Tuesday, January 21, 2014

2014 Anticipated Music Part Two: Decent to Likely

Here's a list of bands/artists who very likely will have records out sometime in 2014. Nothing is certain, but among the stuff I am wondering/thinking about, the odds are higher for them. I'm sure there are many others I'm not including on here, and if time allows, I will post a 3rd preview entry about more of the maybes and wishlists sorts, but with not as much actual hard information about them.

Odds are pretty good they will release something as most people I've mentioned their name have said they have new music, etc. My focus is on Sculptured, Don Anderson's side project, more so, but I can't deny I enjoy Marrow of the Spirit a fair amount and their earlier records as well. For me, their crowning achievement is still The White EP, however, odds of much of the music sounding like that are remote given their history.

Not to discount they put out another interesting EP in 2012, Faustian Echoes which I grew to enjoy the more I heard it. I totally go for when they use the samples.

Weather Systems, We're Here Because We're Here, Falling Deeper especially are all tremendous records with breathtaking dynamics, layers, harmonies and power. They just seem to capture that huge emotional sadness in music and samples and other elements so well.

I almost fear this upcoming record may not turn out to be as good as their recent work, just because their music of late has been so off the charts.

From memory, I recall they were/are looking to release this next LP in the Spring sometime. It is supposed to include more electronic influences, which may be a good thing.

I should go back to the K-Scope podcasts soon and see if there is much more info about it of late, because the Spring isn't too far away.

Regardless of when, I'm pretty sure a lot of people beyond myself will be extremely interested to check it out when it is released.

Brice Plays Drums
This Minnesota progressive rock band that I consider one-of the best bands going in Minnesota or anywhere, have written a 3rd LP and in seeing Michael and Robert Higgins at the Between the Buried and Me concert a few months ago, I asked them about it briefly and they mentioned it was coming along. I recall their goal was to finish and release it by December of 2013. Obviously that didn't happen, but I'm sure there were good reasons for that.

But that tells me that it's an album they still mean to release, likely in 2014 instead. I guess with their activity being a little sparse of late, the timing could be a little while. But it's still definitely worth keeping in mind.

And for good reason as both of their previous records were tremendous, especially 2012's Man the Animal Cannon.

Josh Benash
This is another late entry as I saw just on Facebook yesterday, him posting about a new EP coming this Spring.

I enjoyed much of his debut solo record from 2012, The Dismal; the Beautiful, although not as much as the music he's done with Kiss Kiss and now recently Vuvuzela. But, there was still enough to like beyond some of the overt attempts at black comedy, that it didn't matter.

And who knows exactly how similar this EP will be to that record. But Josh has been more than consistent enough in his work to not want to check out and almost expect something interesting.

British Theatre
This is new project from 2 of the key members of Oceansize, singer/guitarist/songwriter Mike Vennart and Guitarist/Keyboardist Richard "Gambler" Ingram. They released 2 good EPs in 2012. The 2nd Dyed in the Wool Ghost in particular had a number of moments I enjoyed. And I remember there being talk of a full-length even in 2012 after that 2nd EP was released, but obviously it never happened.

And not much news in 2013 surfaced that I recall, but given it has been over a year now, that full-length could be that much closer to coming.

But this one is more in the *decent chance* given how little I've seen and even they have mentioned it online. I recall seeing Mike Vennart saying he was loving the new Warpaint album the other day on twitter for what that's worth.

Also known as Chloe Alper, 1 of the main songwriters from Pure Reason Revolution, has been working on her own music since the ending of PRR a few years ago. I know 1 of the songs she made ended up being used/was-for an Eljah Wood film that screened at the Cannes Film Festival I think in 2012.

But as far as what likely will be a debut LP, she posted this recently on Facebook.

We spent all of last year recording and we're now 6 (SIX!!) tracks into an album. 2014 is going to be stupendous.

