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Artist of the Month
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July 2016
Spring Onion
"Please Relax
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Catherine Dwyer, also known as the guitarist for the alt-rock outfit Sports, offers fans the perfect soundtrack for summer feelings with the release of her solo EP Please Relax. Recorded under the moniker Spring Onion, her new album is DIY at its best. Mostly written and recorded within the walls of her Philadelphia home, Please Relax is an intimate portrait of yearning, infused with dream-pop nostalgia, heartfelt riffs, and candid poetics.

 

“Egg (Driving Song),” the EP’s opener, unfolds with an Aimee Mann-meets-Girlpool earnestness. Telling the story of a commute clouded by desire, the song is a catchy confessional, with lines like “I'm sorry for what I said and didn't say” and “I'll write songs about my flaws/cause that's a way to self absolve.” The lo-fi grit of Dwyer’s anthem instantly tugs at the heartstrings, transforming even the most jaded listener into a hopeful romantic with each iteration of its fuzzed-out beats.

 

That sentiment is extended on "Chili". Twangy chords are quickly followed by Dwyer’s straightforward but evocative vocals, bringing to mind Built To Spill’s “Carry the Zero” and B-sides by indie darlings like The Babies. The track, although laidback, is unflinchingly sincere, the steady build of its instrumentation, urging its audience to actively listen and exist in the moment. The hissing snare and piano of “Poem 3 (Piano)” cast a similar spell, making each reprise of “but I don’t live alone” a testament to the millennial plight of finding solace in a shared space, while the EP’s title track and atmospheric closer serves as a suitably melodic mantra to calm the anxieties and emotional side effects of living.

 

Despite its brevity, the openness of Please Relax is astonishingly raw and brave. Listening to her songs will remind you that you’re not alone. - Dianca London

 


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ZILLA to bring fresh, contemporary soul to Middle East (tonight!) 7/28

Sometimes when a band gets experimental, the result has the unfortunate tendency to be too much like a lab experiment. The music is usually definitely still avant and interesting but stuck with feeling of being manufactured, rather than organic. None of this, however, applies to soul outfit Zilla. The Boston group's latest EP Dream State sounds like a home-cooked meal tastes, with songs seemingly proportioned by what feels right rather than what any cookbook has to say. There's also a distinctly vintage quality to the project, especially in rhythm section and vocals, but it never feels derivative due to Zilla's ability to repurpose them in inventive arrangements and mathy tempos. For a fresh take on soul, check out the EP below, and if you still need plans for this evening yoy can see Zilla live tonight, 7/28, at Middle East.

 —Henry Solotaroff-Webber

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The Rare Occasions to release new EP 8/13, go on east coast tour

 As it's developed over the years, the garage-rock genre, and it's variations, has grown to include many types of music, and none know this better than Boston by-way-of Providence group The Rare Occasions. Instead of opting to section themselves off into one of the genre's many corners, the band instead embraces its multi-faceted nature wholeheartedly, and play tunes that fall anywhere on the spectrum between swampy pop all the way to harder, dischordant punk. Because of this it's hard to know what to expect off of their forth-coming EP Futureproof, due out August 13th, aside from it should be eclectically electric.  The Rare Occasions are going on an east coast tour in support of their new EP, indluding a release show at The Middle East on 8/13. —Henry Solotaroff-Webber


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!


Body English brings folk-prog to Middle East on 7/31

While the "prog-rock band" label is generally reserved for artists with alt-rock leanings and a fondness for the rock of the '70s, Boston's Body English are just as, if not more so, deserving of such a title. Instead of disconstructing alt-rock and putting it back together, the six-piece band applies the process to balladic folk-rock.  The result is a vortex of melodies old and new, with classical elements peppered in as well, that satisfies due to its ability to come across as intimately familiar while being innovative at the same time. You can catch them live at The Middle East on 7/26. - Henry Solotaroff-Webber, Photo Credit: Chris Anderson


Mammal Dap kicks off New England tour tonight (07.27) in Burlington

North Hampton psych-fusion experts Mammal Dap will be making a triumphant return to the road tonight (July 27) at the Radio Bean in Burlington, VT, followed by a small set of dates around New England and New York in July and August. If you like the ‘80s, synthesizers, lush chords, thinking about outer space, good vibes, the ‘90s, and seriously nice dudes, this band is for you. Each show they’ve played has delighted the crowd with upbeat grooves, positive vibes, danceable jams, lightly psychedelic melodies, and a sound so tight you may as well assume it’s vinyl. It’s been a while since we’ve seen the Dap come this far north, and it should be a real treat to get a FREE concert at the Radio Bean on Wednesday, July 27 at 11:30, as well as in Portsmouth NH at the Birdseye Lounge on July 28. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear what’s been cooking in Western Mass. More tour-dates can be found here. - Dan Rome


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