Artist of the Month

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October 2015
Shelf Life
"Everyone Make Happy
Everyone Make Happy, the debut LP from Shelf Life, via Lefse Records, finds an absorbing lyrical yet comforting instrumental balance. Scott Leitch (ex-Pirouette/recent drummer for Alex G) cultivates songs that gently sway with internal warmth, while placing listeners in a deeply personal, somber state.
Space-warping synths smoothly land on the surface in “The Curse,” the initial introduction to Everyone Make Happy. Those glowing synths fade to the background as the airy, easily-assimilated acoustic guitar provides shimmers of daylight onto the song’s anguished lyrical tone - “bathe in sister’s blood/talk to the ghost of my dad’s mom/about nothing but heaven and the cancer in her gut.”
Pushed by its percussion, “Mark II” delivers what appears as subtle instrumentation, penetrating beyond the surface as a tight bedroom-pop sound. What starts drearily - “wake me up, when my lungs, start to pump normally” - lifts the shades to the point of optimism. “There’s always something in the sunlight,” riding a casual, almost accidental groove along the way. The album continuously stares directly into sadness, observing a very real place of grief. In “Creature” with its road-worn, country-folk twang , Leitch addresses the questioning nature of a sickness as a somber cloud hangs overhead. “I ask myself what my Father would do/he’d fold his hands lean to belief/but the creature inside him is not inside of me.”
“Low Key Lumber Theft” forebodingly spirals forward as the last dashes of daylight fall below the horizon. The guitar crisply cuts through dusk, venturing further out of sight as it gains momentum and then coolly concludes. With a daydreaming-psych vibe, “Time Traveler” moves into a nostalgic familiar space, which although consoling - “I am meeting the past/it is just how I thought/I have found what I lost” - still cuts - “You had gone away.” An anecdotal throwback, “Double Dare” soaks into your mind with its direct lyricism and catchy melodies, a la Alex G, while “Sinking Just Right” lulls you into a submissive calm of internal self-doubt - “does everybody hate me, just a little, little, little bit” - drifting until your “sinking just right.”
This album delicately balances the weight of emotional darkness with a glimpse of the light, from outside pushing in through the cracks. - 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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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!

Alyeska releases powerful new track "Medicine River"

Alyeska is the recording moniker of Alaska Reid, a Montana native now based in LA with a dry, brittle-as-fine-glass vocal tonality reminiscent of contemporaries like Sharon Van Etten and Laura Marling. Her latest single, "Medicine River", is a drifting anthem that soars with an emotional freedom that allows her to cleanse herself thoroughly from all wounds. Produced by recording mastermind John Agnello, the track’s jagged guitar lines and thumping snares are accented with a newfound clarity that follows the song’s theme to move the story forward.

You can catch Alyeska play an acoustic show at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs on October 15th, followed by a full band show at the Study on October 16th.


Post-rock project The Album Leaf performing at The Wayfarer with Let's Drive to Alaska, Omniflux

OC post-rock and trip-hop fans rejoice: you can catch James LaValle's solo project The Album Leaf performing the day before Culture Collide at The Wayfarer (fka Detroit Bar, Club Mesa). Supporting LaValle are the cinematically organic North OC duo Let's Drive to Alaska, and the cathartic threnodies from Los Angeles trip-hop solo artist Omniflux.

There will be more than a few surprises tomorrow night: Omniflux is gearing up a lightshow to complement her set, Let's Drive to Alaska will be joined by dance ensemble The Grigori, and The Album Leaf will probably most likely debut some new songs of his forthcoming album, as will Let's Drive to Alaska from their new album The Fifth House. Ticket information available from The Wayfarer. - Ryan Mo

Midnight dream pop Nightjacket performs Harvard & Stone tonight, ArtNight Pasadena 10/9

The dreampop five-piece Nightjacket are opening for bi-coastal experimental outfit Guardian Ghost tonight at Harvard & Stone, with Ventura garage-rockers The Pullmen. If you haven't already, now's as good a time to check out Nightjacket with the recent buzz they've received on their fluorescent EP "Eternal Phase", a strong sign for the group's continued efforts.

For fans swamped with work and school on a Wednesday, you're in luck — they're also performing this Friday at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena at 7 and 9pm, as part of the bi-annual ArtNight Pasadena event. Both shows are free, by the way — Harvard & Stone is 21+ with strong drinks and cabin décor, and ArtNight opens up 21 galleries and institutions for eye candy to go along with your ear candy.

Need a refresher? Listen to "The Right Way To Fall" before you head out. - Ryan Mo

Cry to Liphemra's newest post-breakup single from Future Gods

The experimental pop act Liphemra just dropped the title track to their upcoming EP "did u cry", and it is so lit. Gradients of fuzz drone, sliced loops, synth pads, and bass licks kick up the turbulence as singer/percussionist Liv Marsico lets loose a torrent of reverb between the verses. Guitarist Trey Findley conjures abrasive wails and honeyed cries as bassist Miles Gray and drummer Chris Parise play off the groove with dead accuracy. This interplay of hip hop and noise builds into a massive sonic whirlwind, receding as Marsico brazenly asks the question: "Did you even cry? / Did you even try?"

The simple verse recalls the sheer emotional weight of post-breakup feels, as crushing as the instrumental monument built and razed before it.

"You break up... Never talk again. You just want to know if they cried," says Marsico of the song.

The team has been holed up in their Mid City rehearsal space for the better part of the year, painstakingly recording and producing the EP after a brilliant string of performances with Algiers, Young Fathers, HOLY CHILD, and appearances at Lolipalooza and Echo Park Rising. Liphemra is at the final stretch, honing their live sound to reflect the EP's brilliance — there likely won't be any further shows until early next year, says Marsico.

Expect the drop of "did u cry" next March through LA-based Future Gods- Ryan Mo, photo credit Arvida Bystrom



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