Sunday, 19 January 2014

5 Albums That I’m Excited About In (Early) 2014

by Dom Baker


2013 saw a host of groundbreaking albums released, from electro-legends Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories to emerging bands’ debuts such as In Love from Birmingham indie-quartet Peace. The year was topped off by a surprise from Beyonce, who, unannounced, released her fifth and self titled album. It literally broke iTunes, selling a mammoth 828,773 digital copies in three days. 

2014 promises to be an equally exciting year for music, and below are 5 albums that are soon to be released, which I am particularly excited about.

1.       Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow – February 3rd

Having listened to tracks such as ‘Ivy and Gold’ and ‘Always Like This’ almost religiously for most of Year 9, and, having seen them live around the same time, I was sufficiently excited when London’s Bombay Bicycle Club announced the release of their fourth studio album late last year. The first song released from the album was ‘Carry Me’, on November 5th, and was first released as an interactive video. The song sounds like a progression from their third album, with a stronger emphasis on drum and synth led melodies. It’s energetic and interesting, and I really like it. Other releases from the album have been ‘Luna’ and ‘It’s Alright Now’, which both use a range of samples, strong melodies and dancey drum beats. Whilst the three tracks so far all sounds busy, they do not seem overpowering or over complicated, and if the rest of the album fills these criteria, it should be a great listen.

Favourite song – "Evening / Morning":

 

Song for the album – "Luna":

 

2.       Phantogram – Voices – February 18th

Electronic duo Phantogram only came to my attention last year, despite having been active since around 2007, and releasing their first studio album Eyelid Movies in 2009. Since then they have released a handful of EPs and collaborated with artists such as A$AP Rocky and The Flaming Lips, before announcing in early December that their second studio album would be released. As yet two songs, "Nothing But Trouble" and "Fall in Love", have been released. I like both very much, with their hip-hop drum beats, deep synth melodies and almost ethereal vocals, and I’ve found "Fall In Love" particularly catchy. These two songs prove no exception to Phantogram’s rule of making relaxed electro music that seems most delicately crafted, but sounds so full and strong.  When looking through the tracklist, one song, "Bill Murray", caught my attention. Whilst this did intrigue me, it would be a long way down on the list of reasons I would give for listening to Voices.

Favourite song – "Don’t Move":

 

Song for the album – "Fall in Love":

 

3.       Foxes – Glorious- March 3rd

Louisa Rose Allen, more popularly known as ‘Foxes’, is the Southampton born singer-songwriter who shot to fame in 2012 for her vocals on Clarity by Zedd, and has since featured on Fall Out Boy’s Just One Yesterday, and Sub Focus’ Until The End. Her largest selling single so far has been "Youth", which peaked at 12 in the UK charts, and it’s not hard to see why. Filled with powerful lyrics matched by her vocals, a bold underlying beat and a piano/synth lead melody, "Youth" is an addictive and room-filling, yet intimate electro-pop record. "Youth" features on Foxes’ debut album, in addition to other singles such as the relaxed dubstep that is "White Coats" and the energetic "Echoes", in which she combines meaningful lyrics with an upbeat and positive melody. This is true of most of her songs. If the unreleased songs on Glorious follow suit, it will be an album that I have on repeat for a long time.

Favourite Song - "Echo":  

 

Song for the album – "Youth":
 



4.       Foster The People – Supermodel – March 18th

The instantly recognisable and totally consuming Pumped Up Kicks swept the nation for the summer of 2011, getting countless plays on the radio, topping alternative charts globally, and leading the resurgence of ‘indie’ music.  For many people, Foster The People’s songs are an instant reminder of summer, and the first release from their second studio album, "Coming of Age", is no exception.  The dreamy introduction is soon mixed up with an array of percussion and a guitar riff that evokes memories of hot days, cool breezes and blue skies.  Currently, no other songs have been released from the album, but "Coming of Age" provides a brilliant taster of what their new material should sound like. The album was expected in 2013; however, front man Mark Foster was quoted in 2012 as saying ‘The next record is going to be more evolved’, and if the first release is what ‘more evolved’ sounds like, then I certainly want to hear more.

                Favourite – "Don’t Stop (Color on the Wall)":

 

                Song for the album – "Coming of Age":

 

5.       Iggy Azalea – The New Classic- March, to be confirmed

23 year old Australian hip-hop artist Iggy Azalea, born Amethyst Amelia Kelly, first started making major waves in the American music scene in 2012 with the leak of her song "Pu$$y," which attracted attention due to its explicit and tongue-in-cheek nature,  and subsequent release of Work in early 2013. After leaving her native Australia at the tender age of 16 to pursue her musical ambitions in the U.S.A, Azalea released a couple of EPs, containing songs such as "Runaway", in which she raps about her tough life at school in Australia, and reasons for leaving. The first release from The New Classic, originally intended to be her breakout single, was "Change Your Life", featuring T.I. It’s a big and bass-filled song, and whilst is sounds more commercial and suited to radio than her other work, it also makes room for Iggy’s idiosyncrasies and rapping quirks to be put on display. Providing that the world of radio and generic, boring, chorus-centric music doesn’t have a noticeable impact on the songs in The New Classic, then Iggy Azalea might just release an album that will fill the global void of an exciting new female rapper.

Favourite song - "Work":

 

Song for the album – "Change Your Life": 



 

 

 

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