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Download The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 6 (feat. Reef the Lost Cauze, Kingsfoil, Bad Braids + more)

The latest edition of our Key Studio Sessions compilations is out today – now streamable and downloadable from Soundcloud! Check out highlights from fall of 2012 with The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 6, including some hard-hitting hip-hop from Ethel Cee and Reef the Lost Cauze, expressive Americana from The Districts, bright pop-rock from Kingsfoil, dense shoegaze from Nothing and more. Special thanks to guest engineer Chris Williams and production assistants Beth Ann Downey, Fred Knittel, Madeleine Lesperance, and Dan Malloy as well as photographers Laura Jane Brubaker, Kyle Costill, Shamus McGroggan, Marley McNamara, and Julie Miller for sharing their work.

Looking for more? Visit WXPN’s Soundcloud page to download The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 1 through Vol. 5.

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The Week’s Best MP3 Downloads, incl. Gracie, Rachael Yamagata and Zilla Rocca

Electronic-pop outift Gracie lent some songs to our Key Studio Sessions series this week.  Andrew Balasia, the man behind the moniker, stopped by the studio on his way to a show at Johnny Brenda’s and recorded three tracks off of his upcoming Bleeder LP.  Download the Key Sessions rendition of “Creature Pleaser” (the album’s first single) below and check out the full session here.  Gracie has hinted that he will be back for a show in Philly before the month is finished, so stay tuned for more information on that and the release of Bleeder.

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The Key Studio Sessions: Gracie

Andrew Balasia, the main man behind Philly-bred experimental pop project Gracie, moved north this fall to live in Brooklyn for a spell. But he was back in town last night to perform with Snowmine and Lockets at Johnny Brenda’s, and was cool enough to swing by WXPN during the afternoon to record a few songs for The Key Studio Sessions. Gracie’s live configuration is always changing, and at present it’s Basalia on vocals, keys and electronic samplers with a spacy guitar accompaniment from Dave Lapinsky. The duo played three new tracks – the effervescent single “Creature Pleaser,” which we first heard this summer, plus “Witnessed” and “Habits,” two other tracks from the forthcoming LP Bleeder, due out soon on Small Plates Records. He also told us he may be back in town for another gig before month’s end, so be on the lookout for that – and dig into the new tunes in the meantime.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Gracie at Johnny Brenda’s, The Wooden Sky at Kung Fu Necktie, ZZ Ward at World Cafe Live

Electronic chillwave/pop project Gracie plays Johnny Brenda’s tonight with Snowmine and Lockets.  The moniker of local guy Andrew Balasia, Gracie has been sweeping us up and into its hypnotic beats since the For Summer EP dropped last year.  Earlier this year Balasia took the project in a more experiemental and haunting direction with his Treehouse EP.  For the upcoming Bleeder full-length, however, Balasia returned to the pop vein of For Summer and released the seductively anthematic “Creature Pleaser” this past summer.  The 21+ show begins at at 9:00 p.m., more information is available here. Below, stream “Creature Pleaser” and download the name-your-own-price track from Gracie’s Bandcamp.

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Catch Snowmine at Johnny Brenda’s tomorrow night; download their new song “Saucer Eyes”

Before Brooklyn’s Snowmine envelope you in their intricate layers of texture and atmosphere at Johnny Brenda’s tomorrow night, take a listen to their new single “Saucer Eyes” from their now complete forthcoming record. Led by former classical music composer Grayson Sanders, Snowmine are experimental in their song construction, often using found-sounds and layering to achieve a sonic experience similar to that of an orchestra.  Sanders discussed his band’s composition process in detail when they stopped by Philadelphia’s Miner Street Recordings and The Rotunda for a Shaking Through episode last November; you can watch the episode and download the resulting track called “Curfews” here.

If you’ve been to a Snowmine show before you’ll recall their beautiful use of projected images.  For this tour, they are taking the sensory stimulation to another level with a new iPhone app they created.  Called Colorbeast, the app converts sounds from the show into a kaleidoscope of visuals projected behind the band.  To fully experience Snowmine’s lush aesthetic, get your tickets for their show at Johnny Brenda’s with Gracie and Lockets here.  Stream “Saucer Eyes” below and download the name-your-own-price track on Snowmine’s Bandcamp.

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Watch some spooky videos from Gracie (playing Johnny Brenda’s on 11/6)

While we wait patiently for Philly chillwave/pop musician Gracie’s upcoming Bleeder EP, let’s take a look back at the past spooktacular videos from frontman Andrew Balasia.  Get into the Halloween mood with eerie archival footage and frightening cartoon clips in “Tryck R Treat”and “Sisters” below.  Gracie plays Johnny Brenda’s on November 6th with Snowmine and Lockets.  Tickets and information can be found here.

Gracie- Tryck R Treat from andrew balasia on Vimeo.

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Blast off to “Creature Pleaser,” the first single from Gracie’s debut LP

One-man pop machine Gracie has so far floated neatly in the outer realms of the chillwave universe, but the new single he dropped today is downright anthemic. From Bleeder, his debut LP due out this fall on Small Plates Records, “Creature Pleaser” bounces and cavorts, moving away from synthpop and towards synth-rock, while Andrew Balasia’s voice reaches stratospheric heights we never would have guessed from the mellow-leaning EPs he’s released thus far. We’re itching to hear the entire thing, but for now, this download will suffice – grab it below and blast off.

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Happy EP release day to Gracie!

In addition to Dr. Dog releasing their new album Be The Void today, we’d be remiss if we didn’t say “happy record release day” to Gracie who last Friday played the Philadelphia Bandcamp Hunter showcase at Johnny Brenda’s. Gracie’s debut EP is out today on Small Plates Records. Listen to it and purchase it below.