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Thursday, 31 January 2013 09:00

The most anticipated albums of 2013

From left to right: David Bowie, Josh Ritter, Alice Russell, Charles Bradley, Emmylou Harris From left to right: David Bowie, Josh Ritter, Alice Russell, Charles Bradley, Emmylou Harris Courtesy of the artists' Facebook pages
Written by KDHX

The year has barely begun but exceptional new releases are coming fast and feverish -- with many more to follow. Apparently, the DJs of 88.1 KDHX are champing at the bit to hear them all.

We asked our DJs to pick their most anticipated albums of the year, and they responded. What are you most wanting to hear in 2013? The mythical Avalanches record? Fitz & the Tantrums? Richard Thompson? Let us know in the comments!






Lyal Strickland - Balanced on Barbed Wire TBA
Joe Stickley - Wasn't It Pretty EP (Peola) 2/16
The Mavericks - In Time (Valory) 2/26
Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell - Old Yellow Moon (Nonesuch) 3/4
Patty Griffin - American Kid TBA



Allen Dahm
Bittersweet Melody



Foxygen - We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic (Jagjaguwar) - 1/22
Eels - Wonderful, Glorious (Vagrant) 2/15
Hollerado - White Paint (Royal Mountain) 2/22
Josh Ritter - The Beast in Its Tracks (Pytheas) 3/5
Son Volt - Honky Tonk (Rounder) 3/5
Phosphorescent - Muchacho (Dead Oceans) 3/19
Telekinesis - Dormarion (Merge) 4/2



Coin-Operated Radio



1. My Bloody Valentine - TBA
2. Arcade Fire - TBA
3. Deerhunter - TBA
4. Atoms for Peace - Amok (XL) 2/26
5. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away (Anti-) 2/18
6. Beck - TBA
7. The Men - TBA
8. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito (Interscope) 4/16
9. Queens of the Stone Age - TBA



Christian Schaeffer
Collector's Edition



Elvis Costello & the Roots - TBA

You can thank late-night television for this pairing. As the house band for Jimmy Fallon's after-hours program, the Roots crew has lent its considerable talents to any number of musical guests. Costello has jammed with the Roots a handful of times in this setting (scour the Interwebs for a version of Elvis' "Black & White World" that's a total knockout), but this record should be full of surprises for these restless collaborators.

Water Liars - Wyoming (Big Legal Mess) 3/5

This local-ish duo advanced the swampy, impressionistic lyrics of Justin Kinkel-Schuster with last year's "Phantom Limb." This year's "Wyoming" keeps the formula both simple and knotty, and the release comes via the Fat Possum imprint Big Legal Mess.

The New Mendicants - The Australia 2013 EP (Spunk) 1/22

Joe Pernice (Pernice Brothers) and Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub) have paired up as the New Mendicants, written three new songs, covered each other's songs and even taken a swing at an INXS song for this limited-edition EP, which is currently available for pre-order on Pernice's website. Fingers are crossed for more Pernice love this year: A Pernice Brothers LP is supposedly finished, and his old alt-country outfit the Scud Mountain Boys should release its first recordings in 20 years during the next 12 months.

Jon Hardy & the Public - TBA

My hope is that by putting this in (digital) ink, that one of St. Louis' best bands will release its next set of songs. Rumor has it that the band has a two-song single in the can, but we can still hope for another EP or even a full-length, which would be the band's first since 2007.

Night Beds - Country Sleep (Dead Oceans) 2/5

I became familiar with this Nashville-based band, front by the heavenly voiced Winston Yellen, from an in-studio session recorded for KDHX. The advance tracks from the debut are both dreamy and rooted.



Wil Wander
Elevated Rhymestate



The world of independent hip-hop is hard to predict. Sometimes entire albums can go from idea to release in a matter of weeks, while others seem to end up with more delays than tracks on the album. It can be difficult to see more than a few weeks into the future and even more difficult to pick-out the gems among the flops, but the one certainty is that there is always something on the horizon. Here are a few of the albums I'm eager to hear this year.

