What awaits in 2008

2007 was quite an exciting year for music. A new French duo emerged, taking the reins from Daft Punk, Radiohead gave away their new album, and a half British, half Sri Lankan songstress captivated our ears. If your New Year’s resolution was to listen to better music, look no further — here are a few upcoming ’08 releases:

British Sea Power — Do You Like Rock Music?
Often compared to Joy Division, The Cure, and Spiritualized, and praised heavily for their energetic live show, British Sea Power is set to release their third album on February 12 of this year. Drawing heavily on Arcade Fire-styled songwriting, Do You Like Rock Music? is expected to be full of reverb-laden choruses, anthem-like chanting, and ethereal guitar work. Although the album cover is rather uninventive, the music within will be sure to combine popular elements of American and British rock. For now, check out the band’s first album, The Decline of British Sea Power, and wait patiently.

The Mars Volta — The Bedlam in Goliath
After having lost powerhouse drummer Jon Theodore in 2006, The Mars Volta return with new drummer Thomas Pridgen and a new album. Having ventured off the beaten path with their 2006 release, Amputechture the band returns to its roots with another concept album. Based off of their strange experience with a certain ouija board bought in Jerusalem, The Bedlam in Goliath chronicles the stories given by three spirits through the mysterious game board. While the idea sounds strange and unbelievable, strange and unbelievable is what The Mars Volta does best. While awaiting the album’s January 29 release date, waste time trying to unlock a new Volta track by solving a puzzle on the band’s website.

Black Mountain — In the Future
Black Mountain, Canada’s premier psychedelic rock band, will release their sophomore effort on Jan. 21. Titled In the Future, the album ironically looks to the past as a source of inspiration. Black Mountain is a band that has the unique ability to take everything that was bad about ’60s and ’70s psych-rock and make it cool (or at least tolerable), but for the most part, Black Mountain’s style works. The combination of male and female vocals keeps every song interesting. Until the album is released on the 21st, the first single is available for download at the band’s Web site.

As for the rest of 2008, there are plenty of announced albums of which little other information is known. Included in this list would be a new disc from The Hold Steady, in addition to a rumored live album recorded in Chicago in the works. New Pornographer Dan Bejar will release his eighth album as Destroyer. Entitled Trouble In Dreams, the album is scheduled for a March 18th street release. Born in the Colorado mountain tops, My Morning Jacket’s upcoming release should see the band heading in a new direction with Jim James latest musical influences at the helm. James recently admitted to immersing himself in calypso, soul, and gospel, and promises those influences to reflect in the new album. Other rumored releases for ’08 included those from The Black Keys and Death Cab For Cutie.
2008 even brings new music to Champaign-Urbana. After taking time to record his solo album, Ryan Groff reunites with bandmates of elsinore to record and release a new studio album. Santa has reunited from all corners of the world with plans to release their new six-song EP, My Bones, sometime around late February or early March. Recorded in the summer of 2007, the EP shows the band carving a pleasantly indescribable musical niche. Having spent nearly five months off, expect many live shows in the near future. CU powerhouse Headlights also plans to release a new record in February on Polyvinyl Records. The Living Blue has completed a new record as well, and is in the process of negotiating terms of release. Fleshing out their songs with a wide array of sounds, the new album should create a new refreshing sound. Butterfly Assassins will have their first full-length album release as well. Entitled Sylvia, the album is inspired by the story of the band’s fictional muse, a Russian woman who begins to experience life after the death of a decrepit old man.

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