For a band that is relatively young, Delta Spirit is already well respected in many music circles. It is also a band that is about to become even more popular.
In 2005, bass player Joe Jameson and drummer Brandon Young—both formerly of the punk band, Noise Ratchet—formed Delta Spirit in Southern California. Brought into the newly formed group were guitarists Matthew Vasquez and Sean Young, and producer/musician Kelly Winrich.
The band’s debut album, Ode to Sunshine was released in 2008 to positive reviews. They followed Sunshine up with their sophomore album, History from Below in 2010, and are currently working on their third studio album.
To call Delta Spirit’s music folksy would sell the band short. To call it alt-country or simply “indie rock”—a phrase usually used when people are too lazy to come up with something better—would do the same. Just as their name implies, the band’s soulful rock music is heavily colored with blues and country influences (particularly in “People Turn Around” and “Devil Knows You’re Dead”). What a novel concept: to label your band in a such a way that it supports the image and the music you are producing, rather than giving yourself a name steeped in self-satisfied irony (or crap) that has absolutely no relation to the work (*cough cough* Portugal. The Man.).
Delta Spirit’s songs—on both Sunshine and History—are expertly crafted and imbued with such musical and lyrical detail, that each and every note feels deliberate. It’s much like a friend confessing to you their deepest hopes and fears, while choosing their words very very carefully. In “Salt in the Wound” the narrator asks, “Why am I here? / Oh, what should I do? / Well, is this the point I’m trying to prove?”. The straightforwardness of these uncluttered lyrics can certainly shake you to your core: after all, these are questions we have all asked of ourselves at some point.
Of course, it would be impossible to pull off such lyrics without it feeling like a parlor trick if there weren’t any real conviction behind it all. Luckily, Delta Spirit has it in spades and is therefore able to touch upon and communicate the intangible.
The ability to impart such honesty through their music elevates their songs above the basic technical execution. Despite all of this, the music manages to come across as charmingly effortless. You’ll feel welcomed into each song as opposed to having it thrust upon you like an unwanted dessert that you are too stuffed to look at.
So where have you heard them? The band’s music has been featured on Friday Night Lights (the most under-appreciated show ever put on television), Grey’s Anatomy, and The Big C, among others. The band is also an amazing live act; this year they appeared at Lollapalooza, Coachella, and Austin City Limits.