The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes

One of the best moments in The Vernes‘ Key Studio Session this week — one that encapsulates them as a band, I think — happens at about a minute and 54 seconds into their performance of “H. Roark.”

It’s a midtempo, sorta breezy jangle-pop number, the kind The Vernes have done so well since moving to Philly from the Bay Area (following a NYC pitstop). After a buildup from gentle arpeggios to buoyant lead licks from guitarist Fabian Mera — who sways back and forth when he plays in a way that reminds me of Dr. Dog in the early days — we see singer-guitarist Matthew Gragg taking a solo when, while hitting a chord fervently, he gets the his guitar tangled in his headphone cord.

He keeps playing, the headphones get more tangled, and ultimately they topple forward, hanging off his neck until the end of the verse. We’re back in breezy midtempo territory at that point, but not really, since this sort of immersive playing from The Vernes can make even the quietest song electrifying.

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Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head

Just Announced: Resilient, Honeytiger and The Vernes will inaugurate The Key’s Philly Showcase at MilkBoy

Resiliant | photo by Leeland McCartney
Resiliant | photo by Leeland McCartney | courtesy of the artist

Here at The Key, we love Philly music — that, I hope, is kind of evident. We love going out to see live shows, we love hearing new artists from our community for the first time, and then bringing them to you. Which is kind of the idea behind The Key’s Philly Showcase, a new series of gigs we’re partnering with MilkBoy to present.

Beginning July 26th, we’ll bring some of our favorite new discoveries from the Philly scene to the stage on the final Wednesdays of the month, kicking off with a gig headlined by asskicking hard rock outfit Resilient. Led by singer-guitarist Erin Fox, the band wowed us with their 2016 debut Imagining Things, and their tremendous live energy when we caught them onstage at an International Women’s Day benefit this spring. They’ll be joined by Honeytiger, whose Half Clean LP spanned the blues-driven minimalism of The Black Keys with infectious and poppy modern rock hooks. On the pure pop side is The Vernes, a five piece that put out their self-titled debut in March; they’ll round the bill out with breezy and wistful summertime pop jams. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Vernes at The Pharmacy

The Vernes | photo by Jamison Pinkert | via Facebook

“PHL basement pop” band The Vernes play The Pharmacy down in Point Breeze tonight. They released a dreamy pair of singles earlier this year with The Curious Cat’s Eyes, the latest in a string of tracks that will hopefully continue through this year. More information for the all-ages show can be found here. The band is also donating 100% of their Bandcamp proceeds made in February to the ACLU, so get downloading.

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