’09 Been Kind

Fall Be Kind

Photo by Joe Mangat.

Well, after a trip up to Portland, Oregon and a bout with a still-lingering illness, I’m finally back up in this. Perfect timing too, because there’s a lot goin’ on right now. Most notably, you can now stream a song from the most exciting effort still waiting to see an official release this year — Animal Collective‘s Fall Be Kind. “Graze” opens this stunning EP with a languid interplay of sounds and soaring vocal trade-off between Avey Tare and Panda Bear before transforming into an absurdly joyous, enchanted forest-esque pan flute jam, rich with smile-inducing harmonies, percussive clicks and clacks, and buzzing gurgles of bass. And this isn’t even the best song on the record! As long as I’m listening to this, what remains of fall will indeed be kind…

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Buy: Pre-order Fall Be Kind from Domino Records as CD or LP (with mp3 download). The digital version will be available on November 23rd.

Now, with the year’s end looming, many are not only beginning to reflect on what 2009 had to offer, but also churning out hype for some of the more anticipated releases of 2010. I’ve already mentioned the addictive first single from Yeasayer‘s upcoming Odd Blood, which is sounding like it might be the biggest surprise of early ’10 (…that sounds weird right? Say it out loud. ’10? Weeeird.). As I work on my year-end features and lists, I can’t help but feel that I’d like to try and finish 2009 first… except, there’s a lot more to look forward to in next year’s early months.

Beach House - Norway

Just a few days ago, Beach House unveiled “Norway” from the upcoming Teen Dream. On their third record, Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally are still crafting their dreamy minimalist pop with many of the same elements — chintzy drum work, effects-laden guitars, woozy organs, and ethereal vocal work — and yet this feels bigger than perhaps any song they’ve put out thus far. Opening with simple drum hits and organ drones, “Norway” explodes into a surprisingly layered cascade of breathy vocal stabs and┬ástarbursting guitars, only to slip into a dizzying meander of bent notes and Legrand’s soothing drawl. Alternating between hazy swoon and dazzling heights, this track makes a promise that Teen Dream is sure to deliver on when it drops January 26th on Sub Pop.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Download: Beach House – Norway
Buy: You can pre-order Teen Dream from Insound as LP or CD right now.

Toro y Moi - Blessa

South Carolina’s Toro y Moi, easily one the best projects to come out of the whole chillwave/glo-fi/dreamcore/fuzzstep/hazegaze/mouse house/fog-pop scene, is set to release two full-lengths in 2010. Right now you can download the album version of the previously blog-circulated “Blessa”, mastered and extended to include a brief, spaced-out transition into whatever song may follow it on Causers of This. His first album due out on Carpark Records next year comes out on February 23rd, 2010. (via)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Download: Toro y Moi – Blessa
Buy: No pre-order for Causers of This yet, but you can pick up the “Blessa” single (with b-side “109”) as 7″ or mp3s from Insound.

Of course, there’s a whole lot more to look forward to in 2010. Here’s a list (with appetite-whetting links when available) of some other things to keep your eyes peeled for:

Final Fantasy – Heartlands (Jan. 12th)
Vampire Weekend – Contra (Jan. 12th)
Four Tet – There Is Love in You (Jan. 26th)
Free Energy – Stuck on Nothin’ (Jan. 26th)
The Magnetic Fields – Realism (Jan. 26th)
Spoon – Transference (Jan. 26th)
Midlake – The Courage of Others (Feb. 2nd)
Hot Chip – One Life Stand (Feb. 8th)
Pantha du Prince – Black Noise (Feb. 9th) (Will also include a Panda Bear feature spot!)
Drake – Thank Me Later (Feb. 14th)
Field Music – Measure (Feb. 16th)
Shearwater – The Golden Archipelago (Feb. 23rd)
The Streets – Computers and Blues (Feb. 23rd)
Xiu Xiu – Dear God, I Hate Myself (Feb. 23rd)
Frightened Rabbit – The Winter of Mixed Drinks (Mar. 1st)
Aloha – Home Acres (Mar. 9th)
Liars – Sisterworld (Early 2010)
Minus the Bear – TBA (Early 2010)
The National – TBA (Spring 2010)
Battles – TBA
Daft Punk – Tron Legacy OST
Madvillain – TBA
MGMT – Congratulations
Of Montreal – False Priest
RJD2 – The Colossus
Three Mile Pilot – TBA

Look out for the possibility of Animal Collective’s “visual album” seeing the light of day, and maybe new records from M.I.A., Kanye West, Joanna Newsom, Panda Bear, Arcade Fire, Burial, No Age, Menomena, The Books, and Mock Orange. With any luck, next year may also see the release of the insanely anticipated follow-up to Since I Left You from The Avalanches. Sure, it’s been ten years… but it sounds like they’re just clearing samples at this point.

What are you looking forward to in 2010?