The Delta Spirit was a band that I never sought out in my music library, but I was always pleasantly surprised when they find their way through my speakers. Like a more alt-country Harlem Shakes or a less synth-reliant Helio Sequence, the San Diego based quartet has carved out a healthy cult following through some notably energetic live shows, one of which won over former ATG guest writer Claire a few years back. The band stepped their game up with their 2010 release, History From Below, which has generally been quite well received in respected music circles. I happen to adore the album, which sounds like the audio equivalent to an open wound, in the best possible way. Lead singer Matt Vasquez croons about topics ranging from religion to heartache, sounding heartfelt while avoiding Conor Oberst-level whining or Sufjan Stevens-esque innocence. In essence, History From Below is like kettle corn; sweet and appealing when you want it to be, but ultimately anchored by its salty and authentic roots. Check out “Bushwick Blues” off of the new album, as well as “Streetwalker,” my all-time favorite Delta Spirit jam (from 2006’s I Think I’ve Found It).