Style-wise, from hearing a single or 2 from memory, her solo music has sounded more pop-oriented, but hopefully pop or poppy in a good way.  I remember seeing something about Tom Bellamy from The Cooper Temple Clause was working with her, as he had worked on a bit of the last PRR record Hammer and Anvil as well.

Casey Crescenzo
This release will be coming in 2014 as Casey posted they are mixing it right now. I guess a few things spring to mind about it.

a) It has no performing from him at all. Which may not impact how good it is. But it is something to keep in mind certainly.

b) it's a large Symphonic piece, which I would look at like a conceptual piece of classical music really. Not exactly The Dear Hunter of course.

c) It is a concept I guess, or there is some concept to it, albeit a story or whatever. Generally, Casey has incorporated concepts or stories well with his music. Hopefully this will be no different (and not have much if any of what some operas per say can have for me, where the lyrics/dialogue can seem melodramatic and cheesy).

d) I'm not clear if there will be any vocals/singing or even chanting at all on this. For some reason, I'm a little skeptical. It may just be all instrumental music which I am totally fine by.

e) When it is finished, I'm sure updates will happen. Given he is mixing it right now, A Spring or Summer release date seems likely.
Video Clip

The Dissociatives
I'm very excited to hear something new from these guys after 10 years. It may just be a few tracks or an EP for now, but regardless, as a fan of that debut LP and Daniel Johns namely, to any new music from them is something to look for ward to.

Dog Fashion Disco - Sweet Nothings
I guess this is coming out under that title. I can only say a few things about this project. They remind me of Mr.Bungle or Faith No More in a lot of ways (or even For the Imperium), and made a pretty cool, slick, almost Rock Opera-type record a few years ago which I will admit enjoying some of. Except for the fact their singer too often swallowed into the microphone, I never could go back and listen to it.

If the swallowing-into-the-mic goes away, I may be totally on board with this band and this new album of theirs. But that is obviously uncertain at this point. I do know a lot of people enjoy them so I hope they become aware of this record of theirs.

Just using Google, it looks like it may be released in the Spring.

10 years ago or more, I used to LOVE this band, and I still enjoy their music enough. But it has been now 10 years since 2003's Tug of War was released. And they posted an update on Facebook around the end of 2012 about how they will released a new album in 2013. It obviously didn't happen. I'm not sure if it was due to money or time or both. Ted Leonard is now the lead singer of Spock's Beard and actually will be helping out Transatlantic on tour in the coming weeks/months with some news about Daniel Gildenlow having to miss some of that due to an illness.

So Ted has been pretty busy of late. But I would like to assume that announcement about this long awaited follow-up to Tug of War was finally going to come soon. I suppose once Ted's work with TA is over, and whatever else they didn't finish with this record in 2013, will dictate if/when this album does get released.

But I would anticipate its chances to be good given it's been over a year now since that announcement.

I enjoy pretty much everything the members of this band have done from their awesome debut LP So Be It from 2012, to the new a bit electronic-influenced track "High Fives" to even the EPs from when they were even more chaotic and known as This City Sunrise.

They posted an update or two over the Summer about being in the studio and then that excellent new single
When? I guess it's still unclear, but given that they spent a good amount of time in the studio in 2013, it may mean Spring or Summer.

Entry about "High Fives"

Hotel of the Laughing Tree
This band is one of my recent favorites, without question. Terror and Everything After is a STAPLE recod, no matter what else they ever do, that record should be something I will like and enjoy for decades.

And the EP they released in 2012 The Mammoth Skin Pt. 1 was more or less a continuation of that style and quality, as I listened to it probably a few dozen times.

I have been fortunate enough to be in contact with some of the members, namely guitarist Brandon Peterson and a few months ago he messaged me on FB mentioning how the band have written enough music that this record of theirs could be a Double album. Which given how much I enjoy everything they've done, I can't 
help but be pretty giddy about that.

But I guess I'll only know when getting the chance to hear it. As far as details, one possible title could be the obvious The Mammoth Skin Pt. 2, but nothing has been announced or even hinted yet by them.

