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Artist of the Month
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July 2015
Ecstatic Vision
"Sonic Praise
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Heavy-psych three-piece Ecstatic Vision conjures cosmic soundscapes with their debut LP Sonic Praise (Relapse Records). Self-ordained as “primal,” the group’s orchestration is undeniably gripping and visceral, altering the embodied state of its listener at an instant. Pressing past the tropes of genre, Sonic Praise is a hypnotic example of the outfit’s versatility. The release of Ecstatic Vision’s tripped-out LP is hopefully the first of many.
 
Beginning with the well-titled “Journey,” Sonic Praise’s opening track unfolds like a swirling chant that gradually builds to bawdy, passionate dirge filled with buzzing riffs and drums. The song’s lyricism is straightforward yet amplified by the unrelenting progression of its instrumentation. The declaration of “Journey” is unapologetic. It’s not a conversation; it’s an invitation. At its climax, the resonance of the recording brings to mind similarly transcendent tracks like Moon Duo’s “Free The Skull” or Ty Segall’s “I Wear Black.”
 
“Astral Plane” is a tentative tip of the hat to the iconic Sun Ra’s masterpiece Space Is the Place, unfolding with driving riffs and drumbeats that elicit the sensation of being transported into the ether. By the two-minute mark, “Astral Plane” is in full swing, impressive guitar work resounding as the track’s earlier established foundation persists. Each component of the song’s structure expands as frontman Doug Sabolick’s vocals urge listeners to “Look in the mirror and tell yourself/this is the place to be.” Undoubtedly indicative of the cosmos (metaphorically or literally), “Astral Plane” is trancelike, with its instrumentation possessing the power to cast a psychedelic spell that lingers well past the song’s end. Nearly thirty seconds shy of thirteen minutes of length, the temporal duration of the recording is as well warranted as it is executed. “Don’t Kill The Vibe” is equally shamanistic, with riffage that feels psychotropic. The LP’s title track, “Sonic Praise,” begins with primeval distortion comprised of oscillating tempos and forlorn chants. The effect of its prelude is mesmerizing, dark, and strangely beautiful. Thematically cult like, “Sonic Praise” is satisfyingly otherworldly, seducing its listener to give in to Ecstatic Vision’s melodic ethos without hesitation. 
 
Sonic Praise’s final anthem “Cross the Divide” extends the mysticism of the album’s narrative, ending Ecstatic Vision’s debut on a plane similar to where it began - one of enlightenment and pure rock 'n' roll. - Dianca London Potts

 

 

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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!


Jenn Wasner (of Wye Oak and Flock of Dimes) schedules Baltimore show for 9/26, is working on a new record, and is releasing some stellar collabs

Baltimore's Jenn Wasner doesn't need much of an introduction, she's made quite an impact both locally and internationally with her experimental electo-lyrical duo Wye Oak and solo project Flock of Dimes. Wye Oak's "Shriek" was one of the standout indie records of 2014 - since then Wasner has been touring with the fantastic Sylvan Esso, getting her next solo release ready, and working with Andy Stack on new band material. None of her new songs are available online yet, but if you make it to one of her live shows you'll most certainly hear what's in the works. Flock of Dime's next Baltimore show isn't until September 26th at Druid Hill Park, but if you're as impatient as we are you might enjoy some sonic treats to tide you over. Warner has been releasing some killer collaborations, one being a dark pop song called "Automatic" with producer Alan Wilkis on his project Big Data. Wasner brings her dream-gloom magic into a more traditional pop set up, delivering cryptic hooks like "Here I am, Don't you want me to do it again?". Sylvan Esso's lead Amelia Meath, having started her career in the primarily a cappella trio Mountain Man, is no stranger to finding haunting harmonies. When Wasner and Meath get together to take in and take on Gillian Welch's "Everything is Free" in a video for The A.V. Club's cover series, they cast a spell. This can't really be described. I hope you'll give it a watch, especially if it's been a while since you've gotten shiver-skin from hearing something beautiful. - Leora Mandel

Song starts at 0:30


Wildhoney plays show with fellow Baltimore band/Deli artist of the month nominee Big Mouth TONIGHT at The Penthouse

Quick, let your hot date know there's a change in plans tonight because at 9:30 at The Penthouse Baltimore's total dreamboat Wildhoney will be playing a show on a diverse lineup with bands from Baltimore, North Carolina, and Britain. It's kind of your chance for one of those summer of love dance scenes you've always sneered at in movies but secretly practiced in your bedroom. But if you don't catch them tonight before they continue on their U.S. tour with Spook School, you'll have more chances when they play DC9 Nightclub in DC on 6/25 and Metro Gallery in Baltimore 10/07 (plenty of time to plan for that one). Wildhoney's latest 3-song record, "17 Forever", gets pretty and gritty with the band's swooning, atmospheric blend of lo-fi shoegaze and post-punk. The title fits a collection of songs that glitter and brood through a teenage girl's daydream. Airy vocal harmonies delightfully steer through surrounding storms of percussion, warm fuzz/bass, distancing reverb, and slicing guitars. They've been killing it in the past few months : a tour with Whirr, a new music video, and they've announced their next EP is due out later this year. Keep at it guys, we'll be keeping an ear out!

- Leora Mandel

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This week DC's art-pop rockers Pree release music video for "The Dog" and play Brooklyn's Northside Festival

DC's art-pop rockers Pree released a video today for "The Dog", their single from that great fancy-dancy record they put out this May, "Rima". The video features lead songbird, May Tobol, doing something many of us would never consider -- following a strange clown into dark alleyways and empty playgrounds. Together they explore spinning colors, magical swings, and strange signs on the wall while the song's narrator explains a tipsy-turvy world and a desire to escape into someone else's shelter using a pity story : "time to climb/ into the cab and take a drive.../guess I needed another pair of eyes/ so I woke them when I made it to your door/ "I lost my dog"--you let me in/ although I know/ I've told you that before." This is a solid album with funk, psychedelic, and blues explorations, electronic decorations, displays of lyrical and vocal strength, warm choral flushes, and occasional distortion. Whenever they've been asked to describe themselves they've never left out the word colorful. Check out the video bellow, and if you haven't given "Rima" a listen, get on it! Pree will be playing Brooklyn's Northside Festival this week (congrats!) before returning home.

- Leora Mandel

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Baltimore band on the rise: Raindeer plays NYC's Northside Fest

Baltimore Raindeer's latest EP 'You Look Smashing' (released this past January) is a truly original and quirky work of lighthearted indie pop with influences ranging from 60's psychedelia to dream pop, filtered through a very personal musical lens. Recently the band has landed a series of festival gigs, including one at Scapescape this past weekend and at NYC's Northside Fest tomorrow (06.11). Check out single "This is Rock'n'Roll," which is not really Rock'n'Roll, but it's nonetheless a lot of fun.

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