Insulting other bands in the poll is very uncool - and will jinx your chances of rock stardom.
P.S. Cheaters are losers!
The Deli's Bands of the Month 2013
A Stranger at the Wheel
While listening to AStranger at the Wheel, the first album released by Portland singer/songwriter Christopher Reyne, the composer's drive is apparent. The ten song album has an emotional, musical and stylistic range that is ambitious and satisfying. Kicking the album off with “The Notorious Kelly Monroe”, a catchy pop-esk hook and complex musical textures pair with Reyne's melodic voice to make it clear that this performer is dedicated to entertaining his listeners. Dedicated may be the perfect word to describe Reynes. The entire project has been in his hands, from the writing and performing to the recording and mixing. Literally every vocal track and instrument on the album you here is Reynes himself, save the drums that were added by a friend after all the songs were finished. As the album unfolds, the lyrics remain story-driven and vulnerable, the arrangements are thoughtful and interesting, and it is clear that Stranger at the Wheel captures what Christopher Reynes is: a driven entertainer and talented musician. - Joy Pearson
The Clear Blue Pearl
In The Clear Blue Pearl, Morning Ritual has collaborated with Shook Twins to shape an album that is as progressive as it is nostalgic. The album borrows elements of soul, folk and R&B then filters them through modern production that accents the poignant arrangements and soaring vocal harmonies. Working with the classic instrumentation of keys, upright bass, drums and an occasional banjo The Clear Blue Pearl is structured with clear intent. The music revolves around the story of a husband and wife on a search for a new home and this collection of tight compositions vividly reflects the thematic arcs of the concept. The opening chords of “Drought” set a calm and melancholic tone of loss that builds into “The Search”, a track that showcases mystical vocal melodies and ethereal percussion. The title track projects light and an uplifting energy that is cut by “Dolphin Song” and reworked into the soulful groove that moves through “Tunnel of Light”. Each track supports and complements the next as the album leads up to the triumphant closer, “Geyser”. The Clear Blue Pearl is a tasteful and well-orchestrated release that, above all, displays an artistic ambition and original style. It’s refreshing to hear. - Benjamin Toledo
In Gravel Beach, Pheasant explore the sounds of a variety of different genres while keeping their feet firmly planted in their genuine brand of indie rock. Vintage rock n roll, country twang, surfy leads and upbeat compositions display the groups adventurous nature without losing sight of their musical roots. Tracks like “Castles in Caves” and “Gravel Beach” pull the listener in with driving rhythms, vivid guitar leads and bright trumpet shouts. Juxtapose this against the crooning harmonies of “Country Young” and “Dog in a Scrapyard” and the bands range and dynamic control become apparent, as well as their ability to lay down a sweet guitar solo. “Never Coming Back” draws the album to an energetic close with vocal shout and an anticlimactic staccato hit, leaving the listener wanting more. Well orchestrated, fluid and novel, Gravel Beach is Pheasant at their finest and shows their ongoing musical progression. Do your ears a favor and give this album a listen. - Benjamin Toledo
Slump is proof that, even with nearly a decade of experience in hip hop, Sapient can still find new ways to push the genre’s envelope. The album showcases dynamic instrumentation, shifting textures and relentless hooks through bright production that are held together by Sapient’s seamless lyrical flow. Each track has something different to offer. Whether it’s the heavy guitar leads in “Pieces of Paper”, the comedic groove of “Shotgun in my Spaceship” or the ethereal backing vocals on “Monsters Eat Bricks” the album is constantly exploring different ways to express an innovative spirit. Still, the accessible nature of the music is never lost to over-experimentation. The rhythms are contagious and the choruses so catchy that they demand the listener to sing along, even if they don’t realize they’re doing it. Slump is a refreshing break from musical imitation and shows that, above all, Sapient will never let himself be confined within the box of a single genre. - Benjamin Toledo
1945 is as much a celebration of love as it is a reflection of its dichotomy. Brad Mackeson channels traditional folk and americana influences through crisp production and modern tones to create a record that sounds simultaneously vintage and novel. Full, exuberant tracks like ”Rooftop” and “Thousand Drums” uplift the listener with the force of a freight train and are juxtaposed against softer tracks that depict subtle emotion with transparent clarity. The harmonica on “Love is for Gamblers” is reminiscent of early country while the pedal steel on the somber closing track, “Late Nights and Gunfights,” is played with heartbreaking sublimity. Celebrate his debut release with him on Thursday, February 21st at the Doug Fir for what’s sure to be an inspired performance. – Benjamin Toledo
The Art of Being Pulled Apart
In their latest release Jellyfish Brigade have captured the eye of a transformative storm and labeled it The Art of Being Pulled Apart. From the first beat the release exhales a calm sensation and as the vocals enter they bring with them reflective and transparent lyrics describing a moment of separation from oneself. They flow through the title track with vivid imagery and honest emotion on top of pocket rhythms and electronic melodies that provide a musical landscape complementary to the thematic arcs of the album. “The Character is Me” holds the hip hop beats steady and drives the story towards personal alchemy, which the final track, “The Salmon’s Journey Home” cements with uptempo grooves and vocal hooks. The Art of Being Pulled Apart may be a personal account but the emotions depicted are universal. Each person is pulled apart at some point; the art is how we put ourselves back together. –Benjamin Toledo