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Mals Totem

Getting to know Mals Totem, the winners of 2013's Best New England Emerging Artist Readers' Poll

This year, Mals Totem’s eponymous debut EP put them on the map. Need proof? Well, the band won The Deli New England’s Best Emerging Artists Readers’ Poll for 2013, which was – you guessed it – voted on by you, our readers. Despite (for the most part) relocating to Brooklyn, the band’s still got strong ties to New England. Vocalist Dave Vives is completing a degree at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, and the band promises to continue playing shows in the city beginning with a gig at the Middle East Upstairs on April 3, alongside Bent Knee. We spoke to Asher Kurtz and Mike Lostica, the band’s respective lead and rhythm guitarists, to learn a little bit more about the band.

To read the interview, click here.


Mals Totem: Your top pick in the 2013 Readers' Poll

Readers of The Deli New England, with 478 votes, your choice for the 2013 Best Emerging Artist Readers' Poll: Mals Totem. Last year, the band was covered by the likes of Berklee College of Music, Allston Pudding and, of course, yours truly. With a vocalist that can chameleon across the band’s range of styles and tempos, the band's eponymous EP is certainly worthy of repeat listening. Check back for an interview with the guys soon, and in the meantime, take a listen to the Mals Totem EP below.


Miss Geo, Atlantic Thrills and Mals Totem qualify for next stage of our Year-End Poll

Now that we’ve taken a closer look at the top three bands in our Open Submissions, here are the runner-ups. In fourth place is Miss Geo, an indie pop duo from Newport, Rhode Island. The pair’s song “Waves” is a groovy, fun ditty with synths lifted straight out of the 80s, and they’re preparing a new album to be released this spring.

Atlantic Thrills was the fifth place finalist. To drum up noise for their upcoming album, set for release on February 4, the band recently released the video for its single “Day at the Beach.” The song is a catchy surf rock tune and its video will have you longing for summer.

Last but not least is Mals Totem, in sixth place. The band’s self-titled EP, released in September, has its share of quiet moments, but the band is best when it’s at its loudest. For the best example, just take a listen to the driving chorus in “Gargantuan.” – Jake Reed


Mals Totem plays with different styles on self-titled EP

On their self-titled EP, Boston natives Mals Totem are hard to pin down to one genre – "Gargantuan" calls to mind the sensible writing of Young the Giant, while “Grind Tune” is a bit more tense in its anxious guitar riffs and tempo changes. Lead vocalist Dave Vives sounds like a more technically skilled Gerard Way, standing out amongst the band's complex riffs and mixed bag of styles. Download the EP on Bandcamp now and check out the live video for their song "Machine," released in November, below – Jake Reed


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