Brooklyn duo Javelin still flies well below the radar even with an airtight stage gimmick—playing behind a stack of boom boxes that serve as a P.A.—and crafting a sound around the au courant fascination with ‘80s pop ephemera. (Chip-tuned cut "Oh! Centra" heartily samples a cheesed karaoke version of "Push It"). The scrapbook production is the product of both deep imagination and technical skills; the songs are abstract, hazy and from the past, as if the dude from Girl Talk grew up in a more interesting locale (Los Angeles, Berlin) than outside Pittsburgh. They closed their slim Whitney Museum set (weird) with dance track "Moscow 1980"—which rippled with hand claps and Atari sounds.
Sure, we'll mention the fact that Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante liked them so much, he produced their debut album. But the reason we dig all-female trio Warpaint is their gorgeous take on atmospheric dream-pop that's simultaneously swaying and wistful. Sonic peers The xx are getting all the buzz, but we're just as enthusiastic of this group that melds gorgeous vocal harmonies with ethereal melodies. —Matt Rodbard