Brett Gretzky - Brett Gretzky LP (IndyGround) TBA

Last year's Brett Gretzky mixtape made my top 10 albums of the year and local album of the year, and the gents are coming back this year with a full-length album of completely original material. The combination of Farout and J-Bomb is full of talent, chemistry and originality, and is all worked out by DJ Mahf on the decks. At this point, they've shown they're capable of excellence. I expect this album to be the proof.

Classified - Classified (Half Life) 1/22

I'd like to ask why someone with over 15 releases decides to come out with a self-titled album, but it doesn't matter. There is no more accomplished member of the Canadian scene than Class, and you can always count on him to come up with potent releases. The first singles haven't been to my taste, but that's not uncommon. I'm confident there will be some absolutely fantastic tracks buried on this one.

Dead Prez - Information Age (Krian Music Group) 1/29

I've been waiting for the release of this album far longer than the album itself, as it hit the KDHX shelves in late November, but it's truly magnificent and a new direction for the kings of conscious rap, this time giving the album a deliciously upbeat, electronic flavor.

Deltron 3030 - Event II (EMI) TBA

This is quite possibly the most anticipated album in the independent hip-hop scene these days. Its release has been pushed back so many times that most people probably have doubts whether or not it will actually come out. They say production started in 2004, but when you combine the talents of three veterans, you can imagine everything has to be just right. Their 2000 release is a favorite to many; we can hope to finally get a second taste in 2013.

Mathias & the Pirates - Life of the Buzzard (FarFetched) TBA

This was one of my most anticipated albums of 2012, but real life caused many delays and it will be held-over until 2013, although a few tracks have leaked out already. This line-up mixes Earthworms' Mathias with the Grea Tones' Ms. Vizion, along with drummer Grover Stewart and a few other local friends. I expect this album to battle with Brett Gretzky for local album of the year.

Moe Pope & Rain - Let the Right Ones In (Brick) 1/22

Moe Pope stands as one of the top names in my list of artists I really need to get to know better. After working together on a couple of projects for a couple years, Moe and producer Rain teamed up to finally win Boston's "Best Hip-Hop Artist of the Year" award last year after releasing a mixtape exclusively produced by Rain. I expect this year's full-length release to serve as the feature presentation to last year's preview.

The Procussions - TBA

After a split in 2008, Mr. J. Medeiros and Stro have returned to their old ways to rebirth the Procussions, although I do not believe Rez is involved with this one. They've continued to work together often during their solo ventures, but those are a different beast all together. Throughout the past few years, their sounds and styles have evolved a bit and they've put out a few tracks to wet our collective whistles for the album which comes after a diligent social-media campaign.

The Roots - And Then You Shoot Your Cousin (Def Jam) TBA

Personally, I've believed that becoming the house band for Jimmy Fallon was most likely the end for the Roots. Thought I have nothing but respect for each of the members, phrases like "sold out" come to mind. Still, with a new album, anything is possible. It's been reported that this album has a different flavor than its predecessors, which could be great news or quite the opposite. The one thing that is certain, however, is that these are all talented musicians. I hope this album serves them well.

Spose - Peter Sparker Mixtape / Dankonia (Preposterously Dank) TBA

Spose got a little ambitious and found himself with a surplus of music and just not quite enough money to make it all happen, so he went to Kickstarter with the idea of releasing two mixtapes simultaneously. The Peter Sparker Mixtape is pretty much 100% original, he just expands to the larger world of producers and features to work with rather than his normal cadre of P-Dank artists, while Dankonia will pit new verses over beats originated by Outkast. Both sound promising, and mine will come with a wicked awesome Maine t-shirt.