But they spent a great deal of time in 2013 working on this album, so it seems rather likely it'll get released in 2014. Spring or Summer is the vague guess of course.

But I can't see myself including a ton about if, if the time allows in 2014.

edit: it sounds like it'll be a full-length and EP, which I might suspect will not include many if any of the same songs.

Daniel Johns
This is I suppose one could say, a long awaited and somewhat largely anticipated record from Daniel Johns, mastermind behind Silverchair and 1/2-of great electronic-powerpop band The Dissociatives. It may or may not be largely material that was written for the Silverchair record that was to follow-up Young Modern. I just recall when Silverchair announced their "indefinite hibernation" a few years ago, it was mentioned how he had a lot of material for a solo record.

And some of the reports over the past few months especially have really hinted at things about this record being largely orchestral, and him working with Van Dyke Parks as he had with the last 2 Silvechair albums.

I'm not sure if this album will receive the enormous amount of hype that even some of the Silverchair's stuff did, but I guess in 2014 we'll find out. The timing of it is still unclear though, but I'm sure when something is announced I'll do what I can to pass it along in here.

This record should come out as she has posted about it constantly, really over the last year. All the guests, from Daniel Johns, to Omar Rodriguez-Lopez to Benjamin Weinman to a host of others. I guess the description from her and some of the interviews sounds like it could be all over the map in terms of genres, styles. She still likes to use the term "progressive pop" among others though. I guess I might expect some pop, soul, prog, maybe psych, orchestral or other styles (funk? metal? electronic?).

I guess ultimately how good this album ends up will just come down to the songwriting. The 2011 initial release of Vows was more or less a flawless record. The 2012 Warner Bros releases of it, to be honest, were just not as good. Some of the news songs didn't go as far with me. Save for maybe 1 or 2, namely "Sally I Can See You."

But even with that, I have hope for Kimbra as a songwriter and just in terms of influences and ambition. The impressive list of guests, including Van Dyke Parks, who just noting his work with Daniel Johns, has me optimistic about his ability to use strings and orchestral arrangements.

I guess I see Kimbra among a group of very talented female artists like Janelle Monae and Imogen Heap (and St.Vincent at one point) namely, in that they have a ton of influences but still end up making their music more about the arrangements. Perhaps Kimbra being my current favorite
Interview quote/link

Klimt 1918
It's been now nearly 6 long years since this Italian post/indie rock group released Just In Case We Never Meet Again (Soundtrack for the Cassette Generation), which likely led many to think they had called it a day. But especially within the last couple of years, they have chimed in on Facebook about new music. I recall in 2012 they announced a title of their next record may "Die Sentimentale Jugend," which it very well may be. But one thing is certain, in 2013, especially the last couple of months, they have posted updates about being in the studio. So, I would take that to mean this next record of theirs will be released soon, quite possibly even by the Spring.
Just In Case wasn't bad, but as I posted a few weeks ago, their finest work still remains Dopoguerra to me. I would love to have this record resemble that one in some ways.

I've never been huge into this band, but they have done some good work over the years still. Their last record The Hunter, unfortunately the production and style wasn't as much my thing as their 3 previous records were I suppose, so that is one reason I'm not following their activity religiously or anything.
But I'll check out this record if time allows still, and at least keep up on what the forums and blogs may be saying about it.

Details? I just noticed they began writing for it early in 2013, and then likely hit the studio in September. So, odds are they are done with recording or close to it and are involved in the post-recording details and it could come out in the Spring or Summer (like most on this list).

Todd Menton
Lead singer of Boiled In Lead. Lehto and Wright I guess will be playing on much of this, which is 1 of the big reasons I'm intrigued by it.
I saw him at a Holiday concert in December and he mentioned how excited he was about it, especially with the contributions from Lehto and Wright.
His solo albums I honestly have not heard, but I know him from Boiled In Lead of course. I guess maybe this will be in the vein of the BiL stuff but with a bit of prog influence? just guessing.

