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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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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!


Hello Dharma takes the stage at Velvet Lounge on 8.30

A sputtering drum rhythm with a blazing guitar riff shimmies open “Disconnect,” a bright, spunky track layered with warm, raspy vocals and jovial abandon on Hello Dharma’s EP Disconnectionism (streaming below). The Virginia-based band cites Rooney, Arctic Monkeys, and 90’s grunge as influence and it is clearly evident in their EP, whose tracks shift from the bubbling alt rock (“Disconnect”) to a more chaotic and broody grunge-centric number (“Vitamin” and “Anabelle Leaves”). Whether melodic and effervescent or gloomy and aggressively in your face, Hello Dharma doesn’t shy away from going full throttle in each and every song, giving you no choice but to jump and sing along every step of the way. Catch Hello Dharma shake things up at Velvet Lounge on August 30 and listen to them below. - Adriana S. Ballester

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The Galaxy Electric play U Street Music Hall (7.22) and DC Nine (8.2)

Have you ever wondered what would happen if all the toys in a kids playchest came to life? Plastic trains chugging along faithfully in a circle, lights twinkling, and robots beeping into existence– what little mayhem would they cook up? Music, that’s what, and it would sound exactly like The Galaxy Electric. True to their name, Galaxy Electric sounds much like the universe in a child’s room woke up, some light switch magically flipped on. The electric tinkling and spacey synths can almost call to mind brilliant hues of neon blues and magentas blinking on and off, coaxing us to fall down their temporal rabbit hole and diving into the electronic dreams sonically curated by some warped fusion of The Doors and Broadcast–the psychedelic textures of the former melded with the gentle vocal touch and space age pop sensibilities of the latter. A truly trippy experience to listen to make sure you catch their live performance at U Street Music Hall tonight and at DC Nine on August 2. - Adriana S. Ballester


Dear Creek plays DC Nine on 7.19

There’s a delicate yet powerful force driving Dear Creek’s music, a Virginia-based band that fuses Indie folk, blues, jazz, and rock’s feel-good qualities into one sleek and melodious package. The compositional simplicity allows for X’s gentle vocals to soar over the vibrant guitar strums, creating a sense of sincerity and serenity that permeates each track. The languorous pace infuses each track with a subtle touch of melancholy, creating levels of textures in songs like “So It Goes” and “Hard to Breathe.” Though a pleasant listen for long car rides and languid summer afternoons their shows are infused with vigor and an energy not to be missed. Catch Dear Creek at DC Nine on July 19 and listen below. - Adriana S. Ballester


Avers play DC Nine on 8.3

The Virginia based band Avers has been making waves recently since their performance at SXSW which got the attention from listeners and critics alike. Their roots are ingrained in psych rock but have recently been delving deeper into indie rock territory. Their recent release, OMEGA/WHATEVER, boasts an amalgam of tracks ranging from quiet, droney tunes exploring the loss of innocence as we grow to more bluesy garage rock tunes with powerhouse guitar riffs and tender vocals. With reverb laden guitars, cackling feedback and plenty of distortion to spare, texture and depth are abundant creating a sense of grandness in their music. Catch them performing at DC Nine on August 3. - Adriana S. Ballester

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