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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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Read it digitally here.

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


Music Video Premiere: "Rosary" by Troy Ramey

Singer/songwriter Troy Ramey has recently announced that pre-order for his debut EP is available through Pledge Music. Currently living in NYC, Ramey is originally from Vermont and spent a significant amount of time in the Boston area (it’s where he started his first band, and also where I initially found out about him).

Earlier this week, I was able to listen to a few tracks from the forthcoming EP. Ramey’s vocals on the single “Rosary” are nothing short of impressive. He has an incredible range and such a commanding presence in his voice that I practically never hear from “unknown” artists. This guy could sing the ABCs through a tape recorder and I’d buy his songs.

 

Music is the most subjective of experiences, so don’t just blindly believe what I have to say--take a listen (and watch) for yourselves. I am proud to announce that The Deli New England has the distinct privilege of premiering the music video for “Rosary” (directed by Andrew Ralph, Rubblebucket, Owl City video credits).

 

Click the video below and try not to be moved by the images and melodies you see and hear. Troy may still be far off the radar to many, but with songs and a video like this, that will be changing quickly.

 

For more information about Troy, check out his Facebook page. If you’re curious about his Pledge Music campaign and EP funding, you can find out more here.


-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)

 

Photo credit: Jackson Himonidis

 

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Air Traffic Controller invites you into their "House" on new single

In the midst of its country-spanning tour, Boston darlings Air Traffic Controller have released their latest single, “The House.” The bubbly summer track details the perfect house – pretty girls playing Nintendo, a band performing in the basement – over a stuttering indie pop beat. With a hook big enough to get a stadium singing along, this song is guaranteed to be fun live, but don’t take our word for it: celebrate with the band at its tour-wrapping concert at Allston’s Great Scott tomorrow night, August 26. – Jake Reed (@jakejreed)

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Pale Hands gets in the "Spirit" on forthcoming LP

Ahead of its debut LP, Spirit Lines, Somerville duo Pale Hands has released three groovy bits of dance-pop that will appear on the album. The dreamy “Fanatic” mixes sweeping synth chords and pulses with stuttering drums, while “No Stars” channels the synth-obsessed dance-pop of the 80s through the lens of modern alternative-R&B production. The latest, “Juventud,” combines the best parts of each track before it. While Spirit Lines won’t get dropped until October 28, you can check out Pale Hands at Boston En Masse on September 20. – Jake Reed (@jakejreed)

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Free Pizza finds summer love in "Net Babes"

By now I’ve heard about Free Pizza quite a bit (probably because they’ve played in my friend’s basement a few times this summer) and now I know what the hype’s all about. Premiered over at Impose Magazine, the band’s video for “Net Babes” is the perfect representation of broke 20-something romance in Boston: backyard bonfires, 40s in the park and outdoor jam sessions. The sparse, catchy bop is a great, albeit short, summer love anthem. Download it now on Bandcamp for $1 – or score a deal on the band’s Boston, MA album for just $5 – and check out the video below. – Jake Reed (@jakejreed)

Free Pizza // "Net Babes" from BUFU Records on Vimeo.

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Sorority Noise to bring the commotion to Amherst

Riding on the release of May's Forgettable LP, Hartford's Sorority Noise is heading to Amherst, MA, next Monday, August 18. Fitting to its name, the band’s lyrics span the insecurities of college life – take, for example, “When we broke up you told me to try and find myself … so I found myself in someone else's bed,” from “Dirty Ickes” – but the band’s groovy punk inspires one to dance through the darkness rather than sulk alone. Check out Sorority Noise in Massachusetts’ most famous college town alongside Three Man Cannon, Sexy Girls, The Hundred Acre Woods and Amherst folk-punks Dérive at Amherst's Unitarian Meeting House at 7 p.m. on August 18. – Jake Reed (@jakejreed)


Sundog gets "Superstitious" in new live video

Sundog may be based out of New Orleans, but it only feels appropriate to feature the one-man show on The Deli New England while he spends some quality time in Boston this summer. Alex Stein, whose songs and performances rely heavily on his loop pedal, recently premiered the live video for “Superstitious,” a track from his latest album Space Criminal. The funky track features piano, synth chords and layered bass lines that weave in and out of one another, and the video offers a look into Sundog’s process of laying down each looped track on stage. Watch the video below and download Space Criminal for $3 on Bandcamp. – Jake Reed (@jakejreed)

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THE DELI TORONTO IS ON!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

today's the day when The Deli goes international, eh! Please allow us to introduce you to... The Deli Toronto!


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