WXPN Radio

The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe ®

XPoNential Radio

24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists.

World Cafe Archives

Join David Dye as he navigates the World Cafe through live performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

Folk Radio

Folk music radio streaming on the web; Americana, Roots Music, recordings, and stories from folk's best.
Listen Live

The Hold Steady - Heaven Is Whenever - Vagrant

Anthemic rockers The Hold Steady ready the release of their fifth studio album entitled Heaven Is Whenever. Animated keyboardist, Franz Nicolay, has parted ways with the group leaving the dynamics a bit altered, but nonetheless The Hold Steady’s classic brand of fist pumping rock ensues.

Since the announcement of the new album there has been plenty of discussion about a new direction, a new tone for The Hold Steady. And by the start of things on Heaven Is Whenever, you'd be inclined to agree. An unlikely slide guitar is the first thing you hear when you pop in the new album. The midtempo, album-opener "The Sweet Part Of The City" has you thinking more Wilco than The Hold Steady, until Craig Finn's nostalgic tales of the road ring true and familiar.

The rock is far from lost on Heaven Is Whenever. Songs like "Soft in The Center" and "Rock Problems" boost the guitar-heavy, arena rock styling fans are accustomed to. Yet, much of the album aerates a less frantic feeling than we remember from release Stay Positive and Boys and Girls in America. A bit warmer, a bit more calculated a song like "The Weekenders" showcases a more versatile approach without comprising the band's identity.

As for frontman Craig Finn, he still finds his characters struggling in love, frequenting bars and 'sketchy' parties, and ultimately searching for self. The band follows his lead crafting a more musical, equally engaging collection of mini-anthems on the new record Heaven Is Whenever.

Listen to, or, read Mike's review.

XPN Featured Album of the Week (April 26, 2010) and CD of the Month for June 2010!

CD of the Month Club

Every month, the station's soothsayers and tastemakers select what they consider to be the best of the new. As a CDOM Club member, you'll receive all twelve of the CD of the Month selections during the year along with all of our special XPN releases -- including Live at the World Cafe CDs and XPN New Music Samplers. That's at least 16 CDs total!

Join the CD of the Month Club today by becoming a member online using our secure Member Form.

Forget trying to classify them and just listen: Railroad Earth’s Session, and “Katie Cruel’s” importance in music, tonight on...

For the last handful of weeks on Folkadelphia Radio, we’ve been focusing on a featured song, digging a little into its history,...Read More

The ever-evolving Kite Party will celebrate their new record on May 8 at PhilaMOCA

On May 6, Kite Party will unveil their second full-length album, Come on Wondering. On May 8, they’ll celebrate with a record...Read More

Singer-songwriter Abi Reimold celebrates her EP release this Saturday at Hong Kong Garden

Philly-based songstress Abi Reimold – also a photographer and occasional contributor to The Key – will celebrate the...Read More

DRGN King, Family Vacation, Big Tusk, Ghost Gum and more scheduled to play show on Record Store Day at Vinyl Revival...

If you were already having a hard time planning out how you were going to celebrate Record Store Day on April 19, things just got a...Read More

Redbull’s Sound Select pairs Philly artists Embarker and Chris Forsyth with Oneohtrix Point Never

Redbull’s Sound Select monthly feature, showcases local artists across the country is bringing some additional recognition to...Read More