erasing clouds

Delegate Delivers No Doubts

by kristina weise

Alright, do you want the good news or the bad news? The bad news is that Daron Hollowell recently departed from Delegate. The good news is that the remaining fabulous foursome are mesmerizing the masses with introspective songs combining textured and layered sound, offering a hypnotic hope to those growing cynical of the increasingly, commercialized music scene. So allow me to introduce the members of Delegate: Justin Bailey, Nick Wurz, Ash Bruce, and Charlie Flexon. These boys do not disappoint. They perform so tightly that if fans were concerned about the band’s future, you need not worry anymore. Delegate’s music doesn’t just provide perennial happiness to the ears, it triggers thought, a welcomed rarity when maintaining musical validity.

Take for example the song, ‘And The Lights Just Flickered Out.’ Besides possessing voluminous veracity and vulnerability, this mellow ballad takes aim at the irony of America and “how our prides has become our own Achilles,” according to Justin, the song’s writer. What distinguishes Delegate is that they dare to take on depth, and their writing can be attributed to their four-person process. Ash adds, “It consists of us in one room. We work out the small kinks individually, but it is a group effort.” Justin states, “With Daron leaving the band, we’re without an element that’s distinctly him. The newer sound is a reflection of where we are right now. It’s mostly more arresting rock songs that attempt, in ways, to update and diversify the sound that the shoegazer bands of the late 80’s and early 90’s had started. We’ve already talked about working on a few quieter, synth-oriented songs, so one should always expect to hear something different.” Delegate’s roots are in Richmond, Virginia, but the last stop on their summer tour took place at New York City’s Rothko.

A first-time fan would never know that Delegate has opened for N.E.R.D. and Franz Ferdinand nor would they realize that the band jamming at one of Manhattan’s staple venues was also featured in Entertainment Weekly (11/26/04) in the “Download This” section. Yet putting all the accolades aside (including this year’s SXSW), Delegate provides a sense of self. Their music is full of amazing guitar licks, serious bass, and catchy beats that attack the airwaves and pop the pulse. Simply put - they know how to rock. And as if you needed yet another reason to like them, the band members are surprisingly grounded; checking egos at the door and loving every minute of the frenzy they create with their loyal following.

Delegate’s influences range from My Bloody Valentine, Air, and Radiohead to Sonic Youth and Fugazi. Their chemistry is obvious to any onlooker, and Ash admits, “We've become more functional. We all realize each others dynamic and everyone plays their individual part. Justin writes the lyrics and sings, Nick makes the atmosphere, Charlie and I hold down the foundation.” Justin maintains, “As far as the music, everybody basically carries their own weight and we all listen to each other’s ideas. It’s a democratic process.”

I got to see Delegate at The Khyber where they gave some love back to Philly and they didn’t just take a bite out of the Big Apple, they swallowed us whole. This is why we love and respect them. When asked what bands they would like to tour with in the near future, answers ranged from Doves, Bjork, Elbow, to Sterolab. Justin comically asks, “Umm...any chance of The Beatles getting back together?” The odds of that happening are obviously illusive, but Delegate becoming as big is definitely in the realm of possibilities.

Visit to see upcoming tour dates and additional info. Photos of Delegate playing at Rothko, NYC, were taken by Evan Sung.

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