I could just skip over this new release because a) you should already know about Sigur Rós, and b) the album is not significantly different than any of their other releases. But it's a truly wonderful listening experience and it feels like the right time for a gorgeous, dreamy, escapist album. Stuck at work on a summer afternoon? Put this album in your headphones and the afternoon will fly by. Feeling some road rage while stuck in traffic? This one will calm you down, Valtari is a blissful state of mind that can be achieved anywhere, even on a congested highway. Sigur Rós - Valtari: Amazon :: iTunes :: Official Site ($5 right now at Amazon. Seriously.)
Although I hope most readers have heard of Sigur Rós, I have no such delusions about recommendation #2, the album Threads by Minneapolis trio Now, Now. Two girls on guitar (one also the vocalist), and a guy drummer already makes them unique. If you need a big name to convince you, they were signed by Chris Walla (guitarist for Death Cab For Cutie) to his label Trans Record. I love their breathy vocals and smart lyrics over quirky music that doesn't sound like everything else out there. They appear to be on tour right now, try to catch them.