Sabrina Fallah

“Do what you love and never give up!”

Women rock, and in Sabrina Fallah’s case, she actually does rock. Her guitar-driven melodies might remind you of P!nk or Avril Lavigne, but Fallah’s sweet soprano adds a unique twist.

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Her EPs, a self-titled debut and follow-up album “Kiss Is a Killer,” show that she’s been at this for a while. In the 10 years she’s been performing, music has become her full-time work. Her first hint that she wanted to be a singer was at age 14 when she won her first singing competition, but she’s been surrounded by music since childhood. Her cousin would play his guitar and let her hear the new bands he was listening to. Some of her favorites now are Green Day, Bon Jovi, and Billy Idol. This exposure, along with her love of writing short stories and poetry, led her to becoming a singer/songwriter.

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Shannen Moser

Oh, My Heart

Written by Casey Holmstrom

Shannen Moser, Music, Philly, Musician, DIY
Shannen Moser. Oh, My Heart image via Bandcamp.

“Oh, My Heart” is the third album from Philly’s DIY scene’s Shannen Moser. It injects something vital into the listener, like nutrients to a healthy garden. The vibe holds a blend of the Dixie Chicks’ banjo storytelling and harmonizing and a more mature version of Girlpool’s innocent emotional tolls of growing older. Girlpool also plays in the same Philadelphia circles as Moser. “Oh, My Heart” sings to the heart of spring and the melt of winter.

The opening track, “I’m Going Home (Sacred Heart),” is a lilting intro with an almost gospel-sounding timbre. As the dust settles, “Alex (282)” sets you on solid ground. Moser inflicts her audience with a voice similar to Marissa Paternoster of the Screaming Females.

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Feist

I forgot about her! Sort of. Some of her songs from Metals always make it on to my fall playlists, but before and after that, I forgot about her. It has been six years, after all, since she released anything new. But, I personally feel that should be the hallmark of a steady artist. Give yourself space and time to create genuine music instead of slamming a new single or album out yearly. (Don’t get me wrong, some artists do that, and they do it well… but usually they don’t because it’s rushed and forced.)

Her new album, Pleasure, is coming out April 28. It took me a couple listens to this new single Century to warm up to it. The tempo is a little trickier–it never quite gets beyond that point where you feel the sound is going to crest. The guitars are low and prod you forward like thumbing your way for a ride down a long desert road. The ending features a bit of spoken word by English artist Jarvis Cocker, who I’m only familiar with by name. It’s a spooky addition that illustrates the theme of the song (which sounds like it might be depression or sadness). So, being that Century has all my favorite elements (dark, spooky, and a little awkward to get used to), I listened to it a few more times, and now I will say confidently that it’s a damn good song and I can’t wait to hear more. Welcome back Feist!

Vagabon

Sending up a Friday PSA about this fabulous new singer, Vagabon (no “d”–not the British band Google would have you believe). She was recently featured on NPR’s First Listen for her upcoming second album, Infinite Worlds. Only her first album, Persian Garden, is available on Spotify, currently. As shitty as Spotify is for independent artists, I’m plugging it here because you have to hear it right away, somehow. If you can get your hands on her actual album or support her live, that would be ideal! You can also listen on her Band Camp page.

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Image via HearYa.com

Vagabon (Laetitia Tamko) is a multi-instrumentalist and plays most, if not all, of her own music. Her sound carries hints of classic 90s grunge mood with intense guitar and raspy vocals a la Feist or Cat Power–that languid, but raw yearning that rests on top of the instrumentation. But Laetitia uses the sound wisely. It’s gently interspersed throughout the songs like punctuation to her introspective lyrics. Listening to Persian Garden, I imagined myself on a long car ride, staring out the window at the passing scenery. The enclosed space giving time to dwell in all the emotions around my various memories.

From Persian Garden, Sharks:

“I am so small.
My feet can barely touch the floor
on the bus where everybody’s tall.
I surrender myself.
Run and tell everybody that Laetitia is a small fish.
I’m just a small fish.”