Alt Rock

Adem Dalipi "Through Another's Eyes"

Adem Dalipi has released his second single of 2021, an emotional new track called "Through Another's Eyes". The song is about growing up and beginning to understand life through a new perspective.

   

Mars Rodriguez: Up until "The End"

Mars Rodriguez is an independently-operating, Los-Angeles-based, Nicaraguan-American singer-songwriter-producer-multi-instrumentalist and so far her early releases are living up to that multi-hyphenate description. Mars released her first full-length last September, Don't Wait for Nothing, and over its 30 minutes you never have to wait too long for some new sonic wrinkle or other musical ingredient to be thrown into the mix which makes for a compelling and propulsive listening experience. And while I may be reading too much into things here, I could see how this restlessness could possibly derive in part from being part of a population displaced by political crisis and state violence.

If forced to come up with my own original hyphenate to describe Mars Rodriguez's music I think I'd go with "Café-Tacuba-meets-Shirley-Manson-meets-Massive Attack" because that at least hints at the stylistic eclecticism and the multilingualism and the mix of grungy guitar, power pop melodies, trip hop ambience, dub- and psych-inspired production, rock-en-espanol rhythms and drum machine rhythms. It's one of those albums meant to be taken in all at once in full, a continuous sonic journey.

Take the album-opening instrumental track "Tous Les Jours" for example, which starts off with almost a full minute of ambient planetarium-style celestial sounds before launching into a funky percussion loop that wouldn't sound out of place in a Chemical Brothers song and then a fuzzed-out zig-zagging melody that brings to mind Radiohead's "Myxomatosis" or it does to my mind at least. After a minute or two the fuzzone starts to disintegrate and get swallowed up by swirling echo effects. Then the whole thing topples and transforms into a slower, stripped down groove--but with vibrating tones and reverb-drenched voices still hovering overhead before fading out to sounds of distorted radio signals and sine waves.

From there each subsequent song on Don't Wait for Nothing explore a new direction or two. One of these directions is the "potential pop crossover hit" and there would seem to be at least a couple on the album--like "Now" with it's singalong refrain and motivational message and steady build to a big finish--but always with a quirky touch or two to keep it more on the alternative side of things. Mars's new single released on Friday ("The End") continues down this path of pop music with frayed edges--evoking Brian Eno one moment and Republica the next, with the listener exhorted to "exit your mind". And with all this talk of ends and exits, here's to new beginnings because I'll bet Mars Rodriguez has some more interesting ideas in store. (Jason Lee)

   

Pan Arcadia video premiere of "Drag It Out"

Based on the music video below--presented here for the very first time anywhere, a DELI exclusive premiered in collaboration with our new DELI TV affiliate--the young men of Pan Arcadia give off a strong Meet Me In The Bathroom vibe. And bigger picture, this music video brings to mind New York City’s long and storied history of black-jacketed miscreants and misanthropes who are all still too lovable not to love like Lou Reed or the Ramones or the Strokes for example. So maybe it’s no coincidence that all the aforementioned artists also liked to hang out on NYC rooftops, especially with some beer and a pack of smokes handy.

 

And not only did they hang out on rooftops in their formative years but there's a less noted but equally important shared trait between Lou Reed, the Ramones, the Strokes, et al. in that they were all also (or still are) great pop songwriters, at least when they wanted to be, with a proven track record for creating just the right mix of earworm melodies and lyrical phrases backed by musical textures and rhythms and bottom end (bass is the place) to produce an undeniable physical and mental frission in the listener even when, or especially when, joined with abrasive sounds and attitude.

So not to put too much pressure on the gentlemen of Pan Arcadia, but they seem to have a knack for joining these elements together in an appealing way too. Take the song "Drag It Out" for example, taken from their debut EP Weeks Ago that's available on all and I mean all platforms, which does anything but drag itself out. In fact after the reverse fade-in it leaps straight into the main guitar hook (warning: this melody will get stuck in your head after a couple listens) played first with stripped down rhythm section backing and then with full on rawk energy before quickly bringing things down again along with some self-reflective lyrics and phased guitar chords in the background. But then things start ramping up again with some palm-muted guitar arpeggios moving into the pre-chorus where it's declared "we can drink until the dawn" and I'm grateful for that and then launching into a full-throated chorus featuring the title phrase with backed by a Greek chorus from the other band members which then transitions into a brief guitar solo featuring a tasty opening lick and then back to another iteration of the whole enchilada and then the big ending which ends on an unexpected major chord. And all this in just over three minutes. Welcome to Songwriting 101.

"Drag It Out" is also a good example of the classic songwriting trick of combining downbeat sentiments with unbeat music and as revealed to the Deli by one of the band members from an undisclosed location (possibly the location pictured above, the rumored hideaway and work space of Pan Arcadia): "The song’s about wanting to extend something past its time: a night, relationship, human existence etc and dragging it out for drags sake--a feeling that was all around us last year stuck in a box with the world going to shite" and I couldn't have said it better myself. Here's another song off the EP.

In conclusion I recommend you keep an eye on these boys because they may be up to something. Like they were about a month ago when Pan Arcadia partnered with the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund to present two days of streaming live music featuring several dozen artists all to raise money and help Save the Scene. So, you see, underneath the black leather and the nice hair and the rooftop partying you just know these guys are cool like Fonzie in every sense and that they know how to write a song. (Jason Lee)

   

CELLRS "Dead At The Wheel"

Pop duo CELLRS have released a new single called "Dead At The Wheel". This is the first new music from the duo of vocalist Adam Novak and multi-instrumentalist Weston Reynolds since the release of "In The Light of the Moon" a couple of years ago.

   

Sir Chloe channel their inner animal

A query: Here in these waning hours of Bandcamp Friday do you find yourself in need of a song that’ll simultaneously make you wanna slow dance with a stranger, drunk dial your ex and tell them you still love them, and smash up your room in a frenzied rage and not leave the apartment for a month? 

Then oh boy are you in luck because Sir Chloe’s “Michelle” fits the bill. And be sure to check out the sublimely demented video (see above) released earlier this year or late last year who's really keeping track.

But one thing that definitely got released last year was the band's debut LP Party Favors and it's far from too late to sing its praises. I mean the last year didn't even happen, right?

Taken as a whole it's a nicely concise and tightly arranged album that walks much the same line as "Michelle" balanced precariously but deliciously between wistful reveries and take-no-prisoners intensity ("make me behave like an animal / I'm asking nicely give me what I want / I'm asking politely give me what I want / make me behave like an animal") though with songs leaning more toward mid-tempo numbers ideal for swaying and stomping in place more than slow dancing with strangers. 

And hey just in case you're wanting to know more about this shadowy entity called Sir Chloe then by all means allow me to directly quote from their promotional materials because it’s Bandcamp Fried-day after all so let's sell some records or streams or DAT tapes or whatever and I'm happy to help out when the music is this good...

"Sir Chloe is an American indie rock band from Bennington, Vermont now based in Brooklyn, New York. It’s members are Dana Foote (guitar, vocals) Teddy O’mara (guitar) Palmer Foote (drums) and Austin Holmes (bass). Starting as the solo act of Dana Foote, Sir Chloe first came together in 2017 as an academic project at Bennington College, recording their first four singles in the school’s music building. Their debut single “Animal” was released in February 2019. The band returned to the studio in October 2019 to record six new songs, among them being their latest single titled “July.”" And then came the album release and the rest is history that’s  still being written. (Jason Lee)