Tag Archives: Recordings

Bardo Pond shares “Kailash” and announces new LP Volume 8

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Bardo Pond shares “Kailash” and announces new LP Volume 8

Bardo Pond | photo by Michael Gibbons | courtesy of the artist

Long-running Philly psych rock group Bardo Pond are an enigmatic force, to say the least. They’ve released 11 studio albums over the years, from 1995’s debut Bufo Alvarius Amen 29:15 to this year’s Under The Pines, and they’re already back with the announcement of their 12th — the forthcoming LP is titled Volume 8 and will be released February 2.

Ahead of the release, Bardo Pond have shared the hauntingly spacey instrumental track “Kailash.” Over six and a half minutes, “Kailash” meanders with gentle force, driven by Isobel Sollenberger’s ...

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Need a friend for the night? Go to a Dead & Company show.

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Need a friend for the night? Go to a Dead & Company show.

Dead and Company | photo by John Bartol for WXPN

Dead & Company played Wells Fargo Center Thursday night, and after watching this show, I’ve decided that this is a band everybody needs to see at least once. Watching original Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann jam on and on and on with the most notable new member John Mayer is entrancing. It’s hard to look away, even as their jams approach the fifteen minute mark. They’re not just repeating the chorus over and over; they’re following the song’s basic rhythm and structure while also exploring ...

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MH the Verb and Buscrates blast off with a new interstellar project Afronaut

Source: The Key (WXPN)

MH the Verb and Buscrates blast off with a new interstellar project Afronaut

MH the Verb | via facebook.com/mhtheverbmusic

Thought-provoking rapper MH the Verb — who splits his time between Philly and the West Coast these days — has returned with an intriguing 11 track multi-media project entitled Afronaut. The album, which he first teased with a music video this summer, follows a fictional black sci-fi hero who travels from the future to warn the world about all the problems we are headings towards. Afronaut is a calculated and conceptually challenging album because it delves into many different realms of society: racism, domestic violence, politics, and more.

MH the Verb is ...

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The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes

Source: The Key (WXPN)

The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
The Key Studio Sessions: The Vernes
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 ...

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Listen to Chill Moody on The Oh Word?! Podcast

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Listen to Chill Moody on The Oh Word?! Podcast

Chill Moody | Photo by: ellencm.com | ellencm.com

After returning to Philly from a short East Coast tour, local hip-hop master Chill Moody made a stop on the most recent episode of Joe Manno’s Oh Word?! podcast. Introduced as “rapper, activist, man of mystery,” the West Philly native delves deep into his music career in the hour-long conversation with Manno, talking candidly about everything from his career milestones to social media to the NBA.

After joking that he got his start as a rapper in third grade talent shows, Chill Moody gets serious about how he has been able to ...

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Vern Matz’s debut, “Trampolines,” portrays personal introspection via changing sonic soundscapes

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Vern Matz’s debut, “Trampolines,” portrays personal introspection via changing sonic soundscapes

Vern Matz | photo by Noah Silvestry | courtesy of artist

Philly, meet Vern Matz — a fairly new three-piece hailing from Yale University (which also includes The Key’s own Noah Silvestry, on drums.) Described as “the lovechild of a philosophy major, an investment banker, and a boy with a David Foster Wallace tattoo,” these boys recently recorded their self-titled debut EP at Fishtown’s Miner Street Recordings, which will be released this January. Before then, you can listen to their first single from the EP, “Trampolines,” below.

With the track’s initial opening, sparse strums and lyrics longing for the (really not-so-long-ago) ...

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The Suffers show off their instrumental chops and groove hard on new single “I Think I Love You”

Source: The Key (WXPN)

The Suffers show off their instrumental chops and groove hard on new single “I Think I Love You”

The Suffers | photo courtesy of the artist

With a big band mentality and a passion for extending into a huge range of genres, The Suffers are back with a contagious new jam “I Think I Love You.” The single is the ten-piece Houston multi-instrumentalist collective’s first release since their impressive self titled debut in 2016. There are very few groups today that boast such a large spectrum of instruments while still being able to adequately cover genres all the way from reggae to trap, and The Suffers nail it across the board.

On the new track, which is hopefully a ...

