Local Rounds: Aleko – “Let You Down”

via Let You Down | Aleko.

Normally, I would write about a full album/EP release from a local artist, but Aleko’s music is too good to pass up mentioning. “Let You Down” is an excellent acoustic folk track, complemented well by some spare electric guitar. The southern Jersey singer-songwriter has a voice immediately comparable to Justin Vernon, one that I’m excited to hear more of. He also sounds similar to local singer-songwriter Evan Stephens Hall (lead singer of Montclair act Pinegrove). He’s due to release an EP this fall, so here’s another local talent to look out for!

Where to Go from Here: Bon Iver – “Blood Bank”, Pinegrove – “Problems”, Big Deal – “With the World at My Feet”

The Roundup – 6/5/15

Brand New return to the scene with “Mene”, their first studio track in 6 years. It’s a blistering testament to their legacy as post-hardcore giants, and one of this week’s (albeit belated) finds.

via A Buzz in My Ears – The Roundup – 6/5/15 by Louis T. Delia

The Roundup is an occasional post compiling the latest finds in the indie, alternative, and DIY spheres. I’m going to condense the next few Roundups from 20 tracks to 10 tracks, as I’m looking to start doing similar Roundup posts for local artists as well (more on that soon!)

The Good Life – “Everybody”

This week’s post starts off with one of several returns to the blogosphere. Indie rock staple Tim Kasher recently put out “Everybody”, the latest track from The Good Life, and my 13 year-old self can barely contain it. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Kasher’s output (and the rest of Saddle Creek) since my middle school days, so it’s exciting to hear him still going at this project. “Everybody” has a nice, almost Lou Reed vibe to it, with a short sung-spoken segment.

Citizen – “Stain”

Another recent return comes from post-hardcore band Citizen, due to release Everybody is Going to Heaven on Run for Cover 6/23. “Stain” is a nice slosh between balanced, contained rhythm and rigid emotion. In short, it’s best summed up as an aural study of controlled chaos.

Girlpool – “Before the World Was Big”

Drumless Philly duo Girlpool dropped their latest record Before the World Was Big this past week, and the title track has become the latest song to grab my attention. They have a bratty, whiny sound, that still evokes the slow burn and sting of growing up. Similar to Waxahatchee, Girlpool have minimal guitar lines, and they harness this minimalism well in the simple A/B sectioning of the song.

Georgia – “Be Ache”

Beginning with a sampled vocal, “Be Ache” quickly develops into a fervent rush of frantic strings, looped synthesizers, and a tense break beat. Vocals recall Robyn, Sky Ferreira, or Morgan Kibby, and the track production evokes Dev Hynes, Anthony Gonzalez, or Klas Åhlund.

Oscar – “Beautiful Words”

I was a big fan of Oscar’s “Daffodil Days” back in February, and I’m glad to hear that “Beautiful Words”, his follow-up track, holds up well (I even enjoy it better!) It works well as a summer jam. It sits somewhere between Matt & Kim, twenty-one pilots, and Bleachers, yet his voice sounds more attuned to fans of post-punk favorites Joy Division or The Smiths, or more currently, Daughn Gibson or Cold Cave.

Sitcom – “Window View”

An acoustic track! Yes! Sitcom has a lighter vibe, immediately reminding me of Soft Cat mixed with Stephen Malkmus. The sparse percussion, coupled with the occasional horn layering and backup vocals make this song really grow into something else entirely.

Sharon Van Etten – “Just Like Blood”

Van Etten’s latest EP I Don’t Want to Let You Down is due out 6/9, and next single “Just Like Blood” does not disappoint. The follow-up to Are We There (one of my personal favorite records of 2014), this EP contains tracks culled from that album’s sessions, as well as a leftover from Tramp.

Dope Body – “Old Grey”

This is an oddity. Sounding like a noisier, more digital METZ, Dope Body craft catchy, accessible noise-rock. It’s easy to get lost in this.

Brand New – “Mene”

I’ve been so pumped to hear more from Brand New. They were one of my favorite bands since middle school, and it’s refreshing to hear them sound so invigorating in 2015. “Mene” is an excellent track, one that I hope segues well into their next studio album (which I am eagerly awaiting between constant replays of The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me and Deja Entendu).

LVL UP – “Naked in the River with the Creator”

An oddly spiritual left turn, this song (one of several written for the May 5 to 12 Songs project, including artists such as Eskimeaux) is an incredible zen study. Vocalist Nick Corbo shows an aural side that’s not commonly heard, not even on last year’s superb Hoodwink’d. Corbo feels more aligned with bandmate Dave Benton’s side project Trace Mountains, and “Naked in the River with the Creator” is a relaxing finish to an already busy week.

While most of the tracks curated for this week are from the past month, this is the first Roundup post I have completed in a month.

Here’s the playlist below, and enjoy!