james debate
james debate

Monday 23 January 2012

Welcome back. We hope you enjoyed our preview of the most exciting movies of 2012, and judging by our analytics it looks like you did! Today it is time to look at one of the other great passions in life, music.

new music 2012 ephemeric

This year we're changing the format a little bit; rather than two distinct lists of albums from new and returning bands we will be going with a simple top 10 list combining the best of both. Be sure to take the precise order with a pinch of salt as it will be based on a myriad of factors including quality, intrigue, and how likely we are to actually see the release in 2012. Rest assured though, every entry on this list has more than earned it's place.

So behold, here is the top ten list of albums to keep an eye on in the coming year, starting with number 10:

10. Untitled - Bloc Party

block party new album 2012
Bloc Party return following frontman Kele Okereke's ill advised dalliance in solo work. Will it be a return to form for one of Britain's brightest musical products of the last 10 years?

Known for their classic hits such as I Still Remember and Banquet, hype for the band has nevertheless cooled off to a certain extent in recent years following a mediocre third studio album and years of absence since.

Fortunately a nice restful hiatus can do the world of good for a band, and we can only hope that 2012 marks the return of a very fine group of performers indeed. Release date is slated optimistically for 2012, but there is a chance this may yet slip.

Release Date: TBA 2012


mgmt new third album 2012
One of the Ephemeric's hotly tipped bands of 2008, MGMT's debut album Oracular Spectacular brought the band what some might describe as crazy success. Songs like Time to Pretend and Kids will be etched into the memory for a long time to come, and expectation will surely follow from here on in.

This is exactly what happened with their follow up, Congratulations, wherein the band decided to raise a middle finger to expectation and record a rather more experimental, non-commercial, and some might say self-indulgent album.

Going back to basics with their self-titled third album, and with decidedly more intrusive oversight from the record label if stories are to be believed, MGMT describe their new material as "fun and rewarding". Beyond this it's anyone's guess what direction they will take this time, and whether the band can bring back some of the more fickle hype fans they scared away last time. Either way be sure to expect psychedelia aplenty, with insightful and most likely self-flagellating lyrics.

Release Date: TBA 2012

8. Youth - Simian Ghost (New band)

simian ghost new album youth 2012
Our first new(ish) band on the list. Simian Ghost did in fact release a moderately received debut album last year but that hasn't stopped them from pencilling in an audacious follow up only a year later, and from what's been heard so far it looks like the latest Swedish wunderband might be ready to move onto big things.

The Guardian has called new album Youth an early contender for album of the year, and other early coverage has been similarly bright. Listen to first single Wolf Girl and judge for yourself.

In this humble braggart's opinion, if the rest of the album is as lush and melodic as the single, then all signs point to excellence.

Release Date: March 5th 2012

7. Shallow Bed - Dry the River (New band)

shallow bed dry the river
Another new band, Dry the River are already moderately well known in the United Kingdom following two successive years of playing Glastonbury and touring, and recently featured in the BBC's "Sound of 2012".

After an apparently fierce bidding war, debut album Shallow Bed will finally see release this Spring. Expect an eclectic assortment from a group that's as comfortable with Killers-style anthems as Mumford and Sons style semi-acoustic melodies.

For a perfect example of this see two songs from the upcoming album: the fairly badass New Ceremony, and the rather more down-tempo No Rest. Could get interesting, keep an eye on it.

Release Date: March 5th 2012

6. Born to Die - Lana Del Rey (New band)

lana del rey born to die ephemeric 2012
Lana Del Rey seems to be all the rage right now, with many critics including the Sunday Times naming her delicious piece of noir-pop Video Games as one of the songs of the year.

It remains to be seen if the rest of Born to Die will live up to its first single, but here you have a good looking girl with a great voice, and buckets of hype. Whatever happens, the Ephemeric radar predicts this album to be big, and the Ephemeric radar is rarely wrong.

Release Date: October 26th 2012

5. Untitled - Goldfrapp

goldfrapp new album 2012
Genuine chameleons of the electro-pop world, Goldfrapp has dabbled in everything from Kylie Minogue-esque neon to ambient acoustic serenity and even 80s dance anthems.

