There a few more days of pretending to look busy at work ahead, but as far as our iTunes are concerned 2009 can’t get here soon enough. We’re done with the lists. It’s time for the new. We pored over the album-release sheets, took myriad Progress Reports, and narrowed the field to a list of twenty records we can’t wait to prematurely evaluate over. It’s gonna be a good year.

Forget the Web Sheriff soap opera and the unexpected involvement of Grizzly Bear and Deerhunter. Just listen to the infectious beachfront tropicalia of Merriweather jams “Brothersport” and “My Girls” to understand why people are losing their minds in anticipation (and over stories about potential leaks) of this record. May as well start handicapping 2009 year-end lists now.

“My Girls” (Live)

Dirty Projectors have been logging hours at studios in Brooklyn and Portland for months now, working on the followup to 2007′s excellent Rise Above LP. In a recent Progress Report, Dave Longstreth stated the yet untitled album “is related to Plaxico Burress.” You may choose to believe that. Or not. What is certain: Dave’s bringing back most of the Rise Above studio lineup (Brian McComber on drums, Amber Coffman on guitar) with the addition of bassist Angel Deradoorian, who’s been touring with the band since Above dropped. If you’ve seen their live shows you know this is good news, and also you’ve probably heard great new songs that are poppier and sunnier and might make the cut, like “Sunrise” and “That’s My Move.” Don’t think they’re about Plaxico, though.

After a great ’07, Grizzly Bear had an even better ’08 — touring with Radiohead, doing the festival circuit, and hearkening back to a past time when bands premiered new songs on television. (See: the Droste-led keyboard upper “Two Weeks” on Letterman, the Beatles-reinventing harmonic pop perfection of Rossen’s “While You Wait For The Others” on Conan.) Ed checked in from the Catskills where they’ve been committing these songs and more to tape, promising a dynamic sound more faithful to their live show, arrangements courtesy of Nico Muhly, a vocal on “Two Weeks” from Beach House’s Victoria LeGrande, and lots of band interplay with shared vocals throughout. It seems Grizzly Bear are going for the sun instead of the sepia this time, and from what we’ve heard it’s gonna be serious headphone candy.

“Two Weeks” (Live On Letterman)

We don’t know too much about Yeah Yeah Yeahs forthcoming, third LP. Aside from the band telling us it sounds nothing like Show Your Bones, and “VERY different from last year’s EP” Is Is, and “not much like anything you’ve heard from us before.” But does it sound like Yeah Yeah Yeahs? “YOU BET YOU’RE SWEET ASS IT DOES.” Fair enough. Also, the kitten factor is very high on this record. It’s out sometime next year. In the meantime, there’s always Native Korean Rock.

It’s been too long since we’ve had a KoC record — 2004′s Riot On An Empty Street was their last — but all signs (and this recent Progress Report) point to Eirik Glambek Bøe and Erland Øye putting the finishing touches to a new album in the very near future. The duo are back and forth between a studio in Bergen, Norway and another outside Reggio Emilia, Italy, finishing the twelve-song set slated for release in ’09. Why’s it taken so long? “Recording a song is like drawing a perfect circle, but we are determined.” Much like KoC’s fans. (Also, the working title is Quiet IS The New Loud, which is distinct from 2001′s Quiet Is The New Loud by one capital letter, so keep it straight, editors.)

You can look forward to 14 tracks from Black Lips’ followup to 2007′s Good Bad Not Evil in ’09. For 200 Million Thousand, the band’s summoned cameos from King Khan, Bradford Cox (whose track may or may not make the cut), and possibly a Wu-Tang member. They Progress Reported to us that the album is more melodic and better produced, but still recorded live (minus vocals and overdubs) to “capture the energy that comes from playing together the first couple times.” Also, apparently 200 Million Thousand has no particular meaning, so it’s up to you (no really, etc.).

