The start of a new year always holds a feeling of excitement in anticipation of what is to come, from personal events waiting to be experienced to the release of the albums that create the soundtracks of people’s lives. The onset of 2013 allows most to try to bridge the gap between who they are with who they want to be with their New Year resolutions, and the same goes for musicians. Here’s a small taste of some of this quarter’s albums bridging the gap between old and new vibes.
Tegan and Sara
Sister, Sister! Tegan and Sara, twin sisters and pop-rockers, are back at it with the release of their first LP in four years, “Heartthrob.” The identical duo was in search of a new sound with this record as they changed the way they went about creating it, from altering their choices in producers to their songwriting method. By working with pop-oriented producers like those of Kelly Clarkson, Foster the People and Maroon 5, Tegan and Sara have churned out tunes with an uncharacteristic pop undertone that tends to appeal to wider audiences. “Closer,” the synth-based first single off the LP, emits happy vibes and playful energy as the group moves in a new direction with the dance-pop and youthful melody.
“All That Echoes”
Ladies, rejoice! Singer-songwriter and ladies’ man Josh Groban will release his new LP “All That Echoes” in February. Experimenting with new styles and sounds, Groban integrates the essence of the bliss and roughness of life and love into his music. Among fan-favorite foreign language tunes and poignant grooves, the record’s first single and opening track, “Brave,” is what listeners should expect from the record as it is a song of inspiration, strength and courage that blends Groban’s usually touching music and lyrics with a new uplifting and upbeat undertone. The closing track of the album, a cover of Stevie Wonder’s song “I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever),” demonstrates the synergy that Groban created between his usual troubled style and the new uplifting essence.
“Broke with Expensive Taste”
With last year’s EP and a 19-song mixtape under her belt, Brooklyn sassy-cat and rapper Azealia Banks is set to release her first full-length album, “Broke with Expensive Taste,” in February after several delays. Banks’ passion flows throughout the record as she hopes to aim for authenticity over style and vibe. “212,” an incredibly successful song off her EP “1991,” demonstrates Banks’ genuine style and personality; it has a certain intensity as it conveys a story about a girl trying to find success and herself while proving that she knows how to work to get what she needs and wants. If “212” and her mixtape “Phantasea” are any indication, “Broke with Expensive Taste” is sure to be a sassy treat.
British indie-rockers Foals return with its third LP and a heavier and darker sound. The frontman of the band, Yannis Philippakis, said the band was more rhythmically preoccupied this album, giving it a new and more swampy, funky vibe. Singles “Inhaler” and “Late Night” have a dark, brooding essence that allows listeners to easily get lost in the music, demonstrating the fundamental nature of the band’s most recent effort. The record’s new gritty musical focus shows the band’s natural evolution while still imprinting the distinct Foals sound of strong guitars and broken time.
Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite
For his forthcoming record, Ben Harper teamed up with harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite to create every soulful music lover’s dream. “Get Up!” mixes blues, gospel, R&B and rock into one cohesive LP with an intensely gritty and raspy sound. Each song is written with movie-like detail, conveying deep and pitted emotions. The title track, available online, has a certain growl that is characteristic of the album, while other songs are more lyrically haunting like the battle hymn, “I Ride at Dawn.” “Don’t Look Twice” tugs at listener’s heartstrings as it is about Harper’s own personal struggles and self-destruction. With the bluesy guitar riffs and emotional lyrics, the harmonica organically ties everything together.
English synth and pop rock band Depeche Mode’s currently untitled follow-up album to 2009’s “Sounds of the Universe” is set to release some time in March, with a world tour to begin in May. The band heads back to the basics with this latest endeavor by creating a sound like its ever-popular “Violator” and “Songs of Faith and Devotion,” while infusing it with a new, bluesy and soulful tone. The first untitled track from the album, commonly referred to as “Angel of Love,” ensures that the band’s distinct synthetic, electro and gloom-pop sound will still pervade through the new emotional element heard throughout the 20 tunes that have been recorded for the album.