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November 2013
Wooden Shjips
"Back to Land

Hailing from San Francisco, psychedelic group Wooden Shjips, has just released their newest album Back to Land. The album brings together a sound crafted from inspirations that range from psychedelic music to classic rock.

The album is an entire trip in itself.  One can hear hints of 80s music, classic rock, and modern garage rock styles in the record, but they always resolve back to their classic psychedelic sound. With tracks like “In The Roses,” which brings a very spacey, low volume vocals, and a lo-fi sound that is not too cheesy or under produced. to “Ghouls,” which is a much faster, much more psychedelic rock sounding song that takes influences from classic rock guitar chords, while still utilizing classic psychedelic synthesizers.

Most songs on the album carry a jam-band sound, without becoming too abstract or getting too carried away. And in some cases, the music is so vast in genre diversity, one is surprised at the resulting sound, such as in the track, “These Shadows”, which starts off with an extremely catchy intro guitar riff and carries a vague David Bowie meets Velvet Underground sound.

“Back to Land” is a great piece of work that utilizes the potential of each member of Wooden Shjips effectively and thoroughly.

Most importantly, “Back to Land” is an experimentation of how far the psychedelic genre can stretch while still successfully staying true to its roots.

This is a preview of the new Deli charts - we are working on finalizing them by the end of 2013.

Go to the old Top 300 charts


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Stream: Gallant "Jupiter Grayscale"

R&B singer Gallant has just released a new track titled  "Jupiter Grayscale", a follow-up to his spellbinding, therapeutic single "Forfeit". His music sounds like a combination of the Weeknd and Mikky Ekko thrown into one beautiful pot. It's like a wave washing over you, his alluring voice matched perfectly with his new age synths to create beats you crave to hear when laying in bed or driving around town. - Kayla Hay


Music Video: Kauf, "Relocate"

Minimalist and hazy, the video for Kauf's first single, "Relocate," matches the tracks washed out vibes. A disembodied voice coos over electronic pulses, like the morphing, double-exposed faces that fade into each other like polaroids of long lost runaways. Slow to build, the track's throbbingly hypnotic beat keeps you around long enough to hear the ephemeral sound design elements that peek in and out of the transitions between phrases. Kauf's 'As Much Again' EP is out now on Cut Copy's Cutter Records, with a full length expected later in 2014. Catch his one man act live as part of the Lawrence Rothman Residency at The Bootleg on April 7, along with Steffaloo and Cotillon. - Jacqueline Caruso

Artist to Watch: Kelela

Featuring the work of several different producers, Kelela's 'Cut 4 U' carries the through line of her 90's style R&B vocal swagger and forward thinking arrangements. It's the silky smooth sensuality of Sade mixed with the grit of cutting edge electronic production. Her album was released with great critical reception, but her awareness is only now seeping out beyond the blogosphere. The Morri$-produced track, "Go All Night," is sporadically glitchy, giving space for Kelela's breezy vocal layers to move in and out between the beats. One of the more sexually-tinged tracks, it gives you what you want from a laid-back R&B track with the unexpected melodic twists and turns that trademark her work. Kelela performs April 1 at The Echo with fellow collaborators, Nguzunguzu, and Total Freedom. - Jacqueline Caruso

Album Stream: Hunter Ellis, 'The Healing Power of Laughter'

Recognizing that the world is not flat, Hunter Ellis and his gang of musical cohorts utilize modern rock instrumentation to set sail in search of new worlds and broader horizons. His 12 song LP, 'The Healing Power of Laughter,' is packed with dark and stormy instrumental post-rock tunes that never dull your senses. The avant-garde rhythmic patterns lay the foundation for experimental melodies, incorporating strings and brass instruments in an almost synth-like manner. The album is densely textured, requiring several uninterrupted playbacks to parse out each intricate layer and movement. It's worth the investment, as each track unfolds like the next page in a book of short stories. The entire album is available for streaming on bandcamp, but is worth more than the $7 asking price for the hard copy including stunning artwork by Asher Katz. - Jacqueline Caruso


Stream Sex Helicopter "Everything As It Should Be"

Never mind the childishly droll band name, Sex Helicopter are quite an exciting new act based in DTLA that bill themselves as a retro psych-rock band. Which does makes sense, though it'd be a disservice to place them in the same context as bands like Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Tame impala. Their first single, Everything As It Should Be", doesn't share the same sonic framework as these bands, instead opting for a more ringing sound that could be described as a lighter, more pop-oriented version of the Greateful Dead. They're making an appearance in Tommy's Place as part of USC Popfest tomorrow, March 28.


The Mercy Beat share debut single "Sweet"

There's currently not much known about electro-pop act The Mercy Beat, though the deliberate veil of anonymity asks us to listen without making any assumptions about the members involved. Which doesn't sound like such a bad proposition, after all - the song is there for us to hear, and we're free to judge it by its own merit. So how good is the song, then? Well, "Sweet" seems to follow the very current trend of playing glistening hooks over a steady, rhythmic beat with the new romantic seduction of its lead singer's dramatic vocal delivery. They're playing their first show in at the Echo on April 8 at the Echo, which seems like a noteworthy start for a band making their debut appearance. Might as well attend to finally put a face to the name.


NYC Artists on the rise: Fielded, live at Death by Audio on 03.21

LA/Chicago/NYC based one woman band Fielded (wow, that's a lot of cities for one person!) is the project of producer Lindsay Powell (originally one half of sister duo Festival and part of experimental prog project Ga'an), who creates loop based music featuring random percussive sounds, synths and several layers of her voice. Latest single "Reign" (from upcoming EP 'Universally Handsome') sounds like a truly genreless - although vaguely african sounding - pop gem.  Refreshingly, unlike most electronic acts out there, Lindsay doesn't feel compelled to fill up the sonic spectrum with all sorts of parts, if not - occasionally, and appropriately - to propelle the track's chorus. 

This is a talented, original artist that deserves more attention; you have a chance to see her live in Brooklyn at Death by Audio tomorrow (03.21).

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


Stream: Kiven, "In The Fire"

Kiven are bringing a complex modern indie rock sound to the LA scene. Their genre is hard to pin down, but their influences are clear. The newest single off their debut self-titled album released last month, "In the Fire" is pop rock meets prog. The bombastic chorus cements them firmly in a pop realm, while their wailing guitars and hard hitting drums show their boundary-pushing examination of modern hard rock. Frontman, Tyler Demorest's tongue twisting verses match wits with the math rock tendencies in the instrumentation. There is delicate nuance throughout the arrangement. At moments hushed, at others heightened, dramatic, and even cinematic, this song grabs ahold of your ears, giving them just the right amount of relief before shredding them to pieces. Kiven's debut self-titled LP is out now. Catch them all month long in April for their residency at Hemingway's. - Jacqueline Caruso




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