Upcoming Music Releases – May 2012

Another selection of upcoming indie (and not so indie) music releases:

1-May-2012:

Welsh straight-up rock act Feeder returns with new album Generation Freakshow.  Their albums have been less consistent lately, but once upon a time they (nearly) conquered the world with radio-friendly records like Comfort in Sound and Pushing The Senses.  Foo Fighters fans may find much to like here.

Frequent indie collaborator Santi White (aka Santigold) releases her second full-length record, Master Of My Make-Believe.  This time out, the album features a veritable mix-tape of guest producers, running the gamut from Diplo to Dave Sitek.  Expect a correspondingly wide range of sonic textures.

8-May-2012:

Last month it was Amadou & Mariam.  This month, their English compadre Damon Albarn gets in on the new-release racket with Dr. Dee.  Here’s a quick summary from the album’s tumblr site (and no one will ever accuse Albarn of playing things too straight):

Dr Dee is 18 tracks of songs and music inspired by the life of John Dee, mathematician, polymath and advisor to Elizabeth I. Described by Albarn as ‘strange pastoral folk’, Dr Dee is a fitting companion to the end of another Elizabethan age. The album combines Albarn’s voice with early English choral and instrumentation alongside modern, West African and Renaissance sounds.

UK trio Keane return with new album Strangeland.  Coming on the heels of 2008’s transitional Perfect Symmetry, the new album is reportedly a back-to-basics affair with a greater emphasis on songwriting and fewer production tricks.  As always, success or failure will begin and end with the quality of the songs.

Silversun Pickups are back with Neck of the Woods.  Will be interesting to see if producer Jacknife Lee and his Topanga Canyon recording studio influence the band’s unique sound.  It also sounds like the album will come out on very cool 180g yellow double vinyl, if you’re so inclined.

Sony Japan are releasing new remastered CDs by The Byrds, including Notorious Byrd Brothers, Turn Turn Turn, Fifth Dimension, and Younger than Yesterday.  These records are the fountain of jangle-rock genius from where bands like the Flying Burrito Brothers, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, R.E.M., Blue Rodeo and Dawes nicked all their best ideas.

15-May-2012:

Indie darlings Beach House release Bloom, the follow-up to 2010’s well-received Teen Dream.  Let’s see if a more expansive approach to their multi-textured dream pop can continue the momentum.

At the complete opposite end of the indie-rock spectrum is Rise of the Fenix by Tenacious D.  It would be hilarious if Jack Black and Kyle Gass came out with a multi-textured dream pop album, but who are we kidding.

22-May-2012:

Kind of a slow day for new releases.  If you’re in the mood for vintage two-minute rock gems wrapped in black leather, try the posthumous Joey Ramone solo release called …Ya Know?

28-May-2012 (UK release date):

2:54 is the self-titled dark-pop debut album from the hotly-tipped UK sister act that’s named for their favourite moment of a Melvins song.  They were discovered last year after posting their GarageBand experiments online.  Doesn’t get much more indie than that.

Meanwhile, Scissor Sisters get back in the game with Magic Hour.  Check out the album cover – I can’t decide if it’s stunningly brilliant or everything that’s wrong about Photoshop.  But it is undeniably eye-catching.

29-May-2012:

It’s virtually impossible to describe Icelandic indie-rock superstars Sigur Ros in mere words.  You might be better off seeking out a copy of new record Valteri and listening for yourself.  If it’s anything like previous works, imagine guitars turned up to eleven, played at half speed, all while providing the sound track to icebergs cleaving from glaciers into the North Atlantic.  Utterly unique – you either get them or you don’t.

Indie rock’s most anticipated new May release is undoubtedly the new album from The Walkmen.  Heaven promises to expand upon the sterling reputation earned by previous albums You & Me and Lisbon, two tough acts to follow.

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