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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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Garage rockers Navy Gangs unveil first single from debut EP + play Baby's All Right on 7.25

Navy Gangs is a DIY garage rock quartet made up of Brooklyn transplants with a bio that screams rock'n'roll. The three founding members are originally from Omaha where they dropped out of high school, and took up jobs at the local zoo to save enough money to move in, with guitarist Noah Kohll’s grandmother, to New York City. Keeping the tradition of the DIY ethos alive, the band turned her home into a studio to record their debut self-titled EP. Hopefully, a book will be written about this story one day, but for now we can enjoy their musical output, which is intriguing to say the least. Recently, they premiered lead single off the EP “Special Glands” (streaming below), which features undeniably smooth and winding riffs reminiscent of Dinosaur Jr.. Its message is about self-love and finding confidence even when it seems like no one likes you. Navy Gangs will be releasing their EP on September 14th via No Roads, and - after ending a ten date tour, will be playing Baby’s All Right on July 25th! - John Honan

We added this song to The Deli's playlist of Best punk/garage songs by emerging NYC artists - check it out!


Magic in Threes ride easy on "V"

Sometimes in the summer heat all you can do is fight fire with fire, and fire is exactly what you'll find on V, the latest from instrumental soul-psych wizards Magic in Threes. The band sits back and lets the beats speak for themselves as features from DeRobert, Tujarzz, and Wally Clark take center stage. There's a heavy dose of 90's East Coast hip hop powering the whole affair, but over-indulgence isn't a problem. V is produced to a golden crisp and brings its influences into a totally modern context. -Austin Phy


Magic Picture Presents w/Evil Sword, Gavin Riley Smoke Machine & More at the FUC July 22

Tonight, Magic Pictures is conjuring a ritual assembly for us aspiring and practicing occultists at the First Unitarian Church for a celebration of music, spooky shit, and the untold magic of that lurks in the seams of reality. The show, which will supernaturally cram nine bands in the space of four hours, will be a glimpse into Magic Pictures’ conceptual crystal ball, detailing their notions of visual, musical and performance art. All bands were curated with the intent to emphasize their principles of “theatrics, spectacle, and awe,” and create an ideal context for such performances. Among the chosen group of musical conjurers is Philadelphia’s own Evil Sword, whose raggedy, minimalist, cauldron-stirring incantations are an unholy brew of experimental post-punk, literal bells and whistles, deathrock, and paranormal revelation. Kate Ferencz’s vocals move at a harsh recitative pace, punctuated with odd, rhythmic emphasis where inflection replaces melody. Also channeling his magic into the ritual will be Gavin Riley Smoke Machine, whose se set incorporates audio-visual, choose-your-own-adventure-style storytelling to the tune of 80's quasi-futurist synth tones and inventive narratives. Palberta, another cornerstone, noisy, experimental post-punk band, will add their clamor to the celebration with tunes that effectively immolate the entire western pop music canon in an attempt to access something willfully outside, providing an essential experience for comprehending a post-comprehension world. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., 8pm, $15, All Ages - Bryce Woodcock


New Track: "Needlove" - Needle Points

Boogie-woogie psych outfit Needle Points just threw in its hat for this year's summertime jam. The group's latest single/song title, "Needlove," is rather apropos, considering that's what the band named their fledgling record label earlier this year. Do you need love this Friday morning? We sure do. Come give Mama some sugar. (Photo by Ryan Collerd)

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XHOSA plays Aviv on 7/24

Brooklyn based musician and producer, XHOSA, does not try to puzzle us with obtuse metaphors or elaborate fabrications – she says exactly what she means.  Blending a variety of genres, from Hip Hop and R&B to '80s synthpop, in her latest single, “FEEL REAL,” the artist offers a reassuring message.  Throughout the song, she repeats “I feel real, I feel okay, everywhere that I stray,” emphasizing the rawness of both herself and of life in general.  The song ends not with XHOSA singing, but speaking of the excitements of life and the thin line between dreams and reality. You can see her live on July 24th at Aviv. - Madeleine Grossman

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