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Ruthless Recording: Lantern embraces limitations on its new Black Highways LP

Lantern
Lantern | Photo by Ryan Collerd | ryancollerd.com | courtesy of the artist

Two days after Philadelphia got buried in nearly two feet of snow in late January, Zachary Devereux Fairbrother, guitarist and singer of Lantern, is dressed for the weather. He walks into a Point Breeze coffee shop suited in a scarf, shin-height galoshes and his hood pulled atop his head. The cold is visibly lingering on him as he peels away the layers of clothing around his face. Emily Robb, Lantern’s bass player and singer, walks in shortly thereafter and performs the same peeling routine.

Lucky for them, neither were hindered much by the blizzard at their west and south Philly homes, respectively.

The snowfall came a little less than a month before the release of their second full-length album, Black Highways and Green Garden Roads. It’s an album recorded in 22 non-sequential days at The Bottle Garden in Montreal, Canada, over a year and a half. Lantern, a blues rock-leaning proto-punk three-piece, made a conscious decision to record the new album a bit differently than they had for 2013’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Rorschach — strictly to analog tape.

“We were working with only eight tracks,” says Fairbrother. “That sort of put an inherent structure on how we would go on with the arrangements and mixing.”

Robb adds as if finishing Fairbrother’s thought, “It kind of locks you in a little more. Working with tape really informs the process because it’s not limitless. If you’re working with Pro Tools you can have as many tracks as you want.”

Recording in this nature forced the band to be more, “ruthless,” as Fairbrother puts it, in what takes they decided would make it onto the album. He likens it to the “paradox of choice” theory, a line of thinking coined by Swarthmore psychology professor Barry Schwartz, in which consumers experience less anxiety when there are fewer choices while shopping. Continue reading →

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Trip away to Lantern’s new song “We Are Here”

Lantern | Photo by Ryan Collerd | ryancollerd.com | courtesy of the artist
Lantern | Photo by Ryan Collerd | ryancollerd.com | courtesy of the artist

Philly rock trio Lantern have been a bit quiet the past year or so, while bassist-vocalist Emily Robb pursued her indie-punk four-piece Louie Louie and guitarist-vocalist Zachary Devereux Fairbrother dabbled in psychedelic guitar soundscapes. But we’re psyched to report that the raw and rowdy rock trio is back in action; the band releases its new Black Highways And Green Garden Roads on February 19th. It’s out via cassette label Future Records and on vinyl via Sophomore Lounge, and Brooklyn Vegan just premiered the first single yesterday.   Continue reading →

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Philly Music 101: The basics everyone needs to know about the Philadelphia scene right now

Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com
The Districts | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com

Philadelphia is a city of many wonders: a buzzing food scene, an established craft beer culture, and a parade of historical landmarks. But one aspect of our city that we are particularly passionate about is our magnificent local music community and all that is has to offer. Here at The Key, we often focus on the particulars of our scene – where artists will be playing each night, brand new local releases, etc. – so much so that we can forget how overwhelming it can be for newcomers to get their bearings.

So for those of you having trouble finding where to start, we are introducing this new Philly Music 101 series as your guide through the wonderful world of the Philadelphia music scene: all of its passionate, loving members, from artists to venues to studios and more. It’s meant to help new fans navigate the scene as much as emerging musicians looking to break in and behind-the-scenes folks trying to get their start. We hope it will illuminate just what makes it so damn exciting for music lovers to live here. To kick it off, here is a by-no-means-complete overview of the different pieces of the Philadelphia music scene that have come together to make up its sturdy foundation. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Lantern at Johnny Brenda’s, Imelda May at Union Transfer, and Christopher Willits at First Unitarian Church Side Chapel

Lantern | Photo by John Vettese
Lantern | Photo by John Vettese

Philly blues-punk outfit Lantern will headline Johnny Brenda’s this evening. The three piece rock outfit have proven that rock and roll is most definitely not dead in Philly. With a distortion-induced sound similar to that of Dan Aurbach, the group has an ability to come out with instant hits that will stick in your head. Their most recent album, Rock n’ Roll Rorschach, received much attention locallly and nationally; Tiny Mix Tapes called their sound “a blessing of garage noir”. Check out their music video for “King Of The Jungle” below and find tickets and more information on XPN’s Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Snowmine and Norwegian Arms at Johnny Brenda’s, Chill Moody at Hard Rock Cafe, Tom Brosseau at Ortlieb’s and more…

