2014 is upon us and there are quite a few brand new albums headed our way. I’ve taken the liberty of creating this list of releases I am most excited about.
Orange Juice :: Rip It Up (out on Domino Records 2/3/2014)
Sophisti-pop is one of the genre types listed on the Scottish band Orange Juice’s Wikipedia page. After researching some of the other bands labled “Sophisti-pop” like The Style Council and Roxy Music, I think I understand what it means and Orange Juice totally fits the bill. The original “Rip It Up” was released on Polydor Records in 1982 and featured the self-titled single that garnered OJ some Top 10 attention in the UK. Although the band never quite made any waves here in America, Domino Records will be re-releasing this album (along with 3 of OJ’s other albums) in the early part of this year on vinyl and CD. Orange Juice is an important but oft overlooked part of the UK New Wave scene from the 1980s and now’s your chance to get into them. This amazing album is a great start.
Here’s the video for “Rip it Up” from 1983:
St. Vincent :: S/T (out on Loma Vista Records 2/25/2014)
Annie Clark’s St. Vincent is sort of an artist’s favorite artist, getting the attention of the Talking Head’s front man David Byrne and praise from others like Carrie Brownstein. Byrne even did a full length album with her in 2012 (it’s called “Love this Giant” and it’s damn good). Now following that album and her 2011 release “Strange Mercy,” Annie’s brilliant guitar skill and writing ability are back for her new self-titled album coming out on Loma Vista on 2/25/2014. She’s already given us a new single with the understatedly sardonic title “Birth in Reverse.” If St. Vincent’s history tells us anything we are in for another clever collection of songs with much deeper meaning then taken at face value. I’m sure she will tour and make a stop in Birmingham. Last time this happened, and it was rad.
Here’s the new single:
Beck :: Morning Phase (out on Capitol Records Feburuary 2014)
For the first time since 2008 we will get to hear an actual new, full-length album from Beck. An actual album with actual Beck songs! He released 3 singles in 2013 and one song in 2012 on the soundtrack to the pedestrian movie “Jeff Who Lives at Home.” Beck also released his “Song Reader” project published by McSweeny’s in 2011 which was a book of sheet music you could use to come up with your own versions of the songs. It’s a really cool and interesting project, but let’s face it, but most people probably learned guitar in a Mel Bay chord book or use tablature to play songs on guitar and likely didn’t get this right. Even I took a crack at it, but I always got the worst marks in sight reading in high school band anyway. Although the three singles released in 2013 will apparently come on yet another release in 2014, if they are any indication of this new album then it should be really good. Like “Sea Change” good. Some of the songs on “Morning Phase” were actually recorded at Third Man Records in Nashville so if that doesn’t warm your biscuits I’m not sure what else you need.
Here’s “Defriended”, part of the collection of singles released by Beck last year:
Real Estate :: TBD (Out on Domino Spring 2014)
“Budweiser, Sprite. Do you feel alright?” That’s a line from the song “Suburban Beverage”. It’s one of the very first songs I ever heard from Real Estate from way back in 2009. The Ridgewood, New Jersey boys released their first self-titled debut on Woodist that year, which I fell madly in love with, and followed up with the critically acclaimed “Days” in 2011, which also happened to be my favorite release of that year. After taking some time off and after releases from guitarist Matt Mondanile’s project Ducktails and bassist Alex Bleeker’s band Alex Bleeker and The Freaks, the boys are back this year with a brand new record out on Domino Records. The album doesn’t have a name or a real release date as of this post but it will undoubtedly be another gem from what I think is one of the strongest American indie rock bands out there.
The band was kind enough to give fans a little taste of studio life with these two sneak previews:
FROM THE STUDIO – TAKE 1
FROM THE STUDIO – TAKE 2
I Saved Latin! A Tribute to Wes Anderson (out on American Laundromat Records Spring 2014)
Anyone who’s seen any of Wes Anderson’s flicks knows the soundtracks are always amazing. From all of the great music of the mid-1960s that make up Rushmore’s soundtrack to all of the covers of David Bowie songs in Portuguese on The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, there’s no denying each movie has a collection of awesome songs. Our friends at American Laundromat Records have decided to release a double-disc compilation of covers of some of the great songs from Wes’ movies. They are also offering some specialty packaging and extra goodies like Max Fischer’s business card and a red beanie to make you feel like you are part of Steve Zissou’s crew from the aforementioned films as well as other items from Anderson’s other films. The album is made up of some great indie artists covering some of the music from the films, I’ve included the track listing below. I’m a sucker for a quality cover and this record seems like it will have some great covers.
Check out the tracklisting:
BLACK FRANCIS – SEVEN AND SEVEN IS
ELK CITY – PLAY WITH FIRE
ESCONDIDO – STRANGERS
FREELANCE WHALES – LET HER DANCE
GENERATIONALS – MAKING TIME
JOY ZIPPER – OOH LA LA
JULIANA HATFIELD – NEEDLE IN THE HAY
KRISTIN HERSH – FLY
MARGOT & THE NUCLEAR SO AND SO’S – ZIGGY STARDUST
MATT POND – THESE DAYS
MIKE WATT & THE SECONDMEN – STREET FIGHTING MAN
PHOX – THE WAY I FEEL INSIDE
SAINT MOTEL – A QUICK ONE, WHILE HE’S AWAY
SANTAH – FIVE YEARS
SARA LOV – ALONE AGAIN OR
SOLVENTS – NOTHING IN THIS WORLD CAN STOP ME WORRIN’ BOUT THAT GIRL
SOMEONE STILL LOVES YOU BORIS YELTSIN – MARGARET YANG’S THEME
TEA COZIES – HERE COMES MY BABY
TELE NOVELLA – STEPHANIE SAYS
TELEKINESIS – THIS TIME TOMORROW
THE GHOST IN YOU – OH YOKO!
TOMO NAKAYAMA (FEAT. JESSE SYKES) – I AM WAITING
TOMTEN – 30 CENTURY MAN
TRESPASSERS WILLIAM – FAIREST OF THE SEASONS
WILLIAM FITZSIMMONS – THE WIND
Hopefully now you have a guide to some good records to buy to kick off your 2014 the right way. I’ll be dropping another post in the next quarter to share some more new album releases I’m excited about.