We told you about Zach Condon ditching The Flying Club Cup’s France for a pair of conjoined EPs due in February. Well, February’s getting closer. The six stately horn-drenched songs on March Of The Zapotec, were recorded, in part, in Mexico and the Dutch-ly named Holland includes five ambient/Eno-esque bedroom tracks under Condon’s “Realpeople” moniker.

Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's YouLILY ALLEN – IT’S NOT ME, IT’S YOU
Earlier this year Lily promised her Alright, Still followup would be an “album with integrity and … it has been thought about by me, not just some thrown together last minute industry bullshizz.” So far, so fair: “The Fear“’s got her rhapsodizing subversively and clever as ever, but the shift comes in the sounds, which trade the ska and hip hop camp for dance-pop full of glitz, acoustic guitar, strings, and synths. We’ll have to wait ’til February to hear where the rest of it’s going, but if you want more try “Everyone’s At It” for now.

“The Fear”

MGMT had an early and vocal champion in Kevin Barnes, and now that both have found surreal success with their respective takes on glam and psychedelic pop, it’s a sensible time for a collaboration. Blikk Fang features the of Montreal mastermind and MGMT’s Andrew VanWyngarden (a pair of guys you all happen to love), and 2009 will see their debut. Barnes described the sound to Rock Daily as “a sort of soulful prog,” adding the duo would turn out “a pretty schizophrenic, crazy album.” Also, Jon Brion might be getting involved? Perfect. Working titles to songs thus far: “Hypnotic Agents”, “Dead Dogs”, and “Pleasure Cunt.” Also perfect.

It’s fair to say Dan Deacon took the iPod-shuffle-on-a-banana-based batshit-insane beats and dance-tag parties thing further than anyone would’ve expected. That’s because it was much more fun than anyone would’ve expected. But for Bromst, Dan’s ostensibly turning the page on Spiderman Of The Rings’ hipster pied piper thing and getting in touch with his roots as a music conservatory-trained electro-acoustic composer. He’s promised an album with more emotional range, arranged for many parts and various instruments. We saw the unveiling of this new incarnation of Deacon in Brooklyn recently, complete with a percussion, mallet, and synth-heavy 14-piece ensemble. There were hip-hop scratched vocal-samples in the mix and darker, more deliberate beats, if perhaps a lack of tonal, total focus. We still have to see how good it all is, but in terms of narrative and trajectory, this oughta be one of the year’s more interesting releases.

When Mastodon vocalist/bassist Troy Sanders sat down and did a Progress Report, he mentioned, among other things, that Crack The Skye “is a departure from everything we’ve previously recorded in the sense that we kinda strapped on our aeroshells and departed from Earth for a while, and then captained to the ethereal element of the universe and kind of slept on the roof of the world for a while to get a perspective on this record.” He also mentioned King Crimson, Yes, and Frank Zappa. Add this to this year’s reunion of death metal/jazz fusion pioneers Cynic, and it seems like putting the hardcore prog in progressive American metal isn’t just for Dream Theater anymore.

Visually/conceptually, the album art for Antony & The Johnsons’ forthcoming album The Crying Light is linked to his recent Another World EP. We know the new collection’s dedicated to the dancer Kazuo Ohno, but outside of “Another World,” we don’t yet know what it sounds like. Can’t wait to hear “Her Eyes Are Underneath The Ground” and especially “Epilepsy Is Dancing.” For now, here’s the tracklist.

“Another World”

After three volumes of Always The Bridesmaid singles collections, the Decemberists have scheduled the release of a full LP for 2009. And surprise! It has a very Decemberists-y tracklist. Expect cameos from Jim James, Robyn Hitchcock, Becky Stark, and Shara Worden. And also expect song titles like “Hazards Of Love 1 (The Prettiest Whistles Won’t Wrestle the Thistles Undone).” Only Meloy.

We know it’s recorded and not much else, but judging where the guys left off on 2005′s Hypermagic Mountain, we still have plenty of reason to be excited.

