Page 1

the deli

the magazine about emerging nyc bands

FREE in NYC $2 in the USA

Issue #34 Volume #2 Spring 2013

Foxygen Parquet Courts Dalton Frances Rose Widowspeak Apollo Run Slothrust Napoleon DIIV Modern Rivals Eastern Hollows Beast Patrol LazyEyes Great Elk skaters Julian Fulton

Kiss Slash Crooked Smile Cultfever Anya Skidan

best of nyc Emerging Artists 2013

Spirit Family Reunion Live at Brooklyn Bowl on Friday 6/7/13

X Ambassadors



Folk Comes Home

Note from the Editor

the deli

Deli Readers,

the magazine aboutthe emerging nyc scene bands everything about nyc music Issue #34 Volume #2 Spring 2013

Editor In Chief: Paolo De Gregorio Founder: Charles Newman Executive Editor: Quang D. Tran Assistant Editor: Lucy Sherman Art Director/Designer: Kaz Yabe ( Cover Photo: John Phillips Web Developers: Mark Lewis, Alex Borsody Staff Writers: Bill Dvorak, Nancy Chow, Mike SOS, Dean Van Nguyen, Meijin Bruttomesso, Dave Cromwell, Mike Levine In-House Contributing Writers: BrokeMC, Ed Guardaro, Corinne Bagish, Devon Antonetti, Brian Chidester, Joshua S. Johnson, Zack Kraimer, Michael Zadick, Bianca Seidman, Kristyn Potter, Chris Brunelle, Brianne Turner The Kitchen: Janice Brown, Howard J. Stock, Ben Wigler, Shane O’Connor, Matt Rocker, David Weiss, Gus Green Interns: Caitlin McCann, Tina Aita, Paul Jordan Talbot Publishers: The Deli Magazine LLC / Mother West, NYC The Deli Magazine is a trademark of The Deli Magazine, LLC, Brooklyn & Mother West, NYC. All contents ©2013 The Deli Magazine. All rights reserved.


p.28 & 29

for schedule


The Deli's NYC B.E.A.F.! [Best of Emerging Artists Fest]

Williamsburg, June 5-8

If you have been following our mag for a while, you should know by now that our Spring issue is the “Best of NYC” one, and it features the list of artists who made it into The Best of NYC Poll for Emerging Artists that we run at the turn of the year. We’ll acknowledge without any further ado that it is impossible to create a “perfect” poll of this kind - a lot related to music is a matter of opinion after all - but we won’t shy away from defending a system that in the past has crowned bands like Chairlift, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Yeasayer, Twin Shadow, and Caveman among others, well before their peak years. This is a system that takes into consideration the opinions of local scene makers (our jurors, see list on page xx), our writers and our readers, and if you are also interested in other U.S. scenes, you may want to check out the results of the other 10 scenes that we cover here: Spring is also the season of The Deli’s NYC B.E.A.F. - the Best of Emerging Artists Fest, a celebration of the up-and-coming bands from the most exciting music scene in the world. We hope to see you at one of our six events linked to this four-day festival, scheduled from June 5 - 8 in Williamsburg. Full schedule available here: -Paolo De Gregorio

best of nyc Emerging Artists 2013 1. Foxygen 2. Spirit Family Reunion 3. X Ambassadors 4. Skaters 5. DIIV 6. St. Lucia 7. Ms Mr 8. Apollo Run 9. Clementine & The Galaxy 10. Ghost Beach 11. Hot Sugar 12. Widowspeak 13. Hunters 13. Lazyeyes 13. Life Size Maps 16. Anya Skidan 17. Julian Fulton & The Zombie Gospel 18. Napoleon 19. Great Elk 20. Black Taxi 21. Mother Feather 22. Flatbush Zombies 23. Conveyor 24. Swear & Shake 25. Nude Beach 26. Laurel Halo 27. Snowmine 28. Dalton 29. People Get Ready

For artist links:

30. Frances Rose 30. Slothrust 32. Melissa Czarnik 33. Modern Rivals 34. Eastern Hollows 35. Cultfever 36. Los Encantados 37. Le1f 39. Kiss Slash Crooked Smile 39. Turkuaz 40. Beast Patrol 41. ARMS 42. Lady Lamb the Beekeeper 43. Parquet Courts 44. The Stationary Set 45. James Ferraro 46. Kids These Days 47. Psychobuildings 48. Lake Street Dive 49. Celestial Shore 50. The Lone Bellow 51. Blanche Blanche Blanche 52. Grand Resort 53. Sorcha Richardson 54. The Henry Millers 55. The Everymen 56. Azar Swan 57. sami.the.great 58. Delphic Oracle 59. Derrick & The Black Sea 60. In One Wind 61. Avan Lava 62. Frankie Rose

63. Sleepies 63. So So Appropos 65. Midnight Magic 66. Ursa Minor 67. The Courtesy Tier 68. Ratking 69. Vassals 70. Port St. Willow 70. The Ludlow Thieves 70. Xenia Rubinos 73. Scott and Charlene’s Wedding 73. Tunetown Philharmonic 75. Teen 76. Kiddo 76. Pony of Good Tidings 78. Chron Turbine 79. Ludwig Persik 80. The Prigs 81. Lora Faye 83. Natural Child 83. The Dough Rollers 84. The Babies 85. Big Ups 86. Basinger 86. Ex Cops 86. KNTRLR 86. Wilsen 90. Sora An 91. St. Claire 91. Swearin’ 91. Weekend 94. Empress Of

the deli's Pedal Board More pedal reviews at!

TSVG Pedals Babbling Flower

DMB Pedals Whiskey Bender

• A fuzz with a second footswitch to engage thickness. • Three transistor Germanium fuzz box with independent volume, tone, and fuzz controls. • Hand made with high quality components, modest price.

• Overdrive and Fuzz complete with a bite control (presence or cut) • Chewy, un-focused, non-transparent texture • Clean knob lets you dial attack and chime back in the dirty signal

Zvex Sonar • A tremolo pedal with a slew of advanced features. • Does weird things, slows the tempo, creates irregular tremolos. • Always useful tap tempo feature.

the deli's app spot

Holowon Tape Soup • Emulates the slight pitch shifting and signal corruption associated with analog equipment • When subtle, great for adding character to solos • Shapeable attack/decay waves and an extremely wide speed range allow to push it to a full modulation madness • Hand built to order for only $125

if you are interested in reviewing pedals, plug-ins and apps for The Deli and Delicious Audio, ple ase contact delicious.editor@the

E-Theremin • A cheap way to get your hands on a theremin sounding instrument that can be actually played live. • Features three oscillators, four waveforms, octave shift and amp control. • 4 user presets.

Novation Automap • It enables Novation keyboards and controllers to communicate remotely with music-making software. • Allows to control plug-in instruments and FX. • iPhone version provides two horizontal faders and eight buttons per page, number of pages is unlimited.


the deli Spring 2013

Reactable Mobile • It allows musicians to intuitively create and produce loop based electronic music. • Visually outstanding, conceptually deep, extremely flexible and creative. • It allows to play and process in real time any sample and audio input on any smartphone or tablet.

Genelec Speakerangle • An app that helps you set up your studio speakers properly!!! • It works with any studio monitors model, both stereo and surround systems. • Handy app for anybody interested in home recording.

Folk Comes Home New York City and the Roots Music “Continuum” By Mike Levine / Illustration by Michael Sincavage


ust a few years ago, all you’d hear around here was maximalism. From Animal Collective’s sonic towers to Matt and Kim’s Ritalin-fueled drums, the NYC sound was busy, edgy and all at once. Things seem to have changed quite a bit. The ear has turned, and something sparser and earthier has come to take place.

sam amidon

punch brothers We are all accustomed to the cyclical nature of tastes and fashions, but this particular development seems rather drastic. Some say that when the future is clouded by not very prosperous economic times, people tend to look for a sense of community that comes with more traditional genres, but it’s impossible to tell whether the sources of this new folk wave are to be found in a simple, post-overdose nausea for all things digital and sampled, in the natural mellowing of taste of the “hipster generation” growing older, or in new musical needs felt by the majority of music fans. It’s most likely a mix of these and other factors. Whatever the case, many of today’s more successful emerging artists aren’t groping in the dark anymore for an unrecognizable future sound; they’re searching for inspiration in dusty LPs and bygone frontiers, paying thousands to purchase real instruments or legendary consoles to record their wares, and channeling far off locations to make it all happen. It’s become a songwriter’s mandate to preserve that rich tapestry of Americana with every rising chord and wailing yelp… and it’s happening - of all places - right here in New York. From Punch Brothers and Spirit Family Reunion, to The Lone Bellow, Andy Statman and The Milk Carton Kids, it seems like every other important folk musician of the past couple years is coming from our shores. And instead of busking for change at Union Square, they’re headlining at Carnegie Hall.

New York A 21st Century Hootenanny Why here… why now? For most of America, there seem to be two kinds of folk music listeners. There are those who, on the one hand, act like they’re curating some museum piece. Anxious

about any attempt at cross-pollination, they reject anything considered modern or “inauthentic.” On the other, there are those who uphold the virtues of Mumford & Sons fans everywhere: As long as it has a banjo, that’s folk enough for me. From what we hear from this recent NYC wave of roots music, these artists view the form a little differently. Far from being beholden to purism (Brooklynites would never have that, of course), many local artists like Spirit Family Reunion, Punch Brothers and The Lone Bellow tend to re-make folk in their own uniquely personal way, introducing new influences but with a firm eye on the tradition. This isn’t the same mess of folk groups that came out of Greenwich Village in the 60s. Many of those artists created a cult in an attempt to mimic old recordings of artists like Leadbelly and Seeger, forging a communal experience out of a shared sense of social activism. Today’s folk scene is much more atomized than this: Throw on a record of any of the bands interviewed for this paper, and you’ll be surprised at how far their sounds stretch. Spirit Family Reunion digs up old gospel and blues, but plays them like a high-octane jet engine taking off from JFK. The Lone Bellow has an ear trained to the pop country of Nashville, but their towering confidence is something distinctly New York, while The Milk Carton Kids take a cue from Simon & Garfunkel for a harmony-first balladry, underscoring the band’s uncanny ability to translate complex ideas through simple melodies. And lastly, Punch Brothers… perhaps one of the

finest rootsy bands of our generation, they’ve basically rewritten their classical music backgrounds for ukuleles and banjos, and have been playing New York’s haunts for close to a decade now (see the video for ‘Movement and Location’ filmed live at Pete’s Candy Store). So with all these disparate groups of artists roaming the streets, some calling themselves folk, others something else with a hyphen in it (see pages 34 - 36)… what do we call this new phenomenon? What sort of tradition is hanging on between all those open C chords and wailing over broken hearts, and why does it have hyphens in its name?

