Here at The Key, we love Philly music — that, I hope, is kind of evident. We love going out to see live shows, we love hearing new artists from our community for the first time, and then bringing them to you. Which is kind of the idea behind The Key’s Philly Showcase, a new series of gigs we’re partnering with MilkBoy to present.
Beginning July 26th, we’ll bring some of our favorite new discoveries from the Philly scene to the stage on the final Wednesdays of the month, kicking off with a gig headlined by asskicking hard rock outfit Resilient. Led by singer-guitarist Erin Fox, the band wowed us with their 2016 debut Imagining Things, and their tremendous live energy when we caught them onstage at an International Women’s Day benefit this spring. They’ll be joined by Honeytiger, whose Half Clean LP spanned the blues-driven minimalism of The Black Keys with infectious and poppy modern rock hooks. On the pure pop side is The Vernes, a five piece that put out their self-titled debut in March; they’ll round the bill out with breezy and wistful summertime pop jams. Continue reading →
Almost a year after its initial release, Philadelphia indie rock duo Honeytiger has shared a visual for “As It Will Happen”, Half Clean‘s rousing opener. The clip follows a heartbroken man wandering some graffitied ruins, smashing plates, bottles, and a guitar in the process. Breaking things is cathartic, and so is Honeytiger’s music, so if you didn’t kiss anyone on New Year’s, find solace in the video below. Continue reading →
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 →
Philly jazz / space odyssey legends Sun Ra Arkestra play a free show tonight at Spruce Street Harbor Park. If you’ve never experienced this shimmeringly-attired crew’s journey’s into the outer rim, get thee to the river and let this dozen-to-twenty-ish member collective change how you experience music. More information at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
We’ve brought them in for a Key Studio Session and couldn’t get enough so we added them to Key Fest — now, Cherry will be performing at the free Spruce Street Harbor Park Waterfront series tonight. The brainchild of former punk band Kite Party member Russell Edling, Cherry will be playing along with Belgrade for the scenic concert. And hey, who doesn’t love free live music? Head over to the XPN Concert Calendar for more info. You can check out their live sessions with us below. Continue reading →
This summer, we’re bringing some of our favorite local artists to the stage of MilkBoy in Center City for The Key’s Philly Music Showcase. Last month, we announced the inaugural gig on July 26th — a rock-forward lineup featuring Resilient, Honeytiger and The Vernes. Today, we bring you the lineup for show number two, which veers in an electropop / R&B / hip-hop direction. Continue reading →
Brooklyn-based singer, Kelsey Byrne, makes dark, indie electro-pop under the moniker, VERITE. She’s been releasing a slew of infectious singles and EP’s since 2014, with her debut album, Somewhere In Between, due out on June 23rd. Before then, you can experience VERITE’s expansive sound fill Union Transfer tonight when she opens for Betty Who. Find more info on tickets here and watch the tour video of VERITE’s awesome cover of The 1975’s, “Somebody Else,” below. Continue reading →
Everybody’s heard the philosophical question about the tree falling in the forest, and frankly, I could care less about figuring it out. Why should I care if some random tree in some random forest is making noise? It’s a tree. With that being said, when you apply the same question to an up-and-coming band, the answer becomes a lot more interesting and a lot more clear-cut. Yes, of course they can make a sound, but wouldn’t it be a lot more fun if someone was around to hear it?
Before you headline Madison Square Garden and save the world with your music, you just need to find a community that’s willing to give you a chance. For a lot of bands, that community is the school they’re going to—just ask R.E.M., Sleater-Kinney, Slowdive, Radiohead, and countless others. Everyone has to start somewhere, and the more supporting and accommodative that somewhere is, the easier it is to get your feet off the ground. As a student and musician currently finishing up my undergraduate at Drexel, I understand this all too well, but for much of my college career, the campus has lacked a place like-minded friends and I could call home. It wasn’t always that way, though.
About six years ago, a Drexel student received a grant for over $90,000 in top-of-the-line sound equipment. It was eventually installed in the basement of the James E. Marks Intercultural Center, resulting in the birth of Flux, the university’s premier concert venue. For the next few years, the space hosted performances from student, local, and touring acts, including Modern Baseball, The Districts, The Front Bottoms, and more. It was the community-centric space I had always dreamed of in high school, but just as I was beginning to feel optimistic about the future, things took a turn for the worse.
Midway through 2014, “The Man” had his manly say. It’s announced that the Intercultural Center is being torn down to build a hotel, and shortly after, Flux hosts its last show. The team spends the ensuing months searching for a new space to no avail. With no venue, they lose funding, the students involved graduate, and just like that, Flux disappears completely. Continue reading →
Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2016 incredible. To kick off the series, Key editor John Vettese recaps six of his favorite Philadelphia music discoveries from the past 12 months.
Ah, Philly. Keep on being awesome. It’s once again time for me to look back and reflect on the past year of music that came out of our community, and once again I’ve had a harder time than ever narrowing it down.
Locally rooted artists are breaking into the broader music conversation, whether they remain at home (Modern Baseball‘s Holy Ghost receiving international acclaim) or venture outward to other cities and scenes (Michelle Zauner’s sometimes-Philly / sometimes-Brooklyn Japanese Breakfast, Ron Gallo and Liz Longley taking up residence in Nashville). More people than ever are moving from other cities to Philly – including The Dove and The Wolf, who got their start in Paris. And as always, artists like Dr. Dog (who released an impressive two albums in 2016), Kurt Vile (who celebrates New Year’s Eve at The Fillmore) and The Roots (still rocking the late night TV party) rep the city on a national scale.
But this post isn’t about that. It’s my annual reflection on artists who I had not heard of prior to this year, who totally bowled me over and made me want to find out everything about them. These are artists that deserve to be one of those high profile artists in coming years. These are my favorite music discoveries of 2016. Continue reading →