Those People Throw Exhilarating EP Release Party

Philadelphia’s own Those People treated the patrons of North Star Bar to an exhilarating EP release party Friday night, celebrating the release of their debut EP Be Careful What You Wish For. Frontman Assad Khafre’s energy live brought the entire set together. Each element of the band was crucial to the overall delivery, but it was Khafre’s personal buoyancy and his involved vocals that really tied the group’s energy together. Between two guitars, drums, bass, two keyboards, and multiple voices singing at once, the layers Those People bring to their work is something refreshing in the local music scene. The ability to keep all sections actively engaged in the music and provide harmony to both Khafre and each other is astonishing, and they make it look so easy.

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The band has a traditional rock sound mixed with punk rock vocals and a bit of a Radiohead edge. The guitars were often spacey, bolstered by expertly warbling vocals and contrasted by a steady but often complex drum section. Really, their music lives in the comfortable intersection of rock and punk. It’s got enough of a firm and studied grounding to sound like rock, but just enough of a free spirit to recall what we love most about punk rock.

Of their EP, three tracks made an immediate impression when played live: “Winter In Space” keeps things light with a swaying, ambling little rock ditty that surprises in the chorus with Khafre’s sudden power vocals. The punctuation of this song is unique and brings everything around to a strong finish, piecing together the piano, guitar, varying vocals, and surprising wordplay. Live, the playful guitar and sweet piano add a nice complement to the heavier tracks the band plays.

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“Margaret Long” is the most infectious song on the EP and was the most engaging live, pairing fabulous power vocals with guitars evocative of Kings of Leon, a sort of spaced-out and warm vibe. The rhythm varies throughout, keeping the underlying pulse exciting. The tone is hopeful and inspiring live, bringing out more of the band’s rock tones and allowing Khafre to really sink into the pocket of his voice.

The EP’s final track “Black Swan” has a bit of a 60s rocker vibe to it, but with significant 90s grunge to top it off. It’s an odd combination, but Those People make it work (and, again, make it look so natural). Live, the track ignited the room, filling it with the growling guitars and vocals that accent this song. It’s a thrilling ride that brings the EP to a rich finish and brought a wonderful depth to Those People’s live set.

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What’s perhaps most remarkable about Those People is their ability to experiment and cross into various genres, not just across the EP but within each song. Their live show was engaging and exciting from start to finish, and the crowd at North Star was loving it. This EP release is a triumphant one for Those People, and we hope to see much more of them around the Philly scene.

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You can listen to Those People’s EP here! And read our interview with the band here!

Photography by Katie Antonsson

2 Comments

  1. Andrew

    December 9, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    The music is great!It all just simple a series of notes strung together to create a perfect melody. Thats all, perfect melody and harmony. Daniel DiFranco is a sexy beast. Congrats my old friend!!You did it man. Im proud of you.

  2. Lauren S

    December 9, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    They do seem to be experimental and have a really cool sound.

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