byDERRICK ROSSIGNOL < @drossignol10 >
“This month has everything: a fake priest, DJ Paypal, an old guy with two first names singing Frank Sinatra songs,” Bill Hader’s Saturday Night Live character Stefon could have said about the new music set to come out over the next four weeks. Here are ten upcoming albums that you should give a go this February, in order of release date:
Murder By Death, Big Dark Love (Feb. 3 via Bloodshot)
The National have been missed since their 2013 album Trouble Will Find Me, so it’s nice that Murder By Death has a new record coming up. “Lost River,” the lead single from their seventh album shares the charming pain of The National, albeit with a country tint, and the similarities between the emotive baritones of both groups’ lead vocalists are immediately noticeable.
Big Noble, First Light (Feb. 3 via Affiliates Sound)
Interpol’s El Pintor album from last year was the band’s best in a while, so hopefully Big Noble, the side project of Interpol guitarist Daniel Kessler, can carry that momentum into 2015. Based on already-available tracks like “Stay Gold” and “Ocean Picture,” it seems like Big Noble plays off the more ambient albums of its parent band; think the relationship between Explosions in the Sky and offshoot duo Inventions.
Mount Eerie, Sauna (Feb. 3 via P.W. Elverum & Sun)
Rising from the ashes of defunct indie darlings The Microphones is Mount Eerie, the latest monicker of Phil Elverum, as which he’s recorded since 2004. As Mount Eerie, he’s a willing experimenter with structure, living on whatever intersection exists between indie rock, ambient, industrial and noise.
Bob Dylan, Shadows in the Night (Feb. 3 via Columbia)
Dylan’s latest is an interesting move from the folk and rock legend, opting for an album on which none of the songs were composed by him, probably the greatest songwriter of his era (which seems unwilling to end). Instead we get covers of songs made popular by Frank Sinatra, which is a lofty vocal goal even for Dylan, but he instead reappropriates the pop standards into more understated country-western gems.
Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear (Feb. 10 via Sub Pop)
On his second album since leaving Fleet Foxes, Father John Misty, legally known as Josh Tillman, remains decidedly old school: “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)” could almost be a Carpenters cover and “Bored in the USA” is a throwback soulful ballad. His sense of humor — and therefore his awareness of his own lack of importance in the grand scheme of things — also seem to be firmly intact, with tracks like “The Night Josh Tillman Came to Our Apartment” and “Nothing Good Ever Happens at the Goddamn Thirsty Crow.”
DJ Paypal, Buy Now (Jan. 26 on vinyl, Feb. 16 on digital download, via LuckyMe)
Until now, he’s been best known for his collection of Drake remixes, but he’s setting out on his own merits with his debut EP, which is available on a vinyl-only basis until the middle of the month. Lead single “I’m Ready” is frenetically paced, as is standard in the footwork genre, but his clever pacing and use of instrumentation allow for kinetic variance that stops the song from overwhelming.
Dan Deacon, Glass Riffer (Feb. 24 via Domino)
The electronic musician has carved out an identity as an innovative and engaging showman: during his last tour, he released an app that concertgoers would use to become part of the venue’s light show, forcing two birds to face their mortality with a single stone: he got the crowd involved while managing to render its phone usage less of a distraction and more a part of the experience. “Feel The Lightning,” the synth-pad-heavy lead single from his upcoming album, foretells of joyous times ahead from the rest of Glass Riffer.
Make Do and Mend, Don’t Be Long (Feb. 24 via Rise)
The Connecticut post-hardcore band are more metal than pop-punk, the latter of which is ubiquitous in the genre and monotonous after too many bands try it. Lead single “Each Of Us” is a good start, albeit relatively a bit light on the adrenaline, which can be either great or awful depending on if your allegiances are in the post-hardcore scene or outside of it... or it could be a peace treaty to help bridge that gap.
Torche, Restarter (Feb. 24 via Relapse)
The Florida sludge stoner metal band is going to throw all the noise they got directly in your face-holes, but once you’re able to get past that wall and process it, there’s a lot of beautiful melody to take in. It’s understated and not the primary aspect, but multidimensionalism is what can set good metal apart from bands whose sole goal is heaviness.
Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, Medicine (Feb. 26 via Good Time Records)
Remember that emotional father-daughter commercial about the basketball hoop that welled up eyes across everywhere last holiday season? Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors’ fragile alt-country flower “American Beauty” and its painfully simple yet poignant lyrics are to blame for the emasculation of testosterone-fueled beings the world over. Thanks Drew and your folk from next door, now my mascara’s running.
See you all next month!