“Findin’ That Old Thing Now” If there’s anyone out there who knows anything about New York’s folk scene, it has to be Eli Smith. Eli has been promoting artists from Occupy Wall Street to Red Hook, and knows what the scene was like in the 60s and where it’s headed today. In many ways, Smith personifies the spirit of Pete Seeger, from his social activism to his unique way of playing the banjo, set to be published in a book coming out later this year that aims to instruct young folks on the instrument. He also happens to be in one of the bestnamed folk bands ever: The Down Hill Strugglers. Right now, he works the annual Brooklyn Folk Festival at Red Hook in the Jalopy Theatre (scheduled in April). This concert attracts old, young, urban and rural. The venue itself is as close to a folk institution as anything in the city: containing a stage, museum, banjo classes, and even a vintage-themed restaurant. Eli is an expert on bands resurrecting traditional material and preserving the spirit and energy that comes along with it:

gangstagrass “I think it is very important to join that earlier period with today. There is a generation gap between the 50s/60s era and the resurgence that is happening today. It’s important for young people today who are trying to learn how to play folk music to connect with older musicians. You can learn a lot from recordings and internet research, but if you want to make the music real and a part of your life, then you need to meet the old folks.” And there’s always plenty of that old time connection happening at the fest, from Stephanie Coleman’s fiddle duets to jug bands like The Whiskey Spitters. For the more traditionally minded, this is exactly where you want to be. If there’s one band that well characterizes this spirit of blending the old with the new, it’s The Lone Bellow. Featured on the cover of our recent Austin issue, they’re not a band that would describe themselves as old-timey folk, but they probably wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for rural string bands either. And they wouldn’t have been able to do it anywhere but in that huge community of musicians going by the name of Brooklyn: “If there’s one way Brooklyn lends itself well toward folk, it’s that the people you play with here aren’t just great musicians; they’re your friends and neighbors too. We all live here and found each other around the neighborhood, so getting this classic American sound together came naturally for us.” - Zach Williams

lucius 10

the deli Spring 2013

“Lookin’ for That New Deal Now” For those who, instead, prefer a lot of hyphens in their genre names, we turn to a group of

musicians making mincemeat of the traditional ways to tell folk bands apart from one another. Whether it’s Lucius blending mellifluous soulful harmonies and an ear to pop ditties, or Sam Amidon’s artsy re-interpretations, these are bands turning folk on its head. Gangstagrass has even taken hip hop and merged it with slide guitars and country soul to create something all their own. The band’s grown bigger quickly, and has even contributed the theme song to the popular show “Justified.” One of my favorite newer bands around right now is Streets of Laredo. A group originally from New Zealand, they have a jangly, thrown together sound that places the improvisation of acoustic folk jams in the middle of a whirlwind of crazed energy. So why come here all the way from NZ? Dan from the band told me that “there’s a certain toughness and ‘who gives a shit’ vibe about this city that really appeals to New Zealanders (we seem to always be up for a challenge) so NYC certainly has a magnetic appeal for a lot of bands from our part of the world.” Of course, no survey of New York’s wilder groups would be complete without recognizing one of the most innovative bands to take our city in any genre, Punch Brothers. The subject of a recent documentary (“How To Grow A Band”), Punch Brothers have released several records, but have only recently begun to gain a mainstream following. Not only are they capable of distilling old-timey bluegrass jams for the unconverted, but they’re equally capable of ringing out the roots behind synthetic numbers like ‘Kid A’ from their LP “Who’s Feeling Young Now.” These guys will convince you everything sounds better with steel strings behind it.

Where to Go in Old New York Town According to Eli Smith, “Brooklyn is certainly accepting of folk music, and in fact, we have the finest folk music scene


the deli Spring 2013

5 Tips to Buying a Used or Vintage Acoustic Guitar By Sam Taylor Guitars, ~SouthsideWilliamsburg



sed and vintage acoustic guitars can be your best friend or worst enemy. Obviously nothing is more important than how the guitar sounds and feels in your hands, but here are a few tips to make sure the guitar is in good structural shape. Bridge and Saddle - The first thing I look at when I am considering buying a guitar for my shop is the bridge. I make sure that it’s flush against the top of the guitar and not lifting or cracked. There should be no space anywhere between the bottom of the bridge and the top of the guitar. Use a metro card, and try to slide it under the bridge if you are not sure. Once you’ve made sure the bridge is in good shape, check the saddle to make sure that there is some room to lower it if you want to. If the saddle is all the way down, it can be a sign that the neck angle may be a problem. Neck Angle & Neck Joint - The neck angle on any guitar is very important, and will determine if the guitar can be properly set up. Sight the guitar from the headstock to the bridge. The top of the fret board should make a straight line to the top of the bridge and the bottom and the saddle. The neck should be straight or mostly straight with just a slight amount of relief. Check the neck joint, and make sure the neck is tightly glued into the body. Any space between the neck and body is a big problem. Braces - Forgetting to check the braces can be a costly mistake. Tap the top and back of the guitar lightly with your knuckle. A loose brace will rattle if you tap the wood above it. Frets - Make sure that the frets are smooth and level, and don’t have indentations or divots in them, and that there’s enough height to the frets to grind and polish the divots if you need to. Usually, you can tell if the frets need work just by playing the guitar. Play a chromatic scale up the neck on every string, and make sure every fret sounds clean without buzzing or fretting out. Cracks - Look the guitar over for open cracks. Old acoustic guitars can often have cracks in the body. In general, if the cracks are properly repaired, there isn’t much to worry about. If the guitar has any cracks, gently push down on the crack, and make sure that there is no movement. In general, body cracks are much less worrisome than neck cracks. If the guitar has a neck or headstock crack, just make sure it was repaired well, and ask for $100 off the price because it affects the value.

the deli Spring 2013


longtime LES home later this year. One of many NYC artists favorite roots clubs has to be Rockwood Music Hall (LES). Commandeered by Ken Rockwood, the man responsible for fostering much of what we’ve come to regard as our city’s trophy bands, from Lucius to Lake Street Dive. Ken’s talent for sound and space has given a home to serious-minded musicians for over a decade now. More musicians I spoke to mentioned his facility, in fact, than any place else. “Rockwood is a special place because of why it was created. Ken Rockwood is a man who believes in music, hard work and his city. It’s a safe place to create and sing.” - Zach Williams

Streets of Laredo in the nation. It’s the best and most exciting time in recent history for this genre, probably since the 50s/60s period.” Back in the 60s, if you wanted to hear folk, you’d find it at a neighborhood watering hole, Washington Square Park, at Coney Island with Woody Guthrie, Gerde’s Folk City... Ok, just about anywhere. Nowadays, it’s still everywhere, but you need to know where to look for it. New York doesn’t have just one go-to spot, as much as it has dozens of interconnected circles of artists and venues, each sharing similar spaces and appealing to neighboring audiences. Take Alex Borsody of Union Street Preservation Society. Alex has been a leading member of NY’s growing folk movement for several years now, from busking with Spirit Family Reunion to playing with legendary Orthodox guitarist/clarinetist Andy Statman. His band nods to an Appalachian trail of lost standards and rambling roads. Union Street has played everywhere around the city and beyond. Like many of his folk brethren, he acts not only as a musician, but also as a caretaker of a revered tradition. And where does his band like to play? Venues like The National Underground (owned by none other than actor/roots music lover/chariot rider Gavin DeGraw) or Pete’s Candy Store, a space that caters to an unplugged sound, and of course, Jalopy Theatre, the revered theater that practically institutionalizes the form as its own, or the small venue next door, Sunny’s. For folks seeking something a bit more laidback, there’s always The Living Room, a cozy landmark on Ludlow Street that will be moving away from it’s


the deli Spring 2013

‘A Little A’ This ‘N’ That New York City is a big experiment that inherits traditions from the rest of the world to manipulate them into something else, often more intriguing. Whether importing Appalachian field songs, Nashville’s skyline, or Mississippi’s Delta, New York finds a way to fuse these things together, extending old traditions and creating new ones. Maybe that’s what The Klezmatics had in mind when the Lower East Side band recorded a CD containing Klezmer string covers of Woody Guthrie’s Jewish-inspired tunes. Maybe music fans are not growing tired of “complicated new music” simply because of a misplaced nostalgia for a halcyon Americana filled with the dustbin photographs of Ken Burns films. Our folk music is part of a timeless tradition that is constantly reinventing itself, picking up new definitions, and shedding old ones along the way. Folk never stopped… it just got weirder. Even Animal Collective (our NYC symbol of that weird busy music of yesteryear) flirted with the form in their record “Prospect Hummer” with English psych-folk legend Vashti Bunyan (‘Diamond Day’). And, after all, weren’t NYC indie icons The Velvet Underground, inventors of streetwise rock ‘n’ roll and muse to a million artists that won’t be remembered as rootsy, really just distorting the folk ballad format with cello drones, monotonous drumming, and perverse lyrics? Even when you don’t feel it or hear it, folk is often there somewhere in the music. Folk is a defining part of what makes American music so rich, and any attempt at pat definitions only prompts NYC musicians to move the goalposts again and ask what else they can try with their inexhaustible energy and stubborn DIY attitude.

best of nyc Emerging Artists 2013

List of Jurors in random order:



Those bloody brilliant Brooklyn betrayers did it again. Foxygen charmed our jury of NYC “scene experts” (see the list on this same page) and our writers, and went on to win The Deli’s Best of NYC Emerging Artists Poll - congrats guys! They would be on the cover of the mag that you are currently reading (that’s the prize for the winner) - hadn’t they already been on The Deli’s glossy front page just two issues ago (yes, we have psychic powers). “Why betrayers?” We hear you ask. Not only have Foxygen moved to LA (of all places!) basically the day after they landed on the cover of our CMJ issue (had that happened one day earlier, they would have been ineligible for coverage in The Deli NYC)... but they even dared to sing these words in a track from their latest (admittedly great) album: “There’s no need to be an asshole/You’re not in Brooklyn anymore.” Well... considering New Yorkers are awesome, we can’t wait to hear what they’ll have to say about Angelenos in the next record! We shall forgive them though, since they are about to realize what it truly means to be a touring indie musician (the band may have already partly realized that, since they had to cancel their first European tour because of some voice related problems singer Sam France had after SXSW). What cannot be disputed, though, is this duo’s crazy talent - at such a young age! We sang their praises many times already - way before most of the current media freak-out. Just grab The Deli’s CMJ issue 2012 for a full feature, the one before that one for a Q&A, or read them online at

Sebastian Freed (Bowery Presents), Jify Shah, (Cameo Gallery), Patrick McNamara (, Steven King (Rock Shop), Andy Bodor (Cake Shop), Rami Haykal (Glasslands), Heather D (The Bell House), Dian (Bowery Electric), Alex Rossiter (The Studio), Matt McDonald (CMJ), Steve Trimboli (Goodbye Blue Monday), Max Brennan (Lit), Dana & Amanda (The Delancey), Billy Jones (Pianos), Eric Berrebbi (Arlene’s Grocery), Jamie Dominguez (SESAC), Chris Diaz (Knitting Factory), Jennifer Gilson (The Living Room), John (Sycamore), Zack Dinerstein (Spike Hill), Samantha Cox (BMI), Heath Miller (Webster Hall), Karen Soskin (Other Music), Brian Chidester (The Village Voice), Free Williamsburg’s list of Best albums of 2012, Paolo De Gregorio (The Deli) + a couple of jurors who don’t want to be mentioned.

best of nyc Emerging Artists 2013


Spirit Family Reunion

RIYL: Phosphorescent, The Lone Bellow, Langhorne Slim

The Holy Ghost of Folk

By Chris Brunelle / Photo by John Phillips


s the modern era finds many musicians leaning on Auto-Tune, loop stations, sequencers and more technological instrumentation, New York City’s Spirit Family Reunion dismisses all that in favor of acoustic instruments where the human element couldn’t be more at the forefront. Singer Nick Panken reflects, “Growing up in New York City, a lot of music I heard being made that would be associated with the city seemed strange to me. I feel an instant connection with this sort of ‘rural music,’ or whatever you want to call it - older, more traditional sounds.” His band’s music is indeed steeped in influences from folk, blues and country, yet Spirit Family Reunion gestates all that genre love into something wholly their own with youthful energetic abandon. Although a relatively new band, there’s obviously magical chemistry happening in this group of musicians that’s nurtured their sound as they play together as much as possible. “We’ve tried to have some practices here and there, but our sound really only comes together when we play out in front of people, either on the street or night after night on stage,” says Panken. Maggie Carson clawhammers the banjo with rollicking ease, while Mat Davidson dances his bow along that fiddle with playful heartfelt soul. Stephen Weinheimer rips into that washboard like a Rottweiler set loose on raw steak, meanwhile Pete Pezzimenti grooves on the floor drums and the motor starts running. Nick cuts through the glory with a sweet sneer, laying down some timeless truths with sparing craft. Mat and Maggie join in on harmonies that could easily melt a stick of butter, while the hairs on your spine begin to tingle. When Ken Woodward’s bubbling jamboree bass lines drop in, you find yourself dancing to songs that you’ve never heard before, but somehow still know by heart. So, what’s in a name? The moniker Spirit Family Reunion can come off a little touchy-feely at first, but there’s accuracy and truth in their masthead. First off, they can connect with the human spirit. Easier said than done. From songs of love to meditations on darkness, this rag-tag band of cuties wields their brand of Americana well-versed in the human experience for a bunch of youngsters. Whatever topic they cover across the emotional spectrum can touch, comfort, and lift the human spirit. Lyrics like, “I spent many years just waiting to be free, till I found the great emancipator was me,” from their epic song, ‘I’ll Find A Way,’ poetically captures an inner journey that we’ve all dealt with in our own way. Secondly, the sense of family that huddles the band together transcends to their audience. When you witness them live, they have a way of making you feel right at home while peaking your joy. Finally, the reunion is an extension of the family aesthetic. It also hints at the revivalist spirit of their sounds, owing subtle sonic nods to Johnny Cash, Karen Dalton, Hank Williams, Soggy Bottom Boys and others. And though tones of rustic and down-home influences sit at the forefront, SFR can caffeinate their tunes with a daring edge that recalls the spirit and energy of punk. When listening to their first full-length album, No Separation, or if you’ve witnessed their live show, you get a band wielding their instruments with passion and poise without hiding behind an effects rig. Strongly written songs abound as you find yourself relating, reminiscing, and elating. Even amongst great independent bands of the moment, sonic atmosphere and style often take the forefront before lyrics, melodies, harmonies and musicianship. Panken weighs in, “I love to hear a musician getting their feeling across in a strong and simple way. The more distilled down to something strong and raw; the more exciting it is to me.” As independent expression is often very personal, there’s something near revolutionary about the idea of a band like Spirit Family Reunion that seems so focused on connecting. It’s a selfless move that is clearly more motivated by creating a human union with their listeners. Many bands have an inner spirit of “US AGAINST THE WORLD,” whereas Spirit Family Reunion seem more along the lines of “US WITH THE WORLD.” Washboard man Stephen Weinheimer explains, “We don’t hold ourselves any higher than the people we perform for, and I think they can see that. When there’s a crowd of people there, we’re working to get them going with us. The audience is important because we want them to connect back with us.”

