Comprised of two dudes on instruments and two ice-princess frontwomen, Liverpool-based Ladytron is quite simply one of the most awesome bands to ever rise up out of electronic music's ashes. Garnering the most attention initially by their cold and calculating club hit "PlayGirl" (one of Felix Da Housecat's favorites), the foursome has somehow managed to make their far-away, future-forward sound a warm and inviting experience throughout three albums, and are most intriguing live.
Midlake is not afraid to be both beautiful and ineffable. Archaeologists of the sonic variety, this remarkable outfit has returned from a dig in the '70s and recorded their findings. Gentle and dramatic piano moves gracefully throughout their music providing a dreamy foundation for striking melodies and lyrics. Poetic musings set to harmonized folk instrumentation has never sounded so soothing and inspiring.
The proprietor of house labels Salted Music and Naked Music, San Francisco resident Migs is known for making dance music celebrities out of the people with whom he collaborates--most notably Blue Six and Lisa Shaw. For '07 album "Those Things" he called on vocalist Shaw, a saxophone, some bongos, heavy machinery, and a whole lot of soul.
By steadily winning the sensitive hearts of music fans the world over, the Shins are the sleeper band that keeps getting bigger. Many obsess along with singer James Mercer's existential unrest, others just bop along to the catchy, bare-boned hooks--or hey, why not do both? Whatever the case, the Shins' appeal is deeply and widely felt.
IDM connoisseurs Rob Brown and Sean Booth are among the undisputed leaders of abstract music. Their albums as Autechre are typically chaotic, abrasive, and unimaginably intricate, but those not familiar with the group's sound need not fear. Amidst the electronic manipulations of all those clicks, bleeps, and whacks, Booth and Brown create a dense and rhythmic soundscape that fits any situation.