Many a blog/site sets out to predict the future this time of year and tell you what’s going to be huge in 2014…
It’s a pretty thankless task for people like us who doesn’t really know anything about what makes a record successful these days, is getting to number one even any good anymore? Or does it just mean teenage girls think you’re cute? Is youtube hits or the number of MySpace followers relevant? The former possibly, the latter definitely not!
So instead we’ll aim a little lower here, this is no sound of 2014, this is no next big thing list. This is just a list of things we’re very excited about in 2014, be it gigs, albums or just the possibility that someone might eventually do something, so here’s our top ten things we’ll probably like this year list, in no particular order at all.
1. John Murry hits the UK
The Mississippi kid, gravel voiced rock’n’roll singer John Murry released The Graceless Age this year, but none the less there’s plenty to be excited about where he’s concerned in 2014. Not least his forthcoming tour which after taking in Australia and Ireland lands in the UK at the end of February. We’ll be taking in the show at Islington Assembly Hall, but there’s Manchester, Brighton, Glasgow & Newcastle dates lined up too. On top of that today, as we rather fortuitously discovered via the medium of asking the man himself on twitter, there’s a new EP on the way which will be coming out for Record Store Day. He reliably informed us this was a world exclusive piece of news for For The Rabbits, we think it’s our first and to date only world exclusive, but if any other musicians we love fancy just dropping us a line to say what they’re up to before they tell the rest of the world they’re always very welcome!
2. Golden Fable Return
We caught up with Becca & Tim aka Golden Fable earlier this year before their blinding set at End Of The Road, at that point their forthcoming second album was still in the writing phase, but recent update suggests they’ve been in the studio with the rather exciting production pair of David Wrench (Bat For Lashes/Everything Everything) and Jimmy Robertson (Anna Calvi) and we’re reliably informed we should be getting the product of this next year some time, very exciting! If you don’t know Golden Fable, you might know there previous incarnation Tim & Sam…, if you don’t know either you’ve got so much great music coming your way!
Check out Sugar Loaf from their debut album Star Map below, then head over to their website where you can still pick up a copy of their superb debut!
3. Warpaint Attempt to Follow Up That Debut
One band who do genuinely look to be heading for big things in 2014 are Warpaint. Their self-titled second album is due to hit the shops on January the 20th, and they’ve already put lead single Love Is To Die out for the music press to fawn over. It’s an excellent track and suggests they might be able to live up to the not unsizeable task of following up their critically acclaimed debut The Fool. The fact it’s been 3 years in the making is hopefully a sign of them making sure it’s good rather than not knowing what to do next.
Either way the prospect of their return is very exciting, and they’re doing a string of UK dates in the spring to promote it, and they’re a superb live act!
Check out Love Is To Die below
4. Sam Airey Debuts
The Anglesey born, Leeds based singer songwriter has been quietly grabbing himself a slice of the attention for a while. Having got airplay from all over the BBC and playing a number of high profile festival and support slots what’s become clear is that a special talent lies here in. Mixing his Welsh folk roots with some more modern masters (the likes of Bon Iver & The National spring to mind) he’s carving out a market all his own. Debut single The Blackout was followed by the 4-track A Marker & A Map EP and good news everybody, Sam’s now in the studio working on a full length album, hopefully that’ll be with us later in the year and he can start getting the amount of attention his talent deserves.
5. The return of the Post-Rock Behemoths
So one is a definite release and the others only a bit of a hopeful thought at the minute, but 2014 may well see the return of two of the worlds biggest post-rock superstars. Mogwai have already confirmed their part in this shindig with the upcoming launch of Rave Tapes. However if the first track Remurdered is anything to go by we shouldn’t expect this to have a great deal in common with The Klaxons. Produced again by Paul Savage who worked on Young Team & Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, Remurdered shows a band adapting and adding some M83ish electronics to their usual sonic brutality. They’ve also got a set of live dates coming up and as anyone who’s seen Mogwai will tell you (if they can hear the question) they’re really bloody loud live!
