Tuesday, January 15, 2008
It's the first notable new music release day of 2008 here in the States (thanks mostly to the Magnetic Fields), so I thought I'd write a bit about a bunch of albums I'm really looking forward to hearing in the coming calendar year. Hopes are high for many of these, so it'll be interesting to check back with my list when I pull together my next year-end list; not just to see which ones lived up to expectations, but to see how many weren't even on my radar.
As I mentioned, today's the day that the Magnetic Fields release "Distortion" (full stream), along with the "Like Bees" EP from Dirty On Purpose (stream it), so those will keep my ears very occupied until January 29th, when Ida's "Lovers Prayers" arrives on Polyvinyl (Mp3 / preorder here, cd and vinyl). That day also sees the release of a new Joe Jackson album entitled "Rain", and despite his tendency to shift stylistic gears on a dime, I'll always give new JJ releases a shot, just based on his first two 1979 rock records alone. Part of my formative musical years, they were. Another disc out that day that I'm intrigued about is Chris Walla's solo disc, "Field Music" (Mp3), as I'm curious to hear what he sounds like outside the confines of Death Cab For Cutie (and hey, the guy wrote a song titled "David Narcizo").
February brings a bunch more good stuff, including Nada Surf's "Lucky" (Mp3) and Bob Mould's "District Line" (Mp3) on 2/5, and British Sea Power's promising "Do You Like Rock Music?" (Mp3) a week later. Thanks to Merge, I've already heard American Music Club's "The Golden Age", out on 2/19, and it may be as good as anything they've ever done. Still need to spend more time with it, though. Also on Feb. 19th is the Mountain Goats' "Heretic Pride" and Monade's "Monstre Cosmic". For those not aware, Monade is the name that Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier adopted for her own songs, and it has long since evolved from a bedroom project to a full-band experience. I liked 2005's "A Few Steps More" enough to be more than interested in the follow-up. The second month of the year wraps up with Beach House's "Devotion" (Mp3) on the 29th, but the February release I'm most excited about is probably the self-titled debut disc from Maybe It's Reno, which is essentially a Bridget Cross-fronted Unrest reunion. Unrest/Air Miami/Flin Flon mainman Mark Robinson is on guitar and backing vox, and who else but Phil Krauth is behind the drum kit. So look for that on Teenbeat in February, or maybe a month later in...
March looks a bit light at the moment, with new albums from Dan Bejar's Destroyer ("Trouble In Dreams" on 3/11) and Elbow ("The Seldom Seen Kid" at some point), but I just learned that it finishes with a pleasant surprise: The debut album of a band that consists of 3/4ths of the much-missed Hot Snakes, who called it quits in 2005. The new project is called The Night Marchers, they're fronted by the Snakes' John Reis, and will release "See You In Magic" on March 25th (tracklisting at PunkNews). Anything even remotely Hot Snakes/Drive Like Jehu/RFTC-related and I'm there. Speaking of which, vocalist Rick Froberg just unveiled his new band, Obits, over the weekend in NYC, and the show was written up at 17 Dots. So perhaps we'll see new music from those guys in '08 as well.
April starts off strong with, at last, a new album of Sun Kil Moon material ("April" out on 4/1, stream a song here) and some fresh R.E.M. in the form of "Accelerate", also on the day of fools. That'll be followed by releases from some other old friends on the 8th: Billy Bragg gives us "Mr. Love & Justice" and the Breeders deliver "Mountain Battles". Also out sometime in April is M83's "Saturdays".
All I've got noted for May so far is Death Cab For Cutie's not-yet-titled follow-up to "Plans", and Shearwater's "Rook", coming out on Matador. Oh, and that's also the month that Broken Social Scene's Brendan Canning releases his "BSS presents..." solo record. If that measures up to Kevin Drew's solo outing, it'll find itself on my year-end-faves as well. June promises Margot & The Nuclear So And So's first for Epic, "Animal", but not much else this far out.
The rest of the year is a jumble of maybes and don't-know-whens, with hopeful releases from a bunch of my faves. Let's get listy, shall we?:
2008 should bring us more new music from David Bazan's Black Cloud, The Cure, My Bloody Valentine (believe that when I hear it), the "Beautiful Noise" documentary score from Medicine's Brad Laner (howsabout a soundtrack?), The Futureheads, Albert Hammond Jr., Autolux (truly hope so), Built To Spill, Spiritualized, Sigur Ros, The Verve (more "All In The Mind", less "Bittersweet Symphony", please), Will Oldham (there's something being mastered at this very moment), Silver Jews ("Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea" bumped until later '08), Tokyo Police Club (full-lengther on Saddle Creek), The Stills (in the studio right now), and at very long last, The Notwist. Notwist manager Florian Steinleitner responded with a hearty "Yes!" when I asked if we'll be hearing new music from the band this year, and this confirms it. It's been far too long of a wait since 2002's "Neon Golden", so hopefully we'll get a solid release date from City Slang soon.
And lastly, the 2008 arrival I'm most anticipating (and this will not be a shocker) is the September release of The New Year's third disc for Touch & Go. Drummer Chris Brokaw confirmed the album's release month here, and T&G has just put up a placeholder page right here. Oh, catalog number TG324, you and I are going to be spending a lot of time together this autumn, mark my words.
So, what did I miss? There must be some glaring omissions, so go ahead, embarrass me. What single planned 2008 release excites you the most? Even if I mentioned it above, let me know in the comments. But if it's a Boston-based band, hold those horses, as I've got an in-progress post about what a bunch of area faves have planned in the year ahead...
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011
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