WPGU’s Album Picks of Spring 2010

Ah it’s finally upon us. Spring is here and the music just keeps getting better and better as the days pass in the new decade. We’re always paying attention to what our favorite artists are up to, how their progress in the studio and how their touring plans are shaping up in particular. The next few months are always “something to look forward to” (oh how I love Spoon song references in my articles), but the music word doesn’t stop when the sun starts to come out.
Here at WPGU we’ve been digging up the news for our readers and listeners alike and enjoy bringing you our take on some of the music that is out there that we love as well as love to talk and argue about. Although the winter months were fantastic and we had some excellent releases (cough*Beach House*cough), the Spring/Summer months are going to be just as exciting. Here are some of the albums we think you should be watching out for and listening to in the near future, we know we will be!

MGMT: Congratulations [Sony/Columbia, 4/13]
Remember the album Oracular Spectacular? Well I’d soon forget it if I were you. MGMT is set to release their sophomore album and people who are expecting another “Kids” or “Time To Pretend” are going to be sadly disappointed. Much of the album was written, recorded and produced in Southern California and has a more “surf” feel as stated by the band. No one should be surprised that they are going a different direction with this album, these guys are two very interesting individuals. The album will most likely gain the respect of people who don’t listen to their songs for the radio-friendly appeal.

The Hold Steady: Heaven Is Whenever [Vagrant/Rough Trade, 5/4]
The bar band that may sound like The E Street band if you’ve had to many. But let’s not be mistaken, if you’re into having a great time and throwing some back during the summer months (or whenever, for what matter), you should love The Hold Steady. The band’s fifth full length promises to be “less anthemic” as lead man Craig Finn put it in a recent interview, and their first since 2008’s solid Stay Positive. Even with the loss of their infamous moustached organ player Franz Nicolay, the effort should live up to, well, all of the band’s efforts. These guys just make good music, regardless of comparisons.

Broken Social Scene: Forgiveness Rock Record [Arts & Crafts, 5/4]
Theeeey’re baaaack. Everyone get out your Canadian flags and wave them around, because this year (along with the release of a new Arcade Fire album) promises to be one for our Northern continent-mates. Broken Social Scene are back in full force with their first album in five years. We don’t blame them, I mean, you try coordinating the schedules of 15-plus members of a band and see how that works out. The record features Leslie Feist and members of Pavement, Metric, Stars, Do Make Say Think, the Sea and Cake, and Tortoise. Hot damn.

The New Pornographers: Together [Matador, 5/4]
From one Canadian band to another, The New Pornographers return with their new album which also features a lot of guests, ranging from relative newbie Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent), Will Sheff (Okkervil River), and several members from Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Although most of the songs were written and composed by longtime frontman A.C. Newman, Neko fans shouldn’t worry, because apparently she’s once again a prominent member of the band, despite her solo success.

The National: High Violet [4AD, 5/10]
Mope-rockers The National took some serious time supporting their breakthrough Boxer back in 2007 and who could blame them? Their style isn’t immediately accepted by most, but they’ve proven to be one of the most exciting and influential bands in the recent decade and we’re expecting the same out of these Brooklyn natives. The album is once again produced by infamous producer Peter Katis (Interpol, Frightened Rabbit) and has been played in full in recent concerts by the band. So if you’re impatient, YouTube is your best friend at this point.

Band of Horses: Infinite Arms [Brown Records/Fat Possum/Columbia, 5/18]
Successful second albums aren’t always something to be proud of, and sometimes get bands tagged with terms like “sell outs” or “sophomores slumpers”. But there are always exceptions to the rule. With their surprisingly hyped Cease To Begin and their incredible debut Everything All The Time, Band of Horses return with their new album Infinite Arms which has been crafted over the last year between spotty touring as well as the addition of new member Ludwig Böss. Once again working with Phil Ek (Built to Spill, Fleet Foxes, The Shins), we can really look forward to a solid effort from a band who just knows how to do things the right way.

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