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Electronic





Lunar Statues "Meditations in an Emergency"

Ego Mechanics frontman Seth Arp recently released his solo debut album, Meditations in an Emergency, under the moniker Lunar Statues.

This is a collection of breathtakingly beautiful instrumental ambient music. The album opens with a couplet of tracks called "Dusk" and "Skyline" that were released as a time lapse video last month.

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Moon Kissed have something important to tell you and right now may be a good time to listen

Released earlier this Fall (shades of Milton’s Paradise Lost entirely intentional given recent trends) the second full-length by Moon Kissed, called I’d Like To Tell You Something Important (its title a callback to their first record) is a deeply human fusion of contradictory yet complimentary impulses—ranging from its chew-you-up-and-spit-you-out opener “Bubblegum” (“chew you up you're just like bubble gum / I’ll spit you out when I’m done”) to its chew-me-up-and-spit-me-out closer “Chameleon” (“Chameleon, I’ll change for you / I’ll do what you want me to / until I don’t know who I am”) a dialectical lyricism mirrored by Emily, Khaya and Leah's impressively wide-ranging musical palette—skipping like a stone across songs featuring sweet poptimistic flirtation, grinding electro trepidation, epic party-anthem-ification, hushed diary-entry introspection, operatic power-ballad salvation, stripped-down spoken-word elucidation. and last-call-for-alcohol piano-bar romantic resignation.

But no matter how varied the emotional and sonic landscape, it all comes across as a coherent statement—to the extent that raw, urgent passion can be considered “coherent" but let's not get off track here—with the full tapestry of the LP woven together by the consistently ultra-vivid, ultra-visceral nature of the songwriting and arrangements. Indeed, it seems Moon Kissed have got something important to tell us after all. 

Not to knock their first record at all (2019’s I Met My Band At A New Years Eve Party and I stand by my earlier statement that  “Runaway” should by rights be widely known as one of the top bops from the past several years) but in the interim Moon Kissed have taken things to the next level when it comes to making even their more synth-heavy numbers feel entirely organic to the point where practically every song feels like it’s about to crawl out of its own skin, whether due to anticipation or anxiety, dread or desire, morphing and mutating from one moment to the next, a quality that applies equally to Khaya’s vocalizing and also to the production work on ILTTYSI (and even to more lo-fi numbers like how on "Chameleon" the audibly squeaky piano sustain pedal makes you feel like you're sitting there in the same room where it's being performed) a sonic elasticity that helps account for how all the synthetic and organic textures blend together so seamlessly on the record (including the stark cowbell part on "Saturday Night" that nearly rescues the instrument from sketch comedy hell).

What’s more, I’d Like To Tell You Something Important coheres not just musically but also thematically, organized around a central theme of pleasure and its (dis)contents. Or, as Moon Kissed themselves put it on the penultimate track “Bender,” “Let me try to make this better / Let me evaluate my pleasures,” which is a song that both Lady Gaga and Lin Manuel-Miranda must desperately wish they’d written. Except they'd each probably choose to repeat the final rousing chorus a couple more times (at least) so kudos to Moon Kissed for displaying the restraint and self-confidence to leave us wanting more. 

Anyway, safe to say, many permutations of pleasure appear across the album’s 35-minute run time, not only in terms of the most simple-minded mission to “have a good time, all the time” but also in terms of the oft-overlooked complexities of pleasure--whether pleasure as politics (gender politics in particular), pleasure as escapism, pleasure as transcendence, pleasure as power, pleasure as surrender, pleasure as spiritual and/or psychological and/or physical salvation. In a word, pleasure! 

And Moon Kissed don’t limit their pleasure explorations only to making records either. Because their live shows bring an even bigger dose of pleasure to audiences with fearless heart-on-sleeve, inhibitions-stripped-away abandon and a determination to have a good time all the time. On this note, over the past several weeks Moon Kissed have undertaken a three-week residency at the Ridgewood, Queens D.I.Y. spot known as Trans-Pecos with each of the three shows organized around the theme of “Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice” with each ingredient engaged sequentially. (first show “Sugar,” second show “Spice,” etc.)



