Death Songs may be one of the best indicators of the growing strength of Boise’s music scene. Not just because the band’s percussive take on indie-folk is innovative and catchy, but because Nicholas Dellfs, the man behind the project, was doing quite well for himself in Portland, Ore. He was playing in The Shaky Hands, released records in the United Kingdom and toured opening for The Meat Puppets. It used to be that Boise’s creme de la creme left for Portland. But Death Songs moving to Boise may be a sign that trend is reversing.
And that’s to the city’s benefit.
Death Songs is a strange title for songs that are so full of life. The acoustic guitar-based tunes are pepped up with hand-claps, rolls of percussion, a big-sounding kick drum and smooth buoyant vocals.
On "Let This Body Go," Dellfs scats cheery riffs as a tambourine rattles and a second guitar funks things up. On "Ophelia," a steady beat of handclaps sits beneath a guitar riff reminiscent of the Dolly Parton classic "Jolene." The live version of Death Songs is a little more scaled back, featuring just Dellfs and his guitar seated behind a kick drum but it doesn’t take more than a few bars to realize it still delivers. If this sort of thing keeps up, Portland may have to get by with just Everclear.
Death Songs is performing at Treefort Music Fest on Sunday, March 25, from 8-8:40 p.m. at Neurolux.