1. The Avett Brothers, Magpie and the Dandelion, October 15, 2013
The Avett Brothers have been receiving tons of critical acclaim (and rightly so) for their past few Rick Rubin produced albums, and to their credit, they got a lot of attention for their pre-Rubin releases.
I got hooked on the Avetts right after seeing them live and immediately picked up Live Volume 2 which came out around the same time and really encapsulates the raucous, inspired live performances this highly-revered touring act puts on. And then a little later, Emotionalism came out, and I’ve followed them pretty closely ever since.
Fast forward a couple years, the band still puts on energetic live shows and creates timeless records. Apparently, the band was in such an inspired mood that they managed to output a whole other record while in the studio for The Carpenter. Talk about efficiency. Here’s a video for their song “Murder in the City” from The Second Gleam release (one of my favorites):
2. Arcade Fire, Reflektor, October 29, 2013
When this Canadian-based act took home a Grammy for Album of the Year in 2011 for their album The Suburbs, it left many people scratching their heads, and saying “Arcade Who?” A virtual “nobody” to the masses, this band had been making a HUGE name for themselves in the indie-sphere, starting with the 2004 release of Funeral.
The band, founded by husband and wife Win Butler and Regine Chassagne, has put out 2 other albums, each to critical acclaim. Arcade Fire has received their due share of notoriety – featured on The Hunger Games soundtracks, having been musical guests on Saturday Night live 4 times, getting their own TV concert, and more.
And now, with their fourth release, the band is looking to achieve a different level of success: release a big album and stay at the top of their game. Having enlisted LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy to produce Reflektor, it shows that the group is not afraid to test their musical limits. Here they are with David Bowie performing their tune “Wake Up”:
3. Kings of Leon, Mechanical Bull, September 24, 2013
Now, arguably, this album was released last Tuesday, but it still comes in under the “releases we’re excited for” banner. Why? Because like Arcade Fire, Kings of Leon also won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year thanks to their anthemic hit song “Use Somebody.” And this album has us just plain excited – mostly due to the fun that the first single “Supersoaker” brings us.
A bit of history: KoL’s follow up to the Grammy-winning release, called Come Around Sundown, failed commercially, and the Kings went on a bit of a hiatus. Now, fresh off said break, with Mechanical Bull, the group seems to have circled back to the album that really turned heads, 2007’s Because of the Times. The first single “Supersoaker” is classic Kings of Leon, and it rekindles the fun and power that this Nashville-based rock group has at their disposal. Check it out below: