Collage titled Orphans of the Storm by Joseph Cornell, 1971
One of my favorite indie-pop albums of the last decade is Palomar III: Revenge of Palomar. There are a few things that Palomar does really well - for one thing, Rachel Warren's voice has that conversational sound to it that I'm really drawn to. Another thing is that they understand pop arrangements - layering vocals and sounds, adding and subtracting embellishing elements, giving a pop song a dynamic and flow.
For instance, "Fried Palomari" employs handclaps in a really cool way - it's handclap minimalism. There are a total of eight handclaps in this two-minute song - a couple claps after the first verse to signal the beginning of the first instrumental break. Then they come back at the end of the second verse when a second, longer guitar solo section begins - in this section, there's two quick claps each time the arrangement of the instrumental break shifts. They work like signposts for shifts in the song - they're not a dominant part of the arrangement, but they are the first thing I think of when I think of this song. It's an effective technique.
"Fried Palomari" by Palomar