Even though the last year has been quite a good one for anybody interested in decent alternative/indie/rock/pop-music or anything that revolves around that genre, 2008 promises to get even better.
With releases from highly anticipated artists like The Shins, Band of Horses, Ash, The Arcade Fire, Air, Arctic Monkeys and a solid number of great debuts from Kate Nash, I Might Be Wrong, Au Revoir Simone or The Postmarks it will be pretty hard to beat 2007 one might argue, but still, I daresay that 2008 might most likely outshine the last two or three years without any problems.
So here is a little sneak peek into the 7 most promising new records coming out in the next 6 months.
*Chris Walla - Field Manual (Barsuk Records) (01/29/2008)
Sing Again (free download single Barsuk.com )
Chris Walla is a really busy man. Besides being part of the multi-platinum indie rock band Death Cab for Cutie he keeps producing for successful artists like Nada Surf, Hot Hot Heat, Tegan & Sara or The Decemberists. And as if this is not enough he is going to release his first solo album soon.
The first single off ‘Field Manual’ is entitled Sing Again and provides just another nearly perfect production and a quite good pop song. It actually works quite well with Walla’s voice and indicates how much influence Walla has on the perfection of most of the Death Cab for Cutie songs.
You can download the single for free over at Barsuk’s website. Be sure to check it out and keep your ears open for other great tracks such as Everyone Needs A Home and St. Modesto.
It really could become a wonderful album and even if it will not, it will most definitely shorten the waiting time till the new Death Cab for Cutie album release. But we will come to that later on.
By the way, you can download a lot of old material at his website.
*Lykke Li – Youth Novels (LL Recordings) (01/30/2008)
Little Bit (vinyl single out now, Little Bit Video )
Lykke Li is a very promising newcomer from Sweden. She toured with Swedish colleagues such as Shout Out Louds and Peter Bjorn and John and is due to release here debut album. The first single off ‘Youth Novels’ is entitled Little Bit and has been around music blogs for quite a while now. It will be produced by Bjorn Yttling from the above mentioned Peter Bjorn and John.
Lykke’s lovely voice has delivered her with quite a fanbase already which will definitely expand as soon as the album comes out. The Little Bit vinyl can be purchased at her website LykkeLi.com and the charming video can be downloaded at the website posted above. Furthermore, you will find demos to a few of her songs at her myspace. Besides the catchy tune Little Bit, Tonight and I’m Good, I’m Gone are definitely worth a listen.
*We Are Scientists - Brain Thrust Mastery (Virgin Records) (03/17/2008)
After Hours (03/03/2008)
I have to admit that I consider With Love And Squalor one of the best albums ever made which might slightly affect the objectivity of my expectations regarding the 2nd album from the American indie-rock band. Thus, my expectations could not possibly be any higher, but they seem to get confirmed.
The first single off ‘Brain Thrust Mastery’ is slightly different from their old material, a little less rough and probably a little more electric. But still, it does in my opinion sound even better than anything on the debut and I would not have thought this to be possible. The video is awesomely funny as well. A typical We Are Scientists video, even though Michael Tapper, the bands’ drummer is missing. While he did the drums on the new album, he decided to take a timeout to spend more time with his family, which is definitely understandable considering the unbelievable touring schedule We Are Scientists had been through the last couple of years.
Michael is temporarily replaced by Adam Aaronson and there furthermore is a keyboardist who goes by the name of Max Hart. But Aaronson and Hart seem to be live-show reinforcements only at the moment which officially makes the band a duo.
Ten tracks off the new record have already been played at performances during the last year and the quality of the performed songs makes the whole thing even more promising. You should definitely check out the After Hours video over at NME now and Let’s See It, Lethal Enforcer and Dinosaur as soon as the album is out.
*Death Cab for Cutie - Narrow Stairs (Atlantic Records) (05/13/2008)
New Album Teaser (dcfc.com )
One of the questions that comes to mind when thinking about the new Death Cab for Cutie album: Could those guys possible do anything wrong? I do not think so.
After six wonderful albums and an extremely successful Plans I cannot possibly imagine the new one to be bad. The band revolving around The Postal Service’s Ben Gibbard stands for quality and even if quite a lot of people consider Plans to be a bit too poppy or that they are too ‘mainstream’ now (whatever that is supposed to mean) I am absolutely sure that their 7th album will be one of the best LPs in 2008.
There is not a lot of information at this point in time. We do not know the album title, nor the tracklisting or the exact release date. The only thing there is to know by now is that it will probably come out in May and that you are able to watch a short teaser with a few seconds out of the studio and a typical Death Cab for Cutie instrumental over at dcfc.com.
*Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Pershing (Polyvinyl Records) (04/08/2008)
Glue Girls (free download single at Pitchfork )
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin is a little Indie-Rock quartet from Springfield, Missouri. Their second album ‘Pershing’ will reach us in early April and the first single Glue Girls can be downloaded at the URL above.
Their debut was a wonderfully charming album and Chris Walla seems to have a point by stating that he is a better person for having heard it. Even though the first single Glue Girls sounds different from most of the stuff on Broom, I really like it and I just cannot wait to hear the whole album. Another song off ‘Pershing’ is already available to be listened to at the ‘SSLYBY’ myspace which actually sounds more like the music on the debut. It is called Modern Mystery and should, along with the new single, be listened to by anybody who likes bands like The Shins or Tapes ‘n’ Tapes.
*Mystery Jets - 21 (679 Recordings) (03/24/2008)
Young Love (myspace ) (03/10/2008)
Mystery Jets are a wonderfully different band from Eel Pie Island, London who released their debut Making Dens in 2006. Their second album ‘21’ will be released in March. There already are four snippets from the videos of their new songs and even the new single can be heard at their myspace (http://myspace.com/mysteryjets).
Young Love is extraordinarily well produced by Erol Alkan (as well as the rest of ’21’) and features backing vocals from the lovely Laura Marling. Other songs that will be on the album and that you should definitely check out are Hand Me Down, Hideaway and Behind The Bunhouse.
If you are interested, visit their blog to get tour dates and news about ‘21’ firsthand.
*The Rifles – TBA (Red Ink Records) (Spring 2008)
Talking (free download single at their myspace )
Another highly anticipated album that comes out in the near future is the second The Rifles LP. After the quite well received debut No Love Lost, with successful singles such as She’s Got Standards, the expectations are huge regarding the second album.
The first single Talking, which is available for free download, follows the style of the first album and is quite a powerful song. The good old British indie rock seems to never come out of age and it still attracts a lot of people with its raw and rough powerful tunes. If the band can keep their songs at such a high level, I am quite sure this will turn out to be a pretty decent album.
That seems to be about it for the moment. This is going to be a wonderful year!
If you consider another promising album missing, feel free to comment.