Finding great international acts has always been something important to me in my love of digging through the metaphorical crates of new music. But, it’s disheartening to come across so many that you may never get the chance to see up close and in person. I haul my tush around CMJ, SXSW, and a number of one off gigs in NYC to fulfill my desire to see if their on-stage performance matches the quality of their recorded material. Much more often than not, I am rewarded with the greatness I expected. While I have been fortunate enough to live abroad and see lots of bands in their home cities as well as here in cities around the US, it is always special when they come to me. I’ve compiled a list below of just a few artists not to miss as they pass through Philadelphia in the coming days. It crosses genres, fan bases, ages, and certainly countries but I feel as though a live music lover would not be disappointed by any of the following acts.
Sticky Fingers (Australia)
7/10 – Milkboy
I never got the chance to see this gang of rabble-rousers play live during my time in Australia but I sincerely wish I had. With their breezy blend of reggae, psychedelic rock, and a bit of pop, Sticky Fingers are the perfect soundtrack to a good night out. In Australia, they pack sizable venues and are known to put on a heck of a live show. If you can make it out to Milkboy, you’ll be in for a treat that is both laid-back and wildly entertaining.
7/11 – Boot & Saddle
Bridie Monds-Watson (aka SOAK) is a young lass whose quiet songs have big personality. The Irish songstress has been playing for a number of years and has a knack for crafting folk pop tunes with a charming intimacy. It’s the tune below and another called “Blud” that first drew me to her music this time last year. She has since been picked up by CHVRCHES record label and then Rough Trade who have worked together in getting her beautiful songs out to the masses. A special bonus for this gig as that our Philadelphia pal Abi Reimold is opening.
7/12 – Boot & Saddle
It’s amazing what you can do when your are young, talented, and unencumbered by over-thinking. I saw MOURN’s first US at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn earlier this year and boy, was it a spectacle. Packed with industry folk and early lovers of their spunky album, the faces of the room were all aglow watching the natural, unassuming stage presence of these Spanish teenagers and their spellbinding performance of screamable, melodic punk. They are cooler than I ever was as a teenager and seem to have found their calling much earlier than most. Come out on Sunday to see why I can’t say enough nice things about them.
7/16 – Boot & Saddle
Happyness sounds much bigger than a trio. The UK group make a casual sort of indie rock with feeling. Each song is an extended journey quite different from the last. I saw only half of one of their sets at CMJ and marked them immediately as a band to see again. They also made it on the first compilation from our friends over at 80N7. If that alone isn’t enough to make you want to go, then watch this performance below.