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Sheena, Anika and Augusta share “For Billy” from new EP Simple Pleasures

Sheena, Anika, and Augusta | photo by Katie Krulock | courtesy of the artist

The new collaboration of Sheena, Anika, and Augusta have announced that they’ll release their debut EP Simple Pleasures next month. The supergroup trio of Sheena Ozzella of Lemuria, Anika Pyle of Katie Ellen and Chumped, and Augusta Koch of Cayetana and Gladie announced the new project a few months ago, after a weekend spent recording in the Poconos resulted in the four-track EP. Their label, Asian Man Records, writes on Facebook, “This is the perfect example of music done for the right reasons, in the right conditions, and with the right people. Best friends enjoying the process of creating together.” Continue reading →

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Anika Pyle finds her footing in the confessional “Good Woman”

Anika Pyle | photo by David Williams

Between her work with her former band Chumped, her current project Katie Ellen, and a newly announced collaborative group, Anika Pyle also finds an occasional outlet for songwriting under her own name. Her solo songs seem to appear when the Philly singer-songwriter has something that needs to be said. Pyle has been working on solo material lately, and she describes her new single “Good Woman” as “vulnerable: full of feels.” Continue reading →

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Sheena, Anika, and Augusta team up for simple pleasures

Sheena, Anika, and Augusta | photo by Katie Krulock | courtesy of the artist

There’s a new supergroup in town, folks. Local songwriters Anika Pyle (Katie Ellen, Chumped) and Augusta Koch (Cayetana, Gladie) have joined forces with Sheena Ozzella of Lemuria for a new project. The trio will perform under the name Sheena, Anika, and Augusta, and have announced a four-track EP called simple pleasures that will be released on Asian Man Records. Continue reading →

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Anika Pyle of Katie Ellen joins Her Smell director Elisabeth Moss for a post screening Q&A at The Roxy

Katie Ellen | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

After years fronting former punk band Chumped and her current project Katie Ellen, local songwriter Anika Pyle knows a thing or two about the music industry. This weekend, she’ll share some of her insider knowledge during a Q&A following the Philadelphia Film Society’s screening of the new film “Her Smell.” Pyle will join the film’s writer and director Alex Ross Perry for a conversation following the 6:30 p.m. screening this Saturday, April 27, at the PFS Roxy Theater.

“Her Smell” stars Elisabeth Moss as a fictional punk rock singer, Becky Something, who saw major success in the ’90s but is now down on her luck and struggling with addiction. The story follows Becky Something’s journey to recovery as she reckons with her past and tries to reclaim the creativity and inspiration that made her successful.

Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Kayleigh Goldsworthy

We were fortunate enough this week to catch Kayleigh Goldsworthy in a rare moment of respite.

Whether residing or just passing through, the singer-songwriter and guitarist has been all around these United States — many of the places that pop up in her songs, like Portland and Nashville and New York — and for the past year and change, she’s called Philadelphia home. The concept of “home” in some ways is a bit nebulous, though, since Goldsworthy is always on the go. Continue reading →

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Listen to Anika Pyle of Katie Ellen contemplate guilt, shame and self-identity in the stirring solo song “The Void”

Anika Pyle | photo via anikapyle.bandcamp.com

Known these days as the singer-guitarist and songwriter at the front of Katie Ellen, and know previously as the voice of Brooklyn punks Chumped, Philly’s Anika Pyle occasionally forays into solo compositions and contemplations — as she did this week with the new track “The Void.” Continue reading →

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The Key’s Top 15 Albums of 2017

This is the music that moved us this year

As far as years go, 2017 was…complicated. And so it stands to reason that The Key’s annual go at determining the top 15 albums of the year — the records that resonated the most with us, the collections of songs that best captured the spirit of the past twelve months — was no straightforward affair.

In 2017, we thrilled to the reflective psych-rock sprawl of Philly’s The War on Drugs, a seasoned band delivering its most confident and refined artistic statement to date. We also heard the hushed introspection of Big Thief‘s sophomore album, which transformed trauma and pain into beautiful atmospheric folk. Artists looked deeply inward to discover raw personal truths, whether we’re talking about U.K. singer-songwriter Sampha, Philly newcomers Katie Ellen or hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, sounding more down to earth and honest than he has in years (decades?). They refused, as Lorde and (Sandy) Alex G did, to be confined by boxed-in preconceptions of their work, and pushed their chops into new territories, whether they be on album three (The Districts) or nine (Spoon).

A common thread was embracing vulnerability, practicing self-reflection and finding inner strength. That’s the story of albums by Waxahatchee and Harmony Woods, Cayetana and Kelela. It’s also an undercurrent to Kendrick Lamar‘s remarkable DAMN., which The Key’s contributors rallied around to vote it number one album of the year. Our John Morrison does a deep dive on the record, dissecting its nuanced pairing of hard-hitting hip-hop production with complex themes about fear and internal conflict, virtue and vice, weakness and wickedness and whether those traits make us flawed.

Last year, you’ll recall, was also a complicated year. It left many in artistic circles revving up to fight and affect change…and some, like Hurray for the Riff Raff, chased that impulse with thrilling results. But it seems that the records that stuck with us the most at year’s end are all saying, in one way or another, that before we go out to better the world, we need to look within and (to borrow a phrase from Adam Granduciel and co.) gain a deeper understanding of ourselves. – John Vettese Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Katie Ellen

Anika Pyle first came to prominence fronting the acclaimed Brooklyn punk band Chumped, which riffed and raged for a few exciting years and then, following the album cycle for 2014’s Teenage Retirement, decided to retire.

In its wake, Pyle refocused to explore the more sensitive side of her songwriting in the project Katie Ellen, which debuted with a Bandcamp demo called wild <3 in early 2016. The indie rock riffs were ever present, as was Pyle’s powerful vocal delivery, but the range was notably more dynamic. Songs could be a midtempo stroll (the title track) as easily as they charged (“Lucy Stone”); clean guitar tones mixed in with fuzzed-out overdrive; the arrangements and melodies were as east coast rock as they were Nashville roots.

A move to Philly later, and Katie Ellen released Cowgirl Blues this July on Lauren Records. Continue reading →