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Artist of the Month
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April 2015
Sandcastle
"Skull Cauldron
"
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Skull Cauldron, Sandcastle’s latest LP, is a sojourn into a dimly lit wilderness. Recorded as a quartet (with the group moving forward without Micah Edwards) at West Philly’s Sex Dungeon, these songs pull you ever deeper into the thick of it with their hauntingly infectious sense of urgency and balance.
 
Album opener, “Atlantis Trance,” percolates as the guitar, bass, and drums tightly co-exist in a relaxed yet spring-loaded groove that is reminiscent to classic Talking Heads, while the quick-paced, tongue-twisting vocals run through a hypnotic, mythical tale. Continuing in a similar vain, “Wolf With No Eyes” is led by a spiraling guitar riff, reinforced with acoustic strums and low end that conjures ups an atmosphere of danger, climbing into the chorus: “Think I’m obsessive compulsive/I think I’ll think myself to death/Need a therapist or an alchemist to toxify my mind I guess.” This subtle searching of mental anguish grabs a hold of the listener, cautiously traversing the exploratory musical terrain. Casually, one slips into “Datura” as Sam Kassel’s secretively whispered vocals gain a foothold amid an up-tempo guitar-percussion combo that runs forward in fits and then lays back before a guitar burst leads you through the finish line.
 
“Wonder Where She Goes” has that catchy, restrained guitar plucking that lays down the foundation of its composition. As Kassel contemplates, “Am I too late for the ghost train? Am I too dumb for another plane?” The song appears on the cusp of breaking loose, but then steps back for a moment, until finally the pressure boils over. “And I can’t find, I can’t find the way/the way she walks when she walks away…”
 
“Evergreen” is a multifaceted tune that initially rides its acoustic guitar riff as Kassel prophesizes, “If I were a knight, I would be the Green Knight, I would be the Green Knight, and you’d be my Green Lady,” before it lands in a full stable of smoldering instrumentation. Then, the song transitions into a higher gear, led by the quickened pace of the guitar running anxiously ahead, while being propelled forward by the bass before falling back to that almost blues-rock zone with the thudding bass invigorating the track into an open-field mad dash. “Pterodactyls” sits in the shadows, marinating in an ominous tone of preparation for battle. It’s a clear yet heart-racing endeavor as bright injections of acoustic guitar serve as glimpses of daybreak.
 
“Medicine Song” creates a stir with its immediate fresh out of the blocks surge, dashing ahead for an abbreviated sprint, tempering off and then throwing caution to the wind when the final stretch is in sight. “Souls” puts the understated spoken vocals to prime use, developing a ghostly creeping self-aware vibe as the instruments tightly pulse around the unrelenting bass. The song takes turns jolting forward while refueling with reflective cool-down breaks as the song deals with the distance game of a relationship. “Yeah, sometimes she goes far away/Sometimes I get in her face/Yeah, even though we’re jaded/I still wanna play the game.”
 
The final chapter of the record, the adventurously forest-wandering instrumental “Drink Deep of the Skull Cauldron,” quixotically bookends the album. It’s an intoxicating concoction as Sandcastle marches forward as a four-piece beyond the menacing tree line. - Michael Colavita 

This is a preview of the new Deli charts - we are working on finalizing them by the end of 2013.


Go to the old Top 300 charts

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scene blog

Avan Lava

Avan Lava releases "Make It Real" EP + plays Bowery on 04.03

In a musical landscape where electronic pop seem to have become a bedroom hobby that rarely translates live, Brooklyn's Avan Lava stands out as the exception that confirms the rule. The trio of Ian Pai, Le Chev and TC Milan expands on stage to include several frantic musicians and a noteworthy light show, pulled off in a remarkable DIY fashion. Musically, rather than wooing the old guard of Brooklyn hipsters, the band seem to "pursue" the new wave of party goers that's been pricing them out of Williamsburg: if you prefer upbeat fun and catchy melodies to moody experimentation, this is the Brooklyn band for you. Avan Lava is releasing their new EP "Make it Real" today and will celebrate it with a show at Bowery Ballroom on April 4th. Check out single "Leave it All Behind," streaming below.

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Cookies plays Rough Trade with Avan Lava on 07.31

Following the disbandment of avant-pop trio The Mobius Band, Brooklyn based singer songwriter/producer Ben Sterling started Cookies in 2012. The project basically channeled solo material he had been working on since around 2009. On July 31st the band will be performing at Rough Trade (together with that unstoppable EDM machince known as Avan Lava) and unveil new material off the upcoming debut record entitled 'Music for Touching,' scheduled for a September 9 release. The record features Colin Stetson (Arcade Fire), Aakaash Israni (Dawn of Midi), Tom Vek, Rebecca Zeller (Ra Ra Riot), the Magik Magik Orchestra, and the voices of Melissa Metrick, Areni Agbabian and Ashley Giorgi, who serve as the female counterpoint to Sterling's baritone. Listen to the title track below.

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The Deli UN/OFF show in Austin: The Stone Foxes, Pearl & The Beards, Andre Obin, Avan Lava, Friend Roulette + more!

Music fans heading South,

The Deli will be in Austin on March 15 with a two stage night party hosted at Austin's legendary gay bar Rusty's. Great lineup of artists and even greater list of Special Guests who will be announced shortly. See here for more info + band links!

Mark your calendars!

The Deli's Staff


Deli Best of NYC 2012 - Open Submission Results for ELECTRONIC

Since the beginning of the big recession, Electronic Music in NYC has been experiencing an unforeseen explosion, also thanks to the fact that electronic projects are cheaper and more efficient even compared to the most basic of power trios (no need for band mates or rehearsal studios...). Since pretty much any genre can be reproduced electronically, rather than a genre, the word Electronic indicates "sonic material" (as in: 'these songs are made with electronic sounds'). Hence the variety of styles included in this category.

Total submissions in this category: 43

Artists Qualified to the Poll's Next Stage (starting around 01.10)

1. Kiss Slash Crooked Smile - 7.66 (out of 10)
1. Clementine & the Galaxy - 7.66
3. AVAN LAVA - 7.50

Honorable Mentions (scores above 6.5)

I Am Lightyear, Loveskills, Mitten, Future Screens, Moon Furies, New Myths, Psychobuildings, Jonka, Late Guest at the Party, Young Heel, Maria Takeuchi.

Jurors: Jason Behrends (Deli Chicago), Jacqueline Caruso (Deli LA), QD Tran (Deli Philly).

The Deli's Staff


NYC Year End Poll - Electronic Submission Results: AVAN LAVA takes 3rd place

On a Deli-organized June show at Williamsburg’s Cameo, a club on North 6th Street, local band AVAN LAVA sent the crowd into an absolute frenzy when they launched into their summer 2012 anthem, “It’s Never Over.” Formed by Fischerspooner multi-instrumentalists Michael “Le Chev” Cheever and Ian Pai, with new heart-throb singer Tom “TC” Hennes, AVAN LAVA blasted purple lasers and confetti over the audience, whilst on-stage dancers shimmied and shook in celebration of the band’s unabashed upbeat electro-pop. Mixing Prince with Rick Astley and Wham!, things never veer into irony, rather the entire affair feels both arty and jubilant in a way not often experienced in a live setting. - Brian Chidester

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