Here are some of the bands I'm listening to right now, and what I like about them:
1. Sigur Ros - Nobody does the musical slow burn better. They, as much as any group I've ever heard, create opportunities for transcendence. It's non-worship-music worship music. Try not to cry at the beauty.
2. The National - This band manages to be singable while still incredibly unique. I also enjoy their lead singer's lower, more relaxed vocals.
3. Fun. - I shared some of their music with a friend, and he said they are music for people with ADD. He's right--every song of Fun.'s has three songs within it. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more interesting group right now. And yes, their music is incredibly....fun.
4. Gungor - A new album comes out in October from these guys. They are a good model for an artist like me, because they have some songs that could be classified as "worship" music, but others that are songs just about life and faith. And God is in the in-between. The more I write, the more I find myself in this position. So I have lots to learn from a group like this.
5. Bon Iver - I have rediscovered this album from earlier in the year. Such a unique sound, and such creatively structured songs. Every song is hooky, but not cheesy. Instead, the hook finds its root in sonic and lyrical depth. Very impressive. And try not to emote during "Holocene," I dare you.
6. Passion Pit - Well-produced, melodic, unique, pop-tastic. This group has everything.
How about you? What are you listening to?