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Spellbound by Spare Spells

Enchanting in every sense, Spare Spells stirs a cauldron full of reverby psychedelic haunt rock and dark synth wave likened to that of a dream where My Bloody Valentine and the Kills are a joint effort. Playing shows somewhat sporadically for a little over two years, the group have but one six-song-long extended play that's kept us under their spell since its 2015 release. It will continue to do so, at least until we see their slated sophomore release The Narrows.

We're not sure when Spare Spells will be dropping The Narrows, though we did see some demoed previews of the album back in October of last year, with a live display of them played at their show with Murderbait and The Prids in November. For those that unfortunately missed the new tunes' debut, Spare Spells will be playing their first show of 2017 on February 23 with Los Angeles acts The Great Sadness and Spirit in the Room at Valentines.

Until then, turn out the lights, like some candles and let Neon/Noir play throughout your spell casting.

New Track: "22" - Narra

Toeing the threshold between hope and reality, Narra delivers an emotively energetic tug and pull on “22”. Served up on a pop-punk platter, the song fortuitously flows lyrically, sticking on a universal tale of growing up, punctuated by accelerating, melodic instrumentation. You can catch the band as part of an Aleppo Relief fundraiser at Space 1026 on Thursday, January 26 with Shannen Moser and Loadcard.


Glassine blurs music and noise on album "No Stairway"

Having spent 3 years working inside a corporate music store, I can personally attest that the sounds you hear all day are not exactly the most musical. It's pretty common to be asked by wide eyed customers how you can possibly deal with all the noise while kids who have never touched a drum set before wail on the heads with reckless abandon. Honestly though, after a couple of months of working against all the clamor, the constant set of squeals, squawks and crashes tends to bleed into the background, and answering a hush-toned phone call takes no real effort. 

But this is why I was instantly interested in Glassine's (aka Danny Greenwald) latest release. No Stairway is made up solely of manipulated field recordings from the artist's local Guitar Center, and before you write it off as a weirdo, novelty album take a listen--the LP is a bona fide avant-ambient record that stands even without its premise. With 7 tracks of vaporwave vibes that feel warm, hazy and exceptionally human, Glassine forces the take-for-granted din of music retail into the forfront of his work. How he's managed to transform the cacophony of middle aged men stumbling through three chord songs on thousand dollar guitars into emotive ambiance is beyond me, but it's a creative tour de force that will have you questioning the line that lies between music and noise. Check out No Stairway streaming below.-Olivia Sisinni



New Track: "Head" - Geisha Facade

Geisha Facade, a.k.a. Jordan and Zoe Dupree, put their many talents and DIY ethos on display in the duo's latest track, "Head". A dark sadness eminates from Zoe's lovely vocal rasp that is reminiscent to a subdued sounding Amy Winehouse, eventually floating off into the ether before the thump and rattle percussions intensify and disintegrate. It's the new single off their forthcoming album, You Went To Space, Good Bye Dear, scheduled for release this month, and they are also currently planning a Midwest tour.

The Deli Philly’s January Record of the Month: a cheap close-up of heaven - So Totally

Philly four-piece So Totally gives listeners the ideal soundtrack for winter sadness with the release of their debut EP. Equal parts moody reverb and poetic gloom, a cheap close-up of heaven is a brutally candid depiction of unfiltered millennial feels.
Opening with the swell of “i can’t wait,” So Totally prove that not all twenty-somethings are afraid to wear their hearts on their sleeves. Heightened by lyrical concision and atmospheric riffs, the song is a melodic rumination on uncertainty and intimacy. On “lead & alchemy,” the universal need to be loved takes center stage amidst crashing riffs and lines like “I want to taste the real thing, follow me home” just before the track “rare form” pairs the sincerity of early aughts emo with the unfettered intensity of mid-90s shoegaze.
Infused with well-tempered nostalgia, “rare form” is the perfect summation of both genres’ devotion to doomed love and self-loathing - two themes further explored in “late gloomer”. Brutal like a best friend’s honesty, it is a ready-made wake-up call for anyone prone to self-induced sorrow or prolonged bouts of sulking. Comprised of hissing snare and reminders like “no one cares if it’s raining out, no one cares if you hate yourself,” the song is a bitter pill to swallow, but in a good way, while “easy leave” is a grunge-y hymn about the necessity of escapism, despite its limitations, and the frustration of temporary lows. a cheap close-up of heaven ends with the somber burn of “zoetrope,” a bleak but breathtaking portrait of human closeness eclipsed by apathy, a befitting end to an EP that isn’t afraid to find light at the center of an existential abyss.
The tracks on So Totally’s debut are ready-made mantras for the New Year, a collection of anthems for realists and romantics alike. With a combination of nostalgia and sincerity, a cheap close-up of heaven might not help you live your best life, but it will make you feel less alone, giving even the staunchest pessimist a glimmer of hope. (Photo by Austin Crostarosa) - Dianca London


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