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Artist of the Month
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April 2015
Sandcastle
"Skull Cauldron
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Skull Cauldron, Sandcastle’s latest LP, is a sojourn into a dimly lit wilderness. Recorded as a quartet (with the group moving forward without Micah Edwards) at West Philly’s Sex Dungeon, these songs pull you ever deeper into the thick of it with their hauntingly infectious sense of urgency and balance.
 
Album opener, “Atlantis Trance,” percolates as the guitar, bass, and drums tightly co-exist in a relaxed yet spring-loaded groove that is reminiscent to classic Talking Heads, while the quick-paced, tongue-twisting vocals run through a hypnotic, mythical tale. Continuing in a similar vain, “Wolf With No Eyes” is led by a spiraling guitar riff, reinforced with acoustic strums and low end that conjures ups an atmosphere of danger, climbing into the chorus: “Think I’m obsessive compulsive/I think I’ll think myself to death/Need a therapist or an alchemist to toxify my mind I guess.” This subtle searching of mental anguish grabs a hold of the listener, cautiously traversing the exploratory musical terrain. Casually, one slips into “Datura” as Sam Kassel’s secretively whispered vocals gain a foothold amid an up-tempo guitar-percussion combo that runs forward in fits and then lays back before a guitar burst leads you through the finish line.
 
“Wonder Where She Goes” has that catchy, restrained guitar plucking that lays down the foundation of its composition. As Kassel contemplates, “Am I too late for the ghost train? Am I too dumb for another plane?” The song appears on the cusp of breaking loose, but then steps back for a moment, until finally the pressure boils over. “And I can’t find, I can’t find the way/the way she walks when she walks away…”
 
“Evergreen” is a multifaceted tune that initially rides its acoustic guitar riff as Kassel prophesizes, “If I were a knight, I would be the Green Knight, I would be the Green Knight, and you’d be my Green Lady,” before it lands in a full stable of smoldering instrumentation. Then, the song transitions into a higher gear, led by the quickened pace of the guitar running anxiously ahead, while being propelled forward by the bass before falling back to that almost blues-rock zone with the thudding bass invigorating the track into an open-field mad dash. “Pterodactyls” sits in the shadows, marinating in an ominous tone of preparation for battle. It’s a clear yet heart-racing endeavor as bright injections of acoustic guitar serve as glimpses of daybreak.
 
“Medicine Song” creates a stir with its immediate fresh out of the blocks surge, dashing ahead for an abbreviated sprint, tempering off and then throwing caution to the wind when the final stretch is in sight. “Souls” puts the understated spoken vocals to prime use, developing a ghostly creeping self-aware vibe as the instruments tightly pulse around the unrelenting bass. The song takes turns jolting forward while refueling with reflective cool-down breaks as the song deals with the distance game of a relationship. “Yeah, sometimes she goes far away/Sometimes I get in her face/Yeah, even though we’re jaded/I still wanna play the game.”
 
The final chapter of the record, the adventurously forest-wandering instrumental “Drink Deep of the Skull Cauldron,” quixotically bookends the album. It’s an intoxicating concoction as Sandcastle marches forward as a four-piece beyond the menacing tree line. - Michael Colavita 

This is a preview of the new Deli charts - we are working on finalizing them by the end of 2013.


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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!


Antique Naked Soul and Nikki Borodi Support Fantastic Negrito at New Parish TONIGHT

Oakland based R&B soul pop band, Antique Naked Soul will be performing tonight at New Parish in support of the Oakland based soul band, Fantastic Negrito. You might have heard about Fantastic Negrito as he and his musical outfit recently won NPR's Tiny Desk Concert Contest, winning him a lot of media adoration and music industry attention. You can check out why Fantastic Negrito was able to beat out over 7,000 other bands and musicians for NPR'S winning title TONIGHT.

Get there early to check out the San Francisco based soul music and "chakra rock" artist, Nikki Borodi. This may be one of your last chances to see Fantastic Negrito perform in an intimate venue because his career is rising to new heights! Don't miss this show!


Album Review: The Spiral Electric: Upon Your Shore EP

The San Francisco based neo psych revivalist band, The Spiral Electric has recently released their debut EP entitled, Upon Your Shore EP. The album opens with a heavy washed out stream of sound that creates waves of low end that includes a bass line dancing around a droney intro before morphing into a new movement of music that resembles the melody style of The Small Faces and The Dandy Warhols. The album meanders into the third track, Take the Drop which draws from a Latin psych style and moves away from highlighting the lead vocals of Clay Andrews, and showcases the band's instrumental psych rock compositional skills. Never Forget is a classic Spiral Electric song that has been played live a number of times. The slow ballad is sure to bring comfort and nostalgia to the band's loyal music community and fans.

The album's final song, Envy takes on the classic Paisley Underground sound mixed with Spiral Electric's subtle flare and their uncanny Brian Jonestown Massacre influence. Upon Your Shore EP is a great debut release that opens a lot of doors for the band to build upon what is already a strong and focused musical foundation.

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Michael Bang, Even Taylor and Pelicanopolis Perform at Awaken Café - 4/24

Oakland based avant classical folk musician, Michael Bang will be performing with his band at Awaken Café in Oakland on April 24th. Michael Bang is a unique string based musician that will surely awaken your appreciation for experimental string music. Even Taylor is much more of a traditional acoustic musician, creating beautifully written folk ballads that are drenched with a smooth melodious voice. Pelicanopolis has a bit of a laid back Lou Reed-esque acoustic style, rounding out this eclectic acoustic line up that will intrigue you if not totally inspire you to make music that is very far left from the mainstream.

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Day Wave Releases New Track - Drag

Oakland based indie pop artist, Day Wave (also known as Jackson Phillips, who moon lights as one half of the popular electro pop band, Carousel) has released a new single entitled, Drag. This daydreamy modern pop ballad has a light and airy vibe to it, but its lyrical content is basically about being in a bad mood and not wanting to ruin other people's day.

It takes a lot of talent to be able to write about gloomy subject matter and still make a song listenable and likable. Day Wave is very good at that. Take a few spare moments to listen to this new track below:

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