Right now The XX are killing all over Europe, playing some of the dates with Florence & The Machine, which is another band I have really been into. The band is comprised of two boys and two girls from South London, they are only twenty but have producing abilities well beyond their years. Their sound is kind of like Massive Attack, Thievery Corporation or Hot Chip but more lyrical and they have that distant, slightly creepy, spacey sound down perfectly. It is perfect music to play while you are chilling with friends, bumping around the house doing little tasks or while getting some action (which makes sense since the tracks are chockablock full of sexual references). Their influences clearly come from R&B; they garnered a wave of buzz from covering Aaliyah's Hot Like Fire. These are the influences they list on their MySpace page: Aaliyah to CocoRosie, Rihanna to The Cure, Missy Elliott to Chromatics, The Kills to Ginuwine, Pixies to Mariah Carey and Justin Timberlake to Tracy + the plastics.
Family of the Year is a brand new find. I was told about them by their manager that lives in New York this past week. They are about to self-release their EP Where's The Sun on September 22nd, which is pretty incredible given that they have had such a huge response to their music even though they don't have an official album out yet. Ben Folds just asked Family of the Year to open for him on a few upcoming dates. The band is comprised of four guys and two girls; they describe their sound as 'post-teen spirit' and claim such influences as Chumbawumba, Barenaked Ladies, and System of a Down. They aren't on itunes or lala.com yet but you can hear several tracks on their MySpace page - http://www.myspace.com/familyoftheyear. They only have a few gigs in New York and LA up on their page but stay tuned, it is about to be packed with appearances. You will all have your chance to see them in a small venue the first time around and I suggest you take it. We all have stories about liking a band and not seeing them the first time around and the next opportunity you have is a big venue full of more late to the party teeny boppers than you can stomach.
Check out these other newcomers to my rotation:
Fitz and The Tantrums - good old soul with a modern twist a la Amy Winehouse or Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears. Their album title is genius Songs for a Breakup Volume 1.
YACHT - like The XX but a bit more pop, get up and dance.
The Antlers - a darker Explosions in the Sky at some points, a dash of Radiohead and pinch of Yeasayer.
Ramona Falls - Menomena side project. Good, creepy rock.