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White Girl

KC Open Submission Results for The Deli's Year End Poll 2014 for emerging artists

Thanks to all the artists who submitted their music to be considered for The Deli's Best of KC Year End Poll for Emerging Artists. After tallying the votes for the Open Submissions stage, it’s time to release the results. Please note that to avoid conflicts no local editor was allowed to vote for bands in their own scene.

Total submissions from KC: 32

Jurors: Jason (The Deli Chicago), Maylis (The Deli NYC), Paolo De Gregorio (The Deli NYC)

Acts advancing to our Readers/Fans Poll:

1. ATLAS - (Alt Rock/Americana) - 8

2. Storm Circus - (Songwriter) - 7.33

3. White Girl - (Electro Pop) - 7.33

4. Westerners - (Indie Rock) - 7.33

5. Scruffy & The Janitors - (Garage Rock) 7.16

6. The Blackbird Revue - (Americana) - 7


Honorable Mentions (ranked above 6.0):

Avenue SeventeenMy Oh My!The Feel Bad HitThe PhilistinesJungle BehaviorA Gecko Named TerranceThe Matchsellers.


WHAT’S NEXT: These results end the first phase of the poll. We will soon unveil the artists nominated by our local jurors, and we’ll let our readers and our writers influence the poll with their vote.

Keep creating, keep supporting, and stay tuned for your chance to vote! 

The Deli KC Staff

Recent local single reviews

White Girl – “M.E.T.R.O.R.O.C.K.” b/w “Cocky”
Brow-beating modern house beats meet 80s synth pop revival on the new 7” from White Girl. Self-described as “a dance-infused pop romp through eternal fields of post punk grasses and rolling new wave hills,” Martin Bush crafts a couple of undeniably catchy EDM tunes sure to bounce around the kids that think they are too cool for Devo.

“M.E.T.R.O.R.O.C.K.” is the A-side, not surprising given the amount of hooks, tricks, and crowd fodder thrown into five and half minutes of music. Bush’s heavily affected robotic vocals and aggressive synth choices stick out, giving the song a harder edge akin to Deadmau5 or the older reaches of the Daft Punk catalog.
“Cocky” starts with an uncanny and amazing 17 seconds of 8-bit NES-sounding music before it throws on a light pink blazer with shoulder pads to spare, hops in the old trusty Fiero and cruises the downtown drag of new wave. It is the more interesting song of the pair, heavily leaning on familiar tones and sensibilities with enough modern twists and turns to not sound completely dated.
She’s A Keeper – “Wannabe”
She’s a Keeper takes us down a dreamy chugglin’ rail with the new single “Wannabe.” Moving in a more indie rock direction, the symphonic layers of instrumentation we’ve been accustomed to from SAK in the past are replaced with blankets of verby guitars, ranging from bright and chimy to tarnished with overdriven grit. Beyond that, the hallmarks of the SAK playbook are more or less still present: tight vocal harmonies throughout, flickers of tasteful additional instrumentation to round out the sound (in this case the reserved plink of a piano), and deft songwriting with careful attention paid to changing, stripping down, and building back the groove several times. It shows a nice balance of consistency vs. maturation for the band and a sign of a more rocking She’s a Keeper to come.
Shy Boys – “Life is Peachy” b/w “Follow the Leader”
(Photo by Forester Michael)
Much in the vein of fellow Kansas City indie dream pop darlings The ACBs, Shy Boys craft a beautifully floating and meandering surfy sonic scape on its recent 7” release. The two tracks, the aforementionally-styled “Follow the Leader” and the more straightforward pop rock ear worm “Life is Peachy” provide a nice sample of what this popular area trio has to offer. Reverb upon reverb upon reverb over a solid layer of tightly crafted instrumentation push these slyly written tunes along a jangly sea breeze slip and slide. The guitar and vocal hand-holding in “Follow the Leader” especially sticks out, as well as the “Gotcha!” song pause in the middle.
Now Now Sleepyhead – “Influenza”
An interesting mix of the ‘80s pop revival, ‘90s hard rock alternative, and a little electronica, Now Now Sleepyhead premieres “Influenza,” the lead single from The Violator, a two-record concept collect due for release later this year. Backed by a mix of four-on-the-floor and the ever popular modern twist on the disco-dance rock beat, the drums are featured prominently, overshadowing the various instrumentation at times with a beating groove that will most certainly get feet and asses moving.
Clearly with a wink towards both the club and hardcore kids, the song features an aggressive electronic breakdown guaranteed to set off the subs. The vocals stay pure throughout, showing almost a restrained disconnect, especially in the choruses when screaming could be warranted. Overall, an exciting preview of what looks to be a highly artistic and impressive future release.
Microphone Jack – “I Refuse to Choose the Blues”
“It only aggravates our suffering to wallow in those self-indulgent blues.”
Local humor balladeer Microphone Jack’s latest single takes a wry shot at one of Kansas City’s time-honored traditions with “I Refuse to Choose the Blues.” Featuring a Randy Newman-esque piano and vocal styling recorded live at one of his recent shows, the simple effort hearkens back to a time when you might lay on your bedroom floor at 2 o’clock in the morning listening to the Dr. Demento show. Tom Lehrer and Stan Freiberg immediately come to mind as Microphone Jack deftly moves through his thoughts on the ironic vicious cycle of making yourself sadder by focusing on how sad you are. MJ’s self-stated mission is global transformation through funny songs. This song definitely moves him one step closer.
Oils – “Waves We Feel”
Oils knows how to make the pretty. The Lawrence-based outfit continues to flex this muscle exceedingly well on the “Waves We Feel” single release via Replay Records. One simple but powerful set of words is repeated through the verses as the instruments care to build up a dreamy dynamic centered around the ever-present bright and chimey Fender guitar sound. By the end, the whole band comes together with a sonic gut punch worthy of the longing fueled lyrics. The lo-fi quality and occasional guitar miscue only add to the overall theme of charming sincerity.
--Zach Hodson
Zach Hodson is a monster. He once stole a grilled cheese sandwich from a 4-year-old girl at her birthday party. He will only juggle if you pay him. I hear he punched Slimer right in his fat, green face. He knows the secrets to free energy, but refuses to release them until Saved by the Bell: Fortysomethings begins production. He is also in Dolls on FireDrew Black & Dirty Electric, and Riot Riot Riot, as well as contributing to various other Kansas City-based music, comedy, and art projects.
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Album review: White Girl - EP Two

