Deadwood Floats – “Mars Over Sea”: The Columbus folk group is back with the second single from their yet untitled forthcoming LP (downloadable here). The mood is incredibly wistful, with soothing melodies and violin taking center stage. Drew Williams is solidifying his reputation as a prolific songwriter in the Columbus area, with this track being the latest evidence. Percussion is subtle – not driving as in some of their earlier tracks (i.e. “About A Man”) but this song quality wise ought to place Deadwood Floats in the same league as the greats. Particularly, I am reminded of Sleepy Turtles, an up and coming folk group off Autumn and Colour Records I reviewed recently.
Japandroids – “The House That Heaven Built”: The quirky alternative rock group has been making splashes across America with this song, which reflects the album it’s on well (titled Celebration Rock). Vocals are a bit shouty and the whole thing as somewhat of a retro feel. An odd bridge around two thirds of the way through made me think the song had ended and transitioned to something completely different before I heard the chorus once again.
Paper Route – “You and I”: This is the lead single for the The Peace of Wild Things, to be released this September 11th. This song is classic ambient Paper Route with perhaps a bit of 80s influence. The lyrical content is markedly spiritual and the track is perhaps the most radio-ready song I’ve heard from the band. The song is neither overindulgent nor repetitive though – it knows its identity and sticks with it. You can stream it here.
The Beautiful Refrain – “Intruder! (Tiger Face)”: Not to be confused with This Beautiful Republic, this is a trending song that recently went for adds at Christian Rock radio. I would describe the sound as pop-rock with a bit of shoegaze influence. Lyrical content points to spiritual warfare, and vocals are good but not over the top great. I could see this being a radio hit.