New releases from Beck, Phantogram and Broken Bells are almost here

Now that all the best of 2013 lists are out of the way, it’s time to look ahead at the albums coming out and shaping music in 2014.

Rumors of new music from Adele, Grimes, Foo Fighters, Kendrick Lamar, and A$AP Rocky abound, but the rumor mill doesn’t mean much these days and an artist could drop an album seemingly out of the blue at any moment (thanks to Beyoncé’s straight to iTunes surprise album last year).

Now that we have toasted the New Year and closed the books on the best of 2013 with this past Sunday’s Grammys, here are a handful of anticipated winter albums.


Who: Beck
What: An actual real audio album, not like his last release – a book of sheet music.
When: Feb. 25
The Details: Besides word from Rolling Stone, which praised Beck’s “Morning Phase” for “its gently psychedelic suspense and warming cosmic-cowboy reflection,” expect boho Beck’s 12th album to run the usual gamut of indie, funky stuff, and rock.


Who: Phantogram
What: The electro-rock duo releases album numero two, “Voices.”
When: Feb. 18
The Details: Phantogram released a self-titled EP in 2013 and shortly after mentioned their plan for “Voices” in 2014. This is good news for fans of the the New York synth rockers, because their last full-length was way back in 2009, with “Eyelid Movies,” a trip-hop inspired album that was littered with Sarah Barthel’s lush, breathy vocals and often compared to dream-pop luminaries like Portishead. If this is anything like the previous releases, it’ll be worth the wait.


Who: Broken Bells
What: Shins frontman, James Mercer and Brian Burton a.k.a. Danger Mouse, collectively knows as Broken Bells, will release their sophomore record, “After the Disco.” In anticipation, it’s streaming in full over at iTunes.
When: Feb. 4
The Details: According to Mercer the follow-up to their 2010 debut is a concept album interested in “what people in the Fifties and Sixties thought now was gonna be like.” Broken Bells are known for their grandiose sound, even though only two men are behind the musical project. Mercer notes that as a whole, fans should expect this record to have a darker, melancholy vibe to it. Check out Metro’s interview with the duo here.


Who: Gardens and Villa
What: “Dunes” will be the band’s first album on the Secretly Canadian label.
When: Feb. 4
The Details: Still trying to find their way, these guys find kindred spirits in Bowie and the Moody Blues, thanks to melodies dressed in the fanciful trappings of ’70s psychedelic jams. But unlike their predecessors, these four also weave in lessons from disco and new-wave synth-pop. This is the album where they come into their own. Trust us.


Who: Black Lips
What: “Underneath the Rainbow,” a follow up to the band’s 2011′s “Arabia Mountain.”
When: March 18
The Details: The tracklist is already out and word is that the album was recorded partially in Nashville with the Black Keys’ Patrick Carney. The new music is supposed to be a nod to old-fashioned roots music, and you can even expect an ode to Southern-rock greats Lynyrd Skynryd(!) on here.


Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.


Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.


OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…


Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."


Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."


'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…


Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.


Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.


Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.


Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…


VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.


#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.


Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.