The latest edition of our Key Studio Sessions compilations is out today – now streamable and downloadable from Soundcloud! Check out this year’s in-studio appearances with The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 7, including the down-tempo folk stylings of Waxahatchee, the thrashing punk of Pissed Jeans and the all-out rock jams of Ruby the Hatchet. Thanks to production assistants Fred Knittel, Madeleine Lesperance, and Dan Malloy as well as photographers Rachel Del Sordo and Kate McCann, and videographers The Angry Mountain, HotBox Studios and Out of Town Films for sharing their work.
By now, there are a few places you might know Philly singer-songwriter Gretchen Lohse from. Perhaps you caught her at WXPN’s Live from Kelly Writer’s House, or maybe you saw her play Folkadelphia’s Tuesday Tune-Out. Maybe you tuned in for her Key Studio Session, recorded with Thomas Hughes of The Spinto Band, or watched her Random Tea Session online. Maybe you know her from fronting the band Yellow Humphrey; performing with National Eye and Summer Fiction; or from the solo album she’s been easing out into the world.
Whichever it is, Lohse is a very active songwriter and longtime fixture in the Philly music world, whether as a backing player / behind-the-scenes type, or the person at center stage with the 60s folk melodies and the haunting voice. This week she appeared on the new On the Hill video session series from Kettle Pot Tracks studio in Lafayette Hill. She performed two songs – “Role of Rabbits” got its first public airing and it sounds great, as does “All Around the River,” which appeared on her Key Session. Watch the videos below, and see Lohse live at Ortlieb’s Lounge on May 4th.
Gretchen Lohse’s “Primal Rumble” is aptly named. Lohse’s voice has a raw, wild quality and the song is not unlike a primal rumble, even if it sounds more like the primal rumble of a songbird than of a wild cat. Lohse is a veteran of the Philadelphia music scene. She performed in Yellow Humphrey and collaborated with Summer Fiction before branching out on her own. She has a solo album due out this summer and recorded a studio session for The Key in January with Thomas Hughes of The Spinto Band. She played “Primal Rumble” then, too, but the ethereal video of Hughes and Lohse performing is an added compliment to her singing and writing style. Below, watch “Primal Rumble.”
Tonight on WXPN, the bi-monthly Live at the Writer’s House series spotlights the Philly Love Notes blog, run by Emma Fried-Cassorla. Local singer-songwriter and recent Key Studio Session star Gretchen Lohse (pictured) will perform music, while writers John Paul Titlow, Andrew Thompson, Katie Sweeney and Edith Mulhern will read their homages to parts of Philadelphia that they love. XPN’s Michaela Majoun hosts the show, which airs tonight beginning at 8 p.m. from 88.5 FM in Philly or XPN.org anywhere. Below, stream “Being Still,” a new song from Lohse’s forthcoming solo debut.
Country legends Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell have teamed up for an upcoming album called Old Yellow Moon, out through Nonesuch Records on February 26th. “Hanging Up My Heart” was chosen by WXPN as its contribution to NPR’s new 5 Songs Public Radio Can’t Stop Playing feature. XPN welcomes Harris and Crowell to the Academy of Music on Tuesday, March 26th with the Richard Thompson Electric Trio; tickets and information can be found here.Continue reading
Philadelphia singer-songwriter Gretchen Lohse isn’t afraid of adventure. She sings about freeing your inhibitions when surrounded by nature – “Primal Rumble” is about running around on a beach during a supermoon. She’s embarked on song-a-day writing projects where titles were given to her and she had to come up with the music and words (this yielded the slinky “Spider At the Gate” from this week’s Key Session). And just in terms of scale and ambition, Lohse has been known to court adventure as well – her old band, Yellow Humphrey, was a lush chamber-folk ensemble that fell anywhere between seven and thirteen members. The Key Session she recorded this week was more spare and focused, with The Spinto Band‘s Thomas Hughes accompanying her on keyboards and backup vocals. The result was a a stirring blend of folk and psychedelia which you can listen to and download below. Four of the songs are unreleased works-in-progress from Lohse’s forthcoming solo album; the contemplative “Twisted Apples” is an old Yellow Humphrey number, reinvented here.