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August 2014
A Sunny Day in Glasgow
"Sea When Absent
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Sea When Absent (Lefse Records) opens like a shoegaze-y car crash. The latest album from A Sunny Day in Glasgow doesn’t bother gradually layering melodic elements; they get right to business from millisecond one, hitting you with reverberating electronic tones, orchestral violins, and the crooning vocals of Jen Goma and Annie Fredrickson. It’s a weirdly aggressive move for such an intensely soulful LP, but it’s pretty emblematic of how the record works as a whole. For an album as focused at creating moments of subtle beauty, Sea When Absent doesn’t have the time to let you gradually pick up on it on your own. A Sunny Day in Glasgow is the rare type of band that takes beauty and emotional resonances and waves it around like a chair in a bar fight.
 
In the strictest possible sense, this is a shoegaze-psychedelic-electronica album with a particular emphasis on vocals. But the more you listen; the more you start to discover what a diverse series of musical influences are rattling around in there. Mixing the electronica stylings of Flying Lotus and Saltillo with the indie-pop elements of bands like Death Cab and Phantogram, the basis is a percussion of grungy electronic tones, topped with a combination of guitar and synth, adding just the right balance, while being mixed in with a cavalcade of classical instruments and outlandish effects.
 
But the crown jewel of the album is Goma and Fredrickson’s understatedly gorgeous vocals. They play off, sometimes bizarre, instrumentations perfectly, complimenting them while also adding a fulcrum of relative normalcy to Sunny Day’s outside-the-box compositions. This is what really gives the album its sense of slick melancholy, creating an ambience of stylish vulnerability in tracks like “Byebye Big Ocean (The End),” where there is a sense of crooning sorrow, while “Oh I’m A Wrecker” sees them go much farther into the indie-pop paradigm.
 
While this record maintains the complexity and delightful weirdness of past A Sunny Day in Glasgow albums, it also comes with a newfound sense of clarity, in great part due to the outside production of Jeff Zeigler (of The War on Drugs and Kurt Vile fame). Zeigler is able to successfully piece together the moving parts of this bi-continental band, with mastermind Ben Daniels orchestrating things from the other side of the world in Australia, making the album’s abrupt left turns from spacey psychedelics to grounded punk-pop a little easier to digest. The wealth of ideas rarely feels busy or forced. Sea When Absent is ultimately proof that weird doesn’t necessarily have to mean messy. 

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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!


Congratulations to Wings of Apollo for Winning NIMA's Best Rock Band Award

NIMA had its eighth-annual awards ceremony on August 24th at The Listening Room Cafe.  Wings of Apollo took home an award not only for "Best Rock Band," but also "Best Live Rock Performers." We wrote about the epic scope of their EP "By Force" earlier this summer, and we're thrilled that the trio has received some of the recognition they deserve, though we understand that WOA recieved this award only because there was no "RAWK" category. Wings of Apollo understand that making it as a band is a many-fronted campaign, involving not only patience and persistence, but also many, many more backflips than one would ever anticipate.  Catch them in all their headdressed, moustached and shirtless glory at The Rutledge on Friday, September 12th.  -Terra James-Jura

 

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Harrison B Releases Video for "Me"

Harrison B just released this video for single "Me." The track upholds his glam mashup of rock and soul, and allows his supersonic vocal ability takes front and center. The band's groove tsunami is evocative of Lenny Kravitz, but their random sense of humor makes this video. Granted, there's not too much of a differentiation between his battling representations of Ego and Consience aside from sunglasses and lighting (is there ever?), but it's a fun ride with enough searing looks and flowing locks to fill a Harlequin paperback. This video coincides with the band's return to the Lower 48 after a stint in Alaska, so keep eyes peeled for a local show at www.jordan-baron.squarespace.com. -Terra James-Jura

 

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Show Alert: Penicillin Baby at the 5-Spot 8.29