After lending some cred and craft to the AM Gold of She & Him, Matt Ward turns his sights and sounds inward with Hold Time. The followup to 2006′s excellent Post-War boasts 14 tracks and quite a guest list: Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle, Lucinda Williams, DeVotchka’s Tom Hagerman, and yes that actress he’s always hanging out with.

Morrissey - Years Of RefusalMORRISSEY – YEARS OF REFUSAL
As more info comes out about Morrissey’s Years Of Refusal we find ourselves as curious about the dozen new songs as we are about what the heck to make of the cover art. First single “I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris” is reportedly out 2/9, but we’ve already heard a live version. Other very Mozzy track titles include “Sorry Doesn’t Help,” “I’m OK By Myself,” “Something Is Squeezing My Skull” and “One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell.”

“That’s How People Grow Up” (Live on Letterman)

The fourth album from UK’s Doves still doesn’t have a title, although its lead single does. The track, titled “Kingdom Of Rust,” has “a country-ish shuffle beat” according to frontman Jimi Goodwin. So that’s one hint of the Some Cities-follow-up’s sound. Need more? Kraftwerk and Can are namechecked in this Billboard piece. Color us curious. And excited. If you can’t wait, try out these Doves bits that might possibly be on the record maybe but probably not.

The Denton quintet Midlake reported to Progress Report that they’re hard at work on a followup to 2006′s Trials Of Van Occupanther. Drummer McKenzie Smith described Courage Of Others’ general feel: “There’s a British folk scene of late ’60s stuff. That stuff has been influential to us on this album. It’s less Fleetwood Mac-y, America.” Instead, they’ve also been listening to Fairport Convention, Incredible String Band, and plenty of Jethro Tull. We don’t know too much else, but we’re pretty sure what kind of coffee they’ve been drinking in the studio.

Neko Case - Middle CycloneNEKO CASE – MIDDLE CYCLONE
We’ve seen the eye-catching album art, watched the making of, and even heard the live version of Middle Cyclone’s take on Harry Nilsson’s “Don’t Forget Me.” No worries, we haven’t forgotten you, Ms. Case. In fact, her first solo album since 2006′s Fox Confessor Brings The Flood is looking like it’ll be her most quietly homespun epic effort to date: Check out the piano setup and frog chirp in the teaser if you don’t believe us.

“I’m An Animal” (Live at Bumbershoot)

Thanks to Bono’s constant headline grabbing global do-goodery it feels like U2′s never left, but the band hasn’t had an album out since 2004′s How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. That changes in March, when the Irish icons release their 12th album No Line On The Horizon, featuring a blockbuster production trio in Brian Eno, Danny Lanois, and Steve Lillywhite. Too many cooks, or the Dream Team of anthemic arena rock production? You can find out in a few months. Or dig up those songs that leaked to YouTube when Bono was blasting ’em out his French villa.


In addition to these records which are, for all intents and purposes, sure shots for ’09, we’ve got an ever growing wishlist of albums we have no word on but are dying to see materialize. Like, great EPs and tracks, but how about a full LP, Salem? Also maybe 2009 would be a nice time for Sufjan to tackle another one of those states, considering Yes We Can and the reemergence of American pride and all that. And what happened to the Avalanches? But whatever. My Bloody Valentine. Please.

Feel free to post in the comments with your most anticipated releases for next year, or just the ones at the top of your own wishlist. To 2009.

Comments (258)
  1. Larry  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0

    Great write-up. 2009 will be fantastic. I’m also anticipating some Built to Spill, The Wrens, Wilco, and as always, holding out hope for MBV and Jeff Mangum.

  2. Definitely looking forward to YYYs and KoC. Mildly curious about Blikk Fang.

  3. Well, considering it’s an odd year, there’s a good chance we’ll see another White Stripes album, which means there’s a good chance I will have many rock-related orgasms.

  4. Oh, and as far as albums that we actually know (or at least assume) will be out next year, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kings of Convenience, and the American release of Ida Maria’s “Fortress Round My Heart” are the only three albums I’m definitely legally purchasing. (“Fortress” is so good that I’ll actually pay for it.)

