Are you still listening to Celebration Rock and good kid, m.A.A.d. City, UPROXX‘s and (one of) the Smoking Section‘s choices for the best albums of 2012? GET OUT OF THE PAST, MAN. It’s time to start thinking about the present/future, 2013, and all the great albums you haven’t heard yet, but know are going to be awesome, because how could Daft Punk or Arcade Fire put out anything that’s not great?
We picked 15 albums scheduled to be released in 2013 that are worth circling their release dates on your calendars for, unless they don’t have an official release date yet, in which case you can just put a giant red circle around the entire year. It’s going to be a good one.
LONG.LIVE.A$AP by A$AP Rocky (January 15)
Normally an album being delayed not once, but twice would be a cause for a concern. But when it comes to LONG.LIVE.A$AP, A$AP Rocky’s much-hyped debut studio album, it just makes us that much more anxious, in a good way. (Pay no attention to the fact that it’s already leaked.) The guests are top-notch (Schoolboy Q, Santigold, Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz, Drake, Big KRIT, Danny Brown, Action Bronson, Joey Badass, Florence Welch, etc.), and the first two singles, “Goldie” and “F*ckin’ Problems,” didn’t disappoint.
LONG.LIVE.A$AP could be the first great album of 2013.
Fade by Yo La Tengo (January 15)
Or if not LONG.LIVE, then Fade Out, which comes out the same day. Yo La Tengo had a remarkable run in the 2000s, from the airy And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out to the snappier Popular Songs, and haven’t released a “less than very good” album since 1992’s May I Sing with Me. YLT’s label, Matador, describes Fade as “arguably the most focused and cohesive output from Ira, Georgia, and James to date…a tapestry of fine melody and elegant noise, rhythmic shadowplay and shy-eyed orchestral beauty, songcraft and experimentation.” In non-press release terms, it’s going to be hella pretty.
Pedestrian Verse by Frightened Rabbits (February 5)
Music to drink away your pain at 1 a.m. to, performed by a bunch of weary sad-sack Scots, so it feels extra mournful. We all need that from time to time. /takes 28 shots of whiskey
Push the Sky Away by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (February 18)
As we’ve said before, when discussing “We No Who U R,” the first song from Push the Sky Away, “How no wrong can Nick Cave and his Bad Seeds do? Well, their new song ‘We No Who U R’ bears a strong [title] resemblance to Ke$ha’s ‘We R Who We R’…And yet it’s impossible to get angry at the Bad Seeds; they’ve earned the right to all the language shorthands they want.” And if you got mad at them, they’d probably kick your ass.
Sound City – Real to Reel by Dave Grohl & Co. (March 12)
Dave Grohl with Paul McCartney, Trent Reznor, Stevie Nicks, Josh Homme, and Rick Springfield? Yes, please.
N/A by Black Sabbath (April?)
Of any of the choices on this list, Black Sabbath’s first Ozzy Osbourne-led album since 1978’s Never Say Die! has the greatest possibility of being a total dud. But even if it goes down in unintelligible flames, it’s still Black Sabbath with Ozzy (and every founding member except drummer Bill Ward), with production from the great Rick Rubin, who resurrected Johnny Cash’s career with the American series, and therefore, worth a hesitant listen.
Shaking the Habitual by the Knife (April)
It’s been six long years since Silent Shout both creeped out and made the world dance, so it made perfect sense for brother and sister Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer, a.k.a. the Knife, to announce Shaking the Habitual by way of a mysterious teaser video. Electropop never sounded so nightmarish — or so great.
N/A by Arcade Fire (TBA)
A prediction: Arcade Fire’s fourth album will be epic, earnest, eventful, and most of all, great. Funeral and the Grammy-winning The Suburbs are two of the most assured albums of the past decade, and even the “disappointing” Neon Bible includes some of their best material (“The Well and the Lighthouse” or GTFO). In December, Arcade played a secret show in Montreal under the moniker Les Identiks, to play new songs that were described by Pitchfork as “heavily percussive, long, and fun, dancy-y and groovy.” Could that be because they worked with LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy in some unknown capacity? God we hope so.
N/A by My Bloody Valentine (TBA)
Does the world really need a third My Bloody Valentine album? No. There’s no way it could top Loveless, quite possibly the greatest album of the 1990s, and the follow-up has been rumored for so long that we’re at the point where when Kevin Shields talks about how it’s going to come out, we sarcastically nod and say, “OK, sure, whatever you say, buddy.” (Also, we’re friends with Kevin Shields in this scenario.) But does that mean the third My Bloody Valentine album won’t be great? No, because it will. It’s My Bloody Valentine, and it’ll cause SO MANY fuzzed-out earbuds…assuming the album’s ever finished.
N/A by Andre 3000 (TBA)
Much of what we just said about My Bloody Valentine could work for Andre 3000’s first official solo album, too. Put out a masterpiece (The Love Below); been too long since last album; rumored for years, etc. etc. etc. Hopefully 2013 is the year — why should Big Boi have all the fun?
N/A by Yeah Yeah Yeahs (TBA)
Opinions on the last Yeah Yeah Yeahs album, 2009’s It’s Blitz, strongly vary, with some complaining of it being too dance-heavy, while others love it for that exact reason, but Karen O & Co. earned enough goodwill from Fever to Tell and Show Your Bones (and their great EPs) for even haters to check out their fourth album. Little is known about it, other than it’ll feature a song, “Despair,” the band debuted at a Hurricane Sandy benefit last month, which Spin described as a “spare thumper that recalled Florence and the Machine’s ‘Dog Days Are Over,’ with Karen O singing about wasted days, nights, years, life.” Just don’t waste anymore time not putting the album out.
N/A by Lady Gaga/Katy Perry/Beyonce (TBA)
Don’t pretend you’re not excited. These three lovely ladies make some of the best, most catchy pop music out there (“California Gurls” excepted because holy sh*t, that song’s awful), and I’d wager “Bad Romance,” “Firework,” and “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” are on all y’alls iPods, hidden in the tracklisting for Metallica’s ReLoad. None of the albums have release dates yet, though expect Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP to come out in spring — and then for the first single to be stuck in your head for the next five months.
N/A by Kanye West (TBA)
Just assume Kanye’s going to put something out (he briefly discussed a sixth solo album last year, saying, it’ll be “brighter than Dark Fantasy, and sh*t that you can dance to. It’ll be a smarter album than Graduation“) as opposed to put something in…Kim (sorry)…and that we will spend a lot of time discussing it.
N/A by Daft Punk (TBA)
According to the ever reliable Daft Wiki:
Daft Punk’s fourth album is expected to be released in Spring 2013, according to an interview conducted with Chilly Gonzales in late September of 2012, a musician who has worked with the band in the past.
Although the band hasn’t yet officially announced the album, it has been revealed in interviews that the project is in progress. Many clues have been given since the Tron: Legacy Soundtrack. Artists such as Panda Bear, Paul Williams, Chilly Gonzales, and most recently Nile Rodgers had confirmed their collaborations on the current studio project. The album has been in the works since 2010. (Via)
First comes the album announcement, then said album is released, then Daft Punk will headline Coachella, then go on a nationwide tour, then they’ll BLOW YOUR GODDAMN MINDS. It’s going to be a good year.
Detox by Dr. Dre (TBA)
I’ve got a really good feeling this is going to be the year! Swift & Changeable, too.