Yet again, February looks like a slow month for new releases. A few albums are trickling out, but nothing too earth-shattering is on the radar. Expect to see the ‘mainstream indie’ release schedule pick up in March or April as bands get ready to tour behind new product. New material is doubly important for festival season, which unofficially kicks off with California’s Coachella festival in April and continues throughout the summer across most of North America, Europe, and elsewhere.
Of Montreal releases their new album, Paralytic Stalks. Expect it to sound like a gloriously weird melange of Beatles psychedelic-pop and obliquely modern alt-rock – unless Of Montreal go off on a completely different tangent this time out.
Air releases Le Voyage Dans La Lune. Expect more Parisian coolness and languid, loopy bass lines on this modern-day soundtrack for a 100-year-old French science fiction film. Perhaps these descendants of Pink Floyd’s trippy sci-fi soundtrack work will finally eclipse the sonic breadth of their heroes.
Sir Paul McCartney returns to popular music with Kisses On The Bottom. The man’s credentials are well established, but has anyone really formed an emotional attachment to anything he’s released since the 1970s? Tuesday will be the latest test of that hypothesis.
Van Halen’s comeback album, A Different Kind of Truth, also drops on 7-Feb-2012. Since it features everyone’s favourite Electric Hebrew, ‘Diamond’ David Lee Roth back in the fold on lead vocals I’ll bet it’s interesting in its own way. Advanced reviews suggest that Eddie can still bring the pyrotechnics like nobody else. This album just has a LONG way to go to live up to the hype.
Valentine’s Day may remind people of loves lost and found. On the same day, the UK’s Field Music releases an album called Plumb, which may or may not remind you of highly-polished English indie pop (think XTC for the modern set).
Montreal’s Plants and Animals release a new record called The End Of That. This will be their third full-length album release, and should build on their modern-meets-retro rock bona fides.
Finally, another brick in Pink Floyd’s wall gets the deluxe reissue treatment, following up on recent reissues of Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here. This time, the 1979 magnum opus The Wall gets the deluxe CD and LP treatment, with new sets containing various levels of opulence. Put me down for a new double-LP version of the latest remaster. Rarely has misery sounded so universal and epic.