Artist Equipment Box

It’s incredibly endearing, and it’s working. SFR garnered the esteemed opportunity to perform alongside Levon Helm at his Midnight Rambles up in Woodstock on a few occasions. They won the hearts of the crowd at the legendary Newport Folk Festival last July, and will return this year to raise the bar. A recent sold-out hometown show at The Bowery Ballroom keeps the snowball a rollin’ as their calendar fills up with cross-country tours of festivals, clubs, street corners, farmers markets and sessions at Sun Studios in Memphis. This band is an experience. When you drop the needle or leave their show, you feel like you were just part of something special.

Is there a piece of equipment that you find particularly useful on stage? “We all sing around a large diaphragm condenser mic. Currently we have an Audio Technica AT-2035. We use some other gear too sometimes, but that Audio Technica AT-2035 mic is all we need.”

the deli Spring 2013


best of nyc Emerging Artists 2013

RIYL: Peter Gabriel’s “So,” those grandiose closing credits soundtracks from action movies of the ’90s

#3 X Ambassadors Weight and Lightness - The Many Moods of X Ambassadors

By Mike Levine


hange doesn’t always come easy. And for X Ambassadors, they’ve experienced more than most. In both family, music and career… the past couple years have found them caught up in a whirlwind of experiences that have helped shape one of the most interesting bands to come from Brooklyn in some time. The unique brotherhood that the five band members share came together in last year’s debut record, Litost. A crash course in light and shadows, good times and bad, all mixed together to form a diverse song set where joy is tested, suffering takes hold, but hope eventually comes out on top.

Family Ties Family - most of us take its bonds for granted, but we can’t know how strong those bonds are until the roots are tested. Though the Brooklyn band has been together since 2006, their path goes back much farther than that. Brothers Sam (lead vocals, some drums) and Casey Harris (keys) have been playing music together since before they can remember, and guitarist/Rhodes player Noah Feldshu joined up with them not much later in middle school. The band then acquired drummer Adam Levin while going to college. Since then, the group has been playing constantly and releasing songs as often as possible. From covering Ginuwine’s ‘Pony’ (the band also went through a period last year where they released a different bizarre cover every week on their Bandcamp - everything from LCD


the deli Spring 2013

Soundsystem to Nicki Minaj), to playing at The Delancey for The Deli Mag’s CMJ showcase in 2011. The stars seemed to be aligned for the band, but then… life snuck up on them with plans of its own. Though legally blind, Casey Harris had been trained and working as a piano tuner for some time. Then last year, he discovered that he needed a new kidney. It had been a long time coming, having had a condition since childhood that plagued him. And being part of the tight family, which he’ll credit for much of his success, Casey accepted a transplant from his mother. While out of the woods, much of this kept the band on hiatus. After he recovered at a cabin in the woods (and the rest of the group graduated from college), the quartet finally began practicing and recording new material together again. And what of the inspiration behind their debut?

If the band needed a turning point to go from local cult following to national touring cycle, making this record might have been the one good thing to come of all they’d been going through together. With the worst behind them, it feels like X Ambassadors have turned a big corner, and they’ve made some moves to mark the occasion. The group recently updated their name, adding the “X” makes them sound like they’re leaving something behind and starting a new step. The band’s first name came up arbitrarily enough as it was: “Ambassadors was completely random; we took it off the name of a cymbal on Adam’s drum kit ‘cause it sounded sweet.” - Sam Harris ( The name change also produces a lot of dead links on Google, but then… growth and change are a big part of what the group’s about anyway. And their debut LP certainly demonstrates that. The band pulled out all the stops for this one. From tracking at Westlake Studios in LA (Michael Jackson recorded “Bad” there), to including “Girls” star Zosia Mamet in the video for ‘Unconsolable,’ to placing title track ‘Litost’ on an episode of One Tree Hill, they’ve extended themselves to playing at a new level, and all of it was accomplished independently. This DIY spirit makes sense given Sam Harris’s inner looking disposition. Sometimes reading his lyrics can seem a bit daunting. His inner bluesman shines when he cries about drinks and pills (‘Weight/Lightness’), despair (‘Unconsolable’), and a relatable inability to hold down a relationship (‘Falls’). But if all that sounds a bit morbid, don’t despair. See Sam perform with his band in tow, and you’re left with an entirely different impression. From screaming at the top of his baritone, to browbeating standup electronic drums, he seems determined to exorcise his inner demons with every cymbal crash and sweaty turn. “…oftentimes the saddest things in life are pretty funny, and the prettiest things can be just as ugly, and vice versa. I always try to incorporate that into how I approach my material.” - Sam Harris (

Showing Their Teeth “I wanted to go all out with this record. We had written all of these songs in this sort of lax environment, but I didn’t want the record to mirror that,” says Sam. “I wanted it to be big and bombastic, and right away - you could connect to these songs, and I think that’s what we achieved.” Though the band swears the tough experience didn’t affect much of the writing, you can hear some of this pain come through on these tracks. On the song ‘(O Death)’ for instance, Sam chants: “O death, show me your ways Cuz I ain’t scared of your secrets no more O death, show me your teeth Cuz I am trained in the art of dentistry”

There are plenty of chances to see their material live now that they’ve carved out a seemingly impossible schedule for themselves. From playing with Imagine Dragons out in LA, to headlining a couple gigs at home next month, X Ambassadors are keeping up a pace worthy of their newfound energy. And what’s next for the group? Recording new music out in LA with producer Alex Da Kid (Dr. Dre, Nicki Minaj, Imagine Dragons). And recently, they’ve signed to Interscope/KIDinaKORNER Records for their next release, “Love Songs Drug Songs,” scheduled to come out May 7. It promises to be another revealing set of rockers from a quartet ready for the next change in their path.

Artist Equipment Box

ZVex Mastotron Fuzz

“I only use one pedal for my bass, and that’s a ZVex Mastotron fuzz pedal. I wanted to find a fuzz pedal that was a cross between what Ray Manzarek used on The Doors’ “Five To One” and what Colin Greenwood used on Radiohead’s “Exit Music”, and the Mastotron was the one.”

the deli Spring 2013


best of nyc Emerging Artists 2013



Grungy pop trio Skaters excitedly pronounces their name repeatedly when you come upon their nondescript website. But once you’ve seen the pizzaloving video for ‘Schemers,’ you’ll get a better idea for the sense of humor that the group is capable of. Shooting toy guns through confetti-soaked backgrounds, it’s obvious this is a band looking for a party. And with this much energy, there can’t be one far behind. Now signed to Warner Bros. Records, Skaters already made our Best of NYC Emerging Artists Poll last year, and in this year’s edition, they were also selected as The Deli Writers’ Favorite Emerging NYC Artist. If last year was a good one for them, then 2013 should be even better with their album scheduled for release this summer. (Mike Levine)



DIIV’s rising star in the past year was pretty hard to miss. Within the span of a few months, the band went from playing Brooklyn lofts to performing on Letterman - a trajectory that Zachary Cole Smith likely didn’t anticipate when he initially formed DIIV in 2011 as a solo recording project in his bedroom following a tour with Beach Fossils (he is also a live guitarist for that band). As one of Brooklyn’s biggest indie exports in recent memory, DIIV toured the U.S. and Europe behind their acclaimed Captured Tracks release, “Oshin,” and just recently played at Coachella as well as a string of dates with Trent Reznor’s How to Destroy Angels. The band’s atmospheric-yet-driving sound - sonorous twin guitar-chime, hazy vocals and Krautrock-inspired rhythms - has won over legions of fans, and it’s entirely possible Smith’s penchant for over-sized clothing will catch on too (Google Image the band if you don’t know what I mean). DIIV also consist of Devin Ruben Perez, formerly of Smith Westerns, Colby Hewitt and Smith’s long-time friend Andrew Bailey, and although they’ve only been performing as DIIV for about a year, in the live setting, you would swear that they’ve been doing this for much longer. Whether you caught them at a DIY show in a dirty, former storage space in Brooklyn or during their opening slot for the Vaccines at Terminal 5, the energy and enthusiasm has always been there. The group is also noteworthy for their emphasis on guitar. While numerous music critics (or mostly just NME) are always proclaiming “the return of the guitar band” via one Strokes rip-off or the next, DIIV’s almost constant use of powerful, melodic guitar lead lines to propel their songs forward sets them apart from most of their contemporaries - arguably making them the guitar band of the moment and certainly worthy of the “Best of NYC” tag. (Bill Dvorak)


the deli Spring 2013

best of nyc Emerging Artists 2013

Winner of Readers' Poll

Frances Rose


he results of The Deli’s Best of NYC Poll for Emerging Artists are compiled through a rather complicated process that takes into account votes coming from local scene makers, The Deli writers, and The Deli readers. Frances Rose won the readers’ section of the poll.

By Mike Levine


f aliens were into goth music, they might listen to Frances Rose. They’re writing the soundtrack to some landscape, but its contours are all their own. Maybe that’s why pioneer Lizzy Plapinger (MS MR) has taken the electro-pop sisters Sarah and Michelle Rose under her label’s wing. Or why they’ve recently worked with VICE’s campaign for Garnier Fructis, and won The Deli Magazine’s Readers’ Poll for Best Emerging Artist. Whatever the case, you’re not likely to find anything quite like these acoustic, psych vamps if you try. Take a listen... and find your inner vampire. Tell me what it’s been like the past year! You have been through some enormous changes in a very short period of time. Sarah: This year has been really exciting for Frances Rose. Between the VICE campaign for Garnier Fructis, winning the Deli Magazine reader’s poll for best new emerging artist, shooting photos with Shervin Lainez and Ben Ritter, releasing ‘Vampire’ on the KITSUNE AMERICA compilation alongside artists such as Gigamesh, SELEBRITIES, Hearts Revolution, Childish Gambino, and writing and recording our first record, yeah... 2013 has been pretty awesome. Michelle: It’s been a roller coaster! Trust no one. ;) When I listen to you, I feel like I’m hearing a pop anthem and an intimate acoustic vamp at the same time. Do you write your material over beats off the bat, or does the process begin with other instruments? Sarah: The process begins with an acoustic guitar or a grand piano. We write a lot at the Gibson Showroom. They have an insane white Baldwin grand piano... We write a lot at the kitchen table. We like to write and lay down the beat together. Michelle: We write all the material stripped down with an acoustic guitar or piano...then add electronic production and beats in the studio collaboratively with our producers. You seem to have made a fan of MS MR. Are you fans of Lizzy as well? Sarah: LIZZY, Ms. Neon Gold, is both a friend and an inspiration. It has been a truly incredible experience watching MS MR develop. Their style is seriously noteworthy, and I

