I'll sit on the Spoon and Art Brut leaks until I've had time to ruminate. (Hint: one of them is boring, and the other one is awesome.) I'm also giving Kings of Leon a couple more chances to strike me before I give my final answer.
The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autumns And Fifteen Winters
Good stuff. As with Art Brut, one of the main appeals of their music is their singer's outrageous accent. Seriously. It really sells the lyrics, draws attention to words because of the "odd" (to me) pronunciation. The album as a whole is a little ponderous for my taste, but lead track "Cold Days from the Birdhouse" is a show-stopper, and a mortal lock to be one of my favorite songs of the year.
The National - Boxer
Saw them with Arcade Fire, and remembered "hey... they exist!" Good band, good music. But I feel the same way about Boxer that I do about Alligator... I know it's good and all, but it's not really grabbing me. It's too mellow. ("Abel" from Alligator is the only song of theirs that really gets my attention.) I may come around later on this one.
Noisettes - What's The Time Mr. Wolf?
Came out of nowhere for me. First, they were a huge surprise live. They pack a punch, considering it's just a lady, a guitarist and a drummer. Then I checked out their album, which I figured wouldn't be as good as their show... lo and behold, it is. Fun stuff. The singer is an Ani DiFrancolyte, though not all the time... she can definitely sing, that much is clear. Still, I think the real talent in the band is their guitarist. That dude can rock. Not in like a flashy Steve Vai sense, but in the sense that he's really, really competent. He's not just noodling or "experimenting with dissonance." It's very polished. On the whole, they remind me of the White Stripes, but with a little more groove to them... both bands are a showcase for the lonely, unadorned electric guitar.