Sahan’s Seven Albums
Sahan Jayasuriya runs down a list of albums to get excited for in 2013. PLUS: an exclusive stream of new song from Milwaukee band Fable & The World Flat.
Happy New Year, everyone! With a new year comes the excitement and wonder of what’s in store for the next 52 weeks, and a huge part of that for me is the new album releases. It’s looking to be a good one already, and here’s seven albums in particular that I am bursting with excitement to hear. Click around for links to previous releases, music videos and other relevant info. Here we go!
Ed. Note: Sahan just doesn’t like making ranked lists – we couldn’t get him to rank his 2012 end-of-year album list either. What are you gonna do?
Fable & The World Flat – The Great Attractor and The Dark Flow
There’s plenty of records I’m super excited about for 2013, but as far as Milwaukee goes, I’m looking forward most to finally getting some new material from Fable & The World Flat. The band has been quietly at work on their follow up to their 2009 debut Ladies & Gentlemen over the course of the last year, and will be releasing two albums in 2013, produced by the group’s masterminds Matthew Gorski and Steven Look. The two albums, titled The Great Attractor and The Dark Flow will be seeing late winter/early spring releases, respectively.
When asked about the new material, Gorski simply replied, “The new records have more electronic elements and varied instrumentation than the songs on Ladies & Gentlemen, plus there’s a lot of guest musicians on them as well.”
Check below for an exclusive stream of “Cereal Talk” off of The Great Attractor. Milwaukee, get ready.
My Bloody Valentine – TBA
In case you were unaware, My Bloody Valentine’s 1991 masterpiece Loveless ranks as one of my personal favorite albums ever released. The album took over two years to record, and nearly bankrupted their label, Creation Records. Needless to say, it was expected that the band would take their time with the follow up, but years turned into decades, and eventually, My Bloody Valentine’s long awaited third album reached legendary status, becoming something of a SMiLE or Chinese Democracy for indie rock, with most fans giving up hope on its release long ago. After occasional check-ins from the band, the album has just been mastered and will see a release in 2013. My theory: if the band took more than two years to just write the liner notes for Loveless‘ recent reissue, the album will be worth the listen. While many have tried to re-create the unique My Bloody Valentine sound, few have succeeded, and even then it’s just substandard. I am grinning with anticipation as I write this, as this is without a doubt my most anticipated releases ever, let alone of the year.
Atoms for Peace – Amok (XL Recordings)
With a lineup that includes Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea and producer Nigel Godrich, there really is no way around using the term “supergroup” when describing Atoms For Peace. Rounding off the lineup with session drummer Joey Waronker and percussionist Mauro Refosco, one would think that the band was formed by anyone but themselves. After nearly three years of hype and anticipation, the band’s eagerly awaited debut album will see release on Feb. 25. The primarily improvised album was written and recorded during a brief, three-day recording session. The album’s lead single “Default” was released in September, sounding similar to the work on Yorke’s 2006 solo album The Eraser. Most of us are clueless as to what the rest of the album will sound like, but with a lineup like that, it’s got potential to be one of the most interesting releases of the new year.
Pissed Jeans – Honeys (Sub Pop Records)
I’ve loved noise rock ever since a friend played me Shellac’s “Prayer to God” back in high school (thanks, Megan). Since then, my enamoration with the genre has only grown and records by the Jesus Lizard and Big Black always seem to be in my rotation. While noise rock bands are not nearly as numerous as they were 20 years ago, every now and then you’ll encounter one in the present day, and for the better part of the last decade, Philadelphia’s Pissed Jeans have always been the most interesting of the bunch. Proving that Sub Pop Records hasn’t fully lost touch with its roots, 2007’s Hope for Men and 2009’s King of Jeans were both fantastic takes on the Sub Pop sound of yesteryear, channeling classic acts like Mudhoney and Flipper. The band’s fourth album Honeys will be released on Feb. 12, just in time for Valentine’s Day, no doubt.
Low – The Invisible Way (Sub Pop Records)
Low’s Turner Hall Performance last year was a fantastic balance of brand new material and old favorites and the new material I heard that night definitely caught my attention. Their 2011 album C’Mon was produced by Matt Beckley, known for his work with acts like Ke$ha and Clay Aiken. While no doubt a strange fit for a band who has previously worked with engineers like Steve Albini, Beckley’s work on C’Mon was tasteful and elegant. Not one to repeat themselves, the band’s follow up, The Invisible Way, will be released on March 19 via Sub Pop, and was produced by Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy at the band’s Chicago loft. If the songs I heard live were any indication, they’re just as melodic as ever, with just a slight leaning towards the more folky and acoustic side of things—a side of Low we have seen very little of. Tweedy’s work on Mavis Staples’ Grammy Award Winning 2010 “You are Not Alone” was fantastic, so I am intrigued to see as how he works with an act as minimal as Low.
Deafheaven – Sunbather (Deathwish Inc)
San Francisco’s Deafheaven got a healthy amount of attention with 2011 debut Roads To Judah, and with good reason—the band’s unique blend of black metal, post rock and indie sounds made for one of the most interesting heavy records of the year. Everyone from NPR to Esquire took to the album, with the latter calling it “brutal and bracing,” praising the band for their “graceful melodicism.” In the spring, the band will release their second album entitled Sunbather, which, according to their label’s website, will be a logical sonic progression for the band. Guitarist Kerry McCoy said “There are a lot of harsh, dark vibes on Sunbather, but don’t be surprised at how lush and rock-driven, even pop-driven certain aspects will be.” If it’s anything at all like the debut, count me in.
Phoenix – TBA (Glassnote Records)
In 2009, you really couldn’t escape Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. It arrived just in time for summer, and its songs were in every movie trailer and car commercial imaginable. The band has been hard at work on Wolfgang‘s follow-up since 2011, and aside from a few blurry images of the band in the studio, they’ve given little to no information on the album’s progress. “It’s very hard to beat Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix,” said Glassnote Records owner Daniel Glass in 2012, “but this could be revolutionary.” With a tentative release set for April, we’ll very soon be able to see how it measures up.