Weekly Roundup: Jun 17 – 23, 2012

After a short time off, Weekly Roundup is back and better than ever. Or at least as full of good music as always. Dig it.

-I don't really know much about The Rodeo, which seems to be a French indie pop group, but I do know their single "Cold Heart" is amazing. It has a great sense of melody in both verse and chorus. The organs, horns (including a brief sax solo), and bass lines hearken back to the pop sounds of many years ago, but it still has a freshness that feels perfect circa 2012.

-Right from the first "Hey!" and blasts of guitar, I knew I loved "Skin Period" by Pittsburgh's (Western PA 4Eva!) Dazzletine and I feel confident you will too. With the chorus of "I competed on the world stage" and its communal harmonies, clarion guitar chords, and crashing symbols, it is the kind of rousing, carpe diem anthem that gets you jacked and ready to take on anything. It comes from their Heart, Mind, Bodies EP.

-One thing I love about all the great artist submissions we receive from which I draw upon to compile this roundup is that for every loud, full throttle, epic track like "Skin Period," there is usually an equally amazing sparse and intimate performance. This week we have Barna Howard with "Timber, Nails and Tears," a simple song of only acoustic guitar and voice. With an opening line like "How could I forget your mother's face?" you know you are hearing something worth listening to closely. It's lovely, well-written, and comes from his self-titled release.

-Australia's the Dirty Three are preparing to tour in the US and in advance of that, we have the song "Rising Below." It's an instrumental piece of guitar, violin, and drums and it never seems to hold its shape long enough to pin to a specific genre, but that did not stop me from immersing myself fully into its soundscape. It is really enjoyable to hear the interplay of three fine musicians and get lost in the world they are creating, seemingly in the moment. You can pick up Toward the Low Sun for this track and more.

Milesmore is a group based out of Helsinki, Finland with a new self-titled record out. They made a video for their awesome song "Time the Killer." It uses found footage, juxtaposing many shots of love scenes between famous Old Hollywood screen icons against Batman running around with a huge bomb. Each one of them offers something in the way of addressing what the title of the song implies. And that guitar line just kills me in the best way.

-Another Scandinavian music video for your enjoyment comes from Hanne Hukkelberg for her song "My Devils." It's a series of diverse imagery, making use of computer graphics in a way that is cool rather than lazy. Besides the striking visuals, the adventurous nature of the track and innovative vocal layering reminds me a bit of Bjork. Check out the album Featherbrain for more.

-Since we haven't had a Roundup in a few weeks, I want to keep this one going a little longer. I used to be really into Sage Francis and Atmosphere when I was in college and so anything that reminds me of those artists while still bringing an original voice is going to get me excited. So I'm enjoying Canadian rapper Atherton quite a bit. His "Kid on the Corner" flows well, with good rhymes and clever samples, and has a great beat, plus vocals from the singer of Wildlife (who have been on the Roundup before). Check out his album No Threat for more.

-Let's take things out with a little alt-country from the Illegitimate Sons and a cut from their forthcoming American Music. The song is called "Gillian," and it's about a certain actress on the X-Files. No, that's a lie. I meant an actress on Community. Actually, I doubt it's either one of those. Whoever it might be, she's quite a character and more importantly, it's quite a song with a nice contrast of acoustic and electric guitar, a swinging stomp of a drum beat, and rustic vocals. Makes me want to sit by a campfire or rock out. Maybe both? Look for the album July 24th.