Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year Wishes

Here we are, then: the last day of 2014. I've already weighed and measured the best albums of this year, so now it's time to look into the future, to wonder what musical marvels 2015 might have in store for us.

Now, we already have a few dead certs. Modest Mouse, for example, have assured us that they will be releasing a new album next year, as have The Decemberists. But today's blog post isn't concerned with these releases; instead, it's all about speculation, the unconfirmed classics of 2015.

Here, then, are 5 artists that I'd really, really like to hear more from in the next 12 months. As far as I'm aware, none of these bands have given any indication that new work is on the way, but hey, if you're going to indulge in a little wishful thinking, the 31st of December seems like an opportune time for it.

The Magnetic Fields
Wishful-O-Meter: 2/5
It doesn't seem too optimistic to hope for a new MF album in 2015. In fact, you might even say we're due one - Distortion came out in 2008, Realism in 2010, and Love at the Bottom of the Sea in 2012, so if Stephin Merritt keeps up this every-other-year workrate, there should be an extra album in the MF discography by this time next year. Failing that, I'd settle for some Merritt solo action, or another 6ths album.

Wishful-O-Meter: 3/5
Wikipedia may count 2013's Across Six Leap Years - the latest Tindersticks release - as a studio album, but I don't. It was more of a career retrospective, and while it's cool that Staples et al bothered to re-record all of their old hits, I'm still waiting for a proper follow-up to The Something Rain (which came out all the way back in early 2012). Bonus points if the new one is on a par with The Hungry Saw - it's not my #1 favourite 'Sticks album, but demanding something as good as Tindersticks II at this stage just seems churlish.

Iron Maiden
Wishful-O-Meter: 1/5
If West Ham United's most famous fans fail to release a new album in 2015, this will be the longest Maiden drought the world has endured since the band's eponymous first album was released in 1980. The Final Frontier was almost four and a half years ago now, and so it seems perfectly reasonable to expect a follow-up before Christmas comes 'round again.

Tilly and the Wall
Wishful-O-Meter: 4/5
Things have been disquietingly, uh, quiet in the Tilly camp of late. Their official website still features 'upcoming' tour dates from June 2013, and nobody seems to have heard much of anything from them since Heavy Mood came out. Still, a boy can dream...

Wishful-O-Meter: 1/5...but also 5/5
"More and more gardens are coming into bloom" said Fyfe Dangerfield in a news post on the Guillemots website back in June. On Summer Island, the follow-up to 2012's springtimey Hello Land!, is now two years and three months overdue, and while Fyfe and Co are supposedly still working on it, we're still waiting for some kind of sign that it's nearing completion.

As you can see, I've given this release two completely opposite wishful ratings: a 1 because they can't possibly need another whole year on this, and a 5 because it's beginning to seem like this album will never see the light of day. Time will tell, I suppose, but one thing's for sure: if they continue at this rate then the seasonal quadrilogy that they promised us back in 2012 won't be complete until some time in 2019.

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So that's it for this year! I'll maybe revisit this list in December '15 and see how many (if any) of my wishes came true. In the meantime, have a happy new year and cross your fingers for some great music in the months to come! 

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