#XPNFest starts today, wahoo! And here’s a little something to get you warmed up for Queen of Jeans‘ set of stylish retro dream-pop that hits the Marina Stage at 4:35 p.m. The Philly band just recorded a live session with local video crew Out of Town Films, and we highly encourage you to watch their performances of “Moody” and “Pup” from it below. See you at Wiggins Park! Continue reading →
Today we’re premiering “Christian & Carlito,” a new track from local outfit Frontyards. The song comes from the band’s forthcoming Carlito LP, out July 30th and following last summer’s People That Look Like Their Pets debut.
The two tracks we previously shared from local act Cumquat have now found a home on Prickly Glazer, an EP released last week. Sticky-sweet “Consciousness Is My Trigger” and disorienting “The Bering Strait” are joined by three other songs, which round out the electronic / found-sound production.
Greg from Como Tapes dropped us a line this week to share a podcast he’s been working on for a few years, and boy are we glad he did. The Vermont / New Jersey tape label has been producing its Musicians Talk series since 2013, sitting down with local favorites and national up-and-comers to get into their heads about songwriting and to hear some live performances.
Earlier this year we learned about Needlove Records, a new venture from the folks in Needle Points. The label was started as a vehicle for the band to self-release its sophomore album Feel Young, and the time for that release is drawing nearer by the day: this week the local groove/psych outfit shared “Needlove” via Indie Shuffle.
I finally managed to see Philadelphia punk outfit Loose Tooth this spring. We’ve dug their music for a while over here at The Key, ever since the first songs from 2015’s Easy Easy East began to surface in the blog world — but it wasn’t till the band was paired with Abi Reimold on the release show for the latter’s Wriggling that I got to experience the force of nature these four Philadelphians are in concert. From the stage at Johnny Brenda’s, a torrent of interlocking guitars by Kian Sorouri and Kyle Laganella were led by intricate bass lines from Larissa Sapko and thunder drums from Christian Bark – it was dynamic, reaching from simmering lows to scorching highs. And it made me super psyched to hear the new record that’s wrapping up production at Headroom Studios.
When Loose Tooth stepped in the XPN studio to record their Key Session this past weekend, it was a double treat of sorts – firstly because of the six songs they played, only one (“Lizzy”) was previously featured on Easy. The rest are getting their first airing here, and I’m purely pumped about how fierce they sound. Continue reading →
Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
Philly rapper Reef the Lost Cauze has never been one to mince words, and his latest record, Furious Styles – out now via Soulspazm – sees him and a cast of friends, from producer DJ Bear One to STS, Peedi Craak and Truck North, doing just that.
Exhibit A: the fierce and furious “Radio Suckas,” which meditates on the homogeny of corporate media, and the barriers it creates – particularly for black artists – when it comes to getting voices heard. Continue reading →
First things first: Bri Steves, if you didn’t know this already, is awesome.
The up-and-coming MC is a loud and proud Philadelphian, and you’ll often see her rocking the stage in either a Temple or Sixers jersey while she spits verses about the 215. She’s got a dynamic presence and a compelling delivery – pointed and strong, but with plenty of chill to balance the vibe out. Her set opening for Bahamadia at Johnny Brenda’s this spring was impressive, and I’m equally digging this latest throwback to her roots – “Summer’s Mine,” a song where she salutes DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince’s classic “Summertime” by incorporating it into her own anthem for the season.
The music video for the song, premiered yesterday on The Fader, is equally fun, re-creating many shots from the original video as she rides around town with DJ HVNlee. Continue reading →
We are beyond stoked for Episodic, the latest LP from Philly / Brooklyn rockers Field Mouse. Over the past three years, the band has expanded from a dream-poppy duo to an anthemic indie rock five-piece with a punchy drive and hooks for miles. Easy points of comparison range from 90s faves like The Lemonheads and Belly to aughties luminaries Rilo Kiley and Death Cab. But let’s not over-simplify here: this band has a voice of its own, centered around frontwoman / songwriter Rachel Browne.
The new record, recorded with Joe Reinhart of Hop Along at Headroom Studios, comes out on Topshelf Records on August 5th; we’ve already gotten a preview with “The Mirror” and “Out of Context,” and now the band has rolled out a third teaser from the album called “The Order of Things.” It’s a jaunty pop tune about feeling out of place, and the general ennui that comes with it. Continue reading →
Many who are familiar with the Philadelphia music scene, and even those beyond the local community, know Vacationer. Perhaps less known, but just as noteworthy, is Thrills, a project headed up by Michael Mullin that includes the other bandmates of Vacationer (Kenny Vasoli, Greg Altman, and Ryan Zimmaro) as well as Earl Martin. Somewhat of a heavier/less trippy form of its summery counterpart, Thrills began in 2014 with the LP Thrills of Constantly Collapsing. Earlier this month, the band released the Memory Envelope EP, and after hearing it, we thought it would be appropriate to share. Continue reading →