2013 releasing a rich year’s worth of soundsPublished 2:27pm Sunday, January 6, 2013
Even though 2013 is less than a week old, it’s already boasting potential for great new music.
And the year is starting off in a strong way. Here are five albums I’m likely going to pre-order heading into the new year.
“Regions of Light and Sound of God” By Jim James
Release date: Feb. 5
Jim James is best known as the lead singer of My Morning Jacket, a fringe band for me the last few years. By that, I mean I’ve come close to getting hooked after liking many songs, but the group hasn’t entirely reeled me in.
“Know Til Now,” the new single from James, has me on the edge of my seat for James’ first full solo album. The track features a jazz-fueled saxophone solo that caps a song that promises something different than My Morning Jacket.
Nothing against the band, but no one wants a solo work to be too similar to the star’s primary band.
On this release, James is reportedly playing almost all the instruments himself.
“AMOK” By Atoms for Peace
Release date: Feb. 25
After Radiohead singer Thom Yorke released “The Eraser” in 2006, I heard a similar complaint from many people: “I kept waiting for the rest of Radiohead to start playing.”
Though disappointing when compared to Radiohead’s standards, Yorke’s solo debut produced many high points, and that experience has spun off into the supergroup Atoms for Peace.
Taking its name from a song off “The Eraser,” the group first got started by touring when Yorke and Radiohead were on hiatus.
Now, the group is back with a full album that has Yorke joining forces with another 1990s music icon: Flea, the bassist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The group also consists of producer Nigel Godrich, drummer Joey Waronker and percussionist Mauro Refosco.
If the single “Default” is any indication, the album promises to delve deep in electronics and experimentation, but it will hopefully produce a more full sound than “The Eraser.”
But, there is certainly the risk for too much star power.
“Push the Sky Away” By Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Release date: Feb. 18
It took one listen to “We No Who U R” to catch my interest in the 15th studio album from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds — the first without founding member Mick Harvey.
The single is an eery contemplation that has many expecting a low-key, brooding album.
“The Invisible Way” By Low
Release Date: March 19
It’s hard to believe, but Low is releasing “The Invisible Way” to celebrate the band’s 20th anniversary.
Another surprise is that husband-wife duo Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker are opting to record the album in Chicago with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy as producer.
The Duluth-based band has recorded much of their recent work in a church Sparhawk converted into a studio, but a change of scenery and method isn’t always a bad thing.
“The Terror” By the Flaming Lips
Release date: TBD
OK, so I have publicly questioned the avid cult following of the Flaming Lips, especially since the group often falls into a spectacle-over-substance style.
But when they’re on, they truly are fantastic (see: “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots”).
Flaming Lips’ albums typically boast at least one fantastic song and moment — and a few surprises.