2019: What We're Excited About
As you may have noticed, 2018 has ended now. New numbers have taken its place: this one is called 2019 and it is set to ROCK! Now, we're not foolhardy enough to try one of those BBC-type 'Ones To Watch' pieces. Instead, we're just gonna focus on some of the things that are making us that little bit more excited about this year.
The dynamic duo have now left the shackles of Rough Trade to strike out on their own, on an album which will surely give voice to anyone frustrated about how Old Etonians have succeeded in a takedown of the UK that won't affect them personally. All splurged out in their usual, inimitable, rattle-and-rant style. Lead track sounds very good indeed. Could be proper nice this.
Now stadium-sized, the Twilight Sad's dark, frothy indie is big enough for the lighter/phone-waving brigade. Their complicatedly-titled new record at times threatens to overdo the bluster but has enough of their emotional Caledonian post-punk to satisfy long term advocates.
If the Lush reformation was a small surprise then an even bigger surprise could be this new collective led by singer Miki Berenyi, alongside KJ McKillop (Moose), Mick Conroy (Modern English) and former Elastica drummer Justin Welch. It's the shoegaze supergroup we've all been waiting for! Though don't tell 'em we said that.
Roger Sellers wowed us all with his out-of-nowhere sleeper album 'Primitives', inspired by the two bears (Panda and Grizzly). Now he's back with Drastic Measures. It carries on where 'Primitives' left off: rhythmic, pulsating pop with nods to Moondog and Philip Glass still audible somewhere within the grooves.
Fresh from her tell-all autobiography Art Sex Music, the former Throbbing Gristle member now produces her first full length solo work since 1982 on an album that could be seen as a companion piece to the book. Here, she explores her life and art utilising amongst other things the pounding synth work we know and love.
American guitar tanglers American Football originally made one (much loved) album in 2008, before promptly splitting up and disappearing. Over recent years, though, the band have reformed and have now made twice that number of records. This third instalment comes remarkably quickly after two in 2016, and even more surprisingly the lady from Paramore joins in as a guest.
This London lot dressed up as trees for their previous Come Play the Trees record, which was as groovy as infectious as a Mountain Ash blowing on a hilltop. For this follow up they seem to have written an album about the property industry, but as depressing as that might sound there are plenty of moments of memorable scuzz to make you forget for a moment about the threat of developers.
Those of us that wait patiently/endlessly for new music from the bard of Durham might have a good year ahead. First up there’s a vinyl pressing of the astonishing, unique I Trawl the Megahertz’ (previously issued as a shamefully neglected Paddy McAloon solo album back in 2003). And perhaps even more excitingly we are promised a new album proper in September.
You could never accuse Guided By Voices of holding back material. Indeed new album Zeppelin Over China is a 32-track, double album splurge of creativity. And if that's not enough, later in the year we get another album Warp and Woof. How much Guided By Voices do we need? Well, like rainfall in Leeds there's a seemingly endless supply so we might as well enjoy it.
Not a new release by New Order (thankfully) but the first proper re-issue treatment of their often neglected debut album 'Movement'. This album was kind of a bridge piece between Joy Division and New Order as we came to know them, and shows a band scrabbling around for a new sound. The addition of unheard (officially) demos and live performances from the era make this an essential document for fans of the Manchester legends.
It's gnot quite Gnod as we gnow them, but two parts of the elastic Manchester collective in full-on ritualistic electronic mode, exploring the sort of sound fields the main band doesn't. Here they use modular synths and industrial racket to explore their past, present and future.
Stella Donnelly is angry but in a tuneful way. Her songs take down all the idiots in the world: abusive men, shit bosses, and clueless exes all get it in the ear on this, her debut full-length. But she delivers it all with such insouciant charm that even if you were on the receiving end of her diatribes you'd still quite enjoy listening. Her debut Thrush Metal suggested a particular kind of talent, one that we hope will reach full fruition here.
Noise rock lynchpins Bilge Pump have long been Leeds' tightest band. The adoration they receive locally has not yet transferred to the rest of the world, but the rest of the world is missing out. Trust us. This, their first album in ten years, showcases their outrageous musicianship - coupled with a skewed ability to merge the best bits of Can, PIL and Butthole Surfers.
Come on, admit it. You didn't think Royal Trux would be alive in 2019. But not only are ‘the World’s Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band’ still on this good earth, they're about to release a new album - their first in 19 years. For the uninitiated, Royal Trux made grungy, grimy, mutant rock-and-roll that sounded like a hall of mirrors Rolling Stones playing in a bath tub.
Once of Talk Talk (who we can say with conviction we'll never get a new album from as long as we live), Rustin Man is the solo project of Paul Webb who previously worked with Beth Gibbons of Portishead. This time he's doing all the singing and he sounds rather like Robert Wyatt. The music is bluesy and discordant, but with that natural woody feel we remember from latter day Talk Talk.
What else? Obviously we’re not predicting the future here, but we'd be excited to hear new music from any of the following:
- James Holden's already got a new soundtrack thing out...is even more new material too much to wish for?
- These New Puritans are well overdue a follow-up to their stunning Field Of Reeds.
- Alex G...c'mon lad, it's been too long.
- Everyone (including us) wet themselves over that Christoph de Babalon reissue last year...so this comes with sky-high expectations.
- Cigarettes After Sex are always welcome.
- If you enjoyed our Album of the Year by MALK then his more hip-hop based collective Mahatma X have a record due.
- Over in Manchester we long for new stuff from Warm Widow...
- ...and Cult Party, who got busy at the business end of our Album of the Year 2018 with And Then There Was This Sound.
- From Yorkshire we’re still awaiting the second Craven Faults EP.
- Also from Yorkshire, we're always happy to hear from Michael Chapman.
- Definitely not from Yorkshire, Sharon Van Etten has been Congleton’d on her long awaited and emotionally charged Remind Me Tomorrow.
- Come February we'll doubtless be in the mood for the murky noise of Nate Young's latest.
- The Telescopes are that rare thing: a band that gets more interesting with age.
- Pye Corner Audio...please?
- Hoping for a new My Bloody Valentine LP this year (don't hold your breath).
- Bound to be a new Aphex Twin marketing campaign to look forward to, right?
- Phil can't hold out for much longer: it must be time for a new Boards of Canada LP?
- If not, there's definitely (hopefully) something coming on our very own Public House Recordings that may fill a BoC shaped void in your life...
- And is a new Dalham LP on the way later in the year?
- Grimes....we've heard mention of Grimes. Please let there be Grimes.
- And Danny Brown.
- Veteran noise-gazers Swervedriver have an actual new album out...
- What will a 2019 Specials album sound like? Who really knows?
- Solo guitar mover and now Real Estate member Julian Lynch brings us this.
- Veteran house dude Anthony Naples asks, Take Me With You.
- And finally, Go-Betweens veteran / Goon Sax dad Robert Forster has a new 'un.