After a ridiculously active year for music in 2012, we’re looking forward to the new year with some lofty expectations. Below is our ever-expanding list of albums we’re looking forward to in 2013, which we’ll add to periodically as the colors of the next calendar rotation come into view.
Alice In Chains
The band’s second album with new singer William DuVall is now finished, with Jerry Cantrell cautioning that it would hold “no surprises,” since it’s a natural evolution of their sound. The first single, Hollow, is out already, and it’s as underwhelming a track as we’ve ever heard from the guys. If it’s any signal of what’s ahead, don’t expect anything groundbreaking or particularly remarkable for this one.
Following in the footstep of fellow Canadians Alanis Morissette and Celine Dion, Arcade Fire invaded America and in 2011 won a Grammy for Album of the Year. In late 2013 the indie rockers from Quebec will follow up The Suburbs with a still unnamed album. As of this point not much is known about the album except that former LCD Soundsystem guru James Murphy is producing a few tracks. Fear not, a new soundtrack to reflect on your childhood and have a melancholy moment as you walk through rainstorms will be here before you know it.
Atoms For Peace
Thom Yorke, Nigel Godrich (Radiohead), Joey Waronker (R.E.M.), Mauro Refosco and Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) have set a February 25th release date for Amok, their highly anticipated skitterbeat explosion, which by the sound of it is a more fleshed out sequel to Yorke’s solo debut The Eraser. No complaints here – Default is a hell of a promising first taste.
Beck fans can expect two new albums in 2013, including the completion of his unfinished 2008 record and an album he began in Nashville in 2011 that never saw completion.
He told NME: “I have this one record I started in 2008. It got put to the side for a long time but recently I’ve been mixing some of the songs. I’m not sure if they’ll be singles or EPs or an album but it’ll come out in some way.”
Truth be told, nothing Beck has offered us in quite a while has been even remotely exciting – save for his verse on Childish Gambino’s Silk Pillows track. Hopefully that changes in 2013.
The Black Keys
An album a year seems to be the modus operandi of The Black Keys. This is what’s known as a “known known”. The bluesy rock duo from Ohio will release a new batch of fuzzed-out riffs and driving rhythms in early 2013, hot off the heals of five Grammy nominations including Album of the Year for El Camino, plus a sixth for singer Dan Auerbach’s solo effort. These guys are clearly at the top of their game and that game plan has included the consistently solid production of Danger Mouse since 2007’s Attack & Release. Best of all? The boys say early spring and fall tours are in the works. Time to get excited.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
For the first time in their history, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are set to release a record without the help of the late sound engineer Michael Been (father of the band’s Robert Levon Been). While little is known about the seventh full length record, we sure as hell enjoyed their recent sold out performance at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. Be it fuzzed out powerhouse rockers or stripped down acoustic ballads, BRMC has yet to disappoint us and we sure as hell don’t expect that to change in 2013.
You have been hearing about it for well over a year now. Most of Black Sabbath has gotten together to record an album, for the first time since the ’70s, with Rick Rubin. We know Iommi and Butler can still write captivating riffs based off their 2009 release with the late Ronnie James Dio, but how will things work with the frontman who is now better known for his TV roles then the lackluster albums he has released over the past 15 years? Expectations are high, fingers crossed we get another heavy metal classic and not another geriatric reunion cash grab.
Following the last Mars Volta tour, band nucleus Omar Rodríguez-López moved back to his home town of El Paso, Texas, and subsequently formed Bosnian Rainbows with frequent collaborator Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes, Mars Volta drummer Deantoni Parks and Nicci Kasper.
They’ve recorded their debut album in Germany, and Rodríguez-López promises a departure from the Latin-spaz mathrock psychedelia of TMV: “These are very much shorter, more to-the-point songs [than The Mars Volta’s]. They still have spaces that stretch out, but what I mean to say is that it’s all the same influences that have been in most of my writing and all the people in my bands’ writing. Can is there, Siouxsie and the Banshees is there, Gang of Four is there, all the Led Zeppelin, whatever… all those things are there, it’s just different elements of those things. You make it shorter. It’s stripped down, it’s starker. The very melodic side of Can; the very textural side of Siouxsie. You take all those elements, and you take elements that maybe you weren’t exploring as much before.”
With Spinnerette seeming to be firmly in the rearview, Brody Dalle’s been a point of musical curiosity the past few years. After some family time with Mr. Josh Homme, Dalle’s Twitter account has been peppering studio pictures lately, with appearances from Garbage’s Shirley Manson, QOTSA’s Alain Johannes and Michael Shuman recording music. This picture, containing the caption “In case you were wondering,” seems to settle the case: somewhere in the world a new Brody Dalle album has been recorded, or at least in the works.
