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Friday, 07 February 2014 09:00

The most anticipated albums of 2014

L to R: Sharon Van Etten, Common, Eliza Gilkyson, Beck and Craig Finn L to R: Sharon Van Etten, Common, Eliza Gilkyson, Beck and Craig Finn Images courtesy of the artist Facebook pages
Written by KDHX

We're not even two months into 2014 and already the rush of new releases is upon us. What albums are the DJs of KDHX most excited about? These lists will give you a good hint.

As with any lists, these picks are subjective, and many releases are subject to change (and we'll believe the Wrens' will have a new album when we see it). Hit the comment section to share your thoughts and weigh in with the albums you're most looking forward to hearing this year.






1. Ray Bonneville - Easy Done (Red House) 4/15

2. Kris Delmhorst - Blood Test (Signature Sounds) 5/13

Produced by Anders Parker.

3. Eliza Gilkyson - The Nocturne Diaries (Red House) 3/18

4. John Gorka - Bright Side of a Dream (Red House) 3/4

5. Will Kimbrough/Sideshow Love/Daphne Records

6. Peter Mulvey - Silver Ladder (Signature Sounds) 4/1

Produced by Chuck Prophet.

7. Bruce Springsteen - High Hopes (Columbia) 1/14

8. Stickley & Canan - TBA

Two new releases from these St. Louis veterans are in the works and a new band name is forthcoming as well.



Allen Dahm
Bittersweet Melody



Lydia Loveless - Somewhere Else (Bloodshot) 2/18

This Ohio part-time singer-songwriter and part-time rabble rouser released her debut a couple of years ago to much critical praise (including my own). Her EP, "Boy Crazy," released late last year was a great snack to prepare for this full-length. I've already had an opportunity to sample a few tracks and what I've heard is pretty, pretty great.

Drive-by Truckers - English Oceans (ATO) 3/4

I've been a little disappointed in the last few DBTs records, but despite that they've still all been quality. This one trades off between Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley songs and brings them back closer to DBTs pre-Jason Isbell departure. Catch them at the Pageant in late March.

The Hold Steady - Teeth Dreams (Razor & Tie) 3/25

I love the Hold Steady but much like Drive-by Truckers, I haven't loved their last couple of albums. The band's second album "Separation Sunday" though is one of my desert island discs so there's always hope for a renaissance, and I'll keep listening with high hopes.

The New Pornographers - TBA (Matador) TBA

I find the New Pornographers albums to be a little uneven with some songs that I absolutely love and others that I end up skipping. But those that I love more than make up for any of my perceived duds. Here's hoping there's a lot more of the former than the latter on this one.

Ryan Adams - TBA (Pax Am) TBA

This one is more of a hopeful than an album with a concrete release date. But from what I've heard, Ryan gets help from Benmont Tench (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers), Don Was and Cindy Cashdollar. His show at the Peabody about two years ago was one of my all-time favorite shows, and Ryan has written some of my favorite music over the past 20 years.

The Both - The Both (SuperEgo) 4/15

Ted Leo and Aimee Mann toured together recently and enjoyed it so much they've decided to collaborate on a new project. I've always liked both of their work separately so I'm hoping that this album will be even greater than the sum of the parts.

The Wrens - TBA (Absolutely Kosher) TBA

This New Jersey band has been promising a new album for several years so until I hear more concrete details, I'll remain skeptical. But it's worth mentioning since their album "The Meadowlands" is so freakin' good, I am still holding out hope for a new release soon.



Coin-Operated Radio



1. St. Vincent - St. Vincent (4AD) 2/28

2. tUnE-yArDs - Sink-O TBA

3. Modest Mouse - TBA TBA

4. Wilco - TBA (dBpm) TBA

5. Beck - Morning Phase (Capitol) 2/28

6. Julian Casablancas - Voidz TBA

7. TV on the Radio - TBA TBA

8. Sharon Van Etten - Are We There (JagJaguwar) May

9. Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else (Carpark Records) 4/1

10. Fleet Foxes – TBA TBA



Christian Schaeffer
Collector's Edition



Water Liars - Water Liars (Big Legal Mess) 2/4

Neil Finn - Dizzy Heights (Lester) 2/11

Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire for No Witness (Jagjaguwar) 2/18

St. Vincent - St. Vincent (4AD) 2/28

The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream (Secretly Canadian) 3/18

Wye Oak - Shriek (Merge) 4/29



Wil Wander
Elevated Rhymestate



Mattic - Adventures of Doctor Outer (Phonosaurus) 1/28

After meeting and seeing the French based, American emcee about a year ago, I was instantly impressed with his abilities as a lyricist and performer. I made sure to get this one on its release day. He also has a new live band act called Empire of Sound looking to release their "Dawn of an Empire" debut EP this year.

