As my self-sabotaging, Cleveland Browns fans of a family gear up for another depressing football season, I’ll be over here taking part in a much more delightful and spunky kind of sports. I’m talking about the simply-named-yet-also-confusing-because-of-the-simplicity-of-the-naming band: the Philly DIY four-piece, SPORTS. Continue reading →
Hey, Rainer Maria fans: your eleven year wait comes to a close today. Though the band’s new heftily anticipated, self-titled album won’t be officially released until August 18th via Polyvinyl Records, NPR has secured an early listen for you — you can stream the album in full here.
S/T is able to keep the raw intensity of Rainer Maria’s earlier works, while also carving out enough space for growth. As example, personal favorite track “Suicide and Lazy Eyes” is a fuzzed-out, non-stop live wire of sound and energy, with “Lower Worlds” slowing it down but remaining just as heavy with a buildup to cathartic, muffled shouts. Continue reading →
If you’re like me and you like to know every song on a concert setlist before a show (it makes jamming along easier, okay?), Friday just got a little better. Ahead of the June 14th release date of Waxahatchee‘s highly anticipated fourth album on Merge Records, Out in the Storm is available to stream in full right now on NPR Music’s First Listen series. Continue reading →
Broken Social Scene’s new LP, Hug of Thunder, is the album I didn’t know I needed. It’s eclectic, it’s thought-provoking, it’s dance-worthy, and as what you’d expect from a fifteen-piece group — yes, like a one and a five next to each other — it’s big.
No matter the tone of the tune, each song conjures up its own expansive, atmospheric flavor — fully immersing the listener in it’s individual world — while simultaneously connecting to a larger woven fabric of sound. Though Hug of Thunder isn’t officially released until the 7th, you can stream the album in full here thanks to our friends at NPR. Continue reading →
Chicano Batman recently packed their eclectic ensemble into NPR’s office for a Tiny Desk concert full of suave, smooth and spirited grooves. As per usual of the Californian four-piece, the dapper band was dressed to the nines as they performed three songs, including “Freedom Is Free,” “Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm,)” and “Jealousy.” Continue reading →
Taped at West Virginia’s Civic Center Little Theater, country breakout Margo Price made her debut on Mountain Stage this week, performing tunes from her recent record Midwest Farmer’s Daughter. She was joined by Nashville’s Micah Hulscher, Dillon Napier, and Jamie Davis on keys, drums, and guitar, respectively, along with Luke Schneider on pedal steel and dobro and Kevin Black on bass.
Listen to the episode below, and if you dig what you hear, catch Price this summer at BB&T Pavilion with Chris Stapleton; tickets/more information can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar.
If you have not graced your ears and eyes with Tash Sultana‘s performance for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert, I highly suggest you do that pronto. Because let me tell, ya, wow. Just a whole bunch of wow. Continue reading →
NPR’s Mountain Stage recently aired folk staple Andrew Bird’s gig in Charleston, West Virginia. His masterful instrumentation shines in this 30+ minute set, sporting his signature whistling and plucky energy to nail tracks from his 2016 Grammy-nominated record Are You Serious and beyond.
Bird is accompanied by fellow musicians Steven Elliott, Alan Hampton, Kevin O’Donnell on guitar, bass and drums (respectively) and The Flat Five’s Nora O’ Connor joins Bird on backup vocals.
Before Austin, Texas gets flooded with music nerds for their annual South by Southwest, NPR revealed their annual Austin 100, a comprehensive list of their favorite artists heading to the Lone Star State for the festival.
For the second year running, the folks at NPR Music held their Tiny Desk Contest this winter, with artists all over the country competing to be a featured performer on the endlessly popular Tiny Desk Concert video series. Word is the winner will be announced tomorrow morning, so just like last year, we here at The Key compiled a list of nearly every Philly area musician who entered.
Last year, NPR told us that Philadelphia artists contributed 75 videos to the 7,000 overall entries. This time, we’re counting 131 videos…almost double.
Each group reconfigured their setup for an intimate performance, staged behind a desk of some sort. The mix and variety of styles parallels the variety of musical talent pouring out of this city right now. And this isn’t even all of it. Continue reading →