Weekly Roundup: Jul 29 – Aug 4, 2012

It was a great weekend for Team Dig here in NYC. As it winds down, I have some cool new songs and videos to share in the latest Weekly Roundup.

Jon Samuel is a Canadian singer-songwriter. He has a been a mainstay of the Halifax music scene but hasn't ever released a solo album. Until now. First Transmission will come out August 28th, and I really dig the title track. It's a brief burst of pop goodness. My favorite part is when the drums kick in as Jon sings "I'd like to live in a song you wrote." "First Transmission" itself seems like prime real estate for such a concept.

-Here's something a little different but really fascinating. James Brooks, previously of Appliance, has a new project called Land Observations that is devoted to exploring Roman Roads. Each composition intends to represent the psychogeography of a road, and the larger work touches on themes of travel and time. Very interesting. "Appian Way" is a single. What I like most is the way the precise, rhythmic layers of composition slowly unfold and progressively build; it's hypnotic in the best way. Look for Roman Roads IV – XI September 4th.

Joy Kills Sorrow have, along with production company Shutter & String, made a really cool, hand-crafted stop animation video for their song "Jason." It came out a few months ago and is a single from an album that was released last year – This Unknown Science – but I just discovered it and really enjoy it, so deal with it! I think you'll like it. It's a lovely song in the Americana / bluegrass vein, and the video is creative and poignant. Even makes me want to dance with a coat rack.

Crushing Blows are a duo from the UK with a big sound. The lead single "The People You Will Never Meet," from their forthcoming 10/28 EP is fully fleshed-out and immersive. It takes its time unfurling all of its dynamics. I can hear a lot of different music I like at brief moments throughout, but it forms into something that doesn't sound like anything else exactly.

-Another week, another interesting band from Brooklyn. This time we have Daytona and their song called "Undertow" from the Storm So Long EP. The track feels appropriate for summer time with its bouncy, grooving vibe.

-Lastly, we have Oakland 8-piece DRMS, who just put out their self-titled album last week. I am pretty enamored by mid-album cut, "With You." The percussion, which I think features a vibraphone, is quite stellar. The overall atmosphere of the song doesn't want to neatly fit into any box, making it all the more compelling to listen to. Great vocal performance by Emily Ritz, too.

Catching up with a few previously featured acts on the Dig, we have…

  • A new "tour and travelogue" video from The Rocketboys for their song "The Best."
  • The single "Toaster," from the forthcoming second album We've Got a Map by Tidelands.
  • The moody video from Jack Ladder and the Dreamlanders, "Short Memory."