Grouch & Eligh - The Tortoise & the Crow (Self/Legendary Music) 2/18

It's difficult not to be excited about this one. It's a triple album. One by the Grouch, one by Eligh, and one as a collaboration between this long time duo. I've got it preordered through their Kickstarter and look forward to all of these overdue releases.

Souls of Mischief - There is Only Now (Hieroglyphics Imperium) 2/18

One of the all-time classic crews and members of the highly acclaimed Hieroglyphics supercrew, it's been 21 years since the monumental single '93 ‘Til Infinity, and they're clearly trying to prove it to be true. I'm interested to hear how they work as a crew after so long.

Sietta - The Invisible River (Elefant Traks) 2/21

Another one I've already gotten preordered. This is certainly outside the range of Elevated Rhymestate in music, but this Elefant Traks duo is still a personal favorite, and I'm sure I'll find something to squeeze into the show from this one.

Sidewalk Chalk - Leaves (Self-released) 2/25

This live-band Chicago act escaped my attention for far too long, but when they came to 2720 Cherokee last December, they convinced me that I needed to become intimate with their work. I'm eager to hear the next step for this group that includes a tap dancer as part of their sound and performance and already anticipate this as a strong contender for year-end lists.

Farout - Three 2014 releases (Indyground) 3/3 (first release)

One of my local favorites is making a big step in becoming more prolific in 2014. He's got three releases lined up for the year. They each seek to have different styles and topical focuses, with written publications in line as well including a novella. Each winter, I elect a Dude of the Year and he was a finalist last year, but appears to be the man to beat for 2014.

CunninLynguists - Strange Journey Vol. 3 (A Piece of Strange) 4/1

The Kentucky trio has long been a favorite and one of the largest inspirations on the creation of Elevated Rhymestate, leaving me constantly hoping for the next release. This one promises a list of big name features and looks to take up where SJ Vol. 2 left off in 2009.

People Under the Stairs - 12 Step Program (PUTS/Om Records) 5/6

The last time these guys released an album, I put it on top of my 2012 list. They continue to impress and entertain by improving with each album (and this will be their ninth), but it will be interesting to see if they break their mold and find a truly new way to stay on top.

Thundamentals - So We Can Remember (Obese) TBA

It's been a few years since the Blue Mountain area (Sydney) trio put out an album, but they've each been fairly active on their own. Tuka's 2012 release was incredibly impressive and they've been incredibly successful with their first two singles from this project. I hope to be amazed by this one.

Illphonics - TBA EP (Self-released) TBA

The local "hip-hop fusion" band made huge strides with their 2013 eponymous album, improving vastly as musicians while simultaneously expanding their style. They're going to keep the momentum going and have an EP with a mid-year release in the works and have teased that the features are worth some attention.



Cat Pick
Emotional Rescue



1. Elbow - The Take Off and Landing of Everything (Fiction) 3/10

2. Liam Finn - The Nihilist (Yep Roc) 4/8

3. Rufus Wainwright - Vibrate: The Best of Rufus Wainwright (Universal Music Enterprises) 2/28

4. The New Pornographers - TBA (Matador) TBA

5. Afghan Whigs - Do to the Beast (Sub Pop) April



Roy Kasten
Feel Like Going Home



I can only second and third and fourth so many of my colleagues' picks on these lists. But here's a few that are flying below the radar but should be worth hearing.

