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Tonight’s Concert Pick: Kath Bloom at Johnny Brenda’s

Kath Bloom | photo via artist’s Facebook page

Veteran singer-songwriter Kath Bloom put out new material this past spring with an album titled This Dream Of Life. Tonight she’ll be gracing us plebeians with her powerful songstress presence at Johnny Brenda’s, alongside a bill including Friendship and Most Selfless Cheerleader.  Find info on the show here, and watch the heartbreaking and touching video for Bloom’s new track “I Just Can’t Make It Without You,” below. Continue reading →

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Listen to Friendship’s steady-going, emotional new single “If You See My Beloved”

Friendship | photo by Abi Reimold | courtesy of the artist
Friendship | photo by Abi Reimold | courtesy of the artist

Philly indie folk outfit Friendship have just shared a new single in addition to announcing a release date for their sophomore album, Shock Out of Season, which will be out on November 3rd via Orindal Records.

“If You See My Beloved” is a five minute long track that edges along to a steady beat and a static electro atmosphere. The power of the song lies in the lyrics, however, with frontman Dan Wriggins’ conversational, stream-of-conscious words painting a picture of a deteriorating relationship through his realistic recount of a rainy day excursion. Continue reading →

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Friendship debut “Rich Man,” the first single from new F/V Hope EP

friendship
Friendship | photo courtesy of the artist

Local outfit Friendship are out on the road right now for a pretty serious national tour, but when they return on May 27th it’s to release a new EP called F/V Hope via Sleeper Records. While in Galveston, TX (according to their tour flier) a few days ago the country-tinged folk rockers shared a lead single from the record called “Rich Man,” which you can listen to below.

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Folkadelphia Session: Friendship (ft. Abi Reimold)

Friendship (sans Reimold), courtesy of the artist.
Friendship (sans Reimold), courtesy of the artist.

Back during the first half of 2015, we only knew Friendship as a social concept that we were bad at participating in. We ended 2015 with a new favorite band. Thanks to a “mysterious EP” (as posted by The Key) and a Folkadelphia house concert with Maine’s Jacob Augustine, Friendship really held our attention as we greatly anticipated their eventual debut full length, You’re Going to Have to Trust Me. With its somber country sound somewhere between Jason Molina and Gram Parsons (as WXPN’s John Vettese nicely describes it), Friendship hits that sweet spot where our interests in existentialism and pedal steel guitar converge.
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Friendship at All Night Diner, Jarekus Singleton at Sellersville Theater

friendship
Friendship | photo by Abi Reimold | courtesy of the artist

Local favs Friendship play All Night Diner tonight in a rare six-piece set-up. The (mostly) Maine natives will be joined by their Ohio-based keyboardist and a recently added flautist, giving the already hauntingly structured songs that populate last year’s stand out You’re Going To Have To Trust Me LP even more nuanced depth. Revisit “Responsible” from the record below and get more information for the show here. The Dove & The Wolf, Field Sleeper and Curtis Cooper also play.

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Watch Friendship perform “Fuzzy” live, see them at Everybody Hits

Friendship
Friendship | Photo by Abi Reimold | courtesy of the artist

As we prepare to send Friendship off on a summer tour in a few weeks, why not look back at a video filmed on their last east coast journey?

The Philadelphia-based band of Maine, Florida and Ohio natives spent the better parts of March and April taking their 2015 debut LP You’re Going To Have To Trust Me from Savannah to Toronto, making a midway-stop in Tennessee where they recorded this live version of “Fuzzy.” Nashville’s Little Light Shows captured the song on the first floor of a sparsely lit home, casting the soft-spoken musings in a dewy glow. It’s the kind of recording that relays the intimacy of a Friendship set.

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: John Vettese’s Top 5 Philly music discoveries of 2015

Chelsea Sue Allen | via chelseasueallen.bandcamp.com
Chelsea Sue Allen | photo by Jason Stewart | photo courtesy of the artist

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. To kick off the series, Key editor John Vettese recaps five of his favorite Philadelphia music discoveries from the past 12 months.

You know it’s been a solid year of Philly music when squeezing it into a list of five feels like an injustice. True, I review the scene every year at the start of our #YearEndMania series, and yes, it’s almost always an “incomplete” list. But this year in particular, it could have handily been fifteen or twenty discoveries instead of merely five, and reeling the number in today was totally a challenge.

Some general observations: Philadelphia had a higher-profile musical year than ever before. A slate of solid releases emerged from the 215, from the amazing Painted Shut from Hop Along, which topped our critics’ poll yesterday, to Kurt Vile’s dreamy latest b’lieve i’m goin’ down; heavy rock and roll by The Districts and an ace live album from Dr. Dog; a hotly anticipated return from Meek Mill (hopefully that Drake beef didn’t do too much damage to his rep); timeless offerings from Jazmine Sullivan and Jill Scott; and so much more. Then there was the amount of attention Philly recieved from the outside world, including Stereogum’s scene report in June – it got a mixed reception in musician circles, but it was nonetheless cool to see those guys watching us from afar. We also saw increased coverage of Philly musicians in Impose, Noisey and Brooklyn Vegan, all the way up to Rolling Stone (which freakin’ loves them some Alex G.).

It’s all exciting stuff, but those artists I mentioned are doubtless very familiar to our regular readers at this point. With this in mind, I set my sights back to January to remember the names and faces that were pretty much new to me over the course of the year, or new-ish but making a big impression. Looking over the five, my listening habits were clearly eclectic but notably on the downbeat side. But don’t cast this crop of emerging musicians as mellowed-out, maaan – they may be quiet on the surface, but each works on a very nuanced level, delivering intoxicating tones and intricate textures that teeter on the verge of exploding. In many cases, that’s what they ultimately do, in a sonic sense, and next year I’m hoping to see some of these artists explode in that other cool kinda musical way: their profile. Let’s dig in. Continue reading →

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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Friendship, The Whips and more…

friendship
Friendship | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com

This week’s Key Studio Session featured Friendship, a quartet of Philly-based musicians that hail originally from Maine and Florida. They performed five songs for their session: three from their new You’re Going to Have to Trust Me LP, one new song and one old song. Listen to the new song, “Familiar,” below and download the full set here.

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The Key Studio Sessions: Friendship

Since we stumbled across Maine-to-Philly transplants Friendship earlier this year, we’ve been hooked. The band’s simmering, tempered take on meditative Americana struck a huge chord – Dan Wriggins’ emotive vocals and vivid lyrics about companionship and disconnection, Michael Cormier’s restrained drums, Peter Gill’s expressive pedal steel. Like I said in our feature profile of Friendship earlier this fall, “it’s reminiscent of Pedro the Lion and Jason Molina, but also of Gram Parsons and George Jones.” Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head