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. The amazing progressive soul singer-songwriter Brielle turned in a dynamite performance with her nine-piece band. Agudos Clef, a latin hip-hop duo from Trenton, drove down I-95 for an electrifying set. Forward-thinking jazz ensemble Fresh Cut Orchestra blew me away with their balance of unconventional and traditional compositions. There was Americana aplenty between Dylan Jane and Cold Roses and jangling psychedelia from Suburban Living and Family Vacation. Jagged 90s-inspired dudes Left and Right and KISKA rocked hard, poppy rap powerhouse Moosh & Twist partied hard.
I always strive for eclecticism with The Key Studio Sessions, and this is one of our widest-ranging sets yet. You can stream the whole thing below and download it for free over at Soundcloud. And as always, mega big thanks to production assistants Dan Malloy, Rachel Del Sordo, Dan Hatton and Tamar Dart, as well as photographers Reji B., Ola Baldych, Rachel Del Sordo, Dan Lidon, Dan McGurk, Rocco Peditto, Kelsey Stanger and Katie Tapman for sharing their work.
And of course, the biggest thanks go to all the musicians for their incredible performances, and for making Philadelphia such a vibrant place to play and listen to music.Agudos Clef, Bardo Pond, Brielle, Cold Roses, Dylan Jane, Family Vacation, fresh cut orchestra, Girlpool, Good Girl, Halfro, hoppin john orchestra, Key Studio Sessions Compilations, Kicking Down Doors, KISKA, Left and Right, Mike "Slo Mo" Brenner, Moosh & Twist, Suburban Living, The Key Studio Sessions