Cold War Kids
If Cold War Kids take their name from an era famous for political isolationism and walled boundaries, their all-embracing sound could hardly be more opposite: strains of Southern soul and power pop coexist with elements borrowed from British invaders and New Wave revivalists. It's a whole lot to take in from the Fullerton, Calif., upstarts, but the surefooted howl of vocalist Nathan Willett holds everything together. Willett formed the band in 2004 with Matt Aveiro, Matt Maust, and Jonnie Russell, and the group became darlings of the blogosphere shortly after the August 2005 release of their debut EP, Mulberry Street. With energetic live shows and two more EPs, the band continued to gain momentum, spending much of 2006 on the road with kindred indie acts like Tapes 'n Tapes and Editors. After appearing at Lollapalooza in the summer of 2006, they signed to Downtown Records, who released the band's debut full-length Robbers & Cowards in the fall of 2006. Cold War Kids followed up with 2008's Loyalty to Loyalty and 2011's Mine is Yours.