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East Hundred: WXPN's July 2009 Artist to Watch

Breakups are never easy. But often times the emotions found in the aftermath can lead to a new level of artistic expression. Few understand this better than the Philadelphia quintet East Hundred. Through the ashes of the breakup between two band members came the group's remarkable debut album, Passenger.

The group was formed in 2004 by brothers Will and Brooke Blair. Looking to fill out their sound, Brooke asked his girlfriend Beril Guceri to join the band on vocals. She agreed, and after adding bassist David Sunderland and keyboardist Susan Gager, the band got to work perfecting their sound. East Hundred released a string of EPs, and in 2007 headed to the studio to begin work on their latest effort.

During the recording process, Guceri and Brooke Blair's relationship ended. Instead of dissolving the band, the group used the emotions that followed to write a slew of new material that would become their debut album.

It's no surprise, then, that much of the album's material focuses on heartbreak and loss. Guceri's swaggering and melancholy vocals sweep over the band's driving rhythms. East Hundred's brand of electro-infused indie rock rocks just as hard as it swoons, creating an experience that is both emotionally rich and musically accessible.

East Hundred recently participated in a project with Weathervane Music, a non-profit founded by local producer Brian McTear. The program supports the independent music community by helping artists produce and promote videos for their music. The band recorded a song and video for the project which can be checked out here.

The band's ability to turn tragedy into a triumph of this magnitude is a rare feat. For this, East Hundred is this month's Artist to Watch.

Free Download of East Hundred's single "Slow Burning Crimes"

Origin: Philadelphia, PA
Recent Release:
Release Date: January 13, 2009
Label: Unsigned