December 26, 2009
2010: Somebody sweep me off my feet, PLEASE
This poster was on my wall throughout college. Where is it now?!
Marina And The Diamonds Family Jewels. The tracks we know (Mowgli's Road, Obsessions, I'm Not a Robot, Shampain Sleeper) are superb. We've not yet heard the re-recordings, but this is a girl who really wants to be a STAR. She's quirkier than the mainstream of pop, but I doubt the album will disappoint.
Ellie Goulding I expect her record to be a mix of electronic pop and traditional folk-pop. She straddles the line with grace. I hope The Waiter makes it onto the CD, as well as Starry Eyed and Guns & Horses. The UK gets a preview now.
Bright Light Bright Light aka Rod Thomas. Merges, again, folky songcraft with modern pop, including the tinkly Good Times. And he's Welsh!
Erik Hassle Pieces is his debut album. I've already heard the Swedish release and it's a gem (my fave being the doo-woppy Make It In Time). He relaunches in the winter with Hurtful, his should-be-#-1 single.
Erland And The Carnival Ex Verve man Simon Tong recovers from that band's crappish reunion album to make something softer. Superb vocals. Album due end of January.
HURTS. Everyone is freaking over the hard-to-Google HURTS (yes, all caps) based on one song, the retro gorge Wonderful Life. No matter what the music, it's clear the visuals will be sublime.
I Blame Coco the debut from Coco Sumner. A mash-up of pop/punk/rock and indie disco. Fierce vocals and the cleverest lyrics this side of Courtney Love.
Wolf Gang I can't say much yet, but I like the first song The King And All Of His Men
Penguin Prison NYC guy who sounds like Midge Ure doing pop with an edge. Highlights include Fair Warning (amazing) and A Funny Thing.
Broken Bells is James Mercer from the Shins and Danger Mouse.
The Gadsdens have to follow up a perfect debut single, Sailor Song. I've heard much of the album in demo form and the songs are consistently solid. How they'll merge all their sides remains to be heard, but I'm chuffed (as one says).
Starsmith, Ellie Goulding's producer and an artist in his own right.
Catherine A.D. She's arty, knows her way around a piano and has a lovely voice.
Tracey Thorn's back with a new folkpop album (Love And Its Opposite) in May; no dance jams on this record.
Lucky Soul's second disc, A Coming Of Age, sounds like it might actually equal or surpass their 2007 debut.
Jónsi Birgisson (of Sigur Rós) has a major solo album coming out in March called Go. I get the sense this is going to be massive. Expect lots of strings, woodwind, brass and lovely "distortion." Here is a big scoop on Go
Robyn. This will be epic. She is on the rise.
Delays return with Star Tiger Star Ariel sometime this year.
Sade's Soldier Of Love should be, as Maxwell said, monolithic. Will it be more of her classic sound or introduce something new? There are new twists mixed into the new single.
The Teddybears next album featuring, among others, Coco Sumner.
Marc Almond returns in June with Variety.
Crystal Castles have done something with the best producer of 2009, Paul Epworth, though he is not actually producing it. Could be special.
Cyndi Lauper. If it were up to me, she'd follow the template of her 2008 album and continue working with young, smart producers. No indication of who she is working with this time, but it will be worth our attention. She's still a gem.
Maxwell will release the next installment of his BlackSummersNight series, this one called Black. Should be out in summer.
Travis singer/songwriter Fran Healy has a solo record coming, called Wreckorder and pronounced Recorder, with major guests including Paul McCartney and Neko Case.
Roisin Murphy, Label-less as of now and probably self releasing. To my ears Momma's Place is blindingly brilliant, while Orally Fixated is melodically mundane, if a fun "jam."
Sophie Ellis Bextor's still doing the "record 100 songs to get 13" technique. Let's hope she has not over-thought it or spread herself around too much.
The Courteneers may make a leap into the bigtime if You Overdid It Doll is any indication. Their 2nd album, Falcon, is out in late February.
Duran Duran's album with Mark Ronson on production.
Keane's new 8- song EP Night Train, in May.
The Pipettes. I know. I will believe it when I see it. Early track Stop The Music indicates the magic is not gone. It's sublime.
Darren Hayes promises highly emotional pop. Collaborators include Justin Shave, Walter Afanisefiff, Kleerup (!) and Swedish writer Carl Fuchs.
Groove Armada featuring Bryan Ferry, one of the dudes from Empire Of The Sun/PNAU and Will Young on a song called History.
Rufus Wainwright's All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu, a piano based album. No money for stings this time, baby's got to make a living!
Goldfrapp's Head First in March. The pressure is on isn't it, after three near perfect albums, including one shockingly brilliant left turn. Rocket's next. Rumour has it the album is like Fleetwood Mac in a disco.
Scissor Sisters new album was recorded with Stuart Price and features a bit more of the brilliant Del Marquis. Let's hope it also marks the return of Ana Matronic, who was strangely quiet on their second album.
Other records to look out for Patrick Wolf's "love" album ironically titled the Conqueror, MPHO's long delayed debut Pop Art. The Feeling are at a crossroads that will either make or break them. If they do more 70's pastiche, it's all over. If they take a chance, it may be fine. Christina Aguilera: everybody thinks the same thing - what the hell will it sound like and how will she pull together all the disparate producers she has been working with?
Also: Babybird, David Bowie, Toni Braxton, Findlay Brown produced by in-demand Bernard Butler, David Byrne's huge album featuring every diva alive (almost), Lloyd Cole (in fall '10) D'Angelo (back from the jailhouse!), Peter Gabriel's Scratch My Back, Kelis's Fleshtones, Amy MacDonald, Massive Attack, Natalie Merchant, Daniel Merriweather finally getting released in the US, Kylie Minogue, Kate Nash, No Doubt, Corinne Bailey Rae, REM, She & Him Volume 2, Ultra Nate, Paul Weller's Wake Up The Nation and maybe even ol' Amy Winehouse.
Remasters announced thus far from Arcadia, Duran Duran, Whitney Houston (the debut), and Maxwell (the debut).
Finally... Come back to the five and dime Shirley Manson, Shirley Manson.