The Friday Refrain: A bit of what's new in music

Now that you’ve been seduced by Ruben Studdard’s Unconditional Love, and feel a little more Kin to Pat Metheny, here's some more new music. This week's must-listen was the new Lego Movie Soundtrack by Mark Mothersbaugh, he is one of my soundtrack crushes after all. Besides the fun "Everything is Awesome" single (especially the one with Tegan & Sara), Will Arnett's track "Untitled Self Portrait" had me laughing.

Another favorite for the week is the self-titled release from Moonrise Nation, it is just beautiful - a little bit Ingrid Michaelson, Sharon Van Etten and Mount Moriah. I just started listening to Juan Wauters, N.A.P. before I started writing this and will be resuming my listen as I am done. The songs are a little oddball with a Kinks sound. There's something I dig about that Kinks sound when the winter starts to drag. Oh, and check out the song "Witch" on the new Daydream Forever from The Chain Gang of 1974. I'm not the best at lyrics, but I think this song is the sweetest sounding song telling someone off I've ever heard.

Need some more love?

Tim McGraw, Love Story

T.K. Soul, Life After Love

Toni Braxton & Babyface, Love, Marriage & Divorce

And the singles...

Wye Oak, "The Tower" - released in anticipation of a new album in April

On-The-Go, "Lifeboat

Silversun Pickups, "Cannibal"

Mean Creak, "My Madeline"

Abuela, True Colors - I can't decide on this one. It's either too much or it works.

Country and the like

There's quite a range in here again this week, from mainstream to, well, not.

Moonrise Bandits, Calicountry

Jenna Torres, A Woman's Touch

Dirk Powell, Walking Through Clay

Tony Trischka, Great Big World - I really liked this one.

Les Claypool's Duo De Twang, Four Foot Shack

Some veterans in the world of rock...

Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Black Beehive

Buzz Cason, Troubadour Heart

Paul Rodgers, The Royal Sessions

A Rock Spectrum

For some reason, I decided to make a playlist from some of the heaviest to the lightest translucent releases I listened to this week. So we start off with some metal, move on to some more moderate pop and rock, before floating off into the ambient.

Emortus, Slave to the Sword - "Moonlight Sonata (Act 3)" especially

Truckfighters, Universe

Peace Creep, Peace Creep

"Cannibal," Silversun Pickups

Wild Moccasins, 88 92

Bombay Bicycle Club, So Long, See You Tomorrow

Death of Lovers, Buried Under a World of Roses

Water Liars, Water Liars - It really has a strong second half from "Vespers" to the end.

Augustines, Augustines

Jeremy Messersmith, Heart Murmurs - There are definitely some tracks to check out besides the single, "Tourniquet"

XO, Heart

Be Forest, Earthbeat

Magic Eye, Babylon

Mushy, Breathless

Also this week, a couple of singer/songwriters (such a broad declaration) with the self-titled Parker Millsap, and new Scott H. Biram, Nothin' But Blood.

On the To-Listen list: Cymbals, The Age of Fracture; Feadz, Instant Alpha; Flamin' Ratrods, Rockabilly Bones; Gardens & Villa, Dunes; John Butler Trio, Flesh & Blood; Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, New Ammo; Marissa Nadler, July; Mark McGuire, Along the Way; Mayan, Antagonise; Name the Pet, Future/Now; Nicole Atkins, Slow Phaser; Snowbird, Moon; Snowmine, Dialects; The Tower of Light, The Tower of Light; The Traps, Boom Pow Awesome Wow

Now I'm going to put on Juan Wauters and try to think of more Star Wars quotes for a weird practicing tangent I went on this morning. It all started with a fun font and the thought, "I am Yoda. You are Obi Wan and Skywalker." I can't tell if it's brilliant or a dead end. Until next Friday, happy listening!

Friday Refrain is a weekly post regarding what new releases have caught my ear for the week. I try to compile a pretty comprehensive list of pop/rock releases of the week and see what is available for me to listen to on the web. This is just my non-scientific, highly-subjective, randomly-listened-to list of stuff I enjoyed from the week. Oh, and I don’t always listen to lyrics or look at album art/music videos, so appropriateness is left up to the listener.