We've already told you about some of the bands we're looking for strong progression in during 2008, and alongside those here's a large selection of forthcoming albums which are set fair for your Wishlists. The best thing is, of course, even this certainly isn't the be-all and end-all - there's been plenty of great stuff out in 2007 we had no clue about last January. Just remember that as a get-out clause when these let you down.
!Forward Russia! - Life Processes
Leeds' most hyperactive go more structured and, dare we say, more epic on their spring second album, some of which is being previewed in video form.
Absentee - Spitting Feathers
They finished an album in December for spring/summer release, about which they say "we feel confident that if you enjoyed our previous efforts at recording albums, this next offering should be no disapointment... it could even be the kind of record you play to a friend, spouting a drunken declaration along the lines of "life wont be the same after this", or something equally regretable."
Now moved from Michigan to Chicago and changed a couple of members along the way, that unconventially expansive band we banged on about to little UK outcome in 2006 have been working for most of the second half of 2007 on an album with the producers of Iron & Wine's The Shepherd's Dog. It's actually been picked up for British release, and will come here with a bonus CD of earlier songs.
They couldn't, could they? Remarkably their label rejected their first effort at a follow-up to 2001's sampleadelica Since I Left You because it was "too rushed"; late summer for the proper version, rumours say.
Be Your Own Pet - Get Awkward
Side projects thoroughly dealt with, the excitable youths return in mid-March with a more surf and Stooges-indebted record.
Belle & Sebastian
It's never wise to try and second-guess Stuart Murdoch's intentions, but there are rumours of some sort of release, probably an EP, before his Heaven Help The Girl musical project comes to fruition, its soundtrack possibly sneaking out before the year is done.
Billy Bragg - Mr Love And Justice
Yeah, that title about sums him up. Out on March 8th, it's his first new material in six years, Robert Wyatt guesting as well as the returning Blokes.
Blood Red Shoes - Box Of Secrets
Feels like this has been imminent all year, but 7th April is the latest mooted date. Indications are more Steven lead vocals than we've heard previously and more disco-post-punk noise than most bands of twice the personnel manage.
Bob Mould - District Line
We've heard this before, but apparently this, out on 4th February, is a return to the hook-laden power of his later Husker Du/Sugar days, if through the prism of a 47 year old.
The Boy Least Likely To
You'd forgotten about them, hadn't you? Their ill-fated attempt at proper pop stardom finished with an inevitable dropping, so they're back to self-releasing a second album they finished the bulk of in September, featuring the Grimethorpe Colliery Band.
The Breeders - Mountain Battles
The April 7th release will be six years since Title TK, but it was nine between that and Last Splash and there's been two years of the Pixies roadshow in between so it barely matters. Also out in 2008, a book of Kelley Deal knitted handbag patterns. That's not a joke.
British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music?
Their old tag of "high church amplified rock music" bears full fruit on this third album, issued 12th January and produced by Arcade Fire associate Howard Bilerman and GY!BE/A Silver Mt Zion’s Efrim Menuck. This is the one for this year that most will forget about by December listmaking season despite its spectacularity.
Broken Social Scene Presents Brendan Canning
Well, Kevin Drew did say. May, say whispers. This Book is Broken: An Oral History Of Broken Social Scene (already?) is also due out come autumn.
Cat Power - Jukebox
We've got an advance of this on a promise not to post any of it, but as well as that it's an 'edited' version which fades everything out early. Hardly seems all that fair. It's her second covers album, in the style of The Greatest, and it's out January 21st.
Colin Meloy - Skulls, Ship, Sheep
Reports have it that the Decemberists' leader is planning a solo collection under this name for April, having previously toured alone at the start of 2007, where the stage was decorated with a skull, a ship and a sh...oh, right.
Conor Oberst & M Ward
Good lord. This entirely comes from a piece in Omaha City Weekly, which mentions in passing that the pair, long term compadres, are planning a band and record together.
CSS (Cansei De Ser Sexy? What's the agreed blogger style guide on common name usage?)
Having spent what seems like eighteen months as UK residents the sixsome have retreated back to Brazil to work on a second album for summer release.
dEUS - Vantage Point
Antwerp's finest are back on full power after their 2005 return and release their fifth album on April 21st.
Dexys Midnight Runners - It's OK Joanna
Every chance we'll be tipping this for 2009 too, knowing the state Kevin Rowland can get into, but as it was promised for '07 and a demo is on the Kevin maintained band Myspace presumably it's some of the way down the line.
The trio started writing their fourth album in June 2006 and started recording in February. By September they had eight tracks down and Andy was about to become a father. Who knows, frankly.
Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid
One of our most underappreciated bands went self-powered for this one, produced by keyboardist Craig Potter for March release.
Emmy The Great
Still sticking with the home startup Close Harbour, in this international year of the female singer-songwriter she's reportedly slowly working on a full release.
Final Fantasy - Heartland
After a year of violin and arranger for hire status Owen Pallett's third story arc of an album, which he describes as "exactly like He Poos Clouds but with better microphones (and) better writing", is due summer/autumn time.
Foals - Antidotes
March is the ETA for the Dave Sitek-produced kaleidoscope of art-post-punk promising an afrobeat influence, but who doesn't nowadays.
Clearly as restless in the studio as he is with the touring bug, Turner follows up 2007's Sleep Is For The Week on March 31st.
They're going around this the long way, by the sounds of it, having only just started recording after sessions starting in January 2006. More synths, supposedly, dancier, and a Xenomania production credit.
To be released on a label being set up between band and management after 679 dumped them like herpes, Youth is at the controls for what's said to be a tighter, faster third set.
Gang Of Four
They've been talking about following up their 2004-05 reunion tour for a while, but Dave Allen's blog has had fragments of demos up recently, looking at least towards a spring EP.
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly - Searching For The Hows And Whys
March 3rd sees Sam Duckworth return with a record co-produced by Nitin Sawhney, said to be slightly more on the electronic side.
Green Gartside and Alexis Taylor
Sounds promising already, doesn't it? It's a matter of record that he who is Scritti Politti and the mainstay of Hot Chip (they've got an album on the way too) played a low-key gig last March and were reportedly working on Gartside's new material together.
Both Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse have other projects, but the latter revealed in September "We've started to throw some ideas around, and we've started on some rough demo stuff. But it's still a little way away. But we want to make the record sooner rather than later - just go in there an continue what we're doing."
Word is that this one's even more wideranging in its scope than Through The Window Pane - Prince, Talk Talk and Bollywood have been namechecked. March or April, say the straws in the wind.
Half Man Half Biscuit
Woo! "Early-ish" is all the band will currently let on, although at time of posting it's not been completed; Bad Loser At Yahoo Chess is the title of one song recently debuted live.
The Hot Puppies - Blue Hands
The album that's been 'about to be released' for a good half a year already, the Aberystwythians' imperious Blondieish new wave really should have been picked up on by a label by now, eh?
Don't kill us if this doesn't happen, but the story was that 12 Crass Songs was a stopgap ahead of a proper new collection this year. Its relative success - it's only released in America in January - might affect things, though.
He's spent most of 2007 working on the second album, partly with an unnamed big shot producer, and the results we've heard live veer towards the electronic Rufus Wainwright side, not that there's anything wrong with that.
Johnny Flynn & the Sussex Wit
Razorlight's most unlikely labelmate, Flynn's been recording over the autumn in a barn in Seattle, which seems about right, with Ryan Hadlock (Gossip, Blonde Redhead, Afghan Whigs, Stephen Malkmus), which seems interesting.
Kat Flint - Dirty Birds
If you were one of those who helped finance its recording you should have a copy already, but the rest will have to wait until March for her beguiling folk-noir.
The Kills - Midnight Boom
You never thought you'd see the day when Jamie Hince's name would get 58 hits on Google News. VV and Hotel return on March 17th with an album co-produced by someone called Armani XXXchange, apparently dark and grooveladen, in a way.
The Long Blondes - Couples
Erol Alkan's at the helm for this April 7th release, on which it seems Kate Jackson will delve even further into her Blondie mode.
Los Campesinos! - Hold On Now, Youngster...
Eighteen months on from when we first went nuts about them, and having completely failed to turn up on anyone's tips for 2008 list (check Google News if you don't believe us), an album lands with Broken Social Scenester Dave Newfeld at the controls, out on February 25th.
M83 - Saturdays = Youth
"More song-based" is, as Nigel Blackwell has pointed out, a stupid thing to say about a record, but that's the structure Anthony Gonzalez is apparently taking up for his fifth album on April 14th, produced by Ken Thomas (Sigur Ros, Clinic, Hope Of The States) and Ewan Pearson (The Rapture, Ladytron, loads of remixes)
Please, allow us some cultural leeway. Single NW5 is out in two weeks' time, a self-released album following in March.
Having lost bassist Johan Wohlert during the endless touring for And the Glass Handed Kites, Denmark's finest are due to go back into the studio in January, and given the layers they usually employ you'd best write this in in pencil.
MF Doom - Doompostor
The rumour doing the rounds is while Daniel Dumile waits for Ghostface to stop fannying around (technical term) with the Wu-Tang and get back to work on their next collaboration he's prepared his first solo work in three and a half years.
