The cool thing about music is the good shit never stops. First some speculative picks:
Okkervil River is due for a new one after a decent turn as Roky Erikson‘s backing band on last year’s True Love Cast Out All Evil. They’re still hanging on a high note with 2008′s The Stand Ins. While great, it didn’t quite stack up to the masterpiece that is Black Sheep Boy or its superb followup The Stage Names.
Another speculative release, more than overdue, is from dubstep’s catalyst, Burial. Okay, it’s only been three years, but after his contribution to the 2009 Hyperdub compilation 5, it’s hard to sustain patience for a followup to the watershed record, Untrue. I say a prayer before I turn in each night that said followup might grace our ears in 2011.
Here’s the stuff that’s all but officially announced if not already been so:
10. The Go! Team – Rolling Blackouts
Nothing out of this camp is ever going to match the eclectic madness of Thunder, Lighting, Strike, but 2007′s Proof of Youth certainly wasn’t a dud. It gave us the manic roller coaster track “Keys to the City” if nothing else. From what I’ve heard, Rolling Blackouts more than keeps pace with its predecessor and there’s still something about double-dutch chants mashed up with car-chase-horn-bombast that doesn’t get old.
9. Panda Bear – Tomboy
Full disclosure: I haven’t heard any of the singles from this one yet, and I have been a little disappointed that Panda is apparently moving away from his signature sample sound found on Person Pitch. It makes sense though, as more than a few have ripped the style from top to bottom. Despite the text descriptions, it’s still Panda Bear.
8. Toro Y Moi – Underneath The Pine
I was way late to last year’s Causers Of This. Late enough that Underneath The Pine is only a few months following to these ears. That said, goddammit, I can’t get enough of the young producer’s blurred-80s-sleaze-meets-J Dilla aesthetic and the man still seems to be on the sharp upward arc in his career.
7. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Belong
The 2009 debut did a more than satisfactory job at distilling the best aspects of late 80s, early 90s dream pop and shoegaze into a consistently rad long player. My only concern is the group, which previously recorded with barely any budget, has seemed to have gone the glossy high production route. We’ll see how reserved they’re able to remain with the final product.
6. MillionYoung – Replicants
I may have already heard most of this album, but the potential of a long player from one of 2010′s best sleeper acts is pretty exciting. MillionYoung is still pretty grounded in the chilliest of chillwave, but there’s just a little bit more reverb here and just a little bit more subtlety there that hooks me into the unabashedly bedroom-based output. Also, the album is titled Replicants.
5. James Blake – James Blake
The UK producer absolutely annihilated last year and now has the chance to be a potential dubstep crossover hitter with this LP. Grandeur aside, James Blake just makes damn good music and I’m super excited to see how he shapes a full-length.
4. Cut Copy – Zonoscope
In Ghost Colors, in my humble opinion, is one of the best dance pop albums ever crafted. It sets itself up for greatness every single track and just delivers ten-fold at every pivotal point. I absolutely cannot wait to see what the Aussie trio has in store for a followup.
3. Radiohead – TBA
2. M83 – TBA
Other than the lackluster debut, everything M83 has done feels as if its been pried straight from my wildest musical dreams. 2008′s Saturdays = Youth is a spacey John Hughes film score–in all it’s over-dramatic and angsty glory. 2005′s Before The Dawn Heals Us especially ignited my aural pleasure centers, conjuring one of the sign posts of my imagination, Blade Runner, with it’s cityscape cover art and it’s Vangelis synth textures. The good news is, Gonzales is returning to Dawn‘s dramatic soundtrack-styling flair, as he told Pitchfork late last year. I’m so goddamn excited.
1. The Avalanches – TBA
It’s probably disingenuous of me to put this on the list as this record has been supposed to come out for the last four years or so, yet still doesn’t even have a title. The group has been apparently clearing samples or something in the interim. My expectations for this one are so high that they’ve somehow lapped themselves back into cynicism. 2000′s Since I Left You is one of the best, most ambitious, and technically profound electronic records ever created. It was a sound collage that somehow worked as a dance mix. Seriously. Let’s hope they’ve used the last eleven years to make the followup worthy.
Those are my picks. Keep in mind, that most of these are scheduled for the earlier part of the year. In reality, I’m most excited about the surprises that come in the form of late announcements and little indie darlings.
