Bear Hands. Formed in 2006, things started clicking for this Brooklyn band in 2010. Their sound is an experimental (but very self-assured) kind of alternative post-punk rock. There's some amazing variety on their albums. Check out their website here.
Song & Video -- "Giants." It's a propulsive, infectious track with a terrific guitar riff and a lyrical hook that hits a sweet spot. The video? Director Mark Pellington had this to say about it: "I wanted to make a sexy noisy pop blast. The energy and weird electric sense of desire and aggressiveness of the track was our theme. Love this band and this piece." (Me, too.)
Dirty Heads. Named one of the best bands of 2010 by Rolling Stone, these California dudes successfully mix a variety of genres -- hip hop, reggae, rock -- into an, unexpected, uncomplicated sound. Vocalist Jared Watson says, at the end of the day, "We just want to make you feel good." Check out their website here.
Song & Video -- "My Sweet Summer." Sounding a little more poppish than usual, the Heads have created an end-of-the-season groove with a bittersweet edge. There are two versions of the video. One features a puppet and it's weird and cheerfully vulgar. I'm showing you the alternate version that features a hot bearded guy. Because hot bearded guy.
Team Me. The six members of this splendid indie pop band come from a little town called Elverum, outside Oslo, Norway. They came together in 2010 to compete in a Norwegian national radio contest for unsigned bands. They got a recording contract and enough attention to book show dates and festivals. Their innovative sound is a mix of grandiose, fragile and intimate elements. Check out their website here.
Song & Video -- "Blind as Night." The track is layered, orchestral, haunting, almost ethereal, and genuinely gorgeous. Listen to it on headphones. Immediately. The video is a dreamy, surreal, mesmerizing stunner featuring the band.
Wanna check out the other five entries in this series? Just click on any one the links below.