Indie Rock

The Nancy Downs "Jodi"

Visual artist and Darkwave musician The Nancy Downs recently released her fourth and final single on 2021, "Jodi". All of her singles have been dark both sonically and thematically, but "Jodi" is the first in a series True Crime themed songs.

   

Massive Year-End Retrospective Playlist

As promised above, this entry is about the massive year-end retrospective playlist recently assembled by the Deli editorial staff (ahem) and posted to a popular streaming service. Or, rather, retrospective playlists, as in two entire playlists. BOOM!! And not just a year-end retrospective, but a years-end retrospective, covering music released in both 2020 and 2021. BOOM!!

***** PLAYLIST ONE *****

Never let it be said you don’t get your money’s worth on this blog. Because here you were promised one thing and now you’re getting twice what was promised. And each playlist is already massive by its own account. Taken together we’re talkin’ twenty-one freakin’ hours of music which is maybe kinda poetic since ya know since 2021 and all. Or, as noted tantric sex expert Sting would say, "synchronicity".

***** PLAYLIST TWO ******

And yeah I get it I get it 21 hours of music is pretty freakin’ insane, even a little bit obscene as well. But you know what 2020 and 2021 were pretty freakin’ insane, even a little bit obscene as well, so again we’re talkin’ synchronicity here. What’s also insane is how much freakin’ good music came out in 2020 and 2021. It must mean worldwide pandemics are good for creativity after all which means these years weren’t a total write-off after all.

So by all means lock yourself in a room for the next 21 hours Trainspotting-style in order to properly enjoy these playlists—featuring 339 Original Songs by 339 Original Artists, including artists hailing from all around NYC, all around the USA, and all around the world—in one unbroken binge session. But please do enjoy them responsibly. And if you need to call in sick tomorrow from staying up all night binging on sweet sweet musical nectar from the gods then by all means do so. Because there’s a labor shortage ya know and what’s your boss gonna do, fire you for loving music too much?

And just one last piece of advice: it's highly recommended to open up your Spot-I-Fried preferences, and apply a three-second crossfade when listening to these digital mixtapes cuz it'll make listening to the mixes all the more immersive, that is, if you're at all inclined to take advice from a humble music-blog website. Happy 2022 y'all... (Jason Lee)

   

Aziola Cry "The Ironic Divide Part One: Premonitions"

Prog Rock trio Aziola Cry has released a playthrough video for the first section of their epic 21 minute song suite "The Ironic Divide". The song is taken from their 2021 album by the same name which was released by The Laser's Edge/Sensory Records.

This is the work of Jason Blake (Warr Guitar), Mike Milaniak (Guitar), and Tommy Murray (Drums).

   

Ahero "Kimberly"

Vaporwave musician Ahero (aka Sam Franics) has released a new single called "Kimberly". This is the third single from Ahero this year, and it is accompanied by the video below.

   

Bad Static explore sweet-and-sour duality on "Cherry Cyanide" EP

Hey, did you know you can get poisoned and maybe even die from eating too many cherry pits? Well neither did I, that is, until hearing the new Bad Static EP Cherry Cyanide released today. Because, as hinted at in the title, cherry pits contain a chemical that once ingested gets converted into the toxic compound hydrogen cyanide. The more you know!

But this EP isn't a science lesson, instead it taps into the longstanding status of cherries as a metaphoric device. So it makes sense Cherry Cyanide is a concept album (erm, concept EP) based around the notion that some things (or even people) in life may be sweet on the outside but then turn out to be not-so-sweet on the inside if not downright toxic. Take the EP’s eponymous opening song, for instance, which starts with a familiar three-chord major-key progression that sounds like the band’s about to launch into a fun-loving cover version of “Louie Louie” or “Wild Thing” or “Walking on Sunshine.” 

But then there's a sudden shift when the drums kick in alongside a low-key menacing minor-key descending guitar riff, and lyrics about how you’ll soon be “foaming at the mouth / oh there is no doubt / my cherry cyanide / will make you wanna die.” Meaning when the chorus returns to those major chords from before with entreaties to “Kiss me! Kiss me!” and “Drink me! Drink me!” you may have second thoughts given what you’ve learned about cherry pit consumption and the consequences of fatal kisses even though the “bittersweet ending” is still tempting and it's this seductive-yet-dangerous vibe that the song really captures. The more you know!

And speaking of surface prettiness/inner menace it’s fitting the Cherry Cyanide press release namechecks bands like the Runaways and the lesser-known Anemic Boyfriends as influences–the latter being an underage Anchorage-based early ‘80s punk rock trio (!) led by one “Louise Disease” whose über-bratty, sneering leering delivery is appropriate to her moniker–because here are two bands who used surface prettiness to get a foot in the door in order to kick your teeth in with their take-no-prisoners ‘tude and music, a strategy used by many female rock musicians past and present to fight the frequent sexism of rock audiences and the music industry (except for “emerging artist music blogs” which are hardly part of the "industry" and always enlightened!) plus either way it’s pretty cool to be a glamorous savage no matter your gender.

The next song “Ectoplasm Nightmares” continues this theme of inner/outer duality–except the narrative perspective is switched to that of the victim–with lyrics about being possessed by an outside presence, i.e., “feeling haunted by people from your past and going to drastic measures to try and forget.” Bad Static put this across musically by starting off with a plodding beat and doomy Sabbath-y sorta riff before kicking into a driving double-time rhythm with lyrical pleas for demonic exorcism and warnings of crumbling sanity before lead singer Nicol Maciejewska (whose vocals up to this point alternate between sedated and sneering) tops off the song with a growling “you’re making me go insaaaaane!” and a burst of crazy-kookoo-train manic laughter as the music disintegrates behind her.

The third-and-final song “Reanimation” is inspired by necromancy with “little whispers building up inside…calling you from the gra-a-a-ave” and here again the narrative perspective changes, but this time switching to the entity or entities haunting the narrator in the previous song, which is a neat way to put across the loss of a grounded, singular perspective that’s inherent to some forms of mental illness (and to modern art natch) which is another theme of the song and again the music nails the vibe cuz I've got scenes from Evil Dead playing in my head when this plays.

And this one's the most Runaways-esque of the bunch with its throbbing power chords and stuttering vocal delivery (from “ch-ch-cherry bomb” to “I’ve been calling you from the gra-a-a-ave”) and one can only hope that the galvanizing musical presentation here by Nicol (vox, rhythm guitar) Kelsie (backing vox, bass) Mario (lead guitar, production) and Demetrio (drums, percussion) and the not-so-subliminal mantra of “reanimate me!” don't lead to an epidemic of children playing with dead things despite the PSA message contained in the opening lyric. (Jason Lee)