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Looking Forward: Most anticipated of 2010

December 1, 2009

As December dawns the time for retrospection is drawing near. This year has been quite an interesting year for music: it’s been noisy and trippy and sometimes just weird, but it’s given me plenty to write about so I can’t complain.

But we’re not quite there yet.

Though 2009 has not yet come to a close 2010 is already shaping up to be a great year. Several bands have already set release dates for the new year, so what else is there to do except list the albums I’m most eager to wrap my ears around?

Without further ado:

10. Fleet Foxes

Since Lollapalooza there has been almost no news about Fleet Foxes. So much so that I almost forgot that they’re about due for a new album. Their 2008 self-titled debut was incredible, they really fleshed out their own brand of folk music that sounded different than what listeners had grown weary of. However, 2009 was a slap in the face to their quiet style of music, which puts the onus on these Foxes even more to break new ground once again and produce something different. I am anxious to hear something new from them, but I’m not certain that it is going to be what I want or need from them. Either way, I certainly hope that 2010 gives us a new Fleet Foxes album.

UPDATE: P4K is reporting that Robert Peckinold and Co. are back in the studio writing and recording a sophomore album as we speak. No date has been set, but you can read their interview here .

Ragged Wood – Fleet Foxes

9. Blitzen Trapper

I loved Furr, but I can’t help but wonder if this Pacific Northwest sextet do it again. They tried four times before getting it right in 2008, so it seems plausible that their next effort could fall short. However, Furr was just so good that I think that they have more in store. Like Fleet Foxes, nothing official has been announced, but the only thing they’ve released since 2008 is the Black River Killer EP, so I would have to speculate that something new is in order for ’10. I’m cautiously optimistic about how their next album will turn out, more so than I am for a new Fleet Foxes album, but less than…well, the rest of this list.

Furr – Blitzen Trapper

8. LCD Soundsystem

45:33 remixes and a free downloadable single have just been teasers for LCD’s next album, due in March (according to P4K). The download, “Bye Bye Bayou,” will not be on their next album but it’s the best glimpse we’ll get of the album unless it leaks. A leak is why the single was made available and as James Murphy said, “anything that exists is essentially all over the internet in five minutes,” so maybe we’ll get another sample before that expected release date. Following up Sound of Silver is going to be difficult, for sure, but I’m pretty sure that we can expect something good from this band.

All My Friends – LCD Soundsystem

7. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

These Springfield, Mo. boys have been in the studio with Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla pounding out a few new pop gems to drop on us in the new year, and I, for one, am ecstatic. The bands’ label, Polyvinyl, released a sampler featuring a new song about the minor league baseball team from their hometown (you can download the whole sampler here). The song is cheeky and fun, and though it may not make the next album it is a fun stopgap. After hearing some new songs at a live performance, I am sincerely excited about what SSLYBY does next. These guys are genuinely nice and make really good music. What isn’t there to like about this?

Glue Girls – Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

6. She & Him – Volume Two

Matt Ward and Zooey Deschanel have finished their recording for the next installment of She & Him but have yet to set a release date for their sophomore album together. In an interview with Paste the She of the band explained that they set about recording with no expectations or pressures. She called the process “organic” and commented that because they had more time to work, this album might be a little “deeper” than Volume One. I’m not sure exactly what she means by that, regardless, I look forward to this album quite a bit. Part one of their collaboration was simply superb, and far and away one of the most refreshing and fun albums I have heard in a long time. It appears that the recent nuptials of Zooey and Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie are not going to have a major impact upon her recordings, as he will not be featured. I think this will be good for the band because it will maintain their dynamic teamwork and playfulness. In that case, bring on Volume Two.

Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? – She & Him

5. Arcade Fire

Win Butler came short of telling NME with certainty that a new AF album will be released, but he did disclose that they do not want to take three years to make a new album. Of course, as of March it will have been three years since Neon Bible was released. I don’t blame these Canadians for taking their time, every move they make will be examined with the strictest of scrutiny. Thus is the price you pay when your first two albums are so genius that they become an indispensable part of the indie music pantheon. Regardless, I believe that 2010 will be fruitful for the Arcade Fire and their fans as well. Until then, the rumor mill will whirl uncontrollably to the delight of everyone involved.

