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Exciting Albums This Year

January 22, 2010

Having comprehensively dealt with last years best music, it’s probably about time to have a look forward to all the exciting new music due to be released this year. 

A keen eye on the music news and a quick browse around the internet reveals new albums from many of my favourite artists and groups, so I’ll try and give a roughly chronological overview: 

Four Tet

January – This month has already seen the new Vampire Weekend album, Contra, which isn’t nearly as catchy as the first, but still quite pleasant American indie-pop. I can confirm that the much-hyped début album from Riva Starr is well worth a listen if you’re a fan of the recent trend for Balkan/Mezcla house; read my review here. The new Four Tet album, There Is Love In You, hails a return to the kind of brilliance that made Pause such an after-party essential, all gorgeous melodies, organic sounds and glitchy beats; go see him live if you get a chance (I am tonight, canny wait). Another early contender for album of the year is the new record from the heir to DJ Shadow’s throne; RJD2. The Colossus is another return to form after the disappointingly twee The Third Hand, seeing him back at his crate-digging, funk and soul best. Stream or buy it here

Colossus

February – We’ve already heard the distinctly average title track from Hot Chip’s new album, One Life Stand, but most reports seem to suggest that there are a few diamonds in the rough; much like on Made in the Dark. The new Massive Attack album, Heligoland, has a great building first track in Pray For Rain, never quite realises its potential. Ewan Pearson’s third mix compilation is due out on Kompakt next month, entitled ‘We Are Proud of Our Choices’ , it looks like an interesting mix of styles from one of the greatest producers of recent times. If you believe all the hype surrounding new dub-step wunkerkid, Joy Orbison, then you’ll be pleased to hear he’s got a new LP coming out called The Shrew Would Have Cushioned the Blow. Following their collaboration on the Brighton Port Authority record last year, Norman Cook and David Byrne are teaming up again for a new album called Here Lies Love, featuring everyone from Cyndi Lauper and Tori Amos to Santigold and Sia. My vote for nicest bloke in dance music, Alex Smoke, is set to finally release his third album, Lux, on the 22nd, and if the title track’s anything to go by it should be another fine piece of work. It’s probably also worth mentioning a couple more rappers jumping on the comeback bandwagon, with Redman and the Wu-Tang Clan both putting out new records in February. 

Hot Chip

March – Another inconsistent British dance band, Groove Armada, are set to release their fifth album, Blacklight, at the start of March, and from the tracks I’ve heard it sounds like another mixed bag; their new guitar based sound hitting with I Won’t Kneel and missing with Paper Romance. One of my favourite rock bands of recent times, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, are also due to release their fifth album, Beat the Devils Tattoo (with a tour in April), and along with the White Stripes‘ first live album called Under the Great White Northern Lights, it should make for good month of rock’n’roll. The new record from the ever-creative Gorillaz is also scheduled for March, Plastic Beach already has a typically weird and wonderful line-up of collaborators – Lou Reed, Barry Gibb, Mos Def and Bobby Womack – with the last two featuring on the 80s electro-stylee first single, Stylo

 

April onwards – As we get into spring details start to get a lot more vague: the follow up to the Los Angeles LP is expected on the 20th from Flying Lotus, entitled Cosmogramma it is preeceeded by an excellent compilation of his last decade, mixed by Gaslamp Killer. Also expected out before the summer is MGMT‘s tricky second album, according to one half of the band, Ben Goldwasser, “there definitely isn’t a ‘Time To Pretend’ or a ‘Kids’ on the album” and with no individual singles set to be released, Congratulations should be interesting. Another hotly anticipated record comes from Canadian supergroup, Arcade Fire. Expected sometime in May, they’ve kept the same producer from the superb Neon Bible, who is reportedly calling it better than its predecessor. Equally exciting is the prospect of a new LCD Soundsystem album, which should follow the band’s UK tour throughout April and May. 

 

The vague promises continue with another album due from Battles, the delayed Hot Sauce Committee pt.2 from the Beastie Boys, and How I Got Over from The Roots. Topping the rumour mill though, has to be the tantalising omission from Warp founder, Steve Beckett, about a possible new album from Aphex Twin, “we’re definitely going to be putting out a new album by him. Hopefully it will be this year, if I can prise it out of his hands. It’s definitely on its way” 

Hot Sauce pt.1

At some point later in the year Royksopp are due to follow up last years Junior with the logical progression of Senior, Foals have been hard at work in Sweden on a successor to Antidoes, while Uffie plans to finally drop her debut LP, Sex Dreams & Denim Jeans, and the ever-mental Luke Steele is planning on releasing another Empire of the Sun album without Nick Littlemore, “Some of it is like Mylo and a bit more Prince. It’s dramatic”, he told the NME. News that the Kings of Leon have an album planned for the autumn don’t thrill me nearly as much as they would have a couple of years ago, but the misquotation of Thom Yorke when talking about the prospect of future Radiohead albums certainly does. According to Ed O’Brien, “we’re going into the studio in winter”, so hopefully we should have something from them soon. Even more good news, as recent tweets and a new Facebook group from the Chemical Brothers have confirmed that they are in the latter stages of album number seven. Lets hope it doesn’t continue the current downward trajectory. 

Ready to Uff

But I’ve saved the best for last – and I know these rumours seem to surface every year – but it would appear that the Avalanches may be finally following up with a second album; only took them a decade. This new song, Brain Teazer, and a message on their famously unreliable website which says ‘clearing samples’, have raised hopes of a triumphant return for the best thing to come out of Australia since my girlfriend. 

Clearing Samples

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