So this week appears to mark the start of the 2009 release rush, what with any number of exciting efforts from Asobi Seksu through to William Eliot Whitmore (couldn't find a Z relevant to this site....sorry). Not to overlook some fantastic releases already this year from A.C. Newman, Animal Collective, Bon Iver, and Dälek, but this is where we really hit the period of "what the hell am I supposed to spend my credit crunch depleted music budget on with all this out?!?". Unless you're one of the pay nothing for any form of music consumption crowd, in which case I would suggest to you that Kurt Cobain had a solution tailor-made for your existence.
Here are some of the releases I'd certainly deign worthy of a second glance this week:
....And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead - The Century of Self
- Are Trail of Dead releases eagerly anticipated any more? Even if not, this is purported to be one of their better efforts after the fair to middling So Divided from 3 years ago. The artwork is also supposed to have been intricately drawn in biro by the always shy & retiring frontman Conrad Keely. Just in case such things are of heavy influence in your purchasing decisions.
The Appleseed Cast - Sagarmatha
- Emo/indie post rock/whatever veterans return with a nigh instrumental effort. They've chopped and changed styles over the years and always come out on the right side of adventurous, with first hints of this one sounding unlikely to change that consistent quality.
Asobi Seksu - Hush
- This one got my $$ (along with a catch up purchase of Dälek), so I'll save any thoughts for the inevitable review (expected Feb 2010, on current form). Suffice it to say Citrus was supremely gorgeous, so expectations are high for this one.
Beirut - March of the Zapotec & Realpeople Holland
- I'm not really much of a Beirut convert, so I can't impart much knowledge on this one other than a) it has a rather clumsy title and b) it nicely continues my (soon to be destroyed) alphabetical release flow. Some mates greatly enjoy them though, so be aware that it exists.
Fake Problems - It's Great To Be Alive
- I know of these fellas mainly by virtue of their sonic similarities to older Against Me!, which is of course a good thing. However, it does mean that my collection of their music is piffling at best. Something that this release can hopefully remedy. Their alt-punk, sometimes rockabilly style if really quite appealing, so I feel confident that this one will be worthwhile.
Morrissey - Years of Refusal
- All I'm saying is that they could have made more effort with the baby's quiff for a bit of comic effect, that's all. Mozza's always up for a bit of a giraffe, isn't he? What's that? Oh.
Thursday - Common Existence
- I don't know what to expect from these lads now, after War All The Time reeled me in but A City By the Light Divided threw me back into the uncertain waters. The first cut, 'Resuscitation of a Dead Man', does sound much more driven and anthemic though, so perhaps I'm back in the boat for this one.
Tombs - Winter Hours
- Along with Zombi, this is another member of the Relapse roster releasing an mind-bending take on metal. Always a good thing to start the year off right. Initial listens of 'Gossamer' elicit some very exciting avant-metal that takes in Mastodon and Isis, whilst always retaining its own thrashing, convulsing identity. I'm excited to take this one in as a whole piece of work after the brief glimpses to date.
Various Artists - Dark Was The Night
- A magnificent roster of artists with exclusives on here, including The National, Spoon, Bon Iver, Arcade Fire, Yeasayer and countless others to cause Williamsburg to mess its collective trousers. All contributing to this compilation out there to benefit the Red Hot Organization, which helps HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. Learn more here. A more worthy and value for money release will probably not grace the shelves this year.
William Elliott Whitmore - Animals In the Dark
- A missed opportunity when he supported Murder by Death late last year offered me the chance to at least tune into this gent's dark-hearted brand of Americana. Since then I've had half an eye on the release of his new material.......and here it is, ready to go. 'Old Devils' sounds good to these ears in a MBD crossed with Two Gallants, stylee, so if that's the standard then I'll have this one in my sweaty mitts soooner rather than later.
Purchases can be made here, as well as picking out your favourite artist's release that I've cruelly overlooked. As I get excited about individual releases I'll throw more up here in the way of mp3's and linkage. In the meantime, have a butchers at the artist sites if you like the sound of them.
Now playing: Isis - False Light