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Phonograph: Electronics and Twang

Phonograph.
Phonograph.

Phonograph has carved out a niche for itself that falls somewhere between indie-rock, experimental electronica and alt-country, while still staying true to the sounds of stripped-down Americana. Led by singer/guitarist Matthew Welsh, Phonograph formed in 2005 after the rest of the group — guitar, pedal steel, bass/keyboards and drums — was introduced to him through an engineer at the studio where Welsh was recording. A chance meeting with Wilco bassist John Stirratt landed Phonograph a slot as an opener on Wilco's national tour, where it earned consistent praise for its inventive songwriting and captivating stage presence.

Released in early 2007, Phonograph's self-titled debut sounds surprisingly assured for the work of such a new band. Balancing out synths and pedal-steel with a twangy roots-pop sensibility, the disc impresses with both the depth of its songwriting and the impeccable musicianship that backs it up. The band followed up the disc with the Hiawatha Talking Machine EP.

Copyright 2008 XPN

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David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafe is produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.