We're not doing the usual end of year essay this year, because as befits the decade where nothing of lasting note was bequeathed other than lots of slop about mp3 culture masking the slow slip backwards into swing, crooning, variety and easy, uncritical nostalgia, we couldn't think of anything to really say anew.
So instead, as this is a forward thinking blog, ahead of our official ten For '10, which runs from 3rd January, let's have a great big list of albums to look forward to in 2010. Yeah!
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Vampire Weekend - Contra: 11th January
Eels - End Times: 18th January
Fyfe Dangerfield - Fly Yellow Moon: 18th January
Owen Pallett (Final Fantasy) - Heartland: 18th January
He's just had to change his working name for trademark reasons, so how come they took so long to notice? This is "designed to exist simultaneously as an album, a 45-minute piece of orchestral music and a set of songs for looped violin and voice", with dramatis personae of "a farmer named Lewis and the fictional world of Spectrum".
Scout Niblett - The Calcination Of Scout Niblett: 18th January
Spoon - Transference: 18th January
Beach House - Teen Dream: 25th January
Everybody Was In The French Resistance... Now - Fixin' The Charts: 25th January
Eddie Argos of many, many bands (primarily Art Brut) and Dyan Valdes of The Blood Arm explore the concept of answer songs to rock's back catalogue. Fuller details here.
Tindersticks - Falling Down A Mountain: 25th January
Lightspeed Champion - Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You: 1st February
Not unsurprisingly the now NY-based Dev Hynes has taken another complete right turn, this one into piano-based chamber pop influenced by classical, musical theatre and Todd Rundgren.
Los Campesinos! - Romance Is Boring: 1st February
Catch our liveTwittering of this back a week before Christmas Day? Well, that's why you need to be following us.
Gil Scott-Heron - I'm New Here: 8th February
Massive Attack - Heligoland: 8th February
Damon Albarn, Tunde Adebimpe, Guy Garvey, Horace Andy, Martina Topley Bird and Hope Sandoval contribute, and rumour also has it that Burial is to helm a remix album.
Yeasayer - Odd Blood: 8th February
Field Music - Field Music (Measure): 15th February
The School - Loveless Unbeliever: 15th February
Shearwater - The Golden Archipelago: 15th February
The last in a trilogy of albums themed around man's impact with nature and comes with a 50 page book of photos and other ephemera collected by Meiburg.
Swanton Bombs - Mumbo Jumbo And Murder: 15th February
David Byrne & Fatboy Slim - Here Lies Love: 22nd February
Their much talked about a little while ago concept album about Imelda Marcos, out as a 2 CD plus 100 page book box set of sorts, with a guest list including and Tori Amos, Martha Wainwright, Steve Earle, Cyndi Lauper, Róisín Murphy, Florence Welch, Santigold, Natalie Merchant, St Vincent and B-52 Kate Pierson.
Quasi - American Gong: 22nd February
Archie Bronson Outfit - Coconut: 1st March
Emma Pollock - The Law Of Large Numbers: 1st March
Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can: 1st March
Recorded by Ethan Johns (Kings of Leon, Ryan Adams, Rufus Wainwright) with Mumford & Sons as backup. Warning: Marling has talked of things being "more fleshed out" and "rootsy".
Broken Bells - Broken Bells: 8th March
James Mercer of the Shins and Danger Mouse collaborating, with no other guests bar strings.
Liars - Sisterworld: 8th March
Supposedly based on "alternate spaces people create in order to maintain identity in a city like LA". These people have heard it.
Thomas White - The Maximalist: 8th March
There'll also be a new Restlesslist album, Coral Island Girl, at some point this year, and as long ago as December 2008 Electric Soft Parade were promising an imminent double album called Blue Music.
Miles Kurosky - The Desert Of Shallow Effects: 9th March (US release)
Kurosky was leader of the much beloved and missed San Francisco maxi-pop band Beulah. This is his first release in the six years since their split.
The Indelicates: February
Recorded in a converted East Berlin radio station. They've revealed some of the song titles, and you can only wonder what Indelicates songs called Jerusalem, Europe, Sympathy For The Devil, Be Afraid Of Your Parents and Anthem For Doomed Youth will be like.
