Travel Sad13’s shimmery, synth-driven landscapes in track, “Sooo Bad”

Sad13 | Photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN |

Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim is back with their program, Adult Swim Singles, in which they release a free tune every week for the next year. Sadie Dupuis’ Sad13 fills this week’s slot as the featured track with a new song titled “Sooo Bad.”

Traveling a shimmery, synth-driven landscape, “Sooo Bad” is reminiscent of Grimes‘ anime-inspired electro-pop and practically screams perfection as an Adult Swim cartoon theme song. Which should definitely become a thing. Continue reading →


Hear Porches’ auto-tune stripped remix of (Sandy) Alex G’s “Sportstar”

(Sandy) Alex G | photo by Tonje Thilesen | courtesy of the artist
Alex G | photo by Tonje Thilesen | courtesy of the artist

(Sandy) Alex G’s Rocket is a mighty fine, complex collection of some of his most eclectic, genre-crashing gems to date. One of these standout beauties is the dreamlike ballad “Sportstar,” in which frontman Giannascoli warps his voice with otherworldly auto-tune amidst a thick atmospheric soundscape of gauzy guitars and echoing piano. Aaron Maine’s NY-based synth-pop project, Porches, recently remixed the surreal tune, providing a clarified, breezy companion

Stripping away layers of vocal processing, Porches’ remix of the song summons the deeper and tad demonic Alex G monotone that we all know and love, while spicing it up with a hint of electro-steel drum, island music vibes. Continue reading →


Chris Forsyth unveils “Dreaming In the Non-Dream,” the first single from his new LP

chris forsyth
Chris Forsyth | photo via No Quarter Records

We had a feeling guitarist Chris Forsyth was in the studio late last year, and today we get some details about the outcome of those sessions via NPR. Along with a thoughtful interview about engaging with the world rather than trying to escape from it through music, the Philadelphian shared a new composition called “Dreaming In the Non-Dream” that acts as lead single and title track to his forthcoming Solar Motel Band effort.

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Work Drugs revisit 2016 in new single “For The Year”

Work Drugs — covered in trademark haze

Had enough of 2016? Work Drugs sure did. The Philadelphia-based indie soft pop (self-stylized “sedative wave/smooth-fi”) duo has released a new single “For The Year” ahead of their upcoming record Flaunt the Imperfection, set for release on August 11th and currently available for preorder.

“For The Year” is a slower, more somber track that is accompanied by a video featuring a compilation of the worst and most memorable moments that made it into the media in 2016, a year that seemed relentless in tragedy and scandal. Continue reading →


The Key Studio Sessions: Katie Frank

At a West Philly gig earlier this spring, I watched local indie rock band Major Pursuit cover the Dixie Chicks immortal “Goodbye Earl,” an anthem about abuse, revenge and sisterhood. “If somebody hits you,” the band reasoned, “murder them.”

This is pretty much the aesthetic of the latest batch of songs singer-songwriter Katie Frank has cooked up over the past year. After debuting in 2012 with Covered Bridge Road and really stepping into the spotlight on 2014’s Counting Your Curses, the Elizabethtown native returned this spring with a revved up string of rocked up, honky tonk and blues inspired single about betrayal, scorn, emotional neglect and — in the case of “Through Your Window” — a search for a way out, pistol in hand. Continue reading →


Items Tagged Philadelphia: Requiem for the springtime

Enamel | via

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.

Oh my, we’re running behind this week, aren’t we? Very behind. Or we’re very early for next week, depending on your point of view. I blame the heat; the stuffy, sluggish days where the atmosphere feels like its literally dragging you down. That’s sort of behind us, for the moment — we’re in the temporary reprieve zone, it was just a preview of what we’re going to get in August, you know? — and now we’re in the heating up of the summer concert itinerary.
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Listen to Palm’s wonderfully erratic, ever-shifting rhythms on EP ‘Shadow Expert’

Palm | Photo courtesy of the artist

I’m a fairly awkward person, which means I am also a fairly awkward dancer. To counteract this dilemma, I strive to be a top-notch head-nodder and/or foot-tapper. Usually it’s pretty simple to keep up with the constant, predictable beats of standard rock formula. But sometimes this equation is thrown out the window and my plan to look hip and cool is foiled. Palm’s new EP Shadow Expert is one of those times. Continue reading →