I think I'm ready to fill in my butterfly ballot for album of the year. That would be London-based Micachu & The Shapes, Jewellry. It came out two days ago on Rough Trade UK, and will be out next month in the US. Micachu (Mica Levi) is something like 21 years old, and this is already brilliant jangly, experimenting anti-pop DIY punk-pop. Hell, nobody knows what to call it. Micachu gave a stab and called it "hillbillie pop," which a bandmate immediately rejected.
Micachu's debut album contains a lovely androgynous voice, a Harry Partch-inspired guitar-like invention Micachu calls a "chu," producer Matthew Herbert, and hacked melodies that are really like nothing else in pop music. They're apparently already gaga over her in the UK (a sample: "Every time I think about Micachu a little bit of excitable wee comes out").
Here's a review from the Irish Times. A sniffy BBC review here. If you can make it download from her MySpace page, try Micachu's "Filthy Friends" mixtape too.
Fluxblog has one of my favorite tracks, "Calculator." Also try "Golden Phone" from here.
I'm completely smitten. Record of the year... but... it is a butterfly ballot.