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The Deli Philly’s September Record of the Month: The Bluest Star - Free Cake For Every Creature

Indie-pop darling Katie Bennett keeps fans spellbound with Free Cake For Every Creature's newest LP The Bluest Star. Just as its namesake would suggest, Bennett’s follow-up to 2016’s Talking Quietly of Anything with You is evocative, luminous, and unshakably searing.

With the lo-fi warmth of "Riding into the Sunset in a Busted Car," her fourth LP’s opening track is a raw confession about being young and the desire to belong. Amplified by urgent chords and earnest vocals, The Bluest Star unfolds with a rare fearlessness, making each lyric feel like a testimony to the ups and downs of self-discovery and growing up. Lines like "not everyone's got a sleeve where they can wear their heart" and "use your pen to find the pieces in the dark" make "Riding into the Sunset in a Busted Car" more of a map than a story, giving listeners a refreshingly frank perspective on how to emotionally cope with the uncertainty of being alive.

The steady swell and backbeat of "Around You" feels like a melodic successor to the frank poetics of Rilo Kiley's "Science vs. Romance" and the gritty sincerity of Colleen Green's earliest cuts. A testament to friendship and adolescent adventures, the album’s second offering is nostalgic in a rare and fervent way. Whether the relationship that inspired this song was platonic or romantic, its formative impact on Bennett is obvious from beginning to end. Deeply personal yet universal, “Around You” is an evocative homage to intimacy and the transformative journey of coming of age, while "Whole World Girl" is a self-reflective love song that focuses more on the aftermath of romance rather than its beginning, a narrative choice that makes an already evocative narrative even more arresting. Similarly, "Took a Walk" is a bare-bones yet atmospheric ballad about the past and self-definition, in the wake of a splintered relationship. Here, her lyricism is pragmatic, heart-wrenching, and undeniably relatable.

From its inception, "Sideline Skyline" is unrushed and deliberate, which forces Bennett's audience to listen closer, to savor each second. When she professes, "I'm nobody's mother & I don't have to hold it all together," the track becomes an anthem of defiance and autonomy. "Sunday Afternoon" is succinct yet moving due to Bennett's apt use of subtle repetition and instrumentation, and "In Your Car" unfolds in a similar fashion, and steadily blooms into a brief yet cinematic song. Equally vivid, the recording is a ready-made favorite for fans of Cat Power circa Moon Pix or Julien Baker’s Sprained Ankle. “In Your Car” is an immersive testament to how even the most ordinary moments can shape a person.

"Tom or Mike or Pat or" and "Hometown Hero" both feel like pages torn from the diary of a teenage realist, while “Christina’s World” and “Goodbye, Unsilently” are tranquil folk melodies in their own rite. Each note amplifies each lyric, making both tracks equally gripping meditations on self-worth and identity – two themes that permeate throughout the album’s end.

Much like its beginning, the record’s conclusion feels deeply personal and honest, which makes the raspy snare of “Be Home Soon” and the stripped-down melody of “Night Music” memorable, even after the album is over. Arresting at every second, The Bluest Star is a brave and impassioned portrait of desire and the power of vulnerability. – Dianca London





Debut Millennium Development Goals/Under Blood Red MOON-LITE EP Available for Streaming & Download

Millennium Development Goals/Under Blood Red MOON-LITE - or MDGUBRML - is the project of Derek Liedel (ex-Katana Girl). From the jump, Liedel introduces joyful moments of fever-dream meltdowns, fitted within the album’s well-executed synthesis of lo-fi folk and house music. History of Chemicals sounds like a Spotify shuffle that gets occasionally interrupted by absurdist departures into transcendental noise, starkly contrasting the bliss of familiarity with the existential challenge of the unknown. In a small amount of time, the EP offers plenty of cheerful headspaces and a good bit of indie pop splendor that’s also playfully disassociative. Take it for a spin. - Josh Kelly





Brooklyn post-punkers Big Bliss release "At Middle Distance" LP, play Union Pool on 09.05

Big Bliss has long carved its place in the dark, tense world of post-punk but the trio’s latest single sees the group continuing to develop upon that sound. “Surface” plods along with a drive reminiscent of fellow New Yorkers Interpol and British '80s band Psychedelic Furs. The melodic bass, dour vocal delivery, and sparkling guitars atop don’t veer far from the group’s previous sound, but it’s a welcome polishing up. “Surface” serves as the first single to announce Big Bliss’ new album At Middle Distance, due October 19 via Exit Stencil Records. The release party is scheduled for October 20th at Alphaville, but they'll be performing before that on September 5 at Union Pool. – Cameron Carr





Mini Blinds EP Release

Mini Blinds has a new EP coming out, and the release show is this Saturday, September 1st. The EP, titled Dust, is the band’s first album since their well-received Air Signs, which came out in 2016. Dust is only 4 songs long, but if every song is as well done as the already released “Ashes”, then Mini Blinds should be proud. “Ashes” is slower and less pop-centered than their previous work. Leaning more towards shoegaze and surf, the song is slow and romantic. It’s more mature than what we've seen from the band so far, but still just as dreamy and fun. The accompanying video is strange and playful. It toes the line between indie-pop music video and the sort of aesthetic favored by found footage fanatics. It’s a great indication of where the band is looking to go. 

Mini Blind’s release show is this Saturday, September 1st at The Fixin’ To with Plastic Cactus and the Pool Boys.

By Avril Carrillo, Photo by Erin Holcomb

 





New Music Video: "Are You Looking" - Cave People

Below is the new video for "Are You Looking," which is featured on Salt (Stereophonodon Records), the forthcoming EP from Cave People, scheduled for release on September 7. Directed by Robert Salazar, a common thread of peppermints and nightly drives permeates throughout. Chronicling an evening as an Uber/Lyft driver, the job is displayed on the surface. However, the protagonist appears to recall more pleasant, intimate memories throughout. Mirroring the lyrics, one wonders what caused the distance/disconnect. Cave People are slated to appear at Union Transfer on Wednesday, September 5, as part of a lineup that also includes Kississippi, Ratboys, and Foxing.

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