Weekly Roundup: May 29 – Jun 4, 2011

After a bit of a hiatus Weekly Roundup returns with some exciting music for y'all to dig. Let's get to it, shall we?

-I spent two years living in the Triangle area of North Carolina and enjoyed it for many reasons, not the least of which is the robust music scene. I am always curious about what's going on down there, so I was very happy to receive some information from the cool record label Trekky Records on a recent release of theirs by Phil Cook. Phil is a member of Megafaun and he's put out an album called Hungry Mother Blues. This song "Ballad of a Hungry Mother" is just incredible, an instrumental of fingerpicked slide guitar that says so much despite its lack of words. You can stream it here and find out more here. There's also a really great video performance, which I'm including below. The bathroom setting might be surprising but its intimacy is perfect for the track.

WATERS is the recording moniker of a new band led by Van Pierszalowski (previously of Port O'Brien). His project takes the opposite approach of Phil Cook by making some loud fuzzy rock music. The point is not to compare one to the other, but rather to assert both are damn good. I just love this track "For the One." It feels both scrappy and triumphant, a blend that always gets me hooked. It crackles and bursts but it will also get stuck in your head. Play it loud, you won't regret it. This is the first track from the forthcoming debut album Out In The Light, which unfortunately isn't due out until 9/20. Seems a painful wait, but then again, I guess we can keep rocking out to "For the One." That will work. More info here.

Max and the Wild Things have released their self-titled debut album. I am really digging the first track, "You Got Your." Major Wilco AM vibes on this one, and that is quite alright with me. More than alright, actually. Though I will say the comparison begins and ends with the music, as the singer's voice is nothing like Jeff Tweedy's and gives the band their own distinct feeling. Regardless of whatever it might sound like, the song packs a punch. I think the guitars are particularly great. I feel like this track will be perfect on a summer barbecue playlist too. Tasty. You can find out more about this Tennessee band and get the album at their bandcamp page here. Also, cool band name, isn't it?

You Got Your by maxandthewildthings

-Speaking of songs for summer, here's another for ya: "Feel Like Dancing," by the Deer Republic. This is a quartet from Australia and this is their first single. I am always so impressed when bands send their debuts and they sound like the work of seasoned veterans and this is no exception. Honestly, I don't hear any green-ness and can't help wondering what heights they can hit if this is where they begin. Because they only will get better. It has a nice sleek, breeziness that makes it easy to play over and over, but it isn't exactly a lightweight. I'm sure many of you will feel like dancing all summer long with this tune playing. There doesn't seem to be a ton of information out there on the band, but here's a link to their facebook page.

The Deer Republic – Feel Like Dancing

The past few months of doing this feature have brought tons of wonderful musicians into my life. I'd been more interested in making Weekly Roundup a place to continuously emphasize new music (to me), but I also realized artists previously included have continued making great stuff. So, I have decided to start doing a Weekly "Catch Up" as part of the Roundup to check in on some of these artists. If anyone out there who has been part of the Roundup before has new music, please send it along. A lot of you have done so already and I'm sorry I haven't included all of it on the Dig, but look for that to improve. Ok enough rambling…

-This week, we're first checking in with a band regular readers are hopefully familiar with at this point: The Welcome. They are in the midst of releasing successive EPs each month and number 4 is as strong and enjoyable as the previous three. It is called Hopscotch and represents an exploration into youth and childhood. You can check it out at their Bandcamp page here. As usual, I dig it. I'm including the middle track, "Mail is Great," just for the title alone, because the first job I ever wanted as a kid was to be a mailman. And who doesn't love getting mail? It's a sweet, acoustic song that channels the magic behind something we by now take for granted.

-I was also very excited to receive some new music from the Brazilian duo We Say Go. Their track "Somebody" was in major rotation for quite awhile. The newest release is called "Neil Armstrong." It is just as captivating a listen as "Somebody," but shows the band expanding their sound and doing something a little different. Nice. While you can still dance to it, it is more atmospheric and is a bit of a richer listening experience to get lost in. Apparently the press down in South America has been calling We Say Go's music "Electro-Rat." If the intent is to encapsulate the band's exquisite fusion of electo with rock & roll, then I'm down with it. June will be a big month for them, highlighted by a performance with Peter Hook of New Order / Joy Division in Rio De Janeiro on June 18. Umm, anyone want to go Brazil??? Here's their soundcloud page.

We Say Go – Neil Armstrong by We Say Go