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Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 12 (feat. Vita and the Woolf, Son Little, Mumblr and more)

Cover photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Cover photo by Rachel Del Sordo

This is usually the part where I wax philosophical about the Philadelphia music scene, the amazing breadth of talent it contains, the standout artists in a whole range of genres we’re showcasing on this latest comp, but you know what? It’s New Year’s Eve. We all have parties to get to. I’ll be brief.

The Key Studio Sessions Volume 12 is our latest overview of our incredible music community, and it features artists that will make you dance (Cheerleader, Sugar Tongue Slim, You Do You) artists that will make you rock the eff out (Mumblr, Thee Idea Men, Tinmouth, Thin Lips), and artists that will tug your heartstrings (Dirty Dollhouse, No Stranger, Tin Bird Choir, Paper Hearts). Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: John Vettese’s 12 favorite Key Studio Session performances

Philly Bloco's Key Studio Session | Photo by John Vettese
Philly Bloco’s Key Studio Session | Photo by John Vettese

Year-End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2014 awesome. In this installment, editor John Vettese shares his favorite performances recorded in our studio.

There’s no question: the best part about running The Key is producing our weekly Key Studio Sessions series and getting a different Philly-area band to play live for us each week. 2014 was a remarkable year in that regard: we covered more genres than ever before, from hip-hop to Brazilian dance to country and jazz, along with a strong showing from our indie rock, punk and Americana communities. And the performances were all knockouts in their own way, so much so that narrowing it down to merely a top five would have been impossible. So I didn’t. Here are a dozen awesome moments from the Key Studio Sessions this year, presented in chronological order. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Maureen Walsh’s Top 5 EPs of 2014

Charlotte Church | via facebook.com/charlottechurchofficial
Charlotte Church | via facebook.com/charlottechurchofficial

Year-End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2014 awesome. In this installment, Key contributor Maureen Walsh shares her favorite EPs of the year.

Within the past few years, artists have gotten more creative with how they release their music. One trend that is resurging is the EP. The EP used to be an extra set of songs that was released between albums. Lately, however, EPs are a way for artists to put out material and not be constricted to having an entire album’s worth of songs. This frees them to create short experiments and release material more frequently. Continue reading →

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S.T.S. sends hip-hop postcards from Switzerland in “Letters From Lugano”

S.T.S. | Photo by John Vettese
S.T.S. | Photo by John Vettese

Today Philadelphia’s Sugar Tongue Slim his new “Letters From Lugano,” featuring DjJBearOne. He uses the lyric to meditate on his growth and adventures in the industry, but what may be more interesting is the beat, which goes through different transitions throughout the song. It’s as if DJ BearOne is in the back scratching and fading to the next song and the next to entertain the crowd, while Slim is still in the lyrical zone of the first. That being said, “Letters From Lugano” actually becomes time capsule of S.T.S.’s European tour, and was written on break in Lugano, Switzerland. Check the track out below. Continue reading →

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Have The Best Time Ever with Khari Mateen

Photo by Abi Reimold | abireimoldphoto.com
Photo by Abi Reimold | abireimoldphoto.com

Khari Mateen is a very talented man. We’re big fans of the Philly songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist here at The Key, and if you haven’t been following his career these past several years, let’s bring you up to speed. He has made a name for himself by collaborating with acts such as The Roots, Dice Raw, Sugar Tongue Slim, Joy Denalane, Jill Scott, Tye Tribbett, James Poyser, and J*Dave. He’s established himself as a solo artist on releases like the Qulaia: Fall EP, and a sweet cover of George Gershwin’s “Summertime.” And it seems like he’s ready to show off his talents again on his brand new song, “Best Time Ever.” Continue reading →

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S.T.S. tells fans (and himself) to keep the faith on his latest single

STS
Sugar Tongue Slim

S.T.S. is addressing his fans as well as himself on his brand new track, “Hold On To Faith,” featuring singer Ebony Joi. On the first verse it seems like he’s talking to listeners and loved ones who have rocked with him for so many years, thanking them for their support throughout the struggles of his career and asking them to remain faithful to him as he continues his journey. The second verse sounds as if he’s talking to himself, using his rhymes to remind him of how far he’s come and to have faith that being a rapper is his calling. Continue reading →

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Red Bull Sound Select: See Who’s Playing

Sugar Tongue Slim | Photo by John Vettese
Sugar Tongue Slim | Photo by John Vettese

The Red Bull Sound Select is an live music series sponsored by the wing-dispensing energy drink company it’s named for, in an effort to promote new music and artists in emerging genres and styles. The concert series happens all over the United States and presents lineups consisting of up-and-coming artists alongside national names. This Saturday, September 27th, the Sound Select series, curated for this show by Jump Magazine, brings a varied group of artists, each known for their own unique “spin” on hip-hop, to Underground Arts. The lineup consists of instrumental hip-hop producing and djing icon RJD2, slick-lipped Philly boy  and “GOLD”-affiliated rapper Sugar Tongue Slim, and the Philly minimal electro-funk/soul/jazz/hip-hop/so-many-other-things duo known as Marian Hall. Continue reading →

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Illvibe Collective’s new monthly party launches at MilkBoy with STS, Hezekiah and more

S.T.S. | Photo by John Vettese
S.T.S. at the Illvibe Collective party | Photo by John Vettese

“The Philly hip-hop scene needs something fresh,” Hezekiah told the audience at MilkBoy. The Philly MC was in literal master of ceremonies mode at the center city venue last night, hosting the launch of a new party organized by Illvibe Collective that had clever wordsmith S.T.S. (Sugar Tongue Slim) in the headlining spot. Hezekiah explained to the crowd that their goal was a new showcase of the city’s emerging talent that also celebrated its established names on a planned monthly basis. Last night’s kickoff was modestly attended – decent for a Wednesday night though – but the people who went were pumped to be there. “We’re family,” Hezekiah and DJ PHSH said throughout the night, and indeed there was a warm and engaged vibe among the people on the floor, and the talent on stage did not disappoint. Continue reading →