Saturday, January 14, 2012

Looking Forward

I think it's safe to say that I'm all done with any and all Best of 2011 lists and DJ sets. That's not to say I didn't have fun digging through all the cool music that came out last year but now I think I'm ready to look forward instead of back. So here we are about two weeks into 2012 and I'm itching for new music. The downside though, is that there hasn't been a lot of new stuff to actually come out yet. But what we do have are bands and labels releasing previews of forthcoming albums - a stream of a new single here, a free MP3 there. It pretty much turns into a big tease to someone with an addictive personality like me because now I'm literally fiending for new stuff to obsess over.

Here's a quick rundown of just a handful of some of my anticipated releases of 2012 complete with download links to some free music the bands have put out to whet some appetites.

Future This - The Big Pink (due out January 17th)
I am very stoked for this album to come out. And as luck would have it, 4AD releases it next Tuesday. I even pre-ordered it...on vinyl, of course. I'll admit I even listened to it in full thanks to a stream up on Spin's website and I very much dig it. The first two singles that they leaked are great- one being "Hit The Ground (Superman)" which has a pretty sweet sample of Laurie Anderson's "O Superman." But the first song they previewed off the album, "Stay Gold," pretty much picks up where their great 2009 album, A Brief History Of Love left off. They made that one available on their Facebook page. Grab it here:

No One Can Ever Know - The Twilight Sad (due out February)
It's no secret that I love shoegaze. I also have a bit of a soft spot for Scottish accents. The Twilight Sad fulfills the need for both of those things. I've seen this band a few times and they're awesomely loud. But judging by the first couple of songs they put out off this record, they seem to have toned down the volume a little without sacrificing songwriting. "Another Bed" is my favorite of the bunch, so far, mainly because of its underlying synth pulse...yet another thing I love in music. 


Ghostory - School Of Seven Bells (due out February 28th)
School Of Seven Bells' last album, 2010's Disconnect From Desire was a favorite of mine. It tied together my love of dreampop, shoegaze, and electropop. Ghostory seems to bring a little goth into the equation. Not a big surprise seeing as the duo has been known to cover Siouxsie & The Banshees' "Kiss Them For Me" live (and yes, they do a pretty awesome version of it.) 

Here's a stream of the latest single from Ghostory, a mesmerizing track called "Lafaye"

And a stream/MP3 download of the album's equally great first track, "The Night"

Mixed Emotions - Tanlines (due out March 20th)
It's probably a coincidence that this Brooklyn electropop duo named their long-overdue full-length album after the last good Rolling Stones song (yeah, I said it...the only good song off of Steel Wheels.) On Mixed Emotions' lead single, "Brothers," they keep things simple, catchy, and pop-friendly. 

Onwards To The Wall - A Place To Bury Strangers (due out February 7th)
Easily one of my favorite bands of the last few years. And they have the best band name. I only wish they'd have cool looking merch because I would happily rock a shirt with their name on it. I can only suspect that this 5-song EP will continue the band's assault on the senses - so much so that earplugs should be included.

OK so there you go...a few things to look forward to in the coming months. 

And of course, a mixtape follows. Aside from most of the tracks mentioned above, also included are new songs from techno duo, Motor whose latest single, "Man Made Machine" is a stompy EBM track that features the vocal talents of Depeche Mode's Martin L. Gore, the debut single from VCMG who also happens to feature Gore alongside of DM alum, Vince Clarke, a preview track from the forthcoming album from synth-psych Brooklynites, Bear In Heaven, some gritty hardcore-inflected punk from California's Ceremony (not to be confused with Virginia shoegazers of the same name), and some great dark yet danceable post-punk from Boston's Autochrome who is set to put out a 7-song release in March. And rounding things out is one from noisy New York post-punks, Pop. 1280. Now onto the mixtape.

Anticipation 2012
1. The Big Pink, "Stay Gold"
2. The Twilight Sad, "Another Bed"
3. Autochrome, "Senses"
4. School Of Seven Bells, "The Night"
5. Bear In Heaven, "The Reflection Of You"
6. Tanlines, "Brothers"
7. Motor, "Man Made Machine" (featuring Martin L. Gore)
8. VCMG, "Spock"
9. Pop. 1280, "Bodies In The Dunes"
10. Ceremony, "Hysteria"
11. A Place To Bury Strangers, "So Far Away"

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