Rounder Records, Mike Hallock, Associated Press
In this publicity image released by Rounder Records, from left, drummer Brandon Young, vocals and guitarist Matt Vasquez, guitarist Will McLaren, bassist Jon Jameson and Kelly Winrich are shown.

NEW YORK — Sports Illustrated has made household names out of models with its annual swimsuit pictorial. Some musicians are hoping for the same bit of magic as the magazine shines a light on them in the famed issue.

Delta Spirit is one of the 17 emerging bands that will be featured on digital platforms for the issue, as songs are paired with particular models. Besides other content for its website and tablets, the magazine will have a four-page music spread and a two-day "Beauties & Beats" music festival in Las Vegas on Feb. 15-16, right after the Valentine's Day unveiling of the magazine, it was announced Thursday.

Matt Vasquez, lead singer of Delta Spirit, says being featured by the magazine is "a big deal."

"Bands these days have to have a real 21st-century mentality. We don't have an MTV really that sticks up for people, at least not in the capacity that it used to," he said in an interview last Friday. "It's very much the Internet and any readership that we can get in to let people know our band is good."

Vasquez says he's been an admirer of the swimsuit issue back to when Kathy Ireland graced its cover.

"I remember that was right when I started liking girls," he said. "I remember that cover of her. ... I think I started puberty early because of that."

Delta Spirit is one of the bands that will be on the bill at the music festival, along with swimsuit models, who will be by the stage for all performances.


Nekesa Mumbi Moody is the AP's music editor. Follow her at