2015? Love it already!
Between Mark Ronson, joints and Grammy nominations, Kevin Parker was said to be working hard on Tame Impala’s third album last year. After spinning psychedelic gold on 2010 debut Innerspeaker and brilliant 2012 sequel Lonerism, which directions will WA’s most acclaimed songwriter/producer push into next?
The breakout success of Meg Mac’s debut EP hinged on Roll Up Your Sleeves but latest single Grandma’s Hands — featuring production from Oz hip-hop wunderkind M-Phazes — is said to be a sign of the future. Expect a US label deal to be announced soon.
BOY & BEAR
When we spoke to Boy & Bear frontman Dave Hosking mid-year he said plenty of their third album and follow-up to 2013’s superb Harlequin Dream was already written and to expect big choruses, bigger drums and plenty of 60s and 70s influences.
BIRDS OF TOKYO
Australian No. 1 album March Fires was appropriately released in March of 2013. Fans can expect to hear new material in the middle of the year. A little birdy tells us that Ian Kenny and the lads are in the studio again.
With two singles already bouncing around our eardrums, Pond’s sixth outing Man It Feels Like Space Again finishes particularly strongly and features some of their most psychedelic material to date. The album was released on January 23.
We’ve got it on good authority — that is, from the group — that before Gotye drops another album, his other band the Basics will be releasing their first long player in six years. Check recent The Lucky Country EP for a taste.
Northbridge barber and electronic producer Regan “Ta-ku” Matthews’ popularity grows with every release. Despite a number of quality mini-albums, he is yet to unveil his “proper” debut album for Future Classic. This should be the year.
Another local act set for a big 2015, San Cisco have already toured on the back of irresistible new single Run and show no signs of awkwardness following up their 2012 breakthrough. Their sophomore set is due in March.
GANG OF YOUTHS
Epic singles, especially the award- winning Poison Drum and Jack Moffitt (the Preatures) co-produced Evangelists, have paved the way for Sydneysiders Gang of Youths’ debut album. Charismatic frontman David Le’Aupepe screams youthful Springsteen-isms while producers Peter Katis (the National, Interpol) and Kevin McMahon (Swans, Real Estate) handle the controls.
Hit single Happy Little Pill cemented South African-born West Aussie Troye Sivan as one to watch in 2015, not just in Australia but around the world. Three million YouTube subscribers and over 144 million views don’t lie. Expect bigness.
THE BIG GUNS
The biggest of the “big four” thrash bands, Metallica released the eight-minute single Lords of Summer last March and drummer Lars Ulrich confirmed their first LP since 2008’s Rick Rubin-produced Death Magnetic is due this year.
Word of Fleetwood Mac’s first album since 2003 was made more enticing by news keyboardist and songwriter Christine McVie (Everywhere, Don’t Stop) had rejoined the legendary band after a 16-year hiatus. Reports have McVie writing or co-writing about 90 per cent of the early demos.
Dylan’s first new album since 2012’s Tempest, Shadows in the Night is a covers album with some interesting choices. Expect gravelly interpretations of Frank Sinatra and Rodgers and Hammerstein standards, stripped down for His Bobness’ five-piece band from the original 30-piece arrangements. Due out February 6.
The 56-year-old Material Girl will release her 13th studio album Rebel Heart in March. The date was locked in and six tracks rush-released last month — to a mostly indifferent response — thanks to a leak. With titles such as Bitch I’m Madonna and Unapologetic Bitch, it doesn’t appear ageing gracefully is on Madge’s radar just yet.
Coldplay didn’t tour their ho-hum 2013 record Ghost Stories, preferring to go straight back into the studio to lay down seventh album A Head Full of Dreams. Featured on Angelina Jolie’s film Unbroken, latest single Miracles could be an indicator.
FAITH NO MORE
With a release pencilled for April following their east coast Soundwave headline slots, Faith No More’s first album in 18 years is previewed by irreverent single Motherf…er. The Cramps and Siouxsie and the Banshees are reported influences on the new record.
If Bruno Mars collaboration Uptown Funk didn’t get your toes tapping, latest single Daffodils alongside Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker might. Uptown Special, the fourth album from Transatlantic hit machine Mark Ronson, was released on January 30.
THE SMASHING PUMPKINS
Following last month’s ninth album Monuments to an Elegy, Pumpkins head honcho Billy Corgan has stated that work on 10th album Day for Night will follow immediately. The next instalment of the band’s Teargarden by Kaleidyscope album cycle should be in production now.
No doubt buoyed by his career-reviving collaboration with Daft Punk, the 74-year-old Italian disco pioneer’s first solo album in 30 years is set to feature Kylie Minogue, Sia, Britney Spears and Charli XCX. First taste and title track 74 is the New 24 is out now.
Initially touted as an EP, guitarist Phil Collen says a vegan diet is to blame for the increased creative spell leading to 15 tracks already having been penned for the English hard rockers’ first album since 2008. Look for the 10th Def Leppard studio outing and a tour in the front half of 2015.
One wonders what surprises Bjork has in store following up 2011’s multimedia extravaganza Biophilia. Experimental Venezuelan producer Arca got a pass-out from his Mute Records deal to lend a hand on the Icelandic indie queen’s ninth studio effort.
BELLE AND SEBASTIAN
Released on January 16, Belle and Sebastian’s so-called dance album, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, is also their first for big-time indie label Matador. Conversely, it features some of frontman Stuart Murdoch’s most personal lyrics. The Glaswegians should play some new tunes at the Astor on February 3.
Nearly 10 years after going out on an art-rock high The Woods, the riot grrrl genre’s most acclaimed three-piece have just released No Cities to Love on January 16. If first single Bury Our Friends wasn’t enough to convince you to get excited, we can assure you the comeback album is a cracker.
DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE
Perhaps bringing on producer Rich Costey was the catalyst for long-time studio whiz, guitarist and songwriter Chris Walla to leave Death Cab in August but his playing is said to be all over their eighth album so no need to worry yet. Right?
Released last month and preceded by self-referential first single Mr Noah, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper is Noah Lennox’s first solo outing in four years. Like Giorgio Moroder, the Animal Collective founder is on a high after an impressive Daft Punk collaboration.
NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS
Sure to dampen the resolve of those hoping Beady Eye’s break-up meant an Oasis reunion, Noel Gallagher’s second solo album Chasing Yesterday is released on February 27 in Australia, preceded by current single In the Heat of the Moment.
Also out on February 27 and eight years after their previous album, Modest Mouse return with Strangers to Ourselves, their first since the departure of Johnny Marr. The typically bombastic Lampshades on Fire is the first taste.
Promo photos for Short Movie, title track to Laura Marling’s fifth album at the tender age of 24, have the English indie-folk darling sporting a noticeably shorter crop of hair and an electric guitar, hinting at a turn towards a more rocking sound.
What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World is the typically confounding yet poetic title gracing the Decemberists’ latest album, having released on January 16. First single Make You Better is a classically epic introduction suggesting it’s one for old fans of the folk-rockers from Portland, Oregon.
FATHER JOHN MISTY
Loose-limbed bearded enigma Joshua Tillman, better known as Father John Misty, was never content just drumming and singing backing vocals for Fleet Foxes. Conceptual second album I Love You, Honeybear should ensure we’re forever grateful on February 6.
© The West Australian
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