Less exposition, more album previews. We've got a lot to take a peak at.
Mogwai, Rave Tapes
Scottish post-rock quintet Mogwai is ready to drop its eighth studio album. Rave Tapes will be the band's first LP since 2011's delightfully titled, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will. Speaking of great titles, check out the single, "Remurdered."
The latest from L.A. rockers Warpaint follows years without new material, so, set your expectations accordingly. The band's debut record, The Fool, came out in 2010 to a warm reception. The follow-up includes two tracks mixed by Radiohead producer and Atoms for Peace member Nigel Godrich. You can hear the single "Love Is to Die" now.
Young the Giant, Mind Over Matter
This will be interesting. Young the Giant is interesting. Their self-titled debut got mixed reviews, with tastemakers Pitchfork and SPIN giving the record a 2.7 and 7/10, respectively. The high-energy indie rock trio is, apparently, a little divisive. Decide for yourself when they release Mind Over Matter.
Dum Dum Girls, Too True
Last year's End of Daze EP from the Dum Dum Girls was a bittersweet bite of garage-band-gone-glam. Too True might just top it. In a press release, frontwoman and songwriter Dee Dee wrote, "Do you hear Suede? Siouxie? Cold-wave Patti? Madonna? Cure? Velvet and Paisley Undergrounds? Stone Roses? Cuz I did." Check out the "Lost Boys and Girls Club" single and, yeah, you might hear that stuff.
Cities Aviv, Come to Life
Brooklyn-via-Memphis rapper Cities Aviv is a character. It makes his music a riot, but what really makes it interesting are the beats built from a grab bag of influences. He's already released "URL IRL" and it's all kinds of bouncy.
Cashmere Cat, Wedding Bells
Cashmere Cat's (Magnus August Hoiberg) debut EP, Mirror Maru (!!!), was just four tracks in 15 minutes, but the producer and DJ's R&B-infused and drum machine-backed EDM is pretty damn great. The first single off Wedding Bells, "With Me," is a whole mess of different sounds pulled into one track, and you're going to want more.
Sun Kil Moon, Benji
This is a questionable choice for an album title, for sure, but you just have to trust Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek. The occasional stumble aside, he's been making great indie rock for more than a decade.
Xiu Xiu, Angel Guts: Red Classroom
We'll just leave this press release quote here: "The subject matter—racialized sex, double suicide, double penetration, criminality, fear of physical harm — is unsuitable for the faint of heart. But when the heart has stopped beating, only the soul remains to carry on."
Real Hair EP
Speedy Ortiz didn't get to be one of the buzziest bands of 2013 for no reason. This band rocks and fans are madly in love. Debut LP Major Arcana was a success, and they'll follow it up with a four-track EP. Frontwoman Sadie Dupuis said in the press release, "these songs are a lot more introspective— myself dealing with and talking to and making sense of myself."
It's not hard to get excited about an album that includes a song called "Bill Murray." How could this not be fun? Electro-pop duo Phantogram have been consistently good over a couple LPs and EPs, and judging from early tastes, they'll keep it up on Voices.
St. Vincent, St. Vincent
Since Annie Clark took a break from her solo work to make that delightfully weird album with David Byrne, we've gone years without a St. Vincent record. Her 2011 LP, Strange Mercy, was her best yet, even after the stellar Actors, so the pressure is on. Walking the line between beautiful and unnerving isn't easy, but it's never slowed her down.
Schoolboy Q, #Oxymoron
Early last year, Schoolboy Q proved himself as a strong member of the Black Hippy crew with his second LP, Habits & Contradictions. He's been teasing the new album for a long time, in part with "Collard Greens," a great collab with Black Hippy's biggest name, Kendrick Lamar.
The Men, Tomorrow's Hits
The Men just keep working and keep evolving. On their last record, New Moon, they shed the hard rock sounds for something closer to Americana, then released an EP that was literally recorded around a campfire. This next LP includes eight songs from a batch of 40 demos guitarist Mark Perro recorded in his bedroom. Who knows what Tomorrow's Hits will sound like (and that's a hell of a name for a record). Find out on March 4.
Black Lips, Underneath the Rainbow
Black Lips bassist Jared Swilley told Rolling Stone that the first single off Underneath the Rainbow, "Boys in the Woods," is a tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd and "doing bathtub drugs and drinking bathrub gin." An excellent sign of things to come. The Black Keys' Patrick Carney produced the record, which is probably a good sign, too.
The War on Drugs, Lost In The Dream
In 2011, The War on Drugs impressed with the roadtrippy Slave Ambient. Adam Granduciel are back with a follow-up (and a tour) that we can only hope will raise the bar again. It's poised to be 10 tracks of spacey roots-rock greatness.
Even more exciting than most of the schedule releases are many of the upcoming records that don't yet have release dates. Many don't even have titles yet, but get excited and watch out for new music from this long list of artists:
A$AP Rocky, Amber Coffman, AraabMuzik, Azealia Banks, Beck, Charli XCX, Chromeo, Cloud Nothings, Damon Albarn, EMA, Flying Lotus, GZA, The Hold Steady, Jay Electronica, Joey Bada$$, The Juan MacLean, Liars, Madlib, Raekwon, Real Estate, Rick Ross, Swans, Timbaland, Titus Andronicus, Tycho, U2, Waka Flocka Flame and Wu-Tang Clan.