The Hold Steady, Stay Positive. Lyrically and musically rich, these indie rockers hold your attention steady. Best cuts: the Springsteen-esque single "Sequestered in Memphis" and the blues-colored ballad "Lord, I'm Discouraged."
Fleet Foxes may be from Seattle and record for the same label that gave us Nirvana, but this quintet couldn't be anything further from grunge. On their self-titled debut album, these sweet Foxes will have you blissing out with their airsy dream pop. "White Winter Hymnal" is one of my favorites.