12 Philly releases to pick up for Bandcamp’s fundraising Friday to support NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Bandcamp is approaching its monthly fundraising day a little differently for June. After a year-plus of Bandcamp Fridays — where the digital music platform waives its fee and directs all proceeds to the artists, offering much-needed support during the pandemic — for June, it timed its fundraiser to coincide with Juneteenth, with its fee being donated to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. On its website, Bandcamp speaks of the need to support “their ongoing efforts to promote racial justice through litigation, advocacy, and public education.”
We’ve been inspired by and joined in the growing call for racial justice and equity, and have celebrated the many new reforms, practices, and policies that bring us closer to a world where Black people and people of color can thrive without fear of violence and oppression. At the same time, we are nowhere near where we need to be, and there is still much work to be done. This annual fundraiser is part of our larger, ongoing commitment to racial equity.
There are countless Philly artists you can support while also supporting the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The Skeleton Key’s Yoni Kroll has a few suggestions, for starters. The folks at Left of the Dial Podcast just expanded their selection of live sessions with local artists. Most if not all of our previous Bandcamp Friday recommendations are still available and still recommended. And if you’re feeling truly adventurous, click on the Philadelphia tag and explore.
Right now, we’ll offer a dozen Philly releases on Bandcamp we’re excited for this month. Shop local, support your scene, and the greater community while you’re at it.
Shanti’s Rebuttal by Dumhi
Philly producer and soundscaper Haj of Dumhi returns to the boards for his latest solo release, a tasty soundscape of stylish beats and orchestrations that wouldn’t sound out of place in the 70s and 80s b-movies and TV drama that inspired them.
RedTouchBlack by RedTouchBlack
The hard-hitting and heavy debut from Philly doom / modern rock four-piece RedTouchBlack flexes the band’s range. We hear moments of Sabbath inspo as readily as moments indebted to Pixies, and lead vocal duties are divided by frontperson Adam Geer as well as Shannon Lafferty and drummer Adam Phaneuf.
“Dangerous” by Ivy Sole ft. Kingsley Ibeneche
When these two foward-thinking hip-hop / R&B visionaries join forces, the results are always stellar. For their second collaborative song, Ivy Sole and Kingsley Ibeneche trade verses that reflect on intimacy and apprehension over murmuring, mesmerizing synth beds and beats.
CATFITE: A HXC Version of Catbite S/T by Catbite
Philly ska four-piece Catbite is truly the gift that keeps on giving. After re-inventing their debut album Yeehaw style earlier this year (on “CATLITE“), they’ve returned with CATFITE, a hardcore punk rendering of the album It’s the same eight songs, but they feel new each time, and the band is donating proceeds from this project to Hearts On A Wire, which they describe as “a local organization that is very dear to us” and “a grassroots inside/outside prison advocacy organization working to address the needs of transgender people, mostly POC, in Pennsylvania’s prisons) .”
Steel’s Kitchen by Wrecking Crew
The hard-boiled hip-hop of Wrecking Crew never disappoints, and on Steel’s Kitchen, each member of the collective gets time to shine while paying homage to DMX; their Bandcamp says the project is “inspired by The Ruff Ryders compilations, Soundbombing 2, Def Jux Presents, and all of the other incredible rap compilations that meant the most to us.”
“Heavy” by Sug Daniels
Simply an enchanting song about the exhilaration of new love, rendered in ukelele and dulcet vocals by Hoochi Coochi frontperson Sug Daniels. With her band, she’s a cool and commanding presence, but on this new solo single, she’s truly vulnerable.
the seven sins (still haunt me at night) [v.7] by Small Professor
Small Pro is simply one of the city’s best beatmakers — check out his project A Jawn Supreme from last year for a truly immersive, heady journey — and his latest is a tidy twelve minutes of sound inspired in part by the never-not-horrifying David Fincher thriller.
PRIMEMOVER by Joshua Stamper
Philly guitarist and composer Joshua Stamper released this breathtaking, 19-song project that spans the worlds of jazz, orchestral music, and ambient soundscapes. Stamper was commissioned to write the suite that became PRIMEMOVER by City Church Philadelphia (now Resurrection Philadelphia) between 2015 and 2021, and it was intended for services on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Easter, Pentecost, and Advent. But it’s transcendent in a way that it soothes no matter your spiritual persuasion.
“Going Home” by A Country Western
A relatively new indie band from Philly, A Country Western works in the emotive and breathless slowcore palette — think Bedhead, Codeine, and the like — that totally befits the wide-open cover art of its new single “Going Home.”
Sopa de Elote by Froggy
Shoutouts to my friend and fellow Philly scene supporter Han from Y-Not Radio for putting me on to the terrific Doylestown-area feminist punk inspired punk three piece Froggy. Their EP Sopa de Elote is riotously loud and ridiculously fun, plus “Midwest Emo Scum” is one of the better song titles I’ve seen in a minute.
Free Art: The Mixtape by Arthur Thomas
After releasing the blazing Welcome To Funktar project with is band The Funkitorium earlier this year, Arthur Thomas is working on a more personally-oriented solo pursuit as well, due out this fall. To tide over listeners in the meantime, his Free Art mixtape compiles what he considers “art pieces” to serve as a prequel, with vivid production by 808 Ray, Philly Peezy, Pace O Beats & Norm Batez The Brand.
katie bird by The Lunar Year
We last saw Philadelphia singer-songwriter Katie Hackett rocking some killer backup vocals during Riverby’s Porchfest set, but we’re happy to note that the debut album by her own project The Lunar Year has made its way to Bandcamp. Originally released in late 2020, katie bird shimmers with dreamlike guitar tones, fluttering beats, and resplendent vocals — the stunning “Chime” has gotten a few spins during my XPN Local hours — as Hackett weaves introspective stories about distance and connection.