Dancing into Creativity: How a local band found inspiration in Philly sports

LongFriend TimeFriend with Rowan alum Calum Scott released their punk cover of the 2022 Phillies’ winning song. – Animation / Em McMahon & Pete Imbesi

The last two weeks have been an incredibly exciting and emotional time if you’ve followed the sport in Philadelphia. When the Phillies won the NLCS and entered the World Series, fans were repeatedly caught using the Calum Scott cover of the Robyn song “Dancing On My Own” as a citywide anthem to celebrate the team’s success that season shouted .

However, Calum Scott wasn’t the only artist to cover the original popular Robyn song. Local Philadelphia band LongFriend TimeFriend, featuring drummer Pete Imbesi, a Rowan University alum, created a unique “punk rock cover” of the song. The song was released on October 21st and is accompanied by an animated video on Youtube.

The band consists of four musicians who also happen to be two lifelong friends.

“Our guitarist and vocalist Em, she and I have been making music together since we were 12 or 13,” Imbesi said. “We met our freshman year of high school and played together in a ska-punk band called The Political Party Crashers for about ten years.”

It was only after the band broke up that they were able to forge a new musical collaboration.

“The band broke up a few years ago when we were just out of college,” Imbesi said. “We [Imbesi and Em] remained good friends and we both worked independently on music and showed each other our stuff, but we always had the idea of ​​starting another band.”

The band is from the city and due to the team’s success and the song’s increasing popularity, a unique opportunity to do a cover presented itself. Especially since Philly Sports has inspired the band before.

“We did a thing where people could pay us to do covers,” Imbesi said. “One of the people who supported us wanted us to do a cover of the Philadelphia 76ers… their victory song. They have a song called “Here Comes the Sixers” and it’s like an old disco song… It was really successful and we still like to play it live when it’s basketball season and we don’t think we’re going to jinx the team.”

The band’s experience and the popularity surrounding the song presented a perfect opportunity to create their own spin on the beloved tune.

“When the Phillies made it to the World Series … they chose ‘Dancing On My Own’ as their victory anthem. We were like, ‘This is amazing, this is this iconic queer power pop song being picked by this Philly sports team that didn’t deserve to come this far,'” he said. “It just felt like a really great, kind of perfect moment.”

Though the Phillies lost the series, fans will still have the song as a musical reminder of how magical the City of Brotherly Love was in the weeks leading up to the Games. The song was a symbol of the fans’ commitment to their team and their hometown. The cover just goes to show how inspirational the song was to Philadelphians.

The band’s cover art serves as a reminder of the fans’ love and devotion to their music and team, especially given the circumstances in which the song was written. The band created the song in just a few days and wanted to get it out to fans before the end of the series.

“The context of how it was done is the most interesting part of it, I think. We had decided we were going to do it, but we decided we were going to do it the week before my wedding,” Imbesi said. “I got married on October 22 and we started work Monday of this week.”

The games’ timelines and these life events left the band with just a few days to create the song, animation, and release.

“That was part of the mentality, we only have this week to get it done… we wanted to get it out before the series,” Imbesi said. “So it was like, ‘Okay, let’s try! Let’s do our best and see what we can achieve and hopefully it comes together and luckily it is.”

The song can continue to be streamed youtube, and her other music, including her album If Me Dies, Me Dies, and her split EP with New York band Marinara, Eagles Court, can be found on most streaming platforms including Spotify and Bandcamp.

The band is grateful for the support of Philly fans and encourages people who enjoyed the cover to check out their other music.

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