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It’s Personal: Two Inch Astronaut Release Personal Life at Black Cat, 2/7

Two Inch Astronaut, accompanied by DC’s Hemlines and Laughing Man, kicked off their new album release with an energetic attack on the senses.

Hemlines, DC’s favorite feminist punks, got things going with The Bear, a powerful shout from the recently released All Your Homes. You’re instantly connected when the lyrics register. Guitarist Katie asked the crowd what came to mind when she said “reflection cottage”. While the general response was of something tranquil, she replaces the assumption of peace with a term for juvenile solitary confinement. “This next one’s about those”, says Katie.

Laughing Man took it down a notch with OM-esque string play and flowing, seamless drum rolls. Pictures were painted right away with a story of meeting a man who introduced the Quran, not as some tool to convert, but as a piece of art to express his love and passion. The guitarist led us down winding paths of daydreams that ended with Islamic prayers reverberating through unfamiliar ears.

TIA’s frontman Sam was eternally grateful for the turnout, with his love for Hemlines and Laughing Man nervously expressed. The guys went straight to it with ‘Good Behavior’, a coming of age story of premature nostalgia and regret. Maybe I’m projecting, but this one hit some deeper notes. This was quickly followed by ‘Sexual Prince of the Universe’, which seemed to be the distant observation of that preppy dude you knew in high school. “This one’s about Limp Bizkit”, shouted bassist Andy as they finished with ‘Woodstock ‘99.’

Personal Life is a nervous reminder of growing up. It was fun, but nerve-wracking. TIA’s unique perspective on the subject, surely heightened by Sam’s views, now as a teacher, will have you scrambling for that book you read ten times in high school. You know the one. -Justin Bieggar

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Alternative hip hop lyricist Steadfast releases debut single, Mend

Based in Baltimore, Steadfast is the next face to find in the hip hop scene. She's building a sound grounded in alternative and DIY, making the beat and writing the thoughtful and catchy lyrics for the new track all on her own. She released her debut single a few days ago, so be sure to give it a listen. Her musical flow is smooth and fast, backed by a tight beat, and the lyrical content is sharply tongue-in-cheek. Keep an eye on this songstress as she's displaying great potential and will surely lay down more sick tracks in the days ahead. -Jonathan Goodwin

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The Walking Sticks are The Deli DC's Best Emerging Artist of 2015! 2nd California Death! 3rd Manzara!

Dear Deli Readers,

Our Best of DC Area Poll for Emerging Artists has been - as usual - a lengthy and painstaking journey which took us through prairies of numbers, horizons filled with band names, and a dense, (mostly) joyous rain of music. We have finally reached our destination and we can announce the final results!

Coming in first for 2015 is DC's premier velvet pop trio The Walking Sticks. Comprised of outstanding vocalist Chelsea Lee and brothers Spencer and Max Ernst, this group possesses a standout electronic base layered with funk and the stadium-quality voice of a siren. They have a show tomorrow night, 2/10, with Wylder and Tigers Are Bad For Horses at the W Hotel.

Barely a year out from releasing their first LP, Richmond psych rockers California Death landed at number two. Mellow and dreamy, this quintet makes a splash with their beachy, lo-fi shoegaze music in the Old Dominion. Nostalgic and feel-good, these guys have a show at Gallery 5, 2/28.

Number three on the list, Manzara lays out their heavy, atmospheric post rock to great aplomb, also hailing from Richmond. This spacy and mystifying threepiece doesn't have much music on the books, but keep an eye on them as they build their following. Their next gig is at the Hardywood Brewing Company, 2/20.

Check out our poll's top ten below, and don't forget to get even deeper, exploring all the finalists organized by genre:

Alt Rock - Hardcore/Metal - Hip Hop/World - Electronic - Indie Pop - Indie Rock - Post Punk - Roots Music

BEST OF 2015 POLL FOR 
EMERGING NDC Area ARTISTS
****** FINAL RESULTS - TOP TEN ******

 
ARTIST
J
OS
R
TOT
 
1
The Walking Sticks
4.5
3
0.004
7.504
2
California Death
5.5
 
0.064
5.564
icon
3
Manzara
4.5
 
0.002
4.502
icon
4
Dr Robinson's Fiasco
3
 
0.124
3.124
icon
5
Goldrush
3
 
0.088
3.088
icon
6
The Milestones
3
 
0.04
3.04
7
Spirit Plots
3
 
0.019
3.019
icon
8
Beauty Pill
3
 
0.004
3.004
icon
9
Stronger Sex
3
 
0.003
3.003
icon
 
The NRIS
3
 
0.003
3.003
Legend: J = Jurors, W = Deli Writers,
R = Deli Readers, OS = Open Submissions

