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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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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!


Dannie's "Girls Time"

Sultry singer-songwriter, Dannie has found her way into my Soundcloud playlist with her debut single. Smooth vocals coupled with a down tempo feel track prove that Girls Time is reminiscent of feel good R&B seemingly from an era past. The track features a strong Hip-Hop collaboration by D.u.b.b., and together Dannie and D.u.b.b. bring the art of story telling in music to the forefront. Vocal melodies similar to 702 and Aaliyah draw the listener in to experience a new brand of R&B that is unafraid to stay true to the roots of the genre. In a time where pure R&B (in my opinion) is virtually non-existent on the airwaves, this singer-songwriter delivers a fresh perspective. She gained a fan out of me, and I look forward to watching her evolve as an artist.

Want to hear more? On September 16, the singer-songwriter plans to drop a new single entitled "Wait 4 It."    

Catch Dannie live on September 5th at 9:30pm at Box Seats Sports Bar & Grill in Fredericksburg, VA. --Opal Rose

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Interview with DC Area Deli Artist of the Month Various Eggs

The DC Area Deli caught up with Artist of the Month Various Eggs to find out more about the inspiration and process behind the creation of their first album Don't Expect Much From Others. As it turns out, an album full of songs about disappointment is anything but disappointing, for both the listener and the artist. 

"I deliberately made a scattered and ornery record with a lot of unfriendly choices. The simple piano ballad blows apart into a cacophony. The prettier songs are paired next to harsh avant-garde instrumental interludes. Imperfections were left in the performance to keep it human. The subject matter is consistently dark. I expected people to respond well to the songs on which Julie sings lead. And they have; I get overwhelming;y good feedback on those songs. But it has also been a pleasant surprise that people have listened to and liked the rest of the record. When I started getting feedback from strangers about the record’s sense of purpose, it felt pretty great to know it was understood."

Read more here, and check out the album below. --Natan Press

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Floydfest: Music and Beauty in the Mountains

Tucked away in the quiet serenity of the Virginia Mountains howls a group of over 100 musicians who gathered in the wilderness to put on a 5-day show across 10 different stages to create something unforgettable. This festival is something of a hidden gem, unlike America’s notorious music festivals full of teens and pre-teens impatiently waiting for their generations pop idols to appear. The music that plays at Floydfest is perhaps something that requires a deeper appreciation, full of folk, reggae, rock, and bluegrass, there’s no question that this festival is something of a unique experience in this day and age.

Continue reading about contributor Rohan Khanna's experience at Floydfest here

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"Back In Five" Music Video

Noleac Yahsin’s recently released music video, “Back In Five”, utilizes simplistic yet clever videography directed by Devyn Young and Alvin Daughtrey to complement Noleac Yahson's incredibly diverse sound. Beautiful vocals compliment the beat as she manages to blend rock, hip hop, R&B, trance and pop into a tightly wound electronica brand package.

You can find Noleac Yahsin on Facebook and YouTube. --Hannah Brady

 

 

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Night Kitchen Releases New Album

Night Kitchen’s Thai Iced Tea 7” is a refreshingly original two-song album. Repetitive psychedelic guitar refrains and riffs will put you in a trance, as the percussion carries you throughout the song. The minimalistic vocals, occasional synth mixed into the drums, bass and electric guitar are imaginative and energizing.

You can find Night Kitchen on Facebook and BandCamp.

--Hannah Brady

 

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The Almond Butters debut EP, From The Grave

The Almond Butters' debut EP, From The Grave, is my new favorite thing in local music (they're from Williamsburg, VA). I'm a really big fan of psych-rock, and roots music, and crazy psychedelic rootsy music. Captain Beefheart's Safe As Milk. I'm trying to think of other good examples, but my mind is busy being blown by this new EP I finally got around to listening to. If you know how amazing Safe As Milk is, then you know why I'm so mesmerized by From The Grave. I'm so happy this exists. I'm so sad that this was released on July 8th and I only got around to it now. I'm truly sorry that I'm a month late sharing this, and that we haven't all been enjoying it from the second it came out. 

Every track is a different idea. There's blues, and rock, and jazz but in a super psych-rock kinda way, and rap (yes, rap--Crackbilly, dude. Hell Yes). All kinds of fuzziness and echo and electricity and them changes coming at you from all directions. But it's not messy. This is not some Trout Mask Replica bullshit. Every song is a tight and forceful statement. It's a bit lo-fi, which is cool, but I'd love to hear what these guys put together in a serious analog studio. I can't find any upcoming live dates and this makes me sad. For now we'll have to settle for these 6 songs streaming below (and a bunch of other worthwhile stuff on their soundcloud). --Natan Press

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Barry Ratner Memorial Set

Alex Lee Ratner of Monacan Hill will be performing an acoustic set at Wing Command, tomorrow, August 7th, in memorial of his father Barry Ratner. Barry passed away yesterday, August 5th, after his battle with cancer. "I always wanted my music to be of service to someone's rough time," says Alex, "Now I realize that I need music more than ever." Music will begin around 7, and all are welcome. 

 

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