I was born in Germany and since being back again a couple of years ago, I've been interested in finding some solid German music that satisfies my understandably North American-ized sensibilities. I've been living here for nearly 20 years now, after all.
Included here are two German bands I've come to enjoy a lot and I'm certainly open to suggestions if anyone else can make other recommendations.
The Notwist sing in English, but you can definitely tell by the accent that they're German. That's never bothered me though because the quality of the music and lyrics has always overwhelmed me. Although the band originally formed in the early 90s as a metal outfit, they've changed their lineup over the years and their sound has been dramatically transformed. Their recent releases revel in dreamy electronics, jazzy instrumentation, and solid pop roots. The two songs here are from their most recent full-length releases, Shrink and Neon Golden. I'd recommend these tunes for fans of Postal Service or Radiohead's Amnesiac.
Wir Sind Helden are apparently known in Germany as a top 40 pop group, but to my ears they have a lot in common with bands like Metric and Stars. The song Wenn Ess Passiert (trans. When It Happens) is from their latest album, Von Hier An Blind, which shows off a much more refined and mature approach than their debut, Die Reklamation. Also the new album's cover art looks like a sweet tribute to Tin Tin.
[mp3] The Notwist - Pick Up The Phone
[mp3] The Notwist - Chemicals
[mp3] Wir Sind Helden - Wenn Ess Passiert
* Buy Neon Golden
* Buy Von Hier An Blind