Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving vacation. We have much to be thankful for, from big things to something as small and simple as some awesome new music to share in this latest Weekly Roundup.
I am going to be shifting the focus of the Roundup and what I write about on this blog in general over the coming weeks. I know there is so much great music out there but the more I think about it, the more I'm interested in emphasizing the music happening in my local community. I won't be phasing out non-New York City submissions immediately, and it's not easy to ignore all the wonderful pieces being sent to me daily. But for a variety of reasons, it just makes more sense to narrow my approach. We'll see how it goes.
-Let's start the roundup with new NYC music. Von Haze is a duo of Travis Caine and Katherine Kin. They just released their second album Kar Dee Akk Ake. The single "Mother Mountain," is a grim, atmospheric track and darkly alluring. The churning, fuzzy low end, minimal beats, and whispered vocals instill sense of foreboding, but the occasional ripples of higher notes provide a small glimmer of hopeful intrigue. The video is a suitable match: artistic and disturbing with some intense violent and sexual images.
–Stone Cold Fox is a five-piece band with a debut EP out called The Young. It's a very promising debut. They have a video for one of the tracks, "American." I dig the song. Driven by acoustic guitar and a nice beat, it has good energy and it's quite catchy, especially as it comes to the chorus and the full band gets involved. The video mixes some performance footage with a day-trip travelogue. I like when they arrive on the beach, the sun sets, and the fire starts. Looks like a lot of fun (and the light photography is cool), which is perfect for the song.
-I'm quite intrigued by this collective video performance series called Balcony TV. It's a bunch of performance videos on rooftops in cities all over the world. Our friends in Oh! My Blackbird have done one, and right now I'm going to share a clip of Silas Fermoy. This trio, here with their engineer assisting, gives a strong performance of their song "Lights Burn Bright," which is available on the Chapters EP. I think the rhythm is what gets me, once everyone joins in around 1:50, as well as the interplay of the guitars. Nice acoustic soloing here. I dig the backdrop of the city, too.
-The videos just keep on coming. Our last new NYC share this week is from MC Signif. I don't seem to receive a lot of music from the local hip-hop scene, so it's nice to get this. Signif is a talented rapper with a new album called Significant Wizdom II: Atypical just released. This "Rocket Fuel (PCP)" track highlights her strong flow. She has some good lines, one I like is "Too intelligent to ever be named irrelevant." It's hard to not be reminded of Kanye a little with the chipmunk voice production and the "Get 'Em High"-esque chorus, but Signif is definitely doing her own thing.
-Now to briefly catch up with some previously featured acts, we have a remix from Neonfaith for the song "Underworld" by Duologue. This electronic act continues to keep me interested. I like how their aesthetic is sort of minimalistic, or at least makes good use of space.
-Also this week we have a new track from Parquet Courts, who have just signed to What's Your Rupture to release their album January 15th (after the band self-released it this past July). This track "Light Up Gold II" is a brief but sweet burst of a tune that proves the old maxim "Why write a long song when a short one will do?" It even fits in a solo! Cool chorus of "Light up gold was the color of something I was looking for," too.
-Like I said, I'm not ready to totally phase out non-NYC submissions and here are few things I dug this week, starting with the pop R&B of Leonard Friend and "Middle of the Night." I like how his EP is called Lynyrd Frynd.
–The Longwalls have an EP Kowloon out 12/4 and the song "Big, MT" is a pretty great rock tune. It has a nice sweep and drive to it that would seem to fit the wide open spaces of Montana. Though I'm not totally convinced "Big" is an actual city…
-Here's some cool Argentine indie-pop from the band Los Animales Superforros. Their track "Chacabit" is catchy and exotic.
–Esme Patterson released an album last week called All Princes, I. The lead track "My Young Man" is one I'm digging. Esme has a great voice and sense of melody, which get enhanced by some folk and string touches.
–Polly Scattergood will be releasing her second album sometime in early 2013, but a track "Disco Damaged Kid" is now out. It is quite the dance-pop song and feels like it could be huge. Polly should be poised for an exciting year.
–Ahleuchatistas is an instrumental duo from Asheville, NC. Their seventh album Heads Full of Poison is out and I really love the track "Lighted Stairs." The video is a little inscrutable at times, but it's enjoyable to let the music wash over you.
-And we go out by quickly catching up with a previously on the Dig artist. "Farthest Star" from ExDetectives, the title track to their second album. Goes down smooth.