Goodbye 2015 and hello! 2016, the Chinese New Year of the Monkey. Judging by the list of New Borns set for delivery in the January alone, there is no monkeying about when it comes to the most anticipated albums of the year in one hit. Go Bananas!
David Bowie – Blackstar – Delivered on the 8th January.
“The goal was to avoid Rock N Roll” says producer Tony Visconti, producer of David Bowie’s secretly produced 25th studio album, * (like the Prince symbol however for purpose of communication, pronounced Blackstar). The first single taken from the album, Blackstar, is an epic 9:59 seconds collision of RnB, free style jazz and the first track on the album, a ballsy yet expected way to kick off the most anticipated album of the year. With special musical contributions from James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) many have already said that this album confirms Bowie as the master of modern music accomplishment.
Villagers – Where Have You Been All My Life? – Delivered on the 8th January.
In May of 2015, Lead vocalist Connor O’Brien of Villagers, released a solo album (although still used the band name) stripped back, heart-felt and modest to say the least. The new album is a re-imagining of older material seamlessly woven with present glories from Villagers’ from that album, Darling Arithmetic. The recording of the album took place in one day and pretty much sums up the magic they all experienced on the day of the recordings.
Daughter – Not To Disappear – Delivered on the 15th January.
It was surprising to watch Daughter gain such international success for their debut If You Leave, not that it wasn’t well deserved but more the surprise that such a recluse, dark and introspective album appealed to so many. Early listens of the album, recorded in New York suggest it is both a sonic and lyrical leap forward for the band who were also heavily involved in the making of the recently released 3 short movies to accompany some of the tracks.
Skunk Anansie – Anarchytecture – Delivered on the 15th January.
So you thought that Skunk Anansie were finito? Many of us did, casting our minds back to 1994 when the band formed and released their debut Paranoid and Sunburnt. Fronted by the brilliant Skin, who currently appears as a judge on Italy’s X Factor, the band are hoping that this will the album that launches them back into the good books of the punksters out there.
The Besnard Lakes is actually named after the secluded water feature in rural Saskatchewan, Montreal and it is where husband and wife Jack and Olga go to for inspiration before creating their unique sound with fellow band members. They are a band who continue to release accomplished music but still swept under the radar, although the word is out that this album will be more accessible to a wider audience. Either way, it will be a cracker.
Described as “the band’s most personal and musically definitive record to date”, Mystery Jets have been together for almost 2 decades and with this, their 5th album, the band coin Curve of the Earth as their most personal and a reflection of their many years together and a hotchpotch of many influences, including Pink Floyd and King Crimson. The band produced the album themselves and plan to have an exclusive live event in London to mark its release.
Back in October the brutally pure Savages released the first single The Answer from their upcoming album Adore Life, it was furious and cutting, everything expected following their brilliant first album. An appropriately designed cover, this follow-up album by Savages will carry all the rage and lyrical depth that we can expect from this London band fronted by one of the world’s most commanding female lead singers, Jehnny Beth.
23 years it has been since the release of Suede’s self-titled debut album with many quick to mark them as “the best new band in Britain” and for clear reason, it was an astounding debut full of attitude, arrogance, androgynous flair backed by exceptional musicianship. Somewhat older and reformed, Night Thoughts (produced by long time collaborator Ed Buller) will see the band debut the album live in it’s entirety at the London Roundhouse, accompanied by a feature film directed by acclaimed photographer Roger Sargent.
Nottingham, UK bred Tindersticks formed nearly a quarter century back and have consistently delivered albums that are thought-provoking, lyrically complex and musically profound so it baffles TWL why they haven’t really gained the following we would expect. More a cult band of a generation, this is the gifted band’s 11th studio album however not to forget the copious soundtracks and side projects they find time to and like Suede, have embraced media to release a short film to accompany their release.
For many of us, we lost contact with the master of trip-hop, Tricky, around the year 2000, after the release of one of the best debut‘s of the 90s Maxinquaye and after the release of Juxtapose in 1999. After a handful of albums through the 00’s, he found his stride again in 2013 with False Idols and Adrian Thaws. Skilled Mechanics is less a solo project, more collaborative with 2 other artists who Tricky worked with in the past, DJ Milo and drummer Luke Harris. The album includes a range of covers, including Porno for Pyros, Driving Away.
Ty Segull is an extremely busy guy, he has released 8 studio albums, since his self-titled debut in 2008, that is one a year, with three releases in 2012 not to mention a load of 7″ and forming Fuzz in 2013, oh, also producing the debut album for a band. Segall announced the album by sending VHS tapes to promoters with the album played out in full with footage of Segull explaining the album and the meaning of Emotional Mugger. This is great, you have to watch this!
Bloc Party certainly know how to vary their sound album upon album, with what began as the super impressive debut Silent Alarm that poured every element of new-age punk into one outstanding debut, through to their most recent A Weekend In The City, that went all electro, influenced perhaps by Kele Okereke solo work that brought him a dance crossover audience. Now the band, with 2 new members, deliver Hymns, and many of us are wondering, could this be the album that breaks them. Sorry, to sound so pessimistic.
Turin Brakes never really made it big beyond the British shores, even with such an impeccable debut, follow-up album and a few cracking singles thereafter. Heck, many doubters would have bet their lives that TB would be here in 2016. Seven albums down and the two gents, Olly and Gale (now with what appears is a fixed band) return with Lost Property. We struggled to find much on the new album, but we are certain that it will be full of honey dripping harmonies, infectious melodies and earworms a plenty.
When Chairlift shot to social media fame with their debut single Bruises, used as Apples jingle for their fourth-generation Ipod Nano, we all pretty much new that despite such a great little track, that not much would be heard of that band again. Well, wrong us doubters were, nearly eight years on, Aaron Pfenning and Caroline Polachek release gem after gem. Their infectious, bordering commercial laden pop (cleverly they never give in) will ensure that this talented duo are far from a fade out. First single Ch-Ching would have Rhianna, Beyonce, Madonna and every other electro desperate commercial whore wishing they would have written it.