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Just Announced: Screaming Females is taking THOU and HIRS on tour, playing Union Transfer in April

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Just Announced: Screaming Females is taking THOU and HIRS on tour, playing Union Transfer in April

Screaming Females | photo by Grace Winter | courtesy of the artist

New Brunswick, NJ DIY veterans Screaming Females have been a steadfast force in the East Coast scene for over a decade, and it releases its seventh LP, All At Once, in February on Don Giovanni Records. This week, the band — led by acclaimed guitarist and songwriter Marisa Paternoster — announced its spring tour, which comes to Union Transfer on April 5th.

Screaming Females will be joined on tour by Baton Rouge doom metal outfit THOU as well as heavy Punk group HIRS. Tickets for this politically and ...

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Now Hear This: New songs by Kelela, Parquet Courts, Fever Ray, Alvarius B., Special Request, Circuit Des Yeux and more

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Now Hear This: New songs by Kelela, Parquet Courts, Fever Ray, Alvarius B., Special Request, Circuit Des Yeux and more

Fever Ray | via facebook.com/FeverRay

Every month, noted song expert K. Ross Hoffman presents Now Hear This, a sampling of fresh specimens for your consideration.

Much as I may pride myself on keeping my ears as wide open and omnivorous as possible, I’m often struck, as the time of reckoning draws nigh, that so much of the music that really affects me from any given year tends to fall into a few relatively narrow categories.  Looking back on the 2017 releases that I’ve spent the most time with and returned to most consistently, most of them can be ...

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Masie Blu drops pulsating new track “Lit With Love”

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Masie Blu drops pulsating new track “Lit With Love”

Masie Blu | photo via facebook.com/MasieBlu

Philly soul-pop artist Masie Blu just released “Lit With Love,” an affectionate, synth-heavy crooner with producer Chase of Nazareth. Her echoing vocals and purposefully off-kilter harmonies add a layer of originality that sets Blu apart in the synth-pop scene. Her vocals sound under-produced, leaving an organic tone to her voice, something that isn’t seen too often. The soundscape behind her is full of echoing, pulsating beats, bass-heavy tones, and intermittent drum patterns. Overall, it’s a song dedicated to the rhythm, and the lyrics fit nicely into place. Stream “Lit With Love” below.

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Listen to Chris Forsyth bring maximum jams to their World Cafe session

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Listen to Chris Forsyth bring maximum jams to their World Cafe session

Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band | photo by Liz Waldie for WXPN

The ultimate Philly jam band, Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band, played World Cafe on November 9th, and did they leave the audience speechless or what? Playing a 20-minute rendition of “Dreaming in the Non-Dream,” these guys tirelessly delivered an epic performance that I’m sure could have lasted an hour. Comparable to big names like The Grateful Dead, Television, and Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Forsyth’s band is nothing shy of crazily energetic.

Mixing in an expansive song from the session, Forsyth also sits down ...

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Listen to AllegrA’s self-titled debut ahead of their record release show

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Listen to AllegrA’s self-titled debut ahead of their record release show

AllegrA | photo by A.W. Klass | via facebook.com/allegrabandmusic

AllegrA announced their new LP just a few weeks ago, but with enough time for quite a bit of excitement to build. The solo project of former Yes Yes A Thousand Times Yes bassist Allegra Eidinger, AllegrA released their first EP a year ago and returned recently with a few singles from the new album, “My Pillow is My Punching Bag” and “I’m An Introvert” (which has a delightful video to go along with it). After moving back to their native Philly after a few years in Pittsburgh, they’ve been previewing ...

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Meet Cat Park’s newest music project, the low-key angst-pop duo, tact

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Meet Cat Park’s newest music project, the low-key angst-pop duo, tact

tact | photo by Cat Park | courtesy of the artist

It seems that instead of releasing a succession of albums from one singular band — as most musicians do — Philadelphia’s Cat Park simply joins or creates a whole new band every time there’s new songs to share.

Creatively speaking, this separation of sounds and themes makes perfect sense, as this method allows for whatever different, new ideas that come to mind immediately be put to fruition — with the added bonus of not throwing off your bandmates and fanbase.

Continuing in this pattern, Park is now etching in her new duo, tact, to the already-long repertoire ...

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Fried Monk showcases two new instrumentals filled with hot 808s and capable hip hop features

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Fried Monk showcases two new instrumentals filled with hot 808s and capable hip hop features

Fried Monk | Photo via Facebook

Germantown hip hop producer Fried Monk released two new beats this week, each track featuring a Philly based MC. With instrumentals resembling those of jazz-infused producers like Jake One and DJ Shadow, Fried Monk is starting to make a name for himself as a producer on top of garnering for his engineering abilities with the Sleeless Sound crew.

