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Album Review: “Delta Spirit” by Delta Spirit

Typically, when a band releases a self-titled album after already releasing several records, that band is making a musical statement of identity, a statement of who they are as an artist. If this is true of Delta Spirit, then this band is telling us we don’t know them at all—that they are not who we think they are.

Although basically an indie-rock band, Delta Spirit has been sort of lumped into the roots/Americana category because of the folky vibe of their previous work. But Delta Spirit (the record) all but pulverizes that image, blending elements of post-punk, new wave and rock, along with a remnant of folk, into a big hodgepodge of I-don’t-know-how-to-classify-this-music-anymore. A pulsing drum machine replaces the trash can lid, so to speak.

Now, just to be clear—this is a great record, very creative and very well-produced. The songwriting is awesome, and Matt Vazquez’ lead vocals have never been better. From the rocking opener “Empty House” to the haunting sounds of “Time Bomb,” this record shows remarkable range and still manages to be cohesive. If you’ve never heard Delta Spirit before, chances are you’ll love this record. It’s just not like their earlier stuff, not at all. If you’re a big fan of their earlier work, this record is going to test your loyalty.

It’s a huge risk to take, when a band makes a record that seems to take a whole different path from its earlier stuff—especially at a time when it is still building its fan base. But Delta Spirit isn’t the first band to try it, and won’t be the last—and the fact is, others have succeeded with it. In the case of this band, in my opinion, it was a risk worth taking. While Delta Spirit might lose a few fans in the process, this band has thrown off the shackles of stereotype and shown us just how diverse and creative they can be. Well done, boys.

ALBUM RATING: 4 stars (out of 5)

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About the Author


Growing up in Portland, Oregon, Kim Phelps found her inspiration and love for music listening to local bands play in the coffeehouses around town. She soon found her own voice as a singer-songwriter, and eventually began playing her own gigs in the coffee shops. Her personal influences include Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls, Ingrid Michaelson and Cat Power, but as an indie musician herself, she has an affinity for any band or artist who pursues creative freedom on the outskirts of the music industry. As our Indie correspondent, Kim makes a point of highlighting up-and-coming independent acts who are creating a buzz and building an audience. When she's not blogging for us or playing in the coffee shops, Kim works as a barista herself to help pay the bills. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington.

Posted in: Indie/Alternative Music


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