It's been a while since I did one of these, so I'm going to kick this one off with a band that makes most people I know sigh exasperatedly, mutter angrily under their breath, or just involuntarily exhibit a look of mild disgust when confronted with an audible mention of their name. The Fiery Furnaces are a band I love, one of my favorite bands of the last decade and change, and a band that suffers from Rodney Dangerfield Syndrome among most of my local peer group. I tell you, they get no regard. Oh well. People are wrong about almost everything. People, eh? Can't live with them, can't buy beer without them. By the way, if the more challenging/irritating/proggy/musical theater aspects of this band drive you a little nutty but you do find some things to like about them, I urge you to check out Eleanor Friedberger's two solo albums. One of them is a catchy, poppy, gorgeous '80s new wave and indie-pop inspired record that reminds me of late fall, and the other is a catchy, poppy, gorgeous '70s singer-songwriter inspired record that reminds me of summer. Here's "Leaky Tunnel" for you curmudgeons.
Honorable mention: Pernice Brothers - "Blinded by the Stars"
I love the drums and how they're recorded. I love how Joe Pernice structured this song and how beautifully he sings it. I love the tone and the subtle yet awesome flourishes in the background from the guitar. This song's like a big hunk of enticing candy to me.