In Progress Albums
Albums that we know are currently being recorded, but for which we have not been given a projected completion or release date.
Arcade Fire – TBA
How do you manage expectations for the sequel to a Billboard-topping, Grammy-winning album that just happened to turn you into one of the biggest bands in the world? Well, if you’re Arcade Fire, you begin the drip-feed a year in advance, you pen three dozen new songs and begin playing them at secret concerts in your hometown under a pseudonym, and you write a song for a blockbuster film. You also reveal your producers, one of whom creates a match-up so packed with potential that I had to wipe the drool off my keyboard while typing this. All we have to go on right now are ambiguous descriptors, but the tracks described as “fun, dance-y and groovy” and “heavily percussive” already have James Murphy’s fingerprints all over them.
So, how do you manage expectations if you’re Arcade Fire? You raise the stakes.
– Brendan Frank
The Avalanches – TBA
Since I Left You (our #12 album of the 2000s) came out over 12 years ago. That should make a lot of people feel old.
Since then a lot has transpired, including the departure of half of the group, but a core of Chater, Diblasi, and Seltmann have been working on their second album for 7+ years now. The Avalanches teasing fans with quotes in the press over the years claiming it to be “more party” and having more hip hop influences than their debut. Last year we received a mysterious mixtape from the group and heard another age-old demo, yet details of the next album have been sparse. Looks like Danny Brown and Ariel Pink could appear on it though.
Need help tiding yourself over till the release? If you haven’t already, make sure you find the original 2000 Australian release on Modular. Several samples on the 2001 United Kingdom and North American releases have either been altered or removed. The Australian release is the record as it was intended to be heard. You should also seek our their After The Goldrush mixtape. The mix-up album was unofficially released in 2008 so hop on your favorite file sharing network and give it a download.
– Evan Kaloudis
Camera Obscura – TBA
The wait between albums from Camera Obscura has become longer and longer after each new record, something that, for fans, has been difficult but entirely acceptable since they’ve also been getting better and better. We’re coming up on an unprecedented four years since the Scottish band released the gorgeous My Maudlin Career, and the wait has been tortuous, but it’s nearly over. Tweets from the band while they were recording in December have been interesting, particularly the one asking “Ever tried to resuscitate a song from death by saxophone?” What it all means will hopefully be revealed in the next couple of months, just in time for spring and summer if we’re lucky – the perfect time of year for their sunshine baroque pop.
– Rob Hakimian
Deakin – TBA
Evidence of a solo effort from Animal Collective’s Deakin has been mounting for a few years now, the least convincing of which is the musician’s own word. 2011 saw Deakin’s solo debut on AnCo’s Keep release with “Country Report”, and last year saw him lend his first ever songwriting/lead vocal contribution for his main band on Centipede Hz‘s excellent “Wide Eyed”. As for 2013, Deakin has claimed that a lot of the material for his record is done – but whether or not any of it will see the light of day this year is, unfortunately, up in the air.
– Ryan Stanley
The Dismemberment Plan – TBA
It’s been a strange road for Travis Morrison since the last time the Plan put out an album. Following the breakup of one of D.C.’s most inventive bands ever almost ten years ago, he first became victim to one of the most (unfairly) devastating critical responses to an album ever for his first solo effort, Travistan, which effectively ended his solo career. He’s put out one album with a new band called Travis Morrison Hellfighters since then, before retiring from music to work at both the Hufffington Post and the Washington Post, and then reviving his greatest outfit for some tour dates and new music that was said to have been recorded last October. We don’t have a release date or a title on it yet, but it’s expected to come relatively soon; if the Plan’s fast work schedule is anything to go by, most likely during the first half of the year.
– David Wolfson
Earl Sweatshirt – Doris
Expected this year on Odd Future Records
Whatever Earl has up his sleeve, it’s going to be something divergent to whatever he was making before his stint in Samoa. A new album gives him the opportunity to get himself out of features and back to showing off his own visions completely undisturbed. The kid has a flow and level of world-wariness that doesn’t get seen a lot in rappers of his caliber and it is still clear that he is definitely capable of carrying a great song. If “Chum” is any sign of what this next record will be like, there’s much to be offered from Earl Sweatshirt in 2013.
– Andrew Halverson
Future Bible Heroes – TBA
Stephin Merritt has been keeping himself fairly busy for the past five years touring and recording with the Magnetic Fields, faithfully putting out an LP every other year under the widely beloved indie pop moniker and generally moving away from the endless side-projects – scoring films, working on audiobooks, writing Chinese operas – that took up his first half of the 2000s. As such, it’s also been quite a while since we’ve heard from any of Merritt’s other bands. But it looks like that will change this year, as Merritt is on the record as saying that his next project will be finishing the first album in over a decade from Future Bible Heroes, his synth-heavy project with electronic producer Chris Ewen and fellow Magnetic Field Claudia Gonson. Details beyond that are relatively scarce, but Merritt has hinted at a spring release in some interviews. And I guess it’d also be safe to say that it’ll probably be the closest thing to disco that Merritt has done since Eternal Youth.
