There's a lot on my mind at the moment so this may not be the most coherent Weekly Roundup, but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying six great new songs and videos.
-I suppose I should warn you that this video for "Damned" by the Norwegian band Phone Joan might be "NSFW" (not suitable for work) at first, but it is quite a striking and powerful narrative. I can't help but feel some heartbreak for the main character, a young woman who seems trapped in a vicious cycle. The song is also very powerful, I love the dynamism and swells of the voices, guitars, and drums. It feels so epic and intense.
-"The Devil Makes Work for Idle Tongues" is an urgent, rollicking song from Big Sixes. It doesn't seem to have a real video but you can at least listen. If you're like me, you will be hooked by it pretty quickly. The burst of words and rattling guitar are like a strong current that sweep you down the river of the song. By the time the chorus hits, you should be fully enjoying the ride. This band will be releasing more music in February.
–Lux is a male-female duo that have served up a delightful slice of fuzzy indie pop with the song "The Window." It's a cut from their forthcoming album We Are Not the Same, due April 3rd. I love how the melodies and vocal tone of singer Leah Rosen are complemented by the 80s style drum-machine beats and tinkling synth effects.
–Let's slow things down a little bit with a lovely song from Brooklyn's Town Hall. I'm not talking about a municipal building, I'm talking about a three-piece group that makes contemplative, beautiful folk music, like "Just Watching My Breath." Built from a foundation of mandolin, guitars, banjo and nice vocal harmonies, the group's latest EP Sticky Notes and Paper Scraps also includes some additional textures from strings, percussion, and woodwinds and is definitely an enjoyable listen.
-In a similar vein, we also have some great new music from Jacob Furr. He is gearing up for the January 31st release of the Farther Shores EP with a free three-song sampler you should all make sure to check out. The first track "If You Would Only Say," has really floored me. It's simple, scarcely more than an acoustic guitar and Jacob's voice, but it has such a compelling tone and story. It doesn't hurt that it also has a little bit of a Neil Young "Helpless" thing going on, either.
-I'm really digging this grooving jam from Little Jungles called "Nothing Will Grow." The guitars have got a cool, sort of psychedelic, tone and I think the chorus of "Nothing will ever grow if you don't want to let go," is great. It's a nice, compact way of conveying a very true message. It is often easy to feel stuck, especially by focusing on the past, but letting go of it is the only way to move forward to better things. Because this is so difficult, any reminders from any sources, such as a really great song like this one, are always a good thing. You never know what a person may need to hear to turn it around. Look for I Would Kill For Some Sun Light March 20th.
We also have some more "holiday leftovers" to share for your enjoyment, including:
-Nigerian rap from Teekay Da Newborn and a song called "E Re Gele."
-An awesome cover of John Cale's "Paris 1919" by Niteflights.
-Arty dream pop from Shana Falana with a song called "Light the Fire."
-A catchy and quirky indie tune called "Alpaca Socks" by Max Min.
-And the awesomely artistic video for the great song by Lightyear called "It Beats" (one of my favorite tracks of 2011).