Bethlehem and Sad Patrick | via

Philly vocal and guitar duo Bethlehem and Sad Patrick are back with a heartfelt new album called Love and Other Struggles. The local pair use minimalism to their advantage, crafting delicate and thoughtful songs about everything from love to life in the city to the fight against racism and intolerance with a gentle poetic edge.

The duo met by chance at an open mic, and continue to filter that homespun, improvisational quality the album’s 14 tracks, giving even the most carefully planned out songs an air of spontaneity. Informed by a combination of free jazz and traditional folk, Bethlehem’s raw yet soaring vocals are met with Patrick’s plucky guitar style for a singular sound that’s sure to translate even more stunningly in person than it does on the record.

Bethlehem and Sad Patrick will celebrate Love and Other Struggles with a record release show at the Philadelphia Folksong Society on May 18; find more information on the XPN Concert Calendar. Visit the duo’s website for a listing of their upcoming shows, which includes frequent appearances at the Swarthmore Farmers Market.