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M897 Artist Spotlight: June 2017

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JESSICA HERNANDEZ & THE DELTAS

Positivity Paves the Way for Detroit's Deltas

Story by LCC Radio Reporter Sarah Spohn

Jessica HernandezIn a world, full of one too many unknowns -- given today’s political climate, Detroit pop/psychedelic rock/punk cabaret outfit Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas are out to spread the love and positivity. And they’re having plenty of fun along the way.

Founded in the gritty Motor City in 2009, the group consists of Jessica Hernandez (vocals, guitar, keys, percussion), Michael Krygier (guitar, vocals), Steve Lehane (bass, vocals), Taylor Pierson (keys, accordion, vocals), John Raleeh (trombone, guitar, percussion, vocals), and Stephen Stetson (drums).

The group’s debut EP “Demons,” and debut full-length “Secret Evil” in 2014 quickly saw attention from Rolling Stone, Nylon, New York Times, MTV and NPR, labeling Hernandez’s chops as “a powerful, undeniable voice.” Her voice has been compared to Amy Winehouse, with the same unique blend of soul, pop and mesmerizing vocals.

Having toured the country and overseas in Europe with acts including Gogol Bordello and Social Distortion, Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas has taken the stage at Lollapalooza, ACL Music Festival, Bonnaroo, Bottlerock and Riot Fest in Chicago. The Michigan-made band even got on the tube with a performance in 2014 on the David Letterman Show, performing their hit song “Sorry I Stole Your Man” on television.

The group’s sophomore full-length album, “will be released on June 23 via Dead Owl Music/Instant Records. Combining Hernandez’s Spanish roots with Motown’s known soul, “Telephone/Telefono” only Jessica Hernandez and the Deltasproves the band’s versatility even further. It’s a bilingual double-LP with Spanish and English language versions. Half of the record was recorded in Michigan and half in Mexico City. Hernandez spoke about the important decision to return to her roots. This required studying and singing in Spanish for hours a day. Hernandez spoke about writing both versions of the album.

“I thought it was important to figure out how to articulate the same way I would in English,” she said. “We sat down and talked about, ‘okay, what am I trying to get across in this song, what am I trying to make someone feel or understand,’ and then basically re-writing. A couple translated better than others, a couple were almost totally rewritten. Their message is the same, but expressed in a totally different way.”

Hernandez admits it’s a difficult task going back and forth in two languages.

“The languages are so different,” she said. “Saying one thing in English might sound completely ridiculous in Spanish. It’s a lot harder to be sensitive and romantic in Spanish without being kind of cheesy. There’s this fine line you have to walk in the Spanish language, where in English there’s no problem singing a punk song about a girl that broke your heart.”

As a result, the record shows both fiery passion and vulnerabilities from the group, as both a Jessica Hernandezproclamation for empowerment and creativity. The often-theatrical band is fronted by Jessica, and she proves she can be funky in fashion, but isn’t some dumb blonde who is more worried about her outfit than her personality. Rather, music and fashion can go hand-in-hand as an expression of creativity and quirky positive personalities. Expect plenty of rompers, zip up jumpsuits, and colorful accessories at any Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas live shows. Also, expect for horn solos and epic tambourine solos to knock those colorful socks off.

“I believe you make a statement by being positive,” Hernandez said. “How can I make that statement and speak for other Latin young women without just making a fist? The best way to get through to someone with opposing views or a negative perspective is for me to just shine as a human being and an artist. Hopefully that’s enough for us to make a positive impact.”

FFREE LOCAL LUNCH SAMPLE

Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas - Run Too Far
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