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Download: Junk Science and The Boys & Girls Club "Hey! (The Sequel)"

Baje One and DJ Snafu, who collective make Read more » 

Average: 7.7 (49 votes)

Download: Soundpool "The Divides Of March"

Label: Aloft Records

The New York-based outfit Soundpool plays a dreamy sort of synth-pop, drawing from modern shoegazers like M83 and Broadcast, along with the earlier, influential records of Cocteau Twins and Lush. The watery, swirling tunes feature Kim Field's fragile vocals floating on top of saturated guitars and programmed keyboards. Dichotomies & Dreamland, their second album (following 2006's On High), is a pleasantly psychedelic trip of beat-driven pop songs and shimmering, instrumental interludes.  

Average: 7.3 (33 votes)

Download: Lyrics Born "I Like It, I Love It"

Label: Anti-

Bay Area resident, rapper, and self-professed Shoe Ho Lyrics Born headed over to Epitaph for his fourth solo album, Everywhere at Once, which was recently released in conjunction with his own Quannum Projects. As its title suggests, the album finds the man born Tom Shimura, dabbling in everything from hip-hop to eletroclash, further cultivating his image as an observant, conversational wordsmith whose lyrics are as humorous as they are conscious. This album is also Shimura's first studio release to feature members of his live band, and also sees contributions from producers Jake One and Trakademicks. 

Average: 7.6 (44 votes)

Download: Headman "Catch Me If U Can (Bag Raiders Remix)"

Label: Gomma

Berlin-based one-man act Headman has

Average: 7.3 (53 votes)

Download: Eliot Lipp "The Area"

Label: Mush

Eliot Lipp draws his tracks from the dusty era of analog synths, conjuring futuristic visions along with a dose of Ed Koch-era New York hip-hop. Lipp, who currently resides in Brooklyn, debuted in 2004, thanks to Scott Herren of Prefuse 73, who put out Lipp's first record on Eastern Developments. Lipp's releases since have further explored his abstract take on hip-hop and earned him a few fans around the XLR8R office. The Outside is his first record for Mush, and it pushes Lipp's past-future compositions to a new level of forward-looking analog nostalgia. Wyatt Williams 

Average: 7.8 (156 votes)

Download: David Ramos "Kings And Queens"

Label: Fake Four

David Ramos' extraordinary drum skills have led him to projects like making beats for Aceyalone and Busdriver and touring with the free-folk artist Little Wings. It didn't hurt, of course, when Modern Drummer named him in "Top 10 Progressive Drummers of Today." So Ramos' solo debut, This Up Here, doesn't even seem that odd if you know where he's coming from. The psychedelic pop album is full of Casio synths, catchy hooks, tight beats, and Ramos's surprisingly versatile rap vocals. Kyle Field, the Little Wings' songwriter-turned-contemporary-artist, contributed some of his mind-blowing drawings for the album, which should be released next month. Wyatt Williams 

Average: 7.8 (75 votes)

Download: Plants and Animals "Faerie Dance"

2008 has already been a momentous year for Montreal-based trio Plants and Animals, with the band joining The Whigs onstage, playing SXSW, and releasing Parc Avenue this past March on Secret City (The Go! Team, Miracle Fortress). With lead vocalist Warren Spicer's recognizable voice leading the album's musical trajectory, the band delves into soft, acoustic ballads, post-rock numbers, and intricately crafted tracks that call to mind '70s rock songs. 

Average: 7.6 (25 votes)

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