No one wants the summer to end, but at least there’s a bright side — a plethora of records get released between now and the end of the year. Here are a few discs to lookout for in the back half of 2010.
Weezer — Hurley
Even though Weezer’s last few records haven’t resonated much with long-time fans, people still get excited when Rivers Cuomo releases a new record. This is the first time they’ve put out a disc on an indie label (Epitaph) and they’re claiming it’s a return to their indie-rock roots. First single, Memories, is hopefully an indication of how the rest of the disc sounds — it’s a loud, driving, riff-heavy rock number, and it’s really good.
The Walkmen — Lisbon
This gritty New York four-piece rose to indie-rock fame with their 2004 sophomore record Bows & Arrows, and have been consistently strong since. While they continue to make gravelly, amped-up Dylan-inspired sounds, they’re also not afraid to turn down the distortion. That’s clear from their new songs on MySpace. Stranded is a quiet ballad with sad sounding horns and minimal guitars; Angela Surf City is the opposite — it’s got manic drums, an aggressive wall of distortion and Hamilton Leithauser’s brilliant wail.
Antony and the Johnsons — Swanlights
Antony Hegarty is proof that you don’t need to be a Maroon 5-wannabe if you want a successful music career. His band, Antony and the Johnsons, have made a name for themselves playing soft, dramatic chamber pop. The 2005 Mercury Prize winner’s last disc was pretty depressing so it’s a nice to change to hear new single Thank You For Your Love — an upbeat soul number that shows off Hegarty’s happier side.
Kanye West — Good Ass Job
There’s almost no artist who can generate pre-album buzz like Kanye West. Last week, out of the blue, he released an unmastered version of a new song on his website. (It’s since been taken down.) If this track is any indication, his fifth record will be a big improvement over the lackluster, auto-tune mistake 808s & Heartbreaks. The song, See Me Now, is an upbeat number layered with choir-like background vocals and an aggressive R&B chorus courtesy of Beyonce. The disc also features contribution and productions credits from Kid Cudi, Q-Tip, Pete Rock, RZA, and apparently, Bon Ivor’s Justin Vernon.