Mir Fontane chases success on his new single “Frank Ocean”

Mir Fontane | photo courtesy of MassX

This year’s Firefly Festival is definitely going to be one for the books, especially since so many of the acts that will be performing are coming straight out of the tri-state area.

While artists such as Chill Moody, Joie Kathos, Ill Fated Natives, and Miles Chancellor will be on stage representing for the City of Brotherly Love, up and coming hip hop artist Mir Fontane will be putting on for the Garden State at the Delaware festival with hits like his new single “Frank Ocean.” Continue reading →


Philly meets Frank: Alex G and Jazmine Sullivan are featured on Frank Ocean’s new visual album, Endless

Frank Ocean | photo via

It’s here.

The world has been waiting ever so impatiently for R&B icon Frank Ocean‘s newest work since 2012’s channel ORANGE, and Thursday night it finally dropped. Now available on Apple Music is Ocean’s visual album Endless. The fact that it’s presented as a visual album might come as a surprise. So might the idea that it isn’t entitled Boys Don’t Cry, as Ocean had been teasing for so long. But what might be most surprising are the Philly ties on the new project.

Both soul singer Jazmine Sullivan and indie rocker Alex G are featured on multiple tracks. Sullivan’s vocals can be found on “Alabama,” “Wither,” “Hubolts” and “Rushes.” Alex G plays guitar on “Wither,” “Slide On Me,” “Rushes” and “Higgs.” So there you have it: what is one of the most highly anticipated releases in recent memory is flooded with talent that’s rooted right here in Philadelphia. Additional (non-Philly) contributors to the visual album include Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, James Blake, UK R&B vocalist Sampha , producer Arca, and the London Contemporary Orchestra.

Now, if you can believe this, there actually seems to be more on the way from Ocean. One of his representatives has reportedly said to “keep an eye out for more from Frank.” Most expect it to be the studio album that’s been promised for so long. So maybe that means there’s more Alex G / Jazmine Sullivan / Frank Ocean collaborations just around the corner? Only time will tell. Stay tuned, and watch Frank Ocean’s Endless here.


Download of the moment: Typhoon, playing Johnny Brenda’s in October, cover Frank Ocean’s “Thinking About You”

typhoon Portland’s indie-orchestral rockers Typhoon have covered Frank Ocean’s “Thinking About You,” that you can download for free below. The 11 piece band are releasing a new album, White Lighter, on August 20 on Roll Call Records and are playing Johnny Brenda’s on Tuesday, October 1. The song starts out with a soft orchestrated-pop twist on the original then turns into a heartfelt gospel choir singalong with some auto-tuned weirdness noise in the background. Somehow, Typhoon have magically turned the already incredible original on its head and completely own it by the end.

Continue reading →


Photo Recap: Frank Ocean at Union Transfer

Rising pop star Frank Ocean debuted his acclaimed full-length, Channel Orange, before a super sold out Union Transfer crowd last night. Grabbing a seat in the center of the stage, Frankie did not waste time delivering all the favorite jams from the new album as well as an incredible cover of Coldplay’s “Strawberry Swing”. Check out a photo recap of the night in the gallery above.


The Afghan Whigs cover Frank Ocean’s “Lovecrimes,” announce Sept. 27 Electric Factory show

Photo by Sam Holden |
The 90s alt-rock group The Afghan Whigs was always renowned for their off-the-cuff R&B and soul covers in concert, from The Supremes’ “Come See About Me” to Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor” and Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.” Since kicking off a string of reunion dates this year, a staple of their set has been a rendition of Frank Ocean’s “Lovecrimes,” originally found on his 2011 mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra. Today, the Whigs announced additions to their fall tour – including a stop at The Electric Factory on Sept. 27 – and released a studio rendition of “Lovecrimes” to go with it. You can download the cover below.


Download a new song by Frank Ocean (playing Union Transfer in July)

Frank Ocean is playing Union Transfer on Wednesday, July 25th. Tickets are on sale now here. Ocean, who is affiliated with Odd Future, a hip hop group releases his Def Jam debut,  Channel Orange, on July 17th. Last year Ocean released his Nostalgia, Ultra. for free after his label refused to release it. You can download the critically acclaimed album for free here. Tickets for Frank Ocean at Union Transfer are on sale now here. Below, download “Pyramids” for free.


Bodyguard mixes emo electronica and R&B on “Truster”

Bodyguard | photo courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia electronic pop duo Bodyguard is at a place of anxiety and uncertainty in its debut single “Truster,” but it has an answer. As nocturnal snythesizer lines drive and pulse and drum pad beats click, co singers and songwriters Matt Hampson and Megan Gouda reflect on feelings of inadequacy while also resolving to not dwell on things that cannot be changed. In their view, the best way forward is by surrendering to chance: “didn’t look at sides of the coin, just started flippin’,” they sing. “Didn’t check on both my shoes, just started trippin’.”

The duo will make its live debut this Thursday at Boot & Saddle, opening for Cave People and premiering songs from their forthcoming EP, Allow Yourself In The Frame. Between the two of them, Hampson and Gouda have played live and recorded with Power Animal, Hello Shark, Worshyper, Nervous Dater and Whaler, and sees this new project as a crossroads between the underground and pop, between emo and R&B, between Wicca Phase and Frank Ocean. Continue reading →


Items Tagged Philadelphia: Stop and take a look around

Hell To Pay | via

Here at The Key, we spend a lot of time digging through every new release from Philadelphia that shows up on Bandcamp. Periodically, we’ll check in to present you with the most interesting, most unusual and overall best of the bunch: this is Items Tagged Philadelphia.

Getting out of the space you’re used to, day-in-day-out, is important — whether that be a geographical space or a headspace. It’s a big country, a big world, and most of us occupy one small corner of a slightly larger corner of it. I don’t necessarily consider Philadelphia part of “the bubble“; yeah, we might have a higher concentration of vegan restaurants and locally-sourced grocery co-ops and a more robust creative community than other places around the state, but we are also not lacking in the proudly traditional opposite end of the spectrum. Often those segments of the Philly population disagree, sometimes those disagreements escalate to toxic hostility, and sometimes an event (like, I don’t know, a Super Bowl victory) will bring practically everyone together in celebration and harmony regardless of how different they are as people the rest of the year.

Even with the range of views and voices under the Philly umbrella, it still gives me pause when I find myself in another city or state — or hear stories from musicians who tour through other cities or states — and am reminded of how drastically different America can be from one region to the next. Continue reading →


Tyler The Creator and Vince Staples go big, introspectively, at the Liacouras Center

Tyler The Creator | photo by Koof Ibi Umoren for WXPN

Vince Staples and Tyler, The Creator are showing serious growth from the now-disbanded Odd Future crew. With more attention spent on interactive stage settings at the Liacouras Center last week, each artist was able to deliver a more introspective set then we’ve seen from them in the past. Continue reading →