Feature: Anticipated Spring LPs 2015
We're back again for 2015, having missed a winter section due to time constraints in every day life. The section is due a little bit of a shake-up with regular art-work now coming from favourite collaboration artist, Samme Snow. Along with mentions for every album, we're compiling a playlist of our favourite tracks (that we've heard so far) from each album. Lots of big names not in this, including the likes of Sufjan so don't be surprised reading through.
Chastity Belt - Time To Go Home (Hardly Art: March 24)
The Chastity Belt girls have already (yesterday) dropped Time To Go Home, their follow-up to debut No Regerts and following tracks like "Joke" and the album title track, it's no surprise that the 4-piece are first on our list of LPs you need to cop this spring. They manage to turn post-punk tracks into more of a melancholic jangle-fest, while still keeping that original feeling of a post-punk track. Chastity Belt are just a massive breath of fresh air and their crazy, intoxicating self-awareness is a joy to behold in 2015.
Toro Y Moi - What For? (Carpark Records: April 7)
Funny one Chaz Bundick, doesn't like to stick with something for too long without taking a dip into something else - come to think of it, we're all like that - like his Les Sins side project, which until now has taken most of his creative energy. It's good to see the Toro Y Moi sun-kissed psychedelic dream-pop, we fell in love with on Underneath The Pine, back in full force for this new release though. "Empty Nesters" is quite possibly the best thing we've heard thus far, bridging the gap between his original works and a more commercial, easy listening vibe. Excited for What For? - maybe more than any other release this year.
Blur - The Magic Whip (Parlophone: April 27)
This is the only release we're featuring - Parlophone is Warner - on a mainstream/commercial record label and it comes from Blur - hard to ignore, especially when it's been over a decade and the first to feature Graham Coxon since 13 was out 16 years ago. Everyone knows the drill with Blur and so far The Magic Whip has treat us to "Go Out", "There Are Too Many of Us" and just yesterday "Lonesome Street" which are all very Blur styled tracks and nothing we're not already used to - exactly what you wanted.
Nai Harvest - Hairball (Topshelf Records: April 28)
The first kinda newcomer-ish release we're looking forward to is from Nai Harvest. The Sheffield lads have been perfecting their sound over the years from their Whatever debut to the most recent EP release Hold Open My Head. Latest track "All The Time" signals a step up in gear and paired with first track to come from Hairball, "Sick on my Heart", it sets them in good stead for the LP release. There's little bands in the UK, other than a few, who can challenge the duos raucous but light-hearted nature when crafting their tracks and they deserve all the praise they get.
METZ - METZ II (Sub Pop: May 4)
I don't really know how, but we always seem to be having a bit of down-time when METZ release a new track. Back in February, the band released new track "Acetate" ahead of their May 5th release of self-titled debut follow-up, METZ II. They aren't exactly known for their light nature, but it's fairly easy to say "Acetate" represents the bands heaviest and angriest yet. Having already declared this new release would be 'heavier, darker and sloppier', it's clear that it's going to be something worth waiting for.
Mikal Cronin - MCIII (Merge: May 5)
The simple naming of albums is becoming a bit of a popular choice for bands and musicians these days and Mikal Cronin has done so with his previous two releases. MCIII marks the release of his, you guessed it, third solo LP and the fact he's going to add more solid-gold power-pop gems to his, pretty strong already, catalogue only serves as another improvement on one of the best live performances we've seen in recent times. First track "Made My Mind Up" is another feel-good vibed slice of folk-tinged garage rock and considering Cronin played almost every instrument on the record, even having a part in the organisation of a string quartet, this is definitely a release we're waiting on.
