As I am sitting here, I am realizing that we are only a few weeks away from the holidays; how is this even possible? It seems like just yesterday I was at Taking Back Sunday’s Holiday shows at Starland Ballroom, and it’s crazy to think those are about to happen again very shortly. Well, I can sit here and try to figure out the equations of time, or I can bask in the fact that it has been quite the year, especially for local musicians. With acts like Toothgrinder and Brick + Mortar touring the country, The Front Bottoms headlining shows, Owel opening for bands such as Armor For Sleep and more, I think it’s safe to say that New Jersey musicians are definitely on the map. I also look forward to The Asbury Park Music Awards this year to check out some new up-and-coming talent that I can hopefully review in the Radar!

That being said, I have to focus on a band that had one hell of a 2015, going by the name of Deal Casino. I am sure you are all starting to hear of them, because they came in like a blazing inferno and haven’t stopped since. Having recently graced the stage of Starland Ballroom opening for Nate Ruess (fun., The Format), as well as sharing the stage with local legends The Parlor Mob in Asbury Park, I think it’s safe to say that Deal Casino has left their imprint on the local music scene. They have captivated audiences of various sizes, big and small, and have played their way into the spot they deserve. Whether it’s paid or free shows, nothing has stood in the way of these guys chasing their dream: making music. That being said, let’s show some love for Deal Casino.

If you are an avid reader of the Local Radar, you will remember I featured them over a year ago, when they were just really starting to get their name out there. I think it’s safe to say now they don’t need my help (however, I am a quarter way through this piece so I am not stopping now). Hey, and you never know, I may be catching the eye of a reader who has yet to hear of them (new fans welcome).

With a solid following and a great amount of talent, Deal Casino are an alternative/pop outfit residing from Asbury Park, New Jersey. You may have seen them providing their sweet grooves at places like The Stone Pony, The Asbury Park Boardwalk, The Saint, and many more venues in that area. They are, however, expanding their fan base all over the state, and beyond. Their newest EP, Nika, has been in heavy rotation since late July, and it’s got something for everyone here. If I had to recommend one track for you to try them out with off of this release it would be “Bare Hands.” I can’t explain why, but that track was the one that caught me at hello. Maybe it’s the soaring vocals, or catchy energy here, but I can easily see this track being spun on stations like SiriusXM Alt Nation. You could easily sing along to this track after about three listens; I promise you will be hooked. Of course, there are three other songs on here you can indulge in, so don’t let this one track distract you too much. I also highly recommend “Halley”; take a listen and you will see why.

It’s rare that I say one band repeatedly comes up in conversations with people I work with and know, and I can honestly say that I hear Deal Casino’s name come out of someone’s mouth at least once a week. I have even had friends text me asking if I have heard of them, and I reply with, “Yes, we go way back” (after all, this band has played some shows for me, and we’ve chatted in person various times). I just can’t stop smiling when I see how far they have come in these past two years, and I don’t think anything is stopping them now.

If you missed Deal Casino at Starland Ballroom with Nate Ruess, you can catch them at The Stanhope House on Saturday, Dec. 19, just in time to ring in the holidays. Also, for all of you New York folks, they are migrating up there, so keep an eye out as well. I truly hope you jump on board what is the Deal Casino train, and you can do that by visiting their official website at dealcasinomusic.com. They are also all over social media, including the lovely Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, so show them some love (and tell them Maria sent you). Congrats on all of the success you have had this year boys, and cheers to many more! You can quote me when I say that 2016 will be the year of Deal Casino.

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