Will the next Mew album finally come out this year? I am banking on yes, just based on how much they've posted online about working on new music and recording. They are not too known to reveal much, as I even recall back in 2009, not much was given and then 1 day they just said a new EP and album would be coming.
They did release that single "Making Friends" for that application they were involved with the design of .
But in interviews and touring, kind of suggests now finally after 5 years, this next album will be coming. I guess timing wise, it may be this Spring or later given how they do take their time with almost everything.
I just know this is a band I absolutely love at times, and many others do as well. They are very unique in their style of progressive dreamy pop/rock. And they rarely disappoint as I enjoy every record they've made, and rarely consider skipping any songs when listening.
Among the best European newer progressive rock bands to discover over the last decade, Oceansize and Pure Reason Revolution may be over, but at least these guys are sill active, even if their output isn't as prolific as some of us fans would really like.

Ne Obliviscaris
They've been posting a lot about recording over the last few months, including mentioning just today they finished recording of their 1st song.
I would take that to believe this follow-up LP to 2012's debut Portal of I, will be coming and potentially in the Spring or early Summer.
My only concern is will it be similar to Portal of I production and length wise? unfortunately that album didn't become as addictive as I hoped by the end of the year due to those 2 factors. But otherwise, it's a remarkable debut record that this band will likely have a hard time matching.

Neverending White Lights
Act IV should be recorded in February. Spring/Summer release hopefully as noted by Daniel Victor in an update only a few months ago. I suppose with Daniel's pace, it might be premature as Act III only was released a couple of years ago, but for one thing, he had a lot of music written and maybe even recorded in some form, for the 2nd part then (and sadly lost due to his place being flooded).
But with the upcoming fan funding campaign for this in March, it may expedite his process and time table for when this comes out. I hope among the guests to see Jimmy Gnecco of Ours of course.
News Entry

They have a song called "Goblin" that was reported over a year ago as being written. And the latest interview Mikael Akerfeldt mentioned working in the studio where Queen recorded Bohemian Rhapsody. He also said some stuff about the material being heavier, which may not mean growling vocals or even all that much heavier than Heritage, which to most, was a departure save for Damnation, and not very heavy at all. But more an homage to early 70's psychedelic and progressive rock, which MA is noted as being quite a fan of.
But given the time they've already spent making this record, it likely will get released this year.
Recent Entry

Don Anderson of Agalloch more 70's progressive rock influenced death metal project. I at times couldn't get enough of their last record, 2008's Embodiment. So much so, I really came to enjoy Sculptured more than Agalloch themselves in fact. Which is why the now 6 years its been since that record has seemed like an eternity in some ways.

And this record may come out in 2014, but with the limited amount of updates and activity of Agalloch, it's no certainty. But I recall reading a post either last Spring or Summer about new music coming from Sculptured on Facebook under "Matrix Metal."

If/when this album is released, I can say it's one of Metal albums I'm the most excited to hear this year, or any year in the near future for that matter.

Sir Video
The 3 singles from 2013 have me and my girlfriend totally hoping for more music from this project, which might be called 1 of Timmy Sean's alter egos. It's dancey, synthy, energetic and layered. And it's infectious. A 
post just yesterday mentioned there's some big news coming from Sir Video soon. And I can't forget the fact it was posted in the Fall of 2012, they finished the album they were making. So, the 3 excellent tracks from 2013 very likely could be just a sample of what they will include finally this year.

Subterranean Masquerade
Paul Kuhr of November's Doom joins forces with Israeli musician Tomer Pink to form this progressive death metal side project of sorts.Among the returns/reunions that may happen in 2014, this is among my favorites. They released an excellent EP last year titled Home, which I purchased on 7' vinyl, and then was fortunate enough to receive a test pressing of.
The track "Home" really is very much of the same quality and spirit of their highly memorable debut record Suspended Animation Dreams and the EP Temporary Psychotic State. Home along with "Beyond the Pale" which is a song by The Mission, which they more or less made their own in a lot of ways.
I more or less savored those 2 tracks and the bonus song "That Night" which I found on Amazon.They just know how to blend the ethnic flavor with progressive rock and death metal vocals at times, so well. The atmosphere and dynamics work so well, I can't help but be incredibly jazzed to hear this record.
Will it be titled "In Pastille Colors"? that was the title many years ago they mentioned on myspace, but given they haven't recently, I am kind of skeptical. Although that would be a fitting title for them regardless. If it's not the title, maybe a track or lyric will be found with it at least.

