By

Trap Rabbit commands the studio with new video “Upward Mobility”

Trap Rabbit | photo by Kuf Knotz | courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia alt-jazz duo Trap Rabbit are back again with an electrifying new song that will make you question why we ever invented music genres in the first place. Their new music video, “Upward Mobility”, delights as bandmates Arjun Dube (drums) and Logan Roth (keys) stack melodies on top of melodies until an entirely new and fresh sound emerges. Trap Rabbit’s sound is hard to pin down, but that’s the fun of it. It’s a synthesis of jazz, funk, hip-hop, and rock that ranges from dance inducing beats to near-lyrical contemplations. This new video features all of it without apology or compromise. Continue reading →

By

Trap Rabbit talks virtuosity, collaboration and Philly on the 25 O’Clock Podcast

Trap Rabbit
Trap Rabbit | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly instrumental duo Trap Rabbit gets around, whether they’re backing rappers like Kuf Knotz or working with singer-songwriters like Sophie Coran. For the latest episode of the 25 O’Clock podcast, bandmates Arjun Dube (drums) and Logan Roth (keys) chat with host Dan Drago about their origins, their entry point into the Philadelphia music scene, and how they’ve managed to stay so busy as musicians. Continue reading →

By

The Key Studio Sessions: Trap Rabbit

A couple years back, renowned jazz trumpeter Christian Scott introduced the concept of “stretch music” in his album of the same name. The idea was one not of total re-invention or boundary-smashing, but rather of taking one’s creative vocabulary and stretching it to include as much style and range as possible, incorporating uncommon influences while remaining true to one’s musical roots.

Philly duo Trap Rabbit could easily qualify as stretch music for the local scene…though they might prefer their own category of “weirdo beat rock.” Indeed, Arjun Dube’s complex drumbeats are prominently present in the band’s work, propping up and goading on Logan Roth’s expressionistic keyboard playing. Continue reading →

By

Watch Trap Rabbit take it to the streets on their new music video for “Empress”

Trap Rabbit
Trap Rabbit | photo courtesy of the artist

Unlike their name may lead you to believe, Trap Rabbit does not make trap music. Rather, the instrumental key/drum duo from Philly creates a dynamic mixture of progressive jazz, rock and hip-hop beats in their live shows and on their most recent project, 2018’s Empress EP.

Late last week, music blog OkayPlayer debuted the music video for title track, “Empress,” following the duo of drummer Arjun Dube and keyboardist Logan Roth in what seems like a normal get together. The Bob Sweeney-directed video starts off with the duo hanging out in the band’s Fishtown studio, but slowly devolves into a full-blown fistfight out on the street. Continue reading →

By

Listen to Trap Rabbit’s new EP Empress ahead of their Bourbon & Branch release show

Trap Rabbit | photo by Rachel Andie | via the band’s Facebook page

If you’re into trap music, don’t get your hopes up when you see the name of the band Trap Rabbit. They make it perfectly clear on their Bandcamp page that, despite the moniker, they don’t make trap music — they fall more along the lines of instrumental hip-hop meets prog rock with some soul and jazz influences. But their music defies easy categorization, so perhaps it’s best to just call Trap Rabbit what it is at its core — a keys and drums duo that makes some really cool tunes. Continue reading →

By

Watch a mystical music video for Philly art rock group Upholstery’s new song “INGA”

Upholstery | Kate Raines | courtesy of the artist

Upholstery have shared the moody and ethereal video for their new single, “INGA”, which serves as the first single off their new album. The album, also titled INGA, is the Philly band’s fourth full-length release and their first on Exotic Fever Records. Produced by Johann Sebastian, the album sees the arty group exploring darker grooves. Members of Hardwork Movement, Trap Rabbit, Settled Arrows, Pattern is Movement, and West Philadelphia Orchestra all contributed to the record, making it an impressive testament to Philly’s vibrant music scene. Continue reading →

By

The Key Studio Sessions: Sophie Coran

Making music is a process of constant re-invention. Meticulously crafted studio recordings are re-shaped onstage, the onstage energy influences the direction of the next studio recordings, and the cycle continues back and forth over an artist’s lifespan.

