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September 2014
Seagulls
"Great Pine
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mp3
With spindly strings horning in the opening instrumental, “Dragoon” awakens Seagulls' debut LP Great Pine, seamlessly transitioning into “Swimmin’,” a song that is initially given a steady-footed beat around which a more intricate and illuminating composition is built generating a peaceful yet purposeful layered sound, setting the tone for what lies ahead. “You and Me” plays like a surf-folk love letter, developing a warm, earnest vocal confession, while fitting nicely with the tug and pull groove of the scratching guitar and persistent bass. The vocal harmonies provide a sweetness accompanied by reserved bursts of trumpet and accordion-like effects offer a tease of nostalgia.
 
“Love, Give” follows a similar theme as vocals, strings, and snap-percussion set a pleasant, pensive, strolling pace as echoing harmonies and backing vocals reinforce, “Love give your hands to me, for someday I’ll be on bended knee.” “Old Habits” maintains an up close lo-fi aesthetic and underlying 8-bit accents, but the perspective has changed, shining a light on the dark side of relationships and a groove that has a somewhat worn and dusty ascetic, enhancing the lyrics meaning - “Old habits, die hard or they never do/so keep lying til they all catch up to you.” A well-placed take on Big Star’s “Thirteen” incorporates the honest-loving sentiments of adolescence, falling neatly inline with the group’s heartfelt vocal honesty, while simultaneously acknowledging one of their potential influences.
 
The record’s title-track “Great Pine” serves as a breath-catching ambiance builder before the turbulent “Holy Smokes” emerges. Enlisting peaks of aggressive kick-in-the-door instrumentation - particularly percussion between smooth stretches of vocally dominant valleys - in essence, layering pieces of clear skies between moments of violent storms.
 
“Distracted” concludes Great Pine with an uplifting blanket of vocals, allowing the guitar to stretch its sea legs as the backend force steers the musical ship; holding the course. This album starts on the shore, and while there are moments where it seems destined to searchingly drift out there, Seagulls appropriately demonstrate an ability to reel it in, taking a beautiful inaugural voyage. - Michael Colavita

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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!


Cheem shows that pop punk can still be innovative on debut EP

After working on it for nearly a year, Connecticut’s Cheem released its debut EP, Elka, on September 10. The pop punk set starts off with the spunky “Chicks Love Gongs,” a track boasting two choruses basically sung at the same time. (It works to great effect though – just listen!) The mood shifts on the EP’s title track, a love song of sorts that promises “I’m never far” and details a romantic runaway over beautiful chords. Later, the band shows off its knack for catchy, tight guitar riffs on “Reward” and pushes its instrumental boundaries on the spacious outro track “Apollo.” Download Elka for free now over on the band’s Bandcamp page. – Jake Reed (@jakejreed)

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Bishop & Rook and Mutiny on the Microphone Announce Second Music Media Meet-Up

On Tuesday, September 23, Bishop & Rook and Mutiny on the Microphone’s “Getting Personal with Promotions: A Boston Music Media Event” is back for a second installment. The first “Getting Personal with Promotions” event was held back in July, but it was so well-received that the organizers decided to book a second date. The gathering is designed to bring together bookers, promoters, bands, bloggers, journalists--anyone and everyone who has an interest in or passion for the music scene in Boston and the surrounding areas. This is a great opportunity to take a couple of hours, step away from your computer and do some real social networking--I’m talking about the kind that doesn’t involve blue bird icons or a giant “Thumbs up!”


This event is free, but space is limited--in fact, July’s event sold out--so click here to reserve your space early. More info about the event can be found here.

 

-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)


 

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Show Announcement: Elephants at O'Brien's Pub September 13

This Saturday, As Built PResents & O’Brien's in Allston, MA will play host to an evening of indie-pop bliss. Boston locals Elephants will be taking the stage in support of their upcoming album release, Strange Waves. The record, which will be the group’s second, definitely reflects all of the hard work the group has put into crafting it over the past few months. Lead singer Lauren Garant appears to have mastered the art of the pop hook with the melody on the track “The Turtles Were Right”, which I was fortunate enough to get my hands on and be able to share with the fine readers of The Deli New England. So, without any further adieu, check out the link below and get ready for Saturday night!


