Hive Five: Our Daily Listicle of Musical Musings
This past year was an astounding year in the rap, R&B, and electronic worlds, as well as a banner year for a handful of indie-rock musicians that are channeling a hefty DIY spirit. And in looking ahead to 2013, there's a promising crop of guitar-centric albums on the horizon. Here's five to keep an eye out for.
1. My Bloody Valentine,TBA (Self-released)
Honestly, what reason do we have not to believe Kevin Shields? It’s been over two decades since the release of the game-changing Loveless, so if he says he’s going to release a new album, we don’t really have any convincing argument to not think that a new My Bloody Valentine album is not going to happen sometime very soon. It's now apparent that he's finished mastering the thing; the shoegaze world awaits with baited breath.
2. Iceage, You're Nothing (February 19, Matador)
Even now, there are few things as galvanizing as when Iceage’s New Brigade hit American shores last year. When you think about punk albums that Actually Made a Difference in 2011, there were few if any that had the sort of seismic impact packing into such brevity as Iceage’s debut, New Bridage. Whether is your soundtrack for changing the world or just your go-to exercising soundtrack, New Brigade provided barely 20 minutes of feeling like you could legitimately change the world. With their late-winter debut on indie giant Matador, it sounds like these Danish punks could soundtrack something a lot greater than a daily workout or a small revolution.
3. Eat Skull, III (February 19, Woodsist)
Being as though Eat Skull pretty much predicated the noise-pop/”shitgaze” (use the latter genre title at your own peril) by a good measure, it’s a fairly suspicious event that they’ve been MIA for almost four years after the release of their own underrappreciated classic Wild and Inside. In the time they’ve been missing from the world-at-large, head Skull Rob Enbom has been meticulously chipping away at his own craft, creating in part a synth-based odyssey on par with his friends and peers in Psychedelic Horseshit (i.e. their stellar 2011 album Laced) and an anthemic neo-psych masterpiece. It sounds like a good enough reason to allow lo-fi underlings to try and steal your thunder for the past number of months.
4. The Mallard, TBA (Spring 2013, Castle Face)
“We’re about 90% done tracking,” says Greer McGettrick, lead Mallard and head of Our Most Overlooked Garage Record of 2012, about the band’s new forthcoming record. As far as firsthand coverage of how the album sounds, McGettrick says, “Working on the artwork, enjoying it; yeah, hope it doesn’t come across as pretentious.” Which, of course, is the most dishonorable sin any punk and/or garage band could engage in. But if the follow-up is anything like the stellar debut, expect lots of clever and captivating songwriting, lots of the band switching up tempos on a dime, and lots and lots and lots of noise.
5. Ducktails, The Flower Lane (January 29th, Domino)
Now, you couldn’t possibly hear Matthew Mondanile’s experimental project named after the show most famous for Scrooge McDuck’s dive-in gold coin bank to have its first project for indie titan Domino to be a experimental rehash of its exploratory self-titled record, could you? Following in the path of Mondanile’s main band Real Estate, its debut full-length for Domino will be somewhere in the realm of Real Estate’s good-vibes indie-pop, especially as Mondanile enlisted the talents of friends like Oneohtrix Point Never’s Daniel Lopatin, Cults' siren Madeline Follin and uber-talented Slumberland pop band Big Troubles. For a musician who has already constructed some of the most exploratory indie-records in recent memory, you can’t blame him for ducking into left-field and sculpting an indie-pop records for the ages.