With hauntingly lush melodies and frontwoman Beril Guceri's sweet yet bold vocals, Philadelphia's East Hundred has recently emerged as one of the city's most intriguing artists on-the-verge. Started in 2004 as the basement recording project of brothers Brooke and Will Blair, the band's early demos became their first EPs, with Guceri, Brooke's then-girlfriend, adding vocals, and long-time friends bassist David Sunderland and keyboardist Susan Gager joining soon after to complete the lineup. After two years of relentless touring, they released their 2009 debut LP, Passenger, nine songs of raw, earnest, and unconventional pop that brilliantly capture the emotion of human relationships without crossing into sentimentality. Combining hard and soft musical elements with artfully crafted rhythm and guitar, the album affirms the group's ability to create dynamic and engaging songs from the chaotic beauty of life, leaving critics and fans alike falling for East Hundred's unique breed of indie rock. Catch them at the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru at Wiggins Park on the Camden Waterfront on July 25, 2009.
"East Hundred's got some great songs and excellent music dynamics that recall the dream pop of bands like The Sundays with the edge of Blondie," said Bruce Warren, Assistant General Manager of Programming for WXPN. "Lead singer Beril has a totally distinct voice that nicely showcases their well-crafted melodic sensibilities."
"We've been digging East Hundred's debut album on XPN," said Reed, "and we're psyched they're going to be joining us this year at the XPoNential Music Festival."
For more on the XPN Artists To Watch series and this month's featured artist,
The XPN Artists To Watch series reflects WXPN's commitment to nurturing fresh, new talent and exposing listeners to the best new music. Each month, the XPN Artists To Watch series spotlights a different up-and-coming performer who has produced an album or body of work that demonstrates outstanding vision, creativity and songwriting ability. Month-long on-air promotion is combined with online features to help audiences discover each artist.
WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots, and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe®, public radio's most popular program of popular music hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O'Connell. WXPN also produces the alternative rock service, Y-Rock On XPN as its secondary radio channel in HD that is also available online. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM, and the world via online streaming at XPN.org.