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Artist of the Month
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August 2016
Coco Columbia
"When the Birds Begin to Walk
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 Jazz tends to get a bad name among the younger crowd. Its association as the musical preference of parents, teachers and basically anyone that may be considered "lame" can deter a welcomed reception, but Coco Columbia has rebranded the genre in a way that's easily accessible for even the most stubborn of ears.

A force that first began with her 2014 debut, The Weight, Coco's newest release When the Birds Begin to Walk packs the same punch. "Weight on Limb," the first track to come off the album that premiered on The Deli Portland back in March, opens up the album in a way that you can't even keep up with. The track spurts and spats about as Coco's voice exquisitely flutters about the track's duration, setting the tone for what's left to come.

"Coveted Creatures" teases a hint of harder sound in the beginning before bringing it back to the funky jazz she does best. "9 Steps" stands out sonically from the rest of the album employing more rock elements and incredible shred work by Grant Sayler. Interesting key playing creates somewhat of an "under the sea" atmosphere on "Radiant in My Abyss," which contrasts a more barreled drum beat.

Her bold and unexpected cover of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill" climbs to the top of the list of Kate Bush covers. Coco took what was one of Bush's biggest and most influential hits and made it her own in a way that satisfies diehard Bushians and Coco fans.

When the Birds Begin to Walk holds up as a more than animated sophomore effort on the Coco Columbia front. The songs offered varied range while still holding up to her established jazzy ways and if anything, decrees Coco Columbia's voice as an instrumental force itself.


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Daniel Rafn on his new track and upcoming album

Whether you know how to pronouce it or not, it's highly likely you've heard the name 'Rafn' thrown around town. The Rafn brothers have worked both together and with others on various projects among the years, but their individual efforts prove fruitfully engaging.

Such is especially the case for Daniel Rafn, who has been working his way through artistically distressed and doubtful feelings to produce his newest track "Shalom," along with his fourth album The Hanged Man, due out later this year.

The first track to be released from the new album, "Shalom" offers the best representation of what can be expected on the album, according to Rafn. "I think it stands alone pretty well as just a song, while most everything else on the album seems to make more sense in the context of the album. "Shalom" was a good way to represent the whole, while the others are all extreme in some way," he says.

Its subtle play on phonetics is more personal than they appear at first, holding a double meaning. "I was born and raised in Salem, OR. Salem is an anglicized version of the Hebrew word 'Shalom,' which means peace. I'm saying in reality I'm from Salem, but in a spiritual emotional sense I like to think we come from a place of peace, like a peaceful pre-existence or something," Rafn says.

Yet the peaceful seeds behind the song oppose the effort put into both the song and album's production. Anyone that's delved into the creative arts knows the trials of continual inspiration, motivation and confidence in fabrication and Rafn himself admits how maturity in music comes with an emotional price tag.

"I contrast the peaceful origin with the angst of adulthood and finding your way...and finding out how to do what you wanna do in life," Rafn says. "The more serious I've gotten about making music or, the more committed you could say, the more "angsty" I've noticed I've become."

"It's the frustration of having this great desire to make art and have it go out and effect people for the better versus the very real struggle of actually getting that art heard and accepted. Not to mention the personal struggle of just having to come to terms that you need to work a fuck-ton to even get better so that your art can be accepted in the first place!"

Most of us aren't strangers to this frustration, especially when it comes to forcing yourself to push through a particular hurdle in the project. For Rafn that hurdle happened to be the next single he's releasing from the album in August, "The I and The All," which he says he had the most trouble in writing.

"That one was just more of an arrangement problem. I had the whole thing done for months and when I came back to it, it just seemed too empty. I wanted to add a little more harmonic complexity to it so just took some going over," Rafn says.

No matter the struggles, every element of Daniel Rafn's newest track is emotionally captivating and elevating. He's having a release show for "Shalom" tomorrow at the Liquor Store with Old Grape God. Give "Shalom" and listen below and be on the lookout for The Hanged Man, dropping in October. 

 


Mood Music: Altadore - "Capable Wolf"

Summer's only officially been here for a few days but don't you already wish it was raining again? We do, and the perfect song to fit our rain ridden mood of longing happens to be the newest track from Altadore, titled "Capable Wolf."

Coming off his upcoming August release Opal, Luna, and Hymn on Randm Records, "Capable Wolf" tells of the heartache of an ending relationship. You can hear the sincerity of pain in David Katz's voice as he sings "I'm a wolf, I'm wolf/I don't know what I'm capable of/Just howling away most days." Featuring Patti King from Rad City on violin, her sister Kyleen King on viola and Jeff Bond on drums, Katz's vocal tones set over this Portland pro-played orchestral indie pop illcits shivers.

We'll just be wolves, howling away these hot ass days until we can brood without sweating. To put yourself in the mood, give "Capable Wolf" a listen below.


Get your morning beach vibes with Mermaid in China

Mermaid in China are dropping premium vibes for summer time with their video for "A Stroll Through Callow Bay." Reminiscent of an early 90's travel video montage, "A Stroll Through Callow Bay" plays a mellow vocality and stolid instrumental delivery of a dream-like psych pop that when put all together, just makes you want to head out to the coast and plop down in the early morning sand.

Mermaid in China just started a mini stint in Washington yesterday, rolling through Seattle, Port Townsend and Olympia next. 

Check out "A Stroll Through Callow Bay" below and let Mermaid in China's cool sounds easy you into summertime.

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Gold Casio bring Monday dance vibes to Doug Fir

Kicking off a summer series of shows along the West Coast, electronic loves Gold Casio will be sweatin' up the Doug Fir tonight in celebration of their soon-to-drop music video and upcoming debut full length. As part of the transformation of their current release, the Fever Dreams EP will see an additional five songs, propelling it from a sampler pack of their indelible dance pop to a straight serving size of active tunes. 

A video for Fever Dreams' closing track, "Last Song," will be shared some time next month.

Joining Gold Casio tonight will be synth pop duo Calm Candy and Australia's Cub Sport, rounding out the bill with a guarantee of solid gyration.

The show starts at 8:30 tonight and only costs $5, so let's groove tonight.


Stream Husky Boys' Extremely Loud and Incredibly Loud

Current Deli Portland Artist of the Month nominees Husky Boys are about to drop one of the hottest albums to come out of Portland this year. Next week, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Loud, the boys' debut, is coming out just before their tour of the eastern states. 

They're having a joint album release/tour kickoff show June 30th at Valentines along with fellow poll noms Fire Nuns, Robot Boy and Casual Boyfriend.

As a special treat to all you Deli fans, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Loud is streaming on the site a week early. Peep the Husky Boys' tour dates below while you jam out to their debut! 

HUSKY BOYS TOUR DATES
7/3 Minneapolis, MN - Rathole
7/4 Chicago, IL - Flood House
7/5 Cleveland, OH - Maple Lanes
7/6 Philadelphia, PA - The Storefront
7/7 Brooklyn, NY - Alphaville
7/8 TBA
7/9 Baltimore, MD - Sidebar
7/10 Greensboro, NC - House Show
7/11 Atlanta, GA - The Sewing Room
7/12  Nashville, TN - Queen Ave
7/13 TBA
7/14 Lawrence, KS - Replay Lounge
7/15 Denver, CO - Goosetown Tavern
  


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