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There’s a palpable feeling of intimacy throughout every moment of Radiator, the debut album from Philadelphia’s Sadurn. The band’s spare-yet-satisfying instrumentation, diary-like lyrics, and graceful vocal harmonies bring you in extraordinarily close, breaking down any walls between artist and listener to offer fleeting glimpses of life’s most internal moments—as well as one of the most compelling debut records in some time.
Sadurn started as the solo project of Genevieve DeGroot, who picked up the guitar in 2015 in an effort to delve deeper into songwriting. “I came to the game really late relative to most people,” DeGroot explains, “I didn’t start playing guitar and really writing songs until after college. I’d always been a singer but I just felt like I needed an instrument to really write songs on.” It wasn’t long until DeGroot was creating the music that would eventually become Sadurn. “When you reach into a new creative outlet, it’s really exciting because there’s just so much there. I didn’t have this idea that I was going to go and become a musician, but I was learning new chord progressions and writing, and I’d moved to Philly and was surrounded by other songwriters.” One of these fellow musicians was guitarist Jon Cox, who joined up with DeGroot to form an early incarnation of Sadurn. The two started playing DIY shows in the city and released several homemade, charmingly lo-fi EPs, then in early 2020, a chance experience kicked off the next phase of Sadurn. “My friend Amelia [Swain] was just learning to play drums, we started playing some of my songs together and it just made sense, we both had this feeling that we had to do this.” The group was soon joined by Tabitha Ahnert who had recently taken up bass, and Sadurn’s new lineup was complete.
DOLL SPIRIT VESSEL
The longer you live, the more life there is to forget. This is particularly true for Kati Malison, songwriter and frontman of Doll Spirit Vessel. She wrote What Stays, out August 12th via Disposable America, as she was realizing just how little of her past she truly remembered. The things she could recall seemed closer in nature to knowledge than to memory- not a flow of experience, but a chronology of facts, as though she'd read a book about her life and not lived each wonderful, terrible, boring, precious moment of it.
"During the three years over which I wrote the songs on What Stays, I thought constantly about memory," explains Malison. "How to conceive of the past without it, how to preserve the present in its stead. Sometimes I would write directly about my relationship to memory, but even when I wrote about other things, I was always looking out at the world from within that place. It colored everything."
Gram Parsons coined the phrase "Cosmic American Music" to describe the synthesis of country, blues, rock and soul that he traded in. Sheridan Frances ‘Francie’ Medosch wouldn’t be born for another 28 years after Parsons’ 1973 death, but that Cosmic American sound was waiting for her all the same. On 'Big Fall', she embraces it like an old friend.