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A 2014 retrospective with The War On Drugs

The War on Drugs
Photo by Adam Granduciel for T Magazine

It isn’t really surprising that The War On Drugs are topping so many best-of lists with this year’s Lost In the Dream. Paste. Rough Trade. SPIN. Top tastemakers around the world are praising the Philadelphia band on their third full-length effort, a follow-up to 2011′s equally mesmerizing Slave Ambient.  They sold out venues from Australia to Toronto and circled the globe once or twice, armed with two new members and a transcendent live rendering of the album’s many layers and moods.

So to celebrate a wonderful year and a wonderful record we’ve gathered together some of the band’s biggest moments; join us as we take a look back at the banner year that was 2014 for The War On Drugs.

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Download “Leaps of Love” by Lancaster duo Sympathy and the Lion

Sympathy and the Lion
Sympathy and the Lion | photo via Facebook

Lancaster, PA’s Sympathy and the Lion have a new record called Remnants coming out in January. The cello / guitar duo of John Shavel and Michael Burke have been playing together since 2011 after meeting online.

“Leaps of Love” is a stand-out song from the upcoming four-track EP, down-tempo and full of atmosphere. The sparse arrangements evoke a feeling of a rural countryside covered in snow, while the vocals take the dreaminess of Lord Huron into stripped-down folk territory.

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Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Get into the holiday spirit with Killer Bangs’ charitable Christmas EP

Killer Bangs
Killer Bangs | photo by Marc Pikulski

Local rockers Killer Bangs have released a new Christmas EP called Naughty & NiceThe three original tracks get right into the holiday spirit with jingle bells in the background and seasonal lyrics about Christmas wishes, Christmas kisses and Christmas “trees.”  Proceeds from the charitable EP will be donated to Toys For Tots.  Listen to the recording below and download it on Killer Bangs’ Bandcamp here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Quiet Life at Milkboy, Marco Benevento at Johnny Brenda’s, The Holy Mess at Boot & Saddle

Quiet Life
Quiet Life | photo by E Ryan McMackin

Portland, Oregon’s Quiet Life headline Milkboy tonight.  The folk rockers just released a deluxe edition of their 2013 LP Wild Pack, featuring previously unreleased tracks and following this year’s Housebroken Man EP.  In the coming months Quiet Life will be working with Dr. Dog’s Scott McMicken on new full-length.  As busy as they are with recordings, this is a band that lives off of the road.  They’ve toured with Hayes Carll, Dr. Dog and The Lumineers and have lived in New Jersey, Connecticut, California and now Oregon.  Listen to their new song “Big Mistake” below and pick up tickets to the 21+ show with The Bailey Hounds and Mike Quinn here.

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PREMIERE: City Rain brings 2014 to a close with new “Hearts” video

City Rain
City Rain | photo courtesy of the artist

City Rain is closing out 2014 with the premiere of a new video for their song “Hearts.”  The track is taken from this year’s Songs For a High School Dance LP, which also featured break-out song “The Optimist.”  Shot in both LA where director Kofa lives and here in Philadelphia at the Port Richmond coal pier, the clip has City Rain’s signature balance of real life anxiety and overwhelming optimism.

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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Sonny Landreth, Busses and more…

Sonny Landreth
Sonny Landreth | Photo by Brittany Salerno for WXPN

Monday kicked off with a My Morning Download from Sonny Landreth.  The Legendary guitarist was on World Cafe for the show’s Sense of Place: Lafayette special recently and he performed a rocking version of his song “Native Son.” Get a free download of the song below and listen back to the full interview and performance here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Purling Hiss at Arden Gild Hall, Yo La Tengo at The Trocadero, Manchester Orchestra at Temple Performing Arts Center and more…

Purling Hiss
Purling Hiss | photo by Aaron Biscoe

Purling Hiss head down to Delaware’s Arden Gild Hall tonight with Thunderhawk and St James & The Apostles. The local rockers released Weirdon earlier this year, their second effort for Drag City.  Hiss frontman Mike Polizze spoke with The Key last week in the inaugural “Gearadelphia” feature, discussing his live gear set-up, his ambitious dream studio and the times when things go wrong on stage.  Read the full interview here and pick up tickets for tonight’s show here. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Tinmouth at Kung Fu Necktie, Tribute to Ode to Billie Joe at Underground Arts, Dirty Dollhouse at Bourbon & Branch and more…

Tinmouth
Tinmouth | photo via Facebook

Tinmouth close out their 2014 concert schedule with a show at Kung Fu Necktie tonight.  The local indie rockers were the subject of this week’s Key Studio Session, previewing tracks from their forthcoming debut LP Says.  Check out “Same Noise” below and get the full session here.  Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show here

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