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Quality Living soundtracks the good life on “Something Softly Caught Me”

There’s a smattering of genre-influences on Something Softly Caught Me, the new album by north Jersey indie outfit Quality Living, that really don’t make sense on paper, yet congeal over the record’s half-hour runtime to make for an energetic, incredibly fun listen. Namely, the crux of Something lies in Quality Living’s synthesis of slack jawed 90s alternative with the blue tones of late 70s-early 80s jazz rock, making for an LP that modulates between being both fast and loose or deliberate and polished. All this said, it somehow, someway works — Quality Living deliver dissociative wordplay in tandem with grooving Wurlitzer keys (“Pretty down”), and scuzzy guitar-driven ballads suddenly give way for saxophone segues (“Kite Violit”) to create a cohesive piece of work for fans of Stephen Malkmus and Walter Becker alike. Stream it below.

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Support Our Wicked Lady (and get a kickass playlist in the process)

Hey! Remember live music? Me neither! But hypothetically wouldn’t it be cool to see all of your favorite local acts perform when this whole thing blows over? Then it’s important — nay, imperative(!) — to support your scene, now more than ever.

To that end, we recommend you buy a beer (or six) from Our Wicked Lady, allowing you to support a premier independent venue while discovering some new music in the process. Every delivery order from O.W.L. comes with a postcard enabling access to one of five curated (and banging) playlists, enabling you imbibe responsibly (at home) while getting absolutely throttled to some local bands (many of whom have been previously featured on The Deli NYC).

Moreover you’ll be supporting one of the best performance and recording spaces New York has to offer while rocking a nice buzz. O.W.L. has booked a number of bands that we love, and held an absolutely killer Battle of the Bands this past winter. Support the scene, discover new music, and obtain libations — it’s that simple.

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Rhys Tivey eyes the future optimistically on new track “Hopes”

 It’s hard to be optimistic about the future these days for any shortage of reasons (that needn’t be listed in this piece for fear of inducing a panic attack for both writer and reader), yet Rhys Tivey embeds a steady resolve in new single “Hopes.” With a strong emphasis on chilled synth and bright horns, Tivey’s falsetto details love’s ability to overcome in terms sentimental, ever aware of the obstacles inherent to being together forever while expressing a desire to weather the storm (“while no one really believes in forever, can we stay together forever?”). Moreover, the track’s grand designs and emotive theming are drawn back by a minimalist approach to production, wherein accent vocals and trumpet lines seemingly float in and out frame, inducing a dream like quality reminiscent of acts like Rhye and San Fermin. Give it a listen below, and keep an out for Tivey’s debut record, out later this spring.

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PREMIERE: Bug Fight lives among us in new video "Eggling"

It only takes a few moments of listening to Brooklyn experimental rock trio Bug Fight for their creeping guitar work and shifting time signatures to induce a deep, thoroughly engaging discomfort, and new video for track “Eggling” serves as an apt visual representation of what makes the band’s dark tunes tick. Contrasting scenes of traditional middle Americana and rough-hewn (yet aesthetically stirring) individuals in insect costumes cinematically evokes the style of late 70s-early 80s horror — think Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers by way of A24. Such elements reinforce the plainspoken eeriness inherent to the track’s abiding refrain (“It’s egg laying time”) while reinforcing its discordant, nearly cacophonous instrumentation, building drama up until the visual’s unhappy, deeply satisfying conclusion. Moreover it further cements Bug Fight’s status as some of the weirdest, coolest musicians working in NYC today — watch the video (directed by Matthew Marino) below.

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Robert Leslie takes it day-by-day on new track "Trying to Stay Alive"

It’s likely, during these very strange times, your mind is racing a mile a minute, trying to account for all the variables inherent just to just living throughout a generation-defining event. These thoughts inform the core of “Trying to Stay Alive,” the new single by indie pop artist Robert Leslie, which offers a pragmatic sketch of the mental gymnastics we all practice as we attempt to go about life as normal. Thankfully, Leslie’s evenhanded lyricism is offset by sunny acoustic strumming, upbeat walking bass, and muted horns, all of which provide a 70s-like energy that feels straight from the McCartney songbook. In all, it gives “Trying” with a triumphant energy, and makes for a small celebration of getting through another day — and isn’t that worth celebrating? Give it a listen below. Photo by Emmanual Rosario

 

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