Monk’s music background is mostly as a studio drummer, and his beats reflect this because of their complex live percussion loops. The two most recent cuts that Monk has put out are part of an EP called Left ...

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Son Little launches new video series with a stirring acoustic version of “Mad About You”

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Son Little launches new video series with a stirring acoustic version of “Mad About You”

Son Little | photo by Marc Lemoine | courtesy of the artist

Son Little‘s new video for “Mad About You” is the first in a series of stripped down, more intimate versions of tracks found on his acclained album New Magic, which was released in September via Anti Records. Little has teamed up with brewing company Lagunitas for the new video series and he plans to play acoustic versions of all of New Magic to raise money for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“Mad About You” is a heart-wrenching three and a half minutes of music to say the least. ...

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The Key Studio Sessions: Alright Junior

Source: The Key (WXPN)

The Key Studio Sessions: Alright Junior
The Key Studio Sessions: Alright Junior
The Key Studio Sessions: Alright Junior
The Key Studio Sessions: Alright Junior
The Key Studio Sessions: Alright Junior
The Key Studio Sessions: Alright Junior
The Key Studio Sessions: Alright Junior
The Key Studio Sessions: Alright Junior
The Key Studio Sessions: Alright Junior
The Key Studio Sessions: Alright Junior
The Key Studio Sessions: Alright Junior
The Key Studio Sessions: Alright Junior
The Key Studio Sessions: Alright Junior

A case study in less-is-more, Philly rockers Alright Junior keep things contained to the time-honored rock and roll elements — guitar, bass, drums, voice — and in the process, they sound massive.

Maybe it’s the way the stringed instruments interact, with ample space carved out in arrangement and tone for each to howl. Maybe it’s the way drums are methodically paced, coming in at just the right moment with just the right amount of force to elevate the fray. The band’s emotive, heavy rock hits any number of touchstones, from Queens of the Stone Age and Soundgarden, to less-remembered artists of the modern rock era ...

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Tegan and Sara at Tower Theater, Lee Ranaldo at Johnny Brenda’s, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn at Colonial Theater and more

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Tegan and Sara at Tower Theater, Lee Ranaldo at Johnny Brenda’s, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn at Colonial Theater and more

Tegan and Sara | photo courtesy of the artist

Tegan and Sara can do it all. From folk to indie rock to effervescent electronic pop, the Quinn sisters’ two-decade, eight-album career is dynamic, emotional and endlessly catchy. Tonight at Upper Darby’s Tower Theater, they celebrate the tenth anniversary of their fifth LP, 2007’s The Con. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Below, watch the video for the mega-hit “Back In Your Head.”

Sonic Youth noise wrangler Lee Ranaldo released his third solo LP, Electric Trim, back in September ...

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Strawberry Runners documents a carefree Colorado afternoon in the new “Garden Hose” video

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Strawberry Runners documents a carefree Colorado afternoon in the new “Garden Hose” video

Strawberry Runners | photo via the artist’s Facebook page

Somewhere in the middle of Strawberry Runners‘ recent tour, which included an appearance at Radiator Hospital‘s record release gig a few weeks back, bandleader Emi Night found time to relocate to Philadelphia. This makes Strawberry Runners one of, if not the, newest Philly bands, and the move couldn’t have come at a better time — the band released five-track EP In the Garden, In the Night just a few weeks ago, and now they have a video out for “Garden Hose.”

The band members filmed the lighthearted video on their iPhones, documenting ...

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Mahatma X provides an introspective look on millennial culture with diverse flows and complex instrumentals

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Mahatma X provides an introspective look on millennial culture with diverse flows and complex instrumentals

Mahatma X | photo courtesy of the artist

After releasing the highly jazz-influenced A Mobtown Suit Vol. 1 earlier this year, underground Philly MC Mahatma X makes a strong return with a 23 song epic entitled Social Capital. The new album features a slew of complex instrumental tracks as well as unique lyrical tracks highlighting Mahatma’s crackly voice and enticingly choppy flow.

Social Capital follows the framework of Mahatma’s previous projects by including short, almost mysterious instrumental interludes in between each lyrical cut. This structure helps Mahatma tell a more well-rounded story and creates a more balanced aesthetic in terms of listenability. The ...

