Friday, August 12, 2016

Upcoming Albums Mike is Excited For

by Michael Drinan

We all love it when artists we follow release new material. New music, new sounds, something new to bitch about. Then there are times when a whole slew of artists you like release new material all around the same time, causing you to meticulously plot and plan when to preorder what album just so you don’t blow your entire savings to get the limited edition color vinyl that is only available if you preorder the album and YOU HAVE get them all! (*sigh* my life!)

Anyways, here are the upcoming releases I’m looking forward to.

Lydia Loveless - Real  
Out 8/19

This country-punk artist caught my attention when she showed up on Rolling Stone’s “10 Artists You Need To Know” back in January 2014. She was about to release her third album Somewhere Else to critical acclaim at the time and instantly became an artist I would incessantly follow. I caught her live show twice that year and it was amazing. It was country rock music but felt more like a punk show. She made enough noise to have documentarian Gorman Bechard make a film about her as she recorded her new album. Her voice is cutting, her lyrics pretty provocative. She is not your typical country music artist. She floats between country, punk, rock and pop. There are a couple of songs on the new album that sound almost New Wave-ish indicating that she’s continuing to branch out to new styles of music, which is always a plus.

Angel Olsen - MY WOMAN
Out 9/2

Indie rock/folk artist Angel Olsen released the fantastic album Burn Your Fire For No Witness in 2014 which put her on my radar. She also received some Twitter validation from Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney (a personal Top 5 all time favorite band) after its release. Her follow up, MY WOMAN, sees her branch out a little further into a more pop-oriented sound while addressing “the complicated mess of being a woman.” She’s a fantastic songwriter and her lyrics are often dark as they are punishing, wrapping around themes of love, identity, and strength vs. weakness. She’s one of the few emerging artists where I’m really looking forward to seeing what she does.

Shovels & Rope - Little Seeds
Out 10/7

This husband and wife duo blew on to the Americana scene with their first album O’ Be Joyful and won a whole bunch of awards for the single “Birmingham”. An excellent documentary was made of the recording of the album and the success they gained from it. For their new album, the band seems to have taken on a grittier, nastier country-rockabilly sound and so far I’m loving everything about it. I haven’t seen them live yet but I hear they put on an awesome show.

Korn - The Serenity of Suffering
Out 10/21

When I heard Korn was releasing a new album my reaction was the equivalent of a shoulder shrug. The last album of theirs that I really liked was 2002’s Untouchables. All of their other releases since then, for me, has been mediocre to subpar. However their first single from this new album, “Rotting In Vain”, piqued my interest. Jonathan Davis’ rage sounds more genuine than on the past albums and his growling scats never get old. Maybe Korn found their way back? I hope so. Either way, I can’t wait to check this one out.

Regina Spektor - Remember Us To Life
Out 9/30

Like most people, I was captivated by Regina’s introspective lyrics, her quirky vocal stylings and the fun, playful sway of her songs when she released Begin To Hope in 2006 with her popular single “Fidelity”. Exploring her catalogue, I was just enamoured with her voice and her songwriting. Even though I wasn’t too impressed with her last album, What We Saw From The Cheap Seats, her new single “Bleeding Heart” from her upcoming release has me excited to hear her new material. She just recently released a remarkable cover of The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” for the soundtrack to the animated film Kubo and The Two Strings, which only pushed my excitement for her new album higher.

Green Day - Revolution Radio 
Out 10/7

Green Day has always been a band that I will fall back to no matter what. Call it nostalgia from my teenage years or just plain foolishness, I can’t help but like what they do. Even though I didn’t care for the trio of albums ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, and ¡TrĂ©! I still find myself interested in any release they put out. After hearing the lead off single “Bang Bang”, I feel a lot of people will be interested as well. The single doesn’t show them breaking away from their signature pop punk style, however, thematically they are right in their wheelhouse. Billy Joe is best when he has two cents to throw into the national discourse, which made American Idiot so great. The discourse for “Bang Bang” is the issue of mass shootings in this country and is written from the perspective of the shooter. All of this makes me feel Green Day is about to hit it out of the park again with this release.

Norah Jones - Daybreaks
Out 10/7

Last but certainly not least, I’m looking forward to Norah Jones’ new album. For her last few albums, she’s gotten away from the style and sound of the breakout Come Away With Me that carried her into some interesting creative territory, which was a challenge for a lot of her most ardent fans. She’s an artist in every sense of the word and is unafraid to explore her musical range. However, judging from her new singl “Carry On”, she’s returning to that style that everyone loves. The new single sounds like it could’ve been off of her album Not Too Late, which is my favorite album of hers.  So needless to say, this is one I’m definitely pre-ordering. Norah has never failed me. Even with albums I didn’t quite care for, she always gives me something new and interesting to hear. If she’s falling back to her familiar sound, I’m still happy with it. It’s hard not to be with a voice like hers.

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