The intro track, “We Will Never Die” kicks off White Girl’s EP Two with an explosion of feel-good dance rock. This track would make Passion Pit and Temper Trap shake their heads for not writing it first. What sets “We Will Never Die” apart from the rest of the songs on the album is the complexity in its rhythm, which bounces seamlessly between 6/8, 4/4 and 2/4. While it’s easy to dance to, I do not suggest air drumming to this song unless you are a professional. Frontman Martin Bush introduced me to this song last weekend. When the vocals kicked in, I asked if he was a fan of Animal Collective. He grinned and gave me a big nod. My personal opinion is that “We Will Never Die” is the best track on this finely crafted record.
Shifting the feel of the record, “Captain to Copilot” shows a glimpse of the dynamic songwriting abilities that White Girl has to offer. The reverb-filled opening guitar riff that remains somewhat constant throughout the song gives a sense of longing. Vocally there is a hint of Beach Boys influence that floats smoothly over this synth/bass-heavy track. The gigantic-sounding drums that appear midway through drive this song home.
If you aren’t dancing yet, “Setting Fire” will change that instantly. This song will grab you with its beautifully clear synthesizers and crisp guitar tones. The four on the floor, kick/snare/high-hat combo, and grooving bass hold a solid foundation for Martin’s ambient voice. The poppy progression of this song is reminiscent of Hall and Oates and Talking Heads. Extremely catchy, “Setting Fire” is a dance anthem that any DJ would be lucky to remix.
After its beautiful multilayered synth-intro ,“Last Men Standing” erupts into ambient glory. The tone of every instrument on this song is exquisite. Its hopeful chant/sing-along chorus is extremely uplifting and dreamy. This is a song that would be great to listen to first thing in the morning, on the roof of a tall building while the sun is just on the horizon.
The electronic side of White Girl makes its largest appearance on the EP’s final track “Lament.” Most of this final tune is Bush singing into a vocoder, and is a heart-touching ballad that is based off the epic poem “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Coleridge. As his story builds, bit-crushed drums and atmospheric synthesizers build with him until they both reach a climax and drift away. This intimate song is the perfect track to end a well-rounded EP.
For fans of: M83, Hall and Oates, The Appleseed Cast, MGMT, Animal Collective, U2, Talking Heads, Passion Pit, Temper Trap, Empire of The Sun, and The Beach Boys.

White Girl is:
Martin Bush: Vocals/guitars/keys
Skylar Mcclun: Keys/guitars/vocals
Matt Epstein: Guitars/vocals
Nick Organ: Drums

EP Two will be released tomorrow, October 5. You can catch White Girl at the album release party on Friday, October 25 at The Union with special guests The Atlantic and Sphynx. The band will be touring the East coast this fall, and you can find their tour dates at http://www.whitegirl.org.

--Eric Fain

Eric plays a mean bass for The Atlantic.

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