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Charlotte Music Cuts: Deion Reverie, Cuzco, Don Telling’s Island Mysteries, and Lil Skritt

 By Shirley Griffith 

April 9, 2019

April showers bring…surprise snowfall, followed immediately by emerging dogwood and Daffodil blossoms, but even Prince knew sometimes it snows in April. This prankster month may have already fooled the Queen City with unexpected winter weather, but it’s finally time to stretch our petals wide and embrace the next round of all-season choices for the Monthly Music Cuts.

As an extension of the Monthly Music Cuts, we’ll highlight the local artist chosen for Tip Top Daily Market’s Music Tasting. The Music Tasting is a laidback event from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. on the last Friday of each month. A curated playlist, based entirely and intentionally from a local album release, plays throughout the funky bottle shop/record store, mixing mainstream influences with the regional sound, a musical avenue for the Gestalt Law of Proximity. The April Music Tasting will feature a playlist based off Deion Reverie’s newly released album, Kill Me With Your Closure, a comprehensively eclectic fourteen-track album that spans multiple genres and influences.

Deion Reverie

Known for his more electronic, R&B releases prior to 2019, Deion Reverie’s Kill Me With Your Closure which was set into the world this past February, shows the young artist breaking out of his pigeonhole with arms widespread and free. Influences on KMWYC range from post-alt-pop, rock, and emo to the melancholic, soothing textures found in contemporary alternative hip-hop. Reverie spliced his album to incorporate the tonal differences as a one-two punch, with the nostalgic, emo-driven tracks as a Side A, and the more classic R&B onto a theoretical Side B. This separation feels like a biblical parting of turbulent seas with the listener traveling down the cleared middle path, feeling the rose-tinged urgency of the past swirling overhead with Side B’s contemporary charm. Aside from KMWYC, Reverie has recently worked with rapper Witt Lowry on single “Hurt” which has accumulated over 5 million streams on Spotify. Reverie’s patient vocals offset Lowry’s manic, impassioned flow and together the two artists heal from the hurt of past romantic relationships. On Monday, April 29 you can catch Reverie for yourself on a stacked lineup at The World Famous Milestone, playing with Charlotte’s own AXNT, Modern Moxie and Philly band Son Step.

Don Telling’s Island Mysteries

Transporting Charlotteans through sounds of fantasy and imagined paradise, Don Telling’s Island Mysteries is your premiere retro travel agency. The legendary Tyler Baum leads the band, which features some of Charlotte’s brightest musicians including Bo White, Ned Brownlow, Scott Thompson, Brent Bagwell, and Davey Blackburn. Band members don flowery button-ups and create an enchanting world of fruity drinks, colorful leis, and absolutely no woes with a tasteful tiki mix of exotic percussion, global jazz, and musical impressions of Southeast Asia. The genre Exotica was popularized by Martin Denny in 1957 and attracted Americans who came of age during WWII, perhaps because those folks longed for a time of island tranquility, however mythical, after the terror of war. In today’s tumultuous political climate and general descending curtain of dread, Don Telling’s Island Mysteries recreates that vague but reassuring sense of spatial respite; somewhere on this planet there is a place of no worry, a place of beautiful transiency caught in the sun’s tropical, perfect warmth. On Wednesday, April 10, Don Telling’s Mystery Plan celebrates the 108th birthday of Martin Denny at Tip Top with an all ages, free show starting at 7 p.m. On Wednesday, April 24, bring your own art supplies to Birdsong Brewery’s Go Figure Drawing Session and sketch the band while they play their uniquely enchanting mirages.  

Cuzco

After going through some member changes, Refresh Records’ mathstrumental band, Cuzco, are set to release their debut full-length, Sketchbook, on April 19. There is something unidentifiably golden about Cuzco’s sound, whether they’re noodling in a jazzy time signature or rollicking against driving drums, their sound beams brilliantly. Sketchbook incorporates new songs among experimentation within the recording studio, keeping their sound fresh and buoyant and embracing the moment for wherever it takes them. The band has released two singles this year, “New Tricks” and “Old Dog” in clever anticipation of the album. Both songs meander in and out of expansion, using a sparkling sound, similar to how light creates shadow, making tree leaves dance momentarily on a calming sunny afternoon. Drawing from a watery well of math, dream, and emo energies, Cuzco handpicked their album release lineup to include Things Amazing, Catholics, and Pullover curating a sonic dreamscape for the evening. Join them on Saturday, April 20 at Snug Harbor to hear their fully sketched out visions.

Lil Skritt

Lil Skritt is half performance art, half wildly catchy rap project shining light on anything from being left on read to feet fetishes. Despite having been on the scene for years, Skritt and his masked counterpart beat-master, Enyophase, released their first full-length just last year entitled, Sweet Dreams. Since then Skritt has been even more focused on refining his hilarious, spacey, Charlotte-specific raps. In 2018, Lil Skritt also released a trio of singles with accompanying sleazy, infomercial-esque music videos for each. “What’s the Deal Doe” has over 41k views on YouTube but “I Don’t Suck Toes” and newest release, “Hot Sauce In My Fanny Pack” also stand on their own as clever tongue-in-cheek tracks. In all seriousness, the creativity, resourcefulness and wit involved in Lil Skritt as a project is truly spectacular. Skritt uses low production value and his humble upbringing to his advantage, creating funny, party-ready raps that pay homage to the cheap, unpleasant, and the underdogs. Skritt has a full month of April shows including his birthday show during the Pleather Residency at Snug Harbor on April 10 where he will screen the newest music video and single, “Gucci Fanny Pack.” This single is the first of five to be released, once a month teasing his EP release, Survival of the Skrittiest.” On April 19, Skritt ends a small tour with Cheesus Crust at a Tommy’s Pub homecoming show followed the next day with a special Yeah Group show at Petra’s.

Check out more local Charlotte artists from our March Music Cuts.

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