Weekly Roundup: Apr 15 – 21, 2012

How's everyone doing? Get your taxes done? I've been pretty worn out and battling a cold, but I had a nice time with family visiting the past few days, and of course there's nothing like new tunes to raise the spirits. I present six of them to you here in the latest Weekly Roundup.

The Cast of Cheers is not a band featuring Ted Danson unfortunately, but they are a band with a really cool video for their song "Animals." I like how it plays with images via projections, the TV screen version of the album artwork for More Songs About Buildings And Food. The song is fairly minimalist and clean, but its hooks are no less sharp. The album will be out June 18th.

-I have to say, "Erehwon" at first reads like a new Southern rap slang term one could swap for "y'all." I don't think that's quite what Picture the Ocean is going for with this pop song from their forthcoming album due June 8th. The Canadian group has hit on a great chord progression that serves as the foundation for strong melodies and a nice guitar solo. Our readers in Canada can look forward to some extensive touring over the next few months.

Prison For Kids might not yet be a horrible reality show on TLC about a unique disciplinary system for unruly brats, but it is a great new band out of Los Angeles. Their song "Suggestion" is super diggable. The guitar tones and overall atmosphere of the song remind me of one of my favorites, Built To Spill. It's a very assured journey into imaginative, emotional realms and showcases a lot of promise. I'm looking forward to hearing more.

-Keeping the dreamy music going, we have another cool tune from Blondfire. It's called "Hide and Seek," and it highlights the strong synth / indie-pop sound being honed by this brother-sister duo, a territory somewhere between MGMT and The Naked and Famous, among others. With its outright catchiness, nostalgic undertones, and dynamism, this is the kind of song you can imagine hearing everywhere, from movie scenes to parties to commercials.

-I think we get a lot of good submissions of male-fronted bands with fine vocals, but it's probably safe to say a lot of those don't seem to put a lot of emphasis on the craft of singing. The UK's Jake Mattison seems to be a singer first and foremost, with a rich voice that is a pleasure to hear. You can get a sense of his bluesy delivery on the song "Sorrow," which is his new single, due out officially June 4th.

Delorentos are a Dublin band who have just released their 3rd album. I was hooked right from the opening track "Did We Ever Really Try?" The verses have a classic sounding melody that bursts forth in a chorus so brimming with energy that you may not notice the pain of the questions being asked. It's always great to hear songs that make the difficult emotional situations we have all been through sound so good.