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Orchestral

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Daniel Rafn on his new track and upcoming album

Whether you know how to pronouce it or not, it's highly likely you've heard the name 'Rafn' thrown around town. The Rafn brothers have worked both together and with others on various projects among the years, but their individual efforts prove fruitfully engaging.

Such is especially the case for Daniel Rafn, who has been working his way through artistically distressed and doubtful feelings to produce his newest track "Shalom," along with his fourth album The Hanged Man, due out later this year.

The first track to be released from the new album, "Shalom" offers the best representation of what can be expected on the album, according to Rafn. "I think it stands alone pretty well as just a song, while most everything else on the album seems to make more sense in the context of the album. "Shalom" was a good way to represent the whole, while the others are all extreme in some way," he says.

Its subtle play on phonetics is more personal than they appear at first, holding a double meaning. "I was born and raised in Salem, OR. Salem is an anglicized version of the Hebrew word 'Shalom,' which means peace. I'm saying in reality I'm from Salem, but in a spiritual emotional sense I like to think we come from a place of peace, like a peaceful pre-existence or something," Rafn says.

Yet the peaceful seeds behind the song oppose the effort put into both the song and album's production. Anyone that's delved into the creative arts knows the trials of continual inspiration, motivation and confidence in fabrication and Rafn himself admits how maturity in music comes with an emotional price tag.

"I contrast the peaceful origin with the angst of adulthood and finding your way...and finding out how to do what you wanna do in life," Rafn says. "The more serious I've gotten about making music or, the more committed you could say, the more "angsty" I've noticed I've become."

"It's the frustration of having this great desire to make art and have it go out and effect people for the better versus the very real struggle of actually getting that art heard and accepted. Not to mention the personal struggle of just having to come to terms that you need to work a fuck-ton to even get better so that your art can be accepted in the first place!"

Most of us aren't strangers to this frustration, especially when it comes to forcing yourself to push through a particular hurdle in the project. For Rafn that hurdle happened to be the next single he's releasing from the album in August, "The I and The All," which he says he had the most trouble in writing.

"That one was just more of an arrangement problem. I had the whole thing done for months and when I came back to it, it just seemed too empty. I wanted to add a little more harmonic complexity to it so just took some going over," Rafn says.

No matter the struggles, every element of Daniel Rafn's newest track is emotionally captivating and elevating. He's having a release show for "Shalom" tomorrow at the Liquor Store with Old Grape God. Give "Shalom" and listen below and be on the lookout for The Hanged Man, dropping in October. 

 

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Nozart debuts live his fresh, orchestral sound - Mercury Lounge, July 8

Ironically, more often than not the best way to create something fresh is by digging deep into the past. For quirky and charming orchestral pop artist/composer Nozart, this means smoothly blending classically inspired compositions with his own indie-pop vocals. To some this premise may seem gimmicky at first (after all, how many terrible classical music/rock hybrids have we experienced already?), but his music is convincing in its ambition and execution. His compositions, which include piano, brass, wind, and percussion, are intricate but also minimalist, and definitely steer clear of any pompousness. This is key because it allows Nozart's vocals enough space in each track to turn them into "songs" rather than orchestral pieces that happen to include vocals.  Nozart certainly has the potential to bridge the chasm between avant and mainstream with his uniquely catchy track "Just Let it Go." Don't miss his debut live performance at Mercury Lounge on July 8. — Henry Solotaroff-Webber

We added this song to The Deli's playlist of Best songs by emerging NYC artists - check it out!

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Deli Portland gems to dominate the Doug Fir for record release

The Doug Fir will be host to a lineup comprised of some the Deli's Portland's most prized artists tomorrow. The Cabin Project are having their record release show for the new Unfolded, joined by Deli Portland Artist of the Year for 2015 Coco Columbia and the instrumentally dynamic and colorful Human Ottoman.

The orchestral pop of The Cabin Project boasts grand choruses and harmonies paired with scopic string sections, manifesting a desirably mellow affect that landed them the runner up slot in the Deli's Year End polls. Katie Sawicki, the Brooklynite that founded The Cabin Project, developed her vision over the last near decade by injecting an intimacy of poetically heartfelt lyrics paired with a musical output that's just as affectionate. Now joined by Zanny Geffel and Rebekah Hanson, The Cabin Project's full sound translates into an ornate projection on all members' innermost emotions.

Unfolded is the third release from The Cabin Project and promises to be the most sentimental yet. "[Unfolded is] an album about despair, loss, hope, freedom, heartache, justice and love.  We hope that our listeners will connect with the words and feelings of this record and believe that it is catharsis for all who have felt these universal feelings within their own journeys through life," the band states on album's intent.

Coco Columbia's angelic jazz pop fills an empty pocket in Portland's rock dominated music scene, while Human Ottoman's revived take on the typical instrumental makeup of a band (using only a cello, vibraphone and drums) is sonically raucous.

An album stream for The Cabin Project's Unfolded will be available on the Deli Portland site before the release show tomorrow, so be sure to familiarize yourself before you see it live at this Deli endorsed event. 

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The Deli's Best of SF Bay Area Playlist is updated!

Hey new music lurvers!

We just finished updating our SF Bay Area Best Emerging Artists Playlist, featuring all the best local up and comin talent we covered in the last few years! Check it out HERE!

The Folks at The Deli

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Half Waif celebrate release of "Probable Depths" LP at Baby's All Right on 05.12

Combining pop sensibilities with the classical textures of violins and twinkling pianos, Brooklyn’s beguiling trio, Half Waif, sends un on a dazzling journey in her album Probable Depths - which we had the chance to preview, or rather, pre-hear. With swelling vocals, billowing synths, and blinking electronic melodies that lull us into a dream, the album is both achingly private and daringly open, as if each song was a stolen glance into Plunkett’s sonic world, each painting an acutely fine and deliberate stroke of her emotive life. A mellifluous pirouette of musical resplendence, Half Waif’s Probable Depths is an aural triumph set to be released on May 6. Catch Half Waif at Baby’s All Right on May 12 for their album release show and tour kick-off. - Adriana S Ballester, photo by Adan Carlo.

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