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akkilles

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Akkilles wins The Deli KC's 2013 Emerging Artist Award!

Congrats to Akkilles, our WINNER of The Deli KC’s 2013 Emerging Artist Poll!
 
Akkilles is the project of songwriter David Bennett, who began by writing folk-inspired demos with his acoustic guitar. He is the sole musician on his debut EP, Demo Treasure, which is available at Bandcamp. But this isn’t your regular sleepy coffeehouse acoustic hour—not by a long shot. Bennett takes risks with his music, many of which are fully realized in his debut full-length LP Something You’d Say (see our review here), released in mid-2013 through The Record Machine. Bennett enlisted an accomplished cast of musicians (Nick Pick, Rachel Pollock, Jeff Larison, Isaac Anderson, and Mike Crawford) to carry out his compositions, influenced by folk but swathed in a snug blanket of ambient, chill indie pop. It's music that anyone can listen to, whether it's a listener who becomes unconsciously bathed in its warmth or one who gets swept away by its depth and texture.
 
The result is that Akkilles has won over KC audiences with its easygoing summer pop sound, tinged with subtle hints of psychedelia. Bennett, who sometimes performs with the full five-piece band or sometimes a stripped-down version, has the ingenuity to transform songs that began as minimalistic bedroom tapes into dynamically dominant indie pop arrangements that seem to catch the attention of anyone in earshot.
 
Akkilles performs next at Czar Bar on Thursday, February 20, with Rae Fitzgerald and Cleemann. Don’t miss it!
 
 
--Michelle Bacon
 
Michelle Bacon is editor of The Deli KC and plays bass in The Philistines and Dolls on Fire, and drums in Drew Black & Dirty Electric 

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Best of 2013 Poll for Emerging Kansas City Artists: FINAL RESULTS!

Deli Nation,

Our Year End Poll for Emerging Kansas City Artists was - as usual - a painstaking (and somewhat excruciating) process, but we pulled it of with remarkable flair! Kudos to Akkiles for winning it!

First, we let the local bands submit their music (for free), and got our Deli editors to pick the nominees. Then we polled a list of 15+ KC scene expert (our jury, list at the bottom) and asked them to nominate 3 more bands of their choice each. Then we polled our writers, then we polled our readers. We tried to keep things open for each single genre, from Indie Rock to Roots Music to Hip Hop.

If you are a geek interested in all the subtelties related to how this poll works, you can read its rules here (happy reading!). But if all you care about is the awesome new music the KC area produced in the year 2013, this list is all you need. Enjoy!

BEST OF 2013 POLL FOR EMERGING KC ARTISTS
- FINAL RESULTS -
 
ARTIST
J
W
OS
R
TOT
 
1
Akkilles
6
2
1
0.016
9.016
2
Katy Guillen & the Girls
7
2
 
0.012
9.012
icon
3
Not A Planet
7
1
 
0.051
8.051
icon
4
The Philistines
6
1
 
0.01
7.01
icon
5
Me Like Bees
 
1
3
2
6
icon
6
Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear
4
 
 
1.5
5.5
icon
7
The Bad Ideas
4
 
1
0.007
5.007
icon
8
Clairaudients
 
1
3
0.051
4.051
icon
9
Jorge Arana Trio
3
1
 
0.022
4.022
icon
10
Electric Lungs
3
1
 
0.02
4.02
icon

11 

The Dead Girls
3
 
1
0.012
4.012
12
Outsides
4
 
 
0.004
4.004
icon
13
Atlas
3
 
 
0.5
3.5
icon
14 
Redder Moon
3
 
 
0.04
3.04
icon
15 
Filthy 13
3
 
 
0.02
3.02
icon
 
Rev Gusto
1
1
1
0.007
3.007
icon
17
Heartfelt Anarchy
3
 
 
0.006
3.006
icon
18
Shy Boys
3
 
 
0.006
3.006
icon
19
All Blood
3
 
 
0.004
3.004
icon
 
Marcus Yates
3
 
 
0.004
3.004
icon
21
Scruffy and the Janitors
 
1
1
1
3
 
Dsoedean
 
 
2
0.5
2.5
icon
23 
The Author & The Illustrator
 
1
1
0.031
2.031
icon
 
Metatone
2
 
 
0.016
2.016
icon
25 
Schwervon!
2
 
 
0.015
2.015
icon
26
UZIS
2
 
 
0.014
2.014
icon
27
Stiff Middle Fingers
1
 
1
0.01
2.01
icon
28
Your Friend
2
 
 
0.01
2.01
icon
29
Grand Marquis
2
 
 
0.008
2.008
icon
30 
Mace Batons
2
 
 
0.008
2.008
icon
31 
The Lucky
2
 
 
0.005
2.005
icon
32
Black on Black
 
1
 
0.094
1.094
icon
 
Rooms Without Windows
 
1
 
0.086
1.086
icon
 
The Old No. 5s
1
 
 
0.051
1.051
icon
35
The Matchsellers
 
 
1
0.04
1.04
icon
36
A Light Within
 
 
1
0.029
1.029
icon
37
Kurt Vee
 
 
1
0.017
1.017
icon
 
Sundiver
1
 
 
0.017
1.017
icon
39
Wolf, The Rabbit
 
 
1
0.014
1.014
icon
40
We Are Voices
 
1
 
0.012
1.012
icon
41
The Sluts
 
1
 
0.011
1.011
icon
42
Bloodbirds
1
 
 
0.009
1.009
icon
43
Red Kate
1
 
 
0.008
1.008
icon
44
Drew Black & Dirty Electric
1
 
 
0.007
1.007
icon
45
Lazy
1
 
 
0.005
1.005
icon
46
Freight Train Rabbit Killer
1
 
 
0.004
1.004
icon
47
Dinsdale
 
 
1
0
1
icon
 
Monta At Odds
 
 

