The Cold War Kids are an indie band that, to me, have always belonged with the likes of Death Cab for Cutie, The White Stripes, and The Flaming Lips–they’re easily talented and accessible enough to hit MTV (and indeed they have), but at the same time they possess a unique enough voice that they don’t sound like all the other pop music you’ll find there. Part of the reason is their slightly off-kilter rythms, but let’s not kid ourselves: Nathan Willett’s vocals are now, and have always been, extraordinary. They’re weird, passionate, painful, harsh and wonderful. The band took a wrong turn in 2009 by releasing an album on Universal that was neither indie nor interesting, but their too-late-for-2009 (December 21) iTunes only release is back on the Downtown label. Excellent. Don’t stray again, boys.