One Thirty BPM’s Guide to Second Half of 2011 Albums

Nurses – Dracula
(September 20th)

On September 20, Nurses are back with their follow-up to 2009’s Apple’s Acre, an awesome little record that slipped under a whole bunch of radars. If you’re looking for a sleeper pick for album of the year, this may just be it. The band has already released one track through Dead Oceans, their label, called “Fever Dreams.” The track takes the same nasally, excitable vocals and plays them over the type of organic instrumentation employed on the first record. Except now, instead of sounding like they just hobbled into the studio from off an apple orchard, they sound a little more refined and matured. It takes more than one strong song to make a great album, but for now that’s enough to stir up plenty excitement for what will be the group’s third full-length.

– Andrew Bailey


Perfume Genius

Photo by Philip Cosores

Perfume Genius’s debut record, Learning, proved to be one of the most painfully lonely and mournful records in recent memory with Mike Hadreas’s gently shaking croon accompanied by a rickety 4-track recorded upright piano playing solitary longing with all the album’s mistakes worn like proudly bared scars. But it was lo-fi in a real hissing, completely-removed-from-all-outside-influence kind of way. The Bristol-recorded second album is reportedly finished and it’s anyone’s guess what the dude will sound like from a legitimate studio. Color us excited to find out.

– Will Ryan

Perfume Genius playing a new song at Primavera Sound 2011



Rangers’ Suburban Tours was one of my favorite albums from last year, so imagine my delight upon learning that Joe Knight will be releasing a double album’s worth of material later this summer. There’s already a fan-made video for one of the album’s tracks and everything! Sounds like we’ll be in for some more faded, bass-heavy pysch-pop, which is just fine with me. Apologies for being an uninformed music critic, but this is literally all I know about this double LP as of now. Not to go all John Walsh on you, but if anyone has any information about Rangers’ new music, please come forward and let us know.

– Josh Becker

Rangers – “Zombies”


The Rapture – In The Grace Of Your Love
(September 6th)

Somewhere along the line, dance-punk torchbearers The Rapture lost the “punk” from their genre, but it’s all good as the dance-punk phenomenon grew stale seven years ago. In that time, The Rapture have only released one album, the decidedly un-punk, and underrated, Pieces Of The People We Love, which you may best remember as containing the theme song for numerous seasons of Top Chef. But, here they come again with a series of impressive performances last year, a fine tease of a lead single in “How Deep Is Your Love?” and a record, In The Grace Of Your Love, that offers a return to DFA, yet is likely to be a major departure from anything they have done before. As long as some aspects remain, namely the ability to balance a taste for goofy fun with a finger to the pulse of complex human emotion, The Rapture will leave us wondering what took them so long, rather than why the hell did they bother to come back.

– Philip Cosores

The Rapture – “How Deep Is Your Love?” (on DFA’s White Out Sessions)


Real Estate

The Ridgewood, New Jersey supergroup Real Estate were the feel good story of 2009, as their beautifully crafted self-titled debut propelled the four friends from local scensters to national media appeal. And for their sophomore album the group will have a new label, Domino. Real Estate also recently split from their drummer Etienne Duguay, replacing him with Jackson Pollis as their full-time live percussionist. The band’s also been performing a few new tracks live, a few of which we’ve featured here, and Real Estate appear to be fully dedicated to the lazy afternoon with friends vibe that they’ve so perfectly captured on previous releases. Although no official release date has been given, Domino did note that they hoped to have the new album out in October.

– Erik Burg

Real Estate play a new song live


Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You
(August 30th)

Lineup changes are something the Red Hot Chili Peppers have had to get used to over their thirty-year career. John Frusciante’s second departure from the band will, in part, define I’m With You, the band’s tenth album and their first in five years. His creativity with his guitar was a big reason the band became a radio fixture in the 90s and 00s. The void left by his absence will likely never be filled, but this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The band built something galactic with Stadium Arcadium, a divisively ambitious and deceptively intimate double album, and stylistically it was fairly far removed from By The Way. I’m skeptical that the band will be able return to these heights with Josh Klinghoffer (in my opinion, they’ve never made a great album with Frusciante out of their lineup), but this is a chance for a whole new Red Hot Chili Peppers, and that’s something to look forward to. Expect “The Adventures of Raindance Maggie,” the album’s first single, to drop sometime this month.

Check out the Frusciante-prominent “Wet Sand” from Stadium Arcadium to see what they’ll be missing this time around.

