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

The Deli Philly’s April Album of the Month: Dope Boy Magick - PO PO

The Deli Philly’s April Album of the Month: Dope Boy Magick - PO PO

The fuzz is strong with this one.

PO PO’s Dope Boy Magick sounds as if it’s being transmitted through a cloud. The debut full-length of once brother trio-turned-solo project of lone remaining bro Zeb Malik is a collage of outcast-rock past, with influences culled from goth, punk, and even witch house, but as its grungy bass crunch and oodles of reverb blur the borders between styles, the record becomes a sort of “Variations on Alienation for Drum Machine and Distorted Guitar."

I swear this is a good thing. For one, the murky hiss covering each track makes the jumps between creeping electro and squalling garage seamless, not to mention exciting. Malik is an expert appropriator, casually flipping between riff-heavy acid sludge (“Dnt Wnt U, Jst Wnt It All”), raucous surf (“Bummer Summer”), and pristine electro bliss (the phenomenal “Let’s Get Away”), making the record lively and unpredictable, like a mixtape for the counterculture.

It’s also mesmerizing; the reverb on these tracks distorts Malik’s whine to the point where he’s not communicating in words but in a wash of vowel sounds, and the dejection he’s able to convey with a sigh recalls the perpetual disaffection of Bradford Cox. Like Cox, Malik is able to settle comfortably over a noise record’s various faces, flying over Magick’s more interactive first half and becoming another texture on its subtler but-no-less excellent second. He almost disappears in the hypnotic rhythms of the final four tracks, adding the haunting echoes in “Sik Sik Sik” and becoming a droning hook for “POPONGZU.” This section ends the record on a baffling but tantalizing note. These tracks are some of the album’s most realized, and when “Teen Dreamz” slyly slinks away, it feels like a fitting end to such an elusive record.

I say elusive because Dope Boy Magick keeps its audience at a distance. There’s a tangible apathy here. On “Dnt Wnt U, Jst, Wnt It All,” Malik sings, “I fuckin’ love you,” but he doesn’t sound like he’s going to do anything about it. He’s not interested in action. His record’s bare-bones, catch-all ethos encourages thoughtful, meditative listening, and all that haze he provides seems to lend itself to smoky, dimly lit rooms where everyone’s on too many substances to do anything but gaze blankly and bop along. My advice? “Turn on, tune in, drop out.” You can purchase Dope Boy Magick via Mad Decent. - Adam Downer

PO PO - "Teen Dreamz / Let's Get Away" from stereogum


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

[sponsored by]

stompbox exhibit

- news for musician and music pros -