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Christine and the Queens returns with a stark, moody dance track and a Union Transfer gig

Christine and the Queens
Christine and the Queens | photo by Jamie Morgan | courtesy of the artist

French songwriter and producer Héloïse Letissier, better known by her artistic moniker Christine and the Queens, has released a new single and music video, “Doesn’t Matter”. The song is a prelude to her upcoming album Chris, due out 9/21 via Because Music. “Doesn’t Matter” is a stark, moody dance track that manages to be both danceable and thought-provoking. Likewise, the video, shot in a gorgeous vintage filter, plays on a balance of tension and attraction in its choreography between two bodies. It amounts to a complex aesthetic experience that will thrill art-pop enthusiasts. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Christine and the Queens at World Cafe Live, InAeona at The Fire, Bloc Party at The Fillmore and more…

christine and the queens
Christine and the Queens | photo courtesy of the artist

French singer Héloïse Letissier performs as Christine and the Queens at World Cafe Live. Christine released her US self-titled debut EP last year to growing acclaim. Her aesthetic and sound are clearly influenced by a range of styles and acts, though an affinity for the iconic silhouette of Michael Jackson is perhaps strongest in her dance / pop songs. Watch the video for “Christine” below and pick up tickets to the all-ages show here.

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Now Hear This: New songs by Haim, SZA, Kesha, Daphni, Aminé, Julia Michaels and more.

SZA | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
SZA | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

Every month, noted song expert K. Ross Hoffman presents Now Hear This, a sampling of fresh specimens for your consideration.

Ciao!! Now Hear This is coming to you this month one week later than regularly programmed, due to your faithful correspondent’s international travel schedule: I recently spent ten days in Sicily, where I got to experience firsthand the pleasures of a record-setting heatwave fondly dubbed “Lucifer.” Trips abroad always afford an interesting lens on pop music – you never know quite what you’ll get when you flip on a radio. The Italian pop I encountered seemed generally jaunty and decidedly dorky, featuring a surprising amount of accordion. The DJs were effusive and highly entertaining, speaking faster than I could probably follow even if I did know any Italian. I heard “Young Folks” and noname (the latter playing in a shop.) I heard one DJ leapfrog from The Beatles to Run-DMC to Empire of the Sun; rambling excitedly over the introduction to each song. The only current American pop number I heard in multiple places while in Italy was Calvin Harris’ “Feels” (ft. Pharrell, Katy Perry and Big Sean), a supposedly “summery” song that I guess I support more in theory than in practice. Continue reading →

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Sweet Talk with Beth Ditto

Beth Ditto
Beth Ditto | photo courtesy of the artist

Beth Ditto is the kind of artist where one’s fandom can and often does feel like friendship.

From her tenure as the formidable frontwoman of iconic queer punk band The Gossip all of the way through her recent debut solo album, Fake Sugar, listening to her songs possess a fun but familiar feeling to them, like you’re having a conversation with a friend you either just met or haven’t seen in forever. That intimacy becomes even more immediate when you see her do her thing live, which she’ll be doing at Union Transfer this Sunday.

It felt more instant still when I had the pleasure of chatting with her on the phone last month. It was freewheeling discussion that covered a lot of topics both mundane—we commiserated over our dirty laundry piles and the state of my shoe collection—and more relevant to her music, her philosophies about life and work, and what she gets from both. The highlights from the latter can be found below. Continue reading →

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A day too short, Governors Ball still brought the heat

GovBall2016-39
Gov Ball | Photo by Rachel Barrish for WXPN

Festivals and I have such a love/hate relationship. Not only as a music lover and someone who works in the industry, but as a general human being. There’s the hot humidity of the early days of summer mixed with the tangled bodies of hippies and hipsters gallivanting across an open field, overpriced food and alcohol, and crowds so large you can hardly see the band you’re there to see. At the same time, you’re completely enthralled with the good vibes, the exciting atmosphere, and the thrill of so much good music.

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Eight questions with Philly rapper Tunji Ige

Tunji Ige
Tunji Ige | photo courtesy of the artist

We’ve been fans of Philly rapper Tunji Ige here at The Key ever since first putting our ears to The Love Project, his debut mixtape that dropped in late 2014 when he was 20 years old. He’s an MC at heart, but paints his music with a broad brush – it incorporates elements of dance pop, psychedelia and experimental rock. A couple years down the pike, we’ve been totally enthralled with the direction he’s taken his career, from gripping music videos with longtime collaborator Glassface to guest spots with emerging Parisian pop outfit Christine and the Queens.

This spring, Tunji dropped Missed Calls, a seven-song set that you can stream below. Is it an EP? Is it a full length? I don’t know, but it’s good. We caught up with him on the phone last week, and basically asked him everything we’ve wanted to know more about over the past two years. Read our interview below, and catch Tunji tonight when he opens the show at Underground Arts for JUMP Philly’s Red Bull Sound Select party.  Continue reading →

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Tunji Ige’s European Vacation: Watch the trippy new video for “On My Grind”

Tunji Ige
Tunji Ige | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Of course Philly MC Tunji Ige has a hit called “On My Grind” – of course. That seems to be the dude’s mission statement of sorts. After dropping the remarkable debut mixtape The Love Projectand making a splash at RECPhilly’s SXSW showcase last year, the MC – full name: Olatunji Ige – showed up on the debut LP from French electropop outfit Christine and the Queens and dropped a mind-bendingly meta music video for “Ball Is Life” directed by emerging videographer Glassface, with other bits of music popping up here and there.

This week, Ige is back together with Glassface for the new music video for “On My Grind,” set in the streets of Paris with trippy layers of footage showing the rapper and friends swimming over and under and around the scene. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Kate Bracaglia’s top 5 Spotify discoveries of 2015

Clockwise from left: WIN WIN (photo by Alice Proujansky, via the band's Facebook page); Letissier (center, via the band's Instagram); exmagician (via the band's Facebook page); Dirty Ghosts (photo by Liz Caruana, via the band's website); and Screaming Peaches (photo by Ann Beasley, via the band's Facebook page)
Clockwise from left: WIN WIN (photo by Alice Proujansky, via the band’s Facebook page); Héloïse Letissier (center, via the band’s Instagram); exmagician (via the band’s Facebook page); Dirty Ghosts (photo by Liz Caruana, via the band’s website); and Screaming Peaches (photo by Ann Beasley, via the band’s Facebook page)

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. Today, Key contributor Kate Bracaglia shares five musicians she found on Spotify in 2015.

2015 was all about discoveries. This year, I discovered the best way to cook Brussels sprouts (with ginger and soy); the best spot in South Philly for Manhattans (the revamped Triangle Tavern); and re-discovered 9 years of That 70s Show re-runs on Netflix (remember this episode?) I also became a Spotify subscriber, and through the streaming service discovered dozens of bands that I probably wouldn’t have stumbled upon otherwise, who helped soundtrack my year. Here are five of my faves from 2015. Continue reading →

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Listen to a new song by Tunji Ige, “On My Grind”


Philly rapper Tunji Ige, currently in the middle of a tour with The Neighbourhood in Europe, just released a new song, “On My Grind,” produced by Ige and Noah Breakfast. The talented young man behind the excellent The Love Project mixtape is also currently featured on “No Harm Is Done,” the new album by the acclaimed Christine and the Queens. Continue reading →