The Mountain Goats - Heretic Pride
Fans as we are of wordy American collegiate indie kids, we've never really covered John Darnielle on co on here before, so let's bring to your attention this tremendous fourth album released on February 18th.
My Bloody Valentine
Let's just quote Kevin Shields. "We were making a record in the 90s, around when the band broke up in 1995, and I continued with Bilinda...It’s going to be this ‘96/‘97 record half-finished record finished, and then a compilation of stuff we did before that in 1993–94, and a little bit of new stuff."
Mystery Jets - 21
Whispers have it that they've become more linear coinciding with Henry Harrison's retirement from live performance, although he's still a studio member. We'll see in March with an Erol Alkan-helmed album, the first single featuring Laura Marling.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
Studio album fourteen arrives on 3rd March, carrying on to an extent where Cave left off with Grinderman and sporting a title track referencing Houdini and the Velvet Underground equally
The main songwriter for and former of Peter, Bjorn & John had some songs that didn't fit in with them, so at the end of 2007 he recorded them with friends and plans a summer expedition out.
PJ Harvey & John Parish
John Parish wouldn't be our choice of a palette cleanser after White Chalk's emotional wringer, but there you go. Their second title collaboration after 1995's Dance Hall At Louse Point is being recorded this month for September issue.
Eleven years on from the much forgotten second album, April seems the likely release date and the new songs played at their Nightmare Before Christmas ATP suggest a more pulsing industrial and motorik-influenced sound.
REM - Accelerate
Jacknife Lee production has been the downfall of more in-form bands but there's good vibes surrounding the songs heard at their Dublin 'public rehearsals' in July. "Upbeat pop, bit like the IRS days", it's been said. March 31st or April 7th is the UK date.
School Of Language - Sea From Shore
David Brewis' first work outside the Field Music conglomerate, out on 4th February, is a set of obtuse cut-and-paste laptop pop songs featuring vocals from Barry and Jaff Futureheads and, wow, Marie du Santiago from Kenickie.
Shearwater - Rook
Having fully participated in our album of 2007 The Stage Names, Jonathan Meiburg's other band spent November in a Texan studio and release is pencilled in for May.
Silver Jews - Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea
David Berman's dark poetic oddities get a sixth runout, apparently now later than the advertised April. Berman says these are more story-based songs, and "every song has a function or meaning that you could sum up in a few words." Mmm.
Sons And Daughters - This Gift
Naturally suspicious as we are of Bernard Butler productions, while this is glossier and poppier than the first two albums it's still corkscrew-tight and full of intrigue. 28th January isn't that long to wait.
The Spinto Band
No idea what's going on here, but the Spintos were at mixing stage last they told their website in October, so spring/summer seems reasonable.
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks - Real Emotional Trash
Face The Truth was a bit of a washout, but hell, it's still Malkmus. March 3rd sees the second album with the band co-credited, a band that now includes drummer Janet Weiss, recently with Bright Eyes but once and forever the Sleater-Kinney percussionsmith.
Supergrass - Diamond Hoo Ha
So that's why Gaz and Danny have been touring as Diamond Hoo Ha Men. They don't feel like a band six albums down, do they? 24th March is the date for what's talked up as a return to hard riffing helmed by Nick Launay, whose production credits start with Public Image Ltd and to date go to Grinderman.
Tapes N Tapes
Ah, the difficult post-blog hype album. Dave Fridmann, who's also worked on MGMT's album, produced, and as it wrapped up in October we're guessing late spring.
Tilly And The Wall
Some of them are on the Lightspeed Champion album; all of them started work on a new album last July and test it on an American tour in March.
Tokyo Police Club
Much as it already feels like they've been about for a while they've only actually issued an EP and a single. Mixing over Christmas, summer should see both a load of UK festivals and a release.
The Victorian English Gentlemens Club
We reckon a strong second album could send our favourite Welsh trio over the top into proper recognition, we reckon, and they've been playing a number of new songs all year.
The Young Knives - Super Abundance
Not a promising title, all told, but the few new songs we've heard are strong in the same sense that the best of Voices Of Animals And Men was, if a bit more direct. Tony Doogan (Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai, Hefner, Dirty Pretty Things for the money) produces, March awaits.
And to add dates and titles to the Class Of '08:
The Indelicates - American Demo (14th April)
Laura Marling - Alas I Cannot Swim (4th Febuary)
Lightspeed Champion - Falling Off The Lavender Bridge (21st January)
MGMT - Oracular Spectacular (21st January)
Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend (28th January)
The Young Republic - 12 Tales From Winter City (January)