I'm not sure what this does for my "music journalism" credibility, but in a year that will see new albums from Cat Power, Radiohead, R.E.M. and everyone in between, I'm most excited about The Dodos. There, I said it. I will fight to the death convincing a non-believer that their first two albums are among the most underrated releases of the past 10 years. This was before their smoothed-out pop record came about, of course.
To compensate for the relatively mild approach of 2009's Time to Die, frontman Meric Long has already made clear that the intent of their March 15 release, No Color, was "to make a record that was exciting, almost to the point where it might be unlistenable," and now comes word that their former touring partner Neko Case will contribute vocals to nearly half the album. You know how Neko Case's voice is nurturing and commanding and how she can sing better than anyone? But you also know how her solo material can be sorta boring? If returning to form, The Dodos' botched guitar-drum ruckus will save her from slipping into alt-country nowhere land, while her vocals will give The Dodos the warmth missing from the more mechanical Time to Die, and they'll elevate each other to be the best they've ever been, and it'll be the best album ever, and everyone is going to say, "Oh, you were so right about The Dodos this whole time," and I will nod graciously. Until then, watch the above video of their recording process in Portland, shot by Beware of the Maniacs/Visiter/No Color producer John Askew.