Comps have a reputation for being music's microwave dinners: an easy, cheap, somewhat embarrassing way to fill up. Drop the preconceptions for this 31-track compilation hatched by the National's Aaron and Bryce Dessner for Red Hot, the HIV/AIDS charity behind 1993's No Alternative.
It features top-shelf exclusive original and cover tracks by softer-side-of-indie acts currently riding a wave of relevance. The usual CanCon suspects appear: Kevin Drew, Arcade Fire, Feist, Buck 65.
Standout cuts include disc one's bookends. Knotty Pine, David Byrne's collaboration with Dirty Projectors, is brilliant, while Sufjan Stevens takes a break from his state-by-state U.S. exploration to deliver a stunning cover of the Castanets' You Are The Blood.
Expect every depressed store manager along Queen to loop these discs.
Top tracks: Knotty Pine