Philly loves her. Jersey loves her. She also has a devotee in Little Steven Van Zandt, the Springsteen guitarist and Sirius/XM satellite radio Underground Garage host. He picked Palmyra's "Baby Should Have Known Better" as the "Coolest Song in the World" in November 2008. He picked her most recent single, the heart-stopping "You're My Brian Jones," as his top tune of 2012.
"I'm totally giddy," says Delran, who has long admired Van Zandt for creating Underground Garage, "where bands like mine could have a home to have their music played. When he started picking my songs amongst his favorites, my mind was totally and officially blown."
Fans aside, Delran's focus has been on gathering mass and melody for Absorb since 2008, when she dropped her solo EP, She Digs the Ride. "I'd been collecting these songs for a while, deciding on production ideas and such. I wanted to make a record that celebrated the special stuff about music that I loved as a kid, and that others would hopefully dig."
Delran laughs as she talks about picking apart the instrumentation and noticing every little thing, from the claps, tambourine, and castanets to the swoop of the backing vocals. "Even the panning," she says. "You could hear new and different stuff every time you listened to a record. People listen to music differently these days - just playing the first 30 seconds of a few songs. I wanted to make a record that people played all the way through."
Picking apart her own new album, Delran dwells on each detail. She digs the romping "Shy Boy" because it was written for the late Nick Drake. She likes the neo-psychedelic "Your Best Friend" because there's a stylophone on it.
Ask her whether she misses the sisterhood of her former bands, which cut quite a swath through the local live punk-rock landscape, and Delran gets ruminative.
"It was weird not to have the comfortable group of people to bounce ideas off of, but going it alone gave me a new perspective on making music," she says. "Band mates usually have your back. I wanted to try new stuff and dare to fall flat on my face."
Palmyra Delran, Astronaut Your Planet, Sister Blue, Clashing Plaid, Eric 13, and Victus play 2 p.m. Saturday, at PAWSFEST, a benefit for PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society) at Cannstatter's, 9130 Academy Rd. All ages. Tickets: $30. Information: 215-332-0121, www.clashingplaid.com/homepage.htm.