Delia Meshlir "Calling The Unknown"
Swiss musician Delia Meshlir didn’t realize what her voice could do when she started out playing music. Through such groups as the drudge-rock Cheyenne and experimental Primitive Trails, Delia let the music lead her singing along. It wasn’t until she began writing the songs for Calling The Unknown that she started allowing her vocals to preside. Unbounded by structure, Delia Meshlir’s first full-length under her name brings layers of beauty, intensity and strength, all coming to a head with her striking vocal delivery.
Delia lost her grandmother while preparing the album, and many of the tracks reflect seeking a path through grief with love. On “A River”, she explores where feelings can exist when they are for someone who has passed. She sings: “I’m calling the unknown/but no one remains.” As the first song on the album, it serves as a perfect introduction to the album, with refined drumming, reverb-wrapped guitars and tasteful saxophone lines. At command of a full band, Delia never abuses the opportunity, often having members hold back in restraint and add mere touches of color to her songs. However, when more urgency is required, Delia adapts beautifully, as on the raw and driven track “Dirty Colors”. Ultimately, the album is an invitation to peace after suffering.
Drug Church "Hygiene"
Drug Church is a band without fear. For the past ten years, the Albany and Los Angeles-based five-piece have been staunchly creating their own singular path in making distinctly outsider music that’s somehow at once welcoming and instantly satisfying. The band’s songs revel in sonic contradictions, seamlessly combining crushing aggression with bulletproof hooks, while the lyrics unflinchingly explore life’s darkness and discomfort with sardonic wit—and without judgement. On Hygiene, their impending fourth full-length, Drug Church is as uncompromising as ever, and it has resulted in their boldest set of songs to date. Drug Church are still demanding that the listener comes to them, not the other way around, and with Hygiene, they just might.
Hygiene is in fact an incredibly appealing album despite being difficult to categorize—or perhaps because of it. Recorded with producer/engineer Jon Markson and clocking in at a lean 26 minutes, the record makes it abundantly clear that Drug Church aren’t content to rest on their laurels. Across ten strikingly dynamic songs, Nick Cogan and Cory Galusha alternate between massive riffs and some of the most unexpectedly melodic guitar playing that has ever touched Drug Church’s music, while Chris Villeneuve and Pat Wynne’s rhythm section unflaggingly shakes the ground. The band’s foundation in hardcore still provides plenty of stagedive-inspiring energy, but even Patrick Kindlon’s signature roar has taken a tuneful turn with layered vocals, raw harmonies, and cadences hooky enough to have listeners shouting along after one listen.
Dead Tooth "Pig Pile"
Dead Tooth‘s music reminds us of if you could compress a packed DIY space into an .mp3 (perhaps a .wav if you’re a snob). Each fuzzy, cigarette stained riff is that sweaty somebody crashing into you, spilling their beer, and then calling you a loser for wearing pastels to the basement show (maybe that only happens to us). While intense, there’s a reason we keep going back to those shows, there’s something beautiful in it’s vulgarity – The same can be said for Dead Tooth. Their new EP Pig Pile offers a downright nefarious collection of tracks. Often reminiscent of garage revivalists like The Spits or Oblivians, the cadre of scruffy Brooklyn dwellers also manage to take detours into art-rock and post-punk. Check out Riverboat if you enjoy monolithic waveforms, and Nightmare America if that story about being called a loser at a punk show resonated with you.
Miles Francis "Good Man"
The full-length debut from Miles Francis, Good Man is a work of gorgeous paradox: a nuanced exploration of masculinity and all its trappings, presented in a sound that’s joyfully unfettered.
Produced by Francis and recorded in their longtime studio (located in the basement of the Greenwich Village building they grew up in), ‘Good Man’ arrives as the most visionary and elaborately realized output yet from a polymathic artist known for collaborating with the likes of Angélique Kidjo, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, and Arcade Fire’s Will Butler. In dreaming up the album’s kaleidoscopic sound, Francis embraced an experimental process that involved elegantly merging their most formative influences.
Throughout ‘Good Man,’ Francis matches their incisive observation with a direct outpouring of feeling and, in many cases, fantastically offbeat humor. On the album’s effervescent lead single “Service,” they deliver a groove-heavy and pitch-perfect send-up of the over-the-top obsequiousness that pervades countless classic boy-band songs (“There’s this very impulsive offering of help and support, in a way that makes you wonder if there’s some other motive that’s not named in the lyrics,” Francis notes).
An album rooted in intense self-reflection, ‘Good Man’ also includes such moments as “Let Me Cry,” a deeply personal number illuminating Francis’s poetic sensibilities as a lyricist (“Indoctrinated against moving his hips/For fear that it could attract another man’s lips”). “As a kid I was really out there and just fully myself, but over time there was this boxing-in that started happening from all different directions,” says Francis. “‘Let Me Cry’ is about asking, ‘Can you break out of this box, and find your way back to that inner child again?’”