Lightspeed Champion, ‘Life Is Sweet! Nice to Meet You’ (Domino)
With his 2008 solo debut, this Houston-born, U.K.-raised, and now New York–based singer-songwriter left behind noise-dance trio Test Icicles to become an Anglo-accented Bright Eyes. Here, Devonté Hynes pens an indie-rock passion play that picks up the tempo and spotlights his thespian skills. Overenunciated diction? Check. Scenery-chewing delivery? Check. Violin orgies and curtain-call-worthy choruses? Check, check. Crying “Kill me, baby, won’t you kill me” with characteristic overstatement and newfound catchiness, this quintessential outsider may not win back his sadistic sweetheart, but he’s found a far moreflattering mask.
MORE ON SPIN.COM: Find out the story behind the name Lightspeed Champion