Although Jay-Z-Palooza is headed for the Franklin Parkway this weekend, I can assure you that, if exceptionally mediocre mainstream hip-hop isn’t your thing, the best bill to hit Philly this week will be at Johnny Brenda’s this Wednesday, August 28th. Our favorite Fishtown ballroom and watering hole will be hosting an evening of indie pop, headlined by local heroes Radiator Hospital, with support from Baltimore’s Outer Spaces and Yowler, the current musical focus of now-Philly-residing Maryn Jones, former member of our friends Saintseneca.
Last month I got a chance to chat with Outer Spaces singer/songwriter/mainperson Cara Beth Satalino. At the time, the band were in the middle of their tour behind their second album, Gazing Globe, which dropped this June, courtesy of Western Vinyl. The album rings of jangle pop balladry and twee summer reflections, and has received a bevvy of praise from the like of Stereogum and NPR Music… much to Satalino’s surprise. “I feel like it’s been getting really well received. People like it and that makes me happy. I mean, I had no expectations when I put it out,” she tells me.
Gazing Globe follows up Outer Spaces’ 2016 debut LP, A Shedding Snake. Satalino tells me that, while she feels as though the records have a lot in common, there was a little more pre-production work put into her latest: “It feels like a pretty organic and natural progression. I was pretty conscious of what I want the arrangements to be and I demoed everything out before I went into the studio. It’s a little more subdued than the last record.” Thematically, the album was inspired by a break she took from her relationship with partner and bandmate Chester Gwazda and the time she spent in solitude, contemplating herself (and possible selves), outside of the context of other people in her life: “I was just influenced by introspection in general, and in some ways personal, but not in a typical way… but asking yourself questions about who you are. Meditation also played a big role – I got really into meditation – that was a huge influence.”
Although their Wednesday stop at Johnny Brenda’s and their Thursday stop at The Broadway in New York are Outer Spaces’ last shows currently on the books, Cara Beth Satalino tells me that she has a lot currently and tentatively planned, and that playing is definitely something that she’s been enjoying.
“We’ve been playing some great shows, so that’s been a real highlight recently, but I have a ton of new songs. I wanna do a lot more touring and a lot more playing and some solo stuff. I think [Johnny Brenda’s] will be a really fun show. We’re actually on tour with Radiator Hospital solo right now, so it’ll be like a reunion with the whole band.”