The Current's Most Anticipated Albums of Spring 2013: Part 1

The Current's most anticipated albums coming out spring 2013.
The Current's most anticipated albums coming out spring 2013. (MPR Graphic)

Spring is rapidly (and finally!) arriving, and with it comes a torrent of music news, including album releases, tour announcements, and summer festival line-ups. This year looks especially promising, with a slew of big name acts planning new releases plus tons of hotly tipped young bands and artists making their debuts. If it all sounds a little overwhelming, no worries: The Current's rounded up some of the new music we're most excited to hear for your perusal! Check out Part 1 of our Most Anticipated Albums of Spring 2013, tell us what you're looking forward to in the comments, and come back tomorrow for Part 2!

Mark Wheat, Host

The Flaming Lips – The Terror
"The Terror hearkens back to the harsh, minimal sounds of early Suicide, Silver Apples, these psychedelic yet repetitious tracks." That's how Spin recently described an album about to come out by a band that's 30 years old and has done everything else they can possibly think of to change up their creative process, from making an album that had four CDs that you had to play simultaneously to putting music on a tiny hard drive embedded in a gummy skull! It's mind blowing, and I have to say inspiring, that they've been supported by Warner Brothers all these years, although this one is coming out on Bella Union, an indie created and run by two members of The Cocteau Twins. Another change-up is that their usual optimistic, positive, joyful celebration of life seems to have taken a dark twist, and then stayed there! Steven Drozd multi-instrumentalist of the band said: "There's a song on the new record, "You Lust," that's nine or ten minutes long... There's a mental effect that you get from repetition over time that you can't get any other way." But after doing a lot of collaboration in recent years, with artists ranging from Nick Cave to Ke$ha, band leader Wayne Coyne revealed their reasoning for everything: " ...it needs to be fun." So don't get too scared. I'm looking forward to The Terror big time!

Jacquie Fuller, Host

She and Him – Volume 3
Remember when "makes you think" was not a requirement of good music? Me, neither—I wasn't born yet (I was, in fact, born smack in the middle of prog-rock, so there you go). This is why I sometimes crave music like that made by She and Him. Say what you will about Zooey Deschanel—she's nauseatingly precious, she sings like she talks (hey, so did Sinatra!)—but her collaborations with the virtuosic M. Ward always produce enjoyable, sparkly little pop songs that are easy lifting for my overworked brain. I've enjoyed the first two volumes (and, yes, even A Very She and Him Christmas) and hope the third—out May 7—delivers something fun and fresh just in time for summer. Volume 3 promises more covers, including Blondie's "Sunday Girl," and a head-scratching appearance from Mike Watt.

Wild Beasts – TBD
From the "makes you think" category, but also filed under "it tickles," a new release from UK band Wild Beasts. In 2008, right when I was beginning to feel fatigued by indie music, Wild Beasts came careening out of left field with their debut, Limbo, Panto. Like the aural equivalent of their namesake painters (Les Fauves), their sound was fresh, bright, spastic, and really like nothing I'd heard before. Each album thereafter seemed to get incrementally better—maybe their fourth release will be the one that puts them on everyone's radar. The release is yet to be confirmed, but I'd bet we can expect more of their trademark brand of nervy pop, lyrics that would make Robyn Hitchcock proud, and the high-camp sound of frontman Hayden Thorpe's impressive, operatic falsetto.

Mac Wilson, Host

Deerhunter – Monomania
My most-anticipated album of the spring is an album we know very little about. Deerhunter's Monomania is due in stores in May, has a twelve-song tracklisting, and is 43 minutes long; those are all the facts we have. As if it wasn't enough that Deerhunter have grown into one of the best indie bands in the world, the discrete units that comprise the band have also released excellent records recently: Bradford Cox as Atlas Sound, and Lockett Pundt as Lotus Plaza. After the band's 2010 album Halcyon Digest, I truly felt that Deerhunter are a band capable of producing the Great American Album—a masterpiece that would define an era. Even if Monomania doesn't deliver on this promise, we can be assured that Deerhunter will provide us with another unique adventure.

Bill DeVille, Host

Dawes – Stories Don't End
I'm very excited about the new Dawes album Stories Don't End. The band has really grown since its 2009 debut North Hills. Dawes chief songwriter Taylor Goldsmith is really starting to become a first-rate storyteller. It seems to me that there isn't as much emphasis on songwriting these days as there used to be. This band seems to be an exception. Goldsmith and the band are becoming masters at their craft. So far I've only heard the jaunty new single "From a Window Seat." I can't wait to hear more! This band may be well on their way to becoming a household word!

David Safar, Music Director

The Knife – Shaking the Habitual
2013 marks the return of Sweden's best electronic duo, The Knife. As one of the most cutting edge electronic artists, Karin Dreijer Andersson reunites with her brother Olof Dreijer after a seven-year detour in which she released a solo album under the name Fever Ray and created electronic soundscapes for film. Her international profile makes Shaking the Habitual one of the most anticipated new releases of the year. It's scheduled to be released April 9th on Mute in the U.S., and the teaser tracks ("A Tooth for an Eye" and "Full of Fire") suggest Shaking the Habitual will be their most ambitious and challenging album yet.

Steve Seel, Host

Villagers – {Awayland}
You might have missed this project from Irish singer-songwriter Conor O'Brien the first time around (note that it's Conor, not Conan). If so, I would strongly urge you to go back and check out the terrific album Becoming a Jackal from 2010, and then see if you're not just as excited as me to hear even more from this tragically underrated and under-heard musician. Taut, lovely, folk-inspired but fresh as hell—hopefully, this will be Villagers' year.

Iron and Wine – Ghost On Ghost
With each successive Iron and Wine album, the sheer scope of Sam Beam's musical vision seems to open up exponentially, like a vine growing so out of control you can barely see what was originally there beneath it. On 2011's Kiss Each Other Clean, Beam's lyric writing, arranging and production was increasingly ecstatic and florid; from what we've heard so far, Ghost On Ghost sounds to be even more so.


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