So one of my (many) guilty pleasures is indie pop/rock. I'm pretty gung-ho and not close to burnt out on creative retro-revival-indie, epitomized by bands like Stereolab, the White Stripes, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Modest Mouse. Sure, there's a lot of garbage out there - isn't that always the case? - but after suffering through the Green Day induced pop-punk of the mid/late 90's, I'm just happy that music seems to have rediscovered its spirit.
Over the past couple years, one of my favorite bands to listen to has been Electrelane, a British experimental indie-pop group with a penchant for deep electronic sounds, pianos & organs, driving rhythms, and soothing female vocals. If you're curious, I suggest starting with their 2004 release, The Power Out. Right off the bat, the slow, building momentum and French lyrics of "Gone Under Sea" suggest you're listening to something different. "Birds" is perhaps my favorite song on the album, and how could you not love it with lyrics like this:
You were the dawn to me
I loved you in the evening, while the birds were still singing
You gave every song to me
Or try out the dark melody of "This Deed," whose lyrics solely consist of a quote from Nietzsche's The Gay Science: "Diese Tat ist ihnen immer noch ferner, als die fernsten Gestirne, und doch haben sie dieselbe getan! Hände hoch!" (This deed is still more distant from them than the most distant stars, and yet they have done it themselves! Hands up!). Pretentious, perhaps, but it's the music that matters and their sound is spun silver.
If you like the eclectic feel of Stereolab and are willing to sacrifice some of that band's weirder, Japanime soundscapes (don't ask me why they remind me of Japanime, they just do) for something a bit poppier, try Electrelane. Their songs tend to start slow but eventually take over your EEG.
01 Gone Under Sea
02 On Parade
03 The Valleys
05 Take the Bit Between Your Teeth
06 Oh Sombra!
07 Enter Laughing
08 This Deed
09 Love Builds Up
10 Only One Thing is Needed
11 You Make Me Weak at the Knees