Happy 2014 everyone. After saying goodbye to 2013 yesterday we thought it only fair to welcome in the New Year in an equal manner. As such it is time for some random thoughts about what 2014 might have in store, what we are particularly looking forward to and what we really aren’t.
By that we mean there will come a point in the next 12 months where we are all shocked, outraged and possibly sickened. The Ian Watkins case last year showed us all that we never really know what is going to come out of the woodwork, we just hope whatever comes out this year is nowhere near as horrific as that was.
We’ll start with the good stuff though as there are already a whole host of albums pencilled in for release in the early months and others that we know are due, we just don’t know when. Here then is a quick look at some of the albums we are already getting excited about and in some cases, may even have already pre-ordered.
Broken Bells – After The Disco (13th Jan)
MØ – No Mythologies to Follow (24 Feb)
St Vincent – St Vincent (24th Feb)
Nenah Cherry – Blank Project (24 Feb)
Joan As Police Woman – The Classic (10th Mar)
Spring Offensive – Young Animal Hearts (Feb)
Sivu – TBA
Avec Sans – TBA
Let’s Buy Happiness – TBA
Jessie Ware – TBA
Florrie – TBA
Embers – TBA (at least, we hope there is one on the way)
On top of that there is the oft-rumoured but thus far fictional return from Avalanches and we have also heard that Jem could be about to drop a new album. Tanya Donelly’s Swan Song Series of EPs last year gives us hope that she too could release a new full length in 2014 as well. Most exciting, for us anyway, is the fact that Robyn has been in the studio which, along with her forthcoming live shows with Röyksopp, means she could drop a track, EP, album or multi-disc mega-set album/DVD/usb stick combo uber-edition any day. She is, for our money, most likely to do a Beyoncé this year and just release something whenever she feels like it.
There are also a lot of artists we are hoping to hear more from in the next 12 months, some of whom have been quite secretive thus far and who we hope to learn more about in due course.
So what else do we expect from 2014? Well, we learned in 2013 that big surprises, big reunions, unexpected (and expected) collaborations and strong words were the thing and we reckon there will be more of the same this year as well. For example…
After Bowie and Beyoncé came out of nowhere and shocked us all by releasing mega-selling albums, more and more artists will look to copy their model, including artists we never expected to hear from again. So expect new albums from big bands to appear at the drop of a hat, especially those looking to make a comeback. We’re thinking Metallica, the rest of N*Sync, Marky Mark, (well it worked for Justin), Steps and, let’s say maybe New Order. Oh and Dr Dre will release Detox. Ok, even we can’t pretend to believe that one will happen again.
As well as the car crash TV of The Big Reunion, there were a few big indie-royalty reunions in 2013, like Blur and Suede. In 2014 we reckon there will be more of both, with several crappy pop acts going on tour after shouting at each other and reminiscing about being pelted with piss at Glastonbury (Daphne and Celeste). So there will probably be a weekend at Butlins somewhere featuring Shampoo, Babylon Zoo and Whigfield at some point. As for indie royalty, Oasis won’t happen anytime soon so it will fall to the likes of Kingmaker, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Echobelly and Sleeper to set pulses slowing this year. (Confession, we’d actually like to see all those acts get back together, but we’re probably the only ones who do).
We’ve already mentioned the Robyn – Röyksopp collaboration that is making our special places tingle, but we reckon there will be plenty of others as well. One we really want to see is One Direction and No Doubt forming a super-combo band along the lines of McBusted, just so they can call themselves No Direction and for all the twitter meltdowns at suggestions Harry Styles is diddling Gwen Stefani.
Someone influential will complain loudly and passionately about one of, a) Spotify, b) the record industry, c) Government’s attitude to the arts, or d) the over sexualisation of female pop stars and the subsequent impact it is having on a generation of young women who don’t realise their role models are mere puppets constructed by focus groups and marketing teams to appeal to as many people as possible in order to maximise sales of records, gig tickets and merchandise. At the end of which, nothing will change but we will all feel better for nodding in agreement and tweeting our support for said artist and their righteous stand against whichever cause they stood up against.
Someone will use a provocative image as their album art and have to have it censored.
Kanye West will change his name to an unpronounceable symbol that looks like a representation of himself on a cross, or a giant cock and balls. Each is equally plausible.
Lady Gaga will reinvent herself as a singer of infectious, dance orientated pop music about sex and love. Her sales will go back up as a result, until she reveals it all to be some elaborate piece of contemporary theatre in support of homosexual men called Alberto with only one thumb and a harelip. She will make this announcement whilst suspended from Tower Bridge in David Blaine’s old Perspex box and wearing a rainbow coloured sheep-skin and a pair of comedy glasses with springy eyes. The scandal will come when it emerges that Alberto hadn’t yet come out of the closet and actually, his second thumb is just a bit shorter than the other, not missing completely.
Hmm, probably time to call a halt to these predictions.
As for us here at Alphabet Bands, we promise to keep working and keep bringing you great new music. We have some plans for a few big features and we want to finally fill our actual Alphabet this year. There will also be some gig nights and of course, our big Blogathon for Cancer Research on 31 January (your support is very much appreciated, please).
One of the most exciting things about 2014 though is the simple fact that we just know we are going to hear and discover some amazing new artists making some incredible new music. Finding people that no one has heard of but by this time next year, we could all be talking about, and that’s what makes doing this so much fun and so exciting.
Here’s to the next 12 months, we look forward to sharing it with you.