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Artist of the Month
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April 2016
The Original Crooks and Nannies
"Ugly Laugh
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The Original Crooks and Nannies follow-up to 2015’s Soup For My Girlfriend begins with the sputtering staccato of “Call It Good.” The track’s rhythmic pulse collides flawlessly with Madeline Rafter’s vocals and buzzing synth, supported by a backbeat tailor-made for the dance floor. The album’s opener prepares its listener with ease for the pulsating energy of “Carry Me,” a heartfelt melody that brings to mind the romantics of Matt and Kim or the twee-drenched lyricism of Mates of State. The track’s sentiments are earnest, amplified simultaneously by urgent diction and humming chords. “Carry Me” is a living testament to The Original Crooks and Nannies’ ability to craft love songs so cathartic that it hurts.
 
Similarly, the unabashed desperation of “Throw Out” followed by the electro-hum of “Television” suitably precedes the tangibly raw frustration of “Dates.” For Rafter and her bandmate, Sam Huntington, drinking poison and having smashed teeth proves to be a more desirable fate than going on a date. Even in its state of exaggeration, the track is a potential artifact of our contemporary moment, depicting romance in the age of Tinder and the banality of #netflixandchill. It’s a critique with a memorable hook.
 
“Ghost” is suitably haunting with lines like “I can make you feel/I can make you feel much better” and crashing riffs and cymbals. The narrative of the song, like its namesake, will linger in your mind long after its heartfelt and nearly ethereal end. The intimacy of “Ghost” is transformed into a cinematic nostalgia in “Shake Hands.” Breathing to life an account of suburban antics and shared memories, Rafter and Huntington’s duet-esque ballad is irresistibly sweet, even for the most jaded listener, preparing its audience for the forthright emotives equally fervent in “Crying at the Dog Park.”
 
The woozy start of “Central Heating” and the narrative blends effortlessly into Ugly Laugh’s final track “Holy Wreck.” The album’s closer is an intimate confession paying homage to failures, flaws, and limitations. It’s a veneration of vulnerability and the beauty that can be found between fractures. “Holy Wreck,” much like the songs that precede it, is introspective, a melodic mirror reflecting the complexities of emotion and the adjacent irony of love, making Ugly Laugh the quintessential album that you didn’t know you were waiting for. It begs to be replayed again and again. - Dianca London

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philadelphia

Ticket Giveaway: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, Saintseneca, and Little Scream at Underground Arts This Saturday

Deli folkies, you do not want to sleep on the talent-filled lineup coming together this Saturday, April 16 at Underground Arts, featuring Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, Saintseneca, and Little Scream. It will be chill and beautiful. To enter for a chance to win a pair of tix, just send an email to thedelimagazinephiladelphia@gmail.com with the subject line "Folkin' A!" Please also include your cell number in the body of the message (in case of an emergency). Good luck!

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New Track: "ACD (Abscessive Compulsive Disorder)" - Nothing

Sustained somber and a smattering of the drum skins dictate the tone of “ACD (Abscessive Compulsive Disorder)”, the new single from Philly's own Nothing. Featured on their forthcoming album Tired of Tomorrow, which is scheduled for release on May 13 via Relapse Records, the song carries a meditative yet noisy air, with the injection of an anthemic chorus that burrows in your brain. Nothing is currently scheduled to perform next in Philly on Friday, July 8 at Union Transfer, for a belated record release show, which will also includes Culture Abuse and Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler.

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New Track: "No Such Thing" - Grubby Little Hands

Grubby Little Hands' new record, Garden Party, will be released via Lefse Records on April 29. "No Such Thing," the second single from the album, opens with a haunting stir, before catapulting into a jangly, snap-and-pop psych vibe. It’s the kind of joyful tune that ushers in the warmer temperatures with enough of a twist to keep you on your toes. Grubby Little Hands will be at Johnny Brenda’s on April 30 with Shelf Life and Cold Foamers.

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New Tangiers/Straw Hats Split EP Available for Streaming & Download

Over the weekend, local outfits Tangiers and Straw Hats issued a split EP, Is This Split. Tangiers occupy the first half of the album the chilled-out groover "Home Invasion," the blistering "Hey Mama," and the casually intense "Marijuana USA," while Straw Hats grab the reins, weaving grunge grit with a fun twist on  "Salmon," "Neighborhood Watch," and "Drones." It’s a mesh of light and heavy that meets somewhere in the middle.

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New Track: "My Mouth Is Skinned Like An Apple" - Thin Lips

The lady and gents of Thin Lips just shared their second offering from the band's forthcoming LP Riff Hard. "My Mouth Is Skinned Like An Apple" is filled with natural pop vocal melodies, which have always seemed to come effortlessly to Chrissy Tashjian (Dangerous Ponies, The Bee Team); however, the track eventually gets to the business of staying true to the group's album title. Riff Hard comes out May 20 via Lame-O Records, and Thin Lips will be celebrating its arrival that evening at Everybody Hits.

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