Weekly Roundup: May 20 – 26, 2012

Hope everyone is enjoying their Memorial Day weekend. Here's the latest Weekly Roundup.

Dressy Bessy is a long-running indie pop band from Denver, CO. They have launched a "Summer Singles" series with this track "Hey, Alice!" paired with "Little Pieces." It's an earworm for sure. Crunchy guitars + infectious melodies + cowbell always equals great in my book. Look out for more releases building up to their new album in 2013.

The Wild Rumpus is a band that plays self-described "Appalachian Stompgrass," and I'm digging their tune "Moonshine and Crosses." It's a trio that plays mandolin, banjo, guitar, and bass, getting down with bluegrass and folk in ways that evoke far off times and places while still sounding of the moment. Look for their album 304 now.

The Wild Rumpus – Moonshine and Crosses

The Sun Parade is a Massachusetts-based four-piece featuring the dual frontmen Chris Marlon Jennings and Jefferson Lewis. They have a new album out called Yossis. The lead track "Need You By My Side" is available for download and it should make you want to hear more. It's a great indie tune with a foundation of acoustic guitar plus excellent vocal performance and use of handclaps.

The Danks are four Canadians who aren't afraid to both rock and write a well-crafted song. Their debut album just came out this past Tuesday. Single "Automocar" is quite a track. Starting with some quick guitar riffage, the song soon finds itself balancing a nice groove with spikes of pounding energy. All of it makes me feel like this is a band to see live.

Oliver Swain, another Canadian musician, released his excellent folk record In A Big Machine more than a year ago, but he'll be touring this summer and I just love his track "John Henry" so I'm sharing it with you all now. This song emphasizes the fiddle, which really sounds great, gracefully speeding along a bit like the trains the steel-driving John Henry helped create. Oliver's voice has an earthy melodicism and otherwise reminds me a little bit of Andrew Bird.

Oliver Swain – John Henry

-Let's finish things off with a track from Seattle rapper Khingz. It's called "F.U.T.U.R.E." and personifies that concept as a woman. It's clever and well-done. Khingz has a nice flow and some great lines, including my favorite, the all too relatable, "Cause when I think it over, over-thinking is a form of self-violence." The production is good too, the beat bounces but is also laid back. I like the horn loop around the verse breaks. You can check out this and more on the Liberation of the Monster album.