Leif Vollebekk - North Americana (Missing Piece) 1/28

Laura Cantrell - No Way There From Here (Redeye) 1/28

A.J. Croce - Twelve Tales (Compass) 2/4

Various Artists - From Another World: A Tribute to Bob Dylan (Buda Musique) 2/11

Real Estate - Atlas (Domino) 3/4

Richard Buckner - Bloomed (Deluxe Reissue on LP) (Merge) 3/18

Various Artists - Bob Dylan in the '80s: Volume One (ATO) 3/25

Simone Felice - Strangers (Dualtone) 3/25

Neil Young - A Letter Home (Third Man) March

Jessica Lea Mayfield - Make My Head Sing… (ATO) 4/15

EELS - The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett (E Works) 4/22

Old 97s - Most Messed Up (ATO) 4/29

Zoe Muth & The Lost High Rollers - TBA

Miranda Lee Richards - Echoes of the Dreamtime TBA



Chris Lawyer
Hip City



D'Angelo - TBA (RCA) TBA

Didn't this appear on last year's anticipated releases? Whassup?

Maxwell - BlackSummers'night II (Columbia) TBA

See above. What is taking this so long?

Prince - TBA (NPG) TBA

Perhaps he'll sell this one, rather than give it away in a UK newspaper.

Frank Ocean - TBA (Def Jam) TBA

Common - Nobody's Smiling (WB) TBA

Nas - TBA (Def Jam) TBA

Stevie Wonder - TBA

Three LPs? Sounds like a mess.



Doug McKay
The Juke Joint



Tinsley Ellis - Midnight Blue (Heartfixer) 1/14

Tommy Castro - The Devil You Know (Alligator) 1/21

Damon Fowler - Sounds of Home (Blind Pig) 1/21

David Crosby - Croz (Blue Castle) 1/28

Eric Church - The Outsiders (EMI) 2/11

Band of Horses - Acoustic at the Ryman (Brown Records) 2/11

Johnny Cash - Out Among the Stars (Legacy) 3/25

Emmylou Harris - Wrecking Ball Reissue (Nonesuch) 4/8

Laurence Jones - Unnamed (Ruf) TBA

Mike Zito is supposedly producing this release.

Also, I'm excited to hear that Jeremiah Johnson, Amanda Broadway, the Chris Watson Band and Jeff Beck are all working on new albums. Don't have much information on them, but I'm looking forward to them as well.



John Wendland
Memphis to Manchester



The Belle Brigade - Just Because (ATO) 2/11

Belle & Sebastian - TBA (Matador) TBA

The Both (Aimee Mann and Ted Leo) - The Both (SuperEgo) 4/15

The Hold Steady - Teeth Dreams (Razor & Tie) 3/25

Hurray for the Riff Raff – Small Town Heroes (ATO) 2/11

Lake Street Dive – Bad Self Portraits (Signature Sounds) 2/18

James McMurtry - Title TBA (Complicated Game) TBA

The New Pornographers - TBA (Matador) 5/4

Sharon Van Etten - Are We There (Jagjaguwar) May

Nick Waterhouse - Holly (Innovative Leisure) 3/4



Jason Robinson
The Mixtape



The Lawrence Arms - Metropole 1/28

Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues 1/21

Dum Dum Girls - Too True 1/28

Riff Raff - Neon Icon 1/28

Cibo Matto - Hotel Valentine 2/14, natch

Guided by Voices - Motivational Jumpsuit 2/18

Beck - Morning Phase 2/25

St. Vincent - St. Vincent 2/25

The Notwist - Close to the Glass 2/25

Perfect Pussy - Say Yes to Love 3/11

Taking Back Sunday - Happiness Is... 3/11

The Hold Steady - Teeth Dreams 3/25

Shonen Knife - Overdrive 4/15



Rich Reese
Pop! The Beat Bubble Burst



The Dum Dum Girls - Too True (Sub Pop) 1/28

Neil Finn - Dizzy Heights (Lester/Kobalt) 2/11

The Fleshtones - Wheel of Talent (Yep Roc) TBA

The New Pornographers - TBA (Matador) TBA

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - TBA (Reprise) TBA

Spoon - TBA TBA

Various Artists - Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration (Deluxe reissue) (Columbia/Legacy) 1/23

Brian Wilson - TBA (Capitol)



