First up is Neko Case's new endeavor, Middle Cyclone. I did a review of it a few days ago, and I HIGHLY recommend this album. It's alt-country, but still carves a niche of it's own.
Next is the highly anticipated The Hazards of Love from The Decemberists. I've been following Colin Meloy's Twitter, and he is psyched about this album. The premise is a rock opera-type story, featuring a girl named Margaret. The story is convoluted and twisted, and the band had to make a wall chart to keep everything straight. But even for all that, this album vastly outshines all of their previous efforts. It combines a moving story with incredible music and vocals, something which is scarce in this age of hit singles. It's my humble opinion that an album should be a cohesive project, not just a bunch of singles thrown together, and I think The Decemberists share that opinion.
Both of these albums are worth a listen (or two or three or four, etc.)