most anticipated albums of 2018

featured image courtesy of minimally minimal –

as 2017 draws to a close, we naturally shift our focus to 2018 and the bevy of albums slated to be released throughout the year.  admittedly, the following list largely focuses on albums due out in the first quarter, with a couple of pipe dreams sprinkled in.  for those still trying to soak up as much of 2017 as possible, check out our favorite releases of the year here.  for those looking to forge ahead, read on.  links to pre-order are embedded if available.

rhyerhye – blood (february 2nd || loma vista)

three strong singles have thus far precluded rhye’s long-awaited sophomore full-length.  after returning this summer with “please,” rhye closed out 2017 with the supple one-two punch of “taste” and “count to five.”  if the samplings and album art are any indication, mike milosh’s work remains as intimate and sensual as ever.

 

Hovvdy Cranberryhovvdy – cranberry (february 9th || double double whammy)

austin duo hovvdy released one of 2016’s most enduring – and endearing – albums in taster.  cranberry, their first since signing to the venerable double double whammy, seems poised to flesh out the warm, lived-in aura that permeates their disarmingly honest work.  case in point: lead single “petal” drips with nostalgia, its assured pace gently giving way to tender falsetto.

 

quiet friendquiet friend – quiet friend (march 9th || elestial sound)

after years of releasing music by himself under the moniker mister lies, nick zanca has shifted into collaborative mode to build quiet friend with steven rogers.  the duo, along with a rotating cast of other contributors, sculpt an audiophile’s dreamscape; lead single “safe” is a whirlwind, but is also just a hint of what quiet friend have in store throughout their self-titled debut.

– other notable releases – 

a grave with no name – passover (january 19th || forged artifacts)

nadine – oh my (january 26th || father/daughter)

triathalon – online (february 16th || broken circles)

s. carey – hundred acres (february 23rd || jagjaguwar)

lucy dacus – historian (march 2nd || matador)

half waif – lavender (tbd || cascine)

helena deland – tba (tbd || luminelle)

ness nite – dream girl (tbd || pow recordings)

pat moon – tba (tbd || track & field)

yours are the only ears – tba (tbd || team love)

 

s. carey – “fool’s gold”

– featured image courtesy of cameron wittig –

sean carey has long augmented his contributions to bon iver with a solo output under the moniker of s. carey.  that body of work is now slated to grow even further; carey will release his new album, hundred acres, on february 23rd via jagjaguwar.

coupled with the announcement is “fool’s gold,” the affecting catalyst for the rest of the songs that populate hundred acres.  the palette of “fool’s gold” reflect’s carey’s sparse, stripped-down approach to this project; an acoustic guitar lightly accents carey’s crystalline, prominent lead vocal for much of the track before ben lester’s pedal steel leads a small band into the fray, providing a warm pad of gentle flourishes through to its conclusion.

hundred acres will arrive in time to provide respite from a bitter midwestern winter.  for the time being, reflect on “fool’s gold,” below.

briana marela – “farthest shore”

– featured image courtesy of eleanor petry –

the olympia, washington, producer briana marela released her third solo album, call it love, today via jagjaguwar.  along with the album’s arrival, marela has shared the visual accompaniment to a new single, “farthest shore.”

marela paired up with seattle-based director bobby mchugh to make the music video, and the two honed in on their shared experience of night terrors to craft the clip’s aesthetic.  the end result is quite jarring; marela stars opposite physical manifestations of these terrors, the video’s progressively fractured composition mirroring the debilitating effects of being trapped in a seemingly perpetual dream state.

follow the link above to purchase a copy of call it love, and watch the hazy, unsettling clip for “farthest shore” below.

viet cong – viet cong

viet cong’s self-titled may be their debut album, but it plays through like an effort of music industry veterans.  which makes complete sense; the calgary post-punk quartet rose from the ashes of women, a band bassist matt flegel and drummer mike wallace contributed to before its untimely dissolution in 2012.  totaling just seven tracks yet clocking in at around forty minutes in length, viet cong straddles the line of art rock experimentation and the maudlin sentiments of their post-punk forefathers.

