Friday, February 7, 2014

My Most Anticipated Albums of 2014

Every year starts out seeming that no new great music is due to arrive. But then, by the end of January, suddenly a whole list of sure things and possibilities arrive and I get very excited.

Chances are, some of these won't live up to my ever high expectations and, more than likely, an album will come from a very unexpected place to take my Favorite Album of 2014 title. But these are the albums I am most looking forward to this year. In no particular order...

Sharon Van Etten: Are We There?
I only first heard of Sharon Van Etten from her album Tramp, which became my 2012 Album of the Year. I have yet to even begin to go through her back catalog as Tramp is just so wonderful, I'm afraid of what I will think of the older stuff. But I am super excited for Are We There?. Here's her performing one of the upcoming tracks, "Tarifa". Sigh. That voice.

Out in May

Damon Albarn: Everyday Robots
Damon Albarn can really do no wrong. From Blur to Gorillaz to The Good, The Bad, and The Queen...everything he touches is pretty much gold. This will be his first-ish solo album (he released a classical album under the name Dr. Dee) and I am very excited to see what he does under his own name. This creepy new video for the first single "Everyday Robots" is a good indication weirdness is to come.

Out in February

Haley Bonar: title tbd
Haley continues to grow with each new release. It's not an exaggeration when I say that each of her previous albums are fantastic. She is one of my favorite songwriters. I posted the video for the first single "Last War" a while back, so here's a live version of another upcoming track. This is "Kill the Fun".

Out in Spring?

Joanna Newsom: title tbd
She recently married Andy Samburg, which is just so weird my brain can't figure that pairing out. It will be interesting to see if he has any influence on the new songs. But from the sound of this live performance of a new song, she's still our favorite quirky harpist. No new album has officially been confirmed, but she's due and this year seems as good as any.

Out sometime this year?

Mimicking Birds: title tbd
Mimicking Birds released their self-titled official debut back in 2010. I fell in love with the single "Burning Stars" and then the album and I continue to fall in love with the album more and more every time I listen to it. It's really beautiful and brilliant. And for some reason, I sort of got the feeling that might be all I'd ever hear from them - just this perfect little album. But now they are talking a new album and the very little sneak peak they released shows the same beauty. Go here to hear the sample.

Out in Spring

Wye Oak: Shriek
The thing that made me excited about Wye Oak's new album is that lead singer/guitarist Jenn Wasner stated that she felt so uninspired playing the guitar after touring forever and playing the same songs night after night that she basically dropped it for the new album and picked up the bass instead. That's ballsy as their sound is very very guitar driven. The new single already shows a major departure. I like it.

Out in April

Modest Mouse: title tbd
A new Modest Mouse album at this point is just a rumor. They have been spending a lot of time in the studio over the past year so all signs point to highly likely. I've liked nearly everything they put out, so I'm eager to hear what's next.

Jenny Lewis: title tbd
Jenny debuted some new songs at the Neil Young Bridge School Benefit show last year and was recently quoted as saying she hopes to have a new album out this spring. Jenny can do no wrong in my eyes, so I am very excited. Okay. I take that back. This song she did for the Girl's soundtrack is dreadful. But, the songs from the Bridge School Benefit are pretty good - if not standard Jenny Lewis fare, so that's what I'm looking forward to.

Out in Spring

Julian Casablancas: title tbd
I think I might be the only person who really enjoyed Julian's solo debut. Bring on some more.

Out in April 

The Eels: The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett
Oh, The Eels. I've loved them since Beautiful Freak. I've bought most of what they've put out, yet I often forget about them. The new song is quite beautiful. I will be picking this up.

Out in April

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