So there’s a few things that make January bearable: ‘Celebrity Big Brother’. A chance to stay in and catch up on ‘The Wire’ (hope Omar stays alive). Roaring fires. A clutch of Oscar hopefuls at the cinema. Um, the endorphins released from those first (and last) few gym visits…
OK, maybe that’s about it. It is the shittiest of all the months, but fortunately there’s a whole barrel of new music heading our way.
My desk is covered with new releases, from Beirut‘s brilliantly overreaching two disc epic ‘March Of The Zapotec and Real People In Holland’ to Howling Bells, The Prodigy, Franz, The Drones, M Ward (which features a great Buddy Holly cover) and Fredo Viola‘s bizzare brilliance. Plus the new Animal Collective is out now.
Meanwhile, here’s who we’re most excited about in the office – let us know what you’re waiting for too.
David Moynihan, Editor, NME.COM
“I miss the carnival chaos of the Klaxons. Their first album was surprising, uplifting, and packed with great melodies. Their second opus (as-yet-untitled) is due soon and the rumours I’m hearing from those who have heard it is that it’s very different to their previous stuff and really rather good.
“A couple of the new LP’s tracks have been performed live in South America and Moscow and can be viewed on YouTube, although the sound quality is dogshit and the magic dust of Midas-fingered producer James Ford is obviously absent.”
Watch ‘Valley Of The Calm Trees’ and ‘Moonhead’.
Nat Cramp, Sub-Editor
“I can’t wait to hear ‘Turning The Mind’ the follow-up to Maps‘ Mercury-nominated ‘We Can Create’. I was lucky enough to visit mainman James Chapman when he was holed up recording with producer Tim Holmes (Death In Vegas) just before Christmas. Judging by the four tracks he played me, the new album will sound both epic and huge and will be full of skewed floorfillers.”
Paul Stokes, News Editor
“I was invited into the studio with Kasabian when they recorded in San Francisco (you can read about it in this week’s issue) so I can’t wait to see how it turns out. It’s refreshing to see a band display so much ambition: forget safe cash-in, this is shaping up to be an expansive, challenging trip of an album. Those who think they’re just lad rock hooligans are going to be surprised.”
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Emily Mackay, Reviews Assistant
“Patrick Wolf‘s forthcoming album ‘Battle’. After the multicoloured pop makeover of ‘The Magic Position’ I’m agog to see what the motley mentalist comes up with next. With talk of returning to his Irish roots, collaborations with Patti Smith, and a fan-funded, self-released double disc, it’s going to be interesting.”
Ben Patashnik, Sub-Editor
“Japanese post-rockers Mono‘s fifth album ‘Hymn To The Immortal Wind’ was always going to be crashingly beautiful, but with Steve ‘Lord’ Albini producing it could well be the most astonishing record released this or any other year. With 12-minute opener ‘Ashes In The Snow’ already doing the rounds online, hopes aren’t so much high as scraping the ceiling of heaven.”
Luke Lewis, Deputy Editor, NME.COM
“I’m really excited about La Roux. The sampler’s incredible. Every track is lean, streamlined and shimmeringly slick. If the rest of her debut is even half as good, it’ll be the best pop album of the year.”
Katie Torrie, Music & Production Manager, NME Radio
“Ping-pong obsessed Young Fathers show what Edinburgh’s been getting up to while the rest of the UK is getting lost in a haze of New York exports. Their addictive body-popping rap single ‘Straight Back On It’ was an instant office hit. We‘ve had the Scottish trio in for live sessions twice now and I expect a solid album from them this March.”
Tim Pearson, Marketing Director
“The Prodigy are back on track with ‘Invaders Must Die’, out February 23, an album that could potentially surpass anything that they have previously done. Early listens are throwing up a tougher, angrier noise than before which take the band into a new direction and should open up them to a new audience.”
What are you itching to hear? Leave a comment and let us know. We’ll get our people to speak to their people and hurry them along…