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Artist of the Month
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deli cover

March 2015
Blood Sound
"Nightclub
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mp3
Blood Sound’s post-punk tracks are informed by an audible nostalgia for the dance floors and goth clubs of the latter ‘80s. Their latest LP Nightclub is a hybrid of dark wave and dream pop. Marrying synth-drenched harmonies with emotively vibrant lyricism, the subtle romantics of the band’s debut full-length fit seamlessly with the buzzing percussive backbeats of earlier cuts by Cold Cave (circa Love Comes Close) or The Cure’s “Primary” stripped bare to its core.
 
“TV Synth 1” sets the tone for Nightclub’s narrative with a brief yet textured prelude to “I Don’t Want.” Relatable like an antithesis of The Smiths’ “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out,” Blood Sound’s “I Don’t Want” personifies the complexities of yearning, desire, and loneliness. As frontman Chris Jordan croons “I don’t want the city’s lights to go down/I don’t want to find home,” guitar riffs magnify the weight of his words without casting them melodramatic. The track is a fitting anthem for the passing of youth, failed love, and transition.
 
The buzzing start of “L.A. Punk” explores that thin line between authenticity and commoditization, the song’s instrumentation paying homage in its own way to the early underground and its subsequent subcultures. As if channeling a sedated rendition of Peter Murphy’s tone and diction, “L.A. Punk” is as memorable as it is brooding. “Acid Summer” gives an inward glimpse at the intimate nature of grief, mortality, and memory. When Jordan sings, “The 1980s died that day,” the listener feels it in their gut. It’s undeniable. The connection between what is experienced and how that experience is remembered is amplified by the track’s thumping tempo.
 
“Empty” plays out like the perfect soundtrack to an inevitable breakup, coupling affection with exhaustion, with the synth framing the heart-wrenching truth of lines like “I was too in love to say/that your story was a bore/Now I gave up on bad dreams and endings/beginnings and beginnings.” It offers a viable catharsis for jilted lovers with a penchant for fuzzed-out refrains.
 
“TV Synth 2” precedes the lyrically minimal yet heavy “Embrace” which serves as Nightclub’s melodic memento mori. “Almost” is subdued yet gripping, slowing the momentum of the record in advanced of “TV Synth 3,” which unfolds like a VHS fever dream. “Fake Blood” is evocative, with reverb and a pulsating backbeat that swells as the song progresses. Arguably the darkest track on the album, Jordan’s diction is hypnotic, “Kill your dreams and wait for/the fake blood to pour out.”
 
Ending with the well-placed “Catacombs,” Nightclub’s final track encapsulates the thrill of beginnings and the way one remembers them. Set to a beat reminiscent of Joy Division’s quintessential single “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” “Catacombs,” much like the songs that precede it, is reason alone to return to Nightclub. - Dianca London Potts

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


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The Deli's SXSW Issue 2014 is online!

Read it digitally here.

P.S. 10k free copies of this issue hit the street of Austin during SXSW Music week!


Redeye

Ominous guitar and bass start off the newest track from Redeye, an Austin act that straddles the line between indie pop with a folk bent and full on alt-country, but "Sleepless" quickly turns hopeful, if also a bit stark. It's a track about hope, in fact, and it wonders whether someone will be there for the singer in rough times they seem sure are coming. Redeye caps the lovely and heart-tweaking track with the poignant image of this hoped-for ally being "A fragile light I’ll picture always/A fire burning in the snow," and this attention to scenery and mood are central to the artist's sound.

Going from this track and a few other clips released, like this one that features track "Dryland," the upcoming third album "The Memory Layers" by Redeye (set to be released in April) looks like it will fit ideally into the Texas alt-country/folk canon. It hits that key requirement of also fitting so well into the sweeping, heat-affected spirit of Texas itself, and it's not hard to imagine the swelling fiddles and Redeye's twanging, yet not exactly country voice accompanying a long road trip across this state, even moreso for the vivid imagery conjured in each song. This album should be quite good, not only for Redeye himself's work, but also for the impressive list of artists who have also had a hand in it, including folks who have been members of or worked with groups in the past like the Polyphonic Spree, Midlake, Black Angels, Dana Falconberry, and Baptist Generals. That kind of quality roster attached to the unquestionable talent of Redeye will have a hard time creating anything but a good record, and if you'd like to be one of the first to get it in your ears, listen to "Sleepless" below and get to Redeye's show at The Mohawk with Bee Caves on April 18 for good, Texan music.

