August 8, 2010

Fall Music Preview

Hopefully during your summer downtime, you had a chance to catch up on a few great albums you may have missed over the past year. With autumn just around the corner, the season brings a harvest of exciting new albums that are surely not to be overlooked. Below, you will find the definitive list of AwkwardSound's most anticipated upcoming releases falling your way in the coming months.

Interpol's Interpol
Release date: September 7, 2010

You would think by a band's fourth album, they'd have all the kinks squared away. With Interpol, it's another story. Three years ago, the NYC post-rockers were sitting pretty atop the music world as the latest signees to iconic major rock label, Capitol Records, and their popularity was at an all time high. Unfortunately their Capitol debut, Our Love to Admire, fell short of expectations. Since then, their fan fare has staggered, Interpol lost the backbone to their rhythm section, Carlos D, after recording this latest effort and they're back together with indie home, Matador Records (quite suspiciously, albeit.) In short, this self-titled return has a lot riding on it and its lead single, "Barricade," still leaves room for improvement.

Robyn's Body Talk, Pt. 2
Release date: September 7, 2010

The world's most innovative pop star and the should-be-envy of Lady Gaga fans everywhere is back with her second of three albums planned by year's end. Early listens to the album's lead single, "Hang With Me," and the Snoop Dogg collaboration, "U Should Know Better," suggest Robyn isn't showing any signs of biting off more than she can chew. Pt. 2 in the Body Talk trilogy is make or break time in Robyn's plight to save the world of pop music.

Of Montreal's False Priest
Release date: September 14, 2010

It's difficult to say where Keven Barnes will steer Of Montreal following 2008's polarizing schizophrenic avant-pop deconstruction, Skeletal Lamping. Given his recent collaborations with R&B chanteuses, Janelle Monae and Solange Knowles, False Priest may be the Athens, GA's dive back into the world of funked out psych-pop. If there is anything that we've come to expect from Mr. Barnes and company, it's to expect the unexpected and there's nothing wrong with anticipating a pleasant surprise.

The Walkmen's Lisbon
Release date: September 14, 2010

2008's You and I marked The Walkmen's return to form with a set of clamorous jazzified indie rock that conjured up images of a dark, drunken night on the cold, wet streets New York City. On Lisbon, you could say these songs are The Walkmen's way of dealing with the morning hangover: The clamor has since been quieted to a ringing in their ears, while layers of intricacy and lucidity begin to rear their presence. One thing can always be relied upon from these city boys, and it's that each album they've released never sounds quite exactly like the other.

Weezer's Hurley
Release date: September 14, 2010

By now, there's really no telling whether Weezer's work over the past decade has been done in sincerity, for the money or what. Ever since the influential '90s power pop group came out of a hiatus in 2000, their work has been rather questionable and sub-par. However, each album always seems to include that one single that instills hope for old school Weezer fans who so badly just want Rivers Cuomo and company to make another album remotely resembling their eponymous debut album and Pinkerton. Case in point, the lead single off Hurley, entitled "Memories," culls influence from vintage Weezer tracks "The Good Life" and "You Gave Your Love to Me Softly." It should also be noted that Hurley will be the quartet's first release on independent punk label, Epitaph Records, after the band decided to leave longtime home and major label DGC / Interscope.

Abe Vigoda's Crush
Release date: September 21, 2010

Crush will be the fourth album for The Smell scene alumni. Our first taste off the album suggests Abe Vigoda have acquired a penchant for electronic pop bliss and dance beats, which is a lofty departure from the loud, spastic, tropical punk tracks that make up most of their back catalog. Like their LA counterparts, No Age, the quartet has used a noise-punk base to springboard their music into a vast spectrum of styles (See: Their 2009 EP, Reviver.) Whatever progression they delve into on Crush will surely make sense and mark a large step forward for these young noisemakers.

Deerhunter's Halcyon Digest
Release date: September 28, 2010

When he's not busy putting out music under his bedroom pop outfit, Atlas Sound, Bradford Cox continues to be the hardest working indie rocker with Deerhunter. Halycon Digest is the fourth album by Cox's hazy psych-rock group. Lead single, "Revival," shows Cox perfecting his grip as both a lyricist and songwriter. Unlike previous efforts that showcased the band's sound explorations, it seems as if Cox may finally be comfortable with letting his words guide the songs. Ben Allen, producer behind Animal Collective's 2009 critically acclaimed mainstream breakthrough, Merriweather Post Pavilion, should add some flourishing soundscapes to Deerhunter's already amazing sound.

Jimmy Eat World's Invented
Release date: September 28, 2010

The exciting news here is that Jimmy Eat World are reuniting with producer, Mark Trombino, who helmed the knobs on the emo band's seminal albums, Clarity and Bleed American. Considering the Mesa, AZ quartet attempted to perfect power pop on their last effort, it will be interesting to hear whether they continue in this direction or return to the roots of the music that made them mainstream emo crossbearers.

No Age's Everything In Between
Release date: September 28, 2010

LA's favorite noise-punkers returns with their third release on Sub Pop Records. On 2009's 4-song Losing Feeling EP, we heard No Age gravitating into spaced out shoegaze and downplaying the fuzzed out pop punk riffs that made up most of their excellent 2008 debut, Nouns. Given the duo's drive to push themselves into a higher level of innovation and consistently approaching their music as art, expect to hear a lot of growth from The Smell scene's smartest punk rockers.

SALEM's King Night
Release date: September 28, 2010

Following various EPs and singles over the course of the past two years, Michigan trio, SALEM, are making their highly anticipated full-length debut with King Night. According to the hypemakers at Pitchfork Media, Salem created a genre which the site has dubs as "witch house." To those who disregard labels altogether, Salem is more along the lines of hybrid gothic shoegaze, dub-step and electronica with a haunted flair. If King Night ultimately ends up being a disappointment, then it just adds weight to the cliché, "Don't believe the hype."

