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Laura & Greg

Best of NYC 2015 Open Submission Results: SONGWRITERS/ROOTSY POP Category: Pam Steebler, Laura & Greg, Afternoon Men

Happy New Year, Deli-rious seekers of new, exciting, emerging music!

If you've been following us for a while, you should know that January is the month when our regional Year End Polls for Emerging Artists are in full bloom!

The first leg of our poll is called "Open Submissions," and, in it, we allow all local artists (in this case NYC ones, since you are reading the NYC blog) to submit their music for consideration. After a screening process involving three of our editors or writers, we pick a few per genre - here are the first results for the Songwriter/Rootsy Pop category!

Total submissions in this category: 18

Artists qualified to the next stage (i.e. the Readers' Poll, starting around 01.20):

1. Pam Steebler - 7.87

We are rarely entranced by bluesy pop/rock, maybe because - to be pulled off properly - the genre requires monstrous chutzpa, as in... "the balls of those who are really good at something." But we've got to concede to Pam Steebler that her "Give In" EP's two opening songs are... "da bomb." "Mind Reader," in particular (streaming below), has the power and the beauty to light a flare of soulful passion even in the heart of the most unflappable of indie rockers.


2. Laura & Greg - 7.5

Curiously enough, the second placed band in this chart couldn't sound more different from the first - how are these two acts in the same category? The answer is in the word "pop" and "roots" - elements these artists shares, but with different approaches. Laura & Greg's folk pop is gentle, intimate, sparse and DIY. Their peaceful harmonies and placid atmospheres refer back to the folk-pop explosion of the '60s, revising and adapting it to our DIY days.


2. Afternoon Men - 7.5

Afternoon Men's song and video for single "Parking Lots and Basements" (streaming) has an edge that screams "Manhattan" - you know, that borough offering the "bourgeois" kind of fun. (Oh yeah, you can say that about Williamsburg too!). Whoever wrote that song, certainly knows how to navigate that scene, where sophistication and charm can go farther than good looks - at least with the smart ladies who can support a broke musician! This (besides their obvious talent) is why this band may have a future.

Honorable Mentions: Caitlin Mahoney, The Next Great American Novelist, The Bone Chimes, Ashni, Bill Bartholomew, Diana Zinni, Frank Bell.

Jurors: Michael Colavita (Deli Philly), Cody Wright (Deli Toronto), PDG (Deli NYC)

Stay tuned for more results, and then for the readers' poll!

Images and Music from last week's The Deli NYC / Sofar Sounds show!

On Thursday July 23rd, The Deli sponsored and helped book a Sofarsounds.com show in NYC. Since the Sofar Sounds shows are always secret, we couldn't promote the participating bands, therefore we'll take the opportunity to blog about them today.

The show was hosted in a beautiful apartment in Manhattan's Battery City by the west river, with gorgeous view of New Jersey. NYC's folk duo Laura & Greg - pictured above minutes before their performance - opened the show with their delicate and intimate songs, featuring a simple acoustic guitar and two way harmonies that took us back to the glorious days of Simon & Garfunkel. The band released a full length album entitled 'Forever For Sure' - you can stream the title track below.



We were very familiar with the second band on the bill, since they performed at our Best of NYC Fest in June. The Cabana Kids played a stripped down set without giving up the electric guitar, a signature instrument of their dreamy, surf influenced sound. The absence of drums conveied a more folky vibe to their song, allowing their catchy melodies and harmonies to shine.


Last on the bill, a duo we wrote about a few years ago and we recently re-discovered: Gracie and Rachel (in the top picture). After two guitar based, drumless acts, the two ladies switched things up a little, introducing the audience to their instruments: a piano, a violin, and a kick drum turned on its back, and taken care of by a (charming) dude. What followed could be described as some kind of avant-orchestral bliss: in this music, Gracie Coates's peculiarly moody songwriting and percussive piano style feeds the imagination of Rachel Ruggles' classically trained violin. The two also harmonized flawlessly on occasion, displaying an impressively well-rounded talent. Check out their latest single 'Tiptoe,' streaming below.

We added this song to The Deli's playlist of Best mellow songs by emerging NYC artists - check it out!


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