“Gimme something to look forward to,” Britt Daniel sang on Spoon’s 2002 album, Kill The Moonlight. And with every new year, there’s a great list of upcoming releases by musicians to impatiently look forward to with every blog post on “Band A” or “Band B.” Spoon is one of those groups that’s bound to get a lot of bloggers head over heels as the days approaching the release of Tansference dwindle.
However, I won’t be taking too much time to discuss Spoon or some of the other overly-blogged-about bands. Rather, I’ll try and grasp a handful of acts that didn’t make the cut over at numerous other music blogs, with a tidy little round up of fan favorite groups with new releases at the very end. Enjoy:
Juiceboxxx – Thunder Zone Vol. 1 (January):
Milwaukee’s Juiceboxxx has been toiling away for eight years now and racking up fans right and left with his deliriously chaotic, intense and just plain fun live shows. Juiceboxxx will kick off what may look to be an impressive year for the rapper by dropping his mixtape, Thunder Zone Vol. 1, in January. Calling in friends from all across the states, Thunder Zone should hopefully introduce Juiceboxxx to a mass of new fans.*
Dinowalrus – % (January 19):
This Brooklyn trio revisit the world of “weird” that’s been missing from many an indie rock band since Butthole Surfers first called it a day. Beyond the strange noises, skronk-fueled jams and hazy electronics lies a bed of pop delirium for the intrepid listener. Here’s hoping that % will push things further.
Imperial China – Phosphenes (February 14):
Imperial China’s Methods: took the angular “D.C. sound,” sprinkled it with electronics, crammed it all in a blender, pressed “puree” and then reconstructed the results into a mathy little EP. From the sound of “Go Where Airplanes Go,” the lead-off song from the trio’s debut album, the group looks to continue experiment with a brand of post-punk as beloved as it is visceral. Packed with dubbed electronics and syncopated drumming, “Go Where Airplanes Go,” and Phosphenes, could conceivably put D.C. punk back in the national spotlight.
Food For Animals – TBA (February):
D.C. hip-hop noiseniks Food For Animals dropped some dark, jerky and fresh beats and rhymes on 2008′s Belly. Since then, the group has been keeping quite, with its members working on their own little side projects. A couple months back, this brief message appeared on their blog:
Slow progress, but the new FFA album is almost done. February release!
The timing couldn’t be more perfect. The group’s oft-unsettling instrumentals and lyrical scope that gives equal weight to socio-political-economic issues and existential crises offers and even-handed look at many problems our society faces. As our collective issues have amassed in great numbers since Belly was released, there’s bound to be riot of sound on FFA’s new album.*
Balmorhea – Constellations (February 23):
The Austin acoustic act’s 2009 album, All is Wild, All is Silent, was overlooked in countless end-of-the-year lists. Packed with beautiful instrumental overtures and the spare wordless chant, All is Wild was probably lost in the pack of acoustically-inclined folk albums that appear every year. As long as Constellations can hold on to the standard the band created on All is Wild, 2009 could be a strong year for Balmorhea.
Extra Life – Made Flesh (March):
Extra Life’s 2008 album, Secular Works, was a revelation. At a time when so many “indie” acts churned out blasé and boring songs, the Brooklyn quintet mixed Gregorian chants, mathy chord progressions, classical instrumentation, art-punk change-ups and hardcore-worthy bashings for a heady, vibrant sound. Made Flesh could put Extra Life into the indie limelight, as the band’s complex compositions rival that of newfound indie gems, The Dirty Projectors, but with a whole lot more teeth.
Joie De Vivre – The North End (March):
The second wave emo revival sound looks to hit a full swing in 2010, with Rockford, Ill. natives Joie De Vivre leading the way. Hardly just another act influenced by Mineral, The Promise Ring and Pedro The Lion, The North End looks to explore the depth and aural beauty of Joie De Vivre’s cathartic, sweeping sound.
(off their Summer Months EP)
The Dillinger Escape Plan – Option Paralysis (March 23):
Dillinger Escape Plan is one band that’s hard to pin down. Just as the group’s lineup seems to change at the drop of a hat, their sound has evolved and done cartwheels around the curious musical space known as “metalcore.” The musical progression from 2004′s Miss Machine to 2007′s Ire Works was a feat in and of itself: By its genuine creation, Option Paralysis should offer one of the strangest, most engrossing first listens of 2010.
