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Key Fest At-A-Glance, Part Two: A Saturday of indie rock dreamscaping with Kississippi, Shelf Life, Cherry and Madalean Gauze

Kississippi | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com
Kississippi | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com

We’re still reeling from a mindblowing opening night of #KeyFest over here at XPN HQ – pictures later today! – but there’s plenty more where that came from. Tonight at MilkBoy, we celebrate the vibrant sounds that come from DIY basements and indie rock bars around the city. Read on for an overview. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Hardwork Movement

Philly hip-hop collective Hardwork Movement is a force of nature. Anchored by four longtime friends – singer Jeremy Keys with rappers Sterling Duns, R.B. Ricks and Rick Banks – the crew released the impressive debut Good Problems in January via Bandcamp, and assembled a band of talented Philly musicians to bring it to life on stage. And then from there, the movement took on a life of its own. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Cherry’s album release party was so great we added them to Key Fest

Cherry | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Cherry | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

So we’ve been pretty excited about the emerging Philly band Cherry this year. The new project of Kite Party’s Russell Edling trades his old group’s thundering amps and crushing guitar riffs for more nuanced, dreamy indie rock. The band premiered a brilliant Craig Scheihing-directed video for “Alligators” with us in January, released its Gloom EP in February and recorded a Key Studio Session in March.

Cherry’s belated EP release show happened Sunday night at Kung Fu Necktie, and it was fantastic. The five-piece band – Eric Osman on drums, Spenser Hogans on bass, Justin Fox on guitar, Jesse Kennedy on keys – rocked the EP in its entirety and then some, their Yo La Tengo guitar tones intermixing beautifully with synthesizer accents and hammering rhythms. The treat of the night was a new song – newer than even “Cherry,” which was debuted in their key session – that had a driving, soaring quality reminiscent of New Order’s “Age of Consent.” I was floored. Continue reading →

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Hardwork Movement cover Kanye’s Life Of Pablo track “30 Hours”

Hardwork Movement
Hardwork Movement | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Kanye West‘s The Life Of Pablo has been a lot of things: a mystery, a “living breathing changing creative expression”, a flop, a hit, a steal, and most of all, a zeitgeist defining moment in current music. According to Stereogum, its on its way to be the first #1 album that made almost no money. No one knows if West knows what he is doing, but he is definitely succeeding.

Hardwork Movement, the Philly hip-hop collective, have released their cover of the TLOP highlight “30 Hours.” Their take, which comes along with their own version of the cover art, faithfully takes the instrumental to new heights with verses from the Hardwork MC’s. Continue reading →

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Check out new Howlish songs ahead of their appearance at Key Fest

howlish

Local indie rockers Howlish have shared a new single, “Runaway / Inkwell.” According to the band, they’ve been playing these songs for a while but just got the chance to record them for real.

Both “Runaway” and “Inkwell” were recorded with Kyle Pulley at The Headroom and mastered by Ryan Schwabe. Both songs are grounded in both lyrical intensity and melodic guitar riffs. Thematically, both songs chronicle the passage of time in a relationship. It’s a one-two punch from a band that can both break hearts and rock faces. Continue reading →

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Key Fest returns with Hardwork Movement, Kississippi, Hezekiah Jones, Kate Faust and more at MilkBoy

Hardwork Movement
Hardwork Movement | Photo by Zack Garlitos | courtesy of the artist

Well that was so much fun, we’re going to do it again.

Following a successful inaugural year, we’re excited to announce the return of Key Fest, a festival of regional artists curated by The Key, taking place at MilkBoy on April 22nd to April 24th. The three nights of local music will once again showcase a variety of genres that thrive in Philadelphia, from hip hop and pop punk to singer-songwriter and folk rock. Continue reading →

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Watch the earthy new music video from Dylan Jane, catch her tonight at Key Fest

Dylan Jane | From the video for "Land and Sea" | Directed by Bob Sweeney
Dylan Jane | From the video for “Land and Sea” | Directed by Bob Sweeney

Back in January we were graced with Dylan Jane’s delicate and sincere sound for a studio session for The Key. We’re happy to hear from her again as part of Friday night’s folksy  /rootsy lineup for the second night of Key Fest.

Her new music video for “Land and Sea” shows how she is a multidimensional musician: Jane started out as a guitarist, and even though her music is gentle, its moving arrangements demand attention. Continue reading →

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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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Key Fest At-A-Glance, Part Two: A folk / rock ramble with The Lawsuits, Rosu Lup and Dylan Jane

The Lawsuits | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
The Lawsuits | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

While Thursday night starts out Key Fest with a indie / punk bang, Friday opens it up into something more spacious with a night of expansive, Americana-tinged folk / roots / rock and roll. Continuing our series of preview rundowns for this first-ever Key-curated celebration of local music, today we’ll take a closer look at the three artists joining us for the second night at MilkBoy. Continue reading →