Darren Snow
Rocket 88



Dean Wareham - Dean Wareham (Double Feature) 3/11

The Hold Steady - Teeth Dreams (Razor & Tie) 3/25

The Afghan Whigs - Do to the Beast (Sub Pop) 4/15




Ed Becker
Songwriters Showcase



1. Adam Carroll - Let It Choose You (Self-released) TBA

My favorite of the talented group of young Texas songwriters, back in the studio with Lloyd Maines with a new batch of songs that he says are about "hard knocks, new love, coon asses, gamblers, south Texas strippers, and Canadian folk singers...." Those are all typical subjects for Adam. He bought a Hohner squeesebox and rub board from Marc Savoy, to use on the new album, so expect a zydeco sound.

2. James McMurtry - TBA (Complicity Game) TBA

It's been four years since James has been in the studio; he's got a dozen new tunes and C.C. Adcock producing, from the swamp-pop super group Lil' Band O' Gold. C.C. produced James' song "We Can't Make It Here" with James, Steve Earle, and Joan Baez for the "Occupy This Album" project. Expect a little cajun flavoring in the mix.

3. Various Artists - Looking Into You: A Tribute to Jackson Browne (Music Road) 4/1

This tribute has a star-studded lineup including Bruce Springsteen & Patti Scialfa, Lyle Lovett, Don Henley with Blind Pilot, Lucinda Williams, Bonnie Raitt and David Lindley, Kevin Welch, Eliza Gilkyson, Jimmy LaFave, Keb Mo and more. I'm a big fan of Jackson's, especially the early stuff, which is mostly featured on this two-CD set.

4. Shane Nicholson - Live (Liberation) TBA

The mega-talented Aussie record producer, mutli-insrumentalist and singer-songwriter has been recording his shows for the new live release. When he's a star tell him you heard him first on KDHX. Shane recenly split from his wife of eight years, Kasey Chambers.

5. Reagan Boggs - Quicksand (Reckless Bess) 2/11

It's been almost a seven-year wait since the release of Boggs' wonderful "Right Now" album that made both Larry Weir's and my top 10 list. (In XX she visited the KDHX studios when she opened for Slaid Cleaves at the Lucas School House). But the wait's finally over with a dozen wonderful, new original tunes, one Eddie Vedder cover and her big, big voice -- a very welcome return.

6. Eliza Gilkyson - The Nocturne Diaries (Red House) 3/18

Always a treat when Eliza Gilkyson releases a new one. Here's a quote about the new release: "The Nocturne Diaries is a beautiful, haunting album inspired by the sort of thoughts that keep us awake at night in this modern world where the news always seems to be bad. The songs range from uptempo country stompers to a haunting version of the folk classic 'Fast Freight' by her late father Terry Gilkyson." Sounds like great late-night listening.

7. Oh Susanna - Namedropper (Outside Music) TBA

Oh Susanna (Suzie Ungerleider) recently completed a Kickstarter campaign to fund this new CD. It is co-produced by Canadian singer-songwriter Jim Bryson and is an all-covers project, but not your usual kind. Suzie and Jim asked their favorite Canadian artists to write a new song just for the project, and the album is in the can, but the release was delayed when Suzie was diagnosed with breast cancer late last fall. We certainly wish her all the best for a full and speedy recovery; she's an amazing talent.

8. Fats Kaplin and Kristi Rose - This Is Love When the Needle Falls (Pulp Country) TBA

A long-awaited new release from this eclectic Nashville duo. Fats can play anything and Kristi can sing anything. They've been working on this project for a couple of years, mostly on their farm studio in Southern Illinois. Fats is currently on the road and in the studio with Jack White and T-Bone Burnett for a new album that will be released this year.

9. The Hillbilly Killers - The Hillbilly Killers TBA

The Hillbilly Killers are Bill Chambers, Catherine Britt and Tim Rogers from the band You Am I. This Aussie super group is currently touring Australia to sold out houses singing an old time country and rock-a-billy mix of original songs and classic covers. Check them out on YouTube, pretty amazing stuff.

