Reviewing the Future: Musical Releases to Watch Out For in 2011

Two thousand and eleven: the second glorious second year of the first decade to completely take place within the 21st century and the 3rd millennium. The Chinese Year of the Rabbit- of which I am a sign- and as a result this year is supposed to be a very lucky year for me indeed. Lucky or not, I am very excited about the next 12 months, because there is a veritable goldmine of new music releases lined up! Here are some that I will definitely be listening to as soon as possible. Check it.

SONIC YOUTH- “Simon Werner a Disparu OST”Sonic Youth’s first full film score will be released digitally in January 25th. CD and LP are released in February. The French thriller will be available on DVD by that time, and comes with a bonus 5 track EP, which apparently contains a few tracks not on the full length soundtrack. While I’m not super excited to see a thriller about teenagers, I am definitely going to see it for the soundtrack alone. BADASS.

AKRON/FAMILY- “S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT”February 8th sees this inevitable doozy available to the public. Apparently the band refused to give anyone except the vinyl pressing plant the full album, for fear of early release and decreased profit. However, they gave their record label little snippets, which are up on the internet for everyone to hear, and they’re sounding eclectic, fuzzed out, psychedelic and fucking RAD. From what I can gather, Akron/Family wrote the album in some shack near an active volcano in Japan, then recorded in an abandoned railway station in Detroit. Delicious.

PANDA BEAR- “Tomboy”I have never listened to a Panda Bear album in its entirety, only snippets here and there from more avid fans. However, Lennox’s own description of what to expect has me more than mildly interested: “I got tired of the severe parameters of using samplers. Thinking about Nirvana and the White Stripes got me into the idea of doing something with a heavy focus on guitar and rhythm.” He has so far released three singles from the album, but as of yet, we have no news on the album release date.

MOGWAI- “Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will”Ohmigodohmigodohmigodohmigod, I lost my shit when I found out about this album. They are one of only three bands that can give me that reaction. I have already pre-ordered the deluxe double CD and t-shirt pack from their website, which includes a fucking 26 minute bonus song; HOLY SHIT I fucking love this band. Their sprawling, heart opening brand of post rock solidifies my love of the universe and all the little things in it that make it beautiful. GET INTO IT.

IRON & WINE- “Kiss Each Other Clean””The Creek Drank The Cradle” was one of those albums that changed my life a little bit, introduced to me by a girl I worked with at a video store in Leederville. It set in place countless nights of wistful late night chain-smoking-while-painting in the summer heat, and I am yearning for a return to that hushed and delicate folk after the comparative raucousness of “Shepherd’s Dog”. I got my fingers crossed. January 25th bitches.

ELECTRIC WIZARD- “Black Masses”Album number three which made me lose my shit in anticipation. I have had a digital copy of this album sitting in my inbox for a while, patiently waiting for me to get a goddamned computer and unzip the FUCK out of it. I think it may have been released in the UK months ago, but the American release is on Jan 18th. I am biding my time until I have a half way decent sound system to smash this deadly album on, because my shitty speakers (only one speaker functioning) will not do it justice, nor do I want my ears to start bleeding from headphone bullshittery. “This ritual incantation of heavy metal sorcery will break down your psyche as wave upon crushing wave of lead weight acid-laced Doom leaves you numb and broken before our unholy altar…” woooooaaahhhhhh FEM-BONER!

SILVER BULLETIN- “Opposing Forces”This one man music pumping machine has been one of my favourites ever since I first heard his solo recordings. Each of his releases is more and more refined, this one easily topping the golden heap. Hypnotic, eerie, melancholy, and at times, straight up heartbreaking, our Mr Rothenbury can sure evoke some emotion-shit in me. Released on January 1st as a digital download, the title track in particular deserves a special mention. I’m listening to it as I write this, and doing that sad-smile thing that you see in movies a lot when the actor is actually talented, not just good looking. New Weird Australia goodness.

And, finally, the one we’ve all been waiting for…

RADIOHEAD- titled to be announcedHOLY SHIT YESSSSSSSSS. Very little information exists about the new album from the third band that has the ability to make me lose my shit. From my internet scouring I have discovered that they are currently in the studio, no set release date, no album title, no set plans for a tour (not that they would come to Australia anyway, stupid environmentally conscious fucking blah blah blah…), and it will have at least 10 tracks. I wasn’t such a massive fan of “In Rainbows”, but the idea of another album, after the members of the band went off and did film scores and orchestral albums and whatever else these heros of mine get up to when they’re not Radiohead, is fucking EXCITING. “NEW RADIOHEAD ALBUM!!!”my fellow cult-members are crying, all of us swooning in unison at the idea of another “Kid A”/”Amnesiac”-esque explosion onto the world. ARRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH. YES PLEASE.

Phew. What a year. Other releases worth keeping an eye on will be coming from: PJ Harvey, Deerhoof, Battles, M83, The Kills, Beck, The Black Lips, Queens of the Stone Age, Gang of Four, and Pissed Jeans.

YES PLEASE 2011. You are looking to be my favourite year already.