This week's new releases
Each title listed below will go on sale beginning Tuesday, January 31 unless otherwise indicated. Click on any LISTEN link to listen to a free, streaming version of the entire album (typically, available only during the week of release); streaming links go to AOL Music unless otherwise indicated. The week's most noteworthy releases are starred.
- The 2 Bears, Be Strong - Side project for Joe Goddard of Hot Chip and Raf Rundell; CD is import only, but DFA has a digital release in the U.S. (out today) LISTEN (Guardian)
- Barry Adamson, I Will Set You Free - Digital only; CD out February 14 LISTEN (3voor12)
- Alcest, Les Voyages de L'ame
- AraabMuzik, Instrumental University - Digital release; instrumental-only beats comp
- The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, Out of Frequency LISTEN
- The Big Sleep, Nature Experiments - Digital only LISTEN
- Black Bananas, Rad Times Xpress IV
- Bleeding Through, The Great Fire LISTEN
- BT, Laptop Symphony [2xCD]
- Buxton, Nothing Here Seems Strange
- Canyons, Keep Your Dreams LISTEN (3voor12)
- Leonard Cohen, Old Ideas LISTEN (3voor12)
The 77-year-old singer-songwriter returns with his 12th studio album, recorded after a recent world tour. Old Ideas finds him working again with longtime collaborators Sharon Robinson, Anjani Thomas, and Jennifer Warnes. The first dozen or so reviews are extremely positive.
- Lana Del Rey, Born to Die LISTEN (3voor12)
Brian Williams may not be a fan (thanks to the singer's much-maligned SNL performance last weekend), but the world will certainly be curious to see how this once-rising star sounds on record when she releases her major-label debut at the end of the month. Riding a wave of buzz (both good and bad) thanks mainly to just one song (the internet-driven hit "Video Games"), the 25-year-old, New York-based singer Lana Del Rey (born Elizabeth Grant) has a new modeling contract to fall back on should her Interscope LP Born to Die prove unsuccessful. Early reviews for the album are decidedly mixed.
- Mike Doughty, The Question Jar Show [2xCD] - Live
- Candy Dulfer, Crazy
- Errors, Have Some Faith in Magic
- Ruthie Foster, Let It Burn
- Aretha Franklin, Knew You Were Waiting: The Best of Aretha Franklin 1980-98 LISTEN
- Gotye, Making Mirrors - First U.S. release for hit Australian album
- Fred Hammond, God, Love & Romance [2xCD]
- PJ Harvey, Let England Shake: 12 Short Films By Seamus Murphy [DVD]
- Hospitality, Hospitality
- Imperial Teen, Feel the Sound
- The Internet, Purple Naked Ladies - CD release
- The Jealous Sound, A Gentle Reminder
- Loops of Your Heart, And Never Ending Nights
- Jeff Lorber Fusion, Galaxy
- Metallica, Beyond Magnetic EP - Four extra tracks from Death Magnetic sessions
- Pepe Deluxe, Queen of the Wave - Digital only in the U.S.
- Gretchen Peters, Hello Cruel World
- The Pines, Dark So Gold
- Prinzhorn Dance School, Clay Class LISTEN
- Queen, Days of Our Lives [DVD/Blu-ray] - Interviews and performances dating back to the early 1970s, including previously unreleased footage
- Fionn Regan, 100 Acres Of Sycamore - First U.S. release of 2011 album
- Darrell Scott, Long Ride Home
- Soja, Strength to Survive LISTEN
- Ringo Starr, Ringo 2012 - Nine new studio recordings LISTEN (NME)
- Richard Thompson, Live at Celtic Connections [DVD/Blu-ray]
- Ana Tijoux, La Bala LISTEN
- Underworld, Anthology 1992-2012 [3xCD] and A Collection
The electronic music pioneers have two separate greatest hits packages out this week in honor of their 20th anniversary. Of particular interest is the three-disc Anthology, a remastered expansion of their previous best-of collection with the addition of recent singles and a new third disc containing nine B-sides and previously unreleased (or extremely rare) tracks. The single-disc Collection includes new radio edits of their best-known songs, as well as a few collaborations (such as "Beebop Hurry" with Brian Eno).
