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In Under the Wire

Every year while compiling a list of the year's best CDs there's inevitably a gem I completely miss... and kick myself for missing. Last year it was Shearwater; in 2005 it was the Shout Out Louds. Arcade Fire's Funeral would have been my number one CD for 2004 if I'd heard it earlier. Same with Juana Molina's Segundo in 2003.

This year, I'm hoping I avoided a painful miss by being lucky enough to hear, at the 11th hour, a band called Le Loup. They released an album in September, but I only heard it a week ago... and immediately loved it. The more I've listened, the higher it's crept up my list for the year's best.

If you like Animal Collective or Panda Bear or any other band that shreds traditional pop and rock formulas (and reassembles the pieces in startling arrangements), then you'll love Le Loup. Their CD is the so-obviously titled, The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly.

You can hear the cut "Planes Like Vultures" from our recent Second Stage profile of the group.