Except that the triptych-concluding “Everything Nice” event scheduled for tonight was cancelled/postponed out of an abundance of Omicron caution. And to think that tonight's opener Kate Davis should’ve been taking the stage right about now if not for that pesky mutating virus. But on the plus side at least it gives you more time to work on putting together a truly impactful outfit for Everything Nice, whenever it happens to happen, with potential inspirations including (quoting directly from the party flyer here) "poodle skirts, kitten heels, 50s fantasy housewife with a beard, 50s working husband but with a thong, sexism as an outfit, strap ons, breast plate, drag make up, curlers" and I’m gonna go ahead and add "cha-cha heels" to the list cuz I doubt they'd mind and I'm secretly hoping to receive a pair for Christmas.

Which brings us to one last newly-relevant-yet-again-selling-point for ILTTYSI which is that it’s a great lockdown listen, an album conceived and recorded in part during lockdown numero uno or are we still keeping count—meet the new year, same as the old year—that's chock full of the frustrated pent-up passion that's highly familiar to the socially-distanced set by now, besieged as we are by “lonel[iness] and heavy memories [that] linger like a gymnast on a beam that isn’t steady” prone to “walking off cliffs in [our] dreams / wak[ing] up in sweat and it’s hard to breath” counterbalanced by coping skills such as “buying…ice cream to see if it gets better / but nothing’s getting better at all” and finally resigned to the fact that “if the world is about to blow / [we] may as well lose control” to loosely paraphrase various lines from the album. 

And yeah I’m probably making it sound like a pretty despairing set of tunes but it’s really not—there’s plenty of life-affirming lyrics as well (“we should run around the city / everybody kissing everyone / cuz we all know what we all want”) not to mention the overall inspiring live-wire intensity of the music. In fact it’s one of the most life-affirming albums this writer has heard in a while.



So maybe just settle in for the evening, change into your best club duds and put on I’d Like To Tell You Something Important and then dance around your bedroom like it’s Your Own Private Idaho for the rest of the night (and the next night, and the next night) and when you get tired of ILTTYSI you can put on Moon Kissed’s single from earlier this year called “Clubbing In Your Bedroom” and its crowd-sourced, quarantine-themed music video and rave on for the rest of the night or the rest of your life. (Jason Lee) 

 





David M. Stowell "A Raven In Flight"

David M. Stowell recently released his debut full-length album, A Raven In Flight, via Ravenslake Music Productions.

This is filled with vintage electronic rock with several prog rock flourishes. For this project Stowell recuited the talents of David Taylor II and vocalists Lizzie Crowe (of Cheshire Moon), Rhiannon’s Lark, and Sunnie Larsen.

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The Screaming Stars "For The Fallen"

The Screaming Stars has released his latest album, For The Fallen, the follow-up to 2017's last of the black​-​haired, big​-​eyed girls.

This is the solo project of Tyler Ritter of shalloboi and it finds him exploring to the complex edges of ambient and drone music. This collection was recorded over the last three years in Chicago and Kansas City.

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Edith Pop turns the lights on in "Tokyo" reinvention

With her penchant for dark-hued chanteuse pop torchery, glammy haute couture makeovery, and primitive protozoan punk rockery, I’d find it believable if you told me that Edith Pop was birthed from a test tube combining strands of DNA stored over the years from Edith Piaf, Edith Head, and Iggy Pop (yes, the latter is technically still alive, but clearly his DNA was donated to rock ’n’ roll science long ago and replaced by strands of barbed wire) thus inspiring the stage name of Edith “Edith” Pop.

Or not. But I’m sticking with my theory given how Edith Pop combines the theatricality and musical properties of pop, glam, and punk in her musical persona—not to mention borrowing Iggy Pop’s famous incorporation of foodstuffs on stage (I recently witnessed Ms. Pop prepare a steaming pot of vegetable soup at a live show, chopping the vegetables, boiling them in a hot pot, and ladling out the product to her audience all the while performing songs on stage.





Then again it’s easy to make such wild conjectures given how Edith Pop has deliberately erased much of her digital history outside a few recent musical collaborations (more info below) and a few older scraps left behind from when “Edith Pop” was a band (more info below) all culminating in the Sneaker-Pimps-meets-Shirley-Manson musical renewal of “Tokyo” (a song about losing oneself, and reinventing oneself, in a hotel room/womb far away). But hey luckily I scored a phone interview with our leading lady. So keep reading to get the inside scoop from the artist herself right after the DELI exclusive video below—a Cindy Sherman-esque photo montage capturing the Many Moods of Ms. Pop...........

