Philadelphia Collins, the recording project of Devin McKnight (Speedy Ortiz/Grass Is Green) and Theo Hartlett (Ovlov/Flat Swamp) will release Derp Swervin', their debut EP on July 24th via Exploding In Sound Records. The band are excited to share the album's latest single, "Dogsbody" with SPIN, featuring vocals from Two Inch Astronaut's Sam Rosenberg. SPIN described the new single as "a thundering odd-meter cut driven by blistering guitar lines, and it features some biting vocals from Two Inch Astronaut singer Sam Rosenberg".
Considered by some to be an EIS all-star team of sorts, the duo of McKnight (guitar) and Hartlett (bass, drums) began writing songs together in the summer of 2013, laying down the initial framework of the what would become Derp Swervin'. With the music written and demoed the band decided to ask some friends to write and record vocals, reaching out to Rosenberg, Palehound's Ellen Kempner, Dirty Dishes' Jenny Tuite, and Spook The Herd's Abe Kimball (as well as Philly Collins' own Theo Hartlett). McKnight recently discussed having Rosenberg on "Dogsbody," offering:
"This was the first song Theo and I recorded where the demo came out so good that it could have easily been the final version. I had the riffs written from when I was crashing on Alex Molini's (of Dirty Dishes) couch in Boston. Theo and I wrote the song in literally 10 minutes after that. I think I asked like 4 singers to do vocals and in a pinch, when no one got back to me, I knew I could rely on my trusty pal Sam Rosenberg to spit the hotness over the track. And that he did. It's the kind of thing with Sam and I where I know I can call on him whenever I need him because he's so quick and good with his work it almost seems like cheating. #Blessed to have such a talented and close friend who lives down the street from me. I never hesitate to put Colesville, MD on the map. Respect.”
Restless musicians with an unending desire to create, McKnight and Hartlett have created a stunning record filled with hazy post-punk, accessible yet off-kilter, and a penchant for the disorienting. The revolving cast of guest vocalists each add their own element to Philadelphia Collins' sonic chaos, channeling an onslaught of indie punk that draws influence from fuzzy shoegaze to unapologetic noise rock. The band unwinds with a distorted fury, blurring lines with a dynamic batch of songs that stand as well on their own as they do together.
Philadelphia Collins may not be the main focus of any of the musicians involved, but these are no mere scraps. Derp Swervin’ is a fully realized project from start to finish and there’s no shortage of songwriting talent among the band and their guests. Derp Swervin' is just the beginning.