Music That Matters: KEXP

I fell in love with the series nearly two years ago during one of my lovely commutes to work for one simple reason - it brings you the most amazing variety of music just in time when you can no longer listen to the same songs you had on your iPod since 2000. Each podcast comes with a theme and a selection of sounds (from nearly every genre imaginable, with a slightly greater love for alternative and indie rock) put together by some of the greatest DJs from Northwest.

Lonely Planet Boy 1969: No Dream Is Good Dream

This Chinese rocker creates awesome music inspired by rock greats Neil Young, Syd Barrett, Tom Waits and Nick Cave, to name a few. Lonely Planet Boy 1969 creates melodic tracks that transcend time and space. No Dream Is Good Dream runs like a 1970s rock album, filled with moody atmosphere, shady, almost whispery, vocals and an awesome indie progressive feel. If there's anything this guy has learned from his influences, it's collating the good and ditching the bad. Each of the 9 tracks exhibit their own personalities; the good, the bad, the quirky and the plain eccentric. Clearly, if you love most of those artists mentioned above, chances are this compilation will become a surprising favorite.

City Breathing: Look How It’s Snowing Upwards, Look How They Move Towards Heaven

Ethereal instrumentalists City Breathing easily captivates with nostalgic tracks. If you think that 9 minutes for a song is just too long, think again. This New York based trio have cultivated a new meaning for nostalgia by creating tracks that capture your attention even if they go way pass your regular attention span. Made up of Arun Antonyraj, Marwan Kanafani and Ron Tucker; the band creates epic post rock crescendos, hypnotic atmosphere and ethereal sound that sweeps you off your feet. Look How It's Snowing Upwards, Look How They Move Towards Heaven (yes, that's the entire title) was recorded some time in 2008. A beautiful album that any post-rock lover will enjoy.

Monoh: Porno EP

Monoh is a quiet, trippy and sweet sounding band from Spain. Although it's hard to gather up information about these guys, their debut EP is quite interesting. It's full of melodic trip-hop pop sounds that makes you think of a happier Sneaker Pimps. Their collection of 5 tracks in their EP showcase very sweet vocals, all playing against a diversity of weird instruments. The compilation is filled with a range of sounds from happy, slightly danceable music to somber and dark atmospheres. If you like trip hop with a touch of sweetness, then take a listen to this EP. Porno EP is under a creative commons license and is available for download in Jamendo, right here on Frostclick or from the group's Myspace Page.

The Shark Bubbles: Necktie Troublespot

Call it noise rock, psychedelic electronic dance pop or indie spacerock, whatever it is, Necktie Troublespot by The Shark Bubbles is, well, something else. This German band's music has been likened to those of great rockers The Velvet Underground, and it's not just the Nico-esque female vocals we're talking about. Necktie Troublespot is an eclectic album filled with uncharacteristic song arrangements, diverse instrument work and music that appeals to your senses.

Frau: Starlit Carousel

To say that this girl blows my mind is a complete understatement. The first time I came across this artist was from an Aaahh Records blog. The voice behind this record is actually an Indonesian singer. Ironically, she has named herself after the German word for woman, Frau. Starlit Carousel is her first album and is a beautiful compilation that features English as well as Indonesian tracks. If you love broadway musicals and can sincerely appreciate gorgeous vocal work; then you should listen to this album. Even if you don't understand the Indonesian songs, you'll definitely appreciate it still. It's hard not to rave about this album because every single piece of pop, jazz, theater/broadway inspired track is simply lovely. Plus, the voice is stunning. Besides, who can resist that cool album cover anyway? Check it out for yourself.

Absent Feet: Soonrise

Relative newcomers, Absent Feet, has come out with their 5 track short album, Soonrise, through Jamendo. The album is filled with pop rock tracks that resound with slightly alternative pop vocals. Though they might look like the newest boyband on the block, the group's first foray into the indie music scene is actually worth checking out. Definitely an album that won't disappoint pop rockers out there.

Maria Rodes: Sin Tecnica (Without Art)

Spanish singer and songwriter, Maria Rodes, has released her latest album, Sin Tecnica. Now, I know that you might not want to listen to an album where English isn't the main language, but trust me, this is a worthy album. Maria Rodes creates folkpop indie acoustic tracks with a slightly alternative edge. Her voice is beautiful and her compositions and melodies are very pretty. Her tracks masquerade in simplicity yet are very rich and diverse.

Rushus: Stories

Dreamy instrumental and experimental jazz from a Russian trio. Stories is a reflective compilation that is filled with whimsical melodies that makes you wish all instrumental music was created this way. Aptly described by one reviewer as "a fine collection of intelligent jazz tracks;" the compilation features experimental, progressive music with touches of blues and jazz. Rushus is primarily made up of Ilya Lipkin, guitar player extraordinaire. He's accompanied by two equally talented individuals, Evgeniy Tkachev on percussion and Vladimir Nikulin playing bass. Together, they create this sonic fusion of instrumental jazz that is filled with melodic rhythms and unconventional beats. Stories isn't just perfect for a Saturday night, it serves as great background music for almost any relaxing, quiet afternoon.