a man and a woman sitting on a dock with a guitar
Lung is a band formed by husband-and-wife team Ric (left) and Chris Chandler, who moved to the U.S. in 2011. CONTRIBUTED

If you are having even the slightest bummer of a day, play the video for the charity song “In the Key of West (Keys Strong)” by alt-rock duo Lung and prepare to be charmed. 

In joyful, sun-splashed scenarios, Lung members Chris and Ric Chandler sing catchy lyrics and take part in everything we love to do in our island paradise, including, among many other favorites, boating through mangroves and Toilet Seat Cut in Islamorada, having cocktails on a sandbar, doing shots on Duval Street, visiting the Hemingway House and enjoying a sunset over a beach. 

The video may soften even the most jaded heart. It ends with the Chandlers surrounded by Coral Shores High School students, who are pumping their fists with huge smiles and shouting, “Keys strong!”

All proceeds from the single ‘In the Key of West (Keys Strong)’ will be donated to local nonprofits that benefit children, including the Florida Keys Children’s Shelter. CONTRIBUTED

The sentiment is fitting, since all proceeds from purchases of the song go directly to a child in need in the Florida Keys, through Lung’s charity Little Angels.

The duo have chosen Tavernier’s Florida Keys Children’s Shelter to be one of Little Angel’s first beneficiaries.

“We are thrilled to be part of this exciting effort,” Ben Kemmer, the CEO of the shelter, told Keys Weekly. “This is something entirely new for our organization, and we feel very honored to help raise awareness of the needs of children in our Florida Keys community.”

Chris and Ric are a husband-and-wife team who have made a living as professional musicians for decades in Europe (Chris is from France, while Ric is from England). Ric is a drummer, producer and songwriter, and, though not a part of the original lineup of Modern English — known for the ’80s hit love song “I Melt With You” — he is a member of the band and currently touring with them in Europe. He has also worked with Calvin Harris and Tricky. 

Chris, a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and filmmaker, released a record in France on the Sony Music label under her family name, Chris Loung, and worked with industry names such as renowned violinist Nigel Kennedy and producer Boris Bergman, who helped create hits for artists such as Moby, The Kills and Marianne Faithfull. 

The couple took advantage of their extensive contacts to create “In the Key of West.” The song was mixed by Grammy Award–winner Chris Lord-Alge (who mixed Bruce Sprinsteen’s “Born in the USA”). And to help her direct the video, Chris reached out to a friend in the film industry in Paris, Olivier Févin.

“We filmed over three weeks,” she said. “No assistant. The three of us did everything. We were up every morning at 6 a.m. and back every night by 8 p.m. We were completely dead but it was a wonderful experience.”

Through “In the Key of West,” the couple wanted to express gratitude to the community that supported them through their immigration journey, which sometimes became bumpy, especially during the pandemic. They have lived in the Keys for nine years.

“We are proud to be green-card holders and would like to be citizens,” Ric said. “The American dream is still alive in the United States. America supports entrepreneurs and people who work hard. We came here with $7,000 to buy an RV and musical equipment. We built it up from zero. We got our tools and worked hard.”

Though the Chandlers now have a packed schedule in the Keys, when they first arrived in this country, they took any gig they could get. Chris’ native language is French, but as the guitarist and frontwoman of Lung, she had to get used to speaking to audiences in English and shilling their CDs at performances. 

“It wasn’t easy,” she said. “It was a whole new country and culture. But by the second gig we had a breakthrough — the audience bought all our albums.”

Chris explained that they wanted to help children specifically because her husband and she know what it feels like to suffer hard knocks while growing up.

“When you don’t have a privileged upbringing, it’s more difficult to achieve dreams,” she said. “We want to give our money to children who are having difficulties. And we want to meet the child and talk with the child. When we decided that playing music has to be for a higher purpose and not for ego, it was immediately motivating and encouraging.”

Ric was moved that venues throughout the Keys, such as the Hemingway House, wanted to help with the video once they learned it was for charity. 

“Everyone opened their doors,” he said.

“I was thrilled to hear that the museum said ‘yes,’” said Chris. “It meant a lot for us that somebody as eminent as the Hemingway Museum trusted us with our project. We cried in each other’s arms. For us, it expressed that we were accepted here in this country.”

 To purchase the song, learn more about the charity and watch the “In the Key of West (Keys Strong)” video, scan the qr code or visit For more information about Lung, go to

Charlotte Twine
Charlotte Twine fled her New York City corporate publishing life and happily moved to the Keys six years ago. She has written for Travel + Leisure, Allure, and Offshore magazines;; and the Florida Keys Free Press. She loves her two elderly Pomeranians, writing stories that uplift and inspire, making children laugh, the color pink, tattoos, Johnny Cash, and her husband. Though not necessarily in that order.