Weekly Roundup: Jan 29 – Feb 4, 2012

We're a day late because of Super Bowl Sunday, but here's the latest Weekly Roundup of a half dozen tracks and videos for you to enjoy.

Damon Moon and the Whispering Drifters will be releasing an album called Lungs, Dirt, and Dreams on February 21st. As lead single "Loose Ends" demonstrates, those who dig the murkier side of folk and Americana should be pretty damn excited about this one. The album title implies a mixture of the elemental and the other-worldly, which feels about right for this track. It's haunting but is also rooted in something familiar, earthy and beautiful.

-"Roman Candles" by Mirror Lady is a track made for slow motion. Something about the steady, space-y groove and yearning vocals makes me think of scenes shot on 16mm film of vintage locations and iconography on a Fourth of July years ago. I can see a beach, a picnic, a carousel, a bunch of people awkwardly waving in older clothes and old haircuts, and of course fireworks. But that's just me. I imagine you all will enjoy this track no matter what imagery appears to you. Look for an EP sometime in February.

-If there was a "Band of the Week" award, Field Mouse would have to be the recipient for the past seven days. I saw them perform live twice and they released a video for their song "Glass," which you can watch below. It features a languid shot of lead singer Rachel as bubbles, ribbons, and cloth swirl around her. With the similarly swirling musical textures and the strong melody, it's easy to get lost in the soundscape of this delightful indie pop tune. Glass is interesting with its many diverse symbolic meanings. Here I get the sense of its beauty but also its fragility.

Field Mouse is not to be missed live. I was pleasantly surprised that their sound was bigger and more powerful than I had anticipated. They almost even played "Stars" by Hum – or at least joked about it. It was cool watching them and I'm sure I will again soon. Check out their website for more shows and look for a 7-inch record at the end of the month.

Field Mouse – "Glass" from stereogum on Vimeo.

Moonlight Bride will be releasing the Twin Lakes EP on February 28th and have made the track "Lemonade" available for streaming on their Facebook page. You can sample it by clicking the link in their name and I strongly encourage you to do so (since I can't embed it here). This song builds in a very satisfying way to a blast of guitar fuzz and pounding drums, but retains the chill sheen that drew me initially.  It's a nice musical representation of the cool lyric "I'm kind of bored and kind of attracted, I'm feeling like the whole world is ours." Go check out this alt-rock gem, the rest of Weekly Roundup will still be here when you get back, I promise.

-Though they may be oddly averse to spacing, "Knewyouwell" by Cultfever is an amazing track. It's the kind of fruit you hope any musical partnership will bear; duo members J. Peter Durniak and Tamara Jafar have to be pretty happy about their relationship. The vocal delivery almost verges on rapping and it is hard to pin this one down musically – it rocks yet there's a lot of emphasis on the beat and use of electronic flourishes and instrumentation – but this is the kind of moment where I need to stop talking and thinking and just enjoy. I don't doubt you will. Their debut album came out in November, check it out!

Cultfever – Knewyouwell

-We are bringing things to a close with another very cool video and great song. It's called "Appolina" from a Prague band named Ocean Versus Daughter. As I recall, that's the name of Michael Corleone's tragically ill-fated Italian bride, but there doesn't seem to be any darkness to this song – except for the darkness used to make the video's lighting more dynamic and the visual effects more interesting. It's a pretty rousing song that crescendos with strings and drums from the simple beginning of voice and piano. Also, the bookshop setting? I dig it. Oh yeah, I should probably mention that their album Slightly Parted is available free on Bandcamp. Don't say I don't do anything for y'all.

Ocean Versus Daughter – Appolina from Emile Rafael on Vimeo.