After three years of work, James Blake has recently resurfaced with a new album and brought an emotion-filled set in front of a packed house at the Electric Factory on Friday, October 1st. Continue reading →
UK producer/singer-songwriter James Blake will headline the Electric Factory on Friday, September 30th. The news that Blake is touring isn’t much of surprise, considering his 3rd LP The Colour In Anything was released May 6th. The album itself, though, is a totally different story — it came out with basically no advance notice from Blake. Recorded in both the UK and California, Blake’s latest work has contributions from both Frank Ocean and Bon Iver, who is featured in the latest single “I Need A Forest Fire,” found below. Continue reading →
The Indie Rock Hit Parade returns tonight at 11pm ET on WXPN (right after What’s The Frequency??? with John Vettese, of course!). Tonight’s show is a special one, thanks in part to a very unique Album Spotlight I’ve got lined up. When we last heard from our friend Nick “Diamonds” Thorburn, he was out doing a solo thing that resulted in a seriously groovy IRHP session. He also hinted that his next project would be recording and releasing TWO new albums with his main band, Islands. Those two albums, Taste and Should I Remain Here At Sea?, are both out today, and we’ll hear selections from each on tonight’s show. There are also plenty of new singles to get to, namely ones from fellow IRHP Session vets Speedy Ortiz, UK electro-soulster James Blake and the monumental return of The Stone Roses. Check out a few of those below:
Philly R&B singer Jacqueline Constance makes music is exciting in its own right. But as we saw during her Key Fest set this spring, she also does incredible covers. Constance recently recorded a session with the folks over at RECPhilly, and it features her version of James Blake’s haunting “Retrograde.” She injects with a bit more soul than the (equally captivating) original using only a loop pedal and some impressive vocal control. Watch the session below. Continue reading →
Yesterday wrapped up our third day exploring Randall’s Island and the sights and sounds of this year’s Governors Ball Music Festival.
New York City rock band Skaters turned up the heat on an already scorching Sunday afternoon.
Moon Bounce (aka Corey Regensburg) draws comparisons to the likes of James Blake and Nicholas Jaar, but he’s much more than that. While “Shake” follows the Blake-Jaar mantra of distorted, looped vocals in every pitch and range, his beats delve deeper, with erratic yet steady percussion and warped electronic inclinations that completely fill the space of the track. Bringing to mind Shlohmo, whom Regensburg has shared the stage with, the track is fast and funky and a great teaser for the EP. What makes Moon Bounce so different from other artists? Well, for starters, his beats are completely cultivated on his own. No sampling necessary.
Prevalent on Dress Rehearsal is Moonbounce’s R&B influence, a signature part of his sound that contributes to his unique productions. The slowed down, laid back percussion on “Ouroboros” is a perfect example of this smooth-as-hell, neck-nodding style that’s so addictive. The EP drops February 25, and it is certainly one to keep on the radar. Listen to the track “Shake” below.
There’s a certain kind of beauty in unlikely (and surprisingly good) collaborations. This time it’s UK pop songstress Ellie Goulding teaming up with up-and-coming Detroit rapper Angel Haze for a new spin on James Blake and Chance the Rapper‘s spooky “Life Round Here (Remix)”.
The track was originally featured on Blake’s Overgrown LP which earned him a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist this year. With her distinct breathy pipes, Goulding shines and creates the atmosphere for the fire Angel Haze (who recently released her album Dirty Gold) spits in her impressive verse. Chance the Rapper recently told NME that he and Blake were moving in together to make more magic. Based on the brilliance of this cover, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for Ellie and Angel Haze to do the same. Get tickets to Ellie Goulding’s March 14th show at the Liacouras Center here.
(Hear More – Ellie Goulding goes unplugged for Free at Noon)
UPDATE: And so we thought the story ended here. Two excellent contemporary pop artists, one solid collaboration, something our contributor Katrina Murray dug up in her regular music digging for The Key. Show coming up to make it timely; good stuff all around, yeah? Then I saw a tweet in our direction from Ryan Schwabe aka ONEdependent from the Philly / Brooklyn production duo Subglo. “You forgot to add ‘made in Philly'” he wrote.
I re-tweeted his comment, not entirely sure what it meant, and that led to us exchanging Twitter messages about the background.
“Life Round Here” was produced by Schwabe and Noah Beresin aka Noah Breakfast (previously known as Xaphoon Jones of Chiddy Bang) in West Philly for Schwabe’s raremp3 production company. They previously worked with Spank Rock, and the band Wet, and got their start mixing Goulding’s cover of the Alt-J hit “Tessellate” last summer. That led to this more recent collaboration. The more you know, right? Dig on “Tessellate” here. -John Vettese, editor, The Key
Philly beat cultivator Moon Bounce, aka Corey Regensburg, released a free download for the track “Marvelous Beast” from his forthcoming EP Dress Rehearsal. (Hat-tip to our friends at The Deli for the news). The track features fragmented beats that dismember and collide, with choppy, pitch-shifting vocals inserted overhead. It brings to mind James Blake meets Nicolas Jaar, but Regensburg is all organic, opting (for the most part) to create his own unique beats and sounds rather than sample from others. Download the track for free on Moon Bounce’s Facebook page here, listen to it below.
All photos by Melody Chiang
UK born electro pop sensation James Blake entranced a sold out Union Transfer crowd on Monday night with a soulful performance that was nothing short of spellbinding. The young Blake, who won the prestigious Mercury Music Prize this year for his album Overgrown, is no ordinary electronic outfit: instead of enticing you to bounce against the walls like a wild banshee, his live shows pull from the depths of your soul and ask you to simply feel, and that’s precisely what went down at Union Transfer.
The set opened with the bone chilling and hair raising track “I Never Learnt to Share” from Blake’s self-titled album released back in 2011. From the shrills and shrieks that accompanied the opening vocal loops the early number was clearly a crowd favorite. Blake did a beautiful job of incorporating beloved older tracks that early fans yearn for with songs from the most recent release Overgrown, his most widely popular album yet. At a climatic point in the performance Blake began with the more digitized and bass-heavy “Air and Lack Thereof”, a single from way back in 2009, before transitioning into arguably his most popular track “CMYK”, which features rare outside sampling from R&B artist Kelis (Blake’s usual MO is to use his own vocals). Naturally, the whoops and woo’s from the crowd were in full force.
In the relatively short time Blake was on stage, he managed to perform almost all of Overgrown to the delight of many who became introduced to Blake’s music following the album’s release. One of the most beautifully intimate parts of the set came with Blake’s performance of “Our Love Comes Back”, featuring soft vocals in a slower loop that made our hearts jump and throats lump. It was so moving you could hear a pin drop in the max capacity venue (in reality it was the soft clinking of glasses from the back bar that emphasized the silence). He continued to pull from Overgrown with “I am Sold”, “Digital Lion” and the initial track release “Retrograde” that garnered the album so much attention.
Never one to stick to a particular album live, Blake returned to 2011’s James Blake with “A Wilhelm Scream”, a track that displays Blake’s own transition from his older style of music to new, merging the former concentration on potent beat loops to the latter’s more lyrically heavy style found on Overgrown. He strayed further with a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You”, a curveball that threw off everyone in the crowd in the most wonderful way. “Limit to Your Love”, a Feist cover and another of Blake’s most popular tracks, kept everybody ablaze before the heart melting conclusion. Nobody in the audience had any clue of the masterpiece that was to come. Continue reading →