The Deli Readers' Poll 2013 Top 10 1. Frances Rose 2. Apollo Run 3. Julian Fulton & the Zombie Gospel 4. The Henry Millers 5. Chron Turbine 6. Ludwig Persik 7. Napoleon 8. Sorcha Richardson 9. Great Elk 10. Melissa Czarnik

really love how they play with color, especially the teal and pink in ‘Hurricane,’ SO FIERCE and future. Michelle: All hail to Ms. Gold of the USA! My brother and I seriously argue over everything (even though I’m obviously always right). What’s the secret to working so well with your sibling? Michelle: I work well with Sarah. I don’t have to hold anything back... opinions... criticisms... critiques... tears… Sarah: Forgiveness. What new music is on the horizon for you? We need MORE! Michelle: We’ve been hiding away for quite a while recording an EP with some dynamite producers. We can’t wait to share it with the world! Sarah: We experiment with analog synths, ambient vocals and sci-fi lyric imagery. It’s like a French nouveau goth dream. We like to call it - the space farm.

the deli Spring 2013


best of nyc Emerging Artists 2013


Azar Swan

electro pop #6 St. Lucia

There are prominent piano chords, wandering guitar riffs and the odd sax solo littered throughout Jean-Philip Grobler’s music, but with programmed drums providing the heartbeat and earthly synths bringing the soul, the NYC-based South African - who releases music under the moniker St. Lucia - does create instrumentals of great electronic beauty. Also check out Haerts, a band he’s collaborating with. (Dean Van Nguyen)




Clementine and The Galaxy

All of the focus of MS MR’s sound is on the gorgeous vocals of their lead singer, the eponymous MS, a.k.a. Lizzy Plapinger. Her powerful voice combined with the indie-pop sensibilities of her band resulted in what I imagine Adele would sound like on Matador Records. This is also a band with superior songwriting chops, whose comfort zone is to be found in slower BPMs and sparser atmospheres. (Joshua S. Johnson)



Clementine and the Galaxy’s electro version of Nirvana’s ‘HeartShaped Box’ felt like something of an arrival last year. Its ethereal arrangement was launched deep into the cosmos by Julie Hardy’s pitch-perfect vocals, which were way too big to be contained by the provincial world of indie rock. On the band’s self-titled EP, Hardy infuses the turbulence of the digital moment with genuine emotional levity. (Brian Chidester)


Ghost Beach


Frances Rose




Kiss Slash Crooked Smile

The emergent Brooklyn sound in the aftermath era of lo-fi electro from successful acts such as Small Black and Violens seems to be bigger, bolder, more anthemic choruses. “Modern Tongues,” the debut EP by Ghost Beach, goes one further, blurring the lines between disparate genres like yacht rock, electro-funk and (amazingly) boy band rubbish. “Been There Before” is a song of such joy and pathos that it’s destined to send live crowds through the roof. (Brian Chidester)

See feature on page 23!

On the surface, Cultfever has nailed every cliche in the contemporary indie playbook: Two-person band delivers angst-ridden lyrics over hazy electro instrumentals. It’s the perfect soundtrack for next week’s opening credits to HBO’s “Girls.” Tamara Jafar’s sexy, vulnerable vocals go up against Joe Durniak’s tripped-out guitar lines, neither of them landing square on the melodic nose, instead using every bit of feedback and falsetto swoon to transform the simplest of electro ditties into a full-blown psychedelic club experience. (Brian Chidester)

As the nascent nu-pop underground digs its heels in deeper during 2013, Assaf Asi Spector and Yula Beeri’s band Kiss Slash Crooked Smile should at least win the prize for most bizarre moniker. Beeri’s singing style bears more than a passing likeness to the childlike delivery of Joanna Newsom, which I suppose is like saying Kiss Slash Crooked Smile sounds like Newsom’s new wave side project, The Pleased, which is not a bad thing. (Brian Chidester)


the deli Spring 2013





Anybody out there following the saga of those dot paintings by Damian Hirst that have the art world running in circles trying to catch its own tail? Yeah, well, that’s kind of what the latest single by Psychobuildings reminds me of. Peter LaBier discards his signature warbly vocals for crisp, lean pronunciation, while bringing on MNDR’s Amanda Warner for some blue-eyed soul. But other than that, it’s business as usual: morbidly indulgent lyrics set to prancy, darkwave rhythms. (Brian Chidester)

AVAN LAVA, as a whole, is a mind-blowing spectacle that takes time to behold. Mixing Prince with Rick Astley and Wham!, the band blasts lasers and confetti over the audience, whilst on-stage dancers shake in celebration of their unabashed upbeat electro-pop. Things never veer into irony, rather the entire affair feels both arty and jubilant in a way not often experienced in a live setting. (Dean Van Nguyen)

electronica #26 Laurel Halo

C lementine

Relocating from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Brooklyn in 2009, Laurel Halo has since gone on a run of heightened productivity, releasing in that time several singles, EPs, and last year, her debut LP “Quarantine,” which was put out by famed UK-based label Hyperdub and became one of the most rapturously received electronic records of 2012. The album showcased Halo’s ambient, artful soundscapes and piercing vocals, while upcoming EP “Behind the Green Door” is reported to be a more dancefloor-driven effort. (Dean Van Nguyen)

and the Galaxy


James Ferraro


Tunetown Philharmonic

Top 20

1. LCD Soundsystem 2. Small Black 3. Gramatik 4. Javelin 5. Julianna Barwick 6. Ratatat 7. Neon Indian 8. Battles 9. theswimmingpools 10. Scissor Sisters 11. Sleigh Bells 12. Anamanaguchi 13. Holy Ghost 14. Teengirl Fantasy 15. Nicholas Jaar 16. A-Trak 17. Twin Shadow 18. Hooray for Earth 19. Mindless Self Indulgence 20. Autre Ne Vet

The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts


Check out our self-generating online charts:

Eschewing the pop-art novelty of 2011’s “Far Side Virtual” EP, where James Ferraro employed beeps, chirps and chimes from ads, apps and other contemporary devices, last year’s follow-up, “Sushi,” was a far leaner, less ironic effort. Like tasty morsels of protein set atop small bites of sticky rice, the album boasted clean, obtuse combinations of the freshest ingredients in hip hop, chillwave and house. (Brian Chidester)

Kiss Slash

C rooked


Preston Spurlock and Neil Kelly make experimental electronica under the moniker Tunetown Philharmonic, regularly uploading scattered tracks complete with Windows Media Player-esque swirling visuals directly to their Facebook page. The duo’s work has been somewhat ramshackle in nature thus far, but their finest and most fully realized composition to date is the haunting and futuristic ‘A Suckers Saturday,’ which Kelly uploaded to YouTube as an alternative soundtrack to The Prodigy’s famous ‘Smack Your Bitch Up’ video. (Dean Van Nguyen)

electro rock #56 Azar Swan

‘Lusty,’ the first single by NYC’s Azar Swan, defies easy categorization. A toxic blend of jungle rhythm and technopunk aggression provides the sweltering backdrop for singer Zohra Atash’s ominous, gothic vocal style. What makes ‘Lusty’ so visceral, however, is the way its beastial lyrics burn with a kind of sexual frustration that feels both dangerous and pornographic. Beware of Azar Swan. (Brian Chidester)



When you listen to KNTRLR for the first time, you’ll probably already feel like you’re singing along to them. Swirling loops engulf otherwise driving rhythms and vocals that shoot for the rafters. It’s like the way campfire jams probably sound on Mars. No matter how the textures differ, from the rapid single string interplay of ‘Kush,’ to the dark sounds running around ‘Velveteen,’ the duo exudes a glossy sun-worshipping sheen. (Mike Levine)

Production Corner

By Paolo De Gregorio

Secrets of Mixing: Kick, Bass and...Ducks Purely electronic music (dance in particular) is quite a different beast to mix compared to its electric and acoustic cousins. The lack of uneven “human factors” in the instrumental tracks makes the use of regular compression less crucial, while effects like filters, delays and... whatever’s weird, garner the front stage, together with... kick and bass! These two sounds of course share many frequencies at the bottom end of the spectrum, and also can’t really be separated with panning, because you want both of them to drive the song from the dead, deep center of the mix. Hence getting kick and bass to “live” together - without a trick - can be quite challenging.

for example), so that at its most extreme setting, when the kick sound reaches its peak volume, the bass will be muted, therefore letting the kick shine in all its glory while creating the famous signature “pumping” sound shared by many dance tracks. Even though abused in electronic music, ducking can be used in any genre, also in creative ways by “chaining” two different sounds to each other.

The trick in question is called “Sidechain Compression” (also referred to as “ducking”). This process - in a few Find other recording tips at words - uses the level of the kick to control inversely the level of the bass (or anything else - lead synths

best of nyc Emerging Artists 2013

avant pop

Port Celestial






St. Willow


Four-piece indie band Conveyor may have left the heat of Florida for colder Brooklyn, NY, but they carried along a warm sound with them. These quirky indie rockers dabble in pop melodies, folk harmonies, and electronic beats, with a light-hearted experimental rock result. They came in first in our indie rock open submissions, after enjoying a 2012 filled with Deli coverage! (Lucy Sherman)

Any fan of the summer (or global warming) will immediately latch on to Dalton. This is the scrappy, thrown together energy of Brooklyn’s native son Nate Harar, a man with a deep, abiding belief in the power of the sun to work out whatever kinks are found in his guitar jams. We are looking forward to a full-length release, but if the three tracks posted to his Bandcamp are any indication of things to come… we can’t wait to play in his sandbox. (Mike Levine)


People Get Ready

We wrote so often about avant-pop Brooklyn band People Get Ready in the last year that we won’t even bother singing their praises again. Just grab a copy of the previous issue of The Deli - they were on the cover (winter 2013 issue). Oh, and don’t miss them live!


Modern Rivals

Promising new Brooklyn band Modern Rivals comes at us with diverse instrumentation and lively vocals to create their spirited and inspired indie rock. Weaving whirling keyboard lines, lush loops, and dreamy guitar tones around balladic vocals and a hard-hitting percussive backdrop, Modern Rivals bridge pop and rock genres in inventive new ways. (Lucy Sherman)



Starting as a side project and blooming into a full band, ARMS makes for a refreshing take on the indie-rock genre. The band takes pop melodies and gives them a rock edge with noisy guitars, distorted backup vocals, and a grooving bass line. Expect a new EP in the summer. (Lucy Sherman)


the deli Spring 2013



Celestial Shore


Port St. Willow


Celestial Shore operate along disorientating lines, juxtaposing gorgeous harmonies reminiscent of The Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” to inconceivable bursts of baroque, math-rock madness. With an upcoming album in the works, Celestial Shores’ quirky musical tarts - as long as the craziness doesn’t get too out of hand - is one of the best new expressions of the fun avant-pop genre that has been flourishing among nonconformist college students since the late ’80s. (Paolo De Gregorio)

Under the guise Port St. Willow, native New Yorker Nicholas Principe creates spacious, ambient music led by roving guitar lines and the artist’s lingering falsetto, all showcased on his fine debut full-length record “Holiday.” The album’s conception was inspired by a three-year period of living in the Pacific Northwest, and the region’s grand, mountainous terrain seeps into the compositions that veer from soaring anthems to crushing ballads, which are draped in layers of atmospheric resonance as Principe assembles his arrangements with meticulous care. (Dean Van Nguyen)

avant indie

avant indie Top 20

1. Yeasayer 2. Dirty Projectors 3. Grizzly Bear 4. Animal Collective 5. Yo La Tengo 6. Gang Gang Dance 7. Marnie Stern 8. Kaki King 9. Emily Wells 10. Department of Eagles 11. Buke and Gase 12. Expensive Looks 13. Rasputina 14. NewVillager 15. Son Lux 16. Delicate Steve 17. Mice Parade 18. Prince Rama 19. Black Dice 20. Rubblebucket Check out our self-generating online charts:

In One



Blanche Blanche Blanche


In One Wind

Xenia R ubinos

Photo: Shervin Lainez

Like a jack-in-the-box about to fall off the rails, Blanche Blanche Blanche keep you guessing about what’s coming next - the entire way through. Utilizing their penchant for fourtrack recorders and melodic approximation to produce an out of this world, grim-inducing experience, this new-to-Brooklyn duo is crafting Ween-influenced, lo-fi madness for a new generation. Listen to their new LP “Wooden Ball,” and just try to make sense of this robo-rock assault if you can. (Mike Levine)

