It's sad, but true, that many great mainstream acts from Europe never manage to achieve a similar level of success in America. Delphic, a rising electro-dance band from Manchester, England, are currently working to avoid this fate with their current U.S. tour in support of their critically acclaimed debut, Acolyte
. The band already enjoyed an impressive amount of British media hype upon the release of the album last January, and now they are trying to make the same positive impression on the other side of the Atlantic. I had the pleasure of speaking with the guys from Delphic this past week and was impressed by their pleasant mix of determination and playfulness. It's tough to have a positive attitude when entering into a new territory of listeners, but these guys are more than eager to dive right in.
All of the members in the band have been playing music in various other groups throughout the UK area for quite some time now. However it was not until they met and formed Delphic that any of them saw any level of critical attention or success. "All of the other bands completely lacked any sort of focus". When Delphic came to be, they initiated a long discussion on the dangers of making music with people who lack motivation. It's the theory behind Delphic: focus is the key factor to creating music with any meaning and thus achieving any recognition for your work.
It seems simple, and intrinsic, but having that discussion and really following through with it has bolstered the band. Their debut album received extremely positive reviews all across the board from many British publications, such as The Guardian
(4 stars), The Times
(5 stars), and NME
(8/10). In fact, the few mediocre reviews that I managed to find came from American publications like the always curmudgeonly Pitchfork (come on guys!). Perhaps the old adage is true: seeing is believing.
Before making their U.S. debut with a string of headlining shows in June, the band had already dominated crowds throughout Europe, Asia and Australia. According to many international concertgoers, Delphic puts on a hell of a show... the guys are eager to back up this claim. With the rise in popularity of genres like dub step and the massive success of the all electronic New York based music festival Electric Zoo
, it seems to be the perfect time for Delphic to move in to the consciousness of new Stateside fans.
This summer, the band began to get the lay of the land here in America. According to them, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco are "fantastic" but Los Angeles features a lot of confused, "chin scratching" fans (The Smell scene perhaps?). Whatever the town, the band's message is clear. "The fans have to simply be ready to come out and dance, because that's what [the band's] music is all about."
Fans in Europe and other territories set the pace, in places like Berlin, a well-known electronic music epicenter, and Australia, with their "rowdy Aussie sport mentality". The latter marked one of Delphic's favorite shows so far in their career. American audiences will have to top the Aussie crowds' heavy energy and antics such as fans "stacked four people high on each other's shoulders", no small task for the average introspective shoe-gazer.
While some of their wild stories gave off the impression that the bands main interest is starting parties, they also have deeper goals they would like to achieve with their music. They find inspiration in Bjork, Bowie and Kraft Werk, artists who managed to promote good music by almost "creating a world around their records". One way Delphic creates their own world is through their music videos. The band has put out multiple, cinematically complex videos to accompany the singles off their debut. The video for "Halcyon" shows the band in an intense Dark Ages setting with some ballerinas. "This Momentary" brings the viewer to a Ukrainian ghost town, abandoned after the Chernobyl disaster in the late 1980's. The darker imagery serves as a contrast to their more light-hearted shows, and allows the band to create a more narrative flow to their work. Just another reason to pay attention to this promising new act.
Help the band break through in America by checking out one of their many upcoming shows, all of which can be found on their Myspace
. Also make sure to check out their debut album, Acolyte
, out now on Dangerbird Records.
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Delphic on Myspace