Here's three records which have been released this month and are worthy of adding to your ipod this month while it's still here.
Arcade Fire: The Suburbs
Already described by some as the band's masterpiece, Montreal's Arcade Fire have moved away from claustrophobic remnants of Joy Division-esque isolation and closer to Coldplay and MGMT's mainstream territory on 2010's The Suburbs.
The Canadian indie rockers - boasting string arranger Owen Pallett (who has performed on records by Last Shadow Puppets, Mika and Pet Shop Boys) who has added typical orchestral finery to proceedings and none more so than on the glorious Half Light I - offer mature social commentary on their suburban surroundings and upbringing to #1 UK album The Suburbs, something which was scarcely evident on previous efforts Funeral and Neon Bible.
While ardent fans of the group's staple hit Keep The Car Running will be content with the title track's wonderfully catchy The Suburbs and Suburban War, the greater emphasis on ambience and atmosphere in the genius Royksopp meets The Knife type synth-pop of Half Light II (No Celebration) and Moby-like synth-flourishes on the epic Sprawl I and II, presents a fresh, diverse direction for a band higlighting their eclectic poignancy and intellectual lyricism here.
But their best effort on what sounds like a modern day re-incarnation of Fleetwood Mac or The Cars, is We Used To Wait which chimes with its grand piano hook and talks of losing and finding during life.
If you like this, try these: Fleetwood Mac - Mirage, Coldplay - Viva La Vida, MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
The Hoosiers: The Illusion Of Safety
Let's be honest, apart from Goodybe Mr.A, The Hoosiers' cringe-laden attempts to appear somewhere between the irritating "indie pop" output of The Feeling and Hellogoodbye were sickly and pompous on 2007's debut, The Trick To Life.
But while their mad pop resembling Mika and Freddie Mercury still exists on 2010's The Illusion of Safety, the Swedish-English group have taken the best of glam-pop stylings and written some half decent tunes - and lyrics - on their newest LP without whining their way through tedium in Worried About Ray fashion.
Their splattering mixture of uplifting '80s styling synth-pop and indie rock - which is seemingly the popular template for modern indie groups to embrace in today's charts - combined with lyrics of love and rejection which sound euphoric on the synth riff hook-laden hit single Choices and insanely catchy Bumpy Ride, help add to some refined pop songwriting which Gary Barlow or Guy Chambers might adhere to.
Although they still have a tendency to childishly irritate - try the sickly sweet Who Said Anything (About Falling In Love) - and bewilder with their exuberance on their UK #10 charting album, The Hoosiers' have obviously keenly listened to recent solid efforts by Keane, Hot Chip, Owl City and Mika for inspiration on what is a mature improvement, particularly on the emphatic Glorious, the Muse-like pomposity of Little Brutes and the intriguing cover of Say Hello (Wave Goodbye) originally penned by '80s electronic oddballs, Soft Cell.
If you like this, try these: Hot Chip - One Life Stand, Keane - Night Train, Mika - The Boy Who Knew Too Much
One Night Only: One Night Only
Visiting Helmsley in North Yorkshire as a child, I associated it more as a honeypot tourist site with sublime fish and chip shops, pretty North York Moors' scenery in Ryedale and hairy biker types in sweaty leather-clad fair, rather than stereotypical indie pop/rock upstarts.
Yet Helmsley now has another famous product in One Night Only, who after the success of 2008 debut album Started A Fire, boasting the superb #9 UK hit single Just For Tonight, have added to their discography with 2010's self-titled album, One Night Only.
Moving away from the emo/punky three chord staples and naggingly nasal whines of their debut, the Yorkshire lads have instead begun to dabble in humming synth-pop and melodic guitar chords reminiscent of Delphic, Keane and The Killers - particularly on brilliant lead single, Say You Don't Want It, which with its dry lyrics about plastic dreams and consumerism effectively parodies modern life's culture with winning choruses.
But with newfound melodic appreciation and adept chord changes combined with desperately melancholic lyricism - particularly on the Ultravox Vienna meets Keane's A Bad Dream track Never Be The Same and the shimmering fluidity of Nothing Left - they appear to have taken the best musical and vocal elements of prime '80s/'90s Lightning Seeds, New Order, Simple Minds and Tears For Fears and offered them to a modern audience, best heard on the delightful Bring Me Back Down.
So while not straying too far from their guitar heritage, their addition of piano and synthesizers here presents an almost reverse copy of Keane. The only problem is that like Keane and their lead vocalist Tom Chaplin, One Night Only's lead singers have a tendency to emulate their obvious influences with band members George Craig and Mark Hayton often too closely resembling Chaplin, like the cherub-like Keane frontman did when he sounded too much like The Killers' Brandon Flowers on Keane's 2008 #1 album, Perfect Symmetry.
If you like this, try these: Keane - Under The Iron Sea, The Killers - Day & Age, Lightning Seeds - Jollification