By Jeremiah Tucker
JOPLIN, Mo. —
I haven’t listened to any new releases in this young year that have wowed me yet, so I thought I would look ahead this week to the albums I’m most excited about in 2013.
The indie superstars have traditionally released a new album every three years since “Funeral” was released in 2004. Thus, a new album is expected in 2013, and according to an interview with the band’s manager in the trade journal Music Week, a handful of the songs on the new record will be collaborations with the band’s friend, James Murphy, the man behind the brilliant and now disbanded LCD Soundsystem.
Arcade Fire’s manager also revealed the band has already recorded 35 songs, enough for two albums. Or maybe a double album? Considering I’ve enjoyed everything Arcade Fire has released so far — and LCD Soundystem was one of my favorite bands — I hope so.
For a time, it seemed Thebe Neruda Kgositsile, who as Earl Sweatshirt arguably has the best rap moniker in the game, was most famous for going missing.
After being sent to boarding school by his mom, Earl’s absence inspired news stories intent on tracking him down, and the rest of his mates in the rap collective Odd Future, which also claims Tyler, the Creator and Frank Ocean as members, made “Free Earl” a rallying cry.
The technically gifted but unflashy Earl has long been my favorite rapper in Odd Future. Back in 2010 one of my favorite playlists on my iPod consisted of his mixtape album “Earl” and all the songs that featured him from the various Odd Future mixtapes. (“Orange Juice” from 2010’s “Radical” being a particular favorite.)
The forthcoming “Doris” will be the 18-year-old’s first official solo album, and if it’s as good as its sinister, depressive lead single “Chum,” it will be stellar. No release date for it has been announced.
The band tweeted this week that it would release its as-yet-untitled third album May 7. Its last, 2010’s “Contra,” was a significant artistic leap for the band, bringing an expanded sonic language, confidence and emotional depth to the insular, preppy world mapped out on their scrappy self-titled debut.
Given that “Contra” remains one of my favorite albums of the past five years and how good the band sounded when I watched them live last summer, May 7 can’t get her soon enough.
No one else sounds like Marnie Stern. Her pinched, high-pitch vocals are unique, but it’s the combination of her self-taught, virtuosic shredding on the guitar and the Keith Moon-style drumming by Zach Hill that makes her music truly singular.
Stern has said her new album, “The Chronicles of Marnia,” will be less frenetic than her previous work, with a greater emphasis on songwriting.
The first single “Year of the Glad” wouldn’t have sounded out of place on her previous albums — simultaneously buoyant, propulsive and awesome — but a second track that surfaced last week, “East Side Glory,” is a bit of departure. The crypto-pop song retains her expressive guitar work, but it feels like less of a joyous attack and slightly more meditative, with Stern singing some lovely wordless “ahhs” throughout. The full album is scheduled for release March 19.
My Bloody Valentine
In what will surely be the most unexpected new album of 2013, My Bloody Valentine finally will release its follow-up to the 1991 masterpiece “Loveless.” The band noted on its Facebook page in December that it’d just finished mastering its new album, effectively blowing the minds of thousands of music fans and kids of the ’90s.
For whatever reason, I only got into “Loveless” in the past couple years, and I’m not sure why I waited. It’s every bit as good as its mythic reputation.
Dream-pop vocals get lost in Kevin Shields’ massive guitar sound that shimmers and aches rather than pummels. It sounds like a very ’90s teenage symphony to God, and it will be interesting to hear how 22 years has changed the band.
Other expected 2013 releases I’m eagerly awaiting:
• The Knife - “Shaking the Habitual” (April 9)
• Yeah Yeah Yeahs - “Mosquito” (April 16)
• Phoenix - “Bankrupt”
• M.I.A. - “Matangi”
• Queens of the Stone Age (feat. Dave Grohl on drums)
• Cloud Nothings
• Justin Timberlake