Local Music Scene: Philly/NJ

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Hello fellow music lovers or person who accidentally clicked on this—

What’s up? Let’s discuss a few of my favorite Philly/New Jersey based bands for a moment. Why? Don't you live in Massachusetts, Deirdre? Are you a poser? Perhaps, I am, italicized font. Although, I immensely appreciate New England’s music scene (I’m sure I’ll share my thoughts in the future), I went to college in Manhattan, so I have a few friends from the Jersey area. Considering the fact our common interests revolve mostly around attending live shows, I’ll find myself venturing to Jersey once every few months if a tour run neglects New England. I feel like Jersey has become a key focal point of the east coast, similarly to the location Massachusetts, considering the amount of neighboring states (although MA lacks Wawa). This being said, I apologize in advanced if you’re offended that I’m considering Philadelphia as a part of Jersey for the sake of this post. In any case, let’s get into it.


Sweet Pill

(Photo cred: @chad_witt)

We LOVE a good female-fronted band. Especially ones that kick major ass & make you want to start a rock band regardless of your lack of talent. Sweet Pill is just that & more. When I listened to them for the first time, I fell in love with their guitar riffs. Some of their intros seem reminiscent of American Football, which I really dig. Their first & latest EP, “Lost In It” was released earlier this year & their single “Doubt” has already accumulated a couple thousand streams on Spotify. Just a few weeks ago, Sweet Pill announced that they signed to Know Hope Records, who are also based in Philadelphia.

Zayna Youssef, Sweet Pill’s vocalist, has such a unique sound, I find it hard to compare it to another particular artist. Although, their song “Best of Me” specifically reminds me of Foxing with the vocal range & progressions. They’ve seemed to built up a decent reputation in the PA/NJ area with occasional performances at Rowan University & some other local shows, one of which they did with Modern Baseball’s Jake Ewald in his new project Slaughter Beach, Dog a while back. Although, I can’t tell you definitively what they plan to do this year, I can tell you you’re not gonna want to miss them. Find them on social media to keep up to date & let me know which song off their EP is your favorite! (Mine’s “Swallow The Pill”).

For fans of: Bleached, American Football, Doll Skin

Bandcamp | Facebook | Instagram 



Heather Grey

(Photo cred: don't know, but if you do, let me know)

Every time I ask my friends for local music suggestions, Heather Grey is always one of the top Jersey recommendations. Although, they only have one EP, a few singles & b-sides, it’s still a solid repertoire & definitely worth looking into. I always see these guys hopping on stacked local Jersey shows (i.e. Suntitle, Table Talk, Keep Flying). Even though I’ve yet to see them live myself, I just know that “God Complex” would absolutely slap live with intense audience participation. (They dropped a music video for that one earlier this year, which I suggest you check out too.) Their EP, “Oh, What A Concept,” was self-released late last year & has received great feedback since. Also, their single “Clever” is such a great rock anthem as I always find myself chanting to it in my car.

These guys are just at the beginning but I see them doing great things in the future. Get on board while you can! They haven’t announced any future touring dates yet, but make sure you follow them so you’ll know when they do. Let me know which song of theirs you’re digging the most, in the meantime.

For fans of: Microwave, Trashboat, Grayscale

Bandcamp | Facebook | Instagram



Rich People

(Photo cred: @jflynnphoto)

Alright, if you’re reading this & you’re from the Jersey/Philly area, I’m sure you’re well aware of Rich People. For those who may not know, I’ll help you out by gushing about them for a second to maybe coerce you into listening to them. Rich People have actually played many times with the previously mentioned, Heather Grey, as well as some of our friends like bloom. & Keep Flying. They also hopped on a show with Broadside & With Confidence late last year at The Fillmore in Philadelphia, which was dope for the people of Philly & tragic for myself who was not there.

I find it hard to really describe their sound or compare them to another artist, so I normally just characterize them as a band that makes you want to sway with your eyes closed & turn your volume up all the way to drown out the sounds of you yelling along to the lyrics. That being said, if you’re going to listen to them for the first time, I recommend their single, “Back Step,” off of their latest full length album “Grace Session.” Their vocalist, Rob Rich, explains the song as a “self-involved musician who is often so wrapped up in their own writing and playing that they forget to maintain relationships.” This concept can also obviously be applied to many other scenarios, musician or not. One of my favorite lyrics being, “love is cool, love is fine, love is wondering if I have the time.” Something that’s evidently a sign of laziness in building & sustaining relationships with others. I could speak on the whole LP track by track, but I’ll refrain (for now.) Nothing has been announced yet, but there has definitely been conversation about shows this year, so stay tuned & follow them so you’ll know! They also have really sick merchandise & vinyl gradients that you should check that out while you’re at it. *Not sponsored, just whipped.

Leave a comment below of your favorite Rich People track.

For fans of: The Hotelier, Basement, Sorority Noise

Bandcamp | Facebook | Instagram 






Are there any artists from your hometown that you’d like us to check out? Let us know & maybe we’ll feature them in a future post!

See what Deirdre's been listening to on Spotify: here

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  • Shannon on

    Hi there!
    Shoobies is a local NJ band that I have come to love dearly, and they deserve some more recognition. I think they belong on this website for sure! Their really popular songs are Peachy and Violet, but all of their music SLAPS. Their album is dropping in February, and for now they continue to play gigs and promote their existing bangers.
    Check it!

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