And the frequent studio updates suggest this album is not too far away. It wouldn't surprise me if it came out this Spring if not even earlier.

Team Me
With that recent entry and the videos included, I can't add too much more, except just that the videos add some optimism, and likelihood of a release relatively soon. I'm not sure if this album may be more keys driven or not, but I found their songwriting addictive as hell back in 2011 with many of the songs from To the Treetops. I wonder a little bit if this band may blow up and become more for the hipsters, which may not be entirely bad. But if that happened, I would be skeptical if they might recognize their progressive rock influence, but maybe that also would be for their benefit.

I guess we'll see, but the info suggests this album could be out somewhat early in the year.

Roger Waters
I saw some stuff on progressiveears.com about Roger having a solo record in the works, ever since concluding his tours of The Wall live back in 2011 or 2012?.. I honestly have never been a huge fan of his solo records, but at the same time, it has been many years since I even spent much time with them. I guess whatever he does, like say David Bowie or Peter Gabriel, I will check it out, without huge expectations. If it surprises me, I'm totally won over, and if it doesn't go far, I can't yupset.
I also thought I read he was making some kind of concept album.
edit: rollingstone.com link
ROGER WATERS PLANS SOLO ROCK RECORD: News Release: "In an interview with Rolling Stone, Roger Waters revealed he's recording a new album, not long after wrapping up his The Wall tour last September, telling the magazine he had "finished a demo of it," and that the current version is "55 minutes long." Already, the work is sounding like a concept album of sorts. According to Waters, the unfinished product is "couched as a radio play," about "an old man and a young child trying to figure out why they're killing the children." The former Pink Floyd bassist/singer last released a new album in 2005, with the opera Ça Ira. The upcoming album would be his fifth solo release and fourth in the rock genre. Amused to Death, his last rock release, came out in September 1992, peaking at No. 21 on the Billboard 200. Waters is scheduled to give the keynote address at the Billboard Touring Conference, happening Nov. 13-14 in New York."

I likely wouldn't include them in here, but the posts on some of the forums and Facebook more or less suggest they have an album they are working on, and given it's this early in the year, it may actually be released before the end of the year.

Jon Davison on vocals? I would imagine. The Jon Anderson thing seem very unlikely right now, and the Rock Hall thing sort of killed it for the time being.
In speaking with my Yes expert friend John, he mentioned this album, like Fly From Here, may be an unfinished project of sorts, working with Roy Thomas Baker who I guess worked with them during the making of Tormato, but the material they worked on didn't all end up finished or end up on the record.
So, it seems to be Chris Squire's agenda to complete stuff from the past that warrants being revisited and completed finally. I guess if he's up for doing that, it would likely make more of a difference in this case, to have Jon Anderson singing, but, like I said, that seems like a pipe dream, especially since they are now recording.

Release time is said to be the 2nd half of 2014 per a link on Wikipedia.

Cedric Bixler Zavalaz, ex-The Mars Volta and At the Drive-In's new solo project that I honestly only read a little about, but don't have much memory or experience hearing.

I imagine it could resemble his other bands, but at the same time, he likely may not desire the comparisons directly in style.
Omar's has a dozen records he's working on at once, even all those years in TMV, but Cedric did not. He was more interested in working the songs out, letting them grow and evolve over some time, I recall. The last TMV album from 2012, I guess was written that way, and I think it may have had a lot to do with why it ended up being better than many of their others.
But this is out of left-field in terms of hopes in expectations. He's a talented singer and songwriter for sure, so just having him on it and sing on it in general has me curious.