As the clock ticks away, there’s fragility to every existence that Brooklyn’s experimental quintet In One Wind captures with admirable dramatic intensity. Drifting from the aesthetic innovations of their debut towards something more conceptual for their latest EP “Lean,” the band developed six narratives, built upon an unstable structure, where each voice, with a warm candor, struggles to find its place and pace itself to the rhythm of the song. (Tracy Mamoun)


Xenia Rubinos

Carving out the sounds of almost any instrument or style from her powerful voice, Xenia Rubinos (who made it in

Blanche Blanche Blanche our list of Best of NYC Emerging Artist Poll in the last two editions) takes on the world with her take on soca, punk, soul, and even beat-y dubstep. From the heaviness of ‘Hair Receding’ to the expansive flight of ‘Cherry Tree,’ her EP “Magic Trix” will keep you guessing at how large her imagination is. (Mike Levine)

the deli Spring 2013


The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts

best of nyc Emerging Artists 2013

FRI JUNE 07 - Brooklyn Bowl ($15)

THU JUNE 06 - Spike Hill ($7)

WED JUNE 05 - Spike Hill ($5)

SAT JUNE 08 - Cameo ($10)

SAT JUNE 08 - Spike Hill ($7)

FRI JUNE 07 - Spike Hill ($6)

brought to you by

best of nyc Emerging Artists 2013

dream pop




Anya Skidan

Adored by The Deli’s staff, mellow dream-pop duo Widowspeak - whose debut EP was our Album of the Month back in 2011 - placed 3rd in this same poll’s 2012 edition. Last year, the band established itself with their second fulllength that confirmed their talent for crafting sleepy, ethereal electro-pop gems. (Paolo De Gregorio)

Brooklyn chanteuse Anya Skidan is unafraid to charge her tunes with melancholy and sadness, throwing herself decidedly at life’s shadows, while attempting to illuminate some psychedelic light over her settings. Channeling a sultry vocal delivery that bears similarity to the Tori Amos/ Fiona Apple lexicon, with an air of dreamy mystery woven throughout, this is a budding artist we should keep an ear on. (Dave Cromwell)






Grand Resort

Empress of

The cool thing about Brooklyn’s Napoleon is that they play a brand of dream pop that DOES NOT refer back to the usual suspects of the genre like Cocteau Twins and The Sundays, but rather to other dreamy musical giants like Jeff Buckley, Low and Elliot Smith. Their debut “Success” is a very fun record, but not a shallow one - this is beach music for the real world. (Dean Van Nguyen)

After taking their “buzz band” status to new heights in 2012 (partly also because of the cover for The Deli’s summer issue), SNOWMINE went to SXSW 2013 as a “band not to miss.” To remind music fans about their gorgeously ascetic dream pop, they also released a new song and video for the single ‘Silver Sieve,’ taken from their upcoming second album. (Paolo De Gregorio)

The musical vision of Andrés Pichardo becomes fully realized under the moniker Grand Resort. His debut EP “Vanguard Dreams” places you smack in between the lighthearted dreaminess of Real Estate and the Brooklyn glo-fi bands. Featuring the kind of heart-tugging, bouncy chord progression that you could imagine being played while falling in love, undistorted jangle-pop guitars weave through as you swoon for the perfect girl that you’ve just met. (Dave Cromwell)


Frankie Rose

Frankie Rose is a little bit the King Midas of the Brooklyn DIY/psych scene. She was formerly an original member of breakout acts: Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, and Vivian Girls. Rose’s solo career began in 2009 with her debut record under the moniker Frankie Rose and the Outs. Now, “The Outs” are out, and her 2012 release “Interstellar” is stunning proof that Frankie can do things on her own. (Paolo De Gregorio)


Ex Cops

Like being exhausted by a hot sun, Bryan Harding and Amalie Bruun’s dream pop sways slow and nonchalant;


the deli Spring 2013



carelessly, it wraps itself around jangle-pop melodies and vaporous synths, lost in a hazy confusion where layers mingle, melt into one another, and a voice echoes from afar, barely there. Now, they’ve only been around for about a year, but with their debut album “True Hallucinations,” we should be hearing more from this group. (Tracy Moamoun)


Empress Of

Brooklyn’s Lorely Rodriguez (a.k.a. Empress Of) describes her Augustan moniker as “a project of sight and sound,” which took the form of 13 one-minute bursts of exhilarating pop uploaded to her YouTube account. Dubbed “colorminutes,” these arresting nuggets of color-filled background music set the stage for Empress Of’s first single, ‘Don’t Tell Me,’ an aching electro ballad. Think Portishead meets Sinead O’Connor at her most breathless, and you’ll get the idea. (Brian Chidester)

Photo: Andrew Smith

dream pop Top 20

1. DIIV 2. Empress Of 3. Real Estate 4. Ducktails 5. Caveman 6. Field Mouse 7. Frankie Rose 8. Widowspeak 9. Snowmine 10. Napoleon 11. Ex Cops 12. Mahogany 13. Pajama People 14. Violens 15. Lizard Kisses 16. Thieving Irons 17. Spanish Prisoners 18. Desert Stars 19. The Echo Friendly 20. Yellowbirds

Anya Skidan


The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts


Check out our self-generating online charts:

Production Corner

By Paolo De Gregorio

Secrets of Mixing: Space as Third Dimension

If EQ and pan are the most useful tools to create an “open” mix where instruments don’t step on each other’s frequency or placement in the stereo field, a mix wouldn’t sound alive without the use of more subtle depth related effects and techniques. Effects like reverbs and echoes emulate natural sonic phenomenons related to distance - which is what depth is all about - although, often the natural reverb of really good sounding rooms works better for certain instruments (drums in particular).


Before you start mixing a song, try to visualize your “depth” range. While a punchy, fast rock song might want to “exist” in a rather shallow space to enhance that “in your face” feeling, slower acoustic genres may require a more realistic approach, while “out there” psychedelic tunes often crave deeper soundscapes or huge reverbs that purposely swallow melodies and lyrics. Always place your reverbs with caution though, and create contrast between elements, or things can get wishy-washy very easily. If you want to get an instrument to sound far away, apply some reverb or echo to it (or both) - the longer their tales, the bigger the distance. Since we perceive far away sounds also quieter and duller than close ones, roll off some high frequencies, and keep them at a low volume and under control with a limiter. If you want an instrument to sound close to your ears, but still within its own space, try a short delay, and add some aggressive compression so that no parts of it get lost in the mix.



These tips are just scratching the surface of these effects that can feature many parameters. A subtle use of them, intended to emulate natural reverberation, can make the mix sounds as if the band was playing right in front of you, while heavier handed, more creative techniques adopted by more experimental artists can recreate blurred atmospheres and sci-fi sonic scenarios.

Find other recording tips at

psych rock






Ludwig Persik

psych rock/ showgaze Top 20

1. TV on the Radio 2. Teenage Daydreams 3. Exitmusic 4. Panda Bear 5. The Antlers 6. The Raveonettes 7. School of Seven Bells 8. Woods 9. Bear In Heaven 10. Amen Dunes 11. Asobi Seksu 12. Minks 13. Weekend 14. Baby Alpaca 15. Xray Eyeballs 16. Psychic Ills 17. Crystal Stilts 18. Peanut Butter Lovesicle 19. Teen 20. The Stepkids Check out our self-generating online charts:

See feature on page 17!

See feature on page 22!



Brooklyn Lazyeyes does the shoegaze thing right. There is a spacious ambiance to the guitars and appealing cathedral qualities on the vocals. Solid straightforward percussion creates Eastern an unadorned anchor for all of the other cerebral qualities brought in by voices and guitars. Their lush melodies descend on us straight from 7th heaven. The overall feel (and progression) brings to mind classic mid-’90s dream pop, one of the true golden ages of indie rock. (Dave Cromwell)



Eastern Hollows

With their EP “Days Ahead” released this past summer and their single ‘Summer’s Dead’ dropping in December, 2012 was a busy year for Brooklyn-based psych rock outfit Eastern Hollows. Meandering guitars, cymbal heavy drumming, and languid vocals give the band’s music a dreamy edge reminiscent of classic shoegaze sounds with a refreshing indie twist. (Lucy Sherman)


Delphic Oracle

Under the Delphic Oracle moniker, classically trained Brooklyn-based multimedia artist Christiana Key creates hypnotic, nightmarish music with ancestral undertones and a strong visual impact. Songs like ‘The Bodywood’ traverse the same thumping tom toms and deep bass-synth doom of “Pornography”-era Cure, while adding middle eastern-tinged vocals and belly dancer rhythms. At her live show, you can expect dramatic costumes and also... to be the sacrificial victim in some kind of satanic ritual. (Dave Cromwell)



Born in 2011 when Here We Go Magic’s lady keyboardist Teeny Lieberson left the band to pursue her own project, TEEN plays some kind of tribal trip-pop (trib-pop?), which is particularly fitting for the African weather NYC will be experiencing in a few months. Joined by sisters, Lizzie and Katherine, and friend Jane Herships, the band’s sound bears strong references to the post-punk of the early ’80s. (Paolo De Gregorio)


the deli Spring 2013



Ludwig Persik



Ludwig Persik - whose debut EP “2012” was our NYC Album of the Month last July - possesses a “transversal” charm, with the potential to capture fans of Syd Barrett’s crooked and surreal compositions, beat-addicted lovers of avant-pop à la Beck, and even those who - like us - miss John Lennon’s playful flirtations with circus and parade music. If you are a fan of the aforementioned categories, then you must give him a spin. (Paolo De Gregorio)

Recently relocated to Brooklyn from Oakland, ungoogleable band Weekend sure doesn’t come across as your “regular” West Coast act. Flirting with shoegaze, post-punk, and at times, even goth, the trio’s music doesn’t exactly conjure up sunny images. Their angular, exacting tunes got them a ticket to tour with Brit New Wave legends Wire. Due for a new release via Slumberland in 2013, this is a band for getting lost in the fog. (Paolo De Gregorio)

The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts

best of nyc Emerging Artists 2013

guitar pop Scott and


indie pop

The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts

best of nyc Emerging Artists 2013

Top 20


1. Fun. 2. Vampire Weekend 3. MGMT 4. Haerts 5. Friends 6. Darwin Deez 7. Beach Fossils 8. Julian Casablancas 9. Lenka 10. The Drums 11. Cults 12. Ra Ra Riot 13. Broken Bells 14. REWIND THE CRISIS 15. The Virgins 16. freelance whales 17. The Last Royals 18. Oh Land 19. Rufus Wainwright 20. Nada Surf Check out our self-generating online charts:








See feature on page 22!


