I neglected the Roundup last week, mostly because I didn't have much new music to report on. I was still heavily into the Natural Snow Buildings epics and also listening to a bunch of older stuff since I've been trying to clear out some CD space in my office. I was busy giving albums that had been in here since last summer their "one last spin" before they get filed into the library. You see, I always feel a little guilty filing an album away because I know it might not resurface for some time. But thems the breaks...gotta keep on keeping on.
So, here's what I've been up to this week:
Peaking Lights - Imaginary Falcons: More drone folk ala NSB, but this is a standard length release. It's a good listen, but lacks the full-on transportive powers of the Snow Buildings.
The Felice Brothers - Yonder is the Clock: A folk band from around my parts of the Catskills. This area of the country has a very unique feeling to it and I love hearing how it's interpreted in music. This album was good...but I already own 20 Bob Dylan albums, so not really necessary. Though worthwhile if your into that sound.
Zola Jesus - New Amsterdam: Lo-fi singer/songwriter from Madison, WI that I really enjoyed. It's an unusual album, kind of eerie. I has an early '80s gothic feel, but done in a folkish way. I've been digging it. (Warning: my cat Doggie HATED it.)
Alasdair Roberts - Spoils: Hailing from Scotland, Alasdair Roberts is a singer/songwriter specializing in a very mellow songs. I've been following his career since my college days when his previous band, Appendix Out, released their first album (The Rye Bears a Poison) which is still among my 100 favorites of all time. I have 2 of he previous 4 solo albums and found both to be lackluster, so I wasn't expecting much of this...boy was I surprised. This was a great album. It recaptures some of that children's storybook aesthetic that I loved from Appendix Out's work.
Mumford & Sons - self-titled EP & Love Your Ground EP: This is a London band with a fun bluegrass sound to their music.
Bang Gang - Ghost From the Past: On my wishlist for awhile, I finally got this third album from the Icelandic bang (they sing in English). This is sort of shoegaze-pop that I really like. It has also has the darker shadow hanging over it as does much of the music from Iceland. I do love me some shadows hanging over my tunes.
Langhorne Slim - s/t: I've been digging on Langhorne's Daytrotter Sessions (daytrotter.com) for a few months and finally went for the whole album. There's a decidedly Cat Stevens influence on his style, but in a good way. Very sing-a-long-able.
The Dolly Rocker Movement - A Purple Journey Into the Mod Machine: My favorite neo-pyshce band from Austrailia's first release. I've been loving their second for about a year and finally found this one (not easy stateside). My obvious attraction to the band was initially their name (taken from a Syd Barrett song for those who might not know), but the music had staying power. The first listen of their other album was one of those "I've been searching for this album for years" feelings. This album wasn't quite that, but perhaps it might have been had I not already been familiar with their sound. Highly recommended to any fan of retro 60's pysch.
Manic Street Preachers - Turning Rebellion Into Money: Bootleg of early Manics demos that I searched out because I'm having trouble containing my excitement for their new album to be released next month. Granted, the Manics hadn't hit their stride yet in these early tunes, but there's still some great gems on here. Both versions of Suicide Alley are great. Bored Out Of My Mind, Behave Yourself Baby, Razorblade Beat, Under My Wheels, and a brilliant acoustic version of Little Baby Nothing. Admittedly for Manics fans only, but if you are one of them, this is worth checking out.
Super Numeri - Great Aviaries: This is project put together by Pop Levi that I'd been meaning to check out for quite some time. I knew little about it, but judging from the cover and Pop, I thought it would be a little out there. SURPRISE...it wasn't. It's actually quite a melodic instrumental piece. Decent enough soundscape to warrant a listen.