1. M. Ward, “A Wasteland Companion”
Due out April 10, M. Ward’s latest is sure to please anyone with an ear for his 2009 release, “Hold Time,” which he produced in collaboration with Zooey Deschanel. Comprised of a variety of collaborations and recorded in a variety of studios both here in the States and in the U.K, “A Wasteland Companion” is sure to include a wide swath of Ward’s trademark styles and a laundry list of of talented collaborators.
2. Lower Dens, “Nootropics”
According to some early press surrounding Jana Hunter’s forthcoming release due out May 1, the new album is centered around an exploration of the digital age, “transhumanism” and artificial intelligence. Previous Lower Dens have primarily focused on Hunter’s distinctively personal voice as a songwriter so for the band to be making an album about new, somewhat esoteric subject matter could prove rather interesting.
3. Beach House, “Bloom”
Early reports on the forthcoming Beach House album suggest that the Baltimore due has set their sights on reproducing and expanding upon the accessible, dream-pop sound they forged for themselves with 2010’s “Teen Dream.”I, for one, generally enjoyed the band’s move towards a more hi-fi sound and look forward to hearing more of Alex Scally’s lushly reverbed hooks and Victoria Legrand’s easy, graceful voice.
4. Father John Misty, “Fear Fun”
Father John Misty is the recently invented alter-ego of singer-songwriter and former Fleet Foxes drummer, Joshua Tillman. After splitting with Fleet Foxes, Tillman spent a number of weeks in his van taking psychedelic mushrooms and writing a novel, an experience he says played a key role in his new voice as a songwriter. For anyone familiar with Tillman’s solo work, “Fear Fun” is sure to be a shock to the system but hopefully one full of interesting, darkly humorous twists and turns.
5. Squarepusher, “Ufabulum”
Tom Jenkison has been making music as Squarepusher since the 90’s and his style has gone through a variety of shifts and changes through the years. Jenkinson has described his latest album as a return to “thinking about pure electronic music,” an idea I’m very interested in hearing played out on a record.