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A Philly indie supergroup of sorts, Zinskē says Screw the Golden Years on its debut EP

Source: The Key (WXPN)

A Philly indie supergroup of sorts, Zinskē says Screw the Golden Years on its debut EP

Zinskē | photo via zinske.bandcamp.com

Zinskē may be one of the newest bands in town, but its members are far from newcomers to the scene. The four-piece includes Chris Lipczynski and Derek Salazar of Seagulls, Emily Cahill of The Morelings and Iseult, and Kevin O’Halloran of Little Big League and Mercury Girls — and that probably doesn’t even cover the extent of each artist’s past and current projects. The supergroup lineup came together recently and has been playing some shows around Philly, and now they’ve released an EP — Screw the Golden Years is streaming now on Bandcamp.

The ...

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Trip hop is alive and kicking with Yikes the Zero’s most psychedelic album to date

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Trip hop is alive and kicking with Yikes the Zero’s most psychedelic album to date

Yikes the Zero | Photo courtesy of the artist

In a rap culture dominated by trappers and pop stars, psychedelic rap has taken a backseat position, but Philly’s Yikes the Zero is doing what he can to shake up that dynamic. Yikes takes us on a distorted sonic excursion with Doctor Molotov’s Gallery Of Portals. Each track on the album is a completely new set of sounds that has nothing to do with the track before it.

To put it very frankly, Doctor Molotov’s Gallery of Portals is the musical child of a sci-fi movie and backpack rap. Yikes ...

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Sunwatchers share “Silent Boogie,” announce second LP

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Sunwatchers share “Silent Boogie,” announce second LP

Sunwatchers | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN

Brooklyn punk-inspired jazz quartet Sunwatchers released their debut album in 2015, and now they’re back with the announcement of a forthcoming follow-up — Sunwatchers II will be out February 2 via Trouble in Mind. The first song they’ve shared ahead of the release may be called “Silent Boogie,” but it’s anything but silent. It’s also not wholly unfamiliar — Sunwatchers performed the song when they joined us for a Key Studio Session last year; their Philly-based bassist qualifies them as sort-of locals.

The saxophone-driven “Silent Boogie” is full of the jagged edges and raw ...

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Petunia’s “Get A Job” video pokes fun at life’s monotony

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Petunia’s “Get A Job” video pokes fun at life’s monotony

Petunia | photo courtesy of the artist

Fun Philly rock trio Petunia just put out a new video for their song “Get A Job,” and it makes fun of the seemingly hard-to-swallow aspects of life…like the monotony of working a lame job at a rollerskating rink.

The exaggerated pans of the camera, soft blurred focus of dim lights, all paired with the slowed down chorus drop makes for a very visually immersive video. There’s a lot going on, but it’s also nicely simplified. And the premise goes so well with the song. It’s a very “this is what the song is about,” video, and that’s ...

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4:44 releases synth-heavy single “Freedom” following hype from Jay-Z EP

Source: The Key (WXPN)

4:44 releases synth-heavy single “Freedom” following hype from Jay-Z EP

4:44 | via facebook.com/fourfortyfour

You might remember Jersey prog / jam band 4:44 from their summer stunt when they released an EP called Jay-Z after Jay-Z released his album called 4:44. The news blew up on Reddit for a few months, and 4:44 follows it up this month with a new single, “Freedom.”

The new song vibes with all sorts of synth and bass-heavy grooves, while the lyrics are heavily influenced by all things free, just as the title suggests. Singer Anthony Friedlander channels a U2-esque sound when he really gets into the vocals, and it totally works. This is a fun, not-too-heavy, not-too-light song ...

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Curtis Cooper colorfully copes with somber themes in the “Percs of Life” video

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Curtis Cooper colorfully copes with somber themes in the “Percs of Life” video

Curtis Cooper | photo by Bob Sweeney | via Cereal and Sounds

Curtis Cooper has made their way around the Philly DIY scene over the past couple years, and  recently shared news of a forthcoming second album, the follow-up to last year’s debut Laughing In Lane. We don’t have a release date for the LP, but we do have a new video for the lead single “Percs of Life,” a song we first heard when Cooper played it during their Key Studio Session last year.

“Percs of Life” deals with somber themes of addiction and its effects in an honest ...

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