So far we’ve previewed some of the most buzzed about LPs slated for this year and run down of additional records confirmed for the next few months. An outline of other LPs slated for this year without release dates is below, followed by a prediction of the breakout artist of 2013. Next we’ll consider records that are possible but not guaranteed this year.
….But all of that is just the start. Stay tuned for The Future Heart’s 13 most anticipated albums of 2013…
Anticipated 2013 Albums Without Release Dates
In between tour dates last summer Built to Spill hit the studio for work on a new record. Their sessions at Portland’s Audible Alchemy with Steve Lobdell – aka the same studio and producer as You in Reverse – are for their eighth album set for 2013 – at least that’s the plan (pun intended). Speaking to Rolling Stone in 2011 frontman Doug Martsch noted, “I haven’t made a record in less than two or three years in a long time.” New songs the band has written since 2009’s There Is No Enemy include “Living Zoo,” “So,” “Never Be the Same,” “Open” and possibly this unnamed song on YouTube. “I’m trying to keep the songs short,” Doug explained, “and there’s a couple of pretty poppy songs. But they’re all in different stages right now, and it’s hard to tell what real direction they’ll take.”
Last September Doug updated to nashvillescene.com, “We started in April, but it’s going very slowly…You know, just chipping away at it and hoping at some point some things will open up. But that’s just the nature of making records — sometimes it takes many, many tries to come up with something that sounds good to me….Ever since Perfect From Now On I’ve been trying to [write shorter songs], because it’s just so much work with those long songs. But a few long songs keep coming through, because the songs seem to warrant that. That’s a lot of where their strength comes from is from being long and going through different passages or whatever.”
According to a January 7, 2013 Warner Brothers press release, bassist Brett Nelson and drummer Scott Plouf have split on “amicable” terms, replaced by Jason Albertini and Steve Gere – and the new line-up is touring from Portland to Idaho this February.
Sebadoh non-ceremoniously and completly-out-of-the-blue released their first new music since the ’90s on July 27, 2012 . The trio – which reunited in 2010 and released reissues in 2011 – dropped the five song secret EP on their bandcamp page (for free stream or $5 download) with a note that read: “a taste of our upcoming 2013 album, but, NONE of these songs will be on that album.. i repeat: NONE of these songs will be on our forthcoming/in progress 2013 LP .. this is our first new material in 14 years (wtf!)… proceeds from this will help us continue working on the LP and remain as independent as possible.. physical copies (CD) only available at shows on our upcoming tour..”
The Meat Puppets are finished recording their 14th studio album, due as early as March 2013. The twelve new songs were produced by Curt Kirkwood at Yellow Dog Studio in Austin, Texas. An October 2012 press statement confirmed the release was in its final stages: choosing a title for the set, working on album art and sequencing the track order.
Last March Jason Lytle returned to his Grandaddy songbook backed by Midlake, then Grandaddy themselves reformed for a few reunion shows. The plan was simply to “rock out…get paid…get out” so new Grandaddy material seemed unlikely until October when Jason teased to DIY that the first Grandaddy album since 2006’s Just Like the Family Cat was on the horizon. “I think it’s gonna happen, yeah,” Jason revealed while promoting Dept. of Disappearance, his fourth solo LP. “I’m actually looking forward to making another Grandaddy record. I mean, I’m looking forward to hearing another Grandaddy record, not actually the making of it… The simple part of my brain will not allow me to go there right now. I just need to go home and rest, and I’ll get excited about it again.”
As for Midlake, they are known to take long times crafting albums in isolation. Needless to say details are slim on their follow-up to 2010’s The Courage of Others, though new songs have apparently been played live…
Cloud Nothings on the other hand aim to quickly follow their acclaimed 2012 album Attack on Memory with a new LP this year. Frontman Dylan Baldi revealed to mtvhive “I’ve written most of it, I just need to teach it to the band and flesh it out. I wrote it here and there on the road and a couple of days when we were home.” They plan to start recording this April for a release this fall.
Likewise last October Derek Miller, the instrumental half of Sleigh Bells, told Huffington Post they were intending to release their third album in 2013 – “three full-length albums in three years” – and were “halfway” done. “Sonically, it’s a lot more clean,” Miller reported. This time the tunes will have more input and melodicism from frontwoman Alexis Kraus, an approach Miller says they stumbled upon working on last year’s “Comeback Kid” – “I gave her the instrumental, and within five minutes, we had a whole song. It opened my eyes. I felt like she was extremely underutilized. I’m not spread quite as thin this time. She’s doing most of the heavy lifting on this.”
Last summer The Magic Numbers recorded a largely acoustic album (see a photo from the sessions at left) and debuted some new tunes in concert. In December they played an intimate, unplugged Manchester concert to showcase songs from their forthcoming record. That’s in addition to an entirely different release they recorded at a London show in November, their first live album (Michele Stodart also released a solo album in October, Wide-eyed Crossing). The live album will be released directly to fans who were at the concert it was recorded. No announcement has been made yet on the release date of the new studio album, their fourth.
