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The Key Studio Sessions: Loose Tooth

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
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Required Listening: Reef the Lost Cauze makes his voice heard on “Radio Suckas”

Reef The Lost Cauze | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | hellerhound.com
Reef The Lost Cauze | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | hellerhound.com

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 →

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The Ultimate Summertime Jam: Watch Bri Steves salute DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince

Bri Steves | via Facebook

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 →

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Get psyched for Field Mouse’s Episodic with “The Order of Things”

field mouse
Field Mouse | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist

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 →

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Like Vacationer? Then open up Thrills’ Memory Envelope

Thrills | photo courtesy of the artist
Thrills | photo by Luke Cloran | courtesy of the artist

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 →

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Nona make surprising return with EP “Freaky If You Got This Far”

NONA

It’s alive! After holding a final performance in late 2014, the Philadelphia alt-punk band Nona is back. The band just put up three new songs on 6131 Record’s Bandcamp page. The EP, entitled Freaky If You Got This Far, in fact did make us wonder how Nona got to the point of releasing new music. The members have been heavily involved in other musical endeavors as of late — take vocalist Mimi Gallagher’s work in Year of Glad and Nicholas Harris playing bass in All Dogs, for example. Gallagher tells us, though, that these were songs Nona just couldn’t leave behind. Continue reading →

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Anthony Green dives deep with new single and music video for “You’ll Be Fine”

Anthony Green | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Anthony Green | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Doylestown-based musician and Circa Survive frontman Anthony Green has spent much of his musical career exploring and articulating his ever-present battle with his demons. With the release of his fourth solo album, Pixie Queen, due out September 9th, Green has channeled that into a new song and music video for opening track “You’ll Be Fine.”

Continue reading →

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Creativity captured: Watch Big Thief’s Shaking Through recording session music video

Big Thief | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | hellerhound.com
Big Thief | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | hellerhound.com

Last week, we had the treat of being a fly on the wall during New York indie band Big Thief and producer Luke Temple’s recording session with Weathervane Music, thanks to the music documentary series Shaking Through. The in-depth, behind-the-scenes look into the creation of the song “Mother” was captivating for any music lover — watching how ideas take shape and what goes into the production of each song adds a personal touch when listening to the final product. Continue reading →

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Beach Slang announce sophomore album, drop lead single “Punks In A Disco Bar”

Beach Slang
Beach Slang at Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company | photo by James Breslin for WXPN

The debut LP from Philadelphia’s Beach Slang, The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us, came out just last year, but already the rockers are back with a follow up. Their sophomore album A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings is due out September 23rd via Polyvinyl, and its lead single “Punks In A Disco Bar,” is available now. Continue reading →