10 Most Anticipated Indie Albums of 2012

11 Mar

2012 is a year of follow ups from indie-favorites. Here is a list of the 10 most anticipated releases of the year, with details on dates, recordings, titles, working titles, and anything else of relevance.


10. Following their universally acclaimed Teen Dream in 2010, Beach House have recently announced their third album: Bloom – set for release on May 15. The first taste of the album comes in the form of ‘Myth’. It’s a trademarked Beach House song that revolves around their inimitable sound. Epic, soaring guitars, kept grounded by the vocals of Victoria Legrand. It’s everything you want from Beach House. Proving the groups great pop sensibility, that offers listeners an indulgent sense of indie cred.

Beach House – Myth:

9. To say Congratulations was a flop would be counter-intuitive. There is a demand for bands to push their spheres of sound in order to avoid falling into stereotypical frameworks of monotonous songwriting (aka the Oasis-syndrome). It has been largely documented, however, that fans of MGMT’s pop-riddled Oracular Spectacular would be disappointed with the sophomore release. As a result, record sales weren’t great.

Which has lead to MGMT’s label, Columbia, becoming more restrictive of the bands creative licensing on their now-unnamed third album. Andrew VanWyngarden was quoted in SPIN as saying: “They’ll be more involved and not give us as much freedom.” It’s a welcomed intervention, as MGMT seem to be at their best when making idiosyncratic pop. Details on the release have not been revealed, but the band has confirmed initial recording.

MGMT – Electric Feel:

8. 2008’s Walking on a Dream produced four singles of note. The album titled “Walking on a Dream”, “We Are the People”, “Standing on the Shore”, and “Half Mast”. It was an album of hit or miss tracks – but when it hit, it hit hard. Which only serves to heighten excitement for their follow up release.

Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore have been preoccupied with other projects (The Sleepy Jackson and Pnau, respectively). However, in an article in Prefix Magazine on October 25, 2011 – the group confirmed work on a new album. Steele has further commented, most recently in NME Magazine stating: “The new songs are grander, more Disney, more colourful…For this record we want the songs to be more Hollywood, just bigger and more imaginative.” Due in 2012, time will tell, Luke.

Empire of the Sun – Walking On A Dream:

7. The potential is present. The lead up to 2008’s Perfect Symmetry was marked with nuggets of album information and snippets of songs – culminating in the release of the first single “Spiralling”. It wasn’t great.

From Keane there is an expectancy for soaring piano-driven pop, and on Perfect Symmetry, it seemed like the band wanted to move beyond that. A David Bowie ripoff (Better Than This), a spoken word segment in French (Black Burning Heart), and just generally lacking songs – Perfect Symmetry missed.

That’s not to say it was all bad, the title track is amongst their best; but, it left something to be desired. Which leaves a void for their recently announced Strangland to fill. Releasing on May 7th, there’s hope it marks a return to Keane’s roots.

Keane – Crystal Ball:

6. The blogs love them, regardless of their repetitive song structure. Four men rocking banjos and guitars with harmonies that inspire chills. It seems like Mumford & Sons could cover Katy Perry and be marked as geniuses. They can do no wrong.

Their debut Sigh No More was huge. Nominated by NME, the Grammy’s, BRIT awards, MTV, and Q, it was an album that successfully broke into the mainstream consciousness. Driven by the success of lead single “Little Lion Man”, Mumford & Sons made indie folk relevant.

New songs have slowly leaked onto the blogosphere, but there is no evidence whether they’re cuts from the second album. The band has confirmed work on a follow up, initially set to be released in late 2011. However, no official date has been set.

Mumford and Sons – Awake My Soul:

5. Indie in its fullest sense, Local Natives recorded their debut Gorilla Manor at their Gorilla Manor. It was the name given to their house in Orange County, and served as the base for all of their songwriting. The album drew favorable attention from critics, and debuted in the Billboard 200.

After parting ways with their bassist, the group announced in late 2011 work on a follow up in a newly arranged studio.

Local Natives – Who Knows Who Cares:

4. Hype. Vampire Weekend is fueled by it. Gods of the blogs, and rightfully so. Both their 2008 self-titled debut, and 2010 follow up Contra have amassed widespread popularity. Topping charts in the U.S., Canada, and the UK, Contra solidified Vampire Weekend’s place as attention worthy songwriters.

Buttoned up arrangements that envelop ears, the music works hard. It’s buoyant pop that seemingly affects care. Contra embraced the bands ingenuity that dichotomized the opinions of listeners on their debut. Creating songs that drift along, hiding their complexities behind a facade of simplicity.

Hype. It feeds excitement. “LP3” is the working title for their most recent effort and the band reportedly started recording in late 2011.

Vampire Weekend – Giving Up The Gun:

3. Known for layering a ridiculous amount of tracks while recording (150+), it makes sense that Michael Angelakos’ Passion Pit is still hard at work on their second album. In a recent interview with Pitchfork, Angelakos stated the new album would be more “expansive”, focused on darker lyrics, consequence of “a really rough year”.

It’s been three years since the release of their debut Manners. Marked with childlike candor, it was indie songwriting acting as a conduit for the mainstream. Song after song of buzzy synths carried by R&B styled beats – the tapping of shoes or clapping of hands became symptoms. But with a largely defined and refined sound, it will be interesting to see how Passion Pit evolves. The follow up is set for release in June.

Passion Pit – The Reeling:

2. You know what to expect, and yet you can’t stop yourself from wanting it – now. Two Door does indie-pop at its best. Meaning it’s hard to imagine they will stray far from the formula that blew them up in 2010 following their release of Tourist History. Phone-camera recordings of new songs have slowly found their way onto the Internet, and one song “Sleep Alone” was debuted at their Glastonbury performance. It’s more of the TDCC we’ve come to know and love, and it works. No official information on their next release has been released yet.

Two Door Cinema Club – What You Know:

1. Fragments of clues riddle what comes next. “Pluviôse” now covers the front page of the bands website and various surveillance style photos from the studio have been leaked over recent months. Tease seems fitting a description, sparking debate over meaning and intention.

Over a year in progress, marked by the time-stamps of stagnant blog entries, big news seems inevitable. But what do we expect? Veterans in context, but amateurs in the spotlight, it will be interesting to see the direction Phoenix has taken. With a track record like theirs, it likely won’t be far from perfection.

Phoenix – Lisztomania:

5 Responses to “10 Most Anticipated Indie Albums of 2012”

  1. Dixon Cordell (@dixoncordell) March 11, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Well, that’s just about everybody. How can this much (presumably) good music come out in a single year? I’m most keenly anticipating Vampire Weekend and Local Natives. I was just wondering when Local Natives will get their due. They are perhaps the most talented of the lot.

    Well done, Dave.

  2. E - March 13, 2012 at 1:36 am #

    Wow, absolutely amazing Dave! Keep up the hard work.


  3. Elyse Howdershell August 3, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    I love the new Passion Pit album! This article talks a lot about the struggles of Michael Angelakos leading up to Gossamer..I think you’d be interested.


  1. Last Dinosaurs « - March 12, 2012

    […] In the wake of my long-winded last post, I’ll stick to my motto of letting the music do the talking. Last Dinosaurs debut releases March 20th – and will surely appease the appetites of those anxiously awaiting the big ones. […]

  2. The Shape of Things to Come « - July 19, 2012

    […] this year I posted a list of my most anticipated albums, with blind ambition and childlike yearning. I was basing assumption on […]

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