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Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 19 (featuring Creepoid, ILL DOOTS, PINKWASH, Shannen Moser and more)

The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 19 | cover photo by Cameron Pollack

On the first 2017 collection of standout performances from The Key Studio Sessions, Philly artists stretch out.

Three Man Cannon explores measured avenues and alleys of indie rock groove for six minutes on “Pushing People.” Mars Parker runs a five minute sprint to the trancey hip-hop / R&B tones of “Little Red Corvette.” Long-running Philly / Brooklyn experimental pop outfit Cuddle Magic delivers a vibrant epic in “The First Hippie on the Moon, Parts 1 & 2.” And far-reaching instrumentals are rocked by raw power metal trio Stinking Lizaveta and forward-thing jazz ensemble Vince Tampio Quintet.

That’s not to say The Key Studio Sessions Volume 19, available for streaming and free downloading today, consists solely of slow burners. You’ll hear spirited retro rock by Louie Louie, hooky punk from Eight and swift electropop care of Camp Candle. Long running Philly faves Creepoid check in with a searing new heavy psych jam, PINKWASH rages for three minutes of cathartic thrash and Shannen Moser closes the set with a elegant and direct folk song.

And, as usual, that’s just scratching the surface. Continue reading →

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Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 18 (featuring Field Mouse, New Sound Brass, Mannequin Pussy, Ron Gallo and more)

Okay, let’s make this quick — we’ve got places to be and 2016’s to kick to the curb. It’s been another four months, another season of recording amazing Philadelphia artists, and our latest set is available for your streaming and downloading pleasure. Amazing indie rock anthems from Field Mouse and Grayling sit alongside hiphop from Voss, NoLa inspired horn action from New Sound Brass, modern rock / pop from Bel Heir, singer songwriting by Curtis Cooper, Rosali and Bethlehem and Sat Patrick. Punk rockingness by Mannequin Pussy. Continue reading →

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Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 17 (featuring Aaron West, Mercury Girls, The Dove and The Wolf and more)

The Key Studio Sessions Volume 17
The Key Studio Sessions Volume 17

The Philly music community is our first love around here at The Key HQ, it’s something we’ll always rep loudly and proudly. But on the latest installment of our Key Studio Sessions compilation series, we allowed ourselves to get a bit more geographically relaxed.

There are still Philly ties across its 19 tracks, make no mistake. But many of the artists on this set are ones who started locally and moved away, or recently arrived on the scene from other places on the map. Or, in some cases, both. Continue reading →

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Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 16 (featuring Queen of Jeans, Hardwork Movement, Abi Reimold and more)

The Key Studio Sessions Volume 16
The Key Studio Sessions Volume 16

Four months can be a long time, but it totally flies by — it seems like only yesterday that we were coming at you with our last free-downloadable compilation of songs by regional artists recorded for us live in the studio for The Key Studio Sessions. And here we are, 94 days and 20 songs later. Continue reading →

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Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 15 (featuring Legs Like Tree Trunks, Joie Kathos, Hezekiah Jones and more)

The Key Studio Sessions Volume 15 | cover photo by Liz Waldie | lizwaldie.com
The Key Studio Sessions Volume 15 | cover photo by Liz Waldie | lizwaldie.com

A little later on today, we’ll bring you our first Key Studio Session of 2016, and it’s an exciting one – but before we get there, let’s pause and recap an awesome fall season with the release of The Key Studio Sessions Volume 15, our latest free compilation of live performances from regional bands recorded at WXPN studio. Continue reading →

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Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 14 (featuring Alex G, Bilal, Screaming Females and more)

The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 14 | Cover photo by Rachel Del Sordo
The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 14 | Cover photo by Rachel Del Sordo

