East River Pipe
"Times Square Go-Go Boy"
The man behind East River Pipe, F.M. Cornog, has suffered from alcoholism, an emotional breakdown and homelessness -- in New Jersey. So, when he sings the same line, "Buy yourself a ticket/ But that ticket isn't where you really want to go," over and over in this simple three-chord song, with such anguish and desperation in his voice, I really feel him deep down. Only someone from New Jersey would truly understand.
Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?
Emily Haines first stole our hearts with her lovely vocals on Broken Social Scene's "Anthems for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl." Now Haines leads Metric, an indie dance-punk group with enough edge and sincerity to make even the clingiest of wallflowers want to shake a limb. The slow-dance wonder "Calculation Theme" is a reason to dream, a reason to live.
Tegan and Sara
If It Was You
Identical twins freak me out. But, Canadian twins Tegan and Sara are still awesome. They can entertain a crowd with their catchy pop songs about love (what else?) and with their hilarious stories. Their third album, If It Was You, has the twins singing treasures like "Monday Monday Monday" that even a non-twin, non-Canadian, non-lesbian can love. Oh yeah, did I mention they're both lesbians? Try not to wet your panties, boys.