A taste of albums to come
The start of any year is a frustrating and tantalizing time for music. We're still in a release slump, but great new records are so close you can taste it. Or rather, they're so close that singles off the anticipated albums are dropping faster than you can refresh your browser.
Here are some teasers for upcoming albums that promise good things coming to those who wait, however impatiently:
Factory Floor, "Fall Back"
If you're going to make time for an 8.5-minute song from a band you probably haven't heard of, make it this one. The dark London dance trio has yet to release a full record, but they're set to do so this year. "Fall Back" is the first single off that record, and its strobing beat under Nik Void's deadpan vocals -- and sometimes standing boldly alone -- will pull you in so forcefully that you'll be surprised when the 8:30 is up.
Toro Y Moi, "Say That"
Chaz Budnick set out to make a pop record with Anything in Return, set for release on Jan. 22. "Say That" is one of a few tastes of the new direction. It's not pop in the Katy Perry sense, but it's certainly different from his chillwave past. The stuttering female vocal sample gives it a radio pop edge, along with the snapping, clicking and throbbing beat. Meanwhile, the synths and Budnick's vocals mellow things out by barely breaking from a handful of tones.
Azealia Banks, "BBD"
We're expecting Azealia Banks' debut LP, Broke With Expensive Taste anytime now ... really. While the wait continues, we have another one-off track that's not from the album. The track comes with the requisite Yung Rapunxel top-bitch attitude, though she's slowed down the flow (and sounds more New York than ever). This time, the beat comes from Apple Juice Kid and Sup Doodle, propelled by that wind-up/slow-down dance style.
Ra Ra Riot, "Dance With Me"
"Dance With Me" is the third single released from Ra Ra Riot's third record, Beta Love (Jan. 22). The song is the album opener, and the album is the band's first without cellist Alexandra Lawn. The indie pop-rock band is sounding notably more pop post-Lawn, and this song is a catchy injection of synths and bliss.
Local Natives, "Heavy Feat"
"Heavy Feat" will leave you feeling a little sad. If you can ignore the refrain of "After everything / Left in the sun / Shivering," you still have to cope with frustrated drumming, lonely guitar lines and Kelcey Ayer's pained vocals. But, it is beautiful, and it's worth some unspecific melancholy. Hummingbird is out on Jan. 29.
Yo La Tengo, "Ohm"
The latest from Yo La Tengo, Fade, is due out on Jan. 14, and this song will open the album. The time-lapse video of a tree that accompanies "Ohm" is nicely suited for the song, which is changing moment-to-moment while not really going anywhere. It's fuzzy psych-rock with a sturdy backbone, and a sign that Yo La Tengo's still got it.
-- Ashley Dean, firstname.lastname@example.org