The Key Studio Sessions: Carsie Blanton - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

This week on The Key Studio Sessions, we’re excited to feature indie singer-songwriter Carsie Blanton, a staple of the folk-adjacent Philly music community, going back a decade and a half. In the days of her early records Buoy and Idiot Heart, Blanton’s songwriting was catchy and clever, building stories of love and friendship out of witty wordplay and a generous helping of feminism. As the 20-teens progressed, her social and political consciousness began to take center stage more and more, especially on 2021’s Love and Rage, a scream from the depths of the pandemic lockdown.

In her own words, Blanton’s recently-released seventh album, After The Revolution, “is thematic; it’s about the chaotic decline of capitalism. But it’s also about hope, which is an important quality to cultivate if you want to survive this part of history.” That very topic is explored in the song “Hope,” a gentle Patsy Cline-esque stroll which Blanton co-wrote with bassist Joe Plowman; it finds her reflecting on the beauty of resilience, and it is elevated by airy Mellotron tones from longtime keys player Patrick Firth in this Key Studio Sessions performance.

This set showcases an array of the album’s topics, from creative companionship (“My Good Friends”), to the strength of the working class (“Labor Of Love,” which puts the pop in populist), to the discovery of personal validation beyond the metrics of external success (the punky “Cool Kids”). The crowning jewel, though, is After The Revolution‘s title track, a powerful ballad that takes the anxiety of day-to-day life in a turbulent world and wraps it up in a moving cry: “My grandad fought at Leningrad when they all knew what was fair / Now we try to fight but it don’t feel right when the war is everywhere. / After the revolution we’ll have a better life.” It’s a song about anger, intimacy, and to use Blanton’s words, “revolutionary optimism.”

She and the band are currently in London in the wake of touring the UK and Ireland; they’ll start off a North American tour May 3rd with a sold out performance at World Cafe Live. Find the full tour schedule at Blanton’s website, and note the several dates marked “Low Ticket Warning” and “Sold Out” — these aren’t shows you want to sleep on, lest you miss out. In the meantime, watch Carsie Blanton’s full Key Studio Sessions performance below.

Carsie Blanton - The Key Studio Sessions (Full Set)

“Labour Of Love”
“My Good Friends”
“Cool Kids”
“After The Revolution”

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