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Friday, 20 January 2012 11:00

The most anticipated albums of 2012

From left to right: Ryan Shaw, Cat Power, Andrew Bird, Sharon Van Etten, Leonard Cohen From left to right: Ryan Shaw, Cat Power, Andrew Bird, Sharon Van Etten, Leonard Cohen courtesy of the artists' Facebook pages
Written by KDHX
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If you're a music lover (and we guess you are), then you're surely as excited as we are about a brand new year with brand new music. It can be hard to keep up with releases, but our DJs are here to help.

This year has already seen new albums from the likes of Guided By Voices, the Maccabees, Jessie Baylin, Kathleen Edwards, Big Pink, Ani DiFranco and Bombay Bicycle Club with so many more to come. Be sure to check out our charts to keep up with what's hot on 88.1 KDHX.

What are you most excited to hear this year? Leave a comment and let us know!

All release dates and titles subject to change.

Most Anticipated Albums of 2012






Tom Irwin - Sangamon Songs (Clyded) 1/17
Inspired by the diary of 16-year-old Harry Glen Ludlam, written from 1893-1894. Tom's great-grandfather bought the home/farm in 1894. Tom still lives in the home. He discovered Harry's journals in an old pie tin.

The Refugees - Three (Wabuho) 1/17
Cindy Bullens, Deborah Holland and Wendy Waldman are three very talented singers, songwriters ... oh, and they play their own instruments too!

Rodney Crowell - Kin (Vanguard) 3/12
Rodney Crowell, enough said.

Justin Townes Earle - Nothing's Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now (Bloodshot) 3/27
With "Townes" and "Earle" in his name, songwriting is in his DNA.

Ben Bedford - TBA
Ben has been performing some new songs at his gigs that he says will be included on his forthcoming CD. He is heading into the studio shortly. Based on Ben's first two releases, "Lincoln's Man" and "Land of the Shadows," I'm sure this one will be stellar.



Allen Dahm
Bittersweet Melody



Craig Finn - Clear Heart Full Eyes (Vagrant) 1/24

Nada Surf - The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy (Barsuk) 1/24

Hospitality - Hospitality (Merge) 1/31

Ben Kweller - Go Fly a Kite (Noise Company) 2/7

Dr. Dog - Be the Void (Anti-) 2/7

Sharon Van Etten - Tramp (Jagjaguwar) 2/7

Bowerbirds - The Clearing (Dead Oceans) 3/6

The Shins - Port of Morrow (Columbia) 3/20

The Wrens - TBA



Coin-Operated Radio



Lana Del Rey - Born to Die (Polydor) 1/31

of Montreal - Paralytic Stalks (Polyvinyl) 2/7

Mark Lanegan Band - Blues Funeral (4AD) 2/7

Sharon Van Etten - Tramp (Jagjaguwar) 2/7

Heartless Bastards - Arrow (Partisan) 2/14

Andrew Bird - Break It Yourself (Bella Union) 3/6

The Shins - Port of Morrow (Columbia) 3/20

Dirty Projectors - TBA

Grizzly Bear - TBA

The Walkmen - TBA



Christian Schaeffer
Collector's Edition



Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas (Columbia) 1/31

Dr. Dog - Be the Void (Anti-) 2/7

Shearwater - Animal Joy (Sub Pop) 2/14

Lambchop - Mr. M (Merge) 2/21

Andrew Bird - Break It Yourself (Bella Union) 3/6



Wil Wander
Elevated Rhymestate



This list is in order of excitement, starting with most excited.

C2C - TBA (On-and-on) 1/23

Chico and the Man - Chico and the Man (QN5) TBA

Mathias and the Pirates - TBA (Indyground)
Mathias hooks up with Ms. Vizion and other friends to branch out.

Looptroop Rockers - Professional Dreamers (DvsG) TBA
This album was supposed to be released long ago, but then it just never seemed to happen. Hopefully, it works in 2012.

Gift of Gab - Logical Progression (Quannum Projects) TBA

Brother Ali - Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color (Rhymesayers) 3/5

Pep Love (of Hieroglyphics) - Rigmarole (Hiero Emporium) 3/6



Roy Kasten
Feel Like Going Home



Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas (Columbia) 1/31
His voice is in the gutter but his soul is in the stars -- at least based on the few tracks already circulating.