 

On her musical roots and the invention of the Edith Pop persona:

EP: Music saved my life and helped shape my entire personality, starting with my dad who was a musician. And then when I got into punk rock I finally found something that spoke to my anger and dissatisfaction with suburban experience growing up upstate. That’s what moved me and made me want to make music of my own which I did in a hardcore band called Pandha Pirahna.

Then I got really into glam music—classic stuff like T.Rex and the New York Dolls, the music plus the decadence and excess and theatricality that was part of the genre. A lot of the Edith Pop alter-ego came out of that—but in the guise of a debaucherous, excess-driven teenage girl. Someone obsessed with themselves and consuming everything from media to drugs to boys. 

On the unmaking and remaking of Edith Pop:

EP: At first “Edith Pop” was this personality where I could express myself in new ways and go to places I couldn’t or wouldn’t before in my music and live shows. (editor's note: live shows described in one previous press profile as “cathartic” musical exorcisms of a “teenage alter ego” in which Edith could be found “seduc[ing] her audience by sprawling on the floor, mounting the mic pole, and other such provocations.”) I started a band, also called Edith Pop, with my best friend who was already on the indie scene, and we developed a following and got some press. The turning point was when I sold a song to Steve Madden. At that point it’d all gotten wrapped up in this corporate-driven brand-driven influencer thing, and I lost track of the art in it and the whole reason I wanted to make music in the first place.

This persona I’d created was kind of destroying my personal relationships. It all shifted—I realized it was out of control. When I first started making music, things weren’t so brand and influencer driven. When you’re pushed to put out content all the time, and to be networking all the time, it keeps you from making a meaningful connection to your art or to the people around you. I got fed up and took everything I’d created offline and out of circulation. (editor’s note: This is a great summation of the social media age: the conflict of content vs. art; online networking vs. IRL connection. Plus it sounds like Edith Pop has a good episode of Behind the Music in the works that is if the show still existed and were updated for the Internet Age.)  

On creating Edith Pop 2.0 and “Tokyo”:

EP: I finally realized this project could be anything I wanted it to be. Like David Bowie, I could remake Edith Pop at whim. Like if I wanna make a nearly hour long experimental track that’s based around an episode of Magic’s Greatest Secrets, because I’ve been binging the show on Netflix, that lines up with the episode perfectly as an alternative soundtrack, I’ll do it.

With “Tokyo” I had this mental image of being in a big, tinted-glass hotel room way up in the sky. In a sleek, clean, hyperreal space, dreaming about video games at night. The song itself was birthed all at once and unexpectedly. It started when I met this guy at a party in LA, and we connected immediately as fellow New Yorker. His name’s J. Randy and once we got to talking music he said “I’m at this great studio right now, you should come through. I’m gonna lay down a track with my friend Dae One who’s a producer who’s worked with some well-known names in hip hop.”

I went to the studio and it was all tied to something called the M.O.B. Collective which stands for Music Over Business so that’s perfect. Their mission is to bring together emerging artists with established artists. I went into this beautiful studio and immediately started working on the track, and it all came together from scratch in just a couple hours, and it perfectly captures the mental image I had in mind.

On working with producer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist Meviu§ and on the future:

EP: The other few tracks I’ve got available to the public right now are collaborations with Meviu§. (editor’s note: previously profiled in The DELI!) They’re all on Spotify. I got to know Daniel (aka Meviu§) when he was tour manager for another band I was in called A Place Both Wonderful and Strange. He’s really open-minded and creative, and he eventually started playing with us and did a remix of one of our songs. So when we stopped playing live we decided to start making tracks together and our collaboration grew from there. We have a song coming out soon called “Ghost (remix)” which is a remix of a song where the original’s never been released!

EP: I’m going to keep remixing Edith Pop. Literally. It’s a new phase. Edith Pop is like a character that now exists outside of a specific time who rejects modernity. She lives outside set timelines or set expectations, even my own. (Jason Lee)

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