Sunday, 10 January 2010

Have you run out of ideas? Do you hate the Swedish media? It might be time to make an Opera!

At the start of the year we always seem to get caught up in the new things in life: new toys from Christmas, new you for January, and new bloody car insurance for me. Let take a moment to look at the old, well aged and more mature returning bands this year.

An album I’m looking forward to this year is the returning album from LCD Soundsystem. Having lived in deepest, darkest North West Wales for three years of the last decade (2007 included) I missed out on more than a few bands. And, as we all know, non-Welsh music is prohibited in Wales, punishable by a ticking off. Since hearing LCD Soundsystem’s stuff over the last few years I’ve come to realise they’re down my electro-indie alley. I still can’t believe that Feist beat both LCD Soundsystem’s ‘Sound of Silver’ and ‘Cross’ By Justice for album of the year. Bloody females with guitars win everything.

Now for something a bit different. Swedish electro anti-press outfit, The Knife, have penned an opera in collaboration with Mt. Simms and Planningtorock, both of which I’ve never heard of. I’m sure they’re big in opera. Before you get all ‘WTF opera?!’ on me, give it a listen. The studio album is out on February 1st, I really enjoyed the first release material (can you call it a single?) ‘Colouring Of Pigeons’. I get the feeling that if Animal Collective’s album was the critics overall album of the year ‘09 then this could well be in or around the top spot in twelve months time.

Talking of stage productions, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s Gorillaz are returning with a studio album titled ‘Plastic Beach’ after finishing up their last major project, the stage adaptation ‘Monkey: Journey To The West’. A much loved band from my hip-hop/ alternative phase when I was just getting into music at the start of the decade, I actually OWN both of their albums on CD. The list of collaborators such as Snoop Dogg, De La Soul and The Horrors it is looking mighty fine and I’m sure the third album will not disappoint, although like the last two albums I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a grower.

The Klaxons, MGMT and Justice were three of the most exciting prospects of 2007, all returning with that difficult second album in 2010, once again they all released in 2007. Why am I so attached to this year?! Klaxons were multi-award winning in their breakthrough year and fans have had to endure a lot of drama and rumours in the run up to a new album. Apparently their second album was ‘too experimental’ (according to their label) for release on the first attempt, they were sent back like naughty school kids to re-record it. Sounds like a promising start. It was also rumoured that they broke up, you know they seem like the type. I hope they don’t get all CSS and start making angry records because one selfish git wants to go into fashion, you would have though Lovefoxx would have warned them.

Klaxons - Valley of the Calm Trees (to be called The Parhelion on the new album)

I’m a big fan of Justice, I loved ‘Cross’ and all its remixes and still listen to them all the time. I’m kind o expecting some sort of glorious album off the froggy duo this year; I’m talking Daft Punk ‘Discovery’ style-y. Even more so as they haven’t even talked about a new album, no material has been leaked and they’ve done nothing but a few remixes and live shows for the past two years. Perhaps I dreamt up this one…

MGMT have a much hyped album titled ‘Congratulations’ which has been kept well under wraps as well. They’ve been collaborating quite a bit recently with people such as Beck and Jay-Z and at their live shows they’ve only showcased three or four songs that are expected to be on the album. None of which I’ve heard… but hell, I’m looking forward to it. The more experimental the better! I'm also looking forward to their work on the David Bowie tribute album expected in May!!

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