Our Most Anticipated Albums of 2011

Mister Heavenly – TBA
Expected out Spring 2011 on Sub Pop

Michael Cera. That’s all people seem to care about when it comes to Mister Heavenly. But the fact is that Nick Thorburn and Honus Honus, of Islands and Man Man respectively, are gifted songwriters who appear to have a pretty cool side project going. And Michael Cera seems like a fun guy to tour with. I mean, there’s always money in the banana stand. Right?

– Phillip Cosores

Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
Due out February 15th on Sub Pop

Though Mogwai’s devoted following needs no incentive to get excited about this new offering and tour, the recent Sub Pop signees seem to have a new sense of purpose as their dates take them around the world, including the Primavera Sound Festival. Hardcore was recorded back in the band’s native Scotland and is shaping up to be vintage Mogwai. If that means something to you, be stoked. If not, well, it’s never to late to challenge your ears.

– Philip Cosores

The Mountain Goats – All Eternals Deck
Due out March 29th on Merge

No, The Mountain Goats did not make a metal album. And really, did you want them to? Though metal-head John Darnielle did work with Erik Rutan of Morbid Angel, the thirteen song set will probably continue the road that the three-piece has been on for a while. It is their first record on Merge, a move that makes sense considering drummer Jon Wurster also drums for the founder’s band, Superchunk. He’s pretty damn funny, too. Be his friend on Facebook. Seriously.

– Philip Cosores

My Morning Jacket – TBA
Expected out 2011

My Morning Jacket took some time off after 2008’s disappointing Evil Urges, as front-man Jim James pursued side projects such as Monsters of Folk and his work as Yim Yames, so expectations for their next release are high. The buzz about the record has been quiet, however; the question remains as to whether MMJ will continue the stylistic hodge-podge approach of Evil Urges and, to a lesser extent, Z, or whether they’ll turn back to the epic roots-rock of their first few albums. I’ve got my fingers crossed for another At Dawn or It Still Moves, but James appears to be the type of songwriter who doesn’t like to stay in one place for too long.

– Elias Isquith

Obits – Moody, Standard and Poor
Due out March 29th on Sub Pop

Rick Froberg is not a household name. His former groups Pitchfork, Drive Like Jehu, and Hot Snakes are not household names, either. So to expect large scale success from Obits is reaching, but if we are talking about quality as a measuring stick for success, then the second album from the Brooklyn-based four piece is a safe bet. The singer (he has given up screaming) has a track record of creative, influential, and enduring work, thus hearing that Moody… will be a bit of a departure should make it even more exciting.

– Philip Cosores

Okkervil River – TBA
Expected mid-2011 on Jagjaguwar

Okkervil River’s releases seem to come in clumps. Last time around we got The Stage Names and The Stand-Ins released in 2008 and 2009 respectively but recorded mostly in the same sessions. Before that was the stellar Black Sheep Boy and its companion piece the Appendix. Okkervil River’s fanbase may be relatively small but they are an adoring lot and the next batch of new material can’t come soon enough. I could go back and absorb myself in Will Sheff’s prosaic lyrics and the band’s lush instrumentation time and time again, but with the promise of new material dangling in the distance those older releases are starting to seem a little worn. It’s unlikely that the band will change their sound drastically for LP6 but that’s no problem, with the talent that a band like Okkervil River has there’s still untold depths that their sound could reach.

– Rob Hakimian

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Belong
Due out March 2011 on Slumberland

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart were brushed of by some as a buzz band, which is true in the sense that they received a lot of positive press from their self-titled debut. But it is unfair in that it dismisses their fantastic record for no reason whatsoever, unless you consider youth or geography acceptible reasons to dismiss a band. And you know what, TPOBPAH have followed up the first album with two killer singles, the second of which is “Heart In Your Heartbreak,” a tune that is about as catchy as you can get. The Brooklyn group have even made a giant turnaround on their live show and appear poised to shut alot of people up when Belong drops in March.

– Philip Cosores

Panda Bear – Tomboy
Expected Early 2011 on Paw Tracks

In 2010, Panda Bear released a handful of singles in anticipation of Tomboy, his full-length followup to 2007’s Person Pitch. We’ve taken a look at some of them; most recently, we found ourselves very impressed by the melodic twists and turns of “Last Night at the Jetty.”

On the other hand, it would probably be more appropriate to state that we’ve heard sketches of the tracks that will end up on Tomboy. The songs leaked in 2010 are still in need of studio polishing, and the album’s supposed tracklist contains more than one unfamiliar song title. All this means that even though we’ve gotten a few appetizing tastes of Panda Bear’s new music this year, 2011 should bring us the main course.

– Josh Becker

Papercuts – Fading Parade
Due out March 1st on Sub Pop

It is probably ideal that Jason Quever and his current lineup are joining Beach House for an early 2011 tour, because Fading Parade promises to be “dream pop of the highest order.” While Papercuts previous work has been memorable for its restraint, often feeling like music coming from another room, now some songs will bang with the inclusion of his band in the recording process, as well as working with an outside producer in Thom Monahan. Maybe not the highest antcipated album as we enter the new year, but Quever could leave everyone talking about his songs by the end of it.

– Philip Cosores

PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
Due out February 14th on Vagrant

PJ Harvey is one of the most innovative and unafraid-to-rock artists out there and even though she’s almost two decades into her career everything she does still sounds fresh. Never afraid to challenge herself this is her first solo album since 2007 (if you consider 2009’s A Woman A Man Walked By to be more of a collaboration with John Parish) so it’s been a long wait and one that can’t come to an end soon enough.

– Rob Hakimian

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