The Key Studio Sessions: Petal

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When Scranton’s Kiley Lotz founded Petal in 2012, she didn’t have a lot of expectations attached to it. A lot of her close friends from were musicians, playing in bands like The Menzingers and Captain We’re Sinking. Surrounded by such a fertile DIY community, a bit of inspiration seeped off, but Lotz wasn’t making music for anybody but herself.

She recorded the EP Scout with Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins of Tigers Jaw, she self-released it online and then something happened. People really dug what they heard. The EP was reissued on Run for Cover Records in 2013 and Petal began emerging on the show scene, all while Lotz pursued a parallel career in theater that had her living in New York City for a while.

These days she calls Fishtown home, and has a fantastic new set of songs to enhance the Petal catalog. The Shame LP was released back in October on Run For Cover and recorded with Conshohocken-based producer Will Yip. With her songs stretched out over a full album, we get a much more complete picture of Lotz’s sound and style than before. The emo-tinged pop of Scout is still very much present, but so are moments of jagged alt-punk (like “Sooner,” which gets a rousing performance in this week’s Key Studio Session) and sad, rootsy songwriting (the very 50s “Silly Heart,” which closes both the album and the session).

Petal functions as a rotating cast, with Lotz at the helm: for this session, she was joined by Run For Cover bretheren Tom Chiari on guitar and Keith Sidrowicz on drums (both formerly of Hostage Calm), as well as bassist Dane McGoldrick. It was the first time this configuration played live together, and as you can hear (and see in the fierce video for “Sooner”), they sound awesome.

You can catch Petal in person at one of the shows on its calendar heading into the winter: on December 19th, the band plays The Menzingers’ annual NEPA holiday show in Scranton; the next day, it opens for Bayside at Underground Arts; and next month, Lotz and the band hits up Boot and Saddle on January 22nd for Lame-O Records’ January “Rock Residency.”

Check out video of the session below via VuHaus and stream and download the entire set.

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