Solillaquists of Sound - The 4th Wall Part 2 (Solilla) TBA

The Orlando foursome decided to go off the beaten path: the Solillaquists redesigned the album-making process to include the public. Last year's "Part 1" was designed to break down the barrier and personally expose each of the artists as musicians and as people. This year they're planning on incorporating the public themselves throughout the album as they collected audio and video submissions to a number of topics and questions to mix into the album. The first one was a curveball; I expect this one to be even wilder.



Cat Pick
Emotional Rescue



Devendra Banhart - Mala (Nonesuch) TBA
Cave Singers - Naomi (Jagjaguwar) 5/5
Everything Everything - Arc (Geffen) 1/22 (UK)
MGMT - MGMT (Columbia) TBA
Phoenix - Bankrupt! (Glassnote) TBA
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito (Interscope) 4/16
Cold War Kids - Dear Miss Lonelyhearts (Downtown) 4/2



Roy Kasten
Feel Like Going Home



Ex Cops - True Hallucinations (Fat Possum) 1/29
Bettie Serveert - Oh, Mayhem! (Second Motion) 2/5
Hayden - Us Alone (Arts & Crafts) 2/5
Various - Reason to Believe (Tim Hardin Tribute) (Full Time Hobby) 2/12
Josh Ritter - The Beast in Its Tracks (Pytheas) 3/5
Boz Scaggs - Memphis (429) 3/5
Low - The Invisible Way (Sub Pop) 3/19 (Produced by Jeff Tweedy)
Hem - Departure and Farewell (Waveland) 4/2
Fitz & the Tantrums - More Than Just a Dream (Atlantic) 5/13
Patty Griffin - American Kid TBA



Chris Bay
Gold Soundz



Cloud Nothings - TBA
Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse (Canvasback/Atlantic) 2/5
Local Natives - Hummingbird (Frenchkiss) 1/29
Low - The Invisible Way (Sub Pop) 3/19
The Men - New Moon (Sacred Bones) 3/5
Mount Moriah - Miracle Temple (Merge) 2/26
Phosphorescent - Muchacho (Dead Oceans) 3/19
Ra Ra Riot - Beta Love (Barsuk) 1/22
Telekinesis - Dormarion (Merge) 4/2



Chris Lawyer
Hip City



Aaron Neville - My True Story (Blue Note) 1/22
Alice Russell - To Dust (Tru Thoughts) 2/26
Charles Bradley - Victim of Love (Dunham) 4/2
D'Angelo - TBA
Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris - Old Yellow Moon (Nonesuch) 2/26
Eric Burdon - 'Til Your River Runs Dry (ABKCO) 1/29
Fitz & The Tantrums - More Than Just a Dream (Atlantic) 5/13
James Hunter 6 - Minute by Minute (Fantasy) 2/26
Jamie Lidell - Jamie Lidell (Warp) 2/18
The Mavericks - In Time (Valory Music) 2/26
Maxwell - SUMMERS' TBA



Doug McKay
Louisiana Stomp



Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite - Get Up (Fantasy) 1/29
Jim James - Regions of Light and Sound of God (ATO) 2/5
Charles Bradley - Victim of Love (Dunham) 4/2
John Fogerty - Wrote a Song for Everyone (Vanguard) TBA
Joss Stone - Homemade Jam (Stone'd/Surfdog) TBA
Anita Baker - Only Forever (Blue Note) TBA



John Wendland
Memphis to Manchester



Eric Burdon - 'Til Your River Runs Dry (ABKCO) 1/29
Richard Thompson - Electric (New West) 2/5
Various Artists - Son of Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chantey (Anti-) 2/19 (If this is done by Hal Willner, again, it should be great.)
Alice Russell - To Dust (Tru Thoughts) 2/26
Shout Out Louds - Optica (Merge) 2/26
James Hunter - Minute by Minute (Concord) 2/26
Laura Mvula - Sing to the Moon (RCA) 3/4 (UK)
Boz Scaggs - Memphis (429) 3/5
Son Volt - Honky Tonk (Rounder) 3/5
Charles Bradley - Victim of Love (Dunham) 4/2



Jason Robinson
The Mixtape



5. (tie) Guided by Voices - Down by the Racetrack (Guided by Voices / Revolver USA) 1/22 and English Little League (Guided by Voices / Revolver USA) 4/30

Two albums a year apparently is going to be the GBV goal from now on, one assumes just to keep up with Rob Pollard's prodigious output. One wonders if quality vs. quantity can apply to songs that aren't much longer than three minutes, but hey, more GBV albums means they might grace us with another boozy indie-rock tour. Long live GBV.

