Mataloni is a junior news/internet and music major and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Mumford and Sons
“Lend me your hand and we’ll conquer them all.” One of my new favorites and with good reason. Marcus Mumford’s voice mixed with four-part harmonies and folk instruments is breathtaking. Together the band makes you want to sway with the rhythms or sing along to its catchy choruses. The British band sometimes has a folk sound, but it always make it sound great. “Little Lion Man” is a good first listen, followed by “Awake My Soul.”
2 Arcade Fire
This band has been around for a while, and is finally gaining more attention. Arcade Fire is most known for “Wake Up,” which was used in the “Where the Wild Things Are” movie trailer, but they can do so much more than that. Their new album, “The Suburbs” received numerous awards for best album, and rightly so. Although my favorite is still “Neighborhood #1: Tunnels,” “Rococo” is a close second.
3 Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
They’re Arcade Fire mixed with Mumford and Sons. This 16-person band is one that will not disappoint. Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos lead on vocals, but Castrinos is the one that leaves a bigger impression, especially on “Home.” They are reminiscent of Arcade Fire in the album’s leading song “40 Day Dream” and they bring back the ’60s with “Carries On.”
4 The Decemberists
Like Mumford and Sons, The Decemberists can be described as folk and/or indie rock. While I’m a bigger fan of their older albums, “Picaresque” and “The Crane Wife,” the bands’ recent album, “The King is Dead” brings us back to the style of their older music. The band is together simply because they enjoy the music they create as one, and that’s why I listen to them. For simple enjoyment, “The Crane Wife 3” and “The Engine Driver” are good ones to start with.
5 Mates of State
Husband and wife, Jason Hammel and Kori Gardner are one of the best duos. Their voices harmonize so well together, it’s nearly perfect. Their new album,“Crushes” is full of covers, but it is great, nonetheless. My favorites are “Love Letter” and “True Love Will Find You in the End.” To hear some of their originals, listen to “Halves and Have-nots” or “10 Years Later.”
6 Jack’s Mannequin
I realize this band isn’t fairly new, but that doesn’t matter. The voice of lead singer Andrew McMahon can make anyone melt. Whether he’s pounding on the piano in “Dark Blue” or gracing the keys in “Hammers and Strings,” it gives me chills. Both are worth a listen and I guarantee you won’t be able to stop. If you still aren’t sold on his skills, then listen to “Konstantine” by Something Corporate, McMahon’s former band.
7 Band of Horses
Beside “Funeral” and “Is There a Ghost” don’t expect crowd-roaring songs by Band of Horses. They are laid-back and perfect to listen to if you want to relax. Their recent album “Infinite Arms” is similar to their previous two but with more instrumentation and deeper vocals. Listen to “Compliments” and “Laredo.”
8 She & Him
We all loved Zooey Deschanel when we first heard her voice in the movie “Elf.” Thankfully, she formed a band with Matt Ward and together they produced some of the best compilations. Their songs are personal and fun, especially “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?” “Volume Two,” their recent album, picks up where the last one left off. I recommend “If You Can’t Sleep.”
9 Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s
Margot’s previous albums have only semi-impressed me, but songs like “As Tall As Cliffs” made me stay with them for a while. It was worth it. Their recent album, “Buzzard,” has completely won me over. Good from start to finish, the band brings a different sound than previous albums. After hearing Richard Edwards’ voice in “Will You Love Me Forever?” My answer is “yes.”
10 Poison Control Center
I wanted to add a local to the mix, and PCC was perfect. Their last album, “Sad Sour Future,” made many national Top 10 lists of 2010, and their never-ending national tour is sure to spread their name even more. Their genre, alternative/indie rock, does little to describe the energy the band brings. It’s evident on the album that the members put everything into the music, and seeing them live is just as much an acrobat show as it is a concert. Favorites: “Pacific Sunrise” and “Being Gone.” You can find them on iTunes and Twitter @123sayPCC.