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April Artist of the Month Poll: Shook, Halfways, THREE BONES, Xetas

Well y’all, the bell rung on the epic bout that was our last Artist of the Month poll about a week ago, and heavyweight hip-hoppers LNS Crew found themselves the last men standing in the ring to take the title. Many congrats to LNS on their win!

For this next bout, we’ve got a hip-hopless roster for the first time in a while, with a singer-songwriter-producer, two psych bands and some damn fine Austin punk slugging it out between the virtual ropes for the completely imaginary but nonetheless glorious Deli Austin Weekly Champion Belt.

We’ll do a deeper post on each of these guys over the course of the contest, but for now, here’s a little on our current contenders and why they particularly caught our ear this month:

 

Abram Shook

Sound: Indie singer-songwriter with quite high production value

Qualifications: Lovely little single “Understood” and its equally pleasurable music video were just released as a preview to Shook’s sophomore album and are making noise around town, earning Shook KUTX’s Artist of the Month. Perhaps more importantly, recent photos of Shook reveal that he is almost definitely Austin’s premier wizard in training, what with that peppery hair/beard combo.

 

The Halfways

Sound: Psych pop straight out of the era that birthed it, but with a dab of the new post-Fleet Foxes psych sound

Qualifications: A string of recent shows coupled to new output from the band, who has been doing hard work in the studio. Track “I Don’t Mind” bodes quite well for the rest of the new stuff coming from this group, which has certainly become a pillar of the ATX psych scene in the last couple of years.

 

THREE BONES

Sound: Psych blues with soul to spare and a riveting lead singer/lead guitarist duo in Victoria de Benedicty and Dalt Jacob

Qualifications: Only one of the oddest, strongest, 60s-est music video ever to come out of the local psych scene, plus the promise of more music and some big-time shows (including one with fellow nominees The Halfways at Scoot Inn not long ago). The vid for triumphant, soul-packed track “Hold On to Ya” is exactly what you want out of retro psych, in that its influences are obvious (that projection is pure 60s), but it’s very self-aware and thoroughly fun. These dudes also just won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for a Valentine’s Day love song for other new track “Love is the Only Way,” which is some pretty major shit.

 

Xetas

Sound: Punch-em-up, no stops, unfuckwitable contemporary punk

Qualifications: This is a band everyone in Austin should know, even though they themselves probably don’t give a shit if you do or don’t. This is as close as Austin gets to a supergroup, with each member an undoubted veteran of the Austin music thing, but even though we’d nominate these guys just about anytime for the quality shit they’ve consistently been producing in their relatively short time together, they particularly make the cut for this month’s poll on the utter, pounding strength of their new single “The Point,” released as a lead up to soon-to-come LP “The Redeemer.” They also just wrapped one big-ass, quick-ass tour all over the nation, which is more’n enough to get them the nod in our poll this month.





TØMA

Pyschpop outfit TØMA has just gone and done nice by us local-music obsessed folks by releasing their new EP in its entirety online at their Bandcamp prior to the full album release, which is a'goin' down at Holy Mountain on March 27. It's a mix of sounds modern and nostalgic, a bit Of Montreal and a bit of The Zombies, and it all combines into straight-up, good indie rock earworm fun. For those of you fully into the psych thing, you'll get yer fix here, but this EP also owes a good deal to the 2000s indie scene, like track "Live Forever" that invokes nice memories of when The Strokes were the biggest thing that'd happened in a damn while or "Heartstrings" that has some very Vampire Weekend guitar goin' on. It's solid, superbly enjoyable indie music from the Austin scene, and you can get the whole thing bangin' around in your brain below.

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Show Alert: Broca's Area at The Spot Underground, Providence 4/1

When a real drummer can imitate that slowed down and choppy groove from 90’s hip hop, it sounds like pure gold. It's a tough pocket to master, that's for sure. Hartford hip-hop/soul fusion group Broca's Area grooves and sways, while Mary Corso’s smooth-like-butter vocals string you along. The interplay between her and rapper Ghazi Omair’s angular flow would be enough for a killer group, but these guys push it over the edge with a groovy drummer, Steven Cusano, whose timing creates a backbeat that puts the world in slo-mo. And that's not even mentioning the absurdly tasty keys. They’ll be playing a show at The Spot Underground in Providence April 1st, don’t miss it! They’re new album is available here, and a portion of the proceeds from each CD goes the Connecticut Brain Tumor Association. - Paul Jordan Talbot

 





2015 Treefort Music Festival Preview: Portland Artist Highlight

The fourth annual Treefort Music Festival is proving to be the biggest one yet. Not only is it their first year as a licensed LLC, but this year’s lineup is larger than any previous year with over 400 musical acts, not to mention whole mini-festivals dedicated to comedy, performance art, technology, yoga, skateboarding, beer, and then some.

With massive national musical acts headlining the festival like TV On The Radio, Built To Spill, Foxygen, Yacht, Viet Cong, Of Montreal and !!!, just to name a few, the $139 price of a full-weekend pass is pretty much already god damned steal, and that’s barely 1.5% of the full 2015 lineup. Adding to the glory of this year’s festival, the vast array of amazing Portland bands making the trip to Boise makes Portland one of the most represented cities of the festival. Think of it as a huge rager with all your favorite Portland bands and friends, just in a new, way more fun location.

To help you sort through all of the madness, here is a quick list of some of the Deli Portland’s favorite Portland bands who will be performing at this year’s Treefort Music Festival. Find out exactly where and when they will be playing during Treefort, here





Integrity Reeves drops EP, sings for Billie Holiday's 100th.

 Integrity Reeves brings an invigorating new voice to both the local and national jazz scene. Her EP Stairway To The Stars is described as "modern vintage," inspired by Ella Fitzgerald, Feist, and The Bird and the Bee, and presents interpretations from classic Joao Gilberto bossa nova to The Cardigan's "Lovefool." Indeed, Integriti's light, bright, twee voice is reminiscent of contemporary indie-pop vocal tones, but she sings in a fiercely classical style. The combination is both technically impressive and stylistically refreshing, and is sure to appeal to both fans of classic jazz and neophytes eager to hear what a fresh young voice can do. Delightful through and through.    
You can grab a copy of her EP on itunes, and catch her live at the Kennedy Center's Millenium Stage on April 7th as part of the Center's tribute to Billie Holiday in honor of her centennial. --Natan Press

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