1

0
1
icon
 
Gemini Revolution
 
 
1

0

1
icon
Legend: J = Jurors, W = Deli Writers,
R = Deli Readers, OS = Open Submissions

Hope you'll find some awesome new artists you weren't aware of!

The Deli's Staff

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Album review: Akkilles - Something You'd Say

 
(Photo by Mollie Hull, Seen Imagery)
 
As one who has been a self-professed music junkie for pretty much my entire life, I’m constantly in awe of those who go onstage, no matter how large the stage or the venue or the crowd, and make music. As one who doesn’t possess a lot of musical talent, the chances of me experiencing that feeling are pretty slim, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking about the art in its various forms. When a solo artist writes music, and when it’s the kind of music that requires more than just the one musician to be performed live, does he/she worry about finding the right people to bring that music to life, or are the songs written because they simply have to be written, and there’s an intrinsic faith that they will eventually be heard as the author hears them? In the case of David Bennett, the man behind the loosely-knit group Akkilles, it seems to be mostly the latter.
 
When asked about the process involved in creating Akkilles’ first full-length album, Something You’d Say, Bennett speaks of having a clear vision to go with his musical voice, and he also was able to assemble a supporting cast of accomplished musicians that he respected and was fully comfortable with, even though they had never actually played together before. Additionally, the making of Something You’d Say involved having all five players in a recording studio (Nick Pick, Rachel Pollock, Jeff Larison, Isaac Anderson, and Mike Crawford, who also engineered the recording), as opposed to his first effort, Demo Treasures—recorded at Bennett’s home, and on which he was the sole musician and vocalist.
 
A bit about Demo Treasures: released in April of 2013, this five-track EP serves as a natural lead-in to the full-length recording. It contains a very Freelance Whales vibe at times, but there are instances when Bennett takes more risks with the music—as if he’s experimenting with his own potential, trying to test the boundaries of his work, perhaps seeing the bigger picture of the future ten-track album. It would be a wise investment to listen to this as a primer; it would also be a low-cost investment, as Akkilles is only asking for a couple bucks for the download on their Bandcamp page. (psst … there’s no rule against paying a little more, either. Any band worth supporting—not just Akkilles, but any and every band—is a band worth kicking in a buck a song for an EP purchase. Just sayin’.)
 
Listening to “Your Only One,” the opening track of Something You’d Say,put me in mind of being in a kicked-back state at the end of the work week, sitting on the beach, cold beverage in hand (make mine a cider, please), and watching the sun go down over the ocean. “She’s My Girl” offers nine-plus minutes of more gently trippy sounds, and the deeper you explore the album, the deeper your state of relaxation will be. Getting into the swirling psychedelia of the third track, “Country Boy Deluxe,” I started hearing a few more subtle resemblances and possible influences: a touch of yacht rock, maybe a little Minden, and (for me, anyway) the pensive reflection of Beck’s Sea Change album. Bennett masterfully tells his stories at their own pace, without the need of studio-born tricks or gimmicks to keep the listener’s attention. It’s also very clear that his band of musical hired guns is in complete lockstep with him, and the result is a seamlessly pure and effortless 51-minute mental massage.
 
Akkilles is not without its sneaky side, though: “Chic City” presents the listener with a relatively alt-country song as compared to the rest of Something. If the Flaming Lips had decided to bring Wilco into the recording studio … and, perhaps, maybe, oh, I don’t know, enjoyed a puff or two of some agricultural mood-enhancing materials, just speculating here … this might have been the result. It’s the closest to a “road song” that the album comes to—but it’s still a relaxed road even so.
 
Something You’d Say is more than the sum of its parts, as any worthwhile collaboration aspires to be. For those of us who look forward to summer every year only for the purpose of finding that special “summer song” or “summer album,” you can’t go wrong with making this your choice for 2013.
 
Of the roster of musicians that make up Akkilles, Bennett says this: “My current band is more of a collective than anything else. Everyone would be making music with or without me, but we all knew each other and they really wanted to be a part of what I was doing, and I love getting to work with such talented people. It's a pretty dynamic group.” If you have the opportunity to see this group as they support the new album, be ready to have your mind bathed in the serenity of gentle ambience and warm, finely-tuned summer pop.
 
At least, that’s something I’d say.
 


 
Join Akkilles with special guests Roo & The Howl (Colorado) and La Guerre at recordBar on Thursday, August 29. It’s an 18+ show, $7 cover. Facebook event page. 
--Michael Byars
 

Michael Byars has an infatuation with cider, which we all think comes from his internal Britishness, but he works cheap and spells most of his words correctly, so we let him hang around. And Michelle still likes to punch him every once in a while. Executive privilege and all that, jolly good, pip pip, cheerio.

 

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