Another post-rock giant set for a potential return is Explosions In The Sky, the guitar heavy Texans recently posted the tantalising comment “We’ll post some news/things soon” on their website, so what that turns out to involve is anyone guess, but if it’s a new album set your thoughts to excited!
6. Neil Young says Goodbye?
If the rumours are to be believed Neil Young is considering knocking all this touring malarky on the head. Neither he nor his band de jour Crazy Horse are getting any younger. Not that you’d know it on the strength of 2012’s releases Americana & Psychedelic Pill. Indeed they were some of the most adventurous of his career to date, and in the case of Psychedelic Pill his longest! If he is to call it a day, well thank heavens he existed at all, because without Neil Young it’s fair to say the Americana genre might not even exist and if it did it might not be half as good. One thing that’s definitely true is that whether he’s retiring or not there’s a whole host of good reasons to go to his concert at Hyde Park next summer. Not least the frighteningly good support cast featuring FTR favourites The National, Caitlin Rose & Phosphorescent, also on the bill is Tom Odell but we guess it couldn’t all be good news! The old master and his musical descendants together on one stage is a pretty mouth watering prospect i’m sure you’ll agree. If you can’t wait that long why not check out his latest live album Live At The Cellar Door which brings his classic 1970 performance alive for those of us who weren’t alive to be there (and those that were)
7. Let’s All Be Allowed To Buy Some Happiness
We’ve been getting excited about the debut album from this talented bunch of Geordie’s for a while now. What’s currently Newcastle’s little secret is set to be unleashed on the world next year as they plot the release of a debut album, or at least we really hope they do. Ever since we stumbled upon them about 2 or 3 years ago we’ve been awaiting this debut, and it’s yet to materialise. To be fair they’ve been pretty busy, touring the UK extensively, and even making it over to Mexico for a string of shows lately (which looked like the most fun anyones ever had!) They premiered their latest single Run at the back end of 2013 and if it’s anything to go by their albums surely going to be one of the most thrilling debuts of the year.
8. No Sea Change as we go Beck In Time
We’re rather proud of those puns if we’re honest, we know they’re awful but we don’t care. So what do we know about the new Beck record? Well a lot more than we realised before we looked it up! Mr Hansen has been playing it pretty close to his chest in 2013, releasing three wonderful singles (Gimme, Defriended and personal favourite I Won’t Be Long) which were all strikingly not acoustic, whilst he almost obstinately insisted he was releasing an acoustic album. Well guess what he’s a man of his word and the acoustic Morning Phase will be with us in February sometime on his new label Capitol Records. He’s reliably informing us it’s going to be a companion piece to 2002’s masterpiece of misery Sea Change. For some people, me included, that will be brilliant news but others might be a bit less keen, worry not though he insists it maintains the honesty of that record whilst “surging forward with infectious optimism”, we’ll just have to wait and see we guess! With the potential for another release later in the year though it’s certain to be a big year for Beck, and that’s always good news!
9. Harp (Part 1)
There’s two good reasons to be looking forward to Harp in 2014, firstly is that Harp is the name of former Midlake frontman Tim Smith’s new band. This one we’ll admit is a shot in the dark! His website currently simply states that his first album is being worked on and “is sure to take a long time” but we think when you’ve got someone as talented as Mr Smith it’s work getting excited early. Having left Midlake behind to go forth and do his own thing it remains to be seen what we can expect from him, but promisingly he states it “wont disappoint Midlake fans cause that sound is impossible for me to escape” whether we’ll hear anything in 2014 remains to be seen but it’s certainly worth keeping your eyes peeled!
10. Harp (Part 2)
And the second reason to be excited about Harp in 2014, the potential return of the one and only Joanna Newsom (or is it Mrs Samberg now she’s tied the knot?) Whatever name she’s going by we really hope she hurries up and gets another record out. Tantalisingly at the Pitchfork festival last year she previewed a number of new tracks, evidence that she has at least not disappeared off the face of the earth entirely. While there’s no official word from her or the wonderful Drag City label just yet we’ve got a good feeling that we’re going to be hearing some new material this year. Maybe just wishful thinking but a reason to be cheerful none the less…hurry back soon Joanna!