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Interview with the One-Man Composer Roger Sellers

The enigmatic and energetic one-man composer Roger Sellers had a big SXSW with The Deli, with not only a cover article in our South By print issue, but also headlining our showcase at the Austin Convention Center. Somehow between doing all of that and his other South By Southwesterly duties, Sellers found the time to chat with The Deli's own Brian Chidester about his career and his approach to music. Check out what Mr. Sellers had to say below, along with a few of his best recent tracks.

Brian Chidester: You were working in a roots direction not long ago. What brought about the new direction and interest in things like Minimalism, electro and "Pet Sounds"?

Roger Sellers: Minimalism is something that I’ve always been inspired by and practiced in my recordings through the years, but it definitely became more prevalent in Primitives. For my last 3 studio records, I would generally start from scratch to record and write simultaneously. Primitives was a much different approach. Most of the songs on the record had already been written and performed for about 5 years. Primitives was a way for me to release the songs publicly on hard media, so that people could enjoy them in their homes or cars, not just at a show or on youtube. While it does have many aspects of electro involved, most of what you hear was recorded acoustically.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE INTERVIEW WITH ROGER SELLERS

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Malik

South By is dead, long live South By. Or maybe not, what with the trend this South By being a smaller, more compressed (but still quite corporate) version of itself, with less free shit, fewer unofficial parties and a lot more roadblocks downtown (that last is probably a good thing). Regardless, SX is over, we can all return to being regular levels of alcoholic-ness and taco consumption and maybe actually sleep a little and walk a little less. Speaking of, is it possible to get more and less healthy at the same time? Because all those miles walked have to count as some sort-of workout, but mixed with ounces drunk and pounds of tacos consumed...not so sure.

Now that the SouthBeast is good 'n slain, it also means the online portion of The Deli is back in full swing. We've been goin' hard as nails on the street at South By Southwest this year, and if you were there, you probably saw somewhere between one and five billion of our print issues, and maybe even our exhibits of synthesizers and stompboxes at the Convention Center, or our showcase with magazine cover-gracer and electronic wizard Roger Sellers. If you did pick up a magazine, or came by one of our events, The Deli thanks you and your wonderful, sexy, good-taste-having self very muchly.

To usher in the post-SXSW year (we might as well just call the day after SX the New Year on the Austin Calendar system), we've got somethin' quite good for your ears that's also appropriate to what we saw this year at SX. Quite happily for us at The Deli Austin, SXSW 2015 saw what this writer believes was the most hip-hop of the highest quality that the festival has ever seen. This has been a long time coming, and whatever made it happen (people finally realizing there's an audience for it here? less indie acts shoved into the fest by a smaller corporate presence?), we're goddamn glad that this city is finally coming around in at least some ways to hip-hop. With that in mind, we present Malik, a young homegrown hip-hopper that's just the newest and freshest entry into the already excellent and underrated Austin hip-hop canon.

Malik's dropped three tracks in the last month on Soundcloud, and listening across the three you can get a taste for what this kid can do and what he's got to offer. And what Malik has to offer is smart, attractive hip-hop. From the most recent track, the chronologically-named "March 9th," you know that he's music aware, with that beat based on a sample from classic Outkast ("Vibrate"). You know from track "On My Own" that Malik can toe that Drake-associated pop/hip-hop line, but that Malik falls more firmly on the hip-hop side while hittin' the pop bullseye just as nicely as the Degrassi vet. And you know from all three tracks that the man can spit quite clever and thoughtful, with lines like "I can't lie, you the baddest that I ever seen/But it's sad to say that your tree of life is far from evergreen," on track "Life." It looks like Malik is about to drop more music soon, so get up to speed below with "On My Own" and keep a lookout for more from this top-notch example of the Austin hip-hop world. SXSW 2015 is just a start; there's a hell of a lot more hip-hop to come from this town going forward.

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