January isn’t over and I am already excited about what a great year 2009 is going to be for music. Now I have no idea what all we are going to see get released beyond the month of June, but the releases I am aware of for the first half of the year have gotten me real excited. So I thought I would let you all share in this excitement with me. Now this list is numbered, but please keep in mind that I spent maybe 2 minutes on the order, in case some of these seem way out of wack to you.
20. Dave Matthews Band
Right now I don’t know much about this one, except that a new album is due out April 14th. The records is still unnamed and even unheard as they just dropped into the studio last week to begin recording. I know that DMB doesn’t really fit with a lot of the music we cover, but we’re all crossing our fingers, hoping that he will take us back to our middle school days and shock the music world by proving that he still has the chops to write a great record. I have a feeling that after losing their saxophonist Leroi Moore to an ATV accident this summer that they will all be really inspired to do something great in his name. And I don’t think that their music will suffer too much from his loss. Don’t get me wrong, he was pretty incredible. But the guy they have replacing him, Jeff Coffin, of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones is no slouch. All this to say, that I do not believe myself foolish to expect great things from these guys once again.
19. Antony & the Johnsons
On the 20th of this month, Antony and the Johnsons will release their 3rd full-length studio album, The Crying Light. The extremely creepy album art accompanying these new songs features a 1977 portrait of renowned Butoh dancer, Kazuo Ohno. “He is kind of like my art parent,” says Hegarty abotu the great dancer he has dedicated the new album to. He is definitely a strange one, but boy does he have an incredible voice. I continue to be impressed with both his songwriting and his vocal abilities. After sampling two tracks from the forthcoming album, I doubt he will disapoint any time soon.
From all that I have read and heard, this album will have more in common with last year’s Another World EP than featuring the same subject on the cover. Musically it is supposed to sound similar to and build upon their most previous work. Which sounds great to me, because I thought Another World had some of the best work yet.
Here is the tracklist for The Crying Light:
01 “Her Eyes Are Underneath The Ground”
02 “Epilepsy Is Dancing”
03 “One Dove”
04 “Kiss My Name”
05 “The Crying Light”
06 “Another World”
07 “Daylight And The Sun”
09 “Dust and Water”
18. Fiction Family
So we all new that when Nickel Creek was laid in the grave, that wouldn’t be the last we heard of those great musicians. Thile was first to strike when he released Punch in early 2008 with his new bluegrass collective The Punch Brothers. And now Sean has beaten his sister Sara with his new project with Switchfoot frontman, Jon Foreman. I’ve only heard the one single, but I’m already a fan. I’ve loved Foreman’s voice and songwriting for a while now. But I have been pretty disappointed with the direction that Switchfoot has gone on the past two records. But I have a feeling I will like what a collaboration with Watkins will produce. His best stuff has been just his voice and a guitar, so hopefully two voices and two guitars will be twice as good. Look for the record in stores this Tuesday (1/20) or order it online now.
17. Animal Collective
Merriweather Post Pavilion, the eighth studio album AC has delivered in as many years, is set to see its official US release later this month. Never been a huge fan of these guys, but with all the buzz this album is receiving before its official release on the 20th. Everyone and their mom is talking about it. They have been the most blogged artist on hype machine for a couple of weeks now. Paste gave them 91 rating, which puts them in the category of phenomenal and is quite possibly the highest rating I’ve seen since they switched to this numerical system. I’ve listened to a few of the tracks and personally, I don’t see what all the buzz is about. Fortunately for you, one of our writers does. Check out Brady’s complete review of the album.