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Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015
Detroit husband-wife duo release contrasting pair of songs showcasing their aggressive and serene sides.

Detroit’s the Bruised Reed is a band of polarities. A husband and wife duo composed of Kirsten and Josh Wheeler, the former handles vocal duties, the latter the instrumental side of their sonic concoctions. Their tunes reside in the diametrically opposed realms of slowcore/dream pop and incendiary rock. How apropos, then, that latest release Doubles Vol. 1. is a two-song endeavor—the first in a series of double-deckers planned for 2015—putting these dynamics front and center. Think of the release as a sampler platter of all they have to offer.


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Monday, Mar 16, 2015
"More That I Cannot Say" is one of the tunes on George Usher and Lisa Burns' The Last Day of Winter whose energy beckons the listener to shake off the thaw and walk towards the fresh air of spring.

The Last Day of Winter is an album borne out of making the best of a bad situation. A few years ago, New York singer/songwriter George Usher became unable to play any musical instruments following the chemotherapy he underwent as a result of his long battle with cancer. However, disease was no match for Usher’s songwriting spirit, and after composing 12 song lyrics, fellow New York artist Lisa Burns set the tunes to music. The result of this collaboration is The Last Day of Winter, a recording that shows a natural rapport between Usher and Burns, both of who have musical CVs that depict a lifelong commitment to the craft of music.


Below you can stream the intimate black-and-white video to the poetically-titled “More Than That I Cannot Say”, an upbeat bit of folk-rock that evokes the last icy dregs of winter as they fade away, leaving the optimistic throes of spring to fill their void. Although it was not long ago that Usher was unable to play the guitar, it’s a true delight to see him triumph over his struggles with cancer in this song and its performance, even as he expresses the frustration and anger he was experiencing during his chemotherapy.


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Monday, Mar 16, 2015
A colorful hodgepodge of sonic experimentation centered on a firm indie pop, The Mess Remade is a clever and fun outing from Cincinnati's own Bad Veins.

With indie pop and rock being as overcrowded as they are in the present day, it’s becoming increasingly hard to stand out from the throng. Fortunately, the Cincinnati duo Bad Veins—Benjamin Davis on vocals/guitar and Jake Bonta on drums—have crafted an LP that’s sure to get them noticed, the 13-track The Mess Remade. With crisp but not too clean production and a bandolier of catchy choruses, the record benefits from a strong pop core that the duo uses as an anchor through which they can branch out in other directions. From synth-pop (“Dancing on TV”) to twee affectations (“I Turn Around”), to vocal performances that veer into musical theatre territory (“Rainbow Connection”), The Mess Remade is a pop album with an appealingly restless spirit. There are also some killer turns of phrase on the lyrical front as well: “I’ve got this soapbox / But I wish I had a crystal ball”, Davis sings on “Nursery Rhyme”.


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Friday, Mar 13, 2015
The New York City rock outfit Jeremy and the Harlequins channel the spirit of '50s rock 'n' roll and turn it on its head with their latest music video.

Their music brings a good, old-fashioned ‘50s American diner to mind. Their outfits suggest that they’re currently prepping a revival of Grease. But with the music video to “You’re My Halo”, the New York City rockers of Jeremy and the Harlequins take those idyllic archetypes of American life and give them a devilish twist—one might call it “Mephistopheles noir”.


“You’re My Halo” comes from Jeremy and the Harlequins’ recently released American Dreamer, which is currently streaming in full via The Deli.


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Friday, Mar 13, 2015
The newest tune by this Portland, Oregon band is a fine encapsulation of the genre-melding going on in the Pacific Northwest music scene.

“Wannabe Cowboys” is an apt title for a song by a band that hails from Portland, Oregon. The City of Keeping it Weird isn’t exactly known for a thriving country/Western scene, and the thought of the Birkenstock-wearing crowd trying to fit in a proper honky-tonk is no doubt good for a laugh. Fortunately, the Portland rock outfit the Weather Machine isn’t out for such gauche posturing. Although elements of folk music are definitely obvious in the band’s music, unsurprising given the genre’s prominence in the Pacific Northwest, there’s several other elements at play in their sound that prevent them from coming across as trying to ape one specific style. For instance, “Wannabe Cowboys”, a track off of the Weather Machine’s forthcoming Peach LP, opens up with some nice distorted guitar that evokes classic rock. The tune’s chorus then brings a fiddle into the mix, adding an additional rhythmic texture that elevates what might have otherwise been an ordinary rock number. “Wannabe Cowboys” feels appropriately folksy without ever being phony.


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