UPDATE: P4K is reporting that a new Arcade Fire album and tour in Spring is currently in the works. It’s not confirmed, but it seems as if they’re headed toward that conclusion. Great news Fire fans!

Antichrist Televison Blues – Arcade Fire

4. Vampire Weekend – Contra

I feel like I’m being a skeptic placing Contra at number four, based on the constant buzz that surrounds these Ivy League boys. However, in my own mind I also feel optimistic expecting that this album is going to be as exciting and inventive as their eponymous debut. The two singles that have been released in advance of Contra, “Cousins” and “Horchata,” have been very enjoyable and showed the same creativeness that the band exemplified on their debut. No matter how this album turns out, the hype is there and anticipation is at fever pitch. I have to wish the band good luck because they’ve really got a lot to live up to, maybe not as much as Arcade Fire, but still some pretty large shoes.

Cousins – Vampire Weekend

3. Midlake – The Courage of Others

Texas is taking top honors on this list, with two bands from the top three among my preseason favorites. Fans and critics have had to bide their time and patiently await the follow-up to 2006’s The Trials of Van Occupanther, but it hasn’t been easy. For the past two years Paste Magazine has put Midlake on their most anticipated list to no fruition, but with the February 1 release date set for The Courage of Others, it seems they will finally make good on other peoples expectations. Their last album was a delightfully muted, beautifully orchestrated tale of love in a woodland setting. If their new record can created the same vivid description and lush harmonies that marked their last it will undoubtedly be good.

Roscoe – Midlake

2. Frightened Rabbit – The Winter of Mixed Drinks

February is certainly going to be fun. The beginning of the month marks new Midlake and the 22nd will bring us new Frightened Rabbit. These Scots earned top honors in 2008 for their brilliant album The Midnight Organ Fight, so I’m expecting great things from their next release. Of course, a second coming of their last album would probably be far too emotional to handle, which means I’m mostly looking forward to seeing some progress from FR. Their first single, “Swim Until You Can’t See Land,” I felt was spectacular, and you can read all about that here. There’s no reason to believe that this album won’t be incredible based on what I’ve heard, and I can’t wait.

Swim Until You Can’t See Land – Frightened Rabbit

1. Spoon – Transference

Even more than Frightened Rabbit, I cannot wait for the new Spoon album to come out. In their prescient wisdom the Austin rockers even pushed up the release date to January 19 in order to get their fans the album faster. This band has been on a tear throughout the entire decade since releasing Kill the Moonlight in 2001, and they look to start of the next decade off strong as well.  After hearing “Got Nuffin,” “The Mystery Zone” and “Written in Reverse”, there is not a shred of disappointment in me. These songs don’t have that soul that Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga displayed, but more raw emotion and powerful music. In my opinion Spoon hasn’t made a bad record…um…ever, and I don’t expect 2010 to be an exception.

Written in Reverse – Spoon

Honorable Mention (in no particular order):

  • Ambulance LTD – It doesn’t appear that this album will come out any time soon since it’s been held up since ’06. A guy can hope though.
  • Ted Leo & the Pharmacists – I hope his debut for Matador Records is better than his last with Touch and Go, Living With The Living. I love Leo’s music, I just haven’t heard anything I really love for a long time now.
  • Michelle Branch – I have a big soft spot for female singer/songwriter types, and her first solo album since ’03 should be exciting.
  • Wang Chung – You’re probably thinking the same thing I thought: WTF? But I swear it’s listed on the future releases list on Metacritic. I can’t help but look forward to more songs with their band name in it.
One Comment leave one →
  1. December 2, 2009 10:30 pm

    Surprise, surprise… Spoon at #1.

    All sound very promising. Especially excited for She & Him. Had no idea they were recording together again. Very nice.

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