Folk/Country

Letters to Toska Reflects Zoya's Rich Musical Background

Letters to Toska, the fourth EP from Zoya, could easily be classified as “indie-folk” or “singer-songwriter”, but none of those labels would even come close to describing what takes place on these tracks. This EP reflects a perfect blend of jazz, folk and R&B, while still finding room to inject some hints of Zoya’s South Asian heritage. These influences are prominently displayed on the track “Willows”, with its smooth guitar-work and hip-hop/soul-inspired melodies and cadences. With such a dynamic mix of inspirations, I expect Zoya’s songwriting will only continue to become more intricate and mesmerizing as she continues her musical career.

For more information about Zoya, click here.


-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)
Photo Credit: Jerome Vivino


 

 

   

Modern Melancholy with Caterwaulrus

If his music is anything to go by, Caterwaulrus is probably a nice dude to kick it with. He seems like he could be the kind that'd show up to a hang with some flowers he picked on his walk over, just for you, but who'd also be willing to tell you that he feels a bit weird about killing something pretty. That feeling of sunshine and good days with an underlying soft gloom just drips from the sound on songwriter's newest album, the just-released "Songs that Go Nowhere." That title is a bit misleading, but also a bit of the truth- these songs do float around like gentle clouds, but they're also dense and complex and there's nothing ambiguous about the way they hone in on their target tone. The album is laced with looping vocals all reverb-ed out to blissfulness, little electronic touches and pieces of beats, all of which melds together with no element ever threatening to overwhelm the rest of the track. And, despite the expansive warmth and haze in the sound, the sounds collectively bely the underlying subject of the tracks on the album, which almost all speak of Caterwaulrus' melancholy. Lyrics like "I'm so fucking picky and I over think god damn everything," or "I'm a synesthetic skeptic slowly snoozing with regret, it's not quite what mom expected" reveal a mind that is a bit worried and not always happy with itself, though it'd like to be, and that thought tunnels through the whole album. But, it's delivered in such a poppy (albeit highly experimental pop), major-key fashion, buried deep within the summer smile that is the overriding tone, that you barely notice that these aren't songs about having a good day at all. It's a modern feeling buried in a modern sound, and if you have enjoyed artists like Toro y Moi in the recent past, you might find Caterwaulrus a good fit for your modern moods. Give it a go below, and float through your own contemporary, confusing life with a friend in your ear who understands.

   

Listen-Up: Get Sh**-faced with Horse-Eyed Men

 “SFIS(A)” by Horse-Eyed Men sounds like some kind of strange country version of a Jimmy Buffet song if it were recorded in outer space--and I intend for that to be as much of a compliment as the band (and any readers) will allow. The first time I heard the song, I thought these guys were a weird bunch, but after listening to the track a few times, it has definitely grown on me. They did a great job with production on this track--the reverb on the guitars, airy backing-vocals--they certainly captured the “sh**-faced in space” idea that the chorus professes. I also liked their decision to record in a large theatre--I think that really helped give a big, open sound to the song.

 

For more information about Horse-Eyed Men, check out their Facebook page.

-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)

 

 

   

Alpenglow tours + plays Rough Trade on February 19

Having been hard at work on their new LP for the past few months, Alpenglow is getting ready to stretch their wings and debut a full set of new songs in a mini tour of the Northeast. The new album, which is being produced by Sam Cohen (of The Yellowbirds), promises for an even trippier, more insightful continuation of their lonesome-traveler, psych-folk sound, drawing from the essence and experience of perhaps one too many New England winters, and translating their move to Brooklyn into audible incentives by which to live. The psych-soul underlining of Cohen’s vision will introduce only the most effectual tonal brilliance to Alpenglow’s already established soul-searching sound. The tour stops at Rough Trade on February 19, with support from Barsuk Records’ Laura Gibson and Wild Leaves . –JP Basileo

   

Best of New England 2014 for Emerging Artists: FINAL RESULTS: 1. Dark Rodeo, 2.Gymshorts, 3.Nathan Ventura,

Deli Nation,

Our Year End Poll for Emerging New England Artists was - as usual - a painstaking (and somewhat excruciating) process, but we pulled it off with remarkable flair!

Heavy and earthy, Dark Rodeo applies a punk attitude and and song format to country lyrical themes and guitar tones. Congrats, guys!

Gym Shorts are threw some high-energy surf punk in our laps with last years record No Backsies. Check out their tune "Viberator" and take it to the slopes while we're waiting for the snow to melt. 

Nathan Ventura's back with a band, and released Pucker Up in February 2014. It's definitely a weird one. Check out Nathan's wild vocals and the band's experimental garage feel. Definitely some novel sounds on every track of Pucker Up. 

Honorable mention to Kid Mountain, for their killer free New Years Eve show in Brighton!

Here is how it all went down: first, we let the local bands submit their music (for free), and got our Deli editors to pick the nominees. Then we polled a list of 15+ New England scene experts (our jury) and asked them to nominate 3 more bands of their choice each. Then we polled our writers, then we polled our readers. We tried to keep things open for each single genre, from Indie Rock to Roots Music to Hip Hop.

If you are a geek interested in all the subtelties related to how this poll works, you can read its rules here (happy reading!). But if all you care about is the awesome new music New England produced in the year 2013, this list is all you need. Enjoy!

