Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 10 (feat. Modern Baseball, Elegant Animals, Marah and more)

TheKeyStudioSessionsVol10Summing up an entire region’s music scene in an hour-ish long compilation is pretty much impossible. But dangit, we try our best. I’m very psyched for the roster of artists we’ve lined up on The Key Studio Sessions Volume 10, out today as a free download you can grab below. Pop-punk wave makers Modern Baseball did a version of “The Weekend” from their 2012 debut LP Sports, and the mini XPN shoutout they deliver at the end of the first chorus might be my favorite moment of the set. Continue reading →


The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Rodrigo y Gabriela, Elegant Animals, Railroad Earth and more


Photo via
Photo via

On Thursday WXPN announced the 25 acts that will take part in this year’s XPoNential Music Festival – among the list of artists are “dueling Spanish guitarists” Rodrigo y Gabriela.  Get a preview of the duo’s forthcoming LP 9 Dead Alive by downloading “The Soundmaker” below.

Railroad Earth bounded into the Folkadelphia studios for this week’s session, bringing an arsenal of songs that prove their musical sum is greater than any labeled parts.  The New Jersey band has released seven full-lengths, including a new one called Last of the Outlaws.  Stream and download the acoustic session below.

Philly band Elegant Animals are this week’s featured Key Studio Session subject, a five-piece that blurs the lines between electronica, R&B and rock.  They performed two songs from a 2012 debut Spectrum Nocturnal and a pair from this month’s Carnivora.  Take a listen to “Carnivora” below and get the full set here.

New York outfit Spottiswoode & His Enemies released a new album called English Dream, touching on pop and rock with a piano foundation.  You can stream and download “No Time for Love” off of the record below, and catch the band live at World Cafe Live at The Queen on May 1st.

Pulling work by beatmakers from all over the country for their compilation Oddiology, Philadelphia production pair ILL Clinton and John E Cab (Us Natives) have put together an instrumental work of art.  Stream “War Chant” by New Jersey’s Expo below and get the full album here.


Kate Faust embraces intuition in new “Matter Of Trust” video

Photo by George Weiss III -
Photo by George Weiss III –

Electro-pop singer Kate Faust is no longer bound by the chains of inhibitions and freely expresses it in her new video for “Matter of Trust”. Lifted from her latest EP Crucial Companion, the video shows Faust happily going about her day with a new-found sense of self and independence. The electronic overtones drive the melody and color the song’s structure as she sings: “If you gotta believe in someone, know yourself”. Watch it below and see Faust play live tomorrow at Milkboy with special guests Elegant Animals who recently joined us for their Key Studio Session. Get tickets here.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Elegant Animals at MilkBoy, Zilla Rocca and Curly Castro at The Fire, Onelinedrawing at First Unitarian Church and more

Elegant Animals | Photo by John Vettese
Elegant Animals | Photo by John Vettese

They’re the kind of band you can’t quite categorize. Philly’s own Elegant Animals has a bit of every genre rolled into a singular style. Just a few weeks ago, they showcased that unconventional sound during their Key Studio Session. Check them out tonight with Kate Faust and Minka at MilkBoy. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and the $8 tickets can be purchased here.

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The Key Studio Sessions: Elegant Animals

Elegant Animals | Photo by John Vettese

Philly’s Elegant Animals are five musicians with an adventurous spirit that transcends genres. You could call them an electronic band, an R&B band, or a rock band. And even though their music borrows from all these styles – soaring guitar solos to soulful vocals and evocative beats – none of those descriptions on their own feels accurate. In that sense, Frank Ocean may be their closest parallel – both artists have a style that’s eclectic and elusive but utterly captivating. In 2012, Elegant Animals released its debut EP, Spectrum Nocturnal, and this month they’re following it up with the excellent debut full-length Carnivora. For their Key Studio Session, the band played two songs from each release live in our studio. Listen and download their performance below, and get tickets and information on their album release show – Saturday, April 19th at MilkBoy with Kate Faust and Minks – the XPN Concert Calendar.


Recap: Stylish vibes with Kate Faust and more at MilkBoy

Kate Faust | Photo by John Vettese
Kate Faust | Photo by John Vettese

Over at MilkBoy last night, an all-local bill brought out an eclectic but seamless assortment of vibes, capped off with a headlining set by Kate Faust. The versatile vocalist’s latest offering – the recent Crucial Companion EP – finds her exploring mood-setting electronic tapestries (check out her recent Key Studio Session), held together by a solid groove. Live, it comes across partly R&B, party ethereal art-pop with the help of her two backing musicians, Jonathan Colman on bass and Justin Lee on drums. Last night was Faust’s first Philadelphia appearance in a few months, and the co-star of her recently-released video – dancer Kingsley Ibeneche – joined her onstage for the song “Crucial Companion.”

Preceding Faust was another groove-based electronic outfit, Elegant Animals, whose snappy set was at some points smooth and subtle like Bon Iver, at other points all-out emotive a la Drake. They’re currently wrapping up their debut full-length at Philly’s HeadRoom Studio, but their debut EP Spectrum Nocturnal is available for free download at Bandcamp. Opening the show was singer-songwriter Vinchelle Woods, who was once upon a time Faust’s vocal partner in Toy Soldiers. “Usually I’m just singing,” she deadpanned after her opening “Side A / Side B.” “Recently I decided to add a guitar. It’s going okay.” Despite her grumblings about callouses, Woods’ set was great, a breezy mix of acoustic folk and jazzy chord changes in the vein of Joni Mitchell. Mixing alongside her originals were covers of Fleet Foxes and Feist, and while her recorded output is sparse right now, this set was a promising sign of things to come. Check out photos from the show in the gallery below.


The Week So Far: 12 must-read stories on The Key (incl. Bleeding Rainbow, Kurt Vile, Attia Taylor and Pissed Jeans)

Photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Happy Valentine’s Day from Helen Leicht – get free downloads of Philly Local love songs [link]

Philly punks Pissed Jeans ravage the Key Studio Sessions [link]

Indiepop five-piece Catnaps releases a prom-themed music video for “Novelty” [link]

WXPN will broadcast Sunday’s Mumford & Sons concert from the SBC in Camden [link]

Bleeding Rainbow‘s new LP Yeah Right is the subject of the Unlocked showcase [link]

Philly’s Abi Reimold is spotlighted in a Folkadelphia session [link]

See photos from Toro y Moi‘s appearance at Union Transfer [link]

Five Things That Inspired Mary Lattimore’s Debut Album, The Withdrawing Room [link]

Watch local actors, fashion designers and musicians Khari Mateen and Elegant Animals collaborate in a video called The Living [link]

Explore Philadelphia with Dave Hartley of Nightlands and BlackBook Magazine [link]

Kurt Vile announces a headlining Union Transfer show, shares a free download [link]

Philly space-rocker Brendan Codey shares a new track called “Twin Chimney” [link]

UK experimental trio Beak> plays Underground Arts on a snowy night [link]


Elegant Animals return with a new single, “A Ghost”

Back in early March we wrote about a new electronic, soul, and R&B influenced duo from Philly called Elegant Animals. They’re back with a new single called “A Ghost” that is going to be included on a compilation released in June by Human Kindness Overflowing, a charity organization that raises money and collects food for people in need. “”A Ghost” is a sweeping, orchestrated R&B gem that owes as much to the modern day darksoul of The Weeknd as it does to some of those timeless slow jam classics by Jodeci. Listen below.