Key of V

Key of V

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Pop - Dreampop | Williamsport, Pennsylvania, United States
Total Song Plays: 13   
Member Since: 2009
   Last Login: over 30 days ago

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"DIY, Big Sounds, Junk Computers

Sisters Val LaCerra (guitar, lead vocals), and Erin LaCerra (viola, tin whistle, keyboard, percussion) have been singing harmonies together since they were toddlers, but officially joined forces as indie duo Key of V in 2007. Inspired by an amalgamation of influences including The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and Bessie Smith and equipped with a Yamaha FX mixer and several pedals, Key of V has since been branching out to audiences across the state, winning hearts and breaking any preconceptions that duos cannot make big sounds.

Val's solo album, Carbon Nation (2006), features the layered oddities and vocal harmonies that would follow into Key of V, but without the relief of upbeat tunes, and sprinkled with often sadistic-sounding laughter.

After the completion of Carbon Nation, Val experimented with looping found sound and layered vocal tracks that would later make their way onto Songs in the Key of V (2007), but not without keeping a few tracks, like Jill 5, stripped and bone-bearingly honest. Eventually V dumped the PC and started recording with a 4-track, recruiting her sister Erin and eventually playing on the street, where Key of V was noticed by shoppers, bar-goers, and eventually local venue owners, who invited them to entertain.

Since then Key of V has been branching out to surrounding metro-cities like Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, York, and Pittsburgh. In June 2008 they helped organize and host a successful local music festival called Absorb, which featured over a dozen diverse local bands. In addition to Absorb, Key of V has organized other successful multi-band local shows and done all their own promotion and advertising. Also, they create all their albums one-by-one, and in spite of the challenge, Key of V seems happy to get their hands dirty: "If we don't make our albums, someone else will, and that bothers me. Each one of our albums possesses a certain vitality that is linked with us and our creative processes. That is just as important as the music that is on the CD."

"Two Lights" (Blog on Key of V)

Key of V - Two Lights

Equipped with voices as complimentary as V and E's and the innate beauty of the violin/guitar combo, Key of V achieve pretty easily. But these artists aren't satisfied with just pretty. They fight their songs with Alanis-like rambling, bursts of energy that bring Patti Smith to mind, and transitions that would make David Bowie proud. One can never infer an ending from any of their beginnings and yet--somehow--none of the songs sound random or forced. In a strange way, it's all still organic, like assemblage is naturally embedded in their intuition (rather than being a result of aesthetic upgrade due to external stimulus).

One might think that Joanna Newsom's relatively recent claim on childish inflection would overwhelm any such attempt by another act in the near future but not in this case. Whereas Newsom's vocals seem like they come from a lonely elf in a cave on a mountain, Key of V's are more like lights chasing each other in the city. Got it? Good.

Many times when I hear local music, I spend my listening time evaluating the performers' decisions. However, while experiencing the Key of V, I forget that I'm in Williamsport, I forget that I'm in the Coffee and Tea room, and I exist solely in their music. Key of V, due to the atmosphere created by their deft compositions and sisterly chemistry, become place. Whatever plane their playing creates is where I am.

You may accuse me of being overtly positive in my review but I don't see how I could be otherwise. By routinely performing here, the Key of V enrich our culture. Their playing is an experience that I enjoy every time and think about for days after.

It's good art, so, why not encourage it? Why must one always be critical? If you want to hear a tirade about bad art just catch me after I view common crap at the multiplex. "Rich people gone wild" should be the description of Hollywood in its current state. With that in mind, any artists/entertainers who craft their own bubble and invite us in for an engaging, adventurous, challenging, and ultimately pleasurable experience should be nurtured, promoted, and discussed. The Key of V are two artists whom I soulfully endorse.

-Matthew Parish
Williamsport Art Blog

Key of V Review By Johnny J. Bla

"Making music isn't just about crafting songs. Music-making can also be a way to stream your thoughts--to let your dreams, emotions and ideas just flow and hope that somebody gets it. When you listen to Key of V, you get all the above.

KOV's hardscrabble but endearing production values hearken back to psychedelic era dream-weavers from the 60s/70s, when the cutting edge had a soft side; when being mental wasn't scary (name-checking early Nico, Kevin Ayers, Pink Floyd); if Nick Drake had been a lady computer-geek and not so gloomy. I also felt 80s/90s/00s post-wave music: the femme-Beatles' sound of the first Bangles EP ('Goin' Down to Liverpool and Do Nothing'); Talk Talk on a street corner; an econo-send-up of Porcupine Tree.

Don't be misled! On first impression, they look like yet another confessional folkie act with good graphics; sisters with mind-melding harmonies; lump-able somewhere between Heart, The Osmonds and Radiohead. Skip that preliminary. Go straight to their cache of 'girl next door as tortured artist' stories, surrounded by a sonic topography of witty samples, thrift store technology and sci-fi guitars and violin. Their abstract soundscape is mile-marked by skillful, pure and diligently unforgettable pop songs."

--Johnny J. Blair, "Singer at Large" and rock'n'roll artist

Focus Band: Key of V (Article)

Give us a brief history of Key of V.

V: Key of V started as my project and was mainly an experimental outlet using the guitar I always kept around. I recorded an entire album (�Carbon Nation�) using five 6-year-old strings on a beat-up Fender acoustic and my voice. Eventually I started the Key of V project and got E to join me with Viola. We started playing on the streets until the cops caught on and made us leave. Fortunately around the same time we started getting some shows, which was nice because it was getting cold out anyway.

Do you play all original music, covers, or a mixture of both?

V: We are artists first, so it follows that most of our music is original, however we do some �found song installments� (live covers). Writing and executing songs is my first passion, but I also enjoy putting my own twist on other artists� songs that I already enjoy listening to. It�s really a unique encounter playing something that someone else has written and performed, because it�s coming out of you and it has your sound yet they wrote it, so you both make it be. It�s a kind of transcendence of space/time and you are in a type of communion with the original artist, even if you interpret the song differently.

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