Weekly Roundup Feb 10 – 16, 2013 – Those Who Dig

February 17, 2013

| Steve


How’s everyone doing? Ready for the latest Weekly Roundup? Hope so, because here it is.

Crawl Babies are a band with a new record forthcoming called Death Dance, which they partially describe as learning to accept and incorporate chaos. It shows up in the music to me in the balance of noisy textures and melodic hooks. I also think it’s an excellent way to think about simply trying to survive in New York, regardless of your field or status. There’s so much going on at all times, you just have to embrace it to get by and to thrive. The Crawl Babies are doing that with fantastic songs like “Black Hole Mary,” which has a cool video of the city.

This video for “Sisters” by AVAN LAVA is just incredible. It’s artistic and sexy and heartbreaking and powerful. There are a lot of great music videos out there, but this feels like its a cut above the rest for how it conveys a complete story with such nuance in a brief, clear, and captivating fashion. Without giving much away, what I find most interesting is how it captures the complexity of love and the deep, messy connections we all may have. The cinematography is incredible. All of it makes for a stunning visual to this gorgeous electronic pop song.

AVAN LAVA – “Sisters” (OFFICIAL VIDEO) from Alexander Hammer :: EDITOR on Vimeo.

I know I gushed about “Sisters.” Get ready for me to gush about another video I am loving this week. It’s for the song “Islands” from the band Isle of Rhodes. This goes about doing everything I dug about the above video by sharing a beautiful story, but it does so in a completely different fashion. It’s animated and does not take an approach of realism. However, it’s equally visually compelling with lots of great details and serves as a clever way to represent the song’s awesome message of how we are all part of something bigger. We are not islands, and that includes the natural world around us beyond the human. The song is quite beautiful musically. A little bit tribal, dynamic, and a pleasure to listen to.

The debut album Ripley Pine from Lady Lamb the Beekeeper comes out Tuesday. You can hear it right now at this website. The force behind this project is Aly Spaltro. As you can hear from a song like “Bird Balloons,” she is fiercely talented. Her vocal performance along should be enough to grab you, but then you have to consider what she is actually saying, and then on top of that, there’s the all the music she plays. Staggering. I dig how the expressiveness of the guitars, which mirror the singing. And what really gets me is the feeling of so many different elements coming together into a pure vision. It is magnetically personal. The song is a true journey, as is the album. Take it. I’m sure we will be hearing tons of great things from Lady Lamb in the future, starting with this incredible work. Oh, and check out the record release show Saturday 2/23 at the Knitting Factory.

I’m going to pick up the pace a bit. An album I am anticipating greatly is Caveman‘s self-titled new one due 4/2. Just listen to this lovely song “In The City” and try to not be excited. To me, it’s a spacey, nocturnal groove that just envelops in a warm, satisfying way.

With my computer issues, I missed some good stuff. I will try to pepper it in over the next few weeks (because the music just never stops coming!). I really liked this lovely pop, with touches of Americana, from singer-songwriter Jamie Bendell and her EP Blue Sky Days. Opener “Hope” is a joyful listen and it carries right through the five tracks.

My last new NYC tune for the week is “Primacy” from the seven-member band Deb Oh and the Cavaliers. It’s from an upcoming EP entitled Hieroglyphics that is the first for the band (and which you can help crowd-fund, check out their website for more). The size of the band provides richness to the sound. There instruments all fit together naturally, with little flits of classical, folk, and indie pop. The band has good harmonies, too.

I am trying to emphasize NYC music only, or bands that have appeared on the blog in the past, but this week I have two exceptions. You may have heard the Caveman song on All Songs Considered recently, and if so, you would have also heard this great tune from Alessi’s Ark “The Rain.” I wanted to share it as well. Alessi has a great voice and I like how the music mimics the rain in different ways. Look for The Still Life 4/30.

The other song from elsewhere you all must here is “I Lost Myself” by Lauren Mann & the Fairly Odd Folk. Starting with some nice whistling and ukulele really works for me. Lauren guides the melody deftly and I was really struck by the words. It kicks up at the chorus when the band enters. There banjo is pretty sweet, the percussion is on point, and all told, it’s quite a good tune. Over Land and Sea will be released April 9th.

We’ve been digging Sell Your Memories, the latest from Fonda (just came out 2/5). They always bring just the right levels of dreaminess and rock to their music. Check out the video for “She Is Real.”

The Atolls graced these virtually pages quite some time ago for a kicking track “Older Nazi Boyfriends.” They are back with a sweet new cover “Lust,” which I was glad to read was recorded live in a garage, because it has that indelible garage raw energy. It’s originally by the Raveonettes. Be sure to check out the Joy Division cover b-side of “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” too.

As Metal Mother gears up for Ionika, we can tide ourselves over with the first official single “Prism” (though “Mind_Off” appeared online a few months ago). It’s another cool track from this fascinating artist. Not many people straddle the line between electronic pop and organic, tribal sounds as well.