Anticipated album releases for spring 2014

Sam Hays

Mogwai — Rave Tapes, Jan. 20

Everything Scottish post-rock band Mogwai touches is immediately rendered beautiful. They are masters of song craft and instrumentation and have dominated the post-rock genre for most of the last two decades. Mogwai’s eighth studio release, Rave Tapes, aims to cement its position as a post-rock icon. They already shared the tense-sounding single, “Remurdered,” which brings a more electronic sound to Mogwai’s expansive, sprawling style.

Broken Bells — After the Disco, Feb. 4

Indie-pop band Broken Bells is one of few music supergroups that continues to be successful. Fronted by James Mercer of The Shins and producer Danger Mouse, Broken Bells are following up their 2010 self-titled debut album with After the Disco. Two tracks, “After the Disco” and “Holding on for Life,” have already been leaked, and have a sound reminiscent of 1970s disco groups like the Bee Gees yet maintain the tight drums and melodic vocal lines that won Broken Bells such critical acclaim on their first effort.

Beck — Morning Phase, Feb. 14

A once prolific alternative rocker who has slowed down as of late, Beck’s latest album Morning Phase is slated for a Valentine’s Day release. Morning Phase looks to be a companion piece to Beck’s 2002 album Sea Change — a record that brought impressive vocal work and a deep emotional impact to listeners. If Beck rides the momentum from his 2008 Grammy-nominated Modern Guilt and combines it with the aesthetic of Sea Change, Morning Phase should be yet another solid addition to the artist’s discography. 

Phantogram — Voices, Feb. 18

As a follow-up to its 2010 release Eyelid Movies, which had listeners dancing to the beat-heavy, electronic tracks, Phantogram will release its second studio album Voices this February. Eyelid Movies was a solid album that owed its breakthrough and prevalence to its powerful singles, like “Mouthful of Diamonds” and “When I’m Small.” “Fall in Love” was the first track from the new album to leak to the public, and if it is anything like the rest of the album, Voices promises to match all of Eyelid Movies’ energy, if not push it even further. 

St. Vincent — St. Vincent, Feb. 25

Fresh off of an inventive and spectacular tour with Talking Heads’ frontman David Byrne for their collaborative album Love This Giant, St. Vincent returns to her solo work with a fourth studio album. Her records have been a slow transition from the guitar-based pop of Marry Me to more ambitious instrumentation, featuring lots of synth and heavier beats. St. Vincent follows suit with that pattern, but still keeps the classic Beatles-inspired melodies St. Vincent has been known for in the past, as evident in the album’s first leaked track, “Birth in Reverse.”