Crocodiles - Boys (Zoo Music: May 12)
This isn't a negative comment, it's just an observation and obviously comes with the territory. Crocodiles seemed to run fairly dry of ideas before this latest return, with members going off to work on side projects and re-convene at a better time. That time is obviously now and with the release of latest track, "Crybaby Demon", the band sound re-invigorated and look to have developed a slightly cleaner and more progressive sound than on older efforts. We've only heard one track so far, but knowing the psychedelic scuzzy qualities the band already possessed, it's exciting to see what the break has done for the upcoming release of Boys.
Thee Oh Sees - Mutilator Defeated At Last (Castle Face: May 18)
One of the most prolific bands we're featuring return again - this year with Mutilator Defeated At Last - following last years Drop. If this one is anywhere near the standard of last years Drop, which was also part of our spring feature last year, then we're in for another. However, we hear this is set to be a far heavier album than the aforementioned release and for our liking, sounds better. First track to be heard from the album is "Web" and yes it's what you'd expect, being told things are set to get a lot larger on this release and it sounds, in a way, like Thee Oh Sees of old. Big things to come May 18.
Joanna Gruesome - Peanut Butter (Fortuna Pop!/Slumberland: May 19)
Enough of the Americans now, we can hold our own too. Joanna Gruesome are another band that's been teetering on the edge for a while now and this upcoming Peanut Butter release must surely be the one to garner that extra bit of attention they so clearly deserve. So far we've heard "Last Year" and "Honestly Do Yr Worst", both possessing the melody and charm we've grown to expect from the band and at the same time possessing such a great tongue lashing, attitude adjuster of noise and aggression. The band are clearly perfecting their sound and we're thinking Peanut Butter could cement it for them.
Tanlines - Highlights (True Panther Sounds: May 19)
Tanlines are another returning band who've had a stint on the sidelines. Their last album Mixed Emotions came out in 2012 but listening to their new stuff, it's like they were never away. The first track we heard from Highlights was "Slipping Away" and it's a vibe filled happy-fest of warming synths and plucky basslines - an absolute joy and it's what we love about the duo. Highlights surely can't fail and with their three year-ish gap, hopefully Tanlines have a new vigour about them that can make the full release as feel-good as the first track.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Multi Love (Jagjaguwar: May 26)
Obviously not considering Blur, Unknown Mortal Orchestra are most definitely the juggernauts of this LP run-down and the level of expectation for their Multi Love LP is huge to say the least. Previous LP II was a pioneering album in terms of genre-blending and proved that r&b elements can work easily and smoothly with traditional rock stylings, especially with a voice as good as Ruban Neilson's. First track to come from Multi Love is the title track, and it's takes what we learnt from II and progresses it up a couple rungs of the ladder. Even if this is all we have to go by, Multi Love for us, could well be album of the year.
Outfit - Slowness (Memphis Industries: June 15)
The latest spring release this year comes from Liverpudlians Outfit, who just recently signed with Memphis Industries for the upcoming release of Slowness. Something which really got our pulses racing, especially when paired with the first track from the release, "Genderless". Never ones to be tied down by genre, the group have concocted another brilliant piece of escapism in "Genderless" and hopefully the release of Slowness will give us a full batch of the same.
Special EP Mentions:
Ben Khan - 1000 EP (Dirty Hit: May 11)
Until now Ben Khan's been pretty elusive but things look to be changing ahead of his latest 1000 EP release. The title track has far more of an electronic sound to it than the r&b sound we fully expected him to drift towards. The full release might not stay on that track, but so-far-so-good for the young British hope.
Honne - Coastal Love EP (Tatemae: May 4th)
Following Ben Khan in a similar vein is the EP release from electronic r&b soulsters Honne and once again we've only heard a solitary track from the release, which promises to put the band in good stead for a full length in the future. First track, "Coastal Love" demonstrates more of an upbeat sound and styling to previous works and shows the boys have a lot more in their locker.
Only Real - Jerk at The End of The Line (March 30th)
East India Youth - Culture of Volume (April 7th)
The Tallest Man On Earth - Dark Bird Is Home (May 12th)
Novella - Land (May 12th)