BEST OF 2014 POLL FOR EMERGING
NEW ENGLAND ARTISTS
****** FINAL RESULTS ******
 
ARTIST
J
OS
W
R
TOT
 
1
Dark Rodeo 5.5     0.005 5.505
2
Gymshorts 4.5   1 0.003 5.503 icon
3
Nathan Ventura & The Buttercups 5.5     0.001 5.501 icon
4
Kid Mountain 3   2 0.003 5.003 icon
5
Suitcase Junket 2     1.5 3.5 icon
 
Smooth Antics 3     0.5 3.5 icon
7
Derive 3     0.096 3.096 icon
8
Particulars 3     0.041 3.041 icon
9
Jake McKelvie & the Countertops   3   0.034 3.034 icon
10
Hayley Sabella 3     0.025 3.025 icon
11
Guerilla Toss 2   1 0.017 3.017
12
Elison Jackson 3     0.011 3.011 icon
13
Alpenglow 3     0.008 3.008 icon
  As the Sparrow   3   0.008 3.008 icon
  Violent Mae 3     0.008 3.008 icon
16
Butcher Boy 3     0.006 3.006 icon
17
Mal Devisa 3     0.005 3.005
18
Biscuits & Gravy 3     0.004 3.004 icon
19
Anchors Away 3     0.003 3.003 icon
20
Paper Castles 3     0.001 3.001 icon
  Rye Pines 3     0.001 3.001 icon
  samuel james 3     0.001 3.001
23
Grundlefunk 1     2 3 icon
  Miss Geo   1 1 1 3 icon
  Ben Knight 3     0 3 icon
  Michelle Chamuel 3     0 3 icon
  Sirens 3     0 3 icon
28
Clara Berry 2     0.085 2.085 icon
29
And The Kids 1   1 0.064 2.064 icon
30
BLKBX 2     0.061 2.061 icon
31
Abbie Barrett and The Last Date 2     0.044 2.044 icon
32
Daphne Lee Martin 2     0.031 2.031 icon
33
Mosey Greams 2     0.017 2.017 icon
34
Ports of Spain 2     0.009 2.009 icon
35
Elephant 2     0.006 2.006 icon
 
Neon Fauna 2     0.006 2.006 icon
37
Pile 2     0.005 2.005 icon
38
Moron 2     0.004 2.004 icon
 
Notches 2     0.004 2.004 icon
40
Dinnersss 2     0.003 2.003 icon
  Fire in the Field 2     0.003 2.003 icon
  Mini Dresses 2     0.003 2.003 icon
  The Hotelier 2     0.003 2.003 icon
  Tredici Bacci 2     0.003 2.003 icon
45
Downtown Boys 2     0.002 2.002 icon
46
Andy California 2     0.001 2.001 icon
  Bell and the Bees 2     0.001 2.001 icon
  Eric George 2     0.001 2.001 icon
  Humanbeast 2     0.001 2.001 icon
  Mendition Of The Quay 2     0.001 2.001 icon
  My Fictions 2     0.001 2.001 icon
  Somos 2     0.001 2.001 icon
53
Annie Brobst 2     0 2 icon
  Eljebel 2     0 2 icon
  Life on The Sideline 2     0 2 icon
  Pours 2     0 2 icon
  Rabbit Rabbit 2     0 2 icon
  Rosie and the Rosies 2     0 2 icon
  Tom Kovacevic 2     0 2 icon
60
Andre Obin   1.5   0 1.5 icon
61
Pat and the Hats 1     0.091 1.091 icon
62
Miss Fairchild 1     0.063 1.063
63
Jet Black Sunrise   1   0.053 1.053 icon
64
Sarah Blacker   1   0.04 1.04 icon
65
Doug Tuttle   1   0.023 1.023 icon
66
Marina Evans   1   0.017 1.017 icon
67
Radclyffe Hall   1   0.014 1.014 icon
68
Plums 1     0.013 1.013 icon
69
Joe Young 1     0.012 1.012 icon
70
Tell Stories 1     0.007 1.007 icon
71
Gracie 1     0.005 1.005 icon
72
Zayde Buti 1     0.004 1.004 icon
73
Blessed State 1     0.002 1.002 icon
  Couples Counseling 1     0.002 1.002 icon
  Madaila 1     0.002 1.002 icon
  Mister Happy Cloud 1     0.002 1.002 icon
77
No Evil Star   1   0 1 icon
  Plains 1     0 1 icon
  Salitter 1     0 1 icon
  The Backyard Committee 1     0 1 icon
  The Coincidental Hour 1     0 1 icon
  We Were Astronauts 1     0 1 icon
Legend: J = Jurors, W = Deli Writers,
R = Deli Readers, OS = Open Submissions

Jurors List: Sam Potrykus (Boston Hassle), Erich Hagan (Harlem Globetrotters), Ellie Molitor (Great Scott), Greg (The Oak and the Ax), Ryan (Salty Speakers), Lionel Train (Mid East Club), Conrad Benjamin, Jacob Nathan (AS220), Paul Mayer (Cafe Nine), Nicholas Firine (The Space, CT), Alex Lalli and Quillan George (Signal Kitchen), Joe Adler (Radio Bean, VT), Cresta (The Red Door, NH), Mariam Saleh (Fat Creeps), Noah Britton (The Deli), Erich Hagan, John Fleming (John Fleming Enterteinment), Nick (Deep Thoughts JP), Luke O'Neil (Alternative Press), Joseph Graham (NE Music Awards), Adam Tercyak-Morgan (Surviving the Golden Age), Daniel G. Kuhn, Perry Eaton, Malcolm Tent (Trash American Style).

Hope you'll find some awesome new artists you weren't aware of!

The Deli's Staff