Album Release Wishlist for 2013

2013 still smells fresh and I'm getting impatient with the music industry's release schedule. There have been few drops in the periphery of my taste, but I could really use something big and powerful to punch me in the head right about now. I don't know what's coming this year, other than a new Thao and Youth Lagoon. Those are already on my List Of Big Deals. I have plenty of anticipatory excitement to spare, and it seems like in our day and age, the heads up & lead-in time is becoming shorter and shorter.

With that spontaneous nature of the industry in mind, this is what I'm hoping for in 2013. I'm hoping these bands will put out a press release over the coming 11 months with something to the effect of, "We're done with our new album, and it will be out as soon as I finish this sentence." Ever since IN RAINBOWS that seems to be a favorite buzz getter -- Death Grips did it most recently, and I wouldn't be surprised if that's how the new My Bloody Valentine comes out. With that in mind, these are bands that I miss and follow-ups I'm hungering for.

I would love to hear from you guys.

The National
Judging by their updates on Instagram and Facebook, this is almost assuredly coming soon. Unless they're such meticulous workers that it will take another year of recording. The anticipation has me salivating because 2011's HIGH VIOLET exceeded my high expectations. The biggest draw of The National is that they make the coolest sad music in the world. I know that's a ridiculous thing to say, but I can only say it plainly. They make melancholy seem masculine and loneliness seems fashionable. There's nothing lily-livered or emo about them, and because of this, their wide net pulls in everyone from scrawny videogame nerds to whisky-sipping frat alums. It's got to be the suits. If James Bond — the modern, Daniel Craig James Bond — if he has an iPod, The National is definitely there.

The War on Drugs
The year of 2011 was full of great debuts, and the cycle of the Hype Machine says it's time for their sophomore effort. They shouldn't be one of those buzz bands that makes a splash and then goes away. I don't want just an album from these guys, I want album full of songs exactly like "Best Night." Don't get me wrong, I enjoy their work in its entirety, but I enjoy "Best Night" about 10 times more than everything else. They hit a rare sweet spot. It's like watching an athlete play a perfect game, the one that shows you a glimpse of hall of fame worth — if they could just nail that down consistently, we'd have a new icon.

Mirah! Your collaboration with Thao a couple years ago was great! Some of your best stuff since ADVISORY COMMITTEE! It was a smart move, consolidating both your fan bases like that, but you gotta strike while the iron is hot! Your buddy Thao had time to take a vacation and put out an album, so you must have a few songs in the can, right? Maybe? Where are you going, I'm not done blogging at you! (I always enjoy collaborations and sideprojects not just for their novelty, but to see how the artists move on from the experience. I'd be interested to see if there's any residual influence from the Thao & Mirah project. Maybe bring in Tuneyards. [I refuse to figure out the capitalization for her name right now.])

I didn't hear a whisper about this band in 2012. I hope that means they're working deep in an underground bunker on a hot guitar-grinding mess. I'm still digging their debut album. If you charted my digging-it on a plane, from their album drop to today, all the lines would go up. I loved a song like "Rubber" back then, but I didn't really engage with it — that is, sink myself deep in its fuzzy, bitter swamp — until last year when it came up on shuffle sounding like a new song. Yuck, Japandroids, Fucked Up & Titus Andronicus are all completely different guitar bands, but together they're responsible for reigniting my love for the gritty punk-esque sound that I hadn't explored since Hot Water Music. I used to love this gnashing noise, until I wanted music that made me feel something new, and with Yuck I found a way to have both.

Emily Haines (And/Or The Soft Skeleton)
Whatever happened to this side project? I know Metric has been on the cusp of mainstream explosion, garnering some sweet soundtrack spots and radio play, but that's been sufficiently followed through by now, right? I'm hoping that means she might give her solo piano songs some time. I wish a lot of solo projects were more than one-offs, actually. It just doesn't seem satisfying when a lead singer of a band decides to explore what they can do on their own, but just once. Imagine if the only Beyonce album was just DANGEROUSLY IN LOVE. We would never have even met Sasha Fierce! There's a whole arc that goes unseen if solo projects are just a passing fancy that keeps the brand relevant or reclaims lapsed listeners.