Last Wednesday, fog began spreading throughout The Magic Bag maybe 20 minutes after Field Report’s Christopher Porterfield left the stage. Porterfield had set the stage (so to speak) expertly, filling the cozy venue with the soft sounds of acoustic folk while patrons quietly filed in, ordering drinks and finding seats or empty patches of wall to lean on and watch. The mood of the room was already not only attentive, but appreciative — this was going to be a good night, plain and simple — a night of good music inside a good place.
In the cover art for her new single, “Uh Huh,” Jade Bird stares away from the camera and into the distance, her face spreading into a neon blur of color. It’s attention-catching and vibrant, but the cover is nothing compared to the song itself.
Stepping out as a solo artist can be daunting for a musician, especially for one who has spent over a decade being associated with a particular band. Luckily, Ryan Key is up to the task.
Key first gained a footing in the musical scene in the late ‘90s, as a member of rock and pop punk band Yellowcard. He spent 17 years as the band’s principal songwriter, lead singer and rhythm guitarist, penning such hits as “Ocean Avenue” and “Lights and Sounds.” The band released its final album, Yellowcard, in 2016, and now Key is branching out on his own as a solo artist.
A new concept album has come out, awash with glam rock and glittery existentialism. It may not be the eighties, but you wouldn’t know it from the music. Fortunately for Arctic Monkeys, given the recent wave of '80s nostalgia, they may have timed their surprising and daring change in direction at just the right moment.