Los Encantados

Brooklyn sextet, Los Encantados, fashion summery songs with a throwback feel. Having three EPs already under their belts, totaling up nine songs with a signature surf vibe, the band’s sunny, playful tunes shine with crystal clear vocal harmonies, bright melodies, and infectious pop sensibilities. One can’t help but imagine a sunset while listening to each of their releases. Los Encantados have found the key to making feel-good music. (Meijin Bruttomesso)


The Henry Millers



Scott and Charlene’s Wedding

Whenever I think of The Henry Millers, the ultra-literate quartet from Brooklyn, I always think of my parent’s music and how every band sorta looked like a family back in the ‘60s. While not related to one another, singers John MacCallum and Katie Schecter certainly convey a kind of sibling understanding in their discussions of exes and love on their release “Daisies.” The LP’s charm just might bring you into their family too. (Mike Levine)

Stephen Malkmus is apparently a huge fan of New Zealand’s Flying Nun Records scene, and Craig Dermody - the Australian native now New York-based man behind Scott and Charlene’s Wedding - must have found similar influences in the groups’ approaches to life and song. The way his band expresses mundane details are part of what makes for timeless slacker anthems. (Mike Levine)




Vassals is a band that has studied at the altar of classic pop songwriting. With their track ‘Informers,’ the group celebrates the possibilities of a warm guitar, a touching story, and what sounds like a drugged out zither. The song shuffles its rhythms at a level on par with the most bouncy of Vampire Weekend’s tracks (but without even a touch of Cape Cod), while its story seems to take you in one direction: awkward, adolescent love. (Mike Levine)

The Babies

By a mile more polished than the past efforts, far tighter too, The Babies’ sophomore album “Our House on the Hill” takes us to a space filled with nostalgia. No more sunbaked lethargy though, merely a touch of nonchalance. No more Mr. Lo-Fi, yet still textures aplenty. Previously drowned under lashings of noise, The Babies are opening up to a new sound (one that they’d barely approached before), and are finally pushing forward. (Tracy Mamoun)

the deli Spring 2013


best of nyc Emerging Artists 2013

guitar rock


Parquet Courts




Life Size Maps

Brooklyn noise devotees Hunters have been pulling out the big guns as of late. The duo is slated to release a debut LP via Mom + Pop this summer, and will be touring with Bleached and Jeff the Brotherhood in the meantime. Guitarist/vocalist Derek Watson and cotton candy pink-coiffed vocalist Izzy Almeida feed off each other with fierce, instinctive on-stage rapport. And they go all out - there’s uncensored drama in every wave of distortion and punchy yowl. (Corinne Bagish)

Mike McKeever’s deliberate vocal style and heavily effected, meandering guitar serve as fitting centerpieces for Life Size Maps’ proprietary brand of post-postmodern rock; And with a locked-in rhythm section there’s little to fault them on. With a name that came from a stoned friend’s musings and a sound that’s difficult to pin down to any one corner, this trio is destined for success - or at least to rock your face off at many DIY parties in Bushwick. (Zack Kraimer)



Something about Slothrust suggests a taste for destruction, starting with their record’s desolated cover art and ending in the systematic perversion of anything comforting. The most linear of their tracks are likely to collapse into noise. Tied together by dragged-out blues and a refined taste for

Slothrust gravelly guitar and bass, this Brooklyn female-led threepiece benefits from a jazz/blues formation, and masters with amazing ease the art of keeping the audience hanging to a chord. (Tracy Mamoun)


Parquet Courts

While a lot of Brooklyn bands try desperately to shed historical references, Parquet Courts seem to revel in finding common ground with their forefathers. They’ve managed to flirt heavily with the noise-rock expectations of Sonic Youth,

Production Corner

By Paolo De Gregorio

Secrets of Mixing: The Crowded Midrange When people ask me what the secret of mixing is, I answer: “Use as few tracks playing at once as possible, and you are golden.” Yes, because mixing is a job that gets exponentially more difficult the more tracks you are dealing with. This is due to the fact that not only each recorded instrument requires its own share of attention (dynamics/volume control, EQ sweetening, placement in the stereo field, spacial depth, and even effects if you wish), but also because each extra part adds a new variable in the mix, interacting in often unpredictable ways with the other sounds. Busy arrangements invariably end up creating crowded midrange frequencies between 250Hz and 3Khz. That is where pretty much any instrument has its “body” and

its “clarity” or “bite.” Sounds like strummed distorted guitars and keyboard pads make things even harder because they occupy an enormous frequency bandwidth, behaving like sonic blankets. Frequency interferences between sounds create phase-related conflicts that end up making some parts in the mix sound weak or bad. This is why a track that sounds glorious by itself may sound pathetic in the mix: Surrounding sounds are sucking frequencies out of it.

But paradoxically, “sucking frequencies out of the tracks” is exactly what mixing engineers do to make their mixes sound better: They pick and choose the “indispensable” frequencies for each instrument (normally a body frequency and a clarity one), maybe boost them a little with EQ while cutting more drastically what can be sacrificed. That, of course, limits the amount of conflicts between the tracks, but the more tracks you have; the harder it gets to carve out some room for everything. Fortunately, the stereo field also helps: If two instruments are sitting in the same frequency range, they can be placed far right and far left.

Find other recording tips at


indie rock

The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts


Top 20

1. The National 2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs 3. The Strokes 4. Swans 5. The Front Bottoms 6. Eleanor Friedberger 7. Guards 8. Monuments 9. Interpol 10. Parquet Courts 11. The Men 12. The Rapture 13. Blonde Redhead 14. The Walkmen 15. Matt and Kim 16. Bad Books 17. Paul Banks 18. Yellow Ostrich 19. White Rabbits 20. Julian Plenti Check out our self-generating online charts:


Size Maps

the angular punk of The Stranglers, and the slacker torch passed over from Pavement for their much-discussed LP “Light Up Gold.” But there’s also something uniquely New York in how they’ve channeled their frustrations through punk freak-outs and talking about nothing in the universal truths. It’s part of a timeless link in a chain heading back to The Velvet Underground, while cutting its teeth in the grunge noise of the ‘90s. (Mike Levine)


The Everymen

For “New Jersey Hardcore,” their first LP release, The Everymen took a good handful of new steps, from production, an obvious first, to the choices made throughout the record. On a couple of songs, we get to hear Catherine Herrick (the only lady in the band) sing. Amidst punk jams, there’s also more of the slower, softer side we’d heard on their last EP. Yet, whichever directions they take, their live show is still one loud-as-hell performance. (Tracy Mamoun)

making the world a better sounding place.




Big Ups



Sleepies’ LP “Weird Wild World” came carefully produced, so to maintain the grit levels up whilst avoiding the indulgence so often associated with all things punk, which, all things considered, gives them a crucial edge in this noisy scene. What they managed to do very well for this record is conserve a strong sonic identity throughout, while allowing themselves to be more adventurous with structures & textures - a step up on many fronts. (Tracy Mamoun)

Big Ups are probably one of the most ambitious screaming punk acts this side of the Hudson, basically clamoring to knock the doors off any and all venues (and will probably sleep on your couch while they’re at it too). But don’t worry. These guys are so much fun; you won’t even mind getting hit by a sweat bomb or two when you see them live next time. (Mike Levine)

Former Brooklynites, now Philly-based Swearin’s ability to write attention-grabbing hooks fueled by punk aggression has already set them up for darling status in the underground music community with the release of the fourpiece’s debut self-titled LP. (Quang D. Tran)

10 jay street suite 405 brooklyn, ny 11201 (718) 797-0177

the deli Spring 2013


best of nyc Emerging Artists 2013

alt rock


X Ambassadors


Apollo Run

See feature on page 20!

Recurring and welcomed guests to our year end Best of NYC Emerging Artists Polls (they placed 10th in our 2012 edition), Apollo Run mix grandiose pop experimentations with lush harmonies, creating a colorful energy that also animates their shows. The Brooklyn trio is fronted by Ohio native John McGrew, whose vocal style is often compared to Jeff Buckley, giving the band a rather ambitious sound. (Devon Antonetti)


Black Taxi

Black Taxi belong to an oft-ignored genre of music known as “punchy cinematic rock,” and seeing them live is like watching performance art, a jukebox musical, and every single Nicholas Cage movie at once (so you don’t have to). In other words, this band isn’t afraid to try everything while getting caught in the act of looking good in tight costumes. (Mike Levine)


Mother Feather


Nude Beach


Beast Patrol


The Stationary Set


Ursa Minor

Beast Appolo



Self-defined “cock-rock” outfit Mother Feather surely knows how to attract the attention of often distracted New Yorkers - through catchy rock tunes filled with tongue-in-cheek lyrics and a flamboyant tease of a live act, which heats the crowds up with in your face energy, synchronized moves, and several feet of naked flesh on display. (Paolo De Gregorio)

Past a first round of late ’70s references de rigueur - Petty this, Thunders that - what you’re left with is not a trio of hopeless retro-maniacs, but a young rock ‘n’ roll band looking for an adventure. The videos of Nude Beach’s songs revealingly peak into the junk-eating, drink-downing routine of a trio having a laugh on the road and watching America pass by the windows of their tour van. (Tracy Mamoun)

Vanessa Bley, who at the start of 2012 released her own solo debut EP, has now officially teamed up with her two pals, who’ve been on the venture with her from the start. Under the name Beast Patrol, the trio dropped its first output as a band, “Fierce & Grateful,” an EP that provides vaporous rock jams as well ferocious vocals and angry drums.

Since 2009, The Stationary Set have been fine-tuning their soulful electro-pop-rock aesthetic over a series of releases, including a revved up, modern take on Pat Benetar’s ‘We Belong.’ The band has already toured with Hot Hot Heat and members of Louis XIV, taking their intense artrock throughout the country. The Stationary Set’s third record, “Haunt On,” was released in 2012, paving the way to the group’s Daytrotter session, to be recorded this spring. (Devon Antonetti)

The enchanting and soothing voice of Michelle Casillas interplays with haunting guitar/bass lines to establish the foundation of rock band Ursa Minor. Sharing the name of a constellation, the band also touches on spacey and psychedelic vibes, jazzy phrasing, driving rock beats,


the deli Spring 2013




Stationary Set

The Courtesy Tier

The Courtesy Tier talk a lot about resolution, but I’m not buying it. After powering their way through burners like ‘Rescue’ and ‘Alright Mama,’ I don’t feel like much has been settled. The Brooklyn duo of Layton and Omar struggle with issues of frustrations galore in otherwise barren electric textures that bring to mind Seattle groups like Modest Mouse and Mudhoney. Not bad company when it comes to working out life’s pains. (Mike Levine)


Chron Turbine


The Prigs


Sora An

alt rock Top 20

1. Brand New 2. Senses Fail 3. Taking Back Sunday 4. American Authors 5. We Are Scientists 6. Steel Train 7. The Bouncing Souls 8. Andrew W.K. 9. Danny Blu 10. Wakey!Wakey! 11. The Hold Steady 12. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists 13. The Stationary Set 14. Dads 15. Candy Hearts 16. Alberta Cross 17. X Ambassadors 18. Screamin Rebel Angels 19. The Dig 20. Semi Precious Weapons

The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts

and a folksy twang on their sophomore record, “Showface.” Each member of the Brooklyn-based four-piece has established backgrounds, bringing together experience that is apparent in the group’s developed sound. (Meijin Bruttomesso)

Check out our self-generating online charts:

Chron Turbine seem to contain their sound in their name. Chronically in turbo drive, the three-piece based in NYC formulates heavy rock with crunchy, dissonant guitars and racing, pounding drums. They’ve sought out “one goal” of “good rock music,” and their single ‘D.L.R.G.’ (which stands for “dirty little rich girl”) from the LP “Skull Necklace For You” and humorous video for ‘Pudding Cup’ highlight the band’s unhinged spirit and rock philosophy, while not taking themselves too seriously. (Meijin Bruttomesso)

Sora An

The juror who voted for these guys (who shall remain nameless) said this about The Prigs: “Their live performances are stellar. Imagine something between Flaming Lips, Bruce Springsteen, and Dropkick Murphies! An unusual choice, I know, but they exude awesomeness through and through. The Prigs’ band members play in a multitude of Brooklyn-based bands (St. Vincent and Kaki King among others); this seems to be their fuck all passion project!”

Sora An is a Brooklyn-based, female rock musician who came to NYC to build her solo career. She is backed by Sergio Leccese on drums, Rene Ferrer on bass, and Robert Pucciariello on synths. The Koreanborn artist is not only here for music, but according to her recent record’s title “Love Is Why I Am Here,” Sora An’s six-song album caters to her generation, eliciting nostalgia for alt-rock, singer-songwriter vibes and ’90s grit. (Meijin Bruttomesso)

Production Corner

one you are working on - to compensate, simply turn the volume down until it matches the volume of your mix.

By Paolo De Gregorio

Secrets of Mixing: A/Bing The easiest and quickest way to learn anything is by watching the pros in action. As far as mixing is concerned, we might not be able to be present in the studio with the best mixing engineers while they work, but we all have access to... their final mixes! During mixing, it is incredibly useful to have a professionally mixed track embedded in your sequencer window with the other tracks muted and accessible through just one click (or key) for comparison purposes. Of course, you need to pick a track that’s somewhat compatible with the one you are mixing: similar genre, similar instrumentation, similar tempo, similar vibe. Also - of course - pick a mix you really like. Different records sound entirely different, but that doesn’t mean they are badly mixed. It’s just a question of style.

