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Artist of the Month
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Bonsai
"self titled EP
"
mp3

Our regular readers may have noticed that we like to highlight residencies played by local artists in local venues, but admittedly we entirely missed Bonsai's November one at Pete Candy's Store - admittedly, we weren't aware that the lovely east Williamsburg venue actually had residencies! Well, not only they have them, but they also pick good artists for them, since Bonsai's music is an absolute delight. Their self titled debut EP is a delicate and dreamy alt folk gem. Opener "Bonsai Trees" - the most accomplished track on the record, streaming below - shows the trio's interest in revisiting traditional American music in new ways, employing intriguing percussive textures, inventive and appropriate guitar parts, and a production that's edgy without being over the top. Of course, all this wouldn't do much if Simone Stevens' vocals and melodies weren't spot on, confident and compelling. The magic continues with "When it Rains," a more subdued track floating in oozes of reverb and supported by what sounds like an acoustic guitar two-note sample loop. Atmospheric ballad "I fashion you are a dreamer" turns up the melancholy big time with a verse as intense as it gets, only to deliver one of those powerfully uplifting choruses that - unless you are fully corrupted by life - can touch you in deep ways. Upbeat pop number "I Like You Man" and final folky song "Messed Up" fill up the record competently, but without reaching the heights of the first three tracks. This is a small, beautiful record with the power to awaken emotions and make people closer, i.e. exactly what the doctor orders every time a new year begins.

This band submitted their music for coverage here.
We added this song to The Deli's playlist of
Best mellow songs by emerging NYC artists - check it out!

 
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Bob Dylan

Simon and Garfunkel

Velvet Underground
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Television
Patti Smith
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Suicide
Lydia Lunch
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Animal Collective
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Devendra Banhart
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scene blog

We've been fans of Jane Herships' Spider for quite some time, although after four years of silence we thought the project had come to an end. We were therefore pleasently surprised to see that Spider is performing at Pianos on January 28. And we were even more surprised by the sound of the new single, that abandons the clean instrumentations of her early records for a more edgy and noisy sound bordering on industrial music, without losing the project's signature intimacy. A male figure appears on the single's bandcamp cover - which seems to imply a collaboration with a programmer. Jane informed us that the single is part of a new project called Teacherd or Police, and that an EP is about to be released.

January 26, 2015
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We are not sure how old the guys in Brooklyn's roots quintet Wilder Maker are, but they seem to write and perform with maturity beyond their years. The mellow alt folk you'll find in their latest EP "Everyday Crimes Against Objects of Desire, Vol I" is beautifully textured and radiating some kind of wisdom, conveyed by the alternating male and female vocals, which are full of tamed melancholy and emotion. Check out single Zion below and see them at Baby's All Right on January 31.

We added this song to The Deli's playlist of Best rootsy songs by emerging NYC artists - check it out!

January 26, 2015
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After a successful kickstarter campaign, and a seemingly interminable build, the folks at the Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen (MCFK) collective have finally completed construction on their new studio. To celebrate they’ve put together their second show this month, this time at the Gutter, Brooklyn’s premier bowling alley/venue which isn’t Brooklyn Bowl. The showcase will feature the gleaming psychedelic soul pop of ghostpal, Goodman’s excoriating garage pop (both Deli NYC Artists of the Month) as well as Toot Sweet, NoPop (whom are not to be missed), The Brooklyn What, and Awkwarium. Stream MCFK’s latest compilation below, and catch them tonight (1/23) at the Gutter. -Emilio Herce (@emilioherce) photo cred: Dan Bracaglia

January 23, 2015
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The Pluto Moons play with magic. It’s your garden-variety, bass-based, synth and sample, four-on-the-floor sort of magic, but magic no less. Their latest, the E$pooky EP, is something of an evolution from their debut, Mannequin Legs, but retains the playful instinct that’s a staple to most of their music. “$pooky,” the first song on the album, begins with a whisper and a bang, Jachary’s undulating bass refrain quickly vaporized by the rest of the of the band’s entrance. It comes back to haunt you later in the song, bigger and more insistent than before, like most of the Moon’s catalogue. The Pluto Moon’s will be playing Bowery Electric on 2/5 with a Mellencamp. -Emilio Herce (@emilioherce)
 

January 22, 2015
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Brooklyn experimental trio Zs has always been defying expectations, and their latest release, the mesmeric Xe (pronounced Zee), is no different. The record features some of Zs's most accessible work, yet remains as challenging and captivating as any of their previous releases.  “Corps,” the third track on the album, begins with the hypnotic plucking of Higgins's guitar, and is immediately matched by Fox’s tom heavy fills, a machine gun patter played between toms and their rims. Hilmer’s saxophone refrains, sinewy and versatile, modulate the band’s volume and energy throughout. The rest of the album remains meticulously composed, but because it was recorded live in studio, captures the frenetic energy of their live sets. Zs will be releasing Xe tonight with a show at (Le) Poisson Rouge. - Emilio Herce (@emilioherce)

January 21, 2015
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During my coverage of the CMJ Music Marathon 2014, I had the pleasure of being introduced to this Toot Sweet's (extremely fun) groove-tunes in a live setting; the band caught me completely off-guard. Their music oscillates seamlessly between the lighthearted and carefree, pained romanticism and everything in between, all with the nostalgic tone of an age lost to most modern culture, but with a euphoric freshness that instills new relevance and desire for such original songwriting. I had a chance to reach out to the band's front lady Mary Spencer Knapp, to ask a few questions about her band, her influences, and her accordion. It seems rare that a modern day band beckons the sound and feel of such a distant and specific place and time, that it makes you question age or origin. Or at least when done as well as NYC's Toot Sweet, who play a mean funk-infused cabaret style of pop, quite the drastic change from the 90's revival everybody's been talking about.

LINKS: Read JP Basileo's interview with Toot Sweet
UPCOMING SHOWS: Live at The Gutter on Friday 01.23 with Ghostpal, the Brooklyn What, Goodman, NoPop & Awkwarium.

January 21, 2015
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