Friday, December 30, 2011

OPINION: Mark's 2012 Wishlist

I believe I can safely say that 2011 was a great year in music. I discovered a ton of new bands, and ended up really pleased with the releases of some old favourites of mine. Now with 2011 coming to a close I’d just like to take this chance to talk about some of my expectations and wishes for music in 2012.

John K. Samson - Provincial
John K. Samson has been a major force in the Canadian independent music scene for well over a decade now as the front-man of The Weakerthans. Now he’s releasing his first solo album and I’m just as excited for this as I would be for a new record from The Weakerthans. John’s poetic lyrics are one of the characteristics that I feel makes The Weakerthans such a unique band, and I don’t think he’ll just magically lose his songwriting ability for this solo album. Also, based on the tracks to be released from Provincial already, like "When I Write My Masters Thesis", this album is going to rock just as hard as any Weakerthans album from the past.

Plants And Animals - The End Of That
I’ve really taken a shine to these Montreal/Halifax rockers over the past year. I saw them live way back in March and they actually played 6 or 7 new songs during that show, so I knew there would be a new album in the near future. Well, that new album is is called The End Of That and it’s going to be out in February of 2012. Their first album, Parc Avenue, was more of an orchestral rock album, while their sophomore album, La La Land, was more of a straightforward rock album. That makes it tough to know where this band will go with The End Of That but based on the first single, "Lightshow", they’ll be doing something really good.

Islands - A Sleep & A Forgetting
Whenever Nick Thorburn releases a new piece of music I can say for sure that I’ll be listening to it. After all, in my opinion he created one of the best pop albums of the past 10 years with Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone as part of the Unicorns. Since The Unicorns disbanded, Nick’s main project has been Islands, a band which he has pulled in three very different directions for their three studio albums. Based on the first song "This Is Not A Song" from this latest album to be released on Valentine’s Day, he’s going to go in a new direction once again. At first I wasn't sure about this new song, but I’ve really warmed up to it as of late, so I’m really excited for this album to be released.

Bear In Heaven - I Love You, It’s Cool
This is a band that I first discovered a while ago, but I really only started to listen to them closely over the past few months, and I really like what I’ve been hearing. This Brooklyn-based band make some really cool experimental rock fused with some of the more spacious elements of electronic music, and even some hints of Krautrock. I don’t know a ton about this band at the moment, but I do think that they’re doing something very unique, so I’m excited to see what kind of music comes out of their new album.

So, those are four albums I’m looking forward to that have been confirmed as releases in 2012. Now I'm just going to quickly mention a few things that aren’t confirmed, but should happen in 2012.

PS I Love You - 2nd Studio Album
I know that Paul Saulnier has been writing some new songs, so the wheels for this album are in motion. I just hope it gets released as soon as possible.

Trust - Debut Album
This electronic duo from Toronto really struck me with their first single, "Candy Walls". They’re now signed to Arts & Crafts records with what I would expect is an awesome debut on the way in 2012.

Purity Ring - Debut Album
This is an eccentric electronic duo by way of Edmomnton and Halifax who released some great singles in 2011, like "Belispeak". I can’t wait to hear an album full of their work.

Now, here are some things that I would love to see happen, but I know that they have no chance in hell of ever happening.

- Tegan and Sara proclaim that Tyler, the Creator’s Wolf is the best hip hop album of all time.

- The Unicorns re-form and release an album called We’re Back Because We Needed A Haircut.

- Lana Del Rey becomes horribly disfigured after surgery to permanently apply flowers to her skull goes terribly wrong.

Those are just a few things I’m looking forward to in the coming year. I’m sure I missed quite a few, but I’m really looking forward to 2012 being another awesome year in music!

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