Elephants will be joined by bellwire, Everything and Everyone and The Original Cowards. Doors are at 8PM, $8 cover for the bands and it’s 21+ (with proper ID, of course). For more info on Elephants (and to follow updates about the release of Strange Waves), check out their Facebook page.


-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)

 

 

 


Photos: Fourth Boston Calling Music Festival is yet another success

Despite heavy rain pausing Saturday's festivities, this year's second Boston Calling Music Festival – and the fourth overall – was once again a success. What sets the live showcase apart from other festivals, aside from its unique array of talents, is its location: instead of an open field, Boston Calling takes place on City Hall Plaza, in the heart of downtown and dwarfed by the taller buildings surrounding it.

While Saturday’s storm led to the cancellation of sets by Volcano Choir (the latest project of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon) and mash-up artist Girl Talk, Lorde and Childish Gambino ended the night on a triumphant note. Each given a 50-minute set, the two boasted the most energetic performances and youngest crowds of the weekend. “What you’ve done here tonight … is pretty special,” the 17-year-old songstress told the audience after they stuck it out to see her perform.

Luckily, the inclement weather steered clear of the festival on Friday and Sunday, with Neutral Milk Hotel and The National closing Friday night each with its own brass section, while Nas and The Roots finished off the festival on Sunday. Sunday’s lineup also included punk legends The Replacements and psychedelic newcomers White Denim.

Check out The Deli New England’s photo album from the weekend over on Flickr and make sure to keep posted at the Boston Calling website so you can be amongst the first to swipe tickets for the festival’s May edition.

-Jake Reed (@jakejreed)

Photos by Monica Kwan


Miss Geo Brings Their Dance Party to Great Scott September 10

You don’t have to be a seasoned electronic music aficionado to recognize that Miss Geo has a talent for writing incredibly catchy songs. Covered in 80s-style synths and sweet vocal melodies, the most recent offering from the Boston-based electro-pop duo appeals to a wide audience. My favorite track off of their self-titled EP would have to be “After School”, with it’s mesmerizing, almost hypnotic bridge/chorus of “You built this scene, You made this dream, it’s velveteen, it’s rock n’ roll.” Blended together with spacey synth lines, it practically lulled me to sleep with images of some kind of fantastic hipster dance party.

You won't find this track online though--you'll have to pick up a copy at one of their shows. And wouldn’t you know, they have one coming up soon! Their next show is September 10, at Great Scott in Allston, MA. Tickets are available online here. Be sure to stop in and pick up a copy of the EP and check out the songs for yourself!


For more information about the band, check out their website.


-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)

 

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Sundog touches down in Boston in new live video

Our latest Artist of the Month is an astronaut with a loop pedal. Are you intrigued yet? Filmed in Boston, Sundog’s latest live video for “The Prairie” finds him sitting comfy in a city basement with a ukulele, microphone, drum machine and his signature looper (and, lest I forget, a bottle of Jameson nearby). On the track, a mesmerizing beat and Sundog’s soulful pipes are joined by a toy piano around the 3:30 mark, a slightly off-key surprise that even more surprisingly … fits. If you like what you hear, download Sundog’s latest album on Bandcamp now, and make sure to check out the recently released video for “The Wasted” featuring Jonathan Brown. – Jake Reed (@jakejreed)

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The Sharpest takes an indefinite break as drummer moves to Calgary

After announcing an indefinite hiatus and playing their last show for the foreseeable future, I would like to say congratulations to the Sharpest on a successful run – and good luck to drummer Matt Huszar as he tries out something new in Calgary! In Amherst, Massachusetts, the band became a staple of basement shows and had fans throughout the Pioneer Valley, especially at UMass Amherst. I had the honor of playing alongside the psychedelic indie trio at both my former band Red Panda’s album release show in 2013, during which they broke a television onstage, and at my high school graduation party, where their set was promptly ended by the police. I’ve been a fan ever since a friend showed me “She's Painting” four years ago, and the guys’ take on math rock certainly inspired a lot of our band’s writing. Although the band is calling it quits for now, you can still check out their catalog over at Bandcamp and hope that we haven't officially heard the last from them.

 

Jake Reed (@jakejreed)

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