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The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes

One of the best moments in The Vernes‘ Key Studio Session this week — one that encapsulates them as a band, I think — happens at about a minute and 54 seconds into their performance of “H. Roark.”

It’s a midtempo, sorta breezy jangle-pop number, the kind The Vernes have done so well since moving to Philly from the Bay Area (following a NYC pitstop). After a buildup from gentle arpeggios to buoyant lead licks from guitarist Fabian Mera — who sways back and forth when he plays in a way that reminds me of Dr. Dog in the early days — we see singer-guitarist Matthew Gragg taking a solo when, while hitting a chord fervently, he gets the his guitar tangled in his headphone cord.

He keeps playing, the headphones get more tangled, and ultimately they topple forward, hanging off his neck until the end of the verse. We’re back in breezy midtempo territory at that point, but not really, since this sort of immersive playing from The Vernes can make even the quietest song electrifying.

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Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Just Announced: Resilient, Honeytiger and The Vernes will inaugurate The Key’s Philly Showcase at MilkBoy

Resiliant | photo by Leeland McCartney
Resiliant | photo by Leeland McCartney | courtesy of the artist

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 →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Vernes at The Pharmacy

vernes
The Vernes | photo by Jamison Pinkert | via Facebook

“PHL basement pop” band The Vernes play The Pharmacy down in Point Breeze tonight. They released a dreamy pair of singles earlier this year with The Curious Cat’s Eyes, the latest in a string of tracks that will hopefully continue through this year. More information for the all-ages show can be found here. The band is also donating 100% of their Bandcamp proceeds made in February to the ACLU, so get downloading.

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PREMIERE: Church Girls give us a glimpse of tour life with “Glass” video

Church Girls | photo by Charlie W. | courtesy of the artist

Philly indie rockers Church Girls have had a busy fall. After releasing their debut LP Hidalgo in September, the four-piece headed out on a tour that took them from their East Coast home out into the Midwest. Lucky for us, they gathered enough footage along the way to give us a behind-the-scenes look at touring life in the form of a video for Hidalgo track “Glass.” Continue reading →

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Resilient is better than ever on its new album How to Peach

Resilient | via facebook.com/ResilientTheBand

As Drive By Truckers wrapped up the 2017 XPoNential Music Festival on Sunday, Resilient premiered their new album How to Peach back in Philadelphia at The Barbary after dropping it on Bandcamp earlier in the day.

The Philadelphia rock four-piece released its debut, Imagining Things, last summer, and they’ve been a consistent name in the local show scene since. Last week they were featured along with Honeytiger and The Vernes at The Key’s Philly Music Showcase, the first of a series hosted at MilkBoy. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Resilient at MilkBoy, Small Circle at The Balcony, Mark McGuire at PhilaMOCA and more

Resilient | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com
Resilient | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Philly hard rockers Resilient hit the MilkBoy stage tonight alongside Honeytiger and The Vernes for The Key’s Philly music showcase. It’s been just about a year since their last EP, Imagining Things, and the band is readying a new collection of songs for release this summer. Meanwhile, Honeytiger just recorded an ace Key Studio Session and The Vernes continue to dish out dreamy summertime indie pop. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar; watch Resilient rock “Medication” in the XPN Studio below, via VuHaus.
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Just Announced: Aphra, Ivy Sole and Cheeky will play The Key’s Philly Showcase at MilkBoy in August

Aphra | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com
Aphra | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

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.
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Joy Ike at Steel City Coffeehouse, The Lawsuits at Johnny Brenda’s, Black Crowes Tribute at Ardmore Music Hall

Joy Ike performs at World Cafe Live for NPR Music's Tiny Desk Road Show | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com
Joy Ike performs at World Cafe Live for NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Road Show | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Philly/Pittsburgh singer-songwriter Joy Ike heads out to Phoenixville for a show at Steel City Coffeehouse tonight. A few days ago Ike posted a newsletter update in which she announced news of a new album, her first in four years following 2013’s All or Nothing. Tickets and information for tonight’s set, which opens Lili Añel’s record release show, can be found here. Watch Ike perform “Walk” below.

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Watch Honeytiger’s trippy, zombie-fan-filled video for “Interviewer”

Honeytiger | photo by Rachel Del Sordo | via artist’s Facebook page

Philly indie rock duo Honeytiger recently shared a new song titled, “Interviewer,” along with an accompanying video for the track in anticipation of their upcoming EP — which you can expect later this summer.

Shot at Point Breeze’s, The Pharmacy, the video pulls you into a trippy, sluggish, green-tinted world as member’s Isaac Clark and Josh Glauser chug along in cool Arctic Monkeys fashion. At one point, their danger-tinted, somber rock tune is so strong that it beckons a crowd of zombie-fied fans to make their way to the show and then do a little choreographed zombie number. Continue reading →