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If you wonder how this chart came into existence, here is how it all went down: first, we let the local bands submit their music (for free), and got our Deli editors to pick the nominees. Then we polled a list of 15+ DC Area scene expert (our jury) and asked them to nominate 3 more bands of their choice each (3 points for the top choice, then 2 and 1). Then we polled our readers. We tried to keep things open for each single genre, from Indie Rock to Roots Music to Hip Hop.

If you are a geek interested in all the subtleties related to how this poll works, you can read the rules here (happy reading!). But if all you care about is the awesome new music DC Area produced in the year 2015, this list is all you need. Enjoy!

Many Thanks to our Jurors: Josh Sisk (photographer), Craig Boarman (Ottobar), Brandon Wetherbee (Brightest Young Things), Alley Gibson (photographer), Lynda Lu (DC Rocks), Mike Rutz (WRIR), Katie Bowles (DC Music Download), Andrew Cothern (RVA Paylist), Chris (DC Heavy Metal), Jennifer Vinson (DC Setlist), Nestor (Velvet Lounge), Mark (Strange Matter), David Hintz (DC Rock Live), Kevin Hill (Chunky Glasses), Chris Naoum (Listen Local First), Jonathan Goodwin (The Deli Magazine). Many other jurors were asked to send us their preferences but elected not to do so.

Hope you'll find some awesome new artists you weren't aware of!

The Deli's Staff


Wylder covered Weezer's Blue Album at DC9, 2/6, with The Duskwhales and Broke Royal opening; all celebrate new releases

Last Saturday, 2/6, a beautiful thing happened at DC9 Nightclub. A sold out crowd was treated to a night of wonder as DC-based bands The Duskwhales, Broke Royals, and Wylder performed their superb music, with Wylder performing a full cover of Weezer's debut album. Despite a late start and minor feedback problems, this show was not worth missing.

The Duskwhales kicked off the night with their typically exuberant style, belting out fast-paced, dreamy indie rock. Channeling the best of times long past and the days ahead, their sound is the stuff of youthful excellence and highly stylized stage presence. Vocalist and guitarist Seth Flynn brings a unique flavor to the stage, bushy hair masking his face and ruby red fingernails flying over his guitar. This trio has a highly refined musicality and standout personality on the scene. They released a video for their latest single, Emerald Skates, today. Also, they've declared themselves the only thing worth knowing in Manassas, VA, aside from the Civil War battlefields.

Following up, Broke Royals pursue being the epitome of smooth, rocking out in vests and belting out feel-good alt rock. Drummer Colin Cross possesses stellar skills at the drum kit, frequently twirling a drumstick without error between beats, while lead vocalist Philip Basnight work the crowd into a bopping mass of adulation. Their performance was energetic and engaging and they really pumped up the crowd. They recently put out their third album, The Luxury of Time Pt. III, keeping it simple for fans, and they're releasing a new single, On My Way, on 2/19.

Headlining the night, indie folk group Wylder put their own spin on Weezer's Blue Album for the show, executing the cover perfectly and adding to the classic masterpiece with violin and keys. Hitting all of the high notes and owning the title of DC's best Weezer cover band, the band invited The Duskwhales onstage to sing along to The Sweater Song, which was thoroughly harmonious. Following the end of the album, Wylder rounded out the night with some of their originals, including their forthcoming release, Swells. The new single drops 2/15 and it is a fantastically upbeat, anthemic track.

-Jonathan Goodwin

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Rebellious rockers Punch The Unicorn release new single, White Noise

 Shredding their way from Alexandria, VA, Punch The Unicorn released their first single, White Noise, last month and it's built on the most badass parts of punk and hard rock. Vocalist Lindsay Collette has a very anthemic presence on the track, reminiscent of rock legend Joan Jett, belting out lyrics with an entrancing range. The guitar work blasts in perfectly, replete with ungodly solos. I suspect the fretboards surely caught fire from the friction. Head-bangingly brilliant, PTU is working on a second single and looking for a new drummer, so keep an eye out for developments! -Jonathan Goodwin

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Who's your favorite Emerging DC Area Artist on this list?

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