Blood Red Shoes - Fire Like This: March
Steven Ansell says "the idea was to make a record like In Utero, a rock record with real heart, no macho crap".
David Thomas Broughton - Outbreeding: March
Gorillaz - Plastic Beach: March
Snoop Dogg, Lou Reed, Mos Def, De La Soul, Barry Gibb, Bobby Womack and the Horrors have all been linked with what Albarn says is "the most pop record" he's ever been involved with.
Lucky Soul - A Coming Of Age: March
MGMT - Congratulations: March
Pete 'Sonic Boom' Kember has done some production, Royal Trux's Jennifer Herrema adds vocals. Prog has been invoked.
Teenage Fanclub - Shadows: March
The Acorn: April
David Tattersall - Happy For A While: April
Inevitable that there'd be some Wave Pictures action - we're still waiting for the full electric album recorded at about the same time as If You Leave It Alone, but in the meantime Tattersall has recorded an album co-written with Stanley Brinks (Andre Herman Dune's current identity)
We're told by an informed source that Neil and Pete have also been working on a collaboration with King Creosote and Fence newbie Animal Magic Tricks for soft release before then.
Mystery Jets: April
Produced by Chris Thomas (For Your Pleasure, Never Mind The Bollocks, Different Class, Elton John, U2, Pretenders)
Arcade Fire: May
The Chap: May
Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 1
Originally set for September but delayed indefinitely after Adam Yauch's cancer diagnosis. He's now in recovery and hoping for something in the first half of the year.
Broken Social Scene
John McEntire is at the helm for an album recorded over early summer, and they come back out to play at the Winter Olympics launch party in February.
Told Folly Of Youth their new album would be inspired by David Essex and the Electric Eels.
Darren Hayman - Essex Arms
2009's Pram Town was the first part of a trilogy about suburban living and new towns, Harlow in particular. Promised are "songs about joy riding and dog fighting in the heart of the countryside."
The Fall - Our Future Your Clutter
Having accidentally turned the heads of a few Faryl Smith fans (we can but hope), they're now on Domino and augmenting a fulsome set of reissues with a new record apparently featuring a track entitled Chino Splashback.
Ross Millard says these songs are "a lot more complicated", David Brewis working on some of the sessions as they were sharing a studio with Field Music. Barry Hyde puts it down as "neo-classical north-east punk-folk music".
Completed by July, Nick Cave's opportunity to let off even more steam - after his book he must be positively Vesuvius-like by now - is described by Warren Ellis as "stoner rock meets Sly Stone via Amon Duul".
I Am Kloot
As with their ace 2001 debut Natural History, Guy Garvey (with bandmate Craig Potter) is producing the hope/cynicism-laden trio's fifth album.
James Murphy spent three months in LA on initial recording, got delayed by other projects and is still putting extra touches to it for a potential spring release. "Wonky and maybe a bit more synth-driven, but not necessarily more dancey" is his preview.
Rose Elinor Dougall - Without Why
Seems to be completed, but no suggested estimates yet. She's also worked on Mark Ronson's new album, which is a prospect we don't mind admitting has left us heavily vexed. Oh, and there's also a Pipettes album (whoever's in them now) out at some point, which Martin Rushent has produced, but again that seems a heavily moveable feast.
Sounds like a lot of disputing took up the half of the year they've spent in the studio once they got all their side projects out of their system, but with UK festivals booked for mid-June it seems they have a target at least. Nick Valensi says to expect "music from the future".
According to reports they recorded thirteen songs in five days in August and are aiming for spring.
Album number two is turning into the hipster's Chinese Democracy. We're now nine years on from the Australian release of Since I Left You, three from when Modular Records claimed to have heard it and, at time of writing, eight months since the band declared they were just in the process of clearing samples. Supposedly that has been completed now. It'd better be worth it.
Have been playing new songs live in the second half of 2009.
Belle And Sebastian
Stuart Murdoch's not filmed God Help The Girl yet like he promised, but he has hinted that everyone has been rehearsing together again with the aim of a new record.
