The Delays: Thank you, jazzypoet, for reminding me to look these folks up! New band, as far as I can tell. Very lovely. Reminiscent of Cocteau Twins and The Sundays, but more accessible than the former and deeper than the latter. A happy medium.
Dogs Die in Hot Cars: Gloriously continuing the trend of "new bands that sound like '80s bands," DDIHC sounds mostly like XTC, and sometimes like Madness, and their tunes are quite infectious. (Check out "Celebrity Sanctum" for a particularly cute example--though what is he saying in the chorus? "Hilo, hilo, hilo, why don't you come home"? "Hiyo"? "Why don't"? Hm. Anyway.) They are apparently Scottish, like a fair handful of other good bands. Plus, you have to appreciate how they have a public service announcement as their name.
Cinerama: OK, apparently Cinerama has been around for years, so I don't know where I've been. But anyway, this is the newer project of David Gedge of The Wedding Present, and reminds me mostly of Pulp--though it's seldom quite that brilliant. Easily palatable for any Britpop fan, though; and has some endearing self-conscious lyrics-- "And darling, I just can't think clearly / It happens when I'm in your arms / And my heart is pounding / How pathetic is this sounding?" (From "Your Charms")
The Arcade Fire: These folks can be a little yelpy in their singing (like Pixies, kind of), which isn't always my thing. But they are growing on me, thanks to their gorgeous instrumentation. "Crown of Love" may be my favorite track so far. In the last 60 seconds it morphs absurdly and wonderfully into something you'd swear was Electric Light Orchestra right off the Xanadu soundtrack. And you already know I'm soft on that.
I have the feeling I may soon be adding Her Space Holiday and Air to this list, once I get more familiar with them. (Her Space Holiday's "Sleepy California" is one of the few songs this year to ever make me feel misty just listening to the lyrics.)
And on the quasi-classical side, you already know about the soundtrack to Cold Mountain, right? Thanks to kenshi for reminding me of that one. :)
Right ho. Enjoy.