- Various, The Total Groovy Box Set [4xCD] - Compilation of albums originally released on Pete Shelley's short-lived label Groovy Records
- Various, Underworld Awakening OST
- Virgin Forest, Easy Way Out LISTEN
- Jamie Woon, Mirrorwriting
- Susumu Yokota, Dreamer
More streaming and downloadable new music
- Stream the new Paul McCartney album Kisses on the Bottom all this week at NPR prior to its release on February 7.
- Sharon Van Etten's new album Tramp is also out next week; listen to it now at NPR.
- You can also stream the upcoming Heartless Bastards album Arrow (out 2/14) at NPR this week.
- Spin is streaming the upcoming Of Montreal album Paralytic Stalks in advance of its February 7 release.
- Stream a new label sampler by Invada Records (run by Geoff Barrow of Portishead) at Soundcloud; the sampler includes two brand-new tracks by Barrow's Beak> project.
- Saint Etienne will have a new album out later in 2012, but you can grab a free copy of the LP's first single now at the band's official site. (You can also stream it at Soundcloud.)
- NPR is streaming "Open Your Heart," a new track by The Men taken from their upcoming album of the same name.
- Download "Walk With Me," a new track by Memoryhouse, at BPM.
- Hear the new Azealia Banks track "Bambi" at Soundcloud.
- Stream the Dr. Dog track "Lonesome" at Paste.
- Get a copy of the title track from the new Wild Nothing single "Nowhere" at Pitchfork.
- Listen to another new Tennis song, "My Better Self," at Stereogum.
- The Blondes track "Wine" is streaming at BPM.
On TV this week (new episodes only)
- Monday: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (Conan), Fishbone (Kimmel), James McCartney (Letterman), Nada Surf (Fallon), Joe Perry (Leno)
- Tuesday: Angels & Airwaves (Kimmel), Bjork (The Colbert Report), J. Cole (Fallon), Girls' Generation (Letterman), The Horrors (Carson Daly), Imelda May (Leno), Ringo Starr (Craig Ferguson)
- Wednesday: The Airborne Toxic Event (Letterman), All American Rejects (Fallon), Evanescence (Leno), Gotye (Kimmel), Ringo Starr (Conan), We Were Promised Jetpacks (Carson Daly)
- Thursday: Lana Del Rey (Letterman), Evanescence (Conan), Korn (Kimmel), Madonna (American Idol; debut of new video "Give Me All Your Luvin"), Nas (Fallon), White Denim (Carson Daly)
- Friday: Bush (Leno), Fitz and the Tantrums (Fallon), M83 (Carson Daly), Ziggy Marley (Letterman)
- Saturday: Bon Iver (Saturday Night Live), Wilco (Austin City Limits; airdate varies by station)
- Sunday: Madonna (Super Bowl XLVI)
Recent artist and industry news
- Don't Think, a concert film featuring the Chemical Brothers, will screen at select cinemas across the U.S. on the evening of Wednesday, February 1st. (The UK and other countries get the film a few days later.) A theater listing and tickets are available here.
- After four albums and a decade of recording and performing, The Books are done as a group, reports Pitchfork, though some unreleased material (and a box set) could surface later this year.
- We've already been told to expect M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj to join Madonna during her halftime performance at Sunday's Super Bowl; now, rumor has it that LMFAO will join the party as well. - Billboard ... Another rumor has Cee-Lo also added to the bill. - Rap-Up
- The Academy of Country Music Award nominations were announced last week, and Kenny Chesney edged out Jason Aldean as the year's most-nominated artist, with nine. Rolling Stone has a list of the major nominations; winners will be announced April 1st in a ceremony televised live on CBS.
- Mute Records is launching a new label devoted to electronic music, to be called Liberation Technologies. - Resident Advisor
- Los Angeles-based Stones Throw Records, meanwhile, is offering fans a $10-per-month subscription plan that will allow unlimited, high-quality downloads of every new release, plus catalog titles. - Billboard
- The name that just won't go away, Napster is being re-launched in the UK as a streaming music rival to Spotify. - NME
The latest music videos
Sleigh Bells, "Comeback Kid":
Wilco, "Dawned on Me" [starring Popeye]:
Kate Bush, "Eider Falls at Lake Tahoe":
Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Look Around":
Mark Lanegan Band, "The Gravedigger's Song":
Hospitality, "Friends of Friends" [starring Alia Shawkat]:
Arctic Monkeys feat. Richard Hawley, "You and I":
Mastodon, "Dry Bone Valley":
The Cranberries, "Tomorrow":
The War on Drugs, "Brothers":
Leila, "Welcome to Your Life":
Races, "Big Broom":
The Twilight Sad, "Another Bed":
Jane's Addiction, "Underground":
Porcelain Raft, "Unless You Speak From Your Heart":
Field Mouse, "Glass":
In the studio / coming soon
- For the first time since 2003, rocker Neil Young is working on at least one new album with Crazy Horse, reports Rolling Stone; a spring release is possible.
