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The Key Studio Sessions: Ju-Taun

Philly rock six-piece Ju-Taun has roots that stretch back to childhood. Brothers Jake and James Evans learned to sing from their father, who schooled them on the classic harmonies of soul and Motown. In the late 90s, their friend Samoeun Cheng joined them for a high school competition, and some variation on the band has been in in place ever since. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Camp Candle

Philly duo Camp Candle caught our ear last year with ERE, which is a totally fun thing to say out loud. Really though, that’s the name of their debut, and its blend of body-moving beats, suave vocals and harmonized textures is entrancing. It calls to mind any number of forward-thinking, electropop-driven acts dotting the modern rock landscape these days, from the sleek guitar lines of The xx to the bold saxophone leads of M83 and the rhythmic grit of Phantogram. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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The Key Studio Sessions: Hello Shark

The past few years, the final Key Studio Session of December has been one for quiet contemplation — an echo of the headspace we all find ourselves in as we get ready to hang up a new calendar and promise ourselves that this will be our year. It may not always play out like we want it to. Things can change, external forces we don’t have any control over can muddle our goals up. But stepping from one year to the next with the right outlook, and attempting to maintain that outlook as the months pass, is crucial.

In the Philly scene this year, few did quiet contemplation quite like Hello Shark. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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The Key Studio Sessions: A Day Without Love

Brian Walker has been feeling pretty positive lately. The Philly musician has made reflective music under the A Day Without Love banner for as long as we’ve been covering the scene here at The Key, and the project had several incarnations over the years. There was the acoustic, sensitive and Dashboard Confessional-esque early songs and shows meditating on heartbreak and sorrow. Then there was the anthemic power pop band circa 2013-14, showcased on the impressive Young Professionals EP, a collection with a sirplus of seize-the-day energy.  Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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The Key Studio Sessions: Rosali

Philadelphia’s Rosali Middleman debuted this year with an excellent collection of earnest, roots-tinged songwriting and contemporary folk. Released simply under her first name via local imprint Siltbreeze Records, Rosali‘s Out of Love hearkens back to the 70s singer-songwriter era of Joan Baez and Neil Young as much as it recalls more recent parallels — Lucinda Williams, or R.E.M. circa Out of Time. At the core of the music is Rosali’s engaging voice: confident, sublime, delivering observational stories of the fast-paced world around her and going inward for self-reflection. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Give yourself to the introspection in Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s new “Fireproof”

Alec Ounsworth of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah | photo by Michael Regan | via NPR Music

Philly band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is back with “Fireproof,” the first single released off their forthcoming record The Tourist. This plucky synth-heavy track details the dangers of being “fireproof,” or overly confident. The song features numerous bass and vocal driven buildups that trail off into instrumental interludes, giving way to introspection on the end of both listeners and singer Alec Ounsworth. Continue reading →

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Listen to a wistful new / old ballad “Hearts” by Honeytiger

Honeytiger | photo via https://honeytiger.bandcamp.com
Honeytiger | photo via https://honeytiger.bandcamp.com

Local two-piece Honeytiger just dropped a wistful ballad called “Hearts.” In it, reverberant vocals mix with the gentle yet enduring notes of an acoustic guitar. Last January, they released their impressive debut Half Clean that mostly inhabited the realms of riff-rock with occasional pit stops in the land of pop. “Hearts” favors a trippy singer-songwriter dynamic that allows listeners a peek at another facet of the duo’s musical capabilities and willingness to explore new genres. Continue reading →