In this week’s NME we look ahead to the most exciting albums of 2010 – mostly comebacks from established, big-hitting bands.
But there are plenty of debuts that we’re looking forward to, as well. Here are a few we’re particularly keen to hear. Which debuts are you buzzed about?
The Soft Pack
Title: ‘The Soft Pack’
Recorded: August ’09
Three secrets: 1) On the song ‘Pull Out’, the band are all playing each others’ instruments.
2) ‘Mexico’ is the only Soft Pack song to emerge from a jam session, and is inspired by the Elvis film Blue Hawaii.
3) ‘The Soft Pack’ is the first album to be released by Heavenly since the label was “told to fuck off” by EMI.
Inside insight: “I first heard The Soft Pack as The Muslims and I flipped on it straight away. The producer was their American label’s suggestion. The band liked Girls Against Boys, Eli liked them, he got the sound right, he worked quickly, there wasn’t any fucking about and the results are great. The band have this attitude, which to me is the definition of punk rock: they look like they don’t give a fuck but they obviously do. That takes a lot of style and self-belief.” Jeff Barrett, A&R/label boss
2 Door Cinema Club
Recorded: July ’09
Three secrets: 1) 2 Door Cinema Club’s was only the second album finished at Zdar’s new studio, after Phoenix’s ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix’.
2) It took Zdar a day before he could understand the band’s Northern Irish accents.
3) At Eastcote, Duran Duran were in the adjacent studio. 2DCC played comedy versions of ‘Rio’ to wind them up.
Inside insight: “Their stuff was already tight – I was just able to give big bass, big highs and something a bit large! They are completely crazy about music – there is not one hour when they don’t listen or download something from a blog. They remind me of me when I was a teenager.” Philippe Zdar, mixer
Recorded: Feb ’10-June ’10
Three secrets: 1) The ‘clapping’ sound at the beginning of one of the tunes they’ve recorded is a sample of Tommy Lee’s balls slapping against Pamela Anderson’s bottom, sampled from their famous sex tape.
2) The band’s three previous singles will be re-recorded for the album.
3) The Magic Numbers were mixing in the studio next door, the two bands hung out and compared mixing notes.
Inside insight: “They’re locked away writing until the end of January and they’ll start recording in February. The band have a very strong vision of how they want to sound. It may not be one producer – it may be a kind of bespoke thing. They’re very excited about a track called ‘Weight’ – it could be a mammoth record for them.” Duncan Ellis, manager
Music Go Music
Recorded: March ’08-June ’09
Three secrets: 1) Recording began at guitarist Torg’s house but they were forced to move after neighbours complained about the noise.
2) The nine songs on the album are the only songs they’ve ever recorded.
3) In some places, you can hear Gala Bell (singer) and keyboard player Kamar Maza’s dogs’ collars jingling as they run through the studio.
Inside insight: “Basically, they stripped their houses down and turned them into studios. The album still sounds like it was recorded in a superflash studio somewhere in Hollywood but the fact that they weren’t paying hundreds of dollars a day for studio time allowed them to be free from all that pressure. And thank God for that.” Paul Everett, manager
Recorded: October ’09-July ’10
Three secrets: 1) Max will only record his vocals at night, barefoot and with a cup of cinnamon tea to hand.
2) Max’s home studio is in the same house in Kentish Town from which his sister runs the Bjork & McElligott fashion label.
3) The latest addition to his band is ex-Rakes drummer Lasse Petersen.
Inside insight: “We’re looking to make the album properly in the summer. At the moment, Max is playing around with ideas in his home studio. It’s literally just a little mixer, an old copy of Cubase and a four-track recorder, but he still manages to capture a real charm there. Making the album, it’ll just be a case of enhancing those qualities.” Angus Murray, manager
Recorded: May ’09-April ’10
Three secrets: 1) Salem lost a computer containing most of the initial album recordings and had to start from scratch.
2) Remixes are being commissioned by the 20 Jazz Funk Greats blog.
3) Salem are also working on a mixtape featuring Gucci Mane, Lil Wayne and more.
Inside insight: “The album’s currently being worked on in bedrooms in Chicago, although the loss of the computer containing the session files has set them back. But Salem don’t seem to live in the same space and time as us. I’ve never really met anyone as perverse as them – not sexually, but how the world we live in means nothing to them. Not that they don’t have emotions or morals, because I know they do… but they confuse me, and that’s what excites me about them.” Milo Cordell, Merok label manager