10. David Olney and Sergio Webb - TBA TBA

David also just completed a sucessful Kickstarter project to fund his new album, and says that he's got a dozen or so good tunes, with help from Sergio and John Hadley, ready to go. If David says he's got good tunes that must mean they're better than most people write in a lifetime. Look for more classics from a master songwriter.

11. Butch Hancock - Seven Cities of Gold TBA

This will be the first album of new solo material for the Texas legend and member (along with Lubbock buddies Joe Ely and Jimmie Dale Gilmore) of the Flatlanders since 2006's "War and Peace." We'll get a chance to sample the new material first hand when the West Texas poet brings his amazing wordplay to Off Broadway on April 9.

No longer anticipated, just out, but it should be noted: Blackie and the Rodeo Kings' "South" came out January 14, 2014. It's a great all-acoustic effort from Stephen Fearing, Tom Wilson and Colin Linden -- 11 originals and a Willie P. Bennett cover. The band got together almost 20 years ago for a one-time tribute to their hero Willie P. Bennett. I think it must have clicked. They are the closest thing to the Band going today.



Nick Acquisto
The Space Parlour



Temples - Sun Structure (Fat Possum) 2/11

Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire For No Witness (Jagjaguwar) 2/18

Beck - Morning Phase (Capitol) 2/28

St. Vincent - St. Vincent (4AD) 2/28

Carla Bozulich - Boy (Constellation) 3/4

Metronomy - Love Letters (Atlantic) 3/10

Black Lips - Underneath the Rainbow (Vice) 3/18

The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream (Secretly Canadian) 3/18

Wye Oak - Shriek (Merge) 4/29

Gruff Rhys - American Interior (Hamish Hamilton) 5/5



Wax Lyrical



Alabama Shakes - TBA (ATO) TBA

Alabama Shakes exploded on the music scene in 2012 with their debut "Boy & Girls," winning audiences and critics alike. They wrapped recording on their sophomore release in December and are expected to wow us again.

Beck - Morning Phase (Capitol) 2/25

Beck's first full-length release since 2008, "Morning Phase" is being billed as a companion piece to "Sea Change." The first single "Blue Moon" features beautiful harmonies over mandolin and booming piano -- at once fresh and familiar.

Fleet Foxes - TBA (Sub Pop) TBA

It's not official, but the rumor mill is rife with news of a third album from Fleet Foxes this year. If the rumors are true, it will be the band's first album following the departure of J. Tillman (aka Father John Misty).

My Morning Jacket - TBA (ATO) TBA

MMJ reconvened in October to begin recording its seventh studio album. Jim James promises a "new vision" for the band that becomes curiouser and curiouser with each album.

The New Pornographers - TBA (Matador) TBA

Neko Case in on a roll. After topping best-of lists with her 2013 solo album, she's teaming back up with A.C. Newman for a new album; it's bound to be spectacular.

Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire For No Witness (Jagjaguwar) 2/18

"Forgiven/Forgotten" and "Hi-Five" are both terrific advanced singles. They have the lyrical magic Olsen showed on her previous album "Half Way Home," but carry more weight sonically with the backing of a full band.

S. Carey - Range of Light (Jagjaguwar) 4/1

Sean Carey steps out from behind the Bon Iver drum kit for his second full-length album. It was recorded in Justin Vernon's April Base Studios and features cameos from some of the Bon Iver group.

Sharon Van Etten - Are We There (JagJaguwar) May

Sharon Van Etten showed an amazing depth of songwriting talent in her 2012 release "Tramp." This follow-up has been deemed as a sunnier version and confirmed collaborators include Torres (aka Mackenzie Scott), Shearwater's Jonathan Meiburg and Lower Dens' Jana Hunter.

The War on Drugs - Lost In the Dream (Secretly Canadian) 3/18

The first single "Red Eyes" maintains the lush sound of 2011's "Slave Ambient" with a little crisper feel, featuring low woodwinds, synth and piano. The lyrics are all melancholy wistfulness, including "I would keep you here, but I can't."

Wye Oak - Shriek (Merge) 4/29

2011's "Civilian" was a big step forward for Wye Oak. Jenn Wasner's vocals played beautifully over her alternating driving and fuzzed-out guitar. She's taken a new tack in writing songs for "Shriek," stepping away from the guitar and embracing the bass.


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