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Caribou, from The Milk of Human Kindness (Domino)

This gleeful comeback track from the Ontario artist formerly known as Manitoba further blurs the boundaries between laptop electronica, indie rock and psychedelic pop. It's still not clear how Dan Snaith's songs cohere so well, but we don't need to understand the equation E=mc{+2} to know that nukes blow up real good.

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It's For You

Out Hud, from Let Us Never Speak of It Again (Kranky)

The disco-punk revival is all about getting indie kids to dance, so see if your too-cool compadres can resist the synth grooves, diva coos and heavy breathing on this Brooklyn band's latest dance-floor filler.

Eastside Story

Nas featuring Styles P and Notorious B.I.G., from The Prophecy (Independent; available at

The Game's multi-platinum debut boasted mind-blowing production marred only by the Compton rapper's lacklustre flow. So mix-tape DJ Statik Selektah swiped the gangsta upstart's Westside Story beat and added New York's finest MCs, including a lost verse from the late Biggie Smalls.

How Do I Let A Good Man Down?

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Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, from Naturally (Daptone)

The neo-soul scene may emulate the past, but don't settle for a facsimile. Jones spits out the real retro deal on this bass-plucked album opener, fusing funky instrumentation with a gospel-fried vocal about ditching the good guy for a bad apple.

Are You Ready

Blue Rodeo, from Are You Ready (Warner)

Two decades into their run, the Toronto roots-rockers have, well, returned to their roots. The titular song of their 10th studio album transforms Greg Keelor's eulogy to his father from a mournful ballad on his solo album into a blues-rocker befitting a whisky-and-cigarette-soaked Irish wake.

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