Get off your bar stool and prepare yourself for these hot new indie rock albums to be released in early 2010. You can bet your poker chips these albums will be some of the most talked about records of the year so hear about them here first!
Hot Chip – One Life Stand
There are lots of bands that have incorporated the style and glossy production sound of top 40 hip-hop and pop into their music, but none are able to do it with as much class as the indie rock band Hot Chip. They have been crafting some of the catchiest dance-floor anthems of the past decade with their great music and clever, often tongue-in-cheek lyrics. They burst onto the scene largely with the tracks “Over and Over” and “And I Was a Boy from School” from their 2006 release, “The Warning.” Their new album, “One Life Stand” is said to be more somber than their previous releases, so it will be interesting to see where the band goes from here on out.
Vampire Weekend – Contra
These preppy art school kids have divided music fans into love it or hate it camps, with their detractors criticizing their usurping of African rhythms and Paul Simon “Graceland” influences in their music. It’s hard to come down on Vampire Weekend for stealing from black musicians when throughout musical history that is all that white people have done. Their new record is full of even more of that catchy, literate pop music that they are known for, with lyrics that sound straight out of a “Gossip Girl” novella.
The Besnard Lakes – Are the Roaring Night
This epic indie rock band is hard to pin down; their vocalist sounds like your typical whiney indie rock singer but their sound really shoots for the stars, with lengthy, often seven minute long songs that slowly burn their way into your skull. Their albums seem to be loosely conceptual, with their breakthrough “Are the Dark Horse” being followed by “Are the Roaring Night,” with an effectively appropriate image of a roaring night fire on the album cover. I don’t know what these guys are up to but it sounds like it is worth following.
Alan McGee is a freelance writer from MN.