  5. disapointed  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0

    all these bands suck

  6. L Correa  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0

    I’m excited for a lot of these including Final Fantasy’s Heartland and (although it’s not really an album) that Red Hot compilation. Also: Dirty Projectors are going to melt some faces.

  7. Michael_  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0

    I’m pretty excited about many of these as well, but also the new Springsteen, the new Pterodactyl, debut from Past Lives and also just heard the new The Pains of Being Pure at Heart which was pretty great. Maybe the new Schwarzenbach band will have a release, too?

  8. The new Strokes album!!!!!!!!

  9. Sarah  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0

    You forgot Franz Ferdinand and A.C. Newman.

  10. Bender Bending Rodriguez  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0

    The Cribs w/ Johnny Marr!

  11. Paul  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0

    In addition: Phoenix, Bishop Allen.

  12. logan  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0

    ac newman leaked… it’s good but it’s no slow wonder.

  13. Metric and Arctic Monkeys

  14. + Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, My Bloody Valentine, Acrade Fire?, Jeff Mangum, White Stripes?

  15. Robert  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0

    Silversun Pickups! I’m expecting a big followup to Carnavas.

  16. italics  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0

    what the hell

  17. Glad to see Kings of Convenience made the list. I’ve been waiting for their album for years, and I still hadn’t heard any confirmations that it would actually be released in 09, but if the gum reports it, it must be so!

    Other than that, I am most excited about Manchester Orchestra sophomore album. Depending on the sound it gets, I think it could make them pop for real. Other than that, there are pretty solid rumours about a new record from Brand New, and that will definitely be a date to mark in my calendar.

    And new Arctic Monkeys. And the new album from The Wombats. And last but not least The National. Thinking about it, the amount of playtime Boxer has been getting from the day I got it, that has to be near the top of my list.

    Blikk Fang also sounds somewhat interesting. I wonder how they came up with that name. Translated from Norwegian, it means something that catches your look / attention.

    Anyways, 2009 is looking exciting, and hopefully good!

  18. Clipitar  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0

    Lemme see now… Gorillaz, YYY, Junior Boys, Franz Ferdinand, Daft Punk, Arctic Monkeys… I guess I’m excited.

  19. Evan  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0

    yeah, records expected from Jeff Mangum, the Wrens, (possibly) the Arcade Fire, Animal Collective, and Grizzly Bear…..

    that makes 2009 a wet dream.

  20. Brad  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0

    Dirty Projectors!
    And Kelly Clarkson!

  21. john d  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0

    Jay Reatard’s follow up full-length to Blood Visions!

  22. The list is awesome!! I also expect the solo album from Richard Ashroft!!, Shout Out Louds, Boat Club, The Radio Dept….

    Oh, there are so many……..

  23. goober  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0

    Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear.

    That is what 2009 is about and will be about.

  24. jespo  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0

    Great Lake Swimmers!!

  25. Heather   |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0

    I’m crossing my fingers for a new Josh Ritter record this year… he tends to release albums with frequency and since there wasn’t one last year I’m hoping he’ll put something out this year. *crosses fingers*
    I’m also REALLYREALLYREALLY looking forward to the Fun debut when it comes out (that’s the band that’s made up from Nate from the Format, Andrew Dost from Anathallo, and that other guy from…. Jack’s Mannequin, I think?). I think it has potential to be amazing when you look at who is in the group!

  26. Andrew Bird – Noble Beast. Yes, I’ve heard. Yes, it’s still worth being excited about. Bonus instrumental disc anyone?

  27. Lonnie Pigford  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0

    so much fail here. (facepalm)

  28. Needs more Explosions in the Sky.

  29. Zach  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0


  30. these weren’t listed but definitely should be:

    marissa nadler- little hells
    girls- tba?
    dent may

  31. johnnytantan  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0



    • Yes! GRIZZLY BEAR, GRIZZLY BEAR, GRIZZLY BEAR…!!! i’m so excited. it’s worth to wait. this band can do no wrong.
      what about TOM VEK, SUFJAN STEVENS AND SOFTLIGHTES. have you heard any news from them? i really miss them.

