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3 Great Indie Pop Bands from Philadelphia

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Philadelphia’s music scene is on fire right now. With a notoriously thriving DIY scene and its tendency to be a staple location for most North American tours, for music fans, Philadelphia is the place to be. While the city contains artists of nearly every genre, here are three great indie pop bands from Philly to begin your crash course on great Philadelphian music. 


For fans of: OK Go, Bad Suns, BØRNS

Originally the brainchild of frontman and songwriter Andy States, the Philadelphia slam-dunk-power-pop outfit CRUISR already have a handful of sun-soaked EPs under their belt, and a full length due out this summer. The band dropped the “e” in “Cruiser” and signed with Vagrant Records in mid-2014, and has since made appearances at Made In America, Billboard’s Hot 100 Music Festival, Firefly, and on nationwide tours with The 1975 and Misterwives. States’ ability to put together bright melodies, feel-good lyrics, and tight song structures have paid dividends, and when backed by drummer Jon Van Dine’s punchy drum beats, combine for summertime anthems that are smart, fun-loving, and infectious.

2. Cheerleader

For fans of: Grouplove, Young the Giant, The Beach Boys

A self proclaimed indie haze-pop quintet, Cheerleader began as a lo-fi bedroom project between Joe Haller and Chris Duran, and has since evolved into a full rock band. The full lineup, which now includes Carl Bahner on drums, Josh Pannepacker on Keys, and Paul Impellizeri on Bass, released their debut record, The Sunshine of Your Youth, in May of last year while on tour with The Wombats. “SOYY” is packed with anthems, ranging from the danceable fuzz pop of “Perfect Vision” to the majestic rock attitude of the title track.

3. Vacationer

For fans of: Vampire Weekend, San Cisco, St. Lucia

Vacationer is the NuHula (Think Hula as in Hula Dancing and Nu as in Nu-Metal) project of longtime Philadelphian musician Kenny Vasoli. Also known for his work as frontman of the 00s pop punk outfit, The Starting Line, Vasoli’s musical genius shines bright as ever with Vacationer as he dives into much more tropical territory, experimenting with several different soundscapes and samples. While both LPs are consistently “Exotic.. Chill-Hammer-Smashing.. Hip-Sway.. Palm… Weed,” (see linked interview) collections of songs, the debut record, Gone, is beachier and poppier, with an extraordinary sense of space, while LP2, Relief, finds Vasoli venturing deeper into the jungle, and returning with a more safari-esque batch of songs. Not to mention, the group tours with a real life vibraphone. Makin’ Chilladelphia proud.

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