. You can find the single on their latest album Talking Quietly Of Anything With You, which is out now via Double Double Whammy. Free Cake For Every Creature will be hitting the road this September with Diet Cig.

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