Were in the studio as long ago as March/April.
British Sea Power
Noble blogged in November that producer Graham Sutton has moved in with Yan and they have an album's worth of songs on the go. Rumours say early summer.
A new album on their own has been promised to complement the Focus Group linkup, the longest mini-album in history.
Aiming to get the sophomore release out in September, according to recent quotes.
Sun, the album promised for last year, has been shelved in favour of a lot of new songs recorded solo. Emotional vulnerability pictured, as ever.
All we have to go on is this from John Baillie Jnr: "2010: new album, new shows, new fun times!"
New label Warner Bros claim activities restart in March with the new songs that have slowly been emerging and developing over the last couple of years.
Robin Pecknold claims the songs he's writing are "less poppy" and "a bit less upbeat. Not darker, some of it has a more exuberant feeling to it. But some of it is just more realistic... maybe the next album will be pretty boring to most people." Late summer/early autumn is the reckoning.
Yannis Phillipakis claims they've taken inspiration from disco edits, funk, dub and classic soul while working in their own Oxford studio. Not Antidotes II, essentially.
The Go! Team
Ian Parton says their third LP will be more solidly based on melodies and vocals rather than constructed around samples.
I Like Trains
Not iLiKETRAiNS any more, they only started recording last month but have been playing new songs live for a little while, word from which is something darker and more layered.
Sam Fogarino says their fourth full-length will be more like Turn On The Bright Lights. Then again, Paul Banks says it'll be orchestral. Could go either way.
Now living in Melbourne, Australia, Lekman is working on new songs but who ever knows with Jens what's going to happen with them.
Returned to work with A Larum producer Ryan Hadlock in November.
"We are concentrating very hard on making the best album imaginable. Call it rainbow-pop... calypso tropicalia, but without bongos."
Given their maven tendencies we'd love this to be a really outre effort that takes them right out of the safe pop sphere they've started to drift into, but Polydor rejected the first "dense, psychedelic" effort claiming it was "too experimental". So that's going to be no good. Needs must, though. Ross Robinson, for some reason, is producing the second sessions.
Les Savy Fav
Syd recently Tweeted that he and Seth went into the band's first new rehearsal in a year with twenty new songs.
Is a title of a Man Ray-inspired track on the Long Blondes' Someone To Drive You Home written by Kate Jackson, and is also to be the name under which Jackson's solo guise will lurk. Produced by Bernard Butler *gulp* she describes it as "a big pop record".
Reported to have set an album aside early last year.
Pagan Wanderer Lu - European Monsoon
We have a tracklisting; we have a notion that the songs will be less lo-fi, largely more personal and "quite different, both lyrically and musically, from what I’ve become known for"; we hear most of them are already down on tape. As for release, no idea. (EDIT: Andy Regan - cheers, Andy - says in the comments it's awaiting mixing and will be April at the earliest)
Animal Collective are edging towards a break (and a film soundtrack, but all priorities in good order), so Noah Lennox is preparing a new solo record which he says will be "really basic and kind of raw and simple and are electronic... The tone is a lot darker and it sounds sort of dramatic or romantic to me."
Patrick Wolf - The Conqueror
He talked about The Bachelor being a double album, remember. This is the second half, apparently more upbeat in tone and featuring - oh lord - Motown, disco and house influences.
Ed O'Brien has confirmed they're going back 'in' with Nigel Godrich in January, but we know how long a good Radiohead studio session can take.
"Produced by Jacknife Lee" is turning into more of a curse than a blessing, but there you go.
They've spent the last few months, by the looks of their communiques, locked in a crypt under a Victorian church which they're using for writing and recording.
Having been busying himself with The BQE over the last couple of years, he's started playing ambitious new songs live and despite recent comments to the contrary he's even more recently said he wants to get into recording a new album. No state affiliations this time.
The White Stripes
Other bands out of his system, Jack told Rolling Stone in May that he and Meg were working towards some new songs and would possibly have something out in 2010.
And then, of course, there'll be everything that emerges and surprises everyone...