There's no denying 2012 was a great year for music. (Did you hear about the little festival we did? It was pretty dope.) Long-time heroes and brand new badasses released a string of genre-bending albums. In the interest of preempting anyone from saying “no-one makes good music anymore...” here are 13 albums to get you psyched for 2013.
1) Beauty Pill
It's been 9 long years since Beauty Pill's sole full length, the often transcendent The Unsustainable Lifestyle. Since then, band leader Chad Clark has battled a serious health crisis and a serious crisis of faith in the music industry. Rumors have circulated for almost 2 years (and by rumors, I mean twitter updates from Chad) of a nearly completed album. For Beauty Pill fans, the follow-up to The Unsustainable Lifestyle is joked about as an indie rock Chinese Democracy (with two key differences: 1. the one song the band has released from it “Afrikaner Barista” is one of Beauty Pill's best, and 2. no integral irreplaceable band members have been replaced by Buckethead.) Will 2013 finally be the year? If not, this will top my list of anticipated albums for 2014 too.
2) Baby Baby
In more concrete news, Georgia band Baby Baby's new full length, Big Boy Baller Club has a track list, artwork and a release schedule (summer 2013)! We have yet to hear any of the new tracks, but if their debut Money is any indication this will be on heavy rotation this year.
3) Party Animal
The debut from Victor Vasquez's new band (aka Kool AD from Das Racist) was intended for release at the end of 2012, but has been pushed back to a January release. We've leaked a few tracks, and it has the potential to be the most smart and blistering hardcore we've seen in a while.
4) Echo Sonic
Long Island alternative band Echo Sonic only came across our radar this fall, but they've already developed into a full-on band-crush. We leaked their most recent single, “My Dear Michelle,” last month. Check it out if you haven't yet.
5) The Skins
We love The Skins. You love The Skins. Last time I was in Cincinnati I met a guy who the first thing he said was “you live in Brooklyn? Have you seen The Skins?” After a solid 2012 of EPs, the teenage quintet is currently at work on their debut record. And if you're in Europe, don't miss them opening for The Heavy.
6) Blah Blah Blah
This indie quartet from Chicago is terminally charming. Hell, they even named their debut EP Thank You Thank You. Their video for “Crazy Fools” made our Top 10 videos of 2012. They've been hard at work on their first full length, but haven't leaked any tracks yet. More Legos please.
7 and 8) Bad Rabbits
The Boston post-RnB band currently has two records in the works. One with Oakland producer B. Lewis, and more fascinatingly, one with New Jack Swing creator Teddy Riley. I've had a (not so) secret fantasy of a New Jack Swing revival for a while, and am intrigued by the idea of Bad Rabbits leading the way. And hey, if it turns out to be not so great, there's always the other one.
9) American Fangs
So far the only concrete evidence of a new American Fangs record is in the form of a few photos and posts to their Facebook. But based on the sheer badassery of their recent EPs and singles, this is a record that can't come soon enough.
and 11) Janelle Monae
My one true love teased two separate albums for late 2012, but like misinterpreted Mayan prophecies, the date came and went. Details have emerged for one of them titled The Electric Lady. Janelle debuted two songs this summer “Electric Lady” and “Dorothy Dandridge Eyes.” Judging by the title it seems likely at least one of these possible albums will continue the Cindi Mayweather / Metropolis storyline of her previous records. Hell yes!
12) The White Mandingos
A new supergroup featuring Darryl Jennifer of Bad Brains, Murs, and Sacha Jenkins SHR. We don't know a lot about this one yet, but with a line-up like that, it's definitely going to blow some minds. Stay tuned!
13) Tyler the Creator
Another promised and delayed album, the Odd Future mastermind teased an album titled Wolf in 2012. We know nothing about this really (though I did hear a rumor it would be all instrumental?). Is this what Tyler's collaboration with Toro Y Moi was for? Only Tyler knows.
What are you most psyched about for 2013?
- Words by Nathan Leigh