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With Cronin’s self-titled solo debut going largely and unjustly ignored in 2011, Merge Records, being the ballers they are, stepped in and secured the psych-rock mastermind and longtime Ty Segall collaborator for its roster. The directions he could go in with an expanded studio budget—matched by his ability to subtly turn the genre on its head—have us more than a little excited. He’s already signed on for the label’s official SXSW showcase to get you riled up too.
True Hallucinations, January 22
A project from former members of Hymns and MINKS, Brian Harding and Amalie Bruun have spent the last year establishing a spot in the ever-congested local scene behind textured, 60s-bobbing pop as Ex Cops. A year after their single “You Are a Lion, I Am a Lamb" became the premiere release from Other Music Recording Co., the Fat Possum imprint is set to unleash the debut full-length, from which Brooklyn’s best-kept secret will be propelled into next-level rock stardom. At least that’s how we imagine it.
For those curious to check out the increasingly buzzed about but still-insular world of indie-metal only to have pulled a broken toe from various water-testing excursions, a new record by San Francisco’s Deafheaven could be a good time to try again. Their last one brought to mind the legitimately pretty slow-burn of old Godspeed You! Black Emperor albums, but upped the intensity of that band's climaxes with their own chilling shrieks.
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A two-year stretch without a Deerhunter release probably seems like eternity for manically productive Bradford Cox (not to mention his fans), so that's one sign a new batch of songs may see light in the coming months. The band will have headlining and curating roles at Britain’s All Tomorrow’s Parties in June, in addition to a top billing at the Austin Psych Fest in April, pointing in the direction of a spring or summer release date, says our crackerjack detective skills. We imagine songs will fall somewhere in the ballpark of psychedelia, noise-rock and pop. You know, detective skills.
You’re Nothing, February 19
Danish punk heartthrobs Iceage vault up to Matador Records for their second record, following 2011’s bracing New Brigade. Judging from the title’s putdown, and the fact that this is the most serious group of twentysomethings you can find outside of a college existentialism survey, we’re expecting similarly dark stuff. Still, the way they’ve packed downcast melodies and nervy structural kicks into their short, brutish songs gives hope for unexpected turns.
Shaking the Habitual, April 13
We should try to get a grip on our expectations for this one, honestly. The wait after the band’s masterpiece Silent Shout has been bearable only for the excellence of the weird time-killers they’ve taken on. Fever Ray? Swoon. Even that for-hire opera had, like, three perfect future-pop songs on it. But we’re sick of dozens of bands trying and failing to live up to a record that changed the course of synth-pop, and we need this medicine, badly.