Alaska (or if you are so inclined: alaska!)
With a name like Alaska, you'd think that Alaska would sound more like Alaska.
I see your mouse hovering over the big red X...wait! I'm explaining, I promise.
Certainly every cute-clever-kitschy-intriguing band name brings some accompanying distinctive sound or genre to mind. It may have to do with deconstructivist bullshit about every word conjuring different memories and meanings from individual to individual (see Derrida for more on that), or that could just be the residue of one too many windbag modern philosophy lectures sneaking their way into my posts.
Anyway, I came upon Alaska's Emotions whilst ambling about the rows of used music at Dallas's own CD Source (though I'm apt to think of it as "previously loved" music--there's some great stuff that folks throw out!) I enjoyed it at first listen, but it doesn't exactly sound like the icy tundras, cold lush forests, caribou feeding their young, blackout curtains, and seals doused in Exxon/Valdez oil spillage that I thought it would sound like. (poor seals!)
Actually, there are only a handful of folky lo-fi tracks on Emotions that makes me think "ah, Alaska!" (as if I've ever been there and have something to draw a reference.) Rust and Cyanide, Resistance, and Nightmare* are a few of them, the other tracks are just good rollicking dreamy-pop songs with twinkly and a few synth-y tones sprinkled throughout. Mmm, cupcakes. (?)
It was several years ago that I came across Alaska, and since then they've released another album (actually about a year ago), Rescue Through Tomahawk. Clips can be streamed from their website. There's a decidedly more psychadelic rock feel to it--recommended listen is the rapid-action strumming of Real is Your Control.
(Oh, and for a very pertinent read regarding exclamation point bands, check out what Badminton Stamps has to say.)
A couple of choice tracks from Emotions, for your enjoyment.
+ Alaska - The Western Shore
+ Alaska - Rust and Cyanide
Purchase music by Alaska | Alaska website