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The Tarlatans w/ Johnny Delaware 

When: Thu., Jan. 23 2014
Price: $5/adv., $8/door

Americana, 9 p.m.

Last year, Holy City newcomer Johnny Delaware released one of 2013’s great unheralded LPs, Secret Wave, a collection of haunting Wild West pop and desolate indie Americana. The opening track, “Sweet,” is a particular treat with its Nebraska-esque harmonica wails, gentle cowboy swing, and Delaware’s working-man croon. Together, they combine to create songs that sound like the Strokes’ Julian Casablancas covering Jackson Browne with Queens of the Stone Age’s Joshua Homme at the controls working a little desert rock magic. Musically, “Sweet” is about as well-crafted a pop song as it gets (props to local producer Wolfgang Zimmerman of Brave Baby and indie label Hearts and Plugs), and that goes for the lyrics too. “It’s mainly a hidden blue-collar life song put in an existential manner,” Delaware says. “When an individual achieves their desires, it’s not like their old soul or cognizance floats away and is replaced with a new one. You’re always going to be stuck with yourself and your inner wars, no matter how much money you possess or how hot your wife or husband is.” However, for Delaware, the music always comes first. “I’ve found it effective writing my lyrics after the music is made,” he says. “It’s an approach to let the lyrics relate to the music, which is important to me.” If you haven’t given Secret Wave a spin, head to and see if Johnny Delaware is on to something. —Chris Haire THURSDAY


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