Jaga Jazzist - What We Must
The hype: The noble lords of Asgard dispatch a brace of fusion-minded Vikings to ransack your mind.
Now that the honeymoon is over: Sounds more and more like Chicago
Why we're still together: Makes me wanna go out and get a French Horn
Bonny 'Prince' Billy & Matt Sweeney - Superwolf
The hype: His long-awaited new record finally came down from on high to us dedicated worshippers
Now that the honeymoon is over: Every album by him is long awaitedn but he is going to have to be a little more prolific if he wants me to stay current on my cult membership dues.
Why we're still together: This album is still fantastic. Stripped down without being implausibly spare, rocks out with out being overblown.
Architecture in Helsinki - In Case We Die
The hype: Wacky band of Australian theatre pirates board ship and steal you heart.
Now that the honeymoon is over: Would not be entirely wrong in describing this as the Wiggles for adults.
Why we're still together: So damn buoyant and cheery and adorable, but in a strappy aggressive way
Vic Chesnutt - Ghetto Bells
The hype: The new/old Grand old man of indie rock deliveres his most refined work yet, enlisting a dream team of participants including Bill Frisell and Van Dyke Parks.
Now that the honeymoon is over: You start to feel like you are sitting with your uncle, listening to his old Victrola, while he schools you on Steven Sondheim and why he's brilliant. Its cool for the first half hour, but...
Why we're still together: Vic can pull off that vaudeville shtick like no-one else. Really, its like listening to a dream.
Boris - Akuma No Uta
The hype: Japanese metal supergods destroy my own personal Tokyo and make me embrace my inner metalhead
Now that the honeymoon is over: Does one really have a honeymoon in a blood ritual?
Why we're still together: Its like gravity itself, its pull is inescapable.
Four Tet - Everything's Ecstatic
The hype: finally some validation that the Boredoms Vision Creation Newsun album is as big a musical leap forward as I think it is. Four Tet takes it and runs with it hanging out of their/his funky back pocket.
Now that the honeymoon is over: Not over yet.
Why we're still together: Because I am working 70 hour weeks and this album is one of the few that is recently getting my blood pumping.
Sufjan Stevens - Illinoise
The hype: The poet laureate of indie rock issues his second fantastic album in his series about all 50 states.
Now that the honeymoon is over: Perhaps a touch too "Up With People" this go around
Why we're still together: Perhaps I'm a touch too "Down With People" lately, and this gives me hope for humanity
Drunk Horse - In Tongues
The hype: Loud rude Zz-Top worshipping classic rock neo-throwbacks topple my pussy indie rock ivory tower and remind me what the rock part of indie rock distantly refers to.
Now that the honeymoon is over: Some truly cringeworthy lyrics bubble to the surface on this thing
Why we're still together: Foo Fighters is all "heavy meta" now and I needed a New "New Cheap Trick" to keep me going.
Okay - High Road
The hype: Homebound artist channels his suffering and hope into a poetic and beautiful singular listening experience.
Now that the honeymoon is over: His voice sounds like the psychic from Poltergeist. "Come into the light, Carol Anne"
Why we're still together: Still, one guy alone is greater than a staff of professionals in creating a beautiful work of art.
Electrelane (pictured up above) - Axes
The hype: Four ladies from Brighton, a freight train and Steve Albini walk into a bar and the bartender says what will you have, and they say, "Nothing, we are going to kick your ass with this awesome mostly instrumental record!"
Now that the honeymoon is over: Has about as much humor in it as the above joke.
Why we're still together: This album further distills the Albini clear liquor moonshine rock he's famous for producing to create some elemental brilliance.
Alex V. Cook listens to everything and writes about most of it. His latest book, the snappily titled Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana's Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks, and Dance Halls is an odyssey from the backwoods bars and small-town dives to the swampside dance halls and converted clapboard barns of a Louisiana Saturday Night. Don't leave Heathrow without it. His first book Darkness Racket and Twang is available from SideCartel. The full effect can be had at alex v cook.com