Weekly Roundup: Aug 28 – Sep 3, 2011

Your Labor Day weekend is about to get even better with this packed Weekly Roundup. Lots of great tunes and videos this week, so let's get to it!

Some exciting news to share: we are working to turn this feature into a podcast! It should happen sometime within the next few months. Get pumped!

-Earlier this year, I shared a song by Cheyenne Marie Mize, a lovely cover of a Will Oldham song. I am incredibly excited to have a brand new song of her own to share today. It's called "Wishing Well" from a forthcoming EP We Don't Need due November 8. A contender for favorite song of the year in only a few days, I just can't get enough of it. The simple fusion of Cheyenne's dynamic voice with clanky percussion (sounding like a kitchen jam on pots and pans) becomes a magical, irrepressible tune. She just oozes soul in her melodies and lyrics and proves herself a deeply versatile, creative performer not to be missed! Her website is here.

The Welcome's Lou Gehrig-esque streak of EP releases continues with their latest, Public Radio. As the title implies, this is an ode to NPR, with track titles like "Car Talk" and "This American Life." Anyone who has checked out their stuff previously will continue to be delighted by the band, and for those that haven't, you need to change that. The opening title track even has a recording style that sounds a bit like the subdued tones talk radio, before the full band kicks in and it gets loud. The chorus is an awesomely catchy description of what public radio is all about, I like how each verse connects to the different rituals throughout the day when people listen – like in the morning with coffee, or on their drives. Click the link in the player to get the full EP, and click here for the band's website.

-Here's a great song from a band called The Creepy Crawlies, "Get Buried!" It is a taste of their forthcoming full lengh of the same name and it's got me pretty excited. This male-female duo has an organic, seamless interplay. They just sound good together, you know what I mean? The music has a pop surface which contrasts with a more subtle wall of sound. Like the two voices, it seems expertly blended. It also makes me think that this group can pack a punch in a live setting. Click the link in the player to also check out another sample tune, "Not Thinking." Band website here.

Sleeping in the Aviary is about to release their fourth album You and Me, Ghost tomorrow September 6 and embark on a lengthy fall tour. "Talking Out of Turn" is a great track from the album. I love how it has an old 50s or 60s style melody and song structure, but with a rougher production style, full of big crunchy guitar and pounding drums. It's great. Check out the band's facebook page for tour dates and more information.

-It's been a nice run of very catchy tunes, hasn't it? This next song changes it up a bit, but is no worse for being a little more atmospheric. It's called "Ophelia," by Death Songs. The track comes from a self-titled EP due out October 4. The song has nice guitars and vocals, and I really love the percussion, a mixture of a steady hand clap and hand drums, though a full drum kit comes in eventually. It sounds like a group of musicians jamming for the joy of it and happening upon a pretty amazing song in the process. I like that spontaneous feel, it is evocative of a tribal, communal spirit.

-Here's a wonderful video that I guarantee you will like. Well, anyone who ever had a heart anyways. It's for the Future Islands latest track "Balance," and it depicts a young couple as they journey towards the beach. It is full of so many beautiful moments. You can see the two are really in love with each other and have a lot of fun together, too. I like the different scenery, ranging from the half-destroyed old movie theater to the carnival at night. It's so well shot, it really feels like a documentary. Watch below. The latest album from the band On the Water will be out October 11th, and they will be touring quite a bit this fall. Check out their website for details.

Future Islands – Balance from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.

-Another great video for you comes from Air Review. It's for "America's Son," which we posted earlier this year. You should already know how much I love the song. The video is very cool too, it has a lot of nice outdoor scenery and tells an interesting story between a young boy and older man – perhaps the same person? Check it out:

-Another of my favorites this year has been EMA. Go here to check out an amazing session she did of acoustic songs, plus an interview, for Baeble Music, the Guest Apartment series. I love the way her songs sound stripped down to their most bare bones elements of voice and guitar.

-Finally, the EP we previewed a few months ago from Two Suns is out. You can get it here. Check out the track below:

Really great bunch of tunes there, eh? It's crazy, because there are still a ton of other great ones I've received. So I may do another part later this week, look for that soon! [UPDATE] I didn't get to those songs, but hopefully I can figure out a way to share them soon.