The Key Studio Sessions: Chris Forsyth and The Solar Motel Band - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

All photos by Allison Newbold |

When experimental Philly guitarist Chris Forsyth began to write his follow up last year’s epic of minimalism, Kenzo Deluxe, he decided the new music needed to be performed as a band. He’d released a handful of textured, expressionistic EPs and LPs over the past half-decade, and had become revered as a player who could coax evocative tones and layered arrangements out of six strings. But the new material called for something more. Solar Motel, released this week on Paradise of Bachelors Records, packs a punch that connects the rumbling rootsy jams of Crazy Horse and the Dead to space rock pioneers like Spiritualized and post-rockers Explosions in the Sky. It’s expansive, dynamic and gripping, and the musicians playing with him – Paul Sukeena of Spacin’, Steven Urgo of The Interest Group and New York-based bassist Peter Kerlin – knock it into overdrive.

Forsyth describes the performance they recorded for their Key Studio Session as particularly “unhinged.” It features two songs from the record, plus a Tom Veraline-referencing new one, “I Ain’t Waiting”; production assistance from Tom Volpicelli of Mastering House further helped capture the vibe of the band’s live set. If you want to experience it in person, Forsyth and The Solar Motel Band performs this Friday, October 18th at Ortlieb’s Lounge in Northern Liberties; tickets and information on the show can be found here. Stream and download the session below, and learn more about Forsyth in our interview from this summer.

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