NEW EP: On ‘Welcome to the Witching Hour,’ MyKey Makes Space for Late-Night Thinkers

There’s something old-school about MyKey.

Maybe it’s the fact he doesn’t really know how TikTok works, despite being on the Gen Z cusp age of 24 (and almost 25). Or maybe it’s because when he hops on our video call, he informs me that he’s on his grocery store weekly tour, checking out what four different supermarkets in L.A. have to offer.

“I’m literally an old man in that way,” he says, chuckling.

Today, MyKey released his debut EP Welcome to the Witching Hour, coming on the heels of a sprawling, 16-track album back in 2017 when he was in his early days of releasing music. He started taking guitar lessons at age seven, then stuck with guitar, going to a bluegrass event at age 10 and joining local Maryland bluegrass band Flower Hill String Band after connecting with them at that show.

MyKey makes music that draws from folk, while he’s part of a broader bedroom pop generation that has been sweeping the industry. On Welcome to the Witching Hour, he unexpectedly draws parallels to the genesis of his artistry– his first-ever song was called ‘Vin Diesel Runs on Gasoline,’ and it wasn’t until after he put together his EP that he released the sixth track is called ‘Vin Diesel,’ an unintentional callback to his early songwriting.

Welcome to the Witching Hour strays from his first album, Faces, in several ways. For one, the new project was written entirely in an Airbnb getaway, as MyKey and his friends/collaborators melted their minds together in one big effort rather than piecing together the album.

“I really went at it completely alone for the first album. This time around, my friends and I truly collaborated on this little getaway, which was something I’d never done prior. It was a really fun way of doing it.”

MyKey still stands by the new EP being ‘just as chaotic as the first album,’ in that he continues explores a bevy of genres. On Faces, for example, he involved folk, pop, black metal, jazz and rock. This time, though, it’s more of a communal project.

“I really wanted to let me friends’ work shine, whether it be on the production, or some of the songwriting. As a whole, though, Welcome to the Witching Hour contains way more of my own stories than Faces did. I always used to hate writing about my own experiences, and would make songs out of my friends’ stories, so this is much more of a personal record.”

Photo credit: Axel Kabundji

“It feels really weird, though,” he continues, “To put my own opinion on my emotions. And then release it out into the world. Like, people are hearing my takes on my own emotions and shit. That’s a new level of vulnerability for me.”

Songs like ‘Emily’ and ‘Marshmallow Moons’ are perfect for when you want to fashion yourself a teen movie star, looking out of a train window at a gray sky and thinking about that someone who makes your palms sweaty. Listening to ‘Mazda5’ will convince you that you, too, had a Mazda in high school, reliably getting you to school, to see a friend, to blast your favorite album in or to cry in. And for all of his old-man-cosplay, ‘Sweet Tooth’ could easily be a TikTok viral hit– it’s of the same ilk as the sleepy, viral smash ‘death bed (coffee for your head)’ by powfu and Beabadoobee.

Like the EP’s namesake, I can’t think of a better time to listen to this than in the middle of the night, when the threads of reality unspool a bit and you can go on an introspective journey without the noise of reality dragging you down.

MyKey’s friends and sometimes-collaborators are all up-and-comers in the space, including names like REI AMI, Adam Melchor, spill tab, Marinelli and bennytheghost, to name a few.

When I ask about a dream collaborator, his old-school brain takes over control, replying with certainty.

“Bruce Springsteen. I’ve always wanted to make music with him. My mid-life crisis moment would ideally be a collab with him.”

You can find MyKey on Instagram (though he ‘barely understands it.’)

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Best Tracks of the Week 11/13/19

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This is our weekly best new tracks article. We cover mostly brand new songs but also some gems from the last few weeks. Follow our playlist if you want to follow on Spotify or if you hate my writing and just want the music:

‘Burning Accidents’ – Kate Davis

This snuck up behind me in public and put its dirty hands over my eyes and asked me to guess who it was, and I, a little pissed off, guessed it was an old work acquaintance or person I had one class with in high school who had no business touching my face. I was wrong, it ended up being an AWESOME and totally original album that I instantly fell in love with. It’s sad girl music (something UndercoverSadGirl would listen to) but with almost a bit of a pop punk flavor to it, like if you sprinkled some Wavves onto a sad girl music cake. Anyways this instantly became one of my favorite albums of the year and I highly recommend.

