It has been quite some time since this New York-based band has released any sort of music, but rumblings arose last year that they had finished recording another album. The Strokes confirmed the news, and this week gave us some more information about their fourth disc. Titled Angles, the album features a concise list of songs (10 to be precise), the first of which, “Under Cover of Darkness,” is set to come out later this month. With a headlining set at the upcoming Coachella, more tour dates seem more than likely. Let’s cross our fingers.
On Tuesday, Pitchfork named the British wunderkind’s new song “The Wilhelm Scream” one of the best tracks of the month. On Wednesday, it was announced that Blake was just signed to Universal Republic in America, the label that is home to fellow imports Amy Winehouse and Florence and the Machine. Following in the footsteps of Swedish star Robyn, Blake released several short EPs in 2010 in anticipation of his full-length, self-titled debut. The young artist blends dubstep and ethereal electro-pop with samples of other artist’s work, deconstructing songs by Timbaland and Feist among others. Out in the U.K. in February, James Blake is shaping up to be an album worth that pesky shipping and handling from across the pond.
While 2010 was clearly the year of Florence and the Machine, the redheaded singer seems poised to pass the crown onto Adele in 2011. Buzz swirling around the petit songbird’s second album, 21, has been overwhelmingly positive, based largely in part to the success of its fiery first single “Rolling in the Deep.” Adele, 2009’s Best New Artist winner at the Grammy Awards, brings intensity to her new album. Her sound has strengthened since 19, due largely in part to a messy breakup that has inspired much of the raw and heartfelt 21. Quite simply, Adele seems hell bent on dominating 2011, and nobody should stand in her way.
One of the most howling and legitimate rock bands still around, The Kills is a duo consisting of British guitarist Jamie Hince and Floridian singer Allison Mosshart. You may have heard their songs on shows like Gossip Girl and House, but the band has remained relatively inactive since 2008’s critically acclaimed Midnight Boom, due to Mosshart’s involvement in Jack White’s rock super-group, The Dead Weather. The Kills are set to release their new album, Blood Pressures, in April. Lead single “Satellites” is a dirty, stuttering, and sludgy track that points to great things ahead for the vastly underappreciated blues-rock band.
There is no doubt that Born This Way, dropping in May, is 2011’s most eagerly awaited albums, and for good reason. In 2010, Gaga stepped her game up and performed with Elton John at the Grammys, sold out shows across the world, rocked MTV’s VMAs for the second year in a row, and was named one of Time‘s most influential people of the year. Next weekend, Gaga will once again blow the Grammys out of the water with the live debut of her new song, “Born This Way,” and that’s just the way we like her.
Maybe I’m a bit biased because I’ve met the electrifying and oh-so-personable rapper, but anticipation has been feverishly building for years in advance of her debut album, Go! Pop! Bang!, set to drop later this month. The bubbly, high-pitched 20-year-old packs her rhymes with Baltimore flavor and straight up sass. After striking it big with her club-thumper, “Shake it to the Ground,” the rapper moved on to tracks like “Bang” and 2010’s “Sunshine,” both of which feature her mentor M.I.A. On her most recent track, a remix of Ciara’s pumping “Gimme Dat,” Rye Rye gleefully rhymes “I’mma get it like Ce-Ce / shaking all my goodies,” an impish reference to Ciara’s 2004 hit.