If you’ve been keeping track of the spring’s upcoming releases, you know that May is going to be a good month music-wise. However, the sheer volume of choices out there can be daunting. So I’m here to help with the month’s Top 5 Most Anticipated Albums!
5) Dirty Beaches – Drifters/Love is the Devil – May 21st
Alex Zhang Hungtai — aka Dirty Beaches — is known for his 1950s James Dean “bad boy” look. But instead of playing off this hip-and-cool rocker vibe with his music, Hugtai opens up, baring his emotions for all the world to see. His minimalistic sound is vulnerable and often extremely melancholic, and Hungtai uses subdued, lo-fi sounds to create touching experimental motifs.
4) MS MR – Secondhand Rapture – May 14th
After releasing their superb single “Hurricane” a year ago, New York-based duo MS MR is finally releasing their first studio album. The group does something refreshing: they create quality pop music sans the bubble gum gleam. There is no pretense. No need to fit into that pop mold. Their music is shadowy and emotionally raw, but utterly catchy. There is something both sinful and soulful in the texture of the duo’s sound that is simply infectious.
Oh, by the way, the video below is NSFW-ish.
3) Daft Punk – Random Access Memories – May 21st
If you haven’t heard all the hype about new Daft Punk music, then it is time to come out from under that rock and join the rest of the world. Since premiering a clip of their new single “Get Lucky” on SNL and at Coachella, the buzz for the electronic powerhouse’s resurgent album has been non-stop. And rightfully so. Since bursting on the scene in 1997, Daft Punk has become EDM gods. It’s time to hear what they have in store for us on this new effort.
2) Deerhunter: Monomania – May 7th
Atlanta-based Deerhunter’s 5th studio album will be a gooey, disheveled heap of experimental psychedelic punk — in the best way possible, of course. The band’s ambient post-rock sound is disorienting yet familiar. Their fractured, wavering beats are connected with a muddy musical tone. Although their garage rock sound is gritty, Deerhunter creates music that is somehow charming beyond belief. (Plus it’s always cool to see Bradford Cox’s trademark unpredictable nature when he’s out and about. You know he really hates Morrissey, right? Like a lot.)
1) Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City – May 14th
Sorry, guys, but I have to go with an old favorite.
There is a reason why Vampire Weekend just sticks around. They are one of those infectious bands whose music not only brings back memories, but regenerates emotions with each revisit.
The indie pop-rock group has dominated in the past, and their third LP is already setting itself up to be a real winner. Take their first single off this upcoming album, “Step.” The seemingly breezy track is oddly profound: “We know the true death / the true way of all flesh / everyone’s dying, but girl you’re not old yet.” Not only is the song beautiful musically, it is lyrically stunning as well.
And I don’t know about you, but although the quartet hails from New York City, the carefree attitude that is engrained in their music feels very LA to me, and although it seems counter intuitive, when I feel homesick (I currently attend school in NYC), their self-titled debut helps me feel at ease.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Vampire Weekend has a special je ne sais quoi that makes the band’s new album impossible to miss.