The Vernes return with new single “Maybe I’ll Feel Better When I’m Dead”

The Vernes
The Vernes | photo by Crosby Clouse | courtesy of the artist

Philly via San Francisco rockers The Vernes released new music this past weekend, the title track to upcoming LP Maybe I’ll Feel Better When I’m Dead. The track is a jam and a sign of good things to come from the Philly rockers, who release the full album on September 28th.

While The Vernes previously released their self-titled debut in 2017, the upcoming Maybe I’ll Feel Better When I’m Dead marks the band’s debut studio album. Instead of releasing home recordings like on that first record, the band enlisted Joe Michelini (American Trappist, River City Extension) for recording and producing the upcoming album. Continue reading →


The Vernes look back on summers past in “Summer’s Gone” music video

The Vernes | photo courtesy of the artist
The Vernes | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly-based indie-rockers and Key favorites The Vernes release a new music video for their jangly track, “Summer’s Gone.” Producing a sunny sound capable of recreating summertime in the dead of winter, The Vernes represent it visually with montage of nostalgic and candid tour moments, captured by director Cody Kussoy. The footage comes come from the band’s summer tour in support of their self-titled debut, out last year. Continue reading →


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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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 →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Vernes at The Pharmacy

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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The Week Ahead: Kristin Hersh, Richard Thompson, Jill Scott, Buddy Guy and more

Richard Thompson | Photo by Tom Bejgrowicz | courtesy of the artist

It’s not a week to stay home — not with this kind of concert rundown on the calendar. From legends like Richard Thompson and Buddy Guy to emerging artists like Blushed and Fawziyyah Heart, there’s something for everyone this week. Here are 20 concerts to see in the next seven days, all around Philadelphia. Continue reading →


American Trappist walks the line, drunkenly, in the “Holy Moses” video

American Trappist | still from video

Joe Michelini of American Trappist is a generally positive person, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t dealt with his share of darkness. His last album, Tentanda Via, was born out of a struggle with existential dread, rejection of the religion he’d been raised in, but also a fear of a world sans faith.  His latest song, the distressed rocker “Holy Moses,” came from a different kind of low where Michelini needed to work out the idea of forgiveness. Continue reading →