It's been a minute since Penicillin Baby showed their psychedelic skin on a Nashville stage; as in, almost two months. This is not to say that slice of summer was not occupied with tours and studio time. In fact, this blitzkrieg of activity has been the status quo for the foursome since the release of their debut 7" in May.  The band managed work on a full-length album and put a few miles on their van playing to hipster masses from Kentucky to New York, who seem to have the same appetite for slightly skewed trip-pop as Nashville does.  Friday's show at the 5-Spot is the start of a string of Tennessee shows, though not all dates can boast a lineup with the likes of Canadians-on-eternal-summer-holiday (do they call it 'holiday' up there?) Shark Week, slacker-rock-revivalists Sundonistas and Laurel Canyon mutts Bear in the Campsite.  The show starts at 9, and cover is $5.  Below is the video for their seasonally-appropriate ode to wasted time "Not Getting Any Younger." -Terra James-Jura

http://penicillinbaby.com/

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Sweaters, "Beggars"

Let this track kick off your week. Sweaters was founded by brothers Adam Sweaters and Jason Lankford, who went on to add four more members, resulting in a big rich sound and small army of voices to harmonize with. “Beggars” has a meaty, 60’s pop slant to it. Its infectious creep in no way sets you up for “Good Ghost,” the b-side of their EP. It’s a soft, sighing riff on du-wop, with a chorus culminating with the line “I’m dead-“ that could be perfectly fitting on this Monday morning, especially if those fluorescent office lights are a little too bright for your hangover. Sweaters are having a tour kickoff show at The 5 Spot on September 3rd with The Sudonistas, Saturday Night Special, and David Ohney. –Terra James-Jura

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Coy Branan Album Release Show at The High Watt 8.23

Anyone on the East side of Nashville may have passed by the mural of Cory Branan's mug and the words "Listen to Cory Branan" floating right above.  If that is not enough to turn some ears on to his cache of rapid-fire and heartrendingly candid Americana, maybe the title track of his brand new album will. "No Hit Wonder" not only expounds on the hardscrabble struggle of, well, probably anyone walking around East Nashville, but also also has The Hold Steady's Craig Finn and Steve Selvidge lending background vocals.  The strain of living is a constant throughout the album, but it's articulated with deft lyricism and transmitted via Branan's marvelously warm and unmistakable vocals. Another theme is the outpouring of love from the Nashville music community in the form of contributions from Jason Isbell, Austin Lucas, Caitlin Rose and Tim Easton. If that's not enough to get someone to listen to Cory Branan, his album release show at The High Watt this Saturday (tickets avaiable here) should convert any laggers.  It promises to be a doozie: Branan will be accompanied with a full band and "very special guests." And if, after all this, someone still decides not to listen to Cory Branan, The Deli poses this question: what the hell are you doing in Nashville? -Terra James-Jura

Seriously, listen to Cory Branan.

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Devan DuBois Releases Debut Album "Le Fou"

Wowee; you know something is good when it rocks you and leaves you a little shaken up.  Maybe it was just the frames of a snake coiling around Devan DuBois' hand, or maybe it was the never-broken tension that climbs in his video for "Long Live" that made me rewatch it a few times trying to figure out why my skin was crawling just a wee bit.  It could be that the video's stark black and white spaghetti Westernisms conjured up some associations with Jim Jarmusch's "Dead Man," and... that's a journey I'm not quite ready to take again. Anyway, it's a great visual complement to DuBois' hyperactive sweep of Southern rock. His debut album, "Le Fou" (French for "The Fool") was just released on August 19th on Sensibility Music. With a hip-hop mind in it's beatmaking but a definite twang resonating throughout, it ought to be a primer on how genres should combine.  -Terra James-Jura

 

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The Ignorist, "There is No Vacancy"

The Ignorist came to me at a time when I've been going aggro on weights at the gym with Archers of Loaf's "Vee Vee" as a soundtrack. So my ears were primed for an instant affinity with their slacker vibe and every-which-way skew of their guitars. The vocals never reach Bachmann-levels of agitation, but instead retain a slightly detached composure throughout their debut release, "There is No Vacancy." Below is "I Know They're Blue," which should offer some consolation to anyone who misses 1994 (also, if you have ten minutes to invest, also check out "Hotel Ok," to hear how the track eventually dissolves around one guitar lick feeding on its own dejection.) The album is availabel via Cdbaby, iTunes and Google Play, although The Ignorist do not have any upcoming shows announced at the moment in case you wanted to get your sticky fingers around a physical copy from a physical band member. Keep an eye out for any changes to this situation at their Facebook page. -Terra James-Jura

The Ignorist submitted their music for review HERE.

 

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