The Key's Year-End Mania: Maura Filoromo's Five Favorite Philly Releases of 2014
Tutlie | Photo by Debbie Zak Cohen |

Year-End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2014 awesome. In this installment, Key contributor Maura Filoromo shares her favorite Philly records of the year.

This has been a great year in Philly music and for so many genres! Bad Canoes and Allison Crutchfield’s solo album are among the best Philly debut releases this year. It’s amazing how much the scene has grown. So much music was cranked out locally in this year alone and Philly is showing the country what we’ve always been: a major hub of talented bands and artists. While the scene doesn’t get the national notoriety of say New York or Austin, we’re getting there. Just like our bud SEPTA! These are my Top 5 Philly releases of 2014 that are poised to get the attention of the nation’s ear.

1. Void Vision Sub Rosa

Synth paradise! Shari Vari is behind Void Vision. She released an LP this past November called Sub Rosa. There’s a good portion of minor chords giving it a dark feel. It’s minimalist at times, but it’s also layered with synths that you could discover a new one each listen. “Everything is Fine” is the standout track to me with its simple beats and haunting hook. Some of it sounds a little video game-esque at times (mostly Sega Genesis style). Well-made electronic jams.

2. Bad Canoes Sisterhood is Powerful

Bad Canoes is all good news. Listen to their no-wave ways. Screaming Females’ Marissa Paternoster kills it on vocals. She has jangly, chanting style of singing. These lyrics will get you chanting along. This band originally formed for “The First Time’s the Charm” fest back in the fall of 2013, although they didn’t end up performing. They released their first EP Sisterhood is Powerful in early March. They are currently working on new tunes and playing shows frequently in the area. Also drummer Dawn Riddle is the coolest from the beats to the streets.

3. Tutlie Young Cries

This is gorgeous. A fanciful soundscape of melodies that get you lost in a delightfully imaginative world. Chamber pop lovers will thoroughly relish listening to this album. Audio fans, this album is mixed incredibly well too. The drums sound so crisp! I really enjoyed the track “We Filmed Clouds.” The vocals are layered and edited in such a way that it at times sounds like clouds swiftly passing by.

4. Allison Crutchfield Lean In To It

Okay, I’m really in love with this album. Yes, I am a keyboardist so I’m always partial to lovely key hooks and the lovely electronic drum beats. This album is very beautiful. From the vocals to instrumentation, nothing is too much or too little. All the elements fit and sit perfectly well. The first solo album from Allison Crutchfield, of Swearin’, is a remarkable debut.

5. Cayetana Nervous Like Me

Describing themselves as “high-kicking boisterous Philadelphians,” Cayetana delivers on their album Nervous like Me. With its thumping bass lines, rowdy distorted guitar, and light keyboards coming in, it’s a pop punk party.
This trio is super talented, and they’ve been receiving well-deserved press from across the nation. Cayetana definitely is making Philly proud and will likely be moving up on the national radar.

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