The Clientele

Brit group The Clientele made their subtle entrance into the collective pop music conscience in 2005 with their second album, Strange Geometry. Dripping with soft arrangements and well-played, classical pop melodies, it showed the group to be inspired without being too dependent on their influences, opting to revere '60s pop instead of reliving it. While most of the fodder on the airwaves is produced by people who just want to match a hook up with a catchy lyric, The Clientele operates differently. The group teamed up with alt-country producer Mark Nevers, and the resulting songs off of the band's newest LP, God Save The Clientele!, often sound more earnest than a hellfire preacher's sermon.

Right alongside The Clientele will be Beach House, the Baltimore-born duo that created the most paradoxical album 2006 had to offer, the minimal yet lush Beach House. Opting for the lo-fi (and usually more haunting) route, Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally seamlessly blend the organ and guitar with Legrand's compelling vocals.

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Chester Soria