The New Pornographers
The Story: A group of Canadian indie-types pools every one of its pop influence resources and comes up with the perfect soundtrack for a perfect pop summer—or something like that. The opening track sounds lifted straight from the ’80s paisley revolution, wound up all tight and pretty like vintage Game Theory or The Three O’Clock. With bouncy Go-Gos drums throughout, lots of beautiful Beach Boys-esque harmonies, and Brit-freakbeat “hoo hoos,” this is as pop as it gets. My favorite is “Chump Change” (“So the page from your book/ and a line from your page/ have gone into a lesbian rage”). With its jerky progression and sing-along chorus (that’s right, “hoo hoo”), I defy you not to nod your head to the beat and get lost in a perfect sonic world. Or something like that.