In February, Los Angeles hardcore heroes The Bronx are set to return with their fourth self-titled album. The first proper album from The Bronx in five years will be the follow-up to Antiquiet’s 2008 Album of The Year, Bronx III. Last month the band gave us a preview of what’s to come with the raucous Ribcage, and after hearing the rest we can confidently say this shit is going to beat you about the face and neck. With a release early in the year, look for the band to spend most of next year on the road supporting IV.
Gambino and Ludwig are back in the studio, aiming to catch up with Donald Glover’s pace of dropping an album a year. The Royalty mixtape was a step in the right direction after 2011’s Camp, and with Glover’s perfectionism in full flight it’s bound to be a promising year for Troy from Community.
Clutch plans to deliver Earth Rocker in March of 2013, their tenth album and first since 2009’s Strange Cousins From The West. The band has set up a website for the album where they promise to keep fans up to dates with photos, song titles and more. In the meantime, check out the band performing the title track for the new record below.
Coheed And Cambria
Last year, Coheed and Cambria stormed back from two disappointing albums with the promising The Afterman: Ascension. Proving that they could still write hard rocking sci-fi epics for grown-up comic nerds filled with killer riffs and catchy hooks, the band is set to release the second half of the story with The Afterman: Descension on February 5th. With a lyrics video for The Hard Sell and fans already chanting for Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry the Defiant to be performed during live shows, it is a safe bet that the band’s diehard fan base won’t be disappointed.
Fitz And The Tantrums
We’ve been digging Fitz and the Tantrums since they caught us by surprise with their outstanding debut LP Pickin’ Up The Pieces. Since then, the neo soul darlings have regaled us from coast to coast, working their magic from the El Rey in LA to New Orleans’ Voodoo Experience. When it was announced that the band had been working on a new album you can bet we were excited, especially after hearing new jam She’s Out Of My League at Coachella. The hardest working soul superstars in showbiz have been generous between their debut to now, giving out more free EPs than many artists’ standalone catalogs and hitting up every major festival on the map. It seems that 2013 promises to be another standout year for an up-and-coming band that’s already come so far.
With the 2010 release of their debut album Opus Eponymous, Ghost instantly became the biggest buzz band in the world of heavy metal. Who were these nameless ghouls and how the hell did they make the message of Satan sound so damn catchy? In early 2013 the Swedes will attempt to follow up a perfect first offering with Infestissumam. Produced by Nick Raskulinecz (Deftones, Foo Fighters) the ten track offering features the group jumping to a major label (Loma Vista Recordings). As to what you can expect, one of the nameless ghouls recently told Decibel that “Now, with more resources, we’re doing what we set out to do, which is to make a record that sounds like a real expensive record done in 1978, as opposed to a lo-fi album done in the ’70s.” As an added bonus, the band has recorded for possible b-side release a cover of the ABBA classic I’m A Marionette. With fans already raving about the release of Secular Haze, there is no doubt that 2013 will be a massive year for Ghost.
Cruel Summer was pure disappointment through ego inflation, but there’s enough talent on their roster to make a damn fine project emerge. Love him or hate him, Kanye’s had few misses in his illustrious career – so next Summer when G.O.O.D. Music decides to put out the Cruel Winter record, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt once more. Here’s hoping being up inside the Kardashian goo hasn’t sapped his powers.
How To Destroy Angels
While HTDA’s full-length LP was reportedly “done” in early 2012, something must’ve changed Trent Reznor’s mind about the record, as the band only released the unimpressive An Omen EP in November. The LP was then promised for an “early 2013”, but so far there’s no word on a specific release date – and fans should probably know better than to expect anything before spring. The album is tentatively titled Welcome Oblivion, according to a leaked setlist. As for new Nine Inch Nails, look forward to two new songs on a compilation album – in 2014.
Frontman Perry Farrell said he won’t follow the concept of the previous album anymore, and there’s a good chance we’ll see a Porno For Pyros reunion in the relatively near future. Though they’ve made plans to go in and record, a new album from Jane’s would be a huge leap of productivity for the guys, who have managed just five releases in 25 years. Let’s put this one on the “highly unlikely” pile, right next to the new Tool album and Detox.
The Swedish brother-sister electronic duo’s followup to Silent Shout will be their first offering in seven years. Their breathy electro-ethereal designs were fantastic accompaniments to the past few calendar rotations, so we’ve got high hopes for the arrival of Shaking The Habitual in 2013.
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds
After last year’s demise of the fine side-project that was Grinderman, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have reconvened for a new life. Titled Push The Sky Away, the band’s new album marks their fifteenth studio release, and is set to be released on February 18th – five years after their previous effort Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
A press release for the record shared a bit of light on its creative process: “The songs on this album took form in a modest notebook with shellac covers over the course of almost a year. The notebook is a treasured analogue artifact but the internet is equally important to Nick: Googling curiosities, being entranced by exotic Wikipedia entries ‘whether they’re true or not’. These songs convey how on the internet profoundly significant events, momentary fads and mystically-tinged absurdities sit side-by-side and question how we might recognize and assign weight to what’s genuinely important.”
