Key Fest At-A-Glance, Part Two: A Saturday of indie rock dreamscaping with Kississippi, Shelf Life, Cherry and Madalean Gauze

Kississippi | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN |
Kississippi | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN |

We’re still reeling from a mindblowing opening night of #KeyFest over here at XPN HQ – pictures later today! – but there’s plenty more where that came from. Tonight at MilkBoy, we celebrate the vibrant sounds that come from DIY basements and indie rock bars around the city. Read on for an overview.

Madalean Gauze impressed us in a big way with her American War EP two years ago. It channeled the passion and catharsis of PJ Harvey and Throwing Muses into a collection of songs that shimmered and rocked. Last fall, she released the excellent full length Sing, and appeared on our tribute to Patti Smith’s Horses, where she absolutely slayed the opening rager “Gloria.” Tonight, she and her band kick off the lineup.

Once upon a time, Russell Edling headed up the punk outfit Kite Party, playing explosive and spacious punk anthems backed by many amplifiers. When that band parted ways, he refocused his attention on more nuanced, atmospheric pop in the vein of Yo La Tengo and New Order. And he called it Cherry. The band has a great EP out now called Gloom and they will rock for you tonight.

When he isn’t on the road playing the drums with Alex G, Philly’s Scotty Leitch is making experimental, unconventional pop under the Shelf Life banner. Last fall, Leitch released the Everyone Make Happy LP and it was a striking distillation of childhood memories and twentysomething ennui. Leitch will play it live tonight on the MilkBoy stage.

Last and most certainly not least is Kississippi, one of the best bands we’ve seen emerge from Philly in the past few years. Fronted by Zoë Allaire Reynolds, the project is a vehicle for her songwriting, which spins sad and folksy introspection into lush space pop. Their record We Have No Future, We’re All Doomed came out in the winter and is a total winner.

Key Fest Night Twi happens tonight at 8 p.m. at MilkBoy, 1100 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. For tickets and more information, click here

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