- M.I.A.'s fourth album should arrive this summer, while a new version of her 2010 song "Bad Girls" will be released as a single tomorrow. - Prefix
- Despite the fact that it was already sent out to reviewers, Spiritualized's spring album Sweet Heart, Sweet Light is not yet complete; Jason Pierce is still tinkering with the mix, and the release date will be delayed from March 19 to some point later in March or April. Let's hope he doesn't tinker too much; the LP was getting good buzz as is. - Spin
- Will Fiona Apple's long-delayed fourth album finally surface in 2012? The answer appears to be yes, though it will not arrive next month despite the recent hints given via Twitter by her label Epic Records. - Time
- The Gaslight Anthem entered their Nashville studio last week to begin recording their fourth album. - NME
- A reunited Ben Folds Five will release a new album this year, perhaps as soon as the spring. - Billboard
- Lil Wayne returns with I Am Not A Human Being 2, a sequel to his 2010 album, this summer, or sooner. - Spin
- Last year, Norah Jones contributed vocals to Danger Mouse's Rome project. This year, their collaboration continues; Danger Mouse will produce Jones' upcoming album Little Broken Hearts, due in the spring. - Billboard
- The Cranberries' comeback album Roses is set for release on February 28.
- While Lana Del Rey's major label debut, Born to Die, is out this week, the singer has acquired the rights to her shelved 2010 indie debut Lana Del Ray A.K.A. Lizzy Grant, and plans to rerelease that LP this summer. - BBC
- Crystal Castles are about to head into the studio to record their third album (perhaps it'll even have a title this time), which they hope to release this summer. - BPM
- Though he just released his last album four months ago, Lenny Kravitz is nearing completion of his next, a more "jagged-edged" album to be called Negrophilia. - Billboard
- Marissa Nadler will release her sixth album, The Sister, on May 29. Paste has the details and a video trailer.
- Do you want to hear Lionel Richie singing duets with various country music stars? You'll get your chance on March 27 when he releases Tuskegee, which features guests like Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, Kenny Chesney, Shania Twain, and more. - Rolling Stone
- Obie Trice's long-delayed third album Bottoms Up looks set for a February 28 release. - Prefix
- Over a decade since their debut, Deltron 3030 (the supergroup of Dan the Automator, Del the Funky Homosapien, and DJ Kid Koala) have apparently completed a follow-up album, Deltron Event II. - BPM
- Slaughterhouse, the Eminem-endorsed rap supergroup of Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Crooked I and Royce da 5'9", will make their major-label debut on May 15 with welcome to: OUR HOUSE. - Billboard
- Trey Songz is hoping to release his next album, Chapter V, before the end of the year. - Billboard
- Singer-songwriter Patrick Watson releases his fourth album, Adventures In Your Own Backyard, on May 1st. - Prefix
- Richard Thompson will plug in and record another electric album this year, with a possible release before the end of 2012, reports Billboard.
- A massive Roxy Music box set, Roxy Music: The Complete Studio Recordings 1972-1982, will be released on April 2nd in the U.K. (no word yet on a U.S. release). The 8-CD, 4-DVD collection includes every studio album by the Bryan Ferry-led art-rockers, supplemented by extra tracks culled from singles. The DVDs will include high-resolution audio versions of the albums. - Roxyrama
Visit Metacritic's Album Release Calendar for a full listing of upcoming release dates, updated daily.
Tours and festivals
- The first batch of dates for Bruce Springsteen's Wrecking Ball tour has been announced; get the details at Rolling Stone.
- Sharon Van Etten has added spring tour dates; get her new schedule at BPM.
- Catch Atlas Sound on the road in February and March; Pitchfork has the new dates.
- Colin Stetson has a brief solo tour of the Northeast set for the spring. - Prefix
- Refused have expanded their brief 2012 reunion tour to include stops in New York and San Francisco. - Pitchfork
- Pitchfork also has five months worth of dates for SBTRKT, who will visit three continents on his lengthy 2012 tour.
- Odd Future have a dozen dates set for spring; get them at Prefix.