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Vinyl Thief

In high school, my friend Craig Lee took it upon himself to educate me on what to do when I got high, which was: take a 311 CD and play it through Windows media player, and set the visualization to “Ambience.” With those days behind me (and a few subsequent years lost devil-sticking for tips as I followed 311 tours) I had long forgotten that particular use for Windows until I listened to Vinyl Thief’s debut album, “Fathoms.”


Released July 22nd, “Fathoms” listens like an entity. Granted, all albums vary song to song, and this one is no different, but few pluck the same rubber band in your brain and sustain it throughout it the duration. Fewer still can be so closely likened to getting lost watching a pixelated visualization of music on your ’01 Dell, wondering:“Whoa, how did they know to do that?”


Vinyl Thief is a synth driven powerhouse of a band that has been gathering acclaim since the release of their “Rebel Hill” EP in 2012. The group has essentially come of age playing together, from their high school inception to logging hours of practice in a church-sanctuary-turned-rehearsal space to perfect the sound and rapport that makes Vinyl Thief extraordinary. There are not many bands with such an expert handle on their sound.


There are a few anchors in Vinyl Thief that make them so listenable. Their synthesizers are going to do something beautiful. Grayson Proctor’s vocals are going to run through an impressive range without ever sounding forced or theatrical. And every song is going to reliably blow your mind in some way. It might be on a smaller scale, like when the guitar breaks the silence after the bridge in “London” with what I can only imagine a swoon would sound like. Or it could be big, like when the track “Rebel Hill” finally reaches a crescendo after a series of goosebump-inducing change-ups. The band has a knack for zig-ing when a zag is expected, going soft instead of loud, or even bigger when they’re already turned up.


Vinyl Thief is one of the best examples of the modern face of Nashville music, where already talented musicians go through great pains to learn their craft and the business around it. This is a band that is one sync away from national exposure. Be prepared to hear much more Vinyl Thief after Apple or Toyota licenses one of their tracks. Considering that “Fathoms” is a collection of their best material meticulously recorded and lovingly presented like a bowl of all-red jelly beans ready for the grabbing, this is only a matter of time. –Terra James-Jura

Welcome to the new Deli Charts, organized by genre and scene.

To rank the artists with the star system go to the Top 50.


scene blog

Anyone on the East side of Nashville may have passed by the mural of Cory Branan's mug and the words "Listen to Cory Branan" floating right above.  If that is not enough to turn some ears on to his cache of rapid-fire and heartrendingly candid Americana, maybe the title track of his brand new album will. "No Hit Wonder" not only expounds on the hardscrabble struggle of, well, probably anyone walking around East Nashville, but also also has The Hold Steady's Craig Finn and Steve Selvidge lending background vocals.  The strain of living is a constant throughout the album, but it's articulated with deft lyricism and transmitted via Branan's marvelously warm and unmistakable vocals. Another theme is the outpouring of love from the Nashville music community in the form of contributions from Jason Isbell, Austin Lucas, Caitlin Rose and Tim Easton. If that's not enough to get someone to listen to Cory Branan, his album release show at The High Watt this Saturday (tickets avaiable here) should convert any laggers.  It promises to be a doozie: Branan will be accompanied with a full band and "very special guests." And if, after all this, someone still decides not to listen to Cory Branan, The Deli poses this question: what the hell are you doing in Nashville? -Terra James-Jura

Seriously, listen to Cory Branan.

August 21, 2014

Wowee; you know something is good when it rocks you and leaves you a little shaken up.  Maybe it was just the frames of a snake coiling around Devan DuBois' hand, or maybe it was the never-broken tension that climbs in his video for "Long Live" that made me rewatch it a few times trying to figure out why my skin was crawling just a wee bit.  It could be that the video's stark black and white spaghetti Westernisms conjured up some associations with Jim Jarmusch's "Dead Man," and... that's a journey I'm not quite ready to take again. Anyway, it's a great visual complement to DuBois' hyperactive sweep of Southern rock. His debut album, "Le Fou" (French for "The Fool") was just released on August 19th on Sensibility Music. With a hip-hop mind in it's beatmaking but a definite twang resonating throughout, it ought to be a primer on how genres should combine.  -Terra James-Jura


August 20, 2014

The Ignorist came to me at a time when I've been going aggro on weights at the gym with Archers of Loaf's "Vee Vee" as a soundtrack. So my ears were primed for an instant affinity with their slacker vibe and every-which-way skew of their guitars. The vocals never reach Bachmann-levels of agitation, but instead retain a slightly detached composure throughout their debut release, "There is No Vacancy." Below is "I Know They're Blue," which should offer some consolation to anyone who misses 1994 (also, if you have ten minutes to invest, also check out "Hotel Ok," to hear how the track eventually dissolves around one guitar lick feeding on its own dejection.) The album is availabel via Cdbaby, iTunes and Google Play, although The Ignorist do not have any upcoming shows announced at the moment in case you wanted to get your sticky fingers around a physical copy from a physical band member. Keep an eye out for any changes to this situation at their Facebook page. -Terra James-Jura

The Ignorist submitted their music for review HERE.


August 19, 2014

The Cunning kind of swept this round, pulling ahead in the last few days with a sizeable lead.  Frontman Sean Cunningham (get it?) started the group in 2013 after leaving his New Zealand-based project ATLAS to return stateside. The foursome have been building their reputation as steadfast rock'n'rollers ever since. They possess a straighforward dedication to the genre, puncuated by a few refreshing jinks here and there thanks to seasoned veterans manning all four fronts. Their win coincides nicely with the release of their newest video, "Lonesome No More." The track is slightly reminiscent of The Features, with a little Anthony Kiedis spin on some of the vocals. It's a great track to debut as a single; I can't get enough of that gut-rumbling bass.  The Cunning are preparing to release their first EP this week, and have a show coming up August 23rd for The Hot Chicken and Jorts Festival at Mayday Brewery in Murfreesboro. At the moment is has not been confirmed whether the band will be performing in jorts, but positive speculation is high.  -Terra James-Jura 

August 17, 2014

Ugly Kids Club released this single "Good Love" on Tuesday in anticipation of their upcoming EP "Head Games," due out September 30th.  It blazes by you like a comet of 80's nostalgia, as interpreted by sparkly-eyed youths who would have no idea what to do with a Popple if they saw one. Age disparity aside, it's a concrete track, thanks to glossy production and an irrepressible, unflagging energy that can't help but bubble over out of the speakers.  It's hard to dislike a band that describes themselves as "A pop-grunge band formed by Madonna, Andy Warhol and M83." Ugly Kids Club has a decent track record so far of making good music despite their insistence in reviving some of the worst bits that god-forsaken era, (evidenced here) so hopes are high for this EP.  Their next Nashville show will be August 26th at The High Watt with Lylas and Field Days.  Keep up with the band at http://www.uglykidsclub.com/. -Terra James-Jura

August 15, 2014

 Starting early on August 17, 6pm to be exact, there will be three great bands at 3rd and Lindsley. Tristen and Adia Victoria will be opening for Nashville fixtures Those Darlins. It’s a female-fronted night and Those Darlins' last Nashville show for a while. Adia Victoria finally, finally, finally released single "Stuck in the South" after months of buzz based off her live show alone.  Check out the track below. The show is all ages so the whole family can join. Tickets are $10 online or at the doors. -Amanda Aydelott

August 13, 2014

Which of These Local Acts Should Be Our Next Nashville Artist of the Month?

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