4. Tegan and Sara - Heartthrob (Warner Bros.) 1/29

If 2010's "Sainthood" and their just-released single Closer are any indication, the Quinn twins will continue to purify their pop hooks and make records worth celebrating. The slinky keyboards and dancy songs might eventually eclipse the raw guitars that made albums like "If It Was You" and "Sainthood" popular with the indie rockers, but ultimately the Tegan and Sara brand has always depended on the songwriting craft they honed on "So Jealous" and "The Con."

3. They Might Be Giants - Nanobots (Idlewild) 3/5

The Giants are a huge hit in my household (and I assume many others like me) due to their kid-friendly albums "No!," "Here Come the 123s," "Here Come the ABCs" and "Here Comes Science." But 2011's "Join Us" returned the band to more adult material and the new record looks to be on par with and maybe expanding on the tight musicianship, sharp songwriting and playful experimentation that has always been the spirit of TMBG's best albums.

2. Bad Religion - True North (Epitaph) 1/22

I don't need much; I'm a simple guy with simple tastes. Give me So-Cal melodic hardcore, throw in polemic politics and a sandpaper vocal delivery and I'm happier than a dog with two bones. The 16th album from these punk legends is likely not going to be a world-beater (the last few haven't been particularly stand-out efforts) but, according to pressers on the subject, it might be their last. (NOTE: We have heard this before from this band, so, maybe not.)

1. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away (Anti-) 2/19 and My Bloody Valentine - TBA

First, Australia's weirdest export (and yes, I'm counting Peter Jackson) continues his bleak journey to the dark side, a stark contrast to 2008's hyperbolic "Dig!!!, Lazarus, Dig!!!" and the grimy slop known as Grinderman. Based on lead single "We No Who U R" the atmosphere will likely be heavy with Tom Waits-style found sound and Cave's darkness as redemption lyrics. But one imagines it can't be all somber meditative tunes, although a return to "Boatman's Call"-era songs wouldn't be such a bad idea.

And then, Kevin Shields took 20+ years to get this one finished, so here's hoping it lives up to the unbelievable hype. It probably won't -- anybody remember "Chinese Democracy"? -- but here's hoping. Hipsters who worship washed-out guitar noise are more in number now than in 1991 when "Loveless" came out, so it's likely that the upcoming album/tour is not really a cynical cash-in by well-respected artists, but a homecoming of sorts for a band whose critical success has always eclipsed its actual monetary success. It took 20 years for people to get MBV in large numbers, and now the band has become a touchstone of indie noise and a symbol for artists looking to craft near-perfect albums. So yeah, it'll probably be a major let-down, but it's a new MBV album and that's, as Martha says, a good thing.



Music at Work



Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Specter at the Feast (Abstract Dragon/Vagrant) 3/18
Depeche Mode - TBA
The Knife - Shaking the Habitual (Mute) 4/9
Foals - Holy Fire (Transgressive) 2/12
New Order - Lost Sirens (Rhino) 1/21
The Joy Formidable - Wolf's Law (Canvasback/Atlantic) 1/21
Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse (Canvasback/Atlantic) 2/5
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away (Anti-) 2/19
Richard Thompson - Electric (New West) 2/5
AM & Shawn Lee - TBA



Rich Reese
Pop! The Beat Bubble Burst



Billy Bragg - Tooth and Nail (Essential) 3/19

Looks like Billy has gone all T-Bone Burnett on this one. Dobros and stand-up bass and 12-string Rickenbacker and hammond B3 for a whole lot of jangle. And it suits him well. Hope he brings the tour around these parts.