Medications – Completely Removed (April):
Medications have been keeping quiet since 2005′s Your Favorite People All In One Place. Too quiet. The group’s post-punk angularity mixed well with their pop-friendly songwriting, so it’s been something of a loss to not hear anything new from the band all these years. According to the folks at Dischord, it seems like their new album will be an entirely different beast:
Completely Removed represents a bit of a departure from the band’s signature off kilter rockers and dives headlong into more uncharted waters with what we think are absolutely thrilling results
Sounds like… well, who knows!
Beauty Pill – TBA (TBA):
Beauty Pill’s Chad Clark has been keeping pretty busy lately. Hopefully, there will be some time for him to put out the follow up to the brilliant 2004 album, The Unsustainable Lifestyle. The band put a rough cut of “Ann The Word,” a song from the forthcoming new album, online a couple of years back, but little else has been made widely available by the band. As long as the other new songs meet the band’s gold standard, Beauty Pill’s new album will be a guaranteed need-to-listen-to record.
Future Islands – TBA (TBA):
Future Islands is a Baltimore-based synth-pop trio that made a sweet little album in 2008 by the name of Wave Like Home. Though the album is filled with a twee-like simplicity, a current of mega-pop runs through every bombastic blast of bass and vocals that pop out of it. The group has been working on a new album for a little while, and it looks like 2010 the world may come to know the synthesized sonic sensation that Futures Islands can produce.
Maritime – TBA (TBA):
A few years have passed since Maritime released the double onslaught of We, the Vehicles (2006) and Heresy and the Hotel Choir (2007). Fortunately, it looks like 2010 may be time for another album by the Milwaukee quartet. The group recently played Lincoln Hall in December and performed some new material, all of it in the same vein of the irresistible indie pop of the group’s previous material. No word on when the new material will come out, but it will be a welcome addition to the great work the band has already put out.*
Monument – TBA (TBA/Summer 2010):
D.C.’s Monument managed to fulfill a task dozens upon dozens of like-minded bands have failed to do with a single 7″: Capture the imaginative essence that made The Promise Ring such a (depending on the listener, guilty) pleasure. The group is set to release their full length this summer, and with the wave of bands emulating emo’s mid-90s heyday, they should be riding that wave to whatever glory they see fit.
Until then, you can grab Monument’s full discography here.
Tigers Jaw – TBA (TBA):
This scrappy Pennsylvanian quintet is another act leading the charge in the second wave emo revival. However, as their “Spirit Desire” single showed, they’re not merely retracing emo’s footsteps, but re-imagining it and moving it in new directions. The intimacy and sincerity are back, and a healthy dose of hip-hop worthy beat-making thrown in to boot (at least on “Spirit Desire”). Who knows what the new record will sound like, but if the group continues to travel on the path they set on “Spirit Desire,” it’ll be something great.
Other Notable Forthcoming Releases:
OK Go – Of the Blue Colour of the Sky (January 12)
Spoon – Transference (January 19)
Surfer Blood – Astro Coast (January 19)
Beach House – Teen Dream (January 26)
The Magnetic Fields – Realism (January 26)
Midlake – The Courage of Others (February 2)
Toro Y Moi – Causers of This (February 2)
Hot Chip – One Life Stand (February 9)
Massive Attack – Heliogland (February 9)
Yeasayer – Odd Blood (February 9)
LCD Soundsystem – TBA (March)
New Young Pony Club – The Optimist (March 1)
Ruby Suns – Fight Softly (March 2)
Liars – Sisterworld (March 8 )
Broken Bells – Broken Bells (March 9)
Frightened Rabbit – The Winter of Mixed Drinks (March 9)
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – The Brutalist Bricks (March 9)
Black Francis – Nonstoperotik (April 5)
Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma (April 20)
The Arcade Fire – TBA (May)
Sleigh Bells – TBA (TBA)
No Age – TBA (TBA)
Fleet Foxes – TBA (TBA)
The National – TBA (TBA)
Battles – TBA (TBA)
Interpol – TBA (TBA)
The Hold Steady – TBA (TBA)
The Wrens – Funeral (Working Title) (TBA)
Band of Horses – TBA (TBA)
Dr. Dog – Shame, Shame (TBA)
Gorillaz – Plastic Beach (TBA)
OutKast – TBA (TBA)
School of Seven Bells – TBA (TBA)
*[FULL DISCLOSURE: The albums with asterisks are by bands or artists with whom I've had the pleasure of putting on concerts with. In one case, I befriended members of the bands listed: In those cases, I had already discovered and enjoyed their music.]