Artist of the Month
top local artists
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Welcome to the new Deli Charts, organized by genre and scene.

To rank the artists with the star system go to the Top 50.


scene blog

Drawing on traditions of old-timey doo wop and proto-surf rock, Cinema Hearts bring a uniquely catchy sound out of Fairfax, VA, to the DC music scene. Incorporating contemporary elements of lo-fi indie and dream pop, this innovative trio brings a sound that evokes flashes of the Greatest Generation's dance halls and of DIY basement stages. The playful lyrical content is amplified by vocalist Caroline Weinroth's deep, mellifluous tones, which the guitar and drums are crisp and tight. Catch them play Songbyrd Music House, 2/11, after which they'll be dropping their first LP, Feels Like Forever, on Valentine's Day, 2/14. -Jonathan Goodwin

January 28, 2016

Booming out of Richmond, indie roots-rock group Lucy Dacus has a pleasing, infectious sound that's sure to grab heartstrings and never let them go. The four-piece strikes a precise note between roots and indie, flexing the lo-fi and mellow dance vibe of indie in union with the soulful, melodious feel of roots and folk. Altogether a rich and standout sound, the band's eponymous vocalist has an impressive sound between Courtney Barnett and She & Him's Zooey Deschanel and borders on the doleful, almost melancholy, especially when backed up by such an excellent rhythm section. They released their newest single "I Don't Wanna Be Funny Anymore" in November and open for Julien Baker at DC9, 1/26. -Jonathan Goodwin

January 21, 2016

Last Friday, 1/15, was a killer night for local music at the Rock & Roll Hotel. A crowd of excited, dancing fans mostly filled the space and the energy was palpable, all thanks to performances from The Duskwhales, Kid Claws, and YUM.

Opening the night was YUM., a three-piece from Northern Virginia that plays a fusion of surf, chillwave, and indie rock. For such a small band, their act packed the punch of a much larger outfit, striking listeners' eardrums with a melodic and entrancing set. Their playing was smooth and their audience interaction was friendly and engaging. YUM.'s set had a dreamy vibe to it, casting a spell of chill and indie in the room.

Second on the call sheet was Kid Claws. They are a trio from Falls Church, VA, that dabbles in shoegaze, ambient, and noise pop, while firmly settled on dream punk. The band has quite the musicality as they made great use of negative space in multiple songs and their female vocals found their way right to the heart. With liberal cymbal crashing and ephemeral guitar fades, Kid Claws has a subgenre all to themselves and craft a comfortably unsettling atmosphere of distorted, atmospheric, and punky sounds. Their next show is at the Songbyrd Music House, 1/29, with Big Hush and Soda.

The Duskwhales headlined the night and did they ever. With a sound that's at once familiar and fresh, their music makes you wanna dance and go crazy. Hailing from Manassas, VA, this trio has a uniquely bohemian stage presence that captures the audience's attention. Their work is heavily influenced by the Beatles, Vampire Weekend, and the Smiths, compiling elements of indie rock, psyhedelic, and retrowave into a charming and energizing musical cocktail. At the show, they paid a touching tribute to cultural legend David Bowie with an inspired cover of "Ziggy Stardust" and a Bowie-inspired original. They recently put out a new single (see below) and you can catch them open for Broke Royals and Wylder (these guys will be playing a Weezer cover set) at DC9, 2/6. -Jonathan Goodwin


January 20, 2016

It's a new year and a new installment of Daybreaker DC! Filling up the basement of Penn Social on an incredibly chilly morning, the morning-loving crowd of dancers were treated to sublime mixes provided by Rex Riot and Basscamp and excellent MC-ing by Haile Supreme. Fueled by snack bars and coffee, the DC-based DJs provided the perfect atmosphere for a Wednesday morning party. Rex Riot's beats were sick, using energetic switches and great vocal tracks. Basscamp put together some inspired remixes of diverse origins, from Christina Perri to Major Lazer. My personal favorite was mix of Muse's Supermassive Black Hole, which featured good use of repetition and distorted Matt Bellamy's voice to be even more angelic. Another awesome party, all thanks to Daybreaker. -Jonathan Goodwin

January 16, 2016

 Thanks to all the artists who submitted their music to be considered for The Deli's Best of DC Area Year End Poll for Emerging Artists. It was a tight contest and rich with musical talent.

After tallying our editors' ratings for the Open Submissions stage, it’s time to release the results. Please note that, to avoid conflicts, no local editor was allowed to vote for bands in their own scene.

Total submissions from the DC Area: 24

Jurors: Dan (The Deli New England), Ryan (The Deli LA), Paolo De Gregorio (The Deli NYC). 

Acts advancing to our Readers/Fans Poll:

The Walking Sticks - Indietronica/Synthpop


 X (Ten) - Indie Hip Hop


Sojourne - Alt-Soul


Honorable Mentions:

Jackie and The Treehorns, Atoka Chase, Night Kitchen, Harness Flux, Pete Curry 

WHAT’S NEXT: These results end the first phase of the poll. We will soon unveil the artists nominated by our local jurors, and then let our readers and our writers influence the poll with their vote.

Keep creating, keep supporting, and stay tuned for your chance to vote!  

—The Deli DC Area Staff <3

January 12, 2016

Full of youthful energy and a lot of fun, Fadest is the new grungy, melodic outfit to watch for in the Baltimore-DC area. The rich, jarring vocals will get your attention and you'll be hooked on the perfectly synced bass lines and drumming. Integrating plenty of cymbal action and catchy guitar riffs, Fadest has a lot of stage presence and really understands how to interact with an audience, even if they're sweating gallons. Their sound captures some of the post-grunge grunginess of the early aughts and incorporate some melodic and indie undertones to give it some pizzazz. Keep an eye on this band as they line up more gigs because they put on some really captivating shows. -Jonathan Goodwin

January 11, 2016

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

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