Friday, January 11, 2013

All Around Sound's Most Anticipated Albums of 2013 Playlist

It's a whole new year which means a whole new release calendar to look forward to! A handful of bands have recently started unearthing album details and waking up each day to a new announcement is the bee's knees. It's still rather early in the year meaning more are sure to roll in as well as more details and previews but until then these are the releases I'm most juiced for based not on mere speculation but an announcement of some kind. Because if it was based on who I thought was releasing an album this year, this playlist would be hours long.

The Acorn 
This year will see the end of Canadian band The Acorn's hibernation. Brought to my attention a mere couple months ago by my friend Corey it was the perfect time to get into them it seems. Without having to wait the three years since the release of No Ghost while also having enough time to explore their discography, I'm excited at what the new album Vieux Loup will sound like. No release date at present but a working title is a step in the right direction. Here's hoping more details are on the horizon.

If you've been to any of their shows, this won't come as particularly shocking news to you but if you haven't, you might want to brace yourself. Maybe take a seat. After 2011's incredible underrated and criminally ignored sophomore record Summer Skills, ARMS are releasing an EP. When? The verdict is soon and for all intents and purposes it could drop any day now but a release is nigh. Any live show attendees might have heard a track or two or three or four from the upcoming five-song EP and well, I'm be straight with you: They're pretty damn great. Capturing the dramatic literary lyricism that drew me to them to the first place and pairing it with some absolutely astounding musical moment of the powerpop persuasion, I couldn't speak more highly of the forthcoming EP if I tried. And I haven't even heard it yet. But based off the 3 or 4 songs I've been lucky enough to hear, I'm willing to stake my reputation of it being one of the best releases slated for release this year. Get ready because you might never love another band more ever again. Until we can hear anything from it, here's the last song ARMS dropped - a self-remix of the title track from their sophomore record Summer Skills:

One of my favorite new music discoveries last year was Texan turned native New Yorker Brazos aka singer/songwriter Martin Crane. His lyrics were poetic, his music full, ear-catching, and downright rocking. The strength of the introductory concert was enough to have me kicking myself for not having discovered Crane and his band all that much sooner. And yet with the release of his sophomore follow up to 2009's Phosphorescent Blues on the horizon for this year, maybe it's a good thing I didn't? I couldn't imagine being a long time fan that long having to wait nearly 4 years for new music. For those holding out that long, you have my most heartfelt sympathies. According to all the rave reviews I heard from those lucky enough to have it in their ears, the new record should be well worth the wait and makes me all that more anxious to get it in my own.

The Cave Singers 
When I say that Seattle's folk rock trio The Cave Singers were one of the best opening bands I have ever seen, I hope you don't immediately accuse me of hyperbole. Opening for Fleet Foxes back in 2011, they were a very special kind of opening band. I had heard whispers of their existence before then sure but nothing cemented my interest in them as much as seeing them rock out live. To say that I've been biding my time until they saw fit to return isn't an exaggeration. I have been and I assume when they return their set will be just as fun if not more so than what I experienced. Maybe then I can right the wrongs of a whole sold out seated venue full of people refusing to get up and dance to "Black Leaf" when asked. Maybe.

Friend Roulette 
They may have retired one of my favorite songs in their catalog indefinitely (I'm talking about the Friend Roulette EP's "Sailing Song" by the way) but the songs they've replaced it with are too incredible for me to get sore. The quirky Brooklyn chamber pop sextet has talent bubbling out it's pores and each song they write is pretty darn original and that's cause for excitement. This year, their debut full length I'm Sorry You Hit Your Head should get out of development hell and then the band can get all the praise and accolades they deserve. Seriously. For all the scores of Brooklyn bands there's few with as much originality and vision and passion as Friend Roulette. From Casablanca recalling "Or Berlin" to R&B-esque "Lie", Friend Roulette seem willing to try anything and that versatility and openness is sure to benefit them in the long run.

In case you couldn't tell due to my incessant posting about them but I really like Guards. They take what so many bands are trying to do in the nostalgia-fueled rock vein and do so in a way that leaves very little yo be desired. It's almost impossible to explain what makes Guards work so well. Each tune we see from their upcoming debut In Guards We Trust just establishes what we already knew and why we so desperately wanted an album from the New York based trio: they're a damn good band. They manage to be both pleasant and intricate and jammy and simple without falling prey to any of the negative tendencies those involving while giving listeners and fans what they want while not being predictable about it. Guards are kind of an enigma, really but they're a rather friendly, pop song crafting one and that works just fine.

Little Tybee 
It was supposed to come out last year but due to a series of remarkably unfortunate events and the band deciding to take some extra time to make sure it was really offering up gold star material 2013 is the year of Little Tybee's For Distant Viewing. Rather nervous when they announced the album's release right after Humorous to Bees came out in 2011, I'm a little glad they took time to prioritize a stellar release over just another release in general. Especially considering the break between albums is crucial for not burning yoursef out. The few tracks we've been treated to are certainly strong enough but that extra bit of care will undoubtedly result in a far more album than anyone could possibly imagine. I'm rightfully pumped as should you be.
Little Tybee - Mind Grenade from LaundroMatinee on Vimeo.

