Allo Darlin' – Europe, April 3
They may not share the same name recognition as their peers—the Belle & Sebastians, the She & Hims, the Camera Obscuras of the world—but hopefully this will start to change with the release of their sophomore album because, real talk, there might not be a more heartbreaking vocalist currently out there than Allo Darlin’s Elizabeth Morris.
Andrew Bird – Break It Yourself, March 6
Bird is going it alone, self-producing and recording in his barn in Nowheresville, Illinois, which we think—we hope—will signal a shift back to some whistling and reverting back to some of the odder melodies that filled 2005's perfectly imperfect Andrew Bird & the Mysterious Production of Eggs. (Breaks our heart to say it, but those last two records were pretty boring.)
Animal Collective – title and date tba
With Deakin having returned from his African safari or whatever it was, Pitchfork reports that the entire Collective has been in the studio working on a new record. If their live sets this summer were any indication, they're not looking to rehash the whirlpool-pop sounds of Merriweather Post Pavilion and will lean heavily on Avey Tare for vocals. Something tells us they’ll end up at the top of all sorts of lists come December.
Ben Kweller – Go Fly a Kite, February 7
While 49 percent of our being would be perfectly happy if Go Fly a Kite—first release on Kweller’s just-launched record label The Noise Company—features the dusty country twang of his last full-length, another 49 percent is hoping for the grunge-pop of Sha Sha. The remaining 2 percent is pulling for something that sounds like Radish.
Best Coast – title and date tba
“I kinda want the next record to be a little more serious,” Bethany told NME this summer, citing old-school country and the slide guitar as prominent influences. “Less cat and boy and weed involved.” Jon Brion will see to it as producer. Lucky for Snacks, Twitter is still a thing that exists.
Cat Power – tba, no idea, maybe never
But no, really! Maybe this is the year! Matador has been tweeting teasers about Chan being in the studio, and there were those two Webster Hall shows last summer and that single for charity last month…