Xiu Xiu, Rolo Tomassi, Four Tet, The National, Battles - Albums that will make 2010 great
Kyle Ellison 29/11/2009
As is the way with music journalism, 2009 isn't over yet and publications are already predicting the albums that will be topping end of year polls in 2010. As album info for the first quarter of next year starts to come thick and fast, and the rumour mill speculating albums that might or might not get released next year, the time has come for me to chuck in my two cents. After you've finished admiring my MS Paint skills (seriously, who needs InDesign?), scroll down to find out the albums I'm tipping for success in 2010.
Xiu Xiu - Dear God, I Hate Myself
This one's particuarly exciting because it has an album cover, tracklist and a release date. Xiu Xiu's latest opus, Dear God, I Hate Myself, will be released on February 15th through Kill Rock Stars, and is likely to be the sound coming out of my bedroom for much of the year. As Drowned In Sound revealed last week, Stewart will be joined by new full-time band member Angelo Seo, a guest appearance from a catholic choir, and the title track is composed on a Nintendo DS. If that's not enough to whet your appetite, the record will also feature Deerhoof's John Deitrich and Greg Saunier, who also co-produces the record with Stewart. Plus, that title, is so Xiu Xiu it hurts.
Rolo Tomassi - tbc
I haven't talked about Rolo Tomassi's new album yet, but it's something I've been excited about for a very long time. For those unaware of the big news, they'll be working with M.I.A and Santigold producer Diplo on the new record, which throws up all kinds of great possibilities. For me, Hysterics, hinted at the fantastic studio potential the band have, and with Diplo on board I'm sure Rolo Tomassi are going to produce one of the biggest sounding albums of the year. Check out the bands blog for more information and videos from the studio.
Four Tet - There Is Love In You
Having already blogged about Four Tet's latest single, Love Cry, which can be heard here, the album is set to drop on 25th January. It's the first studio album Kieran Hebden has released under the name Four Tet for nearly five years, and it'll be interesting to see how There Is Love In You slots into an electronic scene which has changed dramatically in that time. Four Tet has already put his mark on a plethora of electronic styles, and there's little doubt this will be one of the genre's leading releases next year.
Random Axe - Random Axe
This long-awaited collaboration between Black Milk, Guilty Simpson and Sean Price should really be out by now, but after a catastrophic loss of material the trio have had to head back to the studio and re-record a lot of material. The record is being entirely produced by Black Milk, who fully established himself as one of hip hop's hottest producers in 2008; releasing one of the albums of the decade in Tronic, as well as his equally brilliant beats all over Elzhi's The Preface. If that wasn't enough, Black Milk's twitter feed suggest that he's currently in the studio working on the follow up to Tronic, and Guilty Simpson's entirely Madlib produced record, O.J Simpson, looks likely to be put back to 2010 as well. Whatever way you look at it, these guys are going to dominate hip hop in 2010.
Liars - Sisterworld
The cryptic clues that reveal what the new Liars album, Sisterworld, will sound like have already begun. Things that we do know about their 5th album are that it was recorded in LA, and will be released through mute some time early in 2010. Well, that's not strictly true, there is also a website for Sisterworld, which is about as useless as a website could possibly be, and they have also recorded a video for Drowned in Sound which reveals a little more, and makes the album sound very exciting. Early signs suggest that this album is going to haunt you in your sleep.
Surfer Blood - Astro Coast
Here's a band that is likely to do very well next year, off the back of their current support slot with Japandroids and playing a whopping 12 times at CMJ. Having heard the album in its entirety I can already tell you its a winner, mixing authentic surf-pop hooks with a Wipers-esque punk edge. If that doesn't convince you, check out album highlight Swim over here, surely a dead cert to be one of the “anthems” of 2010. I mean that in a good way.
The National - tbc
For me, The National have been one of the bands of the decade, so it should come as no surprise that the prospect of their new album comes with a great deal of excitement. As reported in Stereogum's list of most anticipated releases, singer Matt Beringer explains how the band initially set out to make a 'fun' pop record and had the word 'happiness' taped to the studio wall; a plan that soon went off course. I really can't imagine The National making happy record, because, to be honest, miserable is what they do best. I'm pretty sure this will sound like The National's other records, which is certainly no bad thing, and I'm sure it'll be up there with the year's very best albums.
LCD Soundsystem - tbc
Whether it's with LCD Soundsystem, or through his label DFA Records, James Murphy has been involved with a lot of cool records. Since LCD's early days they have always written great songs, but with Sound of Silver in 2007 they proved they could be an albums band too. Recorded in LA, the album is seemingly mostly done, as Murphy continues to add his finishing touches in the studio. In an interview with Drowned in Sound, Murphy talks about having to re-think the dance floor a little, which I think is an encouraging sign, suggesting that LCD Soundsystem will continue to lead the way in this field.
Battles - tbc
I'm speculating on this one a little, but Battles have already been previewing some new material on tour this year so the chances are we'll see a new album soon. If anyone is interested in dodgy live videos on youtube, then you can check out the band playing some new songs here. Mirrored was undoubtedly one of the most fun, innovative and all round spectacular albums of this decade so, if they stay together, there's no limit to what they could produce in the next one.
Madvillain - tbc
If I was speculating about the new Battles album, then this one might just be plain wishful thinking. Over the last few years a follow up to Malib and MF Doom's, Madvillainy, has joined Dre's Detox as hip hop's Chinese Democracy. The good news folks, is that Chinese Democracy came out this year, so there's still hope yet. It seems like even Madlib is sick of waiting for this to come together, having released a complete remix of the pair's original collaboration in 2008. Recent reports, though, have suggested that this is finally being worked on, and will once again be entirely produced by Madlib and eventually released through Stones Throw.