Dr. Dog - Be the Void (Anti-) 2/7
One of the first tracks released, "That Old Black Hole," is a funky, surreal, witty party -- in other words very much in my wheelhouse.

Chuck Prophet - Temple Beautiful (Yep Roc) 2/7
Flipped a coin between this and the new Craig Finn album, and Chuck won. Glad both are coming to St. Louis this year.

Heartless Bastards – Arrow (Partisan) 2/14
The first single is scorching, and has a pop streak that reminds me of the latest Black Keys album.

Jay Farrar, Anders Parker, Yim Yames, Will Johnson - New Multitudes (Rounder) 2/28
"Old LA," the first song out from this "Mermaid Avenue Vol. 3" (but don't call it that, though I just did), is gorgeous and so laid-back it almost purrs.

Bonnie Raitt - Slipstream (Redwing) 4/10
This will be Raitt's first album in seven years, with production on some tracks by Joe Henry and, apparently, Dylan covers.

Beach House - TBA
Curious to hear if the band can make good on the beautiful promise of "Teen Dream."

Cat Power – TBA
I thought Chan and her band were terrific at LouFest, dark and all. If she channels anything close to that sound this will be a keeper.

Mazzy Star – TBA
This once seemed as unlikely as a new Wrens album (no comment), but with the release of the first few tracks it's clear that another dream-pop album from Hope and David isn't a dream.

Thin Lizzy Reissue Box - TBA
700 songs? Not likely. But it sounds like it's being properly curated so this could be super.



Chris Bay
Gold Soundz



Cloud Nothings - Attack On Memory (Carpark) 1/24
Cloud Nothings will release their third record almost exactly one year after their sophomore set hit the street on January 25, 2011. That record had a catchy single, "Should Have," which I listened to, enjoyed and then promptly placed back on the shelf.

What a mistake. The record has a veneer of fuzzy guitars and blown-out vocals which do a pretty good job of hiding the pop gems buried underneath. It took me a while to hear the band properly, but you can bet that I won't make the same mistake twice. Adding to the anticipation is the fact that Steve Albini produced "Attack On Memory." Yes, that Steve Albini. The same one that produced Nirvana, the Pixies, PJ Harvey and loads of other ground-breaking acts.

Sharon Van Etten - Tramp (Jagjaguwar) 2/7
I've been waiting for this album since Sharon Van Etten's dramatic, emotional and mysterious EP "Epic" caught my ears in late 2010. The new release supposedly features a healthy number of indie rock star cameos: Wye Oaks's Jenn Wasner, Beirut's Zach Condon, the National's Bryce Dessner and others. In addition, Bryce's brother Aaron (also of the National) produced and recorded the record. That isn't bad company for an up-and-coming musician with one of the most alluring voices you'll ever hear.

Jay Farrar, Anders Parker, Yim Yames, Will Johnson - New Multitudes (Rounder) 2/28
You may know the Monsters of Folk, a supergroup that features Yim Yames (Jim James of My Morning Jacket) as well as Mike Mogis and Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes and M. Ward. (Will Johnson eventually became an official member, but has always been in the shadows of the other members.)

But if there was any justice, the foursome of Farrar, Parker, Yames and Johnson would be known as the Kings of Folk, with all of the attendant fanfare. Each is hugely talented and, with the exception of Yames, has arguably never received the popular acclaim that they deserve. This album will see them imagining songs written but never recorded by Woody Guthrie. To hear four songwriters and close friends pay tribute to and continue the legacy of one of their heroes, well, that should be pretty special.

Delta Spirit - Delta Spirit (Rounder) 3/13
Delta Spirit's 2010 release "History From Below" was searing. These kids from southern California play with an urgency and passion that's incredibly compelling. "History" felt like the band finding its legs. Now I'm ready to see how fast they can run.

The dB's - Falling Off the Sky TBA
This album would've made my 2011 version of this list, had I made one. The dB's hinted at a 2011 release but never delivered. The rumors are even stronger now, and a release seems all but inevitable from the influential '70s and '80s power-pop group.



Chris Lawyer
Hip City



Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas (Columbia) 1/31

Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball (Columbia) 3/6

Rodney Crowell - Kin (Vanguard) 3/12

D'Angelo - James River TBA

Nona Gaye - Love & Sex TBA

Jeff Lynne - TBA

Maxwell - BlackSUMMERS'Night TBA

Ryan Shaw - TBA

ZZ Top - TBA

Whatever the Rolling Stones do to commemorate 50 years as a band.



