It's been a month since the last Roundup, but it's back now. And the good news is that I have at least f three weeks worth of records all set to go, so there shouldn't be another extended outage. As a special for the return, I'm going to feature a few high profile releases in my world from some of my favorite artists. There's a lot of great stuff on here, so I encourage you all to find something on it to check out if you haven't already done so. Enjoy!
The Decemberists - I'll Be Your Girl: It's been three years since the Portland band's last album and this one was worth the wait. Having been one of my favorite bands of the past 20 years, I was excited for this, and a bit nervous, but it turns out the nerves were not necessary. The band moved away from the country folk sound of their recent records to return to a bit to the quirky feel of their early albums. This one reminds me of The Crane Wife and includes some amazing songs. "Severed," and "Sucker's Prayer" are two of their best songs ever, and the rest of the album is strong too, with the possible exception of "Everything is Awful", though even that song is growing on me.
Holly Miranda - Mutual Horse: The third official solo album from the Detroit native is flat-out brilliant. With each album, she's elevated her songwriting and this album hits all the right notes to create a transportive narrative of songs that feel as though they've come straight of an eerie dream. "Wherever You Are," "Golden Spiral," "When Your Lonely Heart Breaks," and "Mt. Hood" are personal favorites on a record that's sure to be one of my favorites of the year.
The Fratellis - In Your Own Sweet Time: The Glasgow pub rock band returns with their fifth album. By now, the trio of brothers know how to write songs that can get listeners to stomp their feet and chant along, and this is another album filled with belters. But it's missing a little something that I've always loved about this band, and this is songs that switch up their flow within the song, "Chelsea Dagger" is a perfect example, and it lacks the down-tempo sadder songs that sprinkle previous albums. The end result is a decent album, but one that begins to sound repetitive by the end. Enjoyable, but only essential for fans.
Hockey Dad - Blend Inn: The second album from the Australian band is another good bit of indie rock that builds off their impressive debut from a few years ago. The last album had a '90s alternative sound, mixed with early 00's garage rock revival, this one takes the garage rock a little farther, and oddly ends up sounding slightly more original. It reminds me of the sound of The Orwells, a rough around the edges feel that works. "Homely Feeling," "Danny," "Whatever," and "Where I Came From" are standouts.
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra - Horses in the Sky: The 2005 album from the Montreal contemporary free folk outfit is a brilliant record, one I was really lucky to find on vinyl. On the verge of freak folk and art rock, this album falls into a category with bands like The Microphones, early Decemberists and artists like Jordaan Mason. This is melancholy album that captures the solitude of wintery days in secluded places. Three album sides of perfection. "God Bless Our Dead Marines, " "Teddy Roosevelt's Guns" are beyond words.