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Listen to Joseph Arthur’s long lost song “Pictures of a Life,” get news on his Redemption’s Son reissue

Joseph Arthur | photo courtesy of the artist
Joseph Arthur | photo by Josephine Bono | courtesy of the artist

Akron, Ohio native Joseph Arthur is one of our favorite artists around here at XPN, going back 15 years to his breakout record Redemption’s Son, and even before that.

Next month, the veteran singer-songwriter will release a new anniversary edition of Redemption’s Son, complete with nine songs that have never been heard before. We’re excited to bring you one of those today — the simmering “Pictures of a Life,” a tune built beautifully about tremolo guitar tones and Laurel Canyon style harmonies, with a beautiful cello part rolling underneath. Continue reading →

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Get the first taste of Katie Ellen’s Cowgirl Blues with “Lucy Stone”

Katie Ellen | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com
Katie Ellen | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

After her highly-touted Brooklyn punk band Chumped parted ways, singer-songwriter-guitarist Anika Pyle launched a remarkable new project called Katie Ellen, which first caught our attention when they opened for Cayetana and Mannequin Pussy at PhilaMOCA back in January of 2016. The pace was slowed down and the content amped up, with Pyle using midtempo anthems to reflect on womanhood, societal expectations, mental health and other concerns that are both talked about a lot in the music scene but at the same time not nearly enough. Continue reading →

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Driftwood Soldier talks religion, the roots of rock n’ roll and Porchfest on 25 O’Clock

driftwood solder
Driftwood Soldier | photo by Kyle Cassidy | courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia gutter folk duo Driftwood Soldier joins Dan Drago on his latest episode of the 25 O’Clock Podcast. In addition to their latest EP, Blessings and Blasphemy, bandmates Owen Lyman-Schmidt and Bobby Szafranski are co-organizers of West Philly Porchfest, and they discuss both things over the course of an hour and 20 minutes. Continue reading →

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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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Items Tagged Philadelphia: The evolution of the arm

Trash Knife | via facebook.com/trashknife

Here at The Key, we spend a lot of time each week digging through every new release from Philadelphia that shows up on Bandcamp. At the end of each week, we present you with the most interesting, most unusual and overall best of the bunch: this is Items Tagged Philadelphia.

Sometimes you don’t realize how much you need something until you’re immersed in it.

Like a lot of people my age, I fell powerfully into the work of filmmaker David Lynch some twenty years ago; the spark for me was Lost Highway, the cerebral/abstract noir-erotica mystery scored by Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor. I was moderately obsessed with that band in my younger days; Reznor could have scored a Raisin Bran commercial and I would have been freaking the heck out. Thankfully, Lost Highway was a bit more rewarding as a cinematic work, and through it I worked my way backwards through Lynch’s filmography. First to Twin Peaks, his surrealist serial TV show that confounded audiences for two seasons in the early 90s — for most, this was probably their entry point — and further back still to Eraserhead and (god help me) Dune.

I’m a fan of Lynch’s work to this day. I love that I live in a city where a prominent music venue and art space celebrates him once per annum, and I was thrilled that I got to see Lynch speak at the Prince Theater upon the occasion of his painting exhibition opening at PAFA in 2015. But short of a Twin Peaks re-watch leading up to that art show, I don’t think about Lynch as often as I used to in my twenties, when I practically made a pasttime out of, say, popping on a VHS of Blue Velvet and watching it with the lights turned low and not getting a heck of a lot of sleep that night as my brain tried to pick apart what just had rattled it. I used to believe that there were clues to meaning all over his work, and by watching it enough, I’d solve the puzzle. Continue reading →

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Listen to The Districts’ album opener “If Before I Wake”

The Districts | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

After a tremendous set at last week’s NonCOMM-vention, Philly-via-Lancaster four-piece The Districts unveiled the latest teaser from their new Popular Manipulations LP, due out August 11th on Fat Possum Records. “If Before I Wake” is the album’s opening track, and it builds and burns across three minutes of swelling guitars and hammering drums, a good gateway into a tremendous album.
Continue reading →

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Listen to “Tractor,” a long lost Spinto Band song from the Nice and Nicely Done reissue

The Spinto Band | via Brooklyn Vegan

Wilmington indie pop darlings The Spinto Band will reissue its 2007 debut record Nice and Nicely Done on June 16th, with a full second disc of unreleased outtakes. One of those songs, the Pavement-esque “Tractor,” is streaming over at Brooklyn Vegan — listen to it here, and make plans to catch The Spinto Band live at Boot and Saddle on Friday, July 14th. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Jesse Hale Moore tells World Cafe the story of Green End

Jesse Hale Moore | photo courtesy of the artist
Jesse Hale Moore | photo courtesy of the artist

Soulful Philadelphia singer-songwriter Jesse Hale Moore recently sat down with World Cafe’s Talia Schalnger to perform songs from his debut LP Green End, talk about Philly collaboration, playing songs about past heartbreak for your new love, and the inspiration and support he draws from his family’s roots in Rhode Island; the title Green End is actually a reference to his late grandparents’ home, and they are a huge part of the album’s creation as well. Continue reading →

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Vita and the Woolf’s new Audiotree session sounds great — and there’s a dog

Vita and the Woolf in Audiotree Studios | photo via Audiotree.tv

We’re about a month out until the Vita and the Woolf album Tunnels finally drops on June 16, and as admitted in the band’s Audiotree Live session, it’s an LP that’s been a long time coming. The band recorded the session with Audiotree late last month, and it just hit the interwebs this week.

Aside from sounding crisp on a dope tracklist that mixes new tunes and favorites from last year (“Brett,” “Sun Drop,” “Qiet,” “Diamond Hall,” “Feline” and
“Super Ranger”), the band offers a few glimpses into what they’ve been up to in the year since the current lineup fell into place. Continue reading →

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Yes, Paramore’s new album features mewithoutYou’s Aaron Weiss

Paramore | photo by Lindsey Byrnes | via facebook.com/paramore

Love it or hate it, Paramore‘s first album in four years is not exactly the same sound that brought the band from its Nashville roots to the stage it’s at now. The angsty teens that started in high school are long grown up and any trace of punk has turned to pure pop. But stick around through the bulk of After Laughter, released last Friday, and you’ll hear a familiar voice. Instead of those iconic Hayley Williams vocals, The album’s penultimate track features Aaron Weiss of Philly punk mainstays mewithoutYou on the mic. Continue reading →