Norwegian Arms | Photo by John Vettese
Norwegian Arms | Photo by John Ve

Brooklyn indie pop quintet Snowmine and Philadelphia favorites Norwegian Arms team up for a show at Johnny Brenda’s tonight.  The former are celebrating the release of their new record Dialects, a cinematic and textural experience that the band pulls off exquisitely in a live setting.  Bright alt-folk trio Norwegian Arms released their impressive and immersive Wolf Like a Stray Dog LP in 2012, following it up last year with a 7″ single for “Jitterbug,” which you can listen to below.  Tickets and information for the 21+ show with Dream Safari can be found here.

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Free Show: Philebrity presents Lantern at A.K.A. Music on 9/6

lantern

It’s a new month and that means A.K.A. Music has a new in-store appearance planned for First Friday this week.  Local rock ‘n’ roll trio Lantern will be shaking the walls at the 2nd St. record store, playing tracks from their recent Rock ‘N’ Roll Rorschach LP.  The Key dug into the bluesy goth-rock album in July’s edition of Unlocked – members Zachary Devereux Fairbrother and Emily Robb expounded on stylistic changes, horn sections and collaborations in the feature interview here and editor John Vettese reviewed the debut record here. The all-ages show at AKA Music begins at 7:30 p.m. and is free; more information can be found on the Facebook event page.  Watch Lantern’s surreal video for “King of the Jungle” below.

LANTERN – KING OF THE JUNGLE from Jacqueline Lachance on Vimeo.

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Watch Lantern’s creepy / surreal music video for “King of the Jungle”

Screen shot 2013-08-06 at 2.53.45 PMThere a lot of mood-unsettling surrealism in the new music video for Lantern‘s “King of the Jungle”, which premiered today over at Terroreyes.tv. The chugging anthem, at face value, is a bluesy and aggressive celebration of masculinity – but read between the lines, and it’s totally tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, something this video (directed by Jacqueline Lehance) underscores.

Our “king” is a pot-bellied dude who wakes up on his couch, surrounded by detritus of drinking alone at home, and embarks on a quest for more beer through a sprawling urban wasteland – and his journey turns undeniably creepy the further along he gets. Meanwhile, Lantern front-duo Zachary Devereux Fairbrother and Emily Robb act as a sort of Greek chorus, narrating our anti-hero’s plight while mocking him at the same time. Watch it below, and check out more from Lantern’s awesome new Rock ‘N’ Roll Rorschach here.

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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Lantern, The Downtown Club, Vacationer

Lanternb

Unlocked explored Lantern‘s new album Rock ‘N’ Roll Rorschach this week.  “Evil Eye,” taken from the LP, boasts a killer baritone sax part and dance-worthy percussion.  Check out the full Unlocked feature here and download “Evil Eye” below.

Local singer-songwriter Emmett Drueding and producer Grave Goods have merged to become Emmett Drueding & the Cowboy Killa.  The first product of this collaboration is “Area 51,” a raw and twangy track accented with a strong and upfront beat.  Stream and download the song below.

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Unlocked: Essential selections from Lantern’s back-catalogue

a1199289661_10Rock ‘N’ Roll Rorschach is the debut LP from Philly garage-punk band Lantern, but it isn’t even close to their first release. Its Bandcamp discography comprises nine other releases; ten if you count the split cassette EP that Lantern’s Zachary Devereux Fairbrother released with Dirty Beaches in his old band, Oman Ra II. Here’s a selection of some of the band’s back-catalogue highlights; catch Lantern’s album release show tonight at Johnny Brenda’s and you might find some of these items at the merch table.

The Deliver Me From Nowhere… EP was the first release under the Lantern moniker, and it found Fairbrother experimenting with sounds and ambiance. The simmering tune above, “In The Night Alone” features a coda of drone created by mixing the sounds of rain pattering on the steel roof of a Fishtown warehouse with a time-stretched Beethoven piece. Continue reading →