By Emily Csukardi
For music listeners everywhere, 2012 provided a shift toward an unusual, introspective, yet catchy side of music.
Artists such as Grimes and Dan Deacon proved that a one-person music machine is not a myth, while albums from bands such as Beach House gave listeners a new way to perceive music’s dream-like capabilities.
With the promise of returning bands and the emergence of new sounds, 2013 holds the potential for an even better yearlong soundtrack.
1. Local Natives’ “Hummingbird”
Release Date: Jan. 29
Local Natives are a four-piece band hailing from Los Angeles, California. Their music is a combination of fast, percussive rhythms against smooth harmonies and swelling melodies, often classifying them as a combination of psychedelic rock and modern folk. “Hummingbird” will be their sophomore album following the 2009 release of “Gorilla Manor.” The band has released the upbeat single, “Breakers,” as a teaser to the upcoming album. Even with a spot in in the Billboard 200, Local Natives have flown under the radar in the world of indie music. With the release of “Hummingbird,” Local Natives are bound to receive the recognition they deserve.
2. David Bowie’s “The Next Day”
Release Date: March
In celebration of David Bowie’s 66th birthday Jan. 8, the glam rock veteran released a new single entitled “Where Are We Now?” The ballad incorporates melancholy instrumentals and Bowie’s familiar voice. Despite the sadness-tinged single, Bowie’s producer told UK’s “The Guardian” that the release will be “quite a rock album.” His first studio album recorded in ten years, “The Next Day,” may not be quite different from Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” era. However, the album has hopes of reacquainting fans with a new version of the Bowie, aka the Thin White Duke, who many have grown to love.
3. Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Mosquito”
Release Date: April 16
If the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s upcoming album cover art is any representation of the music within it, we can expect something wild, loud, and a little strange—in the best way possible. “Mosquito” will be the band’s fourth studio album since the release of 2009’s electro-pop album “It’s Blitz!” The YYY’s leaked a short video featuring the single, “Mosquito,” to give fans a preview. In an interview with Pitchfork Media, Karen O. describes “Mosquito” as “the most tongue-in-cheek album” that the band has done in their over decade-long career. Known for singer Karen O’s strong, sometimes spastic vocals, and chaotic instrumentals, this is a highly anticipated album for YYY’s fans and newcomers alike.
4. Vampire Weekend’s Untitled Album
Release Date: Spring 2013
Vampire Weekend reached a popularity peak once their song “Holiday” appeared in various Tommy Hilfiger and Honda car commercials. This year, their bouncy, jittery brand of pop will be making a comeback since their 2010 album release, “Contra.” In the past, their songs have ranged from topics involving oxford commas, diplomat’s sons, and drinking Horchata in the winter. Judging from this, it is a surprise for what could be in store on Vampire Weekend’s third record. The band recently performed their new song, “Believers,” on Jimmy Kimmel Live, showcasing a refreshing yet familiar sound. These weekend warriors are back and ready for an energized return this spring.
5. My Bloody Valentine’s Untitled Album
Release Date: Late 2013
In 1991, My Bloody Valentine released “Loveless,” known as the most influential shoegaze album to date. A quick lesson: the “shoegaze” genre refers to the use of effect pedals by musicians to create a noisy, distorted and dreamy sound. The use of these pedals would cause musicians to look as if they were staring down at their shoes, bringing about the term “shoegaze.” My Bloody Valentine front-man, Kevin Shields, revealed to NME that follow-up to “Loveless” would be released later this year—an album 21 years in the making. The release of this album marks a huge event for fans of the genre, for it has been a lengthy wait.
With the expectations of these new albums, 2013 promises to be just as exciting and diverse as 2012 in the world of music. Thankfully, as fans, all we must do is keep listening.