PREMIERE: Philly Roots Group Oldermost Deny Wanting “Honey With Tea”
The quartet are the latest in the suddenly long line of hazy, phased-out Philadelphia folk groups.
Remember when Philly was tough? A place where they throw snowballs at Santa Claus, throw batteries at players or else throw up on little girls. A place so rough that it gave the Fresh Prince an origin story. You’d expect the city’s biggest musical exports to be noise—and to be sure, there’s plenty of that on offer in the City of Brotherly Love—but between Kurt Vile and The War on Drugs and Steve Gunn (who calls Philly home), the sound that defines the city to outsiders is gentle, introspective, and quietly virtuosic, almost as if in response to the city’s reputation.
Enter Oldermost, the local quartet whose guitarist Mike Sobel played lap steel on The War on Drugs’s “Eyes to the Wind” and whose new singles were mixed by Jeff Ziegler, who’s also worked with all of the aforementioned bands (except the Fresh Prince). “Honey with Tea,” which we’re premiering this morning, is a simple song built around a few repeating figures, which point toward its origin as a voice memo on singer Bradford Bucknum’s phone. Once he handed it over to the band, they began to take it apart from all angles, revealing numerous musical inroads that led to the song’s center; layers of steel guitar and synth come trailing off of the core like ribbons. “We wanted the song to be familiar, yet fresh, so that it might [demonstrate] how one might see the beautiful in the banal, the strange and wonderful in the everyday,” says Bucknum. You can check it out below.