      • differentcup  |   Posted on Dec 21st, 2008 0

        yeah what about tom vek? I heard he was recording some new stuff and he had a new song in GTA4. I’ve been waiting for a new album forever now.

  33. pants  |   Posted on Dec 20th, 2008 0

    How about the new Royksopp album? I’ve been waiting nearly 4 years for this one.

  34. anonymous  |   Posted on Dec 20th, 2008 0

    little boots, seriously. this chick is going to be huge.

  35. dankness  |   Posted on Dec 20th, 2008 0

    QUINN WALKER suckers <—-should be the biggest name in music – dudesagenius
    oh no oh my
    So Many Dynamos – the loud wars
    trail of the dead
    maps&atlases LP?

  36. I find it hard to believe that you are genuinely excited for U2.
    I am looking forward to The Pains of Being Pure at Heart debut. I didn’t know Phoenix were releasing an album, but you guys seem to think seems so. Consider me excited!

  37. Here are some that I’m really excited about…
    * Samantha Crain and The Midnight Shivers – Songs In The Night
    * Aaron Lee Martin – TBA
    * Mewithoutyou – TBA
    * ?And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – TBA
    * David Bazan – TBA
    * Andrew Bird – Noble Beast
    * New Pornographers – TBA
    * The Postal Service – TBA
    * ?also hoping to hear from Pinback, The Long Winters, and Sufjan among others?hint, hint

    • Duffy  |   Posted on Dec 22nd, 2008 0

      Postal Service? No way that’s coming out. That’s been a rumor since “Give Up” was in short pants. Link?

    • Jfu  |   Posted on Jan 2nd, 2009 0

      Man some new Pinpack would be awesome. Really love those guys (Thanks RJ ;)

      - Peter Bjorn & John (go ahead and hate … I’ll be busy enjoying myself)
      - New Bon Iver Full Length?
      - Burial! (I’ll even take the dj-kicks record)
      - Slayer (seems like they may even outlast Jethro Tull)
      - Midlake sounds great!
      - Yeasayer ( yeah I said it .. would be cool to hear them with some better production)
      - The National would be great (but I’m not holding my breath)
      - Outkast related (may go stale quickly though)
      - My own record (just for my own pleasure and sense of accomplishment)

      Happy New Year to All!! (even the douchey douches!)

  38. machu  |   Posted on Dec 20th, 2008 0

    um i think modest mouse is working on a ep or something….

  39. make it known…. album that will destroy all contenders in 2009 = debut LP from the Harlem Shakes coming in March

  40. echi  |   Posted on Dec 20th, 2008 0

    hmm everyone is forgetting the shins woo! also arctic monkeys, metric, and a bunch more

  41. ako  |   Posted on Dec 20th, 2008 0

    Sunset Rubdown.

  42. jb  |   Posted on Dec 20th, 2008 0

    Handsome Furs

  43. lp47  |   Posted on Dec 20th, 2008 0

    I’m looking forward to most of those and also Mew/The Radio Dept.

  44. BeeserStL  |   Posted on Dec 20th, 2008 0

    Really … No one cares about Bono or U2

  45. dre day baby. DETOX and then another up in smoke tour.

  46. Jim O  |   Posted on Dec 20th, 2008 0

    New Menomena and new Flaming Lips, that makes a good year

  47. charles  |   Posted on Dec 20th, 2008 0

    Health’s next album is set for 2009 too I believe.
    So that’s cool.
    And that Atlas Sound album that sorta leaked but I haven’t been able to find….

  48. cfboyd  |   Posted on Dec 20th, 2008 0

    Health’s new album should be coming out
    that Atlas Sound album that was leaked when Weird Era was should probly be coming out
    Liars have been putting some new stuff up places and has a new website with a cryptic blog post that sounds new-album related.
    of course

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