Soft

Album Review: The Family Almanac's Eponymous EP

The Family Almanac’s self-titled EP, out earlier this month, starts as it promises: “Dream I’m In” is like a sleepy sequence from a foggy Sunday, or a pleasant hangover morning in the Gorge. Vocalist and keyboardist Elizabeth Pixley-Fink gentle voice delights in the mood. The EP carries us to sleep, or to the edge of it; that is a place where the band’s music might do instead of sleep.

The slow, soporific mood carries on through the short EP. The first half of the record, including a stuttering jam by the band’s other vocalist Blake Mason, sound like the warm and sultry tunes of ‘70s harmonizers like Steely Dan and the sonic landscapes of Fleetwood Mac. 

The fourth song on the EP is “White Sugar”, a slow, bluesy ballad with doo-wop echoes in the background. The song builds to a beautiful chorus, about as loud as the band ever gets. But the sleepy tone is back for “Susie”. If the skin started to cook with “White Sugar”, here it is enjoying the shade once again on a hot day. 

The last track is another by Family Almanac’s male vocalist. “So It Goes” is a bouncier track than the rest, played with as much urgency as the band musters on this EP. 

Recently I had the pleasure to see the Family Almanac play a house show (the perfect venue for their lighthearted soft rock anthems) and found a lot to be excited about. With its talented members, Family Almanac has plenty of leverage to evolve in the future. I only hope they will release a longer album soon for those lazy Spring mornings when their sounds can start the spinning of my mind with ease.

- Eric Togethoff

Music Bones' new EP The Scratch Tape

Music Bones' recently released EP The Scratch Tape ranges from DIY Punk to AniDifrancoesque (that's a phrase now, I promise). "Tell Me Sweetly" opens the album with disonant guitar riffs that transform from rock to an almost twinkley sound and back. The song "Quarter Afternoon," my personal favorite, begins mid-album. It's a simple song with bright guitar arpeggios, beautiful, full vocals, and a pleasantly sedating effect. You can catch Music Bones live, Sunday October 19th at Club K in Baltimore, Oct. 21 at The Black Squirrel in DC, and Oct. 25 at The Green Island in DC. --Hannah Brady

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

Bleek Records releases compilation of (mostly) NYC artists with Natureboy, Cloud Seeding, Eden Sela + more

Lord knows it's not easy to start a record label these days. But you could start one for worse reasons than as a way to both immortalize your cat and release singles from Natureboy at the same time. This seems to be the logical explanation behind Kevin Serra's new Bleek Records. Containing an intimate set of heart-on-sleeve artists including Natureboy, Eden Sela (pictured), Cloud Seeding and Heart of Hearts, the label is a home for many of the musical misfits striking a unique path distinct from obvious kinds of representation.

But don't take my word for it. Check out the label's new compilation streaming below and download a fantastic set of songs, many of which appear exclusively here. It's got tracks from Masterface, House of Wolves, my personal fave (for any fan of TV on the Radio) Two Twins, and lots of other stuff your friends probably don't know about yet. - Mike Levine

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