To (kinda) coincide (coincidentally) with Pitchfork's feature of (almost) the same name, I've decided to take it upon myself to recommend a couple of albums I've been listening to quite a lot lately, which I also feel have been overlooked. If you wish to do so, you may do likewise. I'm going to list the album's here now, for people who can't be bothered to read the rest of this post. They are:
Malajube - Trompe-l'œil
Cloud Cult - Advice from the Happy Hippopotamus
Firstly, Malajube's album from last year, Trompe-l'œil. As quasi-indicated by the title, they're a French Canadian band (I think - they're from Canada and they sing in French, anyway) who make weird indie rock, which can get quite experimental and epic and spazzy and all sorts of things!
There's a review of it on here somewhere, so they got some coverage (and if my 3 adjectives aren't quite enough for you, you can go look for it for a better idea of what they sound like. Or you can go to their MySpace, www.myspace.com/malajube), but they're not a band people talk about, with the exception of one person on here who seems to bring them up at EVERY opportunity, and I think they should be. Plus, they're playing the 100 Club on September 4th. £8 in. Let's all go!
The second album is Advice from the Happy Hippopotamus by Cloud Cult. That's a bit easier to describe because they sound like Modest Mouse, only more consistent and with female backing vocals and greater range of instrumentation. It's also really long (22 tracks, not including the silly untitled tracks), which is great! Their MySpace has a similarly obvious address to Malajube's (www.myspace.com/cloudcult), but I think everything on their is from their new album, which apparently isn't as good, but you know.
Also, since I'm at it, you should all get Ladyhawk's self-titled album. They're a Black Mountain side project, but a lot better than that tag implies.