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Ads that rock

The Heavy, Modern Music, The Blue Van, and other bands behind notable new commercials

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Viewers with itchy TiVo trigger fingers, beware: You may be missing some excellent new music — in between your favorite shows. In recent months, indie favorites like Phoenix (Cadillac), Grizzly Bear (Volkswagen), and the Temper Trap (Diet Coke, Chrysler, Rhapsody) have popped up in ads, and now a new crop of lesser-known acts are finding a national stage via TV spots. Read on for our take on some of the most notable new commercial tunes.

Target
Modern Music’s ”Untitled” The airy, Britpop-ish ditty for the chain’s colorful Liberty of London line was created expressly for the spot by a Minneapolis-based production company (also behind memorable tracks for Budweiser and State Farm). B+
Where to find the song Nowhere yet, unfortunately, although they’re working on a full-length version, which they’re hoping to release (pending Target’s permission).

Kia Sorento
The Heavy’s ”How You Like Me Now?” Life-size children’s toys, including the Yo Gabba Gabba! character Muno and a giant sock monkey, live the PG-13 dream (tattoo parlors! Las Vegas! coed hot-tubbing!), all accompanied by English funk-soul outfit the Heavy’s strutting, horn-laden anthem. (It’s also recently shown up on Entourage and Community.) A
Where to find the song On 2009’s The House That Dirt Built.

iPAD
The Blue Van’s ”There Goes My Love” The Danish blues-rockers’ sing-along lures Apple fans in a giddy ”Oh, the iFun we’ll have!” teaser trailer for the upcoming gadget. A-
Where to find the song On 2009’s Man Up.

Volvo
Miss Li’s ”Oh Boy” Two frisky female passengers in red Volvos switch clothes, accessories — and, it seems, boyfriends — to the piano bop of the Swedish songstress (whose ”Bourgeois Shangri-la” appeared in an iPod ad last year). B
Where to find the song On 2006 import Late Night Heartbroken Blues.

Acura ZDX
Bajofondo’s ”Pa’ Bailar” A prettily bobbed brunette in a crowded cityscape has eyes only for the ZDX — and ears for the Argentinean-Uruguayan collective Bajofondo’s sultry electro-tango ”Pa’ Bailar.” B+
Where to find the song On 2008’s Mar Dulce.

Kindle
Marcus Ashley and Annie Little’s ”Stole My Heart” L.A. actress/songstress Little, who also starred in and sang for a much-run stop-motion Kindle ad during the holidays, returns with this tinkly-twee duet sequel. B-
Where to find the song On a forthcoming EP. ”Fly Me Away,” from the first ad, is an Amazon MP3 exclusive.

Overstock.com
Jason Castro’s ”Let’s Just Fall in Love Again” Young expectant parents feather their nest to a pleasantly strummy, whistle-strewn number courtesy of — holy dreadlock! — the season 7 Idol alum. B+
Where to find the song On this year’s The Love Uncompromised EP.