14 Jan 2015

Albums we're looking forward to in 2015

OK so I don't know about you, but my favourite part of the music press' previews of the year ahead is the lists of albums coming out, because it kinda like gives me something to look forward to in the way that buying gig tickets in advance does. This year, I had a go at putting one of those lists together so you're as excited as I am about all these upcoming albums...

Menace Beach - Ratworld

Menace Beach are a group from Leeds that feature members of bands from that scene; members of  Pulled Apart By Horses and Sky Larkin, as well as having Hookworms' amazing frontman MJ as a regular contributor and producer of the band's output. Ratworld comes out this month, and it's their debut LP - if you've already listened to the stream, you'll know why it's an album that's got us all licking our lips. There's a woozy Madchester influence in their sound, with a lot of fuzzy guitars and Ty Segall-like vocals to make for an incredible sound. Menace Beach are already a name on the tip of the tongue of a lot of people, but I think after the release of album they'll be a band whose name makes it into the twitter bio of all the indies.

Pond - Man It Feels Like Space Again
The best psych outfit in all of Australia, and that's saying a lot, Pond have a fair amount in common with friends Tame Impala, in that they make some of the most refreshing psychedelia in the world today. However, for me, Pond are by far the greater band, as proved by the stunning album that is 2013's Hobo Rocket which this is the follow up to. Man It Feels Like Space Again promises to be completely batshit crazy, if the songs they've released already are anything to go by; Elvis' Flaming Star is an incredible lead single, and Zond, the song on 6music's A-list at the moment is brilliant. If you've already been completely repulsed by one album cover with a peace sign on it this year, fear not; this album does have a CND logo on it's front, but it is a great bit of psyched out graphic design that I would happily put on my wall, or get on a t-shirt or tattoo on my chest.

man it feels like space again

Slowdive's Comeback Album
Their reunion has been electric, almost legendary; but what if the legend that is Slowdive's reunion is just beginning. The Reading shoegazers' first album in 20 years seemed to be a bit of an ineviatability, I know; they've been teasing at recording since they first started playing shows again; but they've only just announced that Slowdive LP #4 is officially on its way. Who knows what it will sound like? My guess is that it'll be in the shoegazing realms of Souvlaki as opposed to the atmospherics of Pygmalion, purely because the Souvlaki songs sounded true to record in a live environment, whereas the Pygmalion songs sounded a bit more shoegaze-y than on record. However, the only way we'll find out is by waiting, and seeing, but there's no way it won't be great. 

Joanna Gruesome - LP #2
Joanna Gruesome are one of the single most energetic, exciting bands in the world at the moment, and they're one of my absolute favourites. At the end of last year they knocked my socks off with the stunning 120 second noise-pop gem that is Psykick Espionage, which is on a split 7' they did with Perfect Pussy, and at that it's 7' that hasn't really left my turntable in a month. They're either currently recording, or have currently recorded their second album with MJ of Hookworms, and most excitingly it's rumoured to be about 22 minutes long, which is music to my ears. That's the optimum album length for me, that. Whenever it comes out, the second LP of Joanna Gruesome, winner's of the Welsh music prize for 2014, will be an album that knocks the socks off of everyone - and I've noticed that I've used the phrase 'knocked the socks off' twice, but the off-knocking of socks is a talent that this band have.

TOY - LP #3
After their first two LPs TOY and Join The Dots received such acclaim, this South-based band have been one of my favourite UK based bands. Their sound is kind of influenced by the repetitive nature krautrock, in the their songs often have long periods of sustained 4/4 drums and repetitive basslines, with an added influence of modern psychedelia; think The Horrors' Skying being squeezed into a sort of drum driven psychedelic odyssey. If I'm honest, I can't imagine them changing their sound around much for 2015's promised release, which they're recording now. They have a perfectly functioning formula, and it fits perfectly, and I'm not quite sure where they could head next. But we'll find out soon enough, because a third LP is on it's way for 2015.

Swervedriver - I Wasn't Born To Lose You
Swervedriver - just the name makes me kinda excited. Prominent throughout the nineties (that is starting around 1990 and splitting up just after their final album 99th Dream in 1998) Swervedriver are one of the most exciting bands in the world, ever. They're often lumped in with the shoegaze bands like Slowdive and Ride (they got signed to Creation after Mark Gardener gave Alan McGee their demo tape) but they have a much rockier sound, that's kind of more like the sound that Nirvana and The Jesus Lizard were making across the pond at that time. Anyway, Swervedriver have announced they've ACTUALLY FINISHED making a brand new album, and it'll be their first 17 years. The band have already put out one song from it, and man, it's great. Although it's not very close to the top of this actual list, Swervedriver's album is potentially the LP I'm most looking forward to, and god it should be good.

Cat's Eyes' comeback album
Okay, so everyone absolutely loves The Horrors, right? Right. And what umm, well a fair few people but not quite everyone know is that in 2011 is that Faris and his opera singing girlfriend Rachel Zeffira released an album under the guise Cat's Eyes. The album was gorgeous, and featured a lot of incredible vocals and was kinda experimental; much less conventional than The Horrors anyhow. They released their self titled debut four or so years ago, and for the first time since then, Cat's Eyes have come back - there are strong rumours that a second LP is well on the way, and the hope is that it comes with a tour too...

Tame Impala - LP #3
Lonerism and Innerspeaker have been two of the most acclaimed albums of the decade, and Tame Impala have been credited with being one of the best psychedelic bands of the twenty-first century, so their long-awaited third album is something that caused a bit of a stir when it was confirmed earlier this month. Although their first two albums were kind of samey in the best way possible, they've said that this is going to a lot more electronically driven than Lonerism, and I don't think this can be anything but a good thing. There's an interview about it with the bands keys player here, in which the buzz word seems to be awesome - you'd like to hope it's going to be just that, and having heard Kevin Parker's genius musings before it's hard to doubt that.

Palma Violets' second LP
Here, you can read our very own Poppy talking about how Palma Violets' first crack of the whip was her album of the decade. Unlike Peace, who they're generally kind of lumped in with despite sounding nothing alike, Palma Violets have stayed a bit quieter about their difficult second album. Despite the fact that they've been playing the odd new song live for well over a year, nothing has officially come to light yet, but rumours are strong that the Palmas are going to bring out their second album this Spring, around the time that they're going on tour around the UK. Expect a lot of volume, crooning, and what can probably be described as chaos.

But these aren't it; in 2015 we can hope to expect debuts from the likes of Wolf Alice and Telegram, as well as the first Sleater Kinney album in forever. As well as that, Ride have said new material is a definite, The Horrors have hinted they've started work on new stuff, and last but not least; Drenge are going to play a brand new song on Letterman in 2 Tuesdays time. 2015 will be a great year for music...