Sunday, December 29, 2019

2020's 20

Being twenty things that, knowing our previous record, will be very scattershot in terms of actually coming good. Sorry, everyone.

There Is No Year is the slightly confounding title of Algiers' third album, due 17th January. The Underside Of Power was our album of 2017 and as much as genre-hopping is promised it's not like things have got much prettier since.

Proving that the base for punning band names isn't dead after all, Alex Chilltown is built around Croydon's Josh Esaw invoking modern suburban anxiety via forceful dreampop. After three years of one-offs debut album Eulogies is out 24th January.

Still only 19, the hazy bedroom beats poetry of Arlo Parks has been gaining steam over the year culminating in a BBC Sound Of 2020 nomination and a collaboration with Easy Life (hey, we all make mistakes) A proper breakthrough could be imminent.

The lounge rake's lounge rake, Baxter Dury unveils a whole new cast of lowlifes, the insecure and deluded on sixth album The Night Chancers, out 20th March.

Brooklynites Bambara have been quietly gaining belated attention over the last few months as their past-midnight house of horrors heads towards the more weirdly beatific fourth album Stray, out 14th February.

Practically anything with Dan Snaith at its helm is worth keeping an eye out for, Caribou's fifth album Suddenly due 28th February heading further down his experimental club instincts.

Grouped together for ease of both alphabetical order and spoken word, expect more soonish from the deadpan non-sequitur drone-post-punk of Dry Cleaning and Nottingham's swagger-in-air-quotes 'if James Murphy never got over his Mark E Smith phase' collective Do Nothing.

Field Music's eighth studio album Making A New World, out 10th January, is a ninteen track concept album about the aftermath of World War I, inspired by an Imperial War Museum commission, and if any band's going to pull that off...

Having established herself as (mostly) US indie's favourite guitar/keyboard gun for hire Katie Harkin looks set to step things up, an album of adaptable spiky melodicism reputedly in the can.

Holodrum, brought together from a whole host of Leeds bands, are a septet who sound like 99 Records with a spare Paradise Garage groove or two. They've played two gigs, released two tracks and are surely going to do a lot more on both fronts in the year ahead.

Hourglvss are Katherine and Sophie, Northerners based in Brighton, doing big pop chorus right amid darkly harmonic, electro-rhythmically based mystery undertows.

Islet's inventive take on psych-pop propulsions and live exultations have been long-term favourites of ours and they're back with third full-length Eyelet on 6th March.

Mr Cocker has been teasing the Jarv Is... project since early summer with the single Must I Evolve? and a handful of live appearances stretching back to 2018. Got to be bearing more fruit soon, surely?

Probably best known as a contestant on All-Star Family Fortunes: Heartbeat vs Peak Practice (/RHLSTP), Keeley Forsyth turned heads towards the end of 2019 for her minimal haunting electronic soundscapes and wracked vocals. Debut album Debris is out on 17th January.

Nicole Atkins and Jim Sclavunos have been promising a project first teased with track A Man Like Me back in March. The label blurb promises "krautrock grooves sitting alongside deconstructed sambas, space-rock confessionals and wistful ballads".

Panic Shack, Cardiff's bastard daughters of Voodoo Queens and the Au Pairs, are already filling decent venues at home and going to be a lot of people's favourite new band the moment they actually officially release something.

Doesn't look like long until professional Frank Hovis impersonator Joe Casey and his merry men of Protomartyr will be back, Casey having revealed it was all in the can back in July.

Shopping's fourth album All Or Nothing heralds, they say, disco, new wave and big pop elements into their hi-life nervy post-punk. They haven't put a step wrong so far, so mark down 7th February.

Torres' fourth album (and first for Merge) Silver Tongue finds Mackenzie Scott negotiating love and desire's strange byways, the two advance tracks suggesting something stripped right back from usual. Out 31st January.

Winter Gardens are an interesting case, in that they put out a cracking debut track Coral Bells in January and then nothing else all year, instead their shimmering drive earning a live following. An EP, Tapestry, is promised for the new year.

HONOURABLE NEW ALBUM MENTIONS: Adwaith, Alexandra Savior (10th Jan), Another Sky, Beak>, The Beths, Boy Azooga, The Chap (10th Jan), Chorusgirl, Daughter, Derrero (13th Mar), Dinosaur Jr, Dream Wife, Everything Everything, Fightmilk, Fleet Foxes, Future Of The Left, Gallops, Holy Fuck (17th Jan), IDLES, Illuminati Hotties, Jehnny Beth, Kendrick Lamar, Lanterns On The Lake (21st Feb), Laura Marling, The Lovely Eggs (April), Luke Haines & Peter Buck (6th March), M Ward (3rd Apr), Nadine Shah, Parquet Courts, Peaness, Perfume Genius, Phoebe Bridgers, PINS, Public Service Broadcasting, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Run The Jewels, Seazoo, Sink Ya Teeth (28th Feb), Smoke Fairies (31st Jan), Soccer Mommy, Spinning Coin (21st Feb), Spoon, St Vincent, Stephen Malkmus, Summer Camp, Tugboat Captain, Walt Disco, Warpaint, Waxahatchee, Whyte Horses (17th Jan), Wire (17th Jan), Woodkid, Yeah Yeah Yeahs

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