byDERRICK ROSSIGNOL < @drossignol10 >
Save for excellent surprise instrumental releases and Animal Collective solo projects, the first month of the new year has been slow in terms of new music, but the last couple weeks of January look promising. Here are ten upcoming albums that you should give a go this month, in order of release date:
Teen Daze, A World Away (Jan. 13, self-released)
Perhaps best known for serene remixes of artists like Bon Iver, Toro y Moi and Local Natives, the Canadian ambient pop artist has also produced some of the most peaceful electronic music of the decade. Based on the two currently available tracks from the release, Teen Daze continues his mastery over music that is both danceable and contemplative.
Various Artists, Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of "Inside Llewyn Davis" (Jan. 13, via Nonesuch)
Music faux biopics can often be a chore, but 2013’s Inside Llewyn Davis didn’t try too hard for a happy-ending, rags-to-riches story and therefore felt genuine. The film still has steam left to run on, and in December, a concert of songs from the movie and the ’60s, the decade in which the film is set, was performed by an impressive list of names, including Colin Meloy, The Avett Brothers, Marcus Mumford, Jack White, and the movie’s star, Oscar Isaac. Now, audio from the star-studded evening is set to hit shelves in a couple days.
Ty Segall, Mr. Face EP (Jan. 13, via Famous Class) / Ty Segall Band, Live in San Francisco (Jan. 26, via Castle Face)
Indie’s most productive garage rocker, who has released seven albums under his own name since 2008 and been involved in a variety of other projects, isn’t using the new year as an excuse to rest. The title track from his upcoming EP, Mr. Face, is modern midtempo rockabilly before letting loose and ending in a classic crunchy freakout, while the 10-track live LP will hopefully bear much of the energy from his group’s 2012 debut album, Slaughterhouse.
Belle And Sebastian, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance (Jan. 20, via Matador)
The penultimate feel-good indie band of the past 20 years are soon to return with their first release in five years, and if the par-for-the-course “Nobody’s Empire” and neo-disco-tinted “The Party Line” are any indication, the group was able to adapt to the times while not falling victim to them.
The Decemberists, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World (Jan. 20, via Capitol)
The seventh album from Portland’s most rustically anthemic export appears able to live up to the previous seven. Preceding single “Lake Song” has chilled-out vibes and heavy lyricism, “Make You Better” has soaring choruses and driving verses, and presumably, the rest of the record will create a beautiful world that’s light on the terrible.
Sleater-Kinney, No Cities to Love (Jan. 20, via Sub Pop)
The year’s first major reunion is an important one for Carrie Brownstein’s band: most of her fans from today know her for comedic endeavors, and although Sleater-Kinney has already written itself a hefty resume, No Cities to Love will still be a first impression for many listeners (unless perhaps they heard Wild Flag a couple years ago, which features two thirds of the band). Lead single “Bury Our Friends” seems true to the riot grrrl movement the band helped spark, so expect good things from Sleater-Kinney’s first in ten years.
Twerps, Range Anxiety (Jan. 20, via Merge)
Twerps have been on the road in support of The War on Drugs during their tour, so it makes sense that lead single “Back To You” from Twerps’ upcoming third album is akin to the bedroom demo version of something The War on Drugs haven’t put out yet. It wants to be anthemic, and it definitely borrows old school elements, but instead of coming off as epic and classic, it wound up a bit jubilant and kitschy, but both in the most endearing of ways.
Pond, Man It Feels Like Space Again (Jan. 27 via Modular)
No, not 90’s Seattle Pond, but today’s Pond out of Australia, whose amorphous line-up is centered around guitarist Nick Allbrook and drummer Jay Watson, both also of Tame Impala at one point or another. The kaleidoscopic madness of lead single “Elvis’ Flaming Star” certainly appeals to fans of the group’s parent band, and the record could be a nice lead-in to Tame Impala’s third album, set to hit shelves at some point this year.
Doomtree, All Hands (Jan. 27 via Doomtree)
Unless we’re missing something, All Hands seems to be in the running for first great rap album of 2015. One of the strongest parts of today’s Minnesota hip-hop scene, the 7-person machine is all cogs and no clogs: nobody carries impressive lead single “Gray Duck” because no one member has to. Hopefully this means the same practice applies to the rest of the album, because that consistency could make it awesome.