The year of the Mayan apocalypse is upon us. And that means one thing … We need bad-ass new tunes to listen to while the world is going up in flames. Sadly, Charles Bradley’s “The World Is Going Up In Flames” does not count because it dropped in 2011.
The albums below either have a release date or are reportedly in the works. They each fall under the bad-ass new tunes umbrella.
Let’s do this, shall we?
Grizzly Bear (TBA)
The more I listen to Grizzly Bear’s sophomore album, Yellow House, the deeper my love for it grows. It’s beauty is subtle, revealing itself in different ways with each listen. Their third album, Veckatimest, did not do much for me outside of “Two Weeks” and “While You Wait For The Others.” It was glossier with less emotional resonance. I am willing to hold out hope they have magic in store for us in 2012. Plus, I believe Ed Droste and Daniel Rossen have the potential to be the best songwriting duo in indie rock — some would say they already are.
There is no release date for the new Japandroids album, but it’s coming. The Vancouver, B.C., drum and guitar duo played several new songs when they stopped in Portland a few months ago. I did not fall in love that night with the new material. I would write my lukewarm reaction off to wanting to hear material from their debut Post-Nothing, particularly “Young Hearts Spark Fire” and “Wet Hair.” Still, I would bet Japandroids’ sophomore album will have its share of catchy, uber-passionate songs too. Here is a sample taste from the new album.
Jay-Z/Kanye West, Watch The Throne 2 (TBA)
Sure, Watch The Throne 2 has no better than a 50-50 chance of seeing the light of day in 2012. But it has a chance. That smidgeon of hope and the brilliance of the original Watch The Throne were enough to garner a potential second installment a place on this list. There is also talk, per the same Rolling Stone article, that Jay-Z and Kanye could also release solo albums in 2012. Say it with me: That shit cray … and awesome!
Seattle dream-pop duo Lemolo emerged as one of my favorite bands in the Pacific Northwest in 2011, thanks to a handful of songs they self-released. Their keyboard/drum offerings came across familiar and warm, and had simplicity, sincerity, and heart on their side. I could use more simplicity in 2012. Plus, I might need “come down music” after getting hyped listening to Watch The Throne 2.
The Walkmen (summer)
This month The Walkmen will play a handful of shows in Chicago and San Francisco to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their debut album Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone. Later this year, the quintet will add a seventh album to their impressive canon. While little is known about the album, I am sure it will feature plenty of Hamilton Leithauser howling, defeated-sounding horns, and touches of sad-eyed elegance that the Walkmen are so good at delivering.