I always enjoy entering a new year. I get to think about all the things that I have to wait for. In this post I am going to go over all of the music that I am looking forward to in the new year, and you should be looking forward to it as well. This list isn’t in any particular order and I did my best to dig and scratch for release info. Some releases I found an estimate, some the actual date and some with the unfortunate TBD. Take a look at the list, see if you agree and add some of the ones you are looking for in ’09.
Imogen Heap – TBD: This one is going to seem out of place when you read the rest of my list, but that’s OK, the girl’s got skills. She got a little bit of radio play with Goodnight and Go, a song that was played on the then famous The O.C. on Fox. Like all other talented female artists before her, the radio play was fleeting because everyone was wondering what Britney Spears was doing with her hair. Imogen has had a pretty nice career for herself. Two solo albums, a side project with Frou Frou and some wonderful guest appearances on various other albums (Check our her video with Urban Species below). She’s hard to pigeon hole into one specific category, so I just say she’s one of the best female vocalists with a heavy electronic influence. I guess it could be Trip-Hop but I just don’t know. Either way, this is going to be a good release. She has consistently gotten better throughout her career and I don’t plan on that stopping now. Late in ’08 she released the single Not Now, But Soon. The track may or may not be on her ’09 release. Regardless the single is a great song and signs of good things to come.
Winterlseep – TBD: The best band no one in America knows about. They have won multiple Juno awards up der’ hey in Canada and have had a decent amount of success up there as well. There sound has been pretty consistent since their second release, Untitled. After starting off as a somewhat folksy side project of Kary (now disbanded) they slowly added electric guitar to their acoustic guitar and the sounds blended beautifully. I think one of the reasons they might not ever see a huge amount of success is due to their somewhat depressing tone and feeling. I find the music beautiful and interesting but I can also see how someone may find it boring and depressing. Their sound is very simple but everything they do, they do really well.
Queens of The Stone Age – Desert Orgy in the Dark: For whatever reason, it took me a long, long time to get into these guys. I gave it multiple tries and it didn’t click for me until about a year ago. I don’t know if it was due to a change in my taste or due to the fact that Josh Homme is a friggin genius and his spell finally got to me. Whatever the case I am glad it happened. Their music sounds like no other. Heavy guitars, lots of solos and crooning from Josh Homme. I don’t know if others would agree with this, but Homme could have a very successful career as a lounge singer in another life. And that’s not an insult, his voice is wonderful and his style is very unique which makes listening the each Queens album a wonderful experience. I assume this will be no different.
The Prodigy – Invaders Must Die: I always look forward to a new Prodigy album, even though they haven’t done much good since the first 5 songs on The Fat of the Land. Since then we have had Baby’s Got a Temper and Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned. Baby’s Got a Temper was terrible all around, but was forgiven because it was just an EP/Single. Always Outnumbered did have it’s moments but it just didn’t feel like Prodigy. Too many guest vocalists and not enough original music. The band (really one man makes the music, they other 2 are hype men/vocalists) have said they are going back to their roots and are not featuring guest vocalists. I hope this is a return to the Music For A Julted Generation form because that is my favorite electronic album of all time. I am taking a wait and see approach with this one. It could make me very disappointed if my hopes are set to high. Click below to see the video for the first single, Invaders Must Die. Good song, but not enough to get me super excited. Time will tell with this one.
dredg – 3/24/09: For me, dredg has been on somewhat of a downward spiral since they started getting softer and softer. I really loved how the heavy played off the lighter stuff back on Leitmotif and to a lesser extent on El Cielo. Then Catch Without Arms came and I just really struggled to get into it. It’s not a bad album per say, I just don’t like it as much as their previous work. Hopefully my wish will come true dredg will go back to their roots and rock out a little here and there. I’m not asking for a straight up metal album like their first few EP’s, I just want to see them go back to the balance they previously have shown.
A Wilhelm Scream – TBD: These guys have been one of my favorites of the last 5 years. Their blend of metal and punk is done better than anyone else and their cynical lyrics always keep me interested. They rarely (if ever) follow the verse, chorus, verse pattern which makes each of their songs (no matter how short) and interesting listen. Much like Rise Against, A Wilhelm Scream hasn’t messed with their sound very much over the years. That’s a good thing in my book as their sound is interesting and different enough that the can keep doing what they are doing and I will be listening.
P.O.S. – 2/3/09: Pretty easily my favorite rap artist of the last 5 years. He started as a punk musician but ditched that for hip hop, but he brought along some of what he learned early in his career. The mix doesn’t really end up being a punk/hip-hop hybrid, there is no question this is hip-hop. But some of the samples he uses and his varied vocal style make him a very interesting listen. This will be his third LP and he has gotten strong with each release. Hopefully this Minnesota native can keep that going.
Brand New – Spring of ’09: Not sure where I found the spring release date but I’d say that’s pretty optimistic for this one. Their last disc leaked on the net too early so they went back and re-recorded the whole thing and ditched most of the original songs. The result was one of the best American rock records of the decade and the continued growth from whiny emo boys to great American hard rock. But it’s not hard rock in the classic sense. Their music and vocals steal have a very emotional feel to them, but not at all emo. They frequently use the quite to loud dynamic and it works every time. Like a few of the other artists on my list they keep getting better with age and I hope that streak continues. And to be perfectly honest, I would be amazed is this came out in ’09, but here’s hoping.
RX Bandits – Spring ’09: Frequently these guys get thrown into the Ska category but they are so much more than that. Taking obvious influence from the Police they mix horns with a rock sound that has a lot of pop sensibility. The mix makes for a unique sound and always keeps you listening. I always expect these guys to push themselves further and further and I expect no different with a new release.
Isis – April ’09: If you need a good idea of what epic heavy metal can sound like, look no further than Isis. While other metal bands from black or death metal rely on ridiculous over production and silly images with face paint, Isis just lets the music do the talking. All their songs are long, you’ll never hear them on the radio but none of that matters. Isis is one of the best bands making music today. Their song writing is stellar, vocals go from soft to brutal and for a group that has songs that average 7 or 8 minutes, they are never boring. If you have any sort of paitence with listening to music and like any kind of metal, you owe it to yourself to check these guys out.