Editor’s Note: Albums are already starting to stack up, and oddly, this week’s installment of Radio Dick offers a playlist of things to come (and probably fitting that most of these are heavy hitting acts with prolific careers already). I’m starting to get the feel that many bands used 2009 as an off-season and this year’s going to fire off as a grand finale. These tracks all span a variety of genres, from relatively unknown acts to the canonical David Byrne. Everyone’s going to have their hands in the cookie jar this year. Don’t expect consistency, and fully expect to have your ears tested. Enjoy this week’s list, and check back often throughout this week for reviews of full albums hitting the streets this week.
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Inlets – Bright Orange Air – Inlets is the namesake of Sebastian Krueger, a Brooklyn-based DIY producer who’s soaring and eclectic compositions won him favorable acclaim with 2006’s The Vestibule EP. Since that time, he’s essentially worked with the entire “who’s who” list, including artists like Angel Deradoorian, DM Stith, and Feist. His debut LP has been a long time coming, and Inter Arbiter hits the shelves on April 20th via Two Syllable records. “Bright Orange Air” is essentially the second released track from the LP, as “Your Good Arm” was released in April of 2008 and is included in the mix on the new release. I’ve hit repeat on this song six times. Each listen uncovers a nuance I didn’t hear originally. Sit back and enjoy.
High Places – On Giving Up – Rob Barber and Mary Pearson make up the duo High Places, and considering the blast off this track unveils, we’re excited to listen to their April 6th upcoming LP High Places vs. Mankind, out via Thrill Jockey. A rather galloping back rhythm steers this far away from a rock song, but smoky vocals and some darkly atmospheric attitude leaps outward from this track. If the entire album lifts off with this much gusto, you can expect it to land squarely in the middle of a ton of critical praise.
David Byrne and Fatboy Slim – Please Don’t (feat. Santigold) – This collaboration has me tied in all sorts of knots. Nonesuch is releasing Byrne’s concept album, Here Lies Love on 2/23, and it’s all centered around Imelda Marcos. The only connection I have is remembering my father trying to explain to me that a woman in a far off land had a houseload of shoes. This is all I know about Imelda Marcos. Apparently, Byrne has enlisted the help of some heavy hitters to create the LP, collaborating with Norman Cook in it’s entirety and bringing in folks like Tori Amos, Santigold, and Sharon Jones. Hit THIS WEBSITE to pre-order the release, along with all sorts of other goodies.
The xx – VCR (Matthew Dear Remix) – Detroit’s Matthew Dear picked up The xx and remixed “VCR.” The xx was the remix closet for the latter part of 2009, and apparently, the tracks lend themselves nicely to remixing. For me to throw two remixes on a Radio Dick post, I’ve got to either be really hungover or interested. The xx wasn’t tops on the list for me in 2009, but if remixes like this keep showing up, perhaps I’ll need to give it another listen.
She & Him – In the Sun – Volume Two hits the shelves March 23rd and the first released track is solid, and our writer Brian is especially stoked for this release. M. Ward isn’t my kind of thing, but the duo is producing noteworthy music, no doubt. When Merge Records released Volume One, folks let the album embrace them, and based off my listens of the first, this track offers a natural blend and transition into the second installment. I don’t think you’re getting any sort of new revelation here, but if you loved what the first collection of duets did for you, get in line for this release. “In the Sun” promises more of the same goodness.
Mumford and Sons – Little Lion Man – I give full props to Rob, our writer here, who clued me into this amazingly badass album that’s about to drop on the US side on February 16th. “Little Lion Man” is one part chamber folk, one part cinematic musical, and about six parts of ass kicking intensity. The rest of the album moves in the same vein, and if those of you reading are unhip to this act, hop on the train. It will depart soon and you’ll lose brownie points with your friends.
The Ruby Suns – Cranberry (Radio Edit) – I’ve included this as the cherry on top of the sundae today. The upcoming album Fight Softly is set for release on March 10th, and this kind of fuzzy and loud marching band-esque track is earthy and global in nature and scope. Morphed vocals, blips, angular shifts, and a whole multitude of ear-filling intrigue is sitting right here. I’m not certain where this sound goes next, but we’re willing to dig into the full release proper in March. Sea Lion in 2008 was a grand little album, and this promises more with the upcoming.
Grizzly Bear – Boy from School (Hot Chip Cover) – While touring in Australia, Ed Droste recorded this version of Hot Chip’s song for Triple J. I’m not an enormous Hot Chip fan, but I suppose any new content from Grizzly Bear is worth noting. I love the stripped down model here, and the Australian folks who got him to record this deserve some heavy props. We’re a little late in getting this out to you, but enjoy nonetheless.
Shearwater – Black Eyes – Shearwater is wandering into ambitious air in 2010 and have a killer LP and thematic opus in tow with them. The Golden Archipelago is Shearwater’s third installment, and will be released by Matador on 2/23. The sophomore effort, Rook, was vastly underrated, as the Okkervil River offshoot has continually produced stellar albums. The Golden Archipelago may be the most ambitious to date, thematically centering around islands from around the globe, each track surrounded by its own unique back story. Click RIGHT HERE to take a look at the special-edition materials that will be sold in conjunction with the lofty album. The first track, “Castaways” was released awhile back, and “Black Eyes” steers into similar areas. Large and satiating, this track has us stoked for the newest release. We’ve been spinning the full album for a week now, and will have a full review as the release date nears. Catharsis seems to be the name of the game here.
Drive-By Truckers – This Fucking Job – Love or hate Drive-By Truckers and all the various solo offspring, one thing, for me, that’s impossible to dislike is the narrative element of our southern underbelly. Patterson Hood’s Murdering Oscar is still sitting on the top shelf of my record collection, and hasn’t moved since I gave it an initial spin. The Big To-Do is being released via ATO March 16th. The newest release is supposed to steer more into anthemic southern rock, and this is fitting considering Jason Isbell and Patterson Hood’s most recent solo efforts.
The Antlers – Two (Buffetlibre Remix) – Since “Two” is easily my favorite track on Hospice, I was mildly revolted, but nonetheless intrigued to see a remix pop onto the web. Like a mixture of “The Neverending Story” and a gazillion billowing synthesized movie anthems, this thing is actually pretty catchy. I suppose taking The Antlers out of the equation would make this pretty horrific, but the major conrnerstones of the track are covered and left unmarred here. Basically, it’s ripping the acoustic guitar out of the track and replacing it will rolling synthesizers. As I leave this, I’m unaffected, but, I’ll admit, I played it all the way through.