Almost a quarter of 2012 has passed by, and so far the year has been generous with new album releases. The end of winter also means an overwhelming amount of spring tours. Here are some bands with new records that will be stopping in Philadelphia in the coming months.
Dry the River — “Shallow Bed”
Dry the River formed in 2009, but its first full length album wasn’t released until last week. The band has garnered attention, though, with EP releases and tours. Dry the River made the BBC Sound of 2012 list, and the highly anticipated release of “Shallow Bed” lived up to expectations. The band’s soft-sounding folk rock, featuring acoustic guitar and violin along with electric instruments, has an unexpected intensity to it. Its poetic lyrics combined with flowing melodies, and just a hint of rock opera, make its music both accessible and engaging.
Thursday, March 22
Ben Howard — “Every Kingdom”
Ben Howard is a singer-songwriter from London who is already causing a buzz in the United Kingdom. He’s finally bringing his music across the pond with the April 3 U.S. release of his album and Communion’s Austin to Boston Tour. With the help of vocalist and cellist India Bourne and producer-bassist-drummer Chris Bond, Howard recorded “Every Kingdom,” a well-crafted, full-sounding folk album. The minimalist acoustic guitar, layered with rich vocals and complementary instrumentals, makes a beautiful album that stands out.
World Cafe Live
Tuesday, March 27
Lovedrug — “Wild Blood”
The Ohio band’s last full-length release was back in 2008. After releasing a couple EPs, the band announced “I AM LOVEDRUG” in 2010, a fan-driven project to fund its fourth studio album. “Wild Blood,” released last week, was the result of the campaign. The record is a little more subdued and organic than past releases, but it still contains Michael Shepard’s quirky vocals and remnants of the band’s dark, grungy sound. The release is simply a more grown-up, dynamic rock album closer to indie pop than the past two records.
North Star Bar
Friday, April 13
Anthony Raneri — “New Cathedrals”
Anthony Raneri is best known for being the lead singer of New York band Bayside. Over the past few years, he has performed both original and Bayside songs at solo shows. He finally decided to release an EP of some of these songs that he didn’t think fit with his band’s music. His acoustic rock numbers, injected with a bit of folk, classic rock and country-twang, are definitely a departure, but not so much so that Bayside fans won’t like them. The songs are simpler and feel more personal, making them perfect for intimate performances.
North Star Bar
Thursday, April 26
Bear in Heaven — “I Love You, It’s Cool”
Bear in Heaven is an experimental rock band from Brooklyn. Its newest album, “I Love You, It’s Cool,” is set for an April 3 release. The album’s electronic sound is reminiscent of ’80s synthpop, but Bear in Heaven’s music isn’t just fluff; it’s deeper and darker than present-day dance music. “I Love You, It’s Cool” is the kind of album you want the volume up for, and it may be better suited for a live show than for an MP3 player.
First Unitarian Church
Wednesday, May 2