Sweet Pill


Philadelphia’s Sweet Pill write eruptive emo songs that embrace the edges of pop and  hardcore. The kind of band whose members are fully immersed in their local scene—through a  handful of notable side projects and the show-promoting Philly staple 4333 Collective—the  quintet’s sound takes wide-spectrum influence from its environment. The result is an amalgam  of complex song structures and flourishes of technical acumen, wholly unconcerned with  genre, yet evoking the specific styles of touchstones such as Paramore and Circa Survive. 

On their debut longplayer Where the Heart Is, Sweet Pill’s unbound, raucous energy presents  through ten autobiographical tracks that hinge on singer Zayna Youssef’s elastic, enrapturing  voice—at times belting and controlled, at others textural and guttural. Supporting Youssef are  guitarists Jayce Williams and Sean McCall, bassist Ryan Cullen, and drummer Chris Kearney.  

Their blistering lead single “Blood” sees Youssef exploring a deteriorated friendship over  Williams and McCall’s trudging riffs and tactful counterpoint, with Cullen and Kearney rumbling  nimbly in the song’s foundations. 

Second single “High Hopes” counters with introspective, melodic punk that reshapes anxiety  rather than succumb to it. But third single “Diamond Eyes” momentarily slows the pace, with  McCall joining Youssef on vocals for a breakup lament laden with acoustic sentimentalism and  an emotive flurry from guest flutist Jill Ryan. Such range is the central facet of Where the Heart  Is, where Sweet Pill’s penchant for combining punkish tropes enlivened with the vibrance of  math-rock and the aggression of post-hardcore sweetened with pop sensibility compound into  something stylistically new yet still familiar. 

Related Shows