The band’s tenth album and first since 2009’s Backspacer is well underway, with the promise of “experimentation” and extensive touring to follow. There was a solid chunk of material that didn’t fit the Backspacer tone, which will likely see the light of day at least in part with the next offering. The band has played several shows since work on the new album began, with at least one gem hitting the top of our wishlist to make the cut on the new LP (see below).
Bassist Jeff Ament has said the band is about “halfway done” and Matt Cameron – currently moonlighting with his first love, Soundgarden – has confirmed that they’re looking to wrap things up in the Spring.
If it’s anything like the following, consider us maniacally excited:
Queens Of The Stone Age
With guests including Dave Grohl, Trent Reznor, Nick Oliveri, Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters, the band’s sixth album (and first in six years) is bound to be a musical centerpiece of 2013. Spawned during a turbulent time in which frontman Josh Homme found himself at litigation odds with his former Kyuss bandmates, the music reportedly sounds like “running inside a dream” with a “more vulnerable” sound. It’s said to be “deeper, richer and stranger” than the band’s previous efforts – a perplexing promise, given that Queens’ natural element is as deep, rich and strange as the howl of a golden manticore in a frenzied lust rage among the alien desert foliage of Joshua Tree.
Here’s where the band left off.
You’re goddamned right it’s gonna be a good year.
When the Foo Fighters announce a ‘hiatus’, it usually means “Dave Grohl will now be involved in 16 new projects over the next two years” – and with his SXSW keynote speaker role and his renewed involvement in QOTSA, it’s happening again. His amazing-looking new documentary film Sound City will premiere at Sundance next month and be available for purchase/screening/download in early February. The film’s soundtrack promises to be just as special as the film – and features all-star collaborations between Grohl and luminaries like Trent Reznor, Josh Homme, Paul McCartney, Rick Springfield (!), Robert Levon Been of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Alain Johannes, Corey Taylor, Rick Nielsen, Brad Wilk & Tim Commerford of Rage Against the Machine, and Stevie Nicks. Yes, we’re salivating.
Heartthrob, the seventh album from the beloved Canadian Quin twins, leans on programmed beats and synths and arrives on Jan. 29. Check out the first release from the record, called Closer:
With their fourth LP Oddfellows arriving on Jan. 29, Tomahawk have been showing off some highly promising new material recently – and the wait can’t end soon enough for us. After debuting a whole bunch of new songs during their live gigs, the band has now released a video for the first single off the new album, Stone Letter.
With a 3-5 year gap between albums, we’re well past due for another release from the Lachrymology-touting anal metaphoring nightmare Fibonacci kaleidoscope sound architects. Bassist Justin Chancellor has been contributing with a heavy hand on the new material, something that has served the band quite well in the past. Danny Carey, Tool‘s polyrhythmically demonic drummer, did an interview not too long ago in which he shared the promising news that the time signature-molesting legends were hitting the studio last Summer to begin tracking their new album. Fingers crossed that the momentum brings us a new evolution in 2013.
When Kyuss announced their reunion in 2010 as Kyuss Lives!, without original guitarist Josh Homme, things seemed promising, with all sides expressing enthusiasm and well-wishes. A lot can change in two years, however, and after a lawsuit was filed by Homme and former bassist Scott Reeder (which tells a messy tale), Kyuss Lives! eventually took on the form of Vista Chino. As was their plan since late 2010, the group is finally recording an album of original songs, no longer associated with the Kyuss name – though very little is known about the actual music at the moment.
Band breakups are never easy, especially when you learn of the breakup from Rolling Stone magazine. That is exactly what happened to Dean Ween earlier this year. In early 2013, the former Ween member (real name Mickey Melchiondo) will head out to Los Angeles to record his debut solo disc with producer Josh Homme. With an all-star cast of characters including Nick Oliveri, Andrew Weiss, Joe Russo and many more lending a hand, there is no doubt Deaner’s first post Ween offering will blow Aaron Freeman’s solo debut out of the water.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
In 2009, Yeah Yeah Yeahs replaced guitars with keys on their third full length album It’s Blitz! Earlier this month the New York City based indie rockers took to Instagram to announce their triumphant return. While not much is known about the album (the Instagram photo looks like something from Star Wars got blasted with chicken feathers) there is no doubt in our minds that it will be filled with plenty of goodness. If the rumors are to be believed, look for the band playing new tracks on a polo field in the middle of the desert in the middle of April.