“Usually any music that could be described as ‘quirky’ or even ‘kooky’ stops me dead in my tracks before I turn tail and head, running for the hills. However, there are some notable exceptions–I really like some of the soundtrack to the film Juno that is provided by Kimya Dawson. Whether this is really quirky might be open to discussion. Key of V could easily be described as having an element of quirk within their songs and in this case I am not in the process of heading for any mountainous region.
Key of V is a sisterly duo, Erin and Val La Cerra, self-described as ‘lo-fi, psychedelic punk’ and there certainly is a lo-fi quality to this recording, albeit one that is not muddied and lacking clarity for the listener. I wouldn’t really comment on the use of ‘psychedelic’ but there is a punk ethos on display in that the sisters really do have a social awareness that they like to put forward within their songs.
Across the seven (one is a ‘hidden’) tracks I’d say that the music has a big folk feel to it with the odd hint of melancholy, but there are also dashes of more poppy moments that provide some very catchy refrains, some of which I find myself singing first thing in the morning. Throw in an indie sensibility and this is an intriguing package that works quite well for me.
The use of a variety of stringed instruments to create the music is one of the reasons I like this and with distinctive vocals, Key of V succeed in keeping my attention from start to finish: always the first sign of a half decent release.
The lyrics help convey the social awareness of the band and they are used in an entertaining way as opposed to ramming ideas down the listeners throats. I also find it interesting that on ‘Bee’ the voice of Marlene Dietrich seems to have been channeled to make an appearance–that or the sisters are very good at doing an unintentional impression of the German actress/singer. The one other person that this recording gets me thinking of is Kate Bush: not very punk I grant you but there is a uniqueness to be found within Key of V that is also found in the British chanteuse.
Key of V is fresh-sounding, slightly off the wall and enjoyable: I’d imagine they’d be worth checking out live as well as on disc.”