Chris Stamey - Lovesick Blues (Yep Roc) 2/5

If Stamey continues on the same path he's been on with the dB's "Falling Off The Sky" from last year and Holsapple and Stamey's '09 offering, "Here and Now," I'll be writing him down on my end-of-the-year "best of" list.

Eels - Wonderful, Glorious (Vagrant) 2/5

Mark Everett and company have taken a bit of a break after producing about eight albums in a year and a half -- well, actually three in two years, but it seems like more. The stream of consciousness approach was nice, but I'd like to see a more polished production with a lean toward melody that hearkens back to the days of "A Man Called (E)" and "Broken Toy Shop."

Richard Thompson - Electric (New West) 2/5

Can't go wrong with Richard Thompson. I haven't heard anything about what to expect with this new one, but the title implies volume and effusive playing. Bombastic -- that's what I envision, but I'll settle for restrained.

Ron Sexsmith - Forever Endeavour (Mri Associated) 2/5

It's only been two years since Ron gave us the exquisitely tuneful "Long Player Late Bloomer," which can be said about his entire catalog. This one should be more of the same.

David Bowie - The Next Day (Columbia) 3/12

It's been 10 years since Bowie's last studio release, "Reality." The trip from middle-aged to old in the world of rock 'n' roll is closely watched. Will the artist become a parody of himself? How will the voice sound? I think this album will show that he has made the transition with grace, dignity and his usual flair.



Ed Becker
Songwriters Showcase



Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris - Old Yellow Moon (Nonesuch) 2/26

How can this miss? Rodney, a Hot Band alum, joins up with arguably the best duet singer on the planet, and the definition of aging gracefully; plus, they'll be backed by Stuart Duncan, Vince Gill and other former Hot Band members. Rodney originals, Hank DeVito, Roger Miller covers and more.

Terry Allen - Bottom of the World (Rolling Highway) 1/22

It's been 13 years since this Lubbock native last took a break from his many endeavors to treat us to another amazing set of musical short stories. This one will be a family affair with Lloyd Maines co-producing and playing guitar, Richard Bowden on viola/mandolin, Brian Standefer on cello, son Bukka on accordion and B3, and daughter-in-law Sally singing. Did somebody say top 10 list? Available on CD and limited-edition vinyl.

Townes Van Zandt - Sunshine Boy: Unheard Studio Sessions/Demos (Omnivore) 2/5

Unbelievably, News Year's Day 2013 marked the 15th anniversary of Townes' passing, and it's a good bet that this may be the last of the undiscovered material. Savor it. You won't see his likes again.

Tom Russell - Museum of Memories Vol. 2: The Second Time Around (Frontera) TBA

A second set of unreleased rarities from Tom, many of these outtakes are good enough to be the centerpieces of a lot of other releases.

Tom Russell - Oslo to Mexico: Tom Russell Live With the Norwegian Wind Ensemble (Frontera) TBA

Recorded live in Oslo last May with a 32 piece wind orchestra. Tom says, "The sound is incredible and it's a real departure." Both of these new Russell release are due out late spring/early summer.

Kristi Rose & Fats Kaplin - What to Do (Pulp Country) TBA

With 12 new originals, Kristi, who can sing anything, lays down the vocals and Fats plays a zillion instruments. Fats just finished the Jack White tour and will be heading out with Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale.

Rita Hosking - Little Bird (Self-released) 3/5

A Northeastern California native who has recorded three albums in Austin with Rich Brotherton -- producer, in-demand session player and long-time lead-guitar player for Robert Earl Keen. Check out Rita. You won't be disappointed.

