Their initial claim to fame is that their guitarist is Tom Conrad, formerly of The Academy Is. However, Empires is a legitimately separate entity from that band, and I think they might really make waves with their pop-rock tunes.
The Morning Of.
These kids have seen a lot of hype recently, and with good reason. Bouncy pop songs with dual male/female vocals, their album is a good time all around.
City And Colour.
The acoustic side project of Alexisonfire frontman Dallas Green. This is his second album as City And Colour, and it's completely breathtaking.