It’s only November, but I am already looking forward to the music releases of 2011. Contrary to pessimistic prognostications, downloading has not killed music, and 2011 looks to be jam- packed with hot new releases. In no particular order here’s a Top 10 list of the albums I plan to steal(and or buy.)
1) Cloud Nothings: The Cloud Nothings are the brain child of Dylan Baldi, a 19 year old kid from Cleveland, whose talent for songwriting in undeniable and whose playful but emotional guitar playing is unforgettable. 2011 sees the release of the Cloud Nothings eponymous debut. Make sure to listen to it.
2)Lupe Fiasco: Lasers. Lupe is scheduled to release Lasers in early 2011. The verbose Chicago MC once claimed that he would retire after his third album. With that release date nearing, Lupe has backed away from that promise. Even if Lasers isn’t Lupe’s finale, it’ll still be worth listening to.
3) Pandabear: Tomboy. While rumored to come out in 2010, Tomboy still has no release date in sight. This makes it a safe bet that the album will actually drop in 2011. Tomboy is the follow-up to 2007’s critically lauded Person Pitch, widely noted as an influential precursor to the Chillwave genre.
4) Justice: TBA. French techno act Justice is reportedly hard at work on their sophomore album to be released through the newly re-formed Elektra label. Fans of hard hitting bass and synth-fueled bangers rejoice.
5) Jay Electronica: Abacadabra Let There Be Light. The charismatic New Orleans MC’s output thus far has been sparse, but brilliant. Despite a career that spans a few mixtapes and zero official releases, Electronica has more quotables than most rappers ever will. We hope 2011 will see the release of Jay Electronica’s debut album, Abacadabra Let There Be Light. The album will reportedly be a part of a CD/full length documentary combo released via Decon records.
6) The Fleet Foxes: TBA The Foxes return in 2011. Lush arrangements and soaring vocal harmonies earned the group great reviews and a devoted following, but (judging by recent interviews) the Foxes intend to take their sophomore LP in a more psychedelic direction. Still a band as talented as the Fleet Foxes is unlikely to disappoint.
7)Hot Sugar: Muscle Milk. Muscle Milk is the debut EP from Hot Sugar, the nom de guerre of multi-talented multi-instrumentalist Nick Koenig. Koenig mastered his craft as a producer, working with acts such as Izza Kizza and CX Kidtronik and has a knack for turning esoteric samples into funky headphone masterpieces. Get a taste of Hot Sugar here.
8)Lil Wayne: Tha Carter IV. Fresh out of the big house, Lil Wayne looks to rebound with a new album. Though recent output has been spotty I’m still excited to hear the prolific MC’s latest offering.
9)The Diplomats: Diplomatic Immunity III. Personal issues derailed the Harlem-based rap group in 2007, but after patching things up, the Dips are back for another round. Expect sped-up soul samples and gangster rap posturing in a format that is pop enough to get played on the radio.
10)Lady Gaga: TBA. Lady Gaga’s recordings have never matched the opulence of her phantasmagoric videos. Still it’s hard to argue that her next album shouldn’t be listed amongst the most anticipated of 2011.
Honorable mention: Decemberists, Rye Rye, Hercules and Love Affair