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YES: Brielle releases her new single

 

Brielle
Brielle | Photo by Reji B. | rejibphotography.com

Brielle is a familiar name to most The Key readers. The north Philly songwriter has a finesse for not adhering to barriers, and instead creates her own brand of R&B by incorporating psychedelic and soul influences with jazz horn and flute arrangements. She is streaming her latest song “YES”, which she wrote while on her Who is April Fool Child tour in California last month. She released The Rough Breakup EP last year, and if her next release in anything like “YES”, it will surely cause a splash in the music world. Check out the new single below. Continue reading →

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Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 13 (featuring Bardo Pond, Girlpool, Moosh & Twist and more)

The Key Studio Sessions Volume 13
Photo by Ola Baldych | facebook.com/ola.baldych

I don’t want to gush. But I’d be lying if I said that this latest collection of performances from The Key Studio Sessions wasn’t special to me.

In the past four months, I’ve recorded one of my favorite Philadelphia bands of the past 20 years – shamanistic psychedelic rock masters Bardo Pond, whose performance was a thrill – as well as one of my favorite new Philadelphia bands – the brilliant duo Girlpool, transported locally from LA this winter with a unique sound and an incredible collection of songs in tow. I also recorded a local guitar icon whose work I’ve admired since I first began covering the scene for City Paper 15 years ago, Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner, doing a set of his raga-influenced compositions on the 22-stringed chaturangui. (Brenner also sat in on lap steel with folk outfit Kicking Down Doors.)

And that’s only the beginning. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Key Fest At-A-Glance: A set of simmering Philly hip-hop and R&B with Brielle, The Bul Bey, Jacqueline Constance and Tiani Victoria

Brielle
Brielle | Photo by Reji B. | rejibphotography.com

I kind of see our first-ever Key Fest as a tour of the Philly scene, from the basements to the coffeehouses and ending up in thenightclubs. Since the concluding night of the series happens to be on a Saturday, we had to make it a party by getting together some of our favorite voices in Philly hip-hop and R&B and bringing them to the MilkBoy stage. Here’s a look at what’s in store. Continue reading →

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The Bul Bey added to night three of Key Fest

The Bul Bey | via thebulbey.tumblr.com
The Bul Bey | via thebulbey.tumblr.com

The first ever Key Fest is just around the corner, with three nights worth of impressive local artists curated by The Key kicking off at MilkBoy starting April 23.

The latest hype is that Philly rapper The Bul Bey will be joining us for the third day of the fest, alongside Brielle, Jacqueline Constance and Tiana Victoria. Unfortunately Sugar Tongue Slim had to drop off the festival due to a scheduling conflict, and while we’ll miss him, this is still a lineup you can’t miss. Continue reading →

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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Melaena Cadiz, Colleen Green and more

Melaena Cadiz
Melaena Cadiz | photo courtesy of Folkadelphia

Folkadelphia debuted a session with musician Melaena Cadiz this week. The Michigan native performed six stripped-down songs, pulling from her 2014 Deep Below Heaven and including one track from her recent song-a-month singles project called “Motel Evangeline.” Take a listen to that song below and download the full session here.

Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Brielle at Winterfest, Illinois at Johnny Brenda’s, PhillyBloco at Ardmore Music Hall

Brielle
Brielle | Photo by Reji B. | rejibphotography.com

North Philly’s Brielle performs at the final edition of The Key’s Fireside Sessions at Winterfest tonight. The North Philly singer-songwriter just recorded a Key Studio Session with a full band, giving full-treatment to songs from her recent effort The Rough Break-Up. A horn section, keys and jazzy arrangements give the R&B / hip hop songs a feeling of sonic exploration while her lyrics are emotionally exploratory. Listen to “Wait, Stop. GO!” below and get more information about the free show  with Paper Hearts here.

Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Brielle

Photos by Reji B. | rejibphotography.com

Singer, songwriter, composer, flautist: Philadelphia’s Brielle has a lot going on. In the same way that she plays a multifaceted role in making music, her sound is equally tricky to pin down. It’s got roots in R&B, but there is an undeniable experimental / psychedelic sheen on her 2014 EP The Rough Break-up. She raps verses and brings in guest MCs like fellow Philadelphian Thelonius, but calling it hip-hop isn’t entirely correct. When she plays live, her backing band – which, for this week’s Key Studio Session, was nine pieces – moves deftly between slick and smooth soul to amped-up funk rock. And then there are the bits of jazz that get folded in: trippy Bitches Brew-esque sax, emphatic trumpet and Brielle’s own breathtaking flute melodies.

In short: her’s is a heady, engrossing sonic blend, and hearing its growth from her initial recordings has been a treat.  Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Bruce Warren’s Best of Philly Music 2014

Amanda X: Tiff Yoon, Cat Park, Kat Bean | Photo by Peter Murray | petermurrayphotography.com
Amanda X: Tiff Yoon, Cat Park, Kat Bean | Photo by Peter Murray | petermurrayphotography.com

Year-End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2014 awesome. In this installment, XPN Program Director Bruce Warren weighs in on the 2014 Philly music scene.

We thought 2013 was a fantastic year for the Philly music scene, however 2014 proved to be even better. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Sameer Rao’s Top 5 Musical Gut-Punches of 2014 (Philly edition)

Brielle | Photo via twitter.com/aprilfoolchild

Year-End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2014 awesome. In this installment, contributing writer Sameer Rao talks about songs that make you feel.

In case you didn’t read and feel what I wrote and felt last year, let it be known far and wide that 2014 was yet another hell of a year for nerve-poking chords, chill-inducing croons, and all manner of music that brought on heavy cases of the feels. And since this was a banner year for local artists of all stripes, we’re making this one Philly-exclusive. Get your tissues out for this list. Continue reading →