So what are the patrons of Pure Pop looking forward to in 2011?
We got T-shirts folks, lots of different ones. Including this rad Pure Pop Records t-shirt modeled above by some nameless, mindless fashionista. Come down, check em out. It’ll be shirt weather in oh… 5 months.
The Decemberists – The King Is Dead
Recorded in a converted barn on Oregon’s Pendarvis Farm, The King Is Dead eschews the high, mystical wailing of British folk for its North American counterpart. Rustic and roomy, the record nods to Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, early Wilco, the Band, Neil Young, and especially R.E.M. In places, it almost feels like a disrobing: “Let the yoke fall from our shoulders,” frontman Colin Meloy bellows on opener “Don’t Carry It All”, his voice loose and easy, freer than he’s sounded in an awfully long time. Read the Full Review on Pitchfork
Cage The Elephant – Thank You Happy Birthday
Having gained notoriety a couple of years back for intense live shows and memorable singles like 2008’s slouchy, sexy “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked,” Shultz and his pals, including brother Brad on guitar and secret weapon Daniel Tichenor on bass, stand at a crucial juncture. Can Cage the Elephant survive the scrutiny of jaded aficionados who call its drum kit-toppling yet sweet-toothed approach to guitar bashery nothing but a rehash of flannel rock? This set of ripping rave-ups and effortlessly tasty singalongs answers YES, in all caps. Read the full review on LA Times
Madlib Medicine Show 11
Funkadelic, psychedelic, jazz infused break-beats mixing influences and sounds of electronic, soul and a whole lot of Hip Hop – Madlib’s eleventh installment to the Medicine Show series, entitled Low Budget High Fi Music, is a welcomed addition to this multi-instrumentalist’s repertoire of work. With the longest track of the album being 4 minutes and 37 seconds long, the rest of the songs fall in the realm below the 2 minute mark. Each track is laced by Madlib’s incredible ability to capture a motivating groove accentuated by melodies whose instrumentation drives its listeners forward. Combined by great pacing, seamless jumps between tracks (and at other times intentional abrupt stops to melodic flowing sounds), the hilarious skits, commercial-styled breaks, interesting samples and ear-perking interludes excuses the fact that some may be turned off at the length of the entire album (42-tracks long). Read the full review at allhiphop.com
We love a good challenge, we know you do too (you wonder why we’re always moving the sections around…to keep you on your toes.) Well, here’s another one for you, intrepid pure pop fans – guess the top 10 selling albums for 2010 here at Pure Pop Records in proper order, and win a 15$ gift certificate. It’s that simple. We’re even gonna make it easier for you and give you a pool of 30 potential artist/albums to choose from. Submit your numbered titled list on The facebook to be entered into the competition.
Choose your top 10 from the following 30
(these are in alphabetical order.)
Arcade Fire – Suburbs
Avett Brothers – I & Love & You
Band of Horses – Infinite Arms
Beach House – Teen Dream
Black Keys – Brothers
Broken Bells – Self Titled
Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record
Deerhunter – Halycon Digest
Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma
Go Go Bordello – Trans-continental Hustle
Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
Jimi Hendrix – Valleys of Neptune
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – I learned the Hard Way
Ray Lamonagne – God Willin’ and the Creek don’t rise
LCD SoundSystem – This is Happening
MGMT – Congratulations
Anais Mitchell – Hades Town
Mumford & Sons – Sigh no More
The National – High Violet
New Pornographers – Together
Joanna Newsom – Have one on me
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – Self Titled
Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street
The Roots – How i got over
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Up from Below
She & Him – Vol. 2
Spoon – Transference
Vampire Weekend – Contra
Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
xx – Self Titled
Rookie of the Year Award
Twin Shadow – Forget
I really like everything about this album. George Lewis Jr has a beautiful voice and write terrific songs. Forget features a thrilling production that recalls ENO’s early albums and 80′s Indie Rock. Let’s hope the next one is even better!
Paul Weller – Wake Up the Nation
Paul Weller is a dinosaur. He recorded his first album on a fucking pterodactyl. Nonetheless, Wake Up the Nation isn’t merely 2010′s best album from an elder-statesman of music, it’s one of the year’s best hands-down. Just listen to this gem, featuring production from My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields.