Here they are:
"Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People: I've always been somewhat entertained by the idea of "lyrical dissonance" in music, and "Pumped Up Kicks" is one such example of a newer song that uses this technique. The lyrics are very grim, as they are (probably) about someone going on a shooting spree, yet the music suggests something upbeat and danceable (though still with minor chords), slightly similar to Peter, Bjorn, and John's song "Young Folks". The title is also a bit deceiving, as "Pumped Up Kicks" sounds like it should be about dancing (or perhaps one of many strange metaphors for sexual intercourse), but it isn't. Clearly, Foster the People are a clever band if they can manage to come up with material like this!
"Roll Away Your Stone" by Mumford and Sons: It appears as though London's favorite Irish-sounding indie-folk-rock quartet are back a THIRD time around on the adult alt charts!! I adore the intro of this song, with its rhythm matching that of a typical "Irish jig" (and, also, the rhythm of the "Spongebob Squarepants" theme song), but once the vocals kick in and the rhythm speeds up, I can't help but think that American audiences probably WANTED this to be the third major Mumford and Sons song, as it really just sounds like a combination of the rhythm of "Little Lion Man" and the chords of "The Cave". M & S are really a much more diverse band than that, with the lively, muted-trumpet-dominated sound of "Winter Winds", the melancholy, regretful "White Blank Page", and even a sound that evokes Springsteen's "Nebraska" in "After the Storm". That being said, though, "Roll Away Your Stone" is certainly not a bad song, it just makes me a little afraid that if it gets popular enough that some American audiences will begin complaining that Mumford and Sons' songs all "sound the same", which, if you listen to the examples of the (currently) lesser known M & S songs I listed, you will find that such is not the case!
"The Last Crusade" by Sam Roberts: Canadian rocker Sam Roberts is a very eclectic one from what I've heard in his material so far, which includes the upbeat roots-y indie pop/rock of "Them Kids", and piano-rocker "Detroit '67". So how does his latest song, "The Last Crusade", fare in comparison?! Well, I think it's even better than those songs are, personally!! It seems to come off as a grittier, edgier version of some of the more "jam band"-oriented songs from The Dave Matthews Band (think "What Would You Say?", "Too Much", etc.) It fuses jazz, blues, and rock effortlessly like the typical DMB song, yet the "alternative" vibe that Sam Roberts tends to give off in this song is purely his own! We need more musically diverse songs/bands/artists like this in today's musical climate, I think!