Phoenix, “Lisztomania”: It’s easy to get the sense that Phoenix’s front man Thomas Mars is plucking his lyrics at random from a secondhand French/English dictionary. Good thing he’s got that svelte voice and an arch band that makes even his most head-scratching observations sound like bliss.
Passion Pit, “The Reeling”: A heart-pumping, glitter-flecked moment of inspiration from one of the year’s most exciting new bands. Don’t stop here. Buy the album. Get the T-shirt. Invite them over for dinner.
Taken by Trees, “My Boys”: Animal Collective’s original “My Girls” is fine if you don’t mind a whiff of patchouli, but former Concretes singer Victoria Bergsman does it better, employing what sounds like a cardboard box and a keychain piano.