– Brendan Frank

Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Wet Sand”


Rilo Kiley – B-Sides

For their first release since 2007, Rilo Kiley have cobbled together a collection of b-sides and rarities set for release later this year. “We’re getting a bunch of songs together and old photographs and sifting through the past,” said singer Jenny Lewis, who most recently has released I’m Having Fun Now with her boyfriend and songwriting partner Johnathan Rice. “It’s just stuff that has been lying around for many, many years.” From the sounds of it, this will likely include material stretching the band’s whole career, from the lo-fi coffeehouse folk of Take Offs And Landings to the glossy, Fleetwood Mac-ian pop of Under The Blacklight. As fans of the band have suspected, this will likely be the last release to come under the Rilo Kiley name, at least according to the band’s other songwriter and former Lewis paramour Blake Sennett, “I don’t think we’ll ever play together again.”

– Jason Hirschhorn



Details remain scarce, but according to Santigold herself, the Philadelphia-based artist is expected to release her long-awaited sophomore effort sometime this fall. It’s Santigold’s first album under a major record label, and the process hasn’t been easy: in an interview with BIllboard Magazine, the artist stated, “I wrote in the direction that [the label] were telling me, but secretly I kept writing in my own direction.” This isn’t the first time a prolific songwriter has complained about Atlantic Records’ shady dealings. Still, all commotion aside, tweets about the album’s diverse and unique collaborations suggests an expansive follow up to the genre-bending “Santogold.” If “Go” is any indication, the record will be just as innovative.

– Ryan Studer

Santigold – “Go” (feat. Karen O)


The Shins

Full disclosure: The Shins were my first favorite band. So the prospect of a new album from them dropping sometime this year seems almost too good to be true. But true it seems to be indeed; drummer Jesse Sandoval and keyboardist Marty Crandall have been replaced, and I doubt Mercer would have bothered shuffling the band’s lineup if he wasn’t planning on releasing some new material with them. There’s been no official announcement about a new album yet, but last year Mercer mentioned that he’s written “a lot more up-tempo stuff” for The Shins, and if their most recent upbeat material is any indication, such a light-hearted Shins record is sure to be immensely fun. We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, let’s all listen to Oh, Inverted World again and marvel at how underrated a lyricist Mercer is. “Just help me feel warm inside, before we take this ride and let it slide into the cracks where fall and winter collide.” Come on, can you even get more singer-songwritery than that?

– Josh Becker

The Shins – New song live at the Bagdad Theater


Sleigh Bells

Photo by Philip Cosores

It’s the type of music your grandparents regard with vitriol. The type that will make the people in other cars roll up their windows as you pump it out on the highway. The type that will have your party busted up that much faster because it acts like a homing signal for the police. But damn if we don’t love it all the more for that. Sleigh Bells were arguably the breakout act of last year, and it looks like we’re going to have a pretty quick turnaround for LP2. They seem committed to the cause: they cancelled their scheduled appearance at Lollapalooza to devote all of their energy to writing and recording, and blueprints have already been drawn up. Will it be more of the same? Probably. But the duo are smart enough to know that you can’t build a career on volume alone, so expect less chicken scratch and more depth and perhaps even a slightly broadened palette on their second go around.

– Brendan Frank

Sleigh Bells – “Rill Rill” (Diplo Remix)


St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
(September 13th)

Under the alter ego St. Vincent, Annie Clark has released two sublimely composed albums – Marry Me and Actor – which showcase a stunning brand guitar virtuoso never seen in indie circles. Two years after Actor, a concept album where every song is a secret film score, St. Vincent is ready to wow the world again with her third LP Strange Mercy, which is scheduled to be released from 4AD on September 13. Clark may now be a New Yorker, but for Strange Mercy she returned to her roots, recording the album at Elmwood Studios in Dallas with Actor producer John Congleton.

In the past, the menacingly wicked shred of Annie Clark’s guitar has served as a foil to her angelic vocals, and according to the press release, Clark will be “redefining the idea of the guitar hero, utilizing the instrument as a pointillist artist might wield a brush” on Strange Mercy. Sounds intriguing. In addition to Strange Mercy, Clark has also been working on an album with David Byrne. The two shared a stage together last year at The Allen Room in New York for a song called “Breathing” and the project is open-ended and the two contribute as time permits, according to a Wall Street Journal interview.

– Frank Mojica

St. Vincent – “Kerosene” (Big Black cover) live at Our Band Could Be Your Life show, Bowery Ballroom

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