Peter Bjorn and John
You gotta hand it to Peter Bjorn and John: They don’t give a squirt. On the heels of a breakthrough single that was probably stuck in your head longer than you would have liked (“Young Folks”), the Swedish trio went and made the most out-there album of 2009. Living Thing sounds like a fake album that was leaked before the real album: a startling juxtaposition of thunderous piano notes, weird vocals, mangled instrumental textures and — mired in the muck — inspired melodies from an alternate universe. The jangle-pop of previous PB&J releases is mostly absent, replaced with avant-garde future funk and experimental pop. The group’s Lawrence show is a one-off headlining date amid a tour with Depeche Mode. Expect a stadium-caliber translation of an album that we’re all still wrapping our heads around.