Sun Kil Moon Tiny Cities (Caldo Verde)
This entire album is Sun Kil Moon (Mark Kozelek with accompaniment) covering Modest Mouse. Some of the songs, like "Truckers Atlas," are brilliant reinterpretations, but others are just awkward, i.e. "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes" where the “drinkin' coca Coca Cola” line causes me to cringe. The problem is that Mark Kozelek is generally a purveyor of soft singer/songwriter emotion, and so he fails at capturing the irony and ardor required for some of the songs. But Kozelek enthusiasts will probably love the album anyway.
Grizzly Bear Horn of Plenty (Kanine Records)
Slow tempo + tons of percussion + effects-laden vocals and guitars = a good album for making sweet love, falling asleep or falling asleep as you overdose on painkillers. This album was initially released last year, but has returned in double disc form, the second disc being remixes composed by folks from Solex, Matmos, The Postal Service, The Arcade Fire and others. The new versions will get you out of bed and urge you to do the damn dishes and cut your fingernails, or perhaps, make some more sweet love.
Animal Collective Feels (Fat Cat)
With the creation of diverse, ambient and jumpy pseudo-rock soundscapes on their seventh album, this New York band pushes you into a vivid and off-kilter world; it's an authentic blend of wholesome and creepy, where innocent fantasy must reckon with pain and deception. Chanting, woodwinds, a piano that needs a tune-up and a bed of bird chirps are followed by screams and crashing symbols, which might seem ordinary, but it's strange and unusually new.