– Ryan Stanley
Machinedrum – TBA
After 2011’s magnificent Room(s) and Sepalcure as well as Travis Stewart’s most recent collaborative project with Jimmy Edgar, Jets, we’re rabid for any new material out of the New York producer. Not much (or anything, really) has been officially announced regarding Stewart’s follow up to Room(s), but there have been a few whispers from the man’s twitter account. Some significant enough that it doesn’t seem entirely out of the question that we might see a new LP from Machinedrum this year. Pray along with us.
– Will Ryan
Another release up on the top of my personal anticipated list is the proper follow-up to Madlib and DOOM’s Madvillainy record. Sure we got Madvillainy 2 in the form of a remix album in 2008, but DOOM claims the true sequel is set for release this year.
The original was one of a kind, a perfect amalgamation of the two artists’ talents. Madlib brought his unorthodox beats to the table, sampling everything from Frank Zappa’s “Sleeping In A Jar” to Steve Reich’s “Come Out.” DOOM would then riddle us with zany metaphors, double entendres to boot, and the raspiest intonation we’ve heard since Biggie was still around.
DOOMSTARKS, DOOM’s collaboration album with Ghostface Killah is also said to be nearing completion and should see release this year.
– Evan Kaloudis
Maya Jane Coles – TBA
Calling it: Maya Jane Coles’ debut full-length is going to be everything Coexist wasn’t. No really, hear me out: if recent EP Nothing To Hide is anything to go by, Coles seems increasingly confident utilising her own voice to colour sparse, sultry tracks that are highly reminiscent of the dusk-lit jams popularized, and subsequently fumbled, by Jamie Smith et al. Following a dramatic rise in the past two years, it seems that MJC is no longer content being merely the MVP of deep house; a mainstream breakthrough looks increasingly likely by the day. Watch this (negative) space.
– Gabriel Szatan
With a string of excellent albums dating back all the way to 2005’s Alligator, the National will look to continue their hot streak with their sixth full-length in 2013. They’ve been at work on the album for over a year now (while simultaneously nurturing a love affair with HBO), and debuted five new songs in December at two separate shows, a good indication that they’re well into the recording phase. The songs have been called “less cerebral” than earlier works, but with the caveat that any song could be scrapped at any point. The only thing that’s seemingly not in doubt is that the Ohio upstarts always make it worth the wait.
– Brendan Frank
No Age – TBA
LA’s premier hardcore/noise hybrid are due for a new album. Though we don’t have a title or release date yet, it’s now been almost three years since the release of No Age’s last record, the excellent Everything In Between, and the band has been reported to have performed new material at their few recent tour dates before heading into the studio. Expect something later in the year from these guys, and expect it loud.
– David Wolfson
Queens of the Stone Age – TBA
By all rights, this album probably shouldn’t be happening. It looked like, following a period of insanely high-quality productivity, the coolest workhorse in rock had finally given himself a break; bear in mind in the same amount of time since 2007’s underrated Era Vulgaris, Josh Homme had drummed on Eagles of Death Metal’s debut, put out Volumes 1-10 of The Desert Sessions and released Queens of the Stone Age, Rated R and Songs for the Deaf as well as having recorded Lullabies to Paralyze as well. But after what feels like an eternity the stoner rock titans are back, and with renewed purpose – Homme has been talking this record up in recent months, citing that his determination to cut another classic has revived what looked increasingly like a dormant project. As is customary, there’s been some shuffling within the ranks of the band, and any disappointment felt over the departure of beastly Joey Castillo will be tempered by the return of not only bleedin’ Dave Grohl behind the kit, but also (somewhat controversially) their exiled, totally batshit bassist Nick Oliveri. Even without gravel-swilling Mark Lanegan providing vocal support, all signs point towards a record that might well live up to Homme’s hype. As for the release date, no one kn–I’ll see myself out.
– Gabriel Szatan
Vampire Weekend – TBA
What with the nebulous genre status of crossover bands like Fun. and Gotye, along with serious threats from MGMT and Phoenix, it’s not clear whether or not Vampire Weekend is still the most popular band making “indie” music these days. But I’d argue that one thing is certain – Vampire Weekend is still the most popular band making great indie music these days. Ever underestimated by the curmudgeonly music fan for their legions of teenaged fans, unabashed sense of fun, and – *gasp* – likable, unpretentious personalities, it’s easy to forget that, at this stage in the game, Vampire Weekend are stone cold veterans; hopefully, the Contra follow-up’s three-year gestation period has allowed them to craft a record even more effortlessly exuberant than its predecessor.
– Ryan Stanley
The Wrens – TBA
Waiting and hoping for a new album from The Wrens has seemed like an almost sadistic act at points. 2013 marks the tenth anniversary of the release of their last album The Meadowlands, which many now hold up in the highest esteem as more-or-less a classic of the 21st century. This pressure might be why the band’s taking so long to record the follow-up – but they are definitely recording a follow-up, so that’s good. When we’ll get to hear it is another matter entirely. Tweets about new songs have included the fact that they’ve put so many guitar dubs onto one track that it’s 26GB in size, they’ve been overdubbing a lot of handclaps, and there’s an out of tune and out of time cello somewhere in there. They also have enough songs to be able to divide them up into three categories of definitely/maybe/not making the album. Maybe, if they already know which ones are not going to make the album, they could let us hear those some time soon? Maybe?
– Rob Hakimian