Ital Rhythms



Kimberly Ann - One Song (Self-released) TBA

Hal Anthony & the Millennium Band - Illumination (Rebirth) TBA

Al Campbell - Get Ready (Heavy Beat) TBA

Dubtonic Kru - "Murderer" single (Preserve Life) - Album TBA

Various Artists - Hold On Riddim (Peckings) TBA



Music at Work



Air - Le Voyage Dans La Lune (Astralwerks) 2/7

Galactic - Carnivale Electricos (Anti-) 2/21

Andrew Bird - Break It Yourself (Bella Union) 3/6

Rodney Crowell - Kin (Vanguard) 3/12

VCMG - Siss (Mute) 3/12
Vince Clark and Martin Gore together again for the first time since the early '80s

Paul Weller - Sonik Kicks (Yep Roc) 3/27

Blanche - TBA

Jeff Lynne - TBA
It's been in the works for a couple years, so here's to hoping it's this year.

Queens of the Stone Age - TBA



Rich Reese
Pop! The Beat Bubble Burst



Looking forward, but with one eye in the rearview looking back.

Ringo Starr - Ringo 2012 (HIP-O) 1/31
Ringo has worked with literally dozens of producers throughout his four decades-long solo career. It will be interesting to see how he will produce himself -- something he has never done.

Paul McCartney - Kisses on the Bottom (Hear Music) 2/7
Paul has always had a great fondness of the music of the '20s through the '40s. His dad was in a jazz band in Liverpool, and Paul recalls the many nights spent around the piano singing the standards. So, it makes sense that he would eventually record some of these great old tracks -- plus two new self-penned ones in the style of the others. This is not a Rod Stewart standards record; there is a real connection to these songs, and Paul is backed by Diana Krall and her band.

Cotton Mather - Kontiki (Monostereo) 2/14
These power posters released this CD back in 1997. A hard-to-find gem that has long been out of print.

Phil Everly - Star Spangled Springer (Wounded Bird) 2/21
Originally released in 1973 this will be the first-time CD release. I read the Warren Zevon biography and was always intrigued by the collaborations of Warren and the Everly Brothers, both together and individually. Warren makes an appearence on this one, so finally I'll be able to hear that. Phil also has Duane Eddy, James Burton, Buddy Emmons and Victor Feldman along for the ride.

The Beach Boys - TBA
There's only one Wilson left, but along with Brian will be Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks. I'm up for hearing what this new album will sound like for certain!

The dB's - Falling Off the Sky TBA
It's been a long time since we've had anything new from the dB's. Holsapple and Stamey have done a couple of pretty great CDs together, but ... . Lots of teasing about this new album, which has not been released for reasons only record companies could explain. Let's hope they get it figured out in 2012.

Jeff Lynne - TBA
This will be his first solo album since 1990's "Armchair Theatre," unless you count the ELO release "Zoom" in 2001, which was basically a Jeff Lynne solo record. Whatever you call them I like them. I'm not crazy when Lynne produces others and makes them sound like ELO (Petty, Harrison, Orbison, Shannon, etc.), but it's fine if he makes himself sound like ELO.



Brother Dan
The Smoking Lounge



Doctor Dog - Be the Void (Anti-) 2/7
These guys are really taking it to another level.

Aaron Freeman - Marvelous Clouds (Partisan) 4/3
The first solo release from Ween frontman Gene Ween.

Mike Keneally and Andy Partridge - Wing Beat Fantastic TBA
The former XTC frontman with the world's best-kept-secret multi-instrumentalist.

Stick Men - TBA
The brain child of Tony Levin, Markus Reuter and Pat Mastelotto. They put on a great show at the Old Rock House. Can't wait for this one!

This cello drum duo is the most original sound to come out in a long time. Run don't walk to get this when it comes out.



Ed Becker
Songwriters Showcase



Various Artists - Chimes Of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan (Amnesty International) 1/24
A collection of 73 songs on four CDs of Bob Dylan covers by a very diverse group of musical royalty.

Bap Kennedy - The Sailor's Revenge (Proper) 1/30
New Mark Knopfler-produced CD from this Belfast singer-songwriter and alum of Energy Orchard. This is a UK release; US release TBA.

