Saturday, January 12, 2013

Most Anticipated Albums of 2013

Isn't it interesting that the music industry is supposedly dying a slow, painful death, yet every magazine/website runs a post like this? Don't believe everything you read (except this, obviously). Among the thousands of albums that are slated for release this year, these 10 are guaranteed to create a buzz and hopefully entertain.

#10. Depeche Mode - Delta Machine (March 27)
The band that helped usher in the first wave of Electronic Dance Music will release their 13th studio album, and first on Columbia Records in March. At a press conference to announce the album and subsequent world tour, the band described the album as "soulful" and reminiscent of their classics, Violator and Songs of Faith and Devotion. For their sake, I sure hope so. I'm not sure they can withstand another uninspired album like 2009's Sounds of the Universe.

#9. Junip - Junip (April 23)
Jose Gonzalez and company look to build on the success of their critically-acclaimed debut Fields, with more soft-spoken lyrics and mesmerizing songs. Fans were given a small sample with an album teaser released late last year featuring the first single, Line of Fire. Look for the entire song to be released this Monday.

#8. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City (May 14)
Frontman Ezra Koenig told Q Magazine earlier this year that the band's third album is "darker" and more "organic". He also added that the album felt a bit like the end of a trilogy, with character and themes maturing and changing. The horns on Unbelievers, performed last November on Jimmy Kimmel, were a welcomed surprise. 

#7. Arcade Fire - Untitled (Fall)
Most of the buzz about Arcade Fire's follow up to the Grammy award-winning The Suburbs is due to a very special guest. In December the band's manager, Scott Rodger, confirmed that LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy was working with the band, producing at least three tracks. With a rumored 35 songs complete, the only real question is whether it will be a single or double album. A New York show delivered footage of Crucified Again and a legendary, secret show in Montreal under the guise of Les Identiks showcased even more.

#6. Pearl Jam -  Untitled (Summer)
I really expected a new Pearl Jam record in 2012. So much so that I had them on last year's post. But these guys rarely do what people expect. Instead of rushing to complete an album, Eddie Vedder and the boys did everything else instead. The band played Europe and South America, Eddie followed with solo tours in Europe and the US. Bassist Jeff Ament released an album with new band RNDM and guitarist Stone Gossard reunited with his other band, Brad. Focus guys, please.

#5. Atoms For Peace - Amok (February 26)
The birth of Atoms For Peace and their debut album is so honest, you can't help but root for these guys.  As if they have any chance of failing. Radiohead's Thom Yorke, Red Hot Chili Pepper's Flea, Nigel Goodrich and Mauro Refosco originally got together to play Yorke's solo album, The Eraser. Anyone that was fortunate to see the band live immediately realized the band brought a whole new element to the material and apparently so did Yorke. 

#4. Queens Of The Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork (June)
Initial reports had this album coming out in March, but it now looks like it might be closer to Summer. Anything Josh Homme puts out is worth the wait, but in the case of this album, it is shaping up to be a classic. News of drummer Joey Castillo leaving the band was almost immediately softened when it was announced that Dave Grohl was once again behind the drum kit. Grohl has not recorded with the band since their breakout album, Songs For The Deaf. Other confirmed guests include Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor and original bassist, Nick Oliveri. 

#3. Death From Above 1979 - Untitled (TBD)
I cannot overstate the importance of Death From Above 1979's debut album, You're a Woman, I'm a Machine. It will forever be a measuring stick for everything and anything rad. In September, singer Sebastian Grainger posted a note on the band's website telling fans that he and Jesse F. Keeler were in fact writing new material. However instead of hashing it out in the studio, they were taking their "little muscle bound babies" and throwing them to the lions to see which ones survived. A Canadian tour followed in October and the band is said to be putting the finishing touches on their first material since 2004. 

#2. Phoenix - Bankrupt! (April)
4 years is a long time to wait for a new album. Especially considering the absolute pandemonium that followed Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Glassnote Records head Daniel Glass told the Huffington Post in December that the album is complete, later adding to Billboard magazine it could be "revolutionary". Singer Thomas Mars has described the new material as "very experimental, very minimalistic." With a release date of April, expect a single within the month. 

#1. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories (May 21)
Here's what we know so far. Daft Punk is working on new material; that's about it. Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter continue to be the most secretive duo on the planet, despite numerous producers confirming their participation. Disco-Funk producer Niles Rodgers has admitted to working with the band, as well as the legendary Giorgio Moroder. The title and release date is purely speculative, originating from French band Yelle's twitter account with presumed cover art and release date, although that might be the first single. Of course they are also rumored to headline Coachella, but isn't that every year?
Update: Daft Punk have confirmed their new album, Random Access Memories, will be released May 21, on Columbia Records

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