You’ll need to consider that the comparative track went already through the mastering process, while yours didn’t, so it will sound way louder and morecompressed than the

Quickly A/Bing similar sections of the two songs can be very helpful in getting the mix balance right, and sometimes, when you are particularly happy about a mix you created, it’s a good idea to use it as an A/B reference for other songs by the same artist.

Find other recording tips at

best of nyc Emerging Artists 2013



R ichardson

Photo: Sean Myrden



Street Dive

Alt-Folk #21 Great Elk

Great Elk have a sound that seems to rise straight from the earth. Whether singer Paul Basile’s lyrics are down in the mud or soaring through the sky, this is a reminder of open spaces that the band left behind in their native Alaska. Tracks like ‘I’m Going to Bend’ from the group’s debut LP “Autogeography” are telltale reminders of how much we have in common no matter the landscape. (Mike Levine)


Lake Street Dive

With Lake Street Dive, you’re not left with the impression that you’re hearing studio recordings at all. In fact, most of this group’s songs were recorded in a live situation. And with a voice like singer Rachael Price’s, it’s no wonder they have no need for studio trickery to produce their blend of gospel yelps, jazz variations and old-school Muscle Shoals soul. This is a band meant to be experienced live. (Mike Levine)

Mellow Folk #54 Sorcha Richardson

If there’s one place where people keep their secrets locked away, it has to be their beds. We gather that Sorcha Richardson spends a lot of time in hers, whether ruminating on love or attempting unsuccessfully to get out of it


the deli Spring 2013

Natural C hild

Great Elk

to start her day. Delicate poetry finds its way through this singer-songwriter’s gentle, steel-string guitar shapes and soothing alto that seems to reach out and beg you to confide in her. (Mike Levine)






St. Claire

Wilsen’s eerie and confident album “Sirens” (a former Deli NYC Album of the Month) is a gorgeous integration of folk and dream pop as well as a fantastic first step for this bright singer-songwriter. Throughout the album, she experiments with different sonics and styles, although Wilsen seems to find her comfort zone in ballads reminiscent of Leonard Cohen’s unforgettable early, sparse and pensive material. (Josh S. Johnson)

For anyone missing the endless summer, Basinger (previously known as Make Out Room) are here to bring you the beach. Just try and not get lost in the skyscraper crooning of tracks ‘Rehobeth’ or ‘Going to California.’ The Brooklyn quartet describes their music as ethereal sounds, and is set to release their debut EP later this year. Hoping the good weather keeps up until then. (Mike Levine)

Sister and brother band St. Claire is an up-and-coming Brooklyn-based act that, above all, writes great, soothingly melancholic folk songs. Emily Forsythe’s voice has the gravity and intensity of the masters of the genre, while her


Top 20

C laire

1. CocoRosie 2. Devendra Banhart 3. Norah Jones 4. Phosphorescent 5. Cat Power 6. Regina Spektor 7. Theophilus London 8. Ingrid Michaelson 9. Martha Wainwright 10. Lady Lamb the Beekeeper 11. Waxahatchee 12. Sam Amidon 13. Hercules and Love Affair 14. Ron Pope 15. The Lone Bellow 16. Antony and the Johnsons 17. Rachael Yamagata 18. Akron/Family 19. Citizen Cope 20. Doe Paoro

The Dough Rollers

Check out our self-generating online charts:



brother - together with a brand new rhythm section - excels at creating sparse and velvety atmospheres, alternating acoustic guitars, banjos and ukuleles. (Paolo De Gregorio)




Folk-Rock #71 The Ludlow Thieves

See feature on page 18!

For Lower East Side’s The Ludlow Thieves, life is a continuing anthem, filled with moments larger than they may seem. Projecting an exuberance that harkens back to hair metal’s declarations of passion and love, The Ludlow Thieves do it all with mandolins and acoustic energy instead. Songs like ‘Sing Me Back’ might very well become a new national anthem with all the love for their hometown New York and all the circles of friends they’re surrounded by. (Mike Levine)


The Lone Bellow


Natural Child


Lora Faye


The Dough Rollers

Americana #2 Spirit Family Reunion If it seems like it was only last year when phenomenal “Brooklyn Country Music” trio The Lone Bellow was still playing local venues and gathering fans one by one, it’s because it was. The folk group has been everywhere these days touring nationally and appearing on Conan (also on the cover of our SXSW 2013 issue); however, the place where you don’t want to miss them is... on a stage. (Mike Levine)

Lora Faye’s deep, bluesy voice shows a wise and discerning tone not often heard from a 23-year-old. The Brooklyn singer-songwriter may reach great depths in her folk style, but it’s her raw vocals and compelling delivery that sets her apart from her contemporaries. Faye even earned the top prize at The Mountain Stage New Song Contest in 2012, winning some fully funded studio time, used to record her forthcoming 2013 release. (Devon Antonetti)

Originally from Nashville, Natural Child’s contributed to last summer’s soundtrack with ‘B$G P$MP$N,’ the first release from their debut album, “Hard In Heaven”; the result was a bizarre cacophony that in theory shouldn’t work as well as it does. Reinventing blues and classic rock in a way that’s (finally) also provocative and fun, Natural Child is repackaging American traditional music for a new generation of stoners and party people. (Brianne Turner)

Rockabilly blues duo The Dough Rollers, comprised of Jack Byrne and Malcolm Ford (son of Harrison!), formed in 2009, and covers the sounds of the band’s bi-coastal roots in L.A. and New York. The group’s self-titled debut incorporates country sensibilities and instrumental eclecticism through the employment of mandolin, kazoo, washboards, and even a fiddle through extra member Julia Tepper. (Devon Antonetti) More rootsy artists!

The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts


roots + Songwriters

best of nyc Emerging Artists 2013

rootsy Pony


of Good Tidings


Songwriters #42 Lady Lamb the Beekeeper

Aly Spaltro’s sultry voice carries through her new album, “Ripley Pine,” at times sounding like Neko Case or a young PJ Harvey. Spaltro, the gifted songwriter behind Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, wrote the album in Maine while working at a used DVD store, later recording it in her then-new Brooklyn apartment. Floating between folk, rock and psych elements, the album shows a diverse musical and emotional depth from the 23-year-old artist, through expert layering of melodies and metaphors. (Devon Antonetti)



Bi-national artist Kiddo got her start in her hometown of Paris, honing in on the guitar at the tender age of 8. Born Anna Chalon, the singer studied music at the London Music School and later Berklee College of Music, showing that learning the craft didn’t necessarily compromise her creativity. Kiddo’s faint vocals hover over soulful tunes, adding to a charm enhanced by her native accent. (Devon Antonetti)


Pony of Good Tidings

Smart and somewhat reserved, Pony of Good Tidings feature the gentle vocals of frontwoman Natty Green against an intricate string section. The band, notwithstanding its questionable name, showcases an enticing, delicate folk sound throughout their debut EP “Zing Zong,” released in 2012. The album even incorporates religious imagery into their playful tracks about innocence and discovery, asking to know Jesus before dramatically breaking into ‘Hallelujah.’ (Devon Antonetti)

rootsy pop #17 Julian Fulton & The Zombie Gospel

Julian Fulton might be New Jersey’s answer to boyish lo-fi charm. Along with harmonies supported by his Zombie Gospel, the artist croons his way over bouncing piano lines (‘Junkie Song’), guitar feedback (‘Lie’), and self-effacing lyrics (every track) that only make his music sound even larger for its tortured honesty. His new record “Heart & Arms” includes all this, and a Zombie Survival Kit filled up with even more tracks… because zombies hate music. (Mike Levine)


the deli Spring 2013


Fulton & The Zombie Gospel


Swear & Shake




Derrick & The Black Sea


So So Appropos

For a folk band, Swear & Shake are distinctly uninterested in discussing far-off lands and forgotten frontiers. In her lyrics, girl-next-door/singer Kari Spieler would rather bring up her weed habits (‘These White Walls’) or tough choices concerning playing marbles (‘Marbles’). You’ll feel like you already know the group after listening through a couple of these charming acoustic tunes. (Mike Levine)

sami.the.great should have added a “2.0” at the end of her new name, since her music sounds like a playful, semi-electronic evolution of the “pop singer-songwriter” game. And we all know that versions 2 are always more intriguing than the first ones - kudos to learning and evolving! The lady doesn’t lack a fair share of sass and character either, which makes things even more interesting. (Paolo De Gregorio)

It can be hard to do the right thing. We all know you want to, of course, but for Derrick & The Black Sea, they understand how some things are easier said than done. The Brooklyn band struggles their way through these issues of growing up and letting go throughout the few scattered tracks they’ve released so far. The honesty is telling, and the lonesome guitars and sparse drums bring it all home. (Mike Levine)

Brooklyn singer Lisa Jaeggi’s new band, So So Apropos, has the natural charm and ease of a lo-fi folk band. Jaeggi, whose voice toes the line of twee, is joined by Sharon Raizer and Michael Benham for a retro collage of smart, airy indie pop. The group has yet to release their debut EP, but have been featured in several showcases around New York. (Devon Antonetti)


Hip hop + funk

Top 20

1. Jay-Z 2. 50 Cent 3. A$ap Rocky 4. Kid Cudi 5. Wu-Tang Clan 6. Clams Casino 7. Beastie Boys 8. Azealia Banks 9. Q-Tip 10. Talib Kweli 11. Busta Rhymes 12. NAS 13. GZA 14. Joey Bada$$ 15. Fabolous 16. Lloyd Banks 17. Fat Joe 18. Method Man 19. Mobb Deep 20. Childish Gambino


How funky is your chicken? Turkuaz makes it funkier. If you’ve missed this astral-plane funkestra, it’s time to upgrade your dance mechanism. They are more than a band; they’re an army. Seriously, There’s like 20 of them, and they seem to be multiplying. Turkuaz’s live performance is a relentless onslaught of good-vibe, new-school funk that will have even the most taciturn hipsters jumping for joy. (BrokeMC)


hip hop + funk


Midnight Magic

Check out our self-generating online charts:

Wondering what our generation’s yacht rock is going to sound like? Look no further than Midnight Magic. These guys take the smoothness of Captain & Tennille and mix it down with a disco-funk shot of Olivia Newton-John - a perfect cocktail to go with your next night out. Check out their latest record “Walking the Midnight Streets,” and get the party started. (Mike Levine)



Melissa Czarnik

Who would’ve thought: The most badass thing that a hiphop artist could do right now is team up with a French jazz pianist and record at a fifty-year-old chateau? For Melissa Czarnik, it’s just one more notch in her boundary-busting belt. Recorded at Centre d’Art Marnay Art Center near France, “Non Merci” is a hard-hitting, thirteen-track, hiphop album set to the cascading piano loops of pianist/composer Eric Mire. (Mike Levine)




Flatbush Zombies

“Hip hop is dead! Zombies for prez!” The Flatbush Zombies are resurrecting the New York hip hop scene. Emcees, Meechy Darko and Zombie Juice, have infectious rapping styles that flow over psychedelic beats, produced by Erick Arc Elliott. Meechy’s raspy vocal style drags behind the beat, somehow coming across as simultaneously relaxed and aggressively in your face. Meanwhile, Juice’s light tenor misleads as his lyrics leave you a bit offended but seriously impressed. (Paul Jordan Talbot)



Hot Sugar

For anyone who wishes they could enjoy Neon Indian, but is maybe looking for something that’s a bit more… I don’t know… lo-fi and crazy, then Hot Sugar’s “Muscle Milk EP” is probably up your alley. A blend of all manner of exotic candies and fruits tossed together into an awesome hodgepodge mix of an instrumental album. However, if you’re also looking for some dope rhymes from special guest like Das Racist’s Heems, Kool AD, Atwon and more, grab Hot Sugar’s latest “MiDi Murder EP.” (Mike Levine)



Yes, Le1f is gay. No, he’s not making a big deal out of it. You shouldn’t either. Moving on: Judging from his beat selections, he must have an army of extraterrestrials at his beck and call. Indulging in the 808-heavy production style that is so popular among the young, swag, and trill, Le1f tends to growl and purr his lyrics into your ear as if he were sitting next to you on a velvet couch at a crowded party. (BrokeMC)

