My favorite thing about the new year is the promise of new music, which is always unpredictable and exciting. Any given band can put out the album of their career (The Wonder Years in 2013), but any given band can also release the biggest dud and make fans question “what happened?” (Transit in 2013). Cherie and I posted our favorite albums from 2013, but now I want to take a look at some albums I’m very excited for.
You Blew It – Keep Doing What You’re Doing – January 14
I’m cheating a bit on this one because I’ve already heard the stream on Pitchfork, but even before that I was highly anticipating this one knowing that Evan Weiss (Into It. Over It.) would be producing it. Their first album was enjoyable, easily relatable angsty emo but having a pro like Evan in the mix is a sure-fire way to get the best out of their sound; it comes as no surprise that this album sounds huge and purposeful, easily surpassing and building on their debut album Grow Up, Dude.
Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues – January 21
This album may go down as the most important album of the year, not only because of the singer but because of the important message behind it. Laura Jane Grace made waves after she came out as transgender in 2012 (she was formerly Tom Gabel). After struggling with the decision, this album provided a sense of liberation, promising to be a deep self-examination that can also serve as a huge point of relief and empowerment, both for Laura and for any fans struggling with the same issues.
Modern Baseball – You’re Gonna Miss It All – February 11
Modern Baseball certainly are not for everyone. Their emo sound can often come off as sloppy and uninviting but when they click, they click. SPORTS was an enjoyably quirky and heartfelt debut that gained the band a decent following and a spot on several tours. The first couple songs they’ve released on this album have already shown improvement in songwriting, leading the way for a potentially huge sophomore effort.
Bayside – CULT – February 18
Bayside are one of my three favorite bands, so this should come as no surprise. Signing to Hopeless Records (Yellowcard, Taking Back Sunday, The Wonder Years) should finally provide them the support they need after Victory and Wind-Up did very little for the band. “Pigsty” and “Hate Me” continue to display the consistently stellar heart-pounding punk sound with angst-ridden lyrics that made Killing Time the band’s best work.
I Am the Avalanche – Wolverines – March 18
Between label and personal troubles, it took I Am the Avalanche six years to follow up their debut album I Am the Avalanche with the incredible Avalanche United; this time it is only taking a little over two years. As one of Long Island’s most well-known frontmen, I must say the more Vinnie Caruana we get, the better. This album should be just as fast and furious as their sophomore release, which was my third favorite record from 2011.
La Dispute – Rooms of the House – March 18
La Dispute’s last album Wildlife was an emotionally taxing experience that kept you on the edge of your seat like a Hollywood thriller. Clocking in at a little under one hour, both their previous albums can best be described as unforgettable. With their sound only improving and growing over time, Rooms of the House should be memorable.
Manchester Orchestra – Cope – April 1(Tentative)
This album has been a long time coming. Though Simple Math fell far short of expectations for many fans and myself, it had its share of epic tracks (“Virgin”, “Pensacola”) and the band is not far removed from Mean Everything to Nothing, one of my personal favorite albums. If the album is anything like the two songs they played live on their last headlining tour, this will be a good one.
Blink-182 – TBA – TBA
I don’t care that it’s 2014 and I’m turning 25, a new Blink-182 album is always welcome, especially after their hiatus. Though not nearly as memorable as their prior albums, Neighborhoods was a solid listen and displayed some of their best songs (“Wishing Well”, Kaleidoscope”, “Natives”). Mark Hoppus promises more risks and says the band record this album together in the same room; collaboration is where this band writes their absolute best music. The band promises a new album by late summer.
Brand New – TBA – TBA
This, by its very nature, is an extremely dangerous thing to write down. Brand New has topped my list (and almost everyone’s list, it seems) since 2011, yet not so much as one new song has come out since Daisy came out in 2009. I may be jinxing it, but I really do have a feeling this is the year; call it a hunch. The band announced at their last show of 2013 that they are finally getting back to the studio this year and will be touring more like a normal band this year. All I can say is, “I hope so.”
Fireworks – TBA – TBA
Though not an enviable position, Fireworks probably hold the title of most underrated pop punk. Their last album Gospel was seen by many as groundbreaking for the genre, yet they hardly toured for it and never mustered the buzz and support bands like The Wonder Years and The Story So Far get. My heart goes out to these guys; they’re hard-working and very talented. I hope this album gets them the support they deserve.
There is also talk or confirmation of new albums coming from several great bands (Foo Fighters, Motion City Soundtrack, Say Anything Taking Back Sunday, The Early November, The Gaslight Anthem, Yellowcard) and, as always, there is the chance of a surprise release from a newcomer or unknown band that turns into a pleasant surprise. With all these bands and more putting out new music, 2014 promises to be just as good as 2013.