Rilo Kiley Under the Blacklight Yes, the band that opened for Coldplay all those years ago put out this album last year, and I finally got around to listening to it. It's not too bad. Surprisingly, it has a real 70's disco vibe to it that works surprisingly well. Many of the band's core following didn't really care for this last effort, but I enjoyed it more than watching them play before Coldplay.
Camera Obscura Let's Get Out of This Country My big discovery this month was this band from Scotland often associated with Belle and Sebastian. The songs are amazingly tender ballads that can break your heart with the slightest twist or vocal harmony. Has a nice old "girl group" harmony going on here that brings you back to the 60's. Simply enchanting.
Bell X-1 Flock Having been out several years in Ireland, it took this album another three years to hit the states. That's the problem with liking music from other parts of the world. Pretty good debut, but nothing earth shattering. I would draw comparisons to Snow Patrol (which isn't bad, it's just no Radiohead or Coldplay ) Supposedly they are one of the biggest bands to come out of Ireland in a while.
Radio Dept. Pulling Our Weight EP My favorite new band lately is Radio Dept. coming also from Scotland. Not a true "shoegazer" band, but definitely influenced by the sound. Mixing light and airy vocals to shoegazer distortion turned down a few notches. The result is not as hard on the ears as a real shoegazer album. Radio Dept. only has released a couple of albums over a decade, but have put out a handful of EPs . Pulling Our Weight is a good mix of their pop sensibilities and their creativeness.