Local Natives
I didn't really realize how much I missed Local Natives until the emerged triumphant from their latest bout of album recording. I've been a bit careless with my love for Local Natives, I'll confess. Never pouncing on opportunities to see them when I should and as the band seems poised to rocket up to bigger and bigger things, I might've missed my chance. At least without having to hardcore duke it out for my place in the Local Natives lovefest that's sure to follow after the release of their sophomore record Hummingbird. Why? After a remarkable debut, their next offering seems to be (as far as the two singles we've heard thus far will attest to) far better. Which is saying something. It's an album that's on everyone's must-have list and for good reason.

Pattern is Movement 
I'm rather late to Pattern is Movement party but better than never I say. Thanks to a sound guy at Cameo Gallery I heard and fell in love with the incredible All Together and so the news that Pattern is Movement are about to put out a new album this year is simply the best new. No idea when it'll be other than soon or what it'll be because a band like Pattern is Movement is rarely to do the same thing twice, I'm full of excitement just thinking about all the things that could be. Until details emerge this is one thing you can do to find out what you're in for: go see Pattern is Movement live. They're playing a handful of shows and have promised to play some new songs then.

Secret Mountains
A couple years of plying their trade, two EPs and one cassette of new, original material later, Baltimore psychedelic rock outfit Secret Mountains are just about ready to put their debut full length out into the world. It should be cause for excitement. Though a pretty great band from the get-go, Rainer sees Secret Mountains truly coming into their own - exploring emotional depths not yet plumped, tightening up their band sound, and making their jams that much more undeniable. If there's any justice in the world, 2013 will be a big year for Secret Mountains. The progress and sheer strength of their debut makes anything else absolutely unfair. Rainer will be out February 26th on Friends Records.

After what seemed like a whole year of talking it up, it's finally 2013 and Typhoon's follow up to Hunger and Thirst and A New Kind of House EP is so close you can almost hear it. Actually a couple months ago, the Portland folk orchestra gave us a taste of what to expect from White Lighter with single "Common Sentiments" and while no details have really emerged since then, it's really only a matter of time. And then the massive sensemble will tour and all will be as it should until they disappear to record a new album. Luckily we have some time with them before that's even an option.

The Voluntary Butler Scheme
The music of English multi-instrumentalist Rob Jones is a bit of conundrum. Reading about it or even seeing it, it's a process that's shocking creative and far more complex than it's sound will have you believe. Jones crafts music very much like those of the most radical experimentalists - relying far more heavily on the precise combination of sounds and a deft hand at detail than what you'd think necessary and yet that's all part of the appeal. For the complexity and innovative forethought Jones' process possess, the sound is clear, simple, and most importantly, enjoyable. It's a sound steeped in those of old despite Jones' very current approach. The third album from The Voluntary Butler Scheme A Million Ways to Make Gold seems (at least from its first single) to be a return to form from the futuristic leaning The Grandad Galaxy but rather than be some sort of backpedal just highlights Jones' ability to create smooth, svelte pop from an arduously complex process.

It's the moment I've been waiting for ever since the Toronto rockers released their debut album Strike Hard, Young Diamond. Wildlife have been hard at work on their sophomore record spiriting away to a cabin to work on songs before splitting their time between Brooklyn and Connecticut to record the thing. Meanwhile they've been keeping us informed on all the update taking wacky pictures, writing blogs, and giving hints at what to come without actually giving us anything substantial to go off of. Not yet anyway. But yesterday  the Canadian quintet revealed the title and cover art for their upcoming record ...On The Heart and I am pumped. The album will be out in the world February 26th and words don't exist to describe my excitement.

Young Dreams
After three absolutely incredible singles, the debut full length Norwegian orchestral pop collective Young Dreams is almost within reach. We've heard the grandiose gladiator-themed first single "Fog of War" and we can probably something equally as majestic, as musical, as excellent of Between Places. What's more the good news is their new album might actually bring the band stateside and that's the only thing I want right now. Between Places will be out March 5th in the states on Modular Recordings.

Young Man 
I know what you're thinking: didn't Young Man just release a new album a couple months ago? Yes, yes they did. And piggybacking an album release right on the heels of an album release is normally very very risky for fear of the songs not being as developed as they should be but if there's anyone that could put out teo amazing albums close together it's most likely Colin Caulfield. He's got such a thoughtful way with words and songwriting that you just know he took time to let the songs gestate naturally. I have complete and utter faith in Young Man that their new record Beyond Was All Around Me out April 9th is going to be super. No word yet on what it'll actually sound like but any news is good news in this case. Due to the lack of a single, I'll just post a track from Young Man's brilliant Vol. 1.

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