The Trials of Van Occupanther
This is the second album by Midlake, a band from Denton, Texas (Centro-matic's home town), and what a great build on the debut it is. Although the band are often compared to Grandaddy and the Flaming Lips, their musical style is closer to OK Computer's Radiohead or Sufjan Stevens, mixed through a healthy dose of 1970s Crosby Stills Nash and Young.
Thematically, the album explores a paean for a time when labour and toil was the core of a well-lived life, but that doesn't change the wonder of the music in here. This is a gorgeous album, filled with classic and elegant songwriting, beautifully performed, and will hearten the soul of anyone for whom Grandaddy were just a little bit weedy. Midlake are a handy reminder that there are some remarkable bands around, just off the normal radar.
If I were you, I'd be buying this ahead of Thom Yorke's album.