Gretchen Peters - Hello Cruel World (101 Distribution) 1/31
New set of originals from this top-notch Nashville songwriter, featuring a stunning duet with Rodney Crowell, a Tom Russell co-write, and Barry Walsh, Will Kimbrough, Doug Lancio, Victor Kraus, Kim Richey and others.

The Chieftians - Voices of Ages (Hear Music) 2/21
This was also produced by T-Bone Burnett and features Bon Iver, Secret Sisters, Imelda May, the Decemberists, Low Anthem, Punch Brothers, Civil Wars, the Pistol Annies, Carolina Chocolate Drops and others, jamming with the legendary Irish band.

Jonny Burke - TBA
This young Texas singer-songwriter who opened many shows for James McMurtry is ready to release his sophomore effort and follow-up to last year's "Distance and Fortune." No title yet; he also has a Kickstarter campaign to help fund a planned 2012 release.

Ray Wylie Hubbard - Grifter's Hymnal (Bordello) TBA
Ray Wylie joined by his son Lucas and Ringo Starr, among others.

Fats Kaplin and Kristi Rose - TBA
The multi-talented husband and wife duo from Nashville are putting the finishing touches on their first full-length CD together; a spring release is planned.

John Mellencamp - Ghost Brothers of Darkland County TBA
Based on the musical stage play written by Stephen King and John Mellencamp, the soundtrack album is produced by T-Bone Burnett and features Kris Kristofferson, Rosanne Cash, Elvis Costello, Neko Case and Phil and Dave Alvin.

Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis - TBA
Bruce and Kelly are releasing their first joint project, a not-yet-named acoustic recording. They did a wonderful preview of the CD at Wood House Concerts this fall. You can help fund it through Kickstarter.

Two very late 2011 recordings that I just received that you should know about:

Terry Allen - Live At Al's Grand Hotel (Orion Read)
This is a limited edition (500 copies) vinyl-only live concert release, recorded two years before Allen's first-released recording, the wonderful concept album "Juarez." Contains many favorites and five never before released originals.

The Mollys - Live At El Casino Ballroom (Self-released)
A Mollys 10-year reunion CD recorded on St. Patrick's Day, 2010. The Mollys, who are no longer together, were a favorite of Songwriters Showcase's founder, the late Larry Weir, and one of the best live bands either of us ever saw. This CD recalls some great nights at Off Broadway with Larry.



Nick Acquisto
The Space Parlour



Big Deal - Lights Out (Mute) 1/24

Elvis Costello & the Imposters - The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Wheel (Live Album) (Hip-O/UMe) 1/24

First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar (Wichita Recordings) 1/24

Foxy Shazam - The Church of Rock & Roll (I.R.S.) 1/24

Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas (Columbia) 1/31

Dr. Dog - Be the Void (Anti-) 2/7

of Montreal - Paralytic Stalks (Polyvinyl) 2/7

Sharon Van Etten - Tramp (Jagjaguwar) 2/7

Sleigh Bells - Reign of Terror (Mom + Pop) 2/14

Field Music - Plumb (Memphis Industries) 2/21

The Move - Live at the Fillmore 1969 (Right Recordings) 2/21

Carolina Chocolate Drops - Leaving Eden (Nonesuch) 2/28

School of Seven Bells - Ghostory (Vagrant) 2/28

The Magnetic Fields - Love at the Bottom of the Sea (Merge) 3/6



Nick Cowan
Train of Thought



I haven't really thought too far ahead to 2012, but from what I've stumbled across there will be some cool (or simply interesting) releases if they come to pass. Noticed a lot of old rock and metal bands doing new recordings this year, but that stuff is no longer highly anticipated by this DJ. Here's what is:

Foxy Shazam - The Church of Rock & Roll (I.R.S.) 1/24

Ben Kweller - Go Fly a Kite (Noise Company) 2/7

Ben Folds Five - TBA

D'Angelo - James River TBA

Metric - TBA

Santigold - Master of My Make Believe (Roc Nation) TBA

Them Crooked Vultures - TBA

U2 - Songs of Ascent TBA



Trip Inside This House



Rick Bain and the Genius Position - TBA
A long time coming. Maybe this is the year.

Chatham Rise - TBA

Pond - Beard, Wives, Denim (Modular) 3/6
Featuring members of Tame Impala.

The Purrs - TBA

Secret Colours - TBA

Spiritualized - Sweet Heart Sweet Light (Fat Possum) TBA

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