The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts

best of nyc Emerging Artists 2013


Photo: Jake Moore


Kids These Days



What is it with Kids These Days?! They think they can have it all! Sultry female vocals with a healthy mix of lo-fi nostalgia, tasteful psychedelia, virtuosic brass, engrossing rhythms, soulful male vocals, and raps that even your parents might understand make for an ambitious package. Is it too much? Not as long as you have an appetite for awesome. Kids These Days may have a thing or two to teach their elders. (BrokeMC)

If you don’t like rappers who rap better than you, then these dudes might rub you the wrong way. MF Doomreminiscent production gives an ethereal beatscape to frame the staccato street blather MCs Wiki and Hak procure. There’s a good deal of angst, but only as much as you’d expect from four cats from Harlem. It’s like Wu-Tang and Camp-Lo’s conjoined rapchild; abrasive but not inaccurate assessments of the Harlem day-to-day with a good dose of Krylon-fumed dementia. (BrokeMC)

the deli Spring 2013


best of nyc Emerging Artists 2013

best of L.I. 2013!


ong Island lives! The Long Island scene is one that beams with energy, passion and fan loyalty. Composed almost exclusively of punk and emo (with variations like screamo, pop-punk and hardcore punk), the scene peaked in the early 2000’s but still remains strong, with eager local bands emerging from the scene and quickly growing in popularity. Even bands from NYC head to the island to gain notoriety in these genres. Here at The Deli, we decided to do a quick Best LI Bands of 2013 as a way to highlight a few promising acts. Hailing from Long Beach, NY, I Am The Avalanche’s (and former The Movielife) frontman Vinnie Caruana has heavily infiltrated the scene with his solo acoustic material and many intimate acoustic sets on the island in 2012. Bellwether is a newer poppunk band formed in 2010 who was active throughout 2012, touring the U.S. and making time for local shows to boot. Pop-Punkers No Good News, formed in 2011, have also had heavy LI presence in 2012. Two bands that debuted in the Long Island scene in 2012 are State Lines, with a self-titled EP and tour, and Haverford, with the single “Pasta (Burying Nine Lives)” followed by an EP release in September. Notable hardcore bands that were active in 2012 include Stray From The Path, Incendiary, and Backtrack. Stay tuned for more to come from these promising acts! (Michael Zladick)


the deli Spring 2013




No Good News

u by

kitchen recording equipment news

yo Brought to

iZotope Insight

(Essential Metering Suite) Review by Zach McNees


Zotope is known for comprehensive utility software products like the RX “complete audio repair toolkit” and the Ozone “complete mastering system”. Their plug-ins have also become synonymous with incredible sound, unparalleled features and flexibility. So when they announced their new Insight “Essential Metering Suite”, I knew it would be something to check out. Insight ($499) is a complete suite of metering tools packaged in one Native-only plugin for MAC and PC. Formats are RTAS, AAX, AudioSuite, VST, VST3, Audio Unit and DirectX. The suite is comprised of Levels, Loudness History, Sound Field, Spectrum Analyzer, and Spectrogram to form a total metering and on-the-fly audio evaluation set. Each of these tools can be engaged or disengaged within Insight and exist as tabs at the bottom of the plug-in if not in use. Once engaged, the window for each tool set can be adjusted for size allowing the user to configure Insight precisely for the data sets most useful in any given session. Insight presets are grouped independently for postproduction and music. There are also presets available for console and handheld video game loudness metering as well as a folder of pure audio analysis options. Music production presets include Stereo Mixdown, Stereo Analysis, Podcast Production, Headroom Warning and many other music

specific packages to help fine tune your mix. [One thing to note:] Insight does require quite a bit of CPU Usage. In a typical music mix running lots of plugins, I wouldn’t be completely comfortable leaving Insight open all the time as the additional 5 to 6% usage would be more than enough to overload my mix and give me the dreaded DAE error. Insight is the single most comprehensive metering and audio analysis plugin I’ve ever come across. It’s extremely well designed both technically and aesthetically and works beautifully for post production, music and probably has a place in some live situations as well. I will not be surprised if this becomes the new standard metering tool for broadcast mixing and music production in the coming years.

NYC Studio News Room 17 Opens in Bushwick

A brand-new recording and mix facility known as Room 17 has opened in Bushwick near The House of Yes, 3rd Ward and Shea Stadium. Room 17 was created by indie rock producer Adam Lasus (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Helium), engineer/producer Joe Rogers and musician, producer and venue owner Scott Porter, and sports a large tracking space with 14-foot-high ceilings, multiple iso booths and a Trident 80 Series console. The studio will serve as the Brooklyn homebase studio for the bi-coastal Lasus, as well as projects being helmed by Rogers and Porter, but will also be available for outside bookings.

Rehearse & Record At Replay Music Studios

Founded by drummer/social worker John Rubin, the new Replay Music Studios in NYC’s West Village is a multi-faceted facility designed to offer musicians of all ages in NYC a firstrate rehearsal experience. Replay houses three professionally equipped studios, as well as one drum room, all available for hourly rental. A high quality live audio/video system allows bands to record their songs, then download them to watch, learn from, and share via the web. The connections extend out from there, with Replay committed to supporting and promoting the artists who work there via social media.

The studios are equipped with Orange, Fender Mesa Boogie, Bogner, Aguilar and RockNRoll amps, JBL monitors, PreSonus mixing boards, Yamaha stage pianos, GMS Special Edition drum kits, Nord Electro 3, and Audio-Technica and Shure SM58 mics.

Williamsburg’s Dungeon Beach Does Recording & Audio/Video Post The new Dungeon Beach Studios, located on N. 3rd Street in Williamsburg, is a unique recording, audio post and film/ video post facility all in one. The main recording studio, built and for the most part manned by producer/engineer Keller McDivitt, is a distinctive environment equipped with a number of popular DAWs (Pro Tools HD, Logic Studio, Ableton, Reaper, Harrison Mixbus), Burl Mothership 16 I/O converters, Dynaudio monitors, and a selection of high-end analog outboard gear and microphones. The tracking space can comfortably fit a Chickoring Baby Grand Piano, drum kit and several musicians at once. Studio C offers an alternative native DAW-based music production room with vocal booth.

This multi-media facility is as suited for film and video projects (mixing, ADR and sound design) as it is for recording and mixing records – a first for the area.

Read feature stories on all three of these new studios on

the deli Spring 2013


u by

kitchen recording equipment news

yo Brought to

Tone2 RayBlaster Virtual Synth Review by Gabriel Lamorie The RayBlaster has seven sections: Oscillator Display, Oscillator Controls, Patch manager; LFO, Envelope and Arp/Gate/FX/ModMatrix; and the Main Section (including volume, amp envelope, drive, glide, pan, etc.) The first thing I noticed while scrolling through the patches is that a lot of really clean traditional sounds can be achieved by this synth as well. It is very easy to tell when you have come across a “Rayblaster-only” patch. Some unmistakable qualities include: dripping, shimmering, grinding, winding, spiraling and some that I have trouble describing.


Another quality I noticed is that once you have all of your groundwork set in the oscillator section, the rest of the sound sculpting is basically done like a traditional synth. Implement an LFO, envelope and a filter or two and you’re good to go.

he new RayBlaster soft synth from Tone2 brings a completely new method of synthesis to the table that Tone2 calls “Impulse Modeling Synthesis” (IMS). Unlike subtractive synthesis in which a simple waveform is filtered to create a sound, IMS uses short bursts of energy that combine to form complex and detailed waveforms that result in a more defined sound – no mud to wade through here! Not only that, but this new method also allows for some very different sonic characteristics that only RayBlaster can produce.

The sounds users can achieve with the RayBlaster by Tone2 are practically limitless. I like that Tone2 has included a few traditional sounds just so users can see how to go about creating them for production on music, but RayBlaster is also something sound designers will find very interesting too. The RayBlaster is available now for Mac and PC at $199 and also has an available expansion pack now called Futuron Expansion for $59. The Futuron Expansion includes 160 new presets, 50 new impulse responses, 30 new loops and samples for resynthesis and three additional skins for the RayBlaster interface.

For more reviews, visit!

The Deli takes the Stompbox Exhibit to Summer NAMM + Brooklyn Show in October!


fter our super-awesome Brooklyn and Austin guitar pedal shows, here at The Deli and Delicious Audio we will launch - with NAMM’s blessing - our first Stompbox Exhibit at Summer NAMM! Eleven pedalboards will be arranged in a 10x10 ft. space inside the Nashville Music City Center hosting the conference, scheduled for July 11-13.

The idea behind this exhibit is to give the opportunity to smaller manufacturers to be present at an important industry show like Summer NAMM at a fraction of the cost. This is the list of the participating pedal makers: BearFoot FX, Dawner Prince, DMB Pedals, Enormous Door, Fairfield Circuitry, Holowon, Junkie Tone, MI Audio, Pigtronix, Stomp Labs, TSVG Pedals. Also, our flagship Brooklyn exhibit at Main Drag Music (pictured, some action at last year’s exhibit) is scheduled for October 19-20, and it will be free as always - mark your e-calendars! Many big and small guitar pedal manufacturers participated to our past exhibits, including MOOG, TC Electronic, T-Rex, BOSS, Ibanez, Vox, Electro Harmonix, Digitech, Hardwire, Line6, Eventide, Pigtronix, EarthQuaker Devices, Z-Vex and many more.

To get updates about our shows, like the Stompbox Exhibit Facebook page here:

Brooklyn exhibit at Main Drag Music last year.

kitchen recording equipment news

Shure GLX-D6 Wireless Receiver + Tuner


hicago-based manufacturer Shure released a new, affordable and really unique wireless system for guitarists, the GLX-D6, which is both a powerful transmitter and a reliable stompbox tuner.

The tuner has adjustable pitch and two visual modes to choose from (strobe and needle). It can be conveniently recharged via a regular USB connection – 15 minute of charge will give you 1½ hours of power.

The GLX-D6 shares with the other Shure new wireless systems the Automatic Frequency Management technology, which – working on 4 different frequencies – guarantees pristine quality without cuts or interference. The GLX-D6 can be placed directly on the pedal board, and has the same features as the table top receiver GLXD-4. The tuner has adjustable pitch and two visual modes to choose from (strobe and needle). It can be conveniently recharged via a regular USB connection – 15 minute of charge will give you 1½ hours of power.

Ibanez Echo Shifter

By Gus Green

The 3 knobs up top are Feedback (controls the number of repeats), Mix (mixes between wet and dry signal), and Depth (for controlling the rate of modulation time). The center fader is for the Delay Time parameter and simply governs the amount of time that the wet signal is delayed in regard to the original. The Oscillation switch increases the internal feedback gain so that the effected signal oscillates easily. I would have liked to have seen this be a momentary footswitch, but it’s a cool feature nonetheless. The Modulation switch activates modulation of the effected signal. The FX switch at the bottom turns on or bypasses the effect and tap tempo allows you to tap in your song tempo for synchronized delay fx.


he Ibanez Echo Shifter combines true analog sound quality with digital-like flexibility. It features things like a Tap-Tempo footswitch, Oscillation switch, Feedback control, Modulation, and a Depth control. I found this pedal to be a lot of fun and I really dig the vintage aesthetics. li’s Check out the dex blog! stomp bo 50

the deli Spring 2013

In practice I found the repeats to be a little on the dark side of the spectrum which is to be expected from an analog-style delay. With the Oscillation switch turned off and the Feedback turned up pretty high the amount of repeats is dense but not chaotic. Once switched on, chaos ensues in a hurry and the repeats build to a cacophonous sea of distortion. I found that turning the modulation switch on adds a pleasant chorus to the delay repeats. With the feedback and depth set at about 12 o’clock you get a very chorusy delay tone. What makes this pedal super flexible in a live setting is the Tap switch. You can instantly tap your rhythm and the delay time conforms-keeping you in sync with the band. Ibanez have made a very “sexy” and nostalgic sounding pedal with the Echo Shifter. Extra credit goes to the Oscillation and Tap-Tempo switches. The repeats are dark but pleasant. Great vintage-style delay that won’t break the bank.

The Deli NYC #34 - Best of NYC 2013, Spirit Family Reunion, Nu-Folk Music  

Annual 'Best of NYC' issue. Featuring poll winner Spirit Family Reunion on the cover. Also: additional coverage of the latest folk revival p...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you