‘γ‚Ήγ‚€γƒΌγƒˆ Sweet’ – SebastiAn, Loota

Allow me to translate that Japanese for you since I happen to speak Japanese, it says… Sweet. Sui-to to be exact. You’re welcome. This whole album from the veteran French producer was awesome, some serious grooves and paint peeling synths.

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SebastiAn
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Loota

‘Sunrise’ – Alice Ivy, Cadence Weapon

It’s the kind of song you could put on loop and you’d never realize you;d been listening for an hour straight, a dreamy jam from Australian Alive Ivy and Canadian Cadence Weapon.

‘Sad Day’ – FKA Twigs

I already wrote a whole post about the album here: https://indiepong.wordpress.com/2019/11/13/fka-twigs-album-so-good-might-literally-be-an-alien/

But TLDR it’s one of the best albums of the decade and a true accomplishment in every way, so if you can’t tell I liked it a lot. It somehow meets in the middle of harsh and beautifully raw/emotional, and we are here for it.

My two other favorites on the album are Home With You and Cellophane, which are both also tracks that sound like they couldn’t have possibly come from this planet. I love.

‘I Used To’ – imbi the girl, SUPEREGO

Alrighty roo well this one actually came out a few months ago, but I heard it and fell in love with it immediately and had to include. Yeah, like I’m going to listen to a song on repeat all week and not include it because of a fEw MoNtHs. Get over yourself. Plus, the album is coming out very soon and the people of Indie Pong nEeD 2 kNoW!

I am beside myself excited for this album —–ALERT! LIVE EDIT——– This album actually literally just came out 5 hours ago in Australia, but I can’t listen yet because it’s not out until tomorrow in America. Here is the link, let’s check it out together! Teamwork!

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‘DICTATOR’ – REI AMI

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This is badass. Rei Ami is badass. Not here to mess around. And then all of the sudden it’s warm and comforting. Really like this one from the Korean-American new force on the scene.

‘Fox’ – Dogleg

Dude this song goes so hard. Michigan band, I’m guessing extremely underrated because I can’t find much on them online. Can’t wait for more.

Also, I had never heard this but I guess a dogleg is something bends like a dogleg, not necessarily the literal leg of a dog. Does it matter? Well the next time you’re at autozone and one of your friends asks you to ‘hand them the dogleg’ do you want to look like a dumbass? That’s what I thought.

‘Another Day’ – #1 Dads

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How’d you like that Dogleg->#1 Dads transition, you like? Nice, thanks. This song is mad chill, like when you just had a crazy time camping with your friends (marshmallows, speakers, dance marathon, lots of coffee to stay awake for the dance marathon, pillow fight, etc.) and you need a chill song to put on repeat a few times on your drive back to reflect on the crazy night you just had. P.S. I don’t really go camping.

‘Back To Love’ – Vanessa Amorosi

Oh yeah, power ballad time. This is like the opposite of the above camping scenario, in this scenario you just quit your job and used credit cards to piece together the funds to buy a red Corvette convertible and you stand up while your best friend who also just did that (but it’s a little different, because she had been planning on leaving her job for a while and had been saving money for the occasion so didn’t have to get any credit cards) and you stand up and let your hair blow in the wind and scream as loud as you can because sometimes you have to just do something crazy.

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Re-enactment of above scenario in blue car

Banger.

‘Honeybird’ – Andras

Banger from Australian producer Andras. P.S. All of the last three artists are Australian. I guess all I listen to is Australian music. So be it, the Australians are making the best music! Album comes out in January 2020.

“(Wilson has previously released LPs under solo and shared aliases including Art Wilson, Wilson Tanner and Andras & Oscar.)” – https://www.factmag.com/2019/11/13/andras-joyful-beats-in-space/

Thus concludes another week of Australia Pong I mean Indie Pong, don’t forget to follow our playlist for automatic updates each week my friends!

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