Artist of the Month

deli cover



November 2015
Alex G
"Beach Music
Amid increasingly high/steep expectations, Alex Giannascoli, a.k.a. Alex G, released his latest full-length album Beach Music via Domino. After a jarring, noise-laden percussive “Intro,” “Bug” crawls under your skin and skillfully into your head as its crisp guitar lays the foundation for the song’s mesmerizing tone, stripping down temporarily instrumentally - “and when you go there/you stay there/bug in the crosshair/you stay there.” A momentary electric guitar swell marks the return to movement.
The scratch of acoustic guitar chord changes, and a gloomy organ develops the rained-in, haunting sound of “Thorns.” Conversely, to the weathered weary sound of its predecessor, “Kicker” immediately jumps into action as advancing percussion/guitar dictates a forward blitz of lyrically rhymed oppositions - “White bird in a black cloud… big fight for a small right.” Wrapping tightly woven imagery into a steady downhill stomper, the track sits smooth, whilst retaining a gritty after bite.
“Salt” returns to that head-in-the-clouds, daydreaming ethereal bedroom vibe. Soaked in keys and accented by electronic percussion, the scene is set. “Into my big cloud, I’m flying all the time.” As he watches, opposing deep and child-esque soft vocals stir in a chanting manner, Alex questioningly reemerges - “Did you hear what I said? I’ve got salt in my head,” resolving his issue in a calm yet despairing manner. “Today I washed my hands, I want to be alone, I want to fry.” “Brite Boy” lifts with light-as-a-feather percussion, and its innocent beach-strolling instrumentation is underscored by a playful call-and-return vocal dialogue. Ushered in by the tandem of dashing trumpet and dreary keys, the artist tears himself open, and is left emotionally exposed. “Crying I’m running in love/losing in love/scratching in love/wired in love.”
Alex G continues to evolve, creating songs that aren’t afraid to expose life’s knack for pulling one individual simultaneously in multiple directions. That’s why Beach Music thrives in its ability to paint grey clouds within a sunny landscape or a ray of light bursting through a downpour. His honest, hypnotic melodies and its murkiness pull you in. - Michael Colavita

Rate the Artist:

Please visit The Deli's full web charts organized by genre and region.

Go to Charts


scene blog

Album Review: Exorcism - Power Animal

Album Review: Exorcism - Power Animal

The words of Power Animal may be obscured by a boatload of studio manipulation, but what they’re communicating is always clear: This is Feel-Good Music. Evident from Power Animal’s major-key synth hooks and disco percussions is a love of the kind of nostalgic sentimentality bands like M83 and Passion Pit maximize with unrelenting waves of keyboard and second-wave British invasion bands like The Kooks channel into plain-spoken love narratives. But unlike these late-aught champions of electronic-indie, Power Animal don’t do “pleasant” by blending every pleasant thing they could think of into an overwhelming pastiche. Instead of indulging dream-pop’s natural affinity for cheese and excess, Power Animal strip it down into the grimy, humble Exorcism, an EP that, with its bare-bones approach and subtle use of hooks, aims to reclaim the genre’s humanity. 
There’s no denying that Exorcism presents itself as “quirky.” The jerky keyboard lines and garbled vocals sound as if they’re culled from records warped by years of sitting in an attic (an image also brought to you by the record’s hazy, Mono production), and the wonky structure of its opening suite “Better Water” suggests the hippie-warbling excess Exorcism could’ve easily devolved into. But as the EP progresses, these cracks begin to reveal the sincere, very real character hiding underneath the saccharine signifiers. The little winks that pepper Exorcism’s excellent second half make it practically interactive. “Mold Spores” was already assured its place as the album’s best tune before the chuckle that slips through its second verse makes its glee infectious, as if we’re being let in on whatever great time Power Animal are scoring. By Exorcism’s eponymous closer, we’re sharing the record’s smile.
It could be a more “conventionally” pretty record, but it’d be worse for it. This ambitious kind of pop has a tendency to become weightless in its nostalgia-bating, and while Power Animal certainly capture the comfort nostalgia offers, they also capture its insubstantiality. Built from bits and fragments of pop-eras past, Exorcism sounds as if it could break apart at any moment. It holds together, of course, but as music that sounds like it wants to save the world through sheer positivity goes, Exorcism accomplishes something far more impressive: It actually manages to inspire the feelings it evokes.
You can purchase the album HERE, and all profits from digital sales will be donated to Philabundance, a local charity organization that provides food to the needy in the Philly area. - Adam Downer


Which of these local acts should be The Deli Philly's featured artist(s)?

[sponsored by]

stompbox exhibit

- news for musician and music pros -