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Eight questions with Philly rapper Tunji Ige

Tunji Ige
Tunji Ige | photo courtesy of the artist

We’ve been fans of Philly rapper Tunji Ige here at The Key ever since first putting our ears to The Love Project, his debut mixtape that dropped in late 2014 when he was 20 years old. He’s an MC at heart, but paints his music with a broad brush – it incorporates elements of dance pop, psychedelia and experimental rock. A couple years down the pike, we’ve been totally enthralled with the direction he’s taken his career, from gripping music videos with longtime collaborator Glassface to guest spots with emerging Parisian pop outfit Christine and the Queens.

This spring, Tunji dropped Missed Calls, a seven-song set that you can stream below. Is it an EP? Is it a full length? I don’t know, but it’s good. We caught up with him on the phone last week, and basically asked him everything we’ve wanted to know more about over the past two years. Read our interview below, and catch Tunji tonight when he opens the show at Underground Arts for JUMP Philly’s Red Bull Sound Select party.  Continue reading →

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This Day in Music History: Simon & Garfunkel release “The Boxer,” Elton John makes his solo stage debut

Simon & Garfunkel

1967 – The Beatles complete the sessions for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band at Abbey Road studios in London. The final recordings are of gibberish and noise which would follow “A Day in the Life” in the run-out groove. They record assorted noises and voices, which engineer Geoff Emerick then cuts up and randomly reassembles and edits backwards. At John Lennon’s suggestion, they also add a high-pitch whistle audible only by dogs. These are omitted from the American version of the album.

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How Philly psych band Grubby Little Hands found destiny in the wake of tragedy

Grubby Little Hands (photo by Claire Abribat)
Grubby Little Hands | photo by Claire Abribat | courtesy of the artist

There’s a striking image present on “Dial Tone,” the first track off Grubby Little Hands’ forthcoming record Garden Party. Amidst lush swirls of psychedelics, songwriters Donnie Felton and Brian Hall paint a picture of the perfect garden party—at a pristine spot with “elegant shadows.” There’s only one thing missing:  the people. Instead, the party is seemingly automated: “The garden party starts right after we’re gone,” goes the chorus. “The automatic lights will turn themselves on.”

Read one way, it’s a metaphor for things not always being as they seem—a theme that recurs throughout Garden Party, which is built on the marriage of pop euphoria with dark subject matter. Read another way, it’s about the interplay between apathy and unease—about feeling disconnected, and going through the motions (another theme). But when you actually talk to the band—which I did, for this story—you start to realize there’s a third meaning too. It’s about time, and growth, and learning to take charge of your destiny. Garden Party is not only Grubby Little Hands’ best record yet—it’s them controlling their destiny. Continue reading →

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PINKWASH release “Metastatic,” their grinding, catchy new single

Pinkwash
Pinkwash | Photo by John Vettese

For just two people, Philly duo PINKWASH manage to make quite a bit of sound. Their newest track, “Metastatic,” off their soon-to-be-released debut Collective Sigh, is proof positive. Guitarist and singer Joey Doubek spins a grinding trancelike guitar riff that doesn’t really have a beginning or end. Meanwhile, drummer Ashley Arnwine peppers the track with crashing cymbals and unexpected snare hits. Continue reading →

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Lancaster songwriter Matt Wheeler experiments with solo guitar, plays downstairs at World Cafe Live 4/22

Matt Wheeler Photo Courtesy of the Artist
Matt Wheeler | photo courtesy of the artist

Matt Wheeler often performs with a backing band, but on his new EP Matt Wheeler On the Hill, the Lancaster singer-songwriter experiments with a solo acoustic sound.The record features a mix of old and new — while it begins with some reworked acoustic versions of songs that Wheeler has already recorded, the EP’s second half includes the two new tracks “Cedars” and “Lexington.” Continue reading →