With their new as yet untitled album they could revisit any of these styles or head some place completely new. If the first song revealed, Melancholy Sky, is any indication however, we might be in for a touch of the same down-tempo delights of previous album Seventh Tree.

The exact release date is unknown, but fingers crossed we see it in 2012.

Release Date: TBA 2012

4. Untitled, and Kisses on the Bottom - Paul McCartney

paul mccartney kisses on the bottom new album
Former Beatle and elder statesman of Rock and Roll Paul McCartney returns for his fifteenth studio album. Kisses on the Bottom will contain a mix of covered jazz classics and new material, and feature collaborations with the likes of Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder.

But in addition to this he will apparently also be releasing an as yet untitled album which promises more of the pop stylings he is known for. Frankly I'm excited about both prospects, and we are making them joint 4th place on this list.

Honestly there's little else that can be said about McCartney that has not been said already. The man has earned his status as one of the finest songwriters of all time with a career spanning 50 years and going strong. If these match up to his last release in 2008 under the name The Fireman then we are in for a treat.

Release Date: TBA 2012, and February 7th 2012

3. Port of Morrow - The Shins

the shins port of morrow
Following some time off working on a few rather excellent side projects, James Mercer is finally returning to the band which made him famous, The Shins, for their first studio album in five years.

It's hard to guess what's in store for Port of Morrow from a band known for producing such varied and eclectic sounds, from the acoustic stylings of New Slang to the 1960s psychedelia of Girl Inform Me and the more traditional indie rock of Phantom Limb.

So far just the one new song, titled Simple Song, has been revealed and it kinda rocks. As such I have pretty high hopes for this album when it is released come the Spring time.

Release Date: March 20th 2012

2. Battle Born - The Killers

battle born the killers 2012
Alright now we are talking. The boys have returned from hiatus and their various solo efforts, and they are recording a new album. That's right, arguably one of the biggest new bands of the last 10 years, The Killers, are back. I mean, do I really even need to post a link to Mr. Brightside or All These Things I've Done? Didn't think so, but I did it anyway.

Little is known of the new album, tentatively titled Battle Born, except that it will supposedly mark a return to the more guitar-based milieu a la Hot Fuss. The band are well known for mixing things up and playing with different styles and inspirations though, so expect something that is nevertheless fresh.

So far the only new song to be heard is this rough around the edges live recording of The Rising Tide, sounding in this man's humble opinion a bit like a cross between the Springsteen-esque style of Sam's Town and Hot Fuss. Not a fan of the new haircut, and Brandon needs to watch out for those high notes, but still looking forward to this album.

Release Date: Summer 2012

1. Untitled - Passion Pit

passion pit new second album 2012
And this year's number one most highly anticipated album sees the return of another former Ephemeric success story. Passion Pit were a hotly tipped new band back in 2008 when their early EP did the internet rounds and generated immense buzz, and were essentially the hype band of 2009.

No doubt many of you will recognise ubiquitous songs like Moths Wings and Sleepyhead. Now Passion Pit returns with their as yet untitled follow up album, originally due for release last spring, but delayed until 2012. Expect more of the same lush, euphoric melodies and addictive, impossibly uplifting production, plus the invaluable added benefit of experience.

Described by frontman Michael Angelakos as "beautiful, exciting and fun", so far the only taste we've got of new material comes from this sweet live recording of American Blood. Early days yet and no word on precisely when it will see release, but this one is looking pretty special.

Release Date: TBA 2012

Honorable mention must go to new albums from British hip hop artist extraordinaire M.I.A. as well as the experimental electronica of Crystal Castles and in particular a rather promising sounding debut from the acoustic stylings of Michael Kiwanuka which was unlucky not to make it onto our top 10.

Lastly there is also a rumour that Mercury Prize winner (and former Ephemeric hot tip) The XX may be on the verge of releasing a follow up album in the next year. Sadly I'm pretty skeptical that this will actually happen, and so they miss out on a top 10 spot they would otherwise easily have earned.

Tune in next week for the best upcoming video games of 2012!

Newer Post Older Post Home