Looking through lucite panels
Brightness - Organic Stereo
First off, Organic Stereo has the prettiest album cover this year, the linearity of its buildings buffeted by cotton-ball clouds, color-saturated by buckets of orange popsicle and Hello Kitty toaster cheer. Hiroyuki Morikawa builds folktronic layers with pastel tinted lucite panels, and when the clear, white light of morning lands its beam where violet meets yellow meets green, it's joy.
The Stories Linger in My Mind is only available in Japan right now, Myspace.
Trading Things In - The Voluntary Butler Scheme
Based on the band's EP, I'd say that in the future, The Voluntary Butler Scheme might want to follow their Jackson Five obsession rather than their Archies (tho it sounds more like The Archies via The Apples in Stereo). This song is the exception--relentlessly clapped, intensely shakered, silly lyrics sincerely sung ("If you were broccoli, I'd turn vegetarian for you"). But what bumps it from unremarkable 60s-worshipping pop song to summer playlist essential is an amateurish drum shuffle/cymbal crash that's so overused and so badly recorded that you've gotta love it. It's like someone keeps tripping over a cable and falling into the drum set. And it's the most wonderful musical move I've heard in months. I mean, these kids are having fun.
Trading Things In single (iTunes, July 21), Myspace.