Swans' My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky
Release date: September 28, 2010

Back from the dead, multi-instrumentalist Michael Gira's gothic post-punk project, Swans, has reunited and is returning with their first album in 14 years. The highly influential New York band is known for their apocalyptic, doom noise sound, and the first track, "Eden Prison," indicates that Gira has not lost his sense of that.

WOMEN's Public Strain
Release date: September 28, 2010

The sophomore effort by this Calgary quartet is nothing short of a confident stride toward a whole new level by these underrated avant-rockers. Then again, AwkwardSound has already made you aware of this. Here's hoping Public Strain gathers WOMEN some new found and much deserved attention.

Panda Bear's Tomboy
Release date: September 2010

There is more to Tomboy than there is to say this is Noah "Panda Bear" Lennox's highly anticipated solo follow-up to his 2007 gem, Person Pitch. Since Person Pitch, Lennox and his band, Animal Collective, have cemented themselves as a permanent fixture as one of the past decade's most influential new sounds, due in part to the huge success of their 2009 breakthrough, Merriweather Post Pavilion. While Person Pitch was a precursor to Lennox directing AnCo into more accessible territories, Tomboy's first cuts, the title track and "Slow Motion," sees the pop purveyor experimenting with unique tribal-meets-R&B fusions.

Former Ghosts' New Love
Release date: October 4, 2010

A year after releasing their solid debut, Fleurs, coldwave supergroup Former Ghosts (which consists of This Song Is a Mess But So Am I's Freddy Rupert, Xiu Xiu's Jamie Stewart and rising songstress, Zola Jesus) is back for another round of gloomy electronic pop on New Love, proving they are definitely a treat rather than a one time trick. This time, Yasmine Kittles from LA gloom-pop act, Tearist, will be joining the fray. This should add another layer of haunted emotions to the bands' chilling sound, as her soft, husky voice differs immensely from Zola Jesus' soaring, overpowering range.

Avey Tare's Down There
Release date: October 26, 2010

Joining bandmate Noah "Panda Bear" Lennox in his pursuit of releasing solo work this fall is Animal Collective's Avey Tare. While we know what Panda Bear brings to the table for the eclectic noise-pop outfit, Tare's sole contributions and talents will be on full display for the first time here on Down There.

Kanye West's TBA 5th Album
Release date: November 16, 2010

What a difference stepping out of the limelight can do for a controversial hip-hop star. Last September, the world was calling for Kanye West's head on a platter after he interrupted teen pop country sweetheart, Taylor Swift, during her award acceptance speech at the MTV VMAs. Soon after, 'Ye retreated with his tail between his legs and vowed to do his best to keep his name out of the headlines for the wrong reasons. Now it seems everyone has forgot that little ordeal and is waiting on baited breath for Mr. West to make his return. Thus far, we've received a rather self-praising yet intriguing "moving painting" for the still-untitled new album's first single, "Power," and the ability to peer into Kanye's thoughts via a new Twitter account. 'Ye has also gone on the record to say this next effort was inspired by Thom Yorke and Trent Reznor lyrics, Alexander McQueen's fashion collection and "Avatar." We'll all probably regret saying this by the time 2011 rolls around but welcome back, Kanye.

Die Antwoord's $.O.$.
Release date: TBA

Cape Town, South Africa rave-rap trio, Die Antwoord, will attempt to show the world they are more than just a viral video sensation when they make their Interscope debut on $.O.$.. The album originally was released for free last year through the band's website, but has since been retooled to include some fresh new tracks and guest spots. Rap can always use a healthy injection of originality, and Die Antwoord is the answer (Literally, since Die Antwoord translates to "the answer" in their native Afrikaans.)

Ducktails' Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics
Release date: TBA

Matthew Mondanile (aka Ducktails) is batting a perfect record when it comes to crafting music that absorbs the season its released in. 2009's Landscapes was an instrumental end-of-summer masterpiece with it's lo-fi psych-rock-meets-chill-wave touch, while his contributions as lead guitarist for lo-fi pop outfit, Real Estate, sits on regular rotation with beachcombers everywhere. The first track off Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics, "Hamilton Road," continues along those same lines, but strips down the sunset feel for slower, acoustic melodies and the insertion of vocals and lyrics. Consider this to be your soundtrack as you walk through the fallen foliage.

The Forms' Derealization EP
Release date: TBA

Brooklyn, New York's The Forms are painstakingly one of  indie rock's most under appreciated and less known secrets. Their 2002 debut, Icarus, followed by 2008's self-titled LP, were both produced by sound auteur, Steve Albini, and saw the quartet breaking down the basics of '90s alternative-indie and hardcore rock, then reassembling it into short fragments of beautiful music. Both "albums" clocked in at just around 30 minutes long, which makes the forthcoming Derealization particularly interesting, as The Forms have stated the EP will surpass both in length. It will also boast some heavy-weight guest spots -- Most notably members of The National.

Sunny Day Real Estate's TBA 5th album
Release date: TBA

On the heels of a successful original lineup reunion, Seattle's emo-indie originators, Sunny Day Real Estate, have fully committed to the release of their fifth studio album in 10 years since 2000's The Rising Tide. A lot can happen in 10 years, as lead singer Jeremy Enigk has since had a fruitful career as a solo artist, while he and two of his former SDRE's bandmates partly-reunited for their 2003 project, The Fire Theft. Whether this brand new SDRE LP will pick up where The Fire Theft left off, beckon back to the band's early days a la Diary or LP 2 or shift into a completely different direction remains to be known.

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