Project Playlist: Chamber Pop

Future Perfect Radio has over 25 channels, thousands of artists and even more songs. It's a lot to take in and maybe it's tough to find your feet. That's where Project Playlist comes in. At (ir)regular intervals, we'll break out one of our channels and post the first 10 tracks that come up. This way, you get a more in-depth look at what's playing on our channels!

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1. Tarkio - "Devil's Elbow"

Colin Meloy, pre-Decemberists (though the differences are minimal). The group released two albums before disbanding in 1999 -- I Guess I Was Hoping for Something More and the EP Sea Songs for Landlocked Sailors. They were combined in Omnibus, which was released in 2006.

2. My Brightest Diamond - "Feelin' Good"

This beautifully haunting cover comes off of the Dark Was the Night compilation, the 20th in the Red Hot series. The album is jam-packed with big indie names (Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens, Iron & Wine, The Decemberists, Jose Gonzalez) but My Brightest Diamond's contribution is one of the most notable.

3. Brendan Canning - "Snowballs & Icicles"

Another chapter in the Broken Social Scene Presents series, "Snowballs & Icicles" comes from founding member Brendan Canning's Something for All of Us... LP. It's a quick track, but the accompanying thoughtful feeling lingers for much longer.

4. Dirty on Purpose - "Send Me an Angel"

Dirty on Purpose, though sadly now defunct, was a Brooklyn shoegaze/chamber pop fusion group that brilliantly meshed post-rock and alternative influences. "Send Me an Angel," a Real Life cover, was a stand-out track on the group's Like Bees EP--their last physical release.

5. The Dears - "Life or Death We Want You"

"Nobody wants you / But we want you..." sings Murray Lightburn in the deliciously creepy track from The Dears. The Montreal group released the track in their 2006 album Gang of Losers. Lightburn's dynamic vocals never fail to impress, and "Life of Death We Want You" is no exception.

6. The Rural Alberta Advantage -- "The Deadroads"

Seems you can't go very far nowadays without running into these rurally-nostalgic chaps from Toronto. They're clearly the band of the moment and "The Deadroads" was the track that justified the hype surrounding The Rural Alberta Advantage. There's a bit of The Shins going on, with a quick upbeat foundation, matched with Nils Edenloff's ever-pained vocals. It comes from the group's Hometowns debut, soon to be a fixture in many "Best of 2009" lists (even though it originally came out in late 2008, just sayin').

7. Belle and Sebastian - "I Fought in a War"

No chamber or twee pop list is complete without a tip of the hat to Belle and Sebastian in some way. In this case, the influential Scottish group has shown up in person with their classic "I Fought in a War" track off their 2000 album, Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant.

8. Loney, Dear - "Hard Days"

Before Emil Svanängen was taking the world by storm with Loney, Dear's Dear John, he was wowing Sub Pop audiences with glittering tracks like this one off his 2007 LP Loney, Noir.

9. Windsor for the Derby - "Fallen off the Earth"

A wonderfully spaced-out groove from Tampa's ambient outfit Windsor for the Derby. The track comes off of the group's latest LP, How We Lost.

10. The Aluminum Group - "Two-Bit Faux Construction"

These guys have been pushing chamber pop since before it was cool. Chicago's The Aluminum Group formed in the early '90s, releasing their third album Pedals (on which "Two-Bit Faux Construction" appeared) in 1999. It remains one of (if not the) group's best albums to date.