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Drowned in Sound: Ex Hex - Rips


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The DMV Represented at this year's Afropunk Festival.

Being thrust back into the real world after taking part in a music festival is always a challenge for me mentally, physically and spiritually. This time it feels like the weight of the world and all of the things that have yet to be done haunt my psyche relentlessly. But, I wouldn't trade Afropunk for anything.

I liken my Afropunk 2014 experience in Brooklyn this past weekend to being at a meditation retreat for music heads. Every stage that the festival goer visited allowed them to be properly baptized by the featured act's good gospel.

Continue reading about Deli Contributor Opal Rose's experience following DMV artists like Blaqstarr + Shawn Smallwood, and The Beard & The Fro (Mista Selecta + Mane Squeeze), at this year's Afropunk Festival here


The Milkstains preview new album Broken Bones

 Richmond's The Milkstains put up a preview stream of their new album Broken Bones (officially due September 4th). I knew I liked this band already, but this album surpasses expectations, seemingly running down a checklist of my favorite sounds and styles. Every track makes me love them more.

"La Adelita" is an expertly crafted surf instrumental, psyching the listener up for what's to come. "Sidewalk" is Replacementsy pop-rock, as engaging as that description can suggest. "Let Us Down" is an 80's proto-indie rocker, ferocious and meek, strong and sweet. "Caroline O'Keeffe" is some wacky low-fi garage version of Leiber/Stoller pop (with a blistering guitar solo). "Carrion Crow" is the desert and death, heat and haze, all gritty and sexy, like the loners and rebels your mom warned you about. "Heart of Mine" is a straightforward garage stomper, pounding drums and kinetic guitar-work. "Invisible Friends" is more dynamic garage with clever psychedelia conjured by the all analog studio. "Heavy Water" is the appropriate name for the next song; another instrumental surf track, but truly heavy, deep, crushing guitars. "Sonic Kick" fools you at the start with another heavy growling tone out of the bass, but turns immediately into a sweet and smooth indie-rocker, with shimmering guitars playing anthemic hooks. All too soon the album ends on title-track "Broken Bones," an even more anthemic indie-rocker with room to jam on some noise, like a combo of early 90's Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr., riding waves of electricity, blazing through hooks, into Siamese Dream-like walls of sound.

Broken Bones is a triumph of non-stop excitement, head-shaking goodness, taste and ambition. It's like a shrine to analog sound and psychedelia, collecting iconography from 60's surf to 90's alt-rock, and everything in between. The Milkstains aren't copycats however. They channel an energy all their own through each song, a growling tiger ready to pounce from beneath each track, and harness their musicianship and the skills of their producers to create a seemless passionate journey.  

You can catch them next at Richmond's Fall Line Fest, where they'll have the first solid copies of the album for sale. Get this album, however you can. --Natan Press  

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Dannie's "Girls Time"

Sultry singer-songwriter, Dannie has found her way into my Soundcloud playlist with her debut single. Smooth vocals coupled with a down tempo feel track prove that Girls Time is reminiscent of feel good R&B seemingly from an era past. The track features a strong Hip-Hop collaboration by D.u.b.b., and together Dannie and D.u.b.b. bring the art of story telling in music to the forefront. Vocal melodies similar to 702 and Aaliyah draw the listener in to experience a new brand of R&B that is unafraid to stay true to the roots of the genre. In a time where pure R&B (in my opinion) is virtually non-existent on the airwaves, this singer-songwriter delivers a fresh perspective. She gained a fan out of me, and I look forward to watching her evolve as an artist.

Want to hear more? On September 16, the singer-songwriter plans to drop a new single entitled "Wait 4 It."    

Catch Dannie live on September 5th at 9:30pm at Box Seats Sports Bar & Grill in Fredericksburg, VA. --Opal Rose

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Interview with DC Area Deli Artist of the Month Various Eggs

The DC Area Deli caught up with Artist of the Month Various Eggs to find out more about the inspiration and process behind the creation of their first album Don't Expect Much From Others. As it turns out, an album full of songs about disappointment is anything but disappointing, for both the listener and the artist. 

"I deliberately made a scattered and ornery record with a lot of unfriendly choices. The simple piano ballad blows apart into a cacophony. The prettier songs are paired next to harsh avant-garde instrumental interludes. Imperfections were left in the performance to keep it human. The subject matter is consistently dark. I expected people to respond well to the songs on which Julie sings lead. And they have; I get overwhelming;y good feedback on those songs. But it has also been a pleasant surprise that people have listened to and liked the rest of the record. When I started getting feedback from strangers about the record’s sense of purpose, it felt pretty great to know it was understood."

Read more here, and check out the album below. --Natan Press

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Floydfest: Music and Beauty in the Mountains

Tucked away in the quiet serenity of the Virginia Mountains howls a group of over 100 musicians who gathered in the wilderness to put on a 5-day show across 10 different stages to create something unforgettable. This festival is something of a hidden gem, unlike America’s notorious music festivals full of teens and pre-teens impatiently waiting for their generations pop idols to appear. The music that plays at Floydfest is perhaps something that requires a deeper appreciation, full of folk, reggae, rock, and bluegrass, there’s no question that this festival is something of a unique experience in this day and age.

Continue reading about contributor Rohan Khanna's experience at Floydfest here

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