concussive floor toms reminiscent of an old military documentary usher in the album on “newspaper spoons,” and slowly solidify into something coherent as a mixture of flegel’s chanting and dissonant, buzz-saw guitar feedback is layered over the top.  it’s a telling use of disconnect and tension, and viet cong expertly flirts with its resolution over the next ten minutes of the album.  not until flegel begins his vocal lament on “march of progress” does viet cong bear any semblance to musical consonance, but then the band makes up for lost time with haste.  guitar arpeggios pan fervently from channel to channel in anticipation of the album’s first memorable melody, one propped up by wallace’s drumming which suddenly becomes resurgent in its meticulous and gradual subdivision.

viet cong certainly didn’t emerge from obscurity, and were in fact birthed from a mixture of animosity and tragic loss.  not long after women’s acrimonious split, former guitarist christopher reimer passed away in his sleep, another untimely end that seems to have profoundly impacted flegel and wallace throughout the writing of viet cong.  guitarists scott munro and daniel christiansen contribute admirable amounts of dissonance to the record, particularly on the cascading “bunker buster” and the triumphant post-punk microcosm “silhouettes,” but the two former members of women arguably constitute the more formidable duo in viet cong.  both have risen above their rhythm section duties to contribute to the forefront of the band’s sound, flegel with his commanding turn at lead vocals and subtle-but-integral bass lines, while wallace’s drumming often matches or exceeds melodic instruments in the album’s mix.

viet cong ends with “death,” an eleven-minute funeral pyre ostensibly dedicated to reimer.  the song is neither eulogy nor commentary, but instead falls somewhere in between, a distillation and union of the musical and personal ideas that resonate across the album.  on their debut, viet cong have married chilly experimental soundscapes to equally-chilly post-punk essentials with aplomb, resulting in a stunningly cohesive album that is a decidedly unique and welcome alternative to the usual winter musical fare.  spin it multiple times.

8.1/10

listen to a new song from sharon van etten

sharon van etten released one of our favorite albums of 2014 and she shows no signs of slowing down in 2015.  last week van etten premiered a new song, “i don’t want to let you down,” ostensibly culled from the same recording sessions as are we there.  the new single prefaces an upcoming 7″ and ep, out later this year via jagjaguwar, both of which will highlight the song.  you can stream the gorgeously chilled-out “i don’t want to let you down” below.

listen to a new song from angel olsen

angel olsen’s latest album is just a youthful seven months old, but burn your fire for no witness is already slated for a deluxe treatment.  the reissue will hit november 18th via jagjaguwar – just in time for those year-end best-of lists – and will feature five additional songs.  olsen and her label have shared “all right now,” one of those aforementioned bonus tracks, a sparsely arranged effort that allows olsen’s voice plenty of space to breathe, both literally and metaphorically.  take a listen below.

listen to a new song from sharon van etten

sharon van etten’s upcoming album are we there is a highly anticipated release over here at dimestore saints.  initially bolstered by the excellent “taking chances,” the record provides additional support with “every time the sun comes up,” its final track.  van etten’s vocal melody is slightly jarring throughout the verses, perfectly complementing its mournful timbre, but the refrains always offer some form of resolution and security.  stream “every time the sun comes up” below, courtesy of jagjaguwar’s soundcloud page.

listen to a new song from sharon van etten

Sharon-Van-Etten-2014sharon van etten is set to return with her fourth studio album, are we there, on may 27th via jagjaguwar records.  following up an effort as monumental as 2012’s tramp is no easy feat, but van etten seems poised to repeat with “taking chances,” an excellent new single that flexes a budding electronic muscle along with meaty electric guitars and her signature harmonies.  take a listen below, via jagjaguwar’s soundcloud page.