Umm Drop

Ian McCarthy and Conservative Man

Over the past six years songwriter Ian McCarthy has transformed his Conservative Man project from the solo stylings of a music-school dropout to a full-fledged band that radiates warmth, energy and a heavy dose of imagination.

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Shawn Kilroy

When Shawn Kilroy began playing guitar and writing songs in ninth grade, he was admittedly perplexed. “I couldn’t reconcile my love of the Beatles with my love of Bauhaus,” he says. “They seemed so far apart and so totally different from one another, and I felt like a phony if I admitted I liked both of them as much as I did.”

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Grimace Federation

“I don’t think I really ever paid attention to Black Sabbath, and then I got their first couple albums, and then [percussionist Zack Zweig] gave me all these Hum records and then I saw Tool play,” Wes Schwartz explains.“I went to 10 metal shows in a row.”

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Delco Nightingale

The barely year-old quartet Delco Nightingale doesn’t play rough-and-tumble crust punk, but instead travels back to the 1940s, channelling the ghosts of Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie and George Gershwin.

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Espers

Psych-folk sextet Espers have long focused on creating music that is both beautiful and eerie. There’s a medieval, almost ritualistic feel to many of its songs as vocalist Meg Baird’s doe-eyed vocals weave around uneasy minor-key melodies .

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Brother JT

For more than two decades John Terlesky has been faithfully writing and recording songs, first as part of Philly garage rockers the Original Sins in the late 1980s, and for the past decade under the moniker Brother JT.

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LMFAO

The best thing about LMFAO is its name precisely because it’s unclear whether the joke’s on its party rap inspirations or the listeners lapping it up.

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Shot x Shot

Moments into any Shot x Shot song and it’s evident the quartet is heavily influenced by free jazz and the avant garde. Songs are abstract, ethereal, contemplative and riotous.

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Minas

With the upcoming release of their fifth proper album, ‘Bossa Nova Day,’ they’re not abandoning their roots, but they are shifting gears slightly. For the first time, Minas is recording as a duo.

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Hymn for Her

For some people, being in a band with your spouse is difficult. Add a two-year-old child and a 10-year-old dog to the mix, and difficulties abound exponentially. Now try adding a tour into the mix.

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