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The Key Studio Sessions: AnnonXL

AnnonXL is a singer who can stop you in your tracks. From strong core melodies to vibrant melisma, teasing drops of pitch-shifting and a constant sense of passion and joy, he is a commanding force as a vocalist…not to mention as a charismatic frontperson and left-of-center songwriter.

The emerging Philadelphia artist caught our ear with his second project, last year’s Teen Angst album; this year he followed it up with a breezy EP called Summer Affair. While both releases have their roots in pop and R&B, they branch into unexpected directions — bubbling, dancefloor-ready electropop as easily as cloudy and cosmic balladry. Some moments vibe like house jams, others like Disney theme songs. In a way, AnnonXL makes music in the spirit of other unable-and-unwilling-to-be-easily-defined artists — Prince to Frank Ocean to James Blake — and with a new six-piece band joining him for this week’s Key Studio Session, the sound and style expands even further. Continue reading →