Philadelphia’s Sadurn can draw you in from all directions. There’s the vulnerable lyricism of singer-songwriter and frontperson G DeGroot, and the delicate vocal harmonies they share with bassist Tabitha Ahnert. There’s the band’s arresting indie-folk minimalism, anchored by drummer Amelia Swain and occasionally broken in the best way by Jon Cox’s rustic flourishes of pedal steel and baritone guitar. There’s Sadurn’s sublime debut record Radiator, out now on Run For Cover Records and filled with intimate, moving and ultimately relatable story-songs, vignettes of personal moments that transcend the specifics of their words.
Sadurn’s early singles and split releases have captivated us for a minute here at WXPN. More than that, even, as G reminded me while setting up for this Key Studio Session that back in 2017 I wrote about the first music they ever put out — the Friends With Your Friends EP, released under the name Veev — for the Items Tagged Philadelphia series. But something about Radiator feels like an arrival, a record that will accelerate this band’s journey from basements to clubs and hopefully beyond; we saw that process begin last week when they packed the room at Johnny Brenda’s for their album release party. And some songs they’ve had with them the whole time: “The Void / Madison,” which opens the band’s Key Studio Session, is a selection from Friends that was re-recorded for Radiator.