Amy Speace - How to Sleep in a Stormy Boat (Thirty Tigers) 4/16

Speaking of songwriters who seem to get better with each outing, count Nashville Tenn.'s Amy Speace, a former Shakespearean actor, in that group. She'll be on tour opening for Alexandro Escovedo when her record is released. She put on a wonderful house concert in St. Louis last year.

Amy Black - Live at Johnny D's (Reuben) TBA

On January 4, 2013 Amy invited friends and fans to her home bar in Boston, the legendary Johnny D's to record a live CD. Amy's "One Time" was on my best of 2009 list and her song "Whiskey and Wine" is a Songwriters Showcase favorite.

N.Q. Arbuckle - TBA

The Toronto-based barroom poet Neville Quinlan is finally back (or nearly) with his band to followup his Juno-nominated collaboration with Carolyn Mark "Let's Just Stay Here," my 2009 album of the year.

Mary Gauthier - Live at Blue Rock (Self-released) 2/5

Mary performed live at an artist's ranch in Wimberly, Texas, doing a set of her most requested songs -- eight of hers and three Fred Eaglesmith covers, plus "Mercy Now" as a hidden track.

I can't wait to be surprised and amazed by old favorites and new discoveries in 2013, and I especially look forward to the pleasure of sharing them with you each and every Sunday morning on Songwriters Showcase.



Nick Acquisto
The Space Parlour



Adam Green & Binki Shapiro - Adam Green & Binki Shapiro (Rounder) 1/29

Though I never really cared for Green's solo albums, or much of his Moldy Peaches albums really, having heard this one, I can say I'm a fan.

Bleeding Rainbow - Yeah Right (Kanine) 1/29

Noisy, melodic band from Philadelphia.

David Bowie - The Next Day (Columbia) 3/12

I'm guessing this album probably made a few other DJ lists.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away (Anti-) 2/19

The single "We Know Who U R" is quiet, but great; I wanna hear more.

Robyn Hitchcock - Love From London (Yep Roc) 3/5

The great surrealist songwriter releases his latest album on his 60th birthday.

My Bloody Valentine - TBA

I'm guessing the longer it takes to release, the more excitement builds and the more MBV will feel inclined to make it better, and the excitement continues to build.

Thao & the Get Down Stay Down - We the Common (Ribbon Music) 2/5

Every album has a truly unique and awkwardly groovy and original songs. I anticipate this one will be groovy & original, too.

They Might Be Giants - Nanobots (Idlewild) 3/5

Their oddball previous album "Join Us" just might be my favorite from them.

Tristen - C A V E S (Pupsnake) TBA

She's mastered the craft behind a catchy melodic pop/rock/folk song and every one is an earworm. Looking forward to this next batch.

Villagers - {Awayland} (Domino) 4/9

Originally planned for January, it's now looking like an April release in the US. At least there's a couple teaser EPs out now.



Nick Cowan
Train of Thought



Joy Formidable - Wolf's Law (Atlantic) 1/21
Tight Pants Syndrome - TBA
My Bloody Valentine - TBA
David Bowie - The Next Day (Columbia) 3/12
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away (Anti-) 2/19
Yeah Yeah Yeah's - Mosquito (Interscope) 4/16
D'Angelo - TBA
Q-Tip - The Last Zulu (?) (G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam) TBA



Wax Lyrical



Jim James - Regions of Light and Sound of God (ATO) 2/5
Son Volt - Honky Tonk (Rounder) 3/5
Tegan & Sara - Heartthrob (Warner Bros.) 1/29
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito (Interscope) 4/16
Josh Ritter - The Beast in Its Tracks (Pytheas) 3/5
Villagers - {Awayland} (Domino) 4/9
Night Beds - Country Sleep (Dead Oceans) 2/5
Ivan & Alyosha - All the Times We Had (Dualtone) 2/23
Lady Lamb the Beekeeper - Ripley Pine (Ba Da Bing) 2/19
The Milk Carton Kids - The Ash & Clay (Anti-) 3/26


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