Monday, 8 March 2010
A few albums I can't wait for this year.
I'm not entirely sure where I first heard Sigur Ros, probably on a BBC ad for some wildlife program, but I remember the first album I listened to, and I remember how I felt after. The odly named "()" was one of those few albums that comes around that really does change how you think about what constitutes good music, and makes you wonder what else you'e missed with your particular brand of snobbery. Oddly it was probably this mental shift that got me listening to more music, completely unrelated to the post-rock ambience of Sigur Ros.
Sigur Ros haven't released anything now since 2008, but Jonsi released the interesting if slightly disappointing Riceboy Sleeps with his boyfriend Alex last year, which was essentially a solo effort, with alex proiding the visual art for the album. I was only disappointed with Riceboy Sleeps because of what came before it, which was in my opinion the best Sigur Ros album to date- Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust, the perfect compromise between their spacey atmospheric older music, and a more traditional rock band. Also, this album holds a special place because it was on this tour that I saw them on, which is one of the best gigs I have ever seen.
So here we are in 2010, and Jonsi is releasing a solo album, two tracks of which, Boy Lilikoi and Go Do, were released as teasers and sound up there with the best bits of Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust. Boy Lilikoi sounds like pretty typical Sigur Ros, but Go Do is something completely different. It's Produced by Peter Katis, who also produced fantastic records for Fanfarlo and Frightened Rabbit. If Jonsi can match some of the stuff he has done before, I will be ecstatically pleased.
Frightened Rabbit- The Winter of Mixed Drinks
OK OK I know this was released March 1st but I'm still waiting for it to come in the post so its going in. Midnight Organ Fight was an album I only heard about halfway through last year even though it came out in 2008. Frightened Rabbit are a band that encompasses everything I love about british indie rock at the moment. Thick vocal harmonies, interesting folk instruments, catchy but not annoying songs, all mixed up with interesting accents.
This album was written and mostly recorded in Scotland unlike their previous effort, and the band has said that this has effected the sound of the record a great deal. It's been a much more meticulous studio effort, less of a live album than Midnight Organ Fight, with each instrument being tracked individually this time, which front man Scott Hutchinson insists is the way he prefers to make records.
It's been receiving some pretty good reviews, although not in the same kind of way that Midnight Organ Fight did. I'm really excited to hear it.
If you were alive in 2008 I don't think I really need to introduce MGMT. In case you were asleep, they were very much the sound of 2008 (along with Vampire Weekend). Incredibly catchy drug inspired indie rock with a heavy 70's psychedelia influence. This time they're in the studio with Pete Kember of Shoegazing band Spaceman 3. Don't expect any big singles like Electric Feel or Kids though because for one thing, the band has been pretty adamant that they don't want to release any singles from this album. Quite how much difference that will make in these days of iTunes a la carte style purchasing but its refreshing to hear a band talking about how they want their album listen to as a whole. That and the album is by all reports, completely different to the first half of Oracular Spectacular.
Stone Temple Pilots- Stone Temple Pilots
I'm gonna come right out and say it, I hated Velvet Revolver. I could tolerate Slash's wankey guitars and the pomp rock of it all, but Scott Weiland drove me nuts. The problem I think was that as shit as Axl Rose is, Weiland pretending to be Rose is twice as bad. But at least he can still sing which gives me hope for this, Stone Temple Pilots' first album in nine years. I don't have very much to say about this. Core was one of the albums that shaped my childhood listening habits and I assume this will sound nothing like Core (you'd hope not in 2010) but it sure as hell can't suck as hard as Velvet Revolver. It's also the first STP album not to be produced by Brenden O'Brien, which should be interesting.
An album which surely can't be bad is Devo's yet to be titled comeback record. Mark Mothersbaugh said of the new album that"These new songs are pretty true to what we would be doing if we would have gone into suspended animation 20 years ago and just woke up". And if it's anything else, we'll forgive them, because they're Devo.