Sophie Coran has already experienced quite a bit of that in her four years as a singer and songwriter working around Philadelphia. Her earliest work, the Better EP from 2015, took on a piano-driven identity in the vein of Carly Simon and Paula Cole. Last year, her follow-up, All that Matters, folded in elements of jazz and soul. And as Coran began playing shows around town in support of that release, she connected with Logan Roth and Arjun Dube of the experimental instrumental band Trap Rabbit. They became her live band, and the chemistry she developed with them — as well as bassist Mike Morrongiello — pushed her music into new realms.

The recent “Duller Star” single is the first example we’re hearing of collaboration. It’s a song that breathes in a husky tenor, its melodic skeleton fusing with Roth’s layers of synthesizer soundbanks and melodic leads to create an arty pop air reminiscent of Fiona Apple. There’s also a rhythmic pulse, care of Dube, that isn’t too far off from the crowd-galvanizing concepts of EDM.

Watch the video below as the song opens on a solitary Coran, playing her Nord and singing about a cigarette abandoned on the nightstand. As the verse progress, Morrongiello’s bass enters along with Roth’s keys, gently at first, and then becoming more defined. They unite with Dube’s drum stand pings and light rhythms, until the cymbals emphatically swish, then breathlessly cut to silence at the end of the pre-chorus. The beat drops. The song is under way. And as I said in an NPR blurb about Coran earlier this week, it will “in its own, downtempo jazz-pop kind of way, get you moving.”

Continue reading →

By

The Key’s Year-End Mania: John Vettese’s Top Six Philly Music Finds of 2018

Low Dose | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2018 incredible. To kick off the series, Key editor John Vettese recaps six of his favorite Philadelphia music finds from the past 12 months.

This page of the calendar is always a blur for me. Thinking back over the 300-some previous days of listening to records from Philly musicians, getting to their gigs, recording them in the WXPN studio, and spinning their music on the air is a lot to take stock of. Putting together my annual rundown of jaw-dropping artists that were new to me in 2018 quickly went from “hmm, I know I was stoked about these three” to “OMG I already have 20, I need to narrow this down.”

But that’s the blessing of living in Philly, as I say every year. We have amazing musicians operating on all tiers — the broadly-reaching Meek Mills releasing the best and most poignant records of their career, the War on Drugs-es returning home this week for a sold-out run of underplay shows, the Hop Alongs garnering widespread acclaim for their own masterpieces — but we also have musicians who are still sweating it out on basement show bills, touring in battered vans, hustling across the bar scene, and grinding to make it all work for them.

Finding the most exciting musicians in that latter space, and watching them make their way to the former, is easily my favorite part of my job. Here are a handful of artists I hope to see make that journey this year.

Continue reading →

By

The Week Ahead: Letters to Cleo, Caroline Rose, Keyon Harrold, (Sandy) Alex G and more

Keyon Harrold
Keyon Harrold | photo by Deneka Peniston | courtesy of the artist

It’s starting to get cold out, friends. And before you find yourself faced with the prospect of bundling up in heavy winter attire to get groceries, much less to get to the gig, we recommend you fit in many shows this week as possible this moth. Here are 25 concerts to see in the next seven days all around Philadelphia: free shows, jazz gigs, folk and funk, and one of the most jam-packed Fridays we’ve seen in a while.    Continue reading →

By

Catch Kuf Knotz’s new collaborative project with Christine Elise at Johnny Brenda’s later this month

Kuf Knotz & Christine Elise | photo via kufknotz.com

Philly native Kuf Knotz has a new project in the works. Paired with classically trained harpist Christine Elise and backed by the Trap Rabbit band, it may seem like an unlikely combination, but their music — right now all we have are some live concert videos, but there’s an album on the way — proves that the joined musical forces are onto something good. Currently on tour, they’ll play Johnny Brenda’s for the first time on August 28, opening for Liniker e os Caramelows. Continue reading →