Here's what you'll be listening to next year, probably.
Adam Green & Binki Shapiro, Adam Green & Binki Shapiro, January 29
Upon hearing that anti-folk hero Adam Green would be teaming up with one-time Little Joy member Binki Shapiro , thoughts drifted to the twee'd-out offerings from Green’s former collaboration in the Moldy Peaches—those that the Juno soundtrack blasted into suburban pop culture. In an act of gentle indignation, “Here I Am,” the first taste of Team Green-Shapiro, spotlights soft vulnerability without the cloying winks. If we were betting types, we’d call it an early candidate for one of the best tracks of the year.
Angel Haze, Dirty Gold, Spring
While we have to admit that the news of collaborations with coffee-house lug Jason Mraz and dubstep dope Bassnectar on her full-length debut hasn’t exactly made us more excited for a record from rapper Angel Haze, it at least speaks to a confidence of vision totally unconcerned with what we think. Given the ferocity of her songs so far, we’re sort of scared to second guess her anyway.
Title and date TBA
Having never won an Album of the Year award at the Grammys, we can't be 100 percent sure, but it seems like there'd probably be a lot of pressure to make sure your next album isn't a huge failure. This, of course, is what Arcade Fire is up against, after the runaway success of The Suburbs in 2010. We don't know much about what they'll do next, only that they're doing something and that James Murphy has been involved in some way, however small it may be. We have a good feeling about this one.
Azealia Banks, Broke With Expensive Taste, February 2nd
We’ve been waiting a full year for star-watt rapper Azealia Banks to fully deliver on the promise of “212,” and the suspense is killing us. Banks always seems so giddy confident that the extended delay for this record’s release is almost out of character. That expensive taste she mentions has definitely extended past picking the perfect sea-punk hair shade and into which beats she’s latched onto. The stuff she let us hear in 2012 was pretty great. This has to be better.
Beach Fossils, Clash the Truth, February 19
With the 2010 incarnation of Beach Fossils splintering to focus on solo projects, main man Dustin Payseur faced a clean slate for his sophomore LP, setting his sights on a record more aligned with the band’s punk-leaning live show than their jangly, relaxed recordings. To help, he enlisted experimental man around town Ben Greenberg (Hubble, The Men, Zs, etc.) to work behind the boards. The album’s single bubbles with off-kilter energy–though it is called “Careless,” so, you know. It’s not entirely in with the new, out with the old.
Title and date TBA
Has James Blake already been backlashed, or are we still waiting for it? There was definitely a current of discontent flowing through the acclaim for his debut record—that it was too empty, or quiet, or something. Which was basically true, but the way he did those things was pretty darn interesting. Another set from him in pop-songwriter mode (as loosely as the term fits) could be really interesting, especially now that dubstep’s rise to popularity has taken the genre far away from Blake’s still, snowblind version.