Since 2010’s Write About Love, the members of Belle and Sebastian have pursued numerous projects. Co-founder/ keyboardist Chris Geddes curated the band’s Late Nite Tales and is a member of Abagail Grey; frontman Stuart Murdoch is making a movie based on his solo record, God Help the Girl; guitarist Stevie Jackson went solo with I Can’t Get No, and with bassist Bob Kildea gigs with the Vaselines; and Bob also played on the new solo LP by Gerry Love (Teenage Fanclub). “Before we went on the break, we did start working on some new material,” Geddes told MTV last spring. “We did have a few weeks in the rehearsal room, so there were already some new songs started which were fairly promising before we took a break…Stuart, in the past, always used to have more songs than we knew what to do with but that’s probably different now, he’s putting more of his creative energy into the film stuff…I think [a 2013 album is] probably the most likely….I don’t want to say too much about the new tunes, a lot of songs are at a pretty early stage and just have working titles. There’s one called “Two Birds” that we’ve got a bit further with and did some work on with [producer] Tony Doogan at the same time we did “Crash” for the [Late Nite Tales] comp. I think there were a few things that were kind of different … sort of based around drum-machine beats and stuff, but everything was at such an early stage that it was kind of impossible to say whether we would actually properly pursue that.”
Franz Ferdinand has been working on their fourth album since 2010. “I’ve been round at Nick’s and we’ve been writing some things, and trying to do things in a different way again,” frontman Alex Kapranos told BBC 6 Music at the time. “You’ll hear it before too long…. Before the last record I talked far too much about it…and I made a vow that I wasn’t going to say anything about what we are actually doing until we’ve done it, and then wait about another three weeks.” Last year the band began playing new material live. First “Right Thoughts! Right Words! Right Action!”, “Trees & Animals”, “Brief Encounters”, “Fresh Strawberries” and “WTICSFIFL? Midnight!” in the spring, then “Universe Expanded”, “Scarlet & Blue”, “Stand on the Horizon”, and “I’ll Never Get Your Bullet Out of My Head” in the summer. Watch four of these new tunes at synthpopindierock.com, which also reports the LP is due this year.
Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn revealed his plans for 2013 to rockasting.com last November, “next year, make a Hold Steady new album, that’s the big thing right now, when we got home we’re gonna start working on it.” Last month Boston’s Quilt announced the start to “demo-ing…for our new record...” on their facebook page. Instrumental psych explorers Woodsman are also working on a new album, their fourth, as are No Age. Mont Lyons are finishing an LP at (The Flaming Lips’) Pink Floor Studio for release in the very near future.
Among the veteran acts expected to return in 2013 are Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode and Pearl Jam. Speaking to Rolling Stone last November Trent Reznor – who officially retired his iconic band in 2009 – said “all signs point to yes” for a NIN reunion, “there are some things in the works.” More certainly, Trent’s new band How to Destroy Angels will release their debut record and Depeche announced last month their 13th studio album will be out in March, tying into their world tour return (UPDATE January 24 – Depeche Mode’s have posted the artwork and tracklist for their new release Delta Machine, out March 26th).
Stephen Malkmus celebrated the 40th anniversary of Can’s Ege Bamyasi, by performing it in full last December at the Week-End Fest in Cologne backed by local band Von Spar. The show was recorded with intent of release as a full-length concert film – hopefully packaged with a live album…
Former CCR frontman and rock legend John Fogerty will release a collabs album in 2013 featuring My Morning Jacket, Dawes, Foo Fighters, Bob Seger, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, and others – including unannounced recently added surprises that delayed its previous announced 2012 issue. Additionally John has a memoir in the works to be published by Little, Brown and Company in 2014: “I want to tell the story of how I fought—hard—to maintain my artistic integrity in the face of opposing forces.”
“I’m fascinated with the decay of the blonde pop icon and how culture loves to build and give birth to fantasies and then destroy them and what that means,” Lady Gaga told Access Hollywood last year. “It’s something I want to explore on my next album.” Gaga’s ARTPOP is dubiously due this spring as an interactive app with videos, bonus music, games and fashion updates. But wait there’s more – the talk of Gaga recording a 2013 big band record with Tony Bennett (“she’s a phenomenal jazz singer” Tony told Rolling Stone last September, “so we’re gonna do a big swinging album“).
D’Angelo’s first American concert appearance in 12 years was at last year’s Bonnaroo with Questlove. More shows followed, and now an album is in the works, “a radical 180 degree turn” according to Quest in Rolling Stone. “It’s going to throw people off the same way that Prince’s Dirty Mind threw his R&B fan base off. In the past few years, he’s discovered Bowie and Zeppelin, the Beatles, Pet Sounds, Captain Beefheart and Zappa.”
Missy Elliott is also making a left-turn comeback, with the aid of longtime collaborator Timbaland. She described New York’s Hot 97 last autumn: “The direction of the album? I like to call it theatrical hip-hop.” Janelle Monae’s tentatively-titled sophomore LP The Electric Lady is also in the works for release this year.
Bassist Jared Followill discussed an upcoming Kings Of Leon album with BBC 6 Music last October: “We are in the writing process right now and it’s coming along pretty quickly. We’ll definitely get into the studio but we you know we have no plans of finishing it this year but definitely early next year, so I think people should expect something from us sooner rather than later.”
Breakout Artist of the Year – A Prediction
Major labels and pop fans alike are banking on a slew of big name to deliver 2013 albums: Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Paramore, Drake, John Legend, Azealia Banks… Psy – need I go on? But it’s the largely unknown (for now) Wild Belle that are exactly what pop needs. “Indie” with huge crossover potential; the common ground between Vampire Weekend and Lana Del Rey; sonically adventurous while catchy; cinematic but radio-friendly (or more likely, social-media-spread car-commercial-soundtrack)…
….fashion-model-looking blondie (pun intended) beautifully singing over her shaggy brother’s fusion of cold urban electronics and sunny Caribbean rhythms….
With only a four-song EP to their name they’ve already appeared on Conan and had a Rolling Stone video premiere. This is the group that can make saxophone solos the coolest they’ve seemed since before their noose called the ’80s: need I say more?
Out March 12th on Columbia Records, their debut album Isles will likely blend contemporary sounds with island beats and retro-psych-pop…