One of my resolutions this year has been to reignite my passion of and for music. One of the best ways to do this, I assume, is to listen to more music, seek out more music, as well as read and write more about music. Thus, I have begun to put together a list of my most anticipated albums of 2012.
I don’t think there are that many albums that I am really looking forward to this year. It’s not the line up that we saw in the early years of the first decade of the 21st century. It’s not the time of Rilo Kiley, Death Cab For Cutie, Belle & Sebastian, or a number of other great artists’/bands’ album releases. It’s not the flux of great records that appeared in 2006. In fact, who knows if Death Cab will return to the sounds of old or if Rilo Kiley will ever reunite. Poisoned by the mainstream, I guess. I don’t mean to suggest that I dislike the move the bands made when signing with the major labels. I’m actually proud that they had their day in the sun and found the spotlight; however, I’m feeding off of Blake Sennett‘s (Rilo Kiley, The Elected) comments made to Spinner in which he states that he “felt like there was a lot of deception, disloyalty, greed and things [he didn’t] really want to submit [himself] to.” Before I go too far off track and begin dealing again with the fall of Rilo Kiley, let us move on to the list.
The Albums that I am Looking Forward to in 2012
Cat Power : TBA
The problem with Cat Power (Chan Marshall) is that she is self-destructive even though her voice and musical composition are great. I don’t mean self-destructive in a Kurt Cobain kind of way. I mean self-destructive in a way that she almost fears her audience or fears that the audience will judge her. I saw Cat Power perform at the Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL Fest) in 2006 while she was touring after the release of The Greatest (2006). Early in 2011, Cat Power mentioned that there may be a new release in 2012, but nothing further appears to be confirmed. While an album of covers, Jukebox, was released in 2008, I’m still waiting for her next original release.
Kweller’s last effort Changing Horses (2009) was a swing to the more Country/Folk styling than his previous Folk/Pop/Rock combinations. His newest release, Go Fly a Kite seems to be a return to his previous stylings. I’m not sure if the track samples due it enough justice. If anything, I’ll give the new album a lower ranking, I mean, I don’t expect it to be On My Way or the self-titled Ben Kweller.
The Avett Brothers : TBA
Although they don’t expect to be considered cool in “a year or two,” The Avett Brothers have advised that their follow up to I and Love and You (2009) will be released in early to mid-2012. Every album the brothers have release have had a number of great tracks. The vocals tend to provide their own harmony. Without the release of any mp3s or having heard anything much about the new album, I can only work from the past.
Another band I stumbled across during my foray into the music scene. I enjoyed the band’s self-titled album and what I heard from their sophomore album, Tones of Town, though I never purchased it. The third studio album, Field Music (Measure) or commonly just Measure. Those with advance copies of the album claim that the new album is a “return to the loose, fragmented style of the band’s early work….” To me, a lot of it sounds the same and I don’t see a real abandonment of the original style. At least not one drastic enough to require an explanation.
I’ve been following Nate Ruess‘ music since The Format‘s first studio album Interventions & Lullabies (2003). The Format released a number of EPs and compilations, but two years after their second studio album release, Dog Problems (2006), the band announced a hiatus (later a disbandment). A year later, in 2009, the band fun. had been formed and was releasing their first studio album, Aim and Ignite. Ruess being the lead in both The Format and fun. The track/video for “We Are Young” is currently streaming at the band’s website. Though I enjoy The Format’s tracks more than fun.’s tracks, I still enjoy them and look forward to following Nate Ruess’ progression.
I don’t remember how or when I began listening to Nada Surf. I do recall seeing the band perform live at Emo’s in Austin, TX during a tour after the release their The Weight is a Gift (2005) album. Unfortunately, I have not added the band’s previous albums to my collection, but I do hold a few tracks from all of them. Typically, Nada Surf albums are pretty easy to listen to and poppy. For the most part, I’m expecting more of the same. Consistency isn’t always a bad thing. Nada Surf’s “Waiting for Something” sounds, at times, like the vocals in Maritime‘s “Someone Has To Die” as well as number of other artists. If I do end up getting this album this year, maybe I’ll spend more time on this. Nada Surf’s “When I Was Young” seems, in some ways as a slightly more depressed follow up to “Amateur.” Listening to it, I wonder if maybe it will become my anthem for this year. At least a slow anthem. Any ideas for a faster paced, up tempo anthem?
Beginning in 2002, I began listening to and following The Shins. I had found a few tracks on burned compilation discs that my brother had made and left behind after he had moved away from my parents house. Later the band’s songs were featured in the movies A Guy Thing (2003) and Garden State (2004) as well as numerous television spots, including a McDonald’s commercial – fitting as the song used, “New Slang,” includes the lyric “New slang when you notice the stripes, the dirt in your fries.” Another memory I have of The Shins is riding shotgun in my brother‘s 1999 Buick Century southbound on Interstate 35 toward downtown Austin. The windows were rolled down and he looked to me and told me the all too repeated phrase, “This song will change your life.” Unfortunately, The Shins’ third studio album, Wincing the Night Away (2007), was not my favorite and seemed to have become slightly removed from the original Shins format. Hopefully, Shins front man James Mercer got this out of his system after his collaboration with Danger Mouse which produced the band and the self-titled album, Broken Bells. I still will continue to anticipate Shins albums until I am completely disillusioned. I can only pray that The Shins continue to write decent lyrics and not give up the time spent on composing the arrangements as they have in the past with Oh, Inverted World and Chutes Too Narrow.
Other bands that will be producing work of mention: Of Montreal, Shearwater, The Killers, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Mumford & Sons, Train, The Sea and Cake, Matchbox Twenty, Andrew Bird, Islands, Imperial Teen, and The Magnetic Fields.
- Ben Kweller Forms The Noise Company, Announces Go Fly A Kite (silentuproar.com)
- Go Fly A Kite: Musical Collage (aftertheshow.wordpress.com)
- Seventh Avett Brothers Album Due in Spring 2012 (silentuproar.com)
- Ben Kweller started a label, releasing album, touring (dates) (brooklynvegan.com)
- RE: Paste Magazine, 25 Albums…in 2012 (syntheticaposteriori.wordpress.com)
- It’s a Leap Year! (thefifthtop.wordpress.com)
- A LIQUID LANDSCAPE Reveal Release Date, Tracklisting For New Album (bravewords.com)