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Check out Camp Candle’s dreamy new electropop EP Light

Camp Candle | photo via campcandle.bandcamp.com

We can’t get enough of Philly-based indie-electro-hip-hop duo Camp Candle over here at The Key. And neither should you, because these two cool cats make some extremely sick tunes.

Following the success of last year’s ERE, Camp Candle recently dropped their new EP titled, Light — blessing us with three new tracks to be swept away in. Previewing the release a few months back, first single “Fogged Glass” had us feeling the XX and Blood Orange vibes, while dreamily-whispered “Forever Light” slows it down a notch with bits of purposeful percussion, and “Before the Night” closes out Light with hazy 80’s synth fusions. Continue reading →

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NonCOMM Recap: Lo Moon soars, dips, and flows through dreamy, ethereal set

Lo Moon | Photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

Lo Moon had big shoes to fill when World Cafe host Talia Schlanger introduced the band — comparing their few month’s back set at Johnny Brenda’s to Genesis when they first hit the scene in the 70s.

Slinking on stage against red and blue lights, the ethereal and moody was set in an instant. This four-piece, mysterious band has totally got the whole cool, dark vibes thing down to a tee — but escape from that translating into a super blase, I-don’t-care-about-anything-because-I-wear-all-black-and-am-too-cool-for-school attitude. Continue reading →

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NonCOMM Recap: The Growlers make magic happen

The Growlers | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN

Among the many things that I love about NonCOMM each year is the tangible sense of magic in the air that’s just everywhere. From the joy of seeing old friends and favorite bands play to the joy of discovering a slamming new act, it’s all there. No band better captured that raw feeling of mystery and cautious optimism than The Growlers. Playing upstairs to an absolutely packed room, the SoCal-based band mixed elements of pulp noir and classic Americana to make NonCOMM magic come true. Continue reading →

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Chaos, Unity and Rock n’ Roll: In deep with Low Cut Connie

Low Cut Connie | courtesy of the artist
Low Cut Connie | courtesy of the artist

Sitting across from me at an uncomfortable metal table outside of Anthony’s Italian Coffee House in the Italian Market, Low Cut Connie’s flamboyant front man Adam Weiner swipes through cheeky black and white pictures of scantily-clad, partying people on his phone. He holds his phone towards me so I can see the pictures too. Pretty closely. In perfect detail. Maybe too much detail.

As he flips through the pictures, he cracks an impish smile and lets off a nostalgic sigh, as if he’d been describing his first kiss or senior year prom date. In front of him sits a large disposable cup of coffee he bought for $3 and change at Anthony’s, which is surely empty by now. It’s approaching 6 p.m. as Weiner and I near the end of a long two-hour interview, which has had its ups and downs. You could say it’s ending on a high note.

“You look at these pictures and you say, what a fucking great mix of people, you know? It’s all just a few hours with Low Cut Connie,” he emotes as the mid-November wind tussles with his stark black wavy hair. Continue reading →

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NonCOMM Recap: Ron Gallo rocks the socks off of day two

Ron Gallo | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

I should have known that Ron Gallo‘s set was going to be quite something when he walked out in a jumpsuit. Little did I know what shenanigan-filled jams would ensue from there on out.

This was my first time seeing the brilliance that is Ron Gallo live, and holy cannoli, it did not disappoint one bit. Starting the set off by carefully unfolding a piece of paper, Gallo prepared the crowd for his dry humor by meticulously reading and annunciating each and every word — thanking “Radio Shack employees” for being so supportive of them throughout the years.

Cannon-balling headfirst into their first tune (and one of my absolute favorite jams of the moment,) “Young Lady, You’re Scaring Me,” Gallo and crew gave every ounce of themselves into the performance, in which they performed tracks of their new album, Heavy Meta. Continue reading →

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Strand of Oaks has a new video for “Everything” and it’s the best kind of freaky

Strand of Oaks | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN | spotlightviews.com
Strand of Oaks | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN | spotlightviews.com

By now, we’re all well acquainted with the Hard Love era of Strand of Oaks. The Philly rockers led, of course, by Timothy Showalter released their fifth album back in February. Since, they’ve come through for a Free at Noon, shredded Union Transfer and shared the details of the album on World Cafe. All were great, but not much less was expected. Now it’s time to deviate from expectations.

Enter the new (and slightly unsettling) video for “Everything,” the third track off Hard Love. Continue reading →

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Listen to Grizzly Bear’s new “Mourning Sound,” see them at The Fillmore in November

Grizzly Bear | photo courtesy of the artist

Grizzly Bear has at long last announced a follow up to their 2012 indie-pop masterpiece, Shields. The new LP is called Painted Ruins and is set to be released on August 18th.

Though it’s been a while since new tunes, you can rest assured that Grizzly Bear wasn’t hibernating during this absence of jams. (Note: I am so very sorry for that. My dad would be too proud.) Continue reading →

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Taking shape with Perfume Genius’ Mike Hadreas

Perfume Genius
Perfume Genius | photo by Ebru Yildiz | courtesy of the artist

As Perfume Genius, Mike Hadreas creates worlds and narratives on his albums that are as decadent as they are delicate. These worlds often serve as a sonic sanctuary for queer music fans that now, more than ever, are as life-saving as they are life-affirming.

No Shape, released earlier this month, is his best and biggest salve for the agony and ecstasy of the queer experience yet. If no family was safe when he sashayed on 2014’s Too Bright, he’s built himself, and us, a hell of a lot more walking room this time, lyrically as well as musically. Before he sashays onto the stage at Union Transfer this Thursday (a show that will be livestreamed via Pitchfork), Mike took a generous time out to talk about the album, the circular energy that can build at a show (including one particularly memorable night in Philly), and the importance of queerness in music and art in the current dark times. Continue reading →