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Record of the Month: Amen Dunes - "Freedom"

There are some albums that feel like spiritual excursions the moment they start, transfixing us instantly at the right time and place. Amen Dune’s fifth record, Freedom, is one such record. The introduction informs us that the time is now, and it belongs to Damon McMahon and his finely tuned songwriting. Each track is impeccably produced, precise and imperious, as synths and bass lines appear on the horizon before shimmering out of view. The interplay between each instrument is like multiple generations of mirages materializing at once, and McMahon’s vocals sit in the center commanding attention with assured confidence in the stream-of-consciousness lyrics. Freedom was released wholly realized, yet it’s the undefinable aspects that assert why it’s an intoxicating and infinitely rewarding album. -Tucker Pennington





The Deli Philly’s August Record of the Month: Chosen Family - Thin Lips

Thin Lips’ sophomore LP Chosen Family is an earnest homage to making peace with the past, the necessary balm of friendship, and the power of feeling your feels.

The album appropriately begins with its titular track that recounts a dream and a memory with vulnerability framed by the atmospheric swell of buzzing riffs that seamlessly ease into "Gaslight Anthem (The Song Not the Band)”. Liken to a prologue, "Chosen Family" prepares listeners for the emotive context of the LP's progression. An evocative origin story of sorts, it becomes part artifact and part testimony. Even as "Gaslight Anthem" begins, the vulnerability of the album's opener lingers, pushing the lyrical immediacy of all that comes after deeper into the heart of the audience. As Chrissy Tashjian sings, “but I was there, I won’t just let it go,” “Gaslight Anthem” erects a monument to the past, reminding us how what haunts or heals us pushes us into the future – for better or worse.

“A Song for Those Who Miss You All the Time” recalls the melodic dissonance of earworms like Built to Spill’s “Center of the Universe” or The Promise Ring’s “B is Bethlehem,” conveying a similar sense of yearning and nostalgia as each second passes. When Tashjian croons, “You were free of everything that holds us in our place, that holds us back from grace,” the track feels like salve. Jubilant in a realistic way, Chosen Family’s third track is infused with a pragmatic hope from beginning to end, while “Smoking’s for Quitters” is a moody and meaningful exploration of mortality, the necessity of intimacy, and the existential urge to search for wholeness. Lines like “we’re all gonna die” and “it’s hard to care” shake its listener out of disillusionment without the artifice of optimism.

“South America” and “I Know I’m the Asshole” feel synonymous with Best Coast’s “Goodbye” and the broodiest cuts on Bleached’s Ride Your Heart, while “Saying Yes” and “What’s So Bad About Being Lonely” bring to mind Dude York and 90s icons like Veruca Salt. “Sex Is Complicated” is a refreshing anthem about intimacy and the cons of human closeness. When Tashjian asks, “can bodies tell a lie,” fans are forced to grapple with the answer. And with “So Stoned,” there is a melodic and emotionally raw yet subtle in a way that makes it easily memorable.  The honesty of “It’s Hard To Tell The Difference When You’re Afraid of Literally Everything” is a relatable, introspective confession that grapples with the complexities of autonomy and self-awareness. As Tashjian sings, “I’m not sure if I know what I’ve done, what I’ll become,” alongside guitar licks and snare, it feels; it’s difficult not to empathize.

“What If I Saw You on the Street” is a dance worthy cut with a pop-laced backbeat that hums with an energized urgency that perfectly prefaces Chosen Family’s final offering, “The Kate Escape.” A song about an ending on the brink of a new beginning, the last narrative on the Thin Lips’ latest full-length will make listeners feel less alone in a world that often feels impossible. – Dianca London





New Track: "Arizona (I Wanna Be Your Man)" - Shannen Moser

I’ll Sing, the forthcoming album from Shannen Moser, will be released on September 7 via Lame-O Records. “Arizona (I Wanna Be Your Man)” is its lead single, exploring a hypothetical road trip in a yearning, open-letter kind of way. That sense of longing lingers as the backbeat matriculates across the map, highlighted by quick punches of guitar and the earnest, emotive power of Moser's vocals. You can catch her at Everybody Hits on Wednesday, August 22, where she'll be joined by Cherry and Sidney Gish.





Deli NYC Issue #55 is out! Half Waif and NYC MixCon 2018!

Attention music lovers!

The new issue of The Deli NYC is out on the cloud (we are at #55!) and we are psyched to have Half Waif on its cover - her latest album Lavander is an absolute gem! Print copies will hit the streets of NYC this coming weekend.

Inside, you will also find a very informational article about the state of the record industry, featuring an extensive Q&A with 4 NYC record label insiders.

Finally, this is also the yearly issue linked to our NYC MixCon 2018, the FREE event entirely focused on mixing advice provided by world class producers - a must for any young engineer or home recording musician interested in refining their mixing skills!

The Folks at The Deli





Shade - Sign to Sleepless Records, Release "Controller" Single

Recently signed to Sleepless Records; Shade is a powerful Hamilton 5 piece that blend 90’s Britpop with pure fuzzed out grunge. They just dropped their first single “Controller”. This tune has a very catchy riff that gets better every time you hear it. The vocals weave through the song as if Liam Gallagher was possessed by the devil. The track actually sounds like an evil b-side from ‘Definitely Maybe’. They have more tunes in the can so we just have to wait patiently for more Shade! See em live at Hamilton’s Supercrawl during the weekend of September 13-16. – Kris Gies

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