The Jezabels

The Jezabels
Dark Storm
101 Distribution, 2010

I may be slightly biased on this one. I really like Australia and most things from Australia. It's just a quirk of mine I guess. The Jezabels are, as you may have guessed, from Australia. Sydney to be exact. And if you're not Australian or weren't just at SXSW, chances are you've probably never heard of them. That's a shame.
To me, The Jezabels sound like The National with Marie Fredriksson of Roxette fronting. I know what you're thinking: "Impossible. Brilliance such as what you describe is unfathomable." Fathom it.
This band hits every one of my musical pressure points and cripples my cynicism like an Aussie Tony Jaa. Echoey, Coldplay-like guitars? Yup. Dark, sulking atmosphere? Believe it. Female vocals? Of course. Bedroom music? Absolutely. You honestly can't lose here.
The standout track hear is without a doubt "A Little Piece". Seriously, it would be worth paying the $4.45 it costs to download this entire EP from Amazon just to have this one song. The rest of the tracks are solid, but "A Little Piece" is on another level. And that level is like sweet ambrosia for my ears.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that any of these songs could easily play during the ending montage of an MTV reality show of your choice. But don't write them off because they're marketable to the mainstream. The Jezabels are way better than 95% of the dreck that's passed off as music here in the States.
If you have a hankerin' for music that's well-crafted, melodic, conducive to sexual encounters and largely non-offensive, then I give you The Jezabels.