I almost always talk about our comps of tracks recorded for The Key Studio Sessions as snapshots, and this current installment definitely feels like it captures the essence of summer 2015 – fun and lively, varied, expansive, explosive. Being a music enthusiast and living in Philly totally ruled this summer, and I feel like that’s part of the reason I went with an image of DJ Sonny James flipping the faders during The Bul Bey‘s remarkable Key Session in choosing the cover art of The Key Studio Sessions Volume 13. Yes, sticklers, there could stand to be a lot more DJ-based music on this installment, and as I’m always looking to improve on our curation, I’ll keep that in mind for the fall and beyond. But like Bey’s party-centric sensibilities go hand-in-hand-in-hand with a thoughtful worldview and tireless grind (he played our Key Fest, our Waterfront Sessions, threw down regularly at The Fire and Ortlieb’s, and hosted his monthly Friends and Fam party with the Illvibe crew at Kung Fu Necktie), this comp collects artists who work hard, play hard and put a lot of thought into their space in the scene and the universe.

Continue reading →

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Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 13 (featuring Bardo Pond, Girlpool, Moosh & Twist and more)

The Key Studio Sessions Volume 13
Photo by Ola Baldych | facebook.com/ola.baldych

I don’t want to gush. But I’d be lying if I said that this latest collection of performances from The Key Studio Sessions wasn’t special to me.

In the past four months, I’ve recorded one of my favorite Philadelphia bands of the past 20 years – shamanistic psychedelic rock masters Bardo Pond, whose performance was a thrill – as well as one of my favorite new Philadelphia bands – the brilliant duo Girlpool, transported locally from LA this winter with a unique sound and an incredible collection of songs in tow. I also recorded a local guitar icon whose work I’ve admired since I first began covering the scene for City Paper 15 years ago, Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner, doing a set of his raga-influenced compositions on the 22-stringed chaturangui. (Brenner also sat in on lap steel with folk outfit Kicking Down Doors.)

And that’s only the beginning. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 12 (feat. Vita and the Woolf, Son Little, Mumblr and more)

Cover photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Cover photo by Rachel Del Sordo

This is usually the part where I wax philosophical about the Philadelphia music scene, the amazing breadth of talent it contains, the standout artists in a whole range of genres we’re showcasing on this latest comp, but you know what? It’s New Year’s Eve. We all have parties to get to. I’ll be brief.

The Key Studio Sessions Volume 12 is our latest overview of our incredible music community, and it features artists that will make you dance (Cheerleader, Sugar Tongue Slim, You Do You) artists that will make you rock the eff out (Mumblr, Thee Idea Men, Tinmouth, Thin Lips), and artists that will tug your heartstrings (Dirty Dollhouse, No Stranger, Tin Bird Choir, Paper Hearts). Continue reading →

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Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 11 (feat. Roof Doctor, Verbatum Jones, PhillyBloco and more)

The Key Studio Sessions Volume 11
The Key Studio Sessions Volume 11

The cover art to this latest installment of The Key Studio Sessions free download comps is brought to you by the velvety guitar case of Maitland‘s Josh Hines. He has an outstanding live band and has been performing on the regular with them this year, but his set for us this summer was recorded completely solo, just himself and an acoustic guitar, and it was a knockout. In some ways, this was indicative of the approach I took to finding artists for this current batch of recordings, and the way they were recorded. While our traditional band-playing-live-in-our-performance-space approach continued – and had tremendous results with Roof Doctor, The Sixties, Heat Thunder, The GTVs and more – we also pushed and questioned the boundaries of what our Studio Sessions could be. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 10 (feat. Modern Baseball, Elegant Animals, Marah and more)

TheKeyStudioSessionsVol10Summing up an entire region’s music scene in an hour-ish long compilation is pretty much impossible. But dangit, we try our best. I’m very psyched for the roster of artists we’ve lined up on The Key Studio Sessions Volume 10, out today as a free download you can grab below. Pop-punk wave makers Modern Baseball did a version of “The Weekend” from their 2012 debut LP Sports, and the mini XPN shoutout they deliver at the end of the first chorus might be my favorite moment of the set. Continue reading →