Best of NYC 2015: Open Submission Results for FOLK/SOUL/AMERICANA: Janita, HOWTH, Tangina Stone

It's time to tackle the ROOTS category of our open submissions for the 2015 edition of our Best of NYC Poll for emerging artists - you can see the results we published so far here.


Total submissions in this category: 13

Jurors: Cervante Pope (The Deli Portland), Juan Rodriguez (The Deli LA), Zach Weg (The Deli NYC).

Artists qualified to the next stage (i.e. the Readers' Poll, starting around 01.20):

1. Janita- 7.6 (out of 10)

When Brooklyn-via-Helsinki singer/songwriter Janita shared her album ‘Didn't You, My Dear?’ back in July, she not only gave precious voice to such seemingly universal hardships as melancholy and frustration but practically whispered to the listener: "Hey, these things happen. I'm right there with you." As heard on the soul-lined "Easing into Sanity" (streaming below), the smooth-voiced singer did in fact seem to come from a pressingly personal place yet. Like every great vocal poet, spoke for everyone striving to emerge from a fog.


2. Howth- 7.2 (out of 10)

Having just played the venerable Downtown New York venue Le Poisson Rouge, Brooklyn quartet Howth are deservedly gaining wider recognition as the lighthearted yet affecting quartet that they are. A drum-tumbled track like “April I Will” (streaming below), for example, off their latest “Trashy Milky Nothing Town” album conveys an impossibly pure sweetness that can only come from a passionate band such as this. Howth plays Shea Stadium on 2/1. 


3. Tangina Stone- 7 (out of 10) While the term “singer/songwriter” may connote the heartbreak and longing of such masters as Sufjan Stevens, Brooklyn-via-Ohio’s Tangina Stone refreshingly radiates a kind of experienced joy in her soul-lined songs. Her November-released track “Suntan” (music video playing below), for example, details young love not just with optimism but with the deep soulfulness of someone who has experienced its wondrous impact. Tangina Stone plays at Pianos on 2/17.


Honorable Mentions: Rue Snider, Fireships, Jesus On The Mainline, Matteis, Tacoma Narrows

Zach Weg - The Deli Magazine


Brooklyn-via-Helsinki singer/songwriter Janita’s latest album, ‘Didn’t You, My Dear?’

Blending such disparate genres as R&B, folk, and blues into a darkly beautiful meditation on life’s inherent dramas, ‘Didn’t You, My Dear?’ by Brooklyn-via-Helsinki singer/songwriter Janita is perhaps the most ideal kind of album: striking in both musicianship and emotion. Radiohead’s seminal ‘OK Computer’ seems to have influenced the anxious yet ultimately serene aura of these songs—particularly the guitar-guided search for peace, “Easing into Sanity” (streaming below)—but Janita’s deft ability to put ferocity atop warmth is what is remarkable. “I used to do tricks,/I used to run after sticks,/I used to play ball with all you pricks,” she brusquely sings over waltzing guitars and drums on “Who’s Gonna Tell the Wolf She’s Not a Dog,” anger giving way to calm. – Zach Weg