By

The Key’s Year-End Mania: Rachel Del Sordo’s five artist to put on your musical radar in 2016

Petal | Photo by Rachel del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. Today, Key photographer Rachel Del Sordo travels down the electronic music rabbit hole of 2015.

Brandon Can’t Dance

The first time I saw Brandon Aryes step on stage, I had no idea what I was about to experience. With the vocal stylings of Morrissey and the synthesizers somewhere between disco and fuzz pop, Brandon Can’t Dance offers a musical experience completely different from most of the music coming out of the Philadelphia right now. Continue reading →

By

The Key’s Year-End Mania: Download the ten most-popular Key Studio Sessions of 2015

Bardo Pond | Photo by Katie Tapman
Bardo Pond | Photo by Katie Tapman

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. Today, Key editor John Vettese shares the top Key Studio Sessions of the year.

It was a banner year of Key Studio Sessions in 2015. Not only did my production team and I (shoutouts Dan Malloy, Drea Rose and Rachel Del Sordo) record 54 Philadelphia-region bands over the past 52 weeks, totally housing our standard band-a-week benchmark, we captured in my estimation some of the best performances in our short history. We also documented a range of styles from the local scene, folk to jazz, hip-hop to punk, hard rock and beyond. By the numbers, here are the ten most popular sessions of the year.

Continue reading →

By

The Key’s Year-End Mania: K. Ross Hoffman’s top five electronic goofballs of 2015

 

Nozinja | via warp.net
Nozinja | via warp.net

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. Today, Key contributor K. Ross Hoffman travels down the electronic music rabbit hole of 2015.

While electronic music is often glibly, unjustly derided for a supposed lack of humanity and emotion, it does, admittedly, have an unfortunate tendency toward self-seriousness, whether in the form of broodingly cerebral techno tastemakers or the pseudo-spiritual big-room scenester-hedonists. So it’s always nice to have some playfully outsized personalities on hand, keeping things in balance. Here are some of the wily and irreverent characters who helped keep electronica lively and unpredictable in 2015. Continue reading →

By

The Key’s Year-End Mania: Allie Volpe’s five songs that made me cry in 2015

Father John Misty | Photo By Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Father John Misty | Photo By Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. Today, Key contributor Allie Volpe shares the year’s most devastating songs.

There is a line in the cinematic classic Precious (based on the 1996 novel Push) where the film’s titular character expresses in voiceover, “The other day I cried. I felt stupid. You know what? Fuck that day.” Continue reading →

By

The Key’s Year-End Mania: Maureen Walsh’s top five life-affirming songs of 2015

Kendrick Lamar in the "Alright" video
Kendrick Lamar in the “Alright” video

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. Today, Key contributor Maureen Walsh shares the year’s most life-affirming songs.

2015 has been the year of battling injustices, terrorism, and Trump.  Sometimes you need someone to sing you a song that will get you through the insanity.  Luckily, a group of artists delivered. Continue reading →

By

The Key’s Year-End Mania: Bruce Warren’s Best of Philly Music 2015

Queen of Jeans
Queen of Jeans | photo by Kelly Kurteson

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. Today, WXPN program director Bruce Warren shares five musicians she found on Spotify in 2015.

This past Thanksgiving The Key’s John Vettese wrote about the 15 Philly songs we’re thankful for. The songs were just a small snapshot of by Philly’s vibrant music scene, represented by the likes of Hop Along, Jazmine Sullivan, Kurt Vile, Agudos Clef, Hemming, Hezekiah Jones, Lithuania, Lushlife, Jill Scott, and others. What stood out to me in Vettese’s article then, and what’s stood out to all of us at The Key for the last several years is how wonderfully diverse, and prolific, the music scene in Philly continues to be. Continue reading →

By

The Key’s Year-End Mania: Kate Bracaglia’s top 5 Spotify discoveries of 2015

Clockwise from left: WIN WIN (photo by Alice Proujansky, via the band's Facebook page); Letissier (center, via the band's Instagram); exmagician (via the band's Facebook page); Dirty Ghosts (photo by Liz Caruana, via the band's website); and Screaming Peaches (photo by Ann Beasley, via the band's Facebook page)
Clockwise from left: WIN WIN (photo by Alice Proujansky, via the band’s Facebook page); Héloïse Letissier (center, via the band’s Instagram); exmagician (via the band’s Facebook page); Dirty Ghosts (photo by Liz Caruana, via the band’s website); and Screaming Peaches (photo by Ann Beasley, via the band’s Facebook page)

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. Today, Key contributor Kate Bracaglia shares five musicians she found on Spotify in 2015.

2015 was all about discoveries. This year, I discovered the best way to cook Brussels sprouts (with ginger and soy); the best spot in South Philly for Manhattans (the revamped Triangle Tavern); and re-discovered 9 years of That 70s Show re-runs on Netflix (remember this episode?) I also became a Spotify subscriber, and through the streaming service discovered dozens of bands that I probably wouldn’t have stumbled upon otherwise, who helped soundtrack my year. Here are five of my faves from 2015. Continue reading →

By

The Key’s Year-End Mania: Skye Leppo’s top five artists to follow on Instagram

Friends forever. Sorry about Dirt, @kurtvile ! Never again.

A photo posted by Sharon Van Etten (@sharonvanhalen) on

 

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. Today, Key contributor Skye Leppo recaps five Instagram accounts she was hooked on in 2015.

Usually when people ask me what my ideal career is, I can honestly look at them and say I have no effing clue, except that I want it to involve social media and music. On that note, I decided to combine these two loves of mine for my Year End Mania post for The Key, so without further ado these are my top five favorite musicians to follow on Instagram. Continue reading →

By

The Key’s Year End-Mania: Ten videos not to miss on VuHaus

Kamasi Washington | Photo by John Vettese
Kamasi Washington | Photo by John Vettese

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. Today, XPN Program director Bruce Warren recaps ten favorite WXPN videos from VuHaus.

We’ve put together a playlist of some of the best performances on VuHaus, a new music video website featuring videos from public radio stations around the country. Alongside XPN, contributors include WFUV in New York, KCRW in Los Angeles, KUTX in Austin, Oregon Public Radio, Mountain Stage, World Cafe and others.

Continue reading →

By

The Key’s Year-End Mania: Watch the 5 most popular World Cafe videos of the year

Hop Along | Photo by Kelsey Stanger
Hop Along | Photo by Kelsey Stanger

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. Today, XPN Program director Bruce Warren recaps five standout videos from the World Cafe YouTube channel.

Over two hundred bands were featured on World Cafe this year, many of whom have been featured on the show’s YouTube channel. Dawes, Hop Along, The Milk Carton Kids, Father John Misty and Kamasi Washington were the top five most-viewed performances of the year, with many more including Brandi Carlile, Josh Ritter, Son Little, George Ezra, Joss Stone and Mac DeMarco all delivering incredible performances.

Continue reading →