What I’m Waiting For
It’s only a few days into 2010 but I can’t wait to hear some of the new music that’s going to come along pretty soon. On my playlist are tracks of bands that I know are all set to put out new albums this year and some of the tunes that are doing overtime on my burgeoning playlist I know are precursors of what we’ll get from them in the coming months.
Frightened Rabbit, the Scottish band that Download Central has raved about before, are one such. If you haven’t yet heard these guys, you’re definitely missing something. Scott and Grant Hutchison who sing and play the guitar and drums, respectively, are at the core of this band from Selkirk in Scotland and Scott’s distinctive, straight-from-the-heart lyrics and style of singing, not to mention his delightfully thick Scottish accent, are what endeared the band to me the first time I heard their debut album, Sing The Greys (released in 2006). That was followed by The Midnight Organ Fight (2008). Sadly, there was no full-length in 2009 but the band toured like crazy through the year and several live sessions were accessible on the Internet.
Then, as the year wound down came two singles, brilliant ones—Swim Until You Can’t See Land and Fun Stuff—both teasers, I believe, for their new full-length, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, which comes out in March this year. I can’t wait. Meanwhile, go and listen to Fun Stuff (hint: there’s nothing funny about it).
The other band whose next album I’m waiting for is, of course, Radiohead. It’s been many months since they’d announced that a follow-up or a sequel to In Rainbows would be recorded and, I just learned that finally they’re heading off to the studio this month to do the deed. Nearly two years after the innovative release of In Rainbows (pay-what-you-want-to-download) in 2007, they released another new track, These Are My Twisted Words, last August, giving rise to rumours that an EP could be on its way. Well, the EP never happened and the song got curiously mixed reviews (okay ‘curiously mixed’ to a rabid Radiohead fan like me who thinks it was a splendid song). But now we can wait for a new full album.
Then there those bands that I wish would release new albums this year. Such as Voxtrot. The Austin, Texas-based Voxtrot have an eponymous debut album (2007), a couple of EPs and a few singles, but they’re a band that easily found a place on my favourites list.
Led by an Indian-American, Ramesh Srivatsava, Voxtrot make exuberant music with thoughtful lyrics and catchy hooks. Last month, I got to hear a recent single, Berlin, Without Return…, which was even better than their debut album and several of the EPs that I heard before. That’s not to say that they’re only full-length (the self-titled one) isn’t a good album. I’d recommend listening to it. It could hook you to them. The buzz on the web is that another full-length album from these boys from Texas may well be on the way. I hope that is true.
What else am I waiting for? Well, I’m hoping Greg Gillis, better known as Girl Talk, produces another masterpiece like Feed The Animals. Girl Talk takes small samples from other (usually well-known songs) and creates a completely new tune and Feed The Animals is a great example of his genius. Of course his work is not entirely legal (as far as I know his sampling of songs probably infringes copyrights of many labesl) but, what the heck, he’s an excellent composer and it’s about time he released a new album.
Last year, I also discovered a South African indie rock band called BLK JKS who’ve enjoyed an underground cult following in their native Johannesburg since 2000 but were “discovered” by the west only when DJ Diplo (hugely influential, he’s worked with M.I.A. as well as many other world music acts) heard them while touring South Africa. The band made its debut in the west with a four-track EP called Mystery (the only one that I have) and since then there has been no looking back for them. They are bilingual (they sing in English and Zulu) and their music is difficult to describe. You can hear influences of indie rock, progressive rock and African music. But they manage to blend such diverse genres to make a pretty heady cocktail. A full-length album, titled After Robots, on the Secretly Canadian indie label, is either just out or expected soon. I’m making every effort to get hold of it.
This week’s reccos:
- What Would I Want? Sky by Animal Collective. Perhaps the first time a Grateful Dead track has been legally sampled by a band. Even otherwise, this is a great tune.
- An Orchid by Atlas Sound, the solo project of psych, ambient band, Deerhunter’s frontman Bradford Cox.
- Powerless by Flaming Lips from their latest album, Embryonic.