By Timothy Coffman, Columnist
Photo courtesy of Consequence of Sound
As awards season is dying down, the new release schedule for the year is getting underway. In the next few months, many new releases are expected to be switch-ups for artists or potential triumphs. Here is a short selection of some albums that you should keep your ear close to the ground for.
- Weezer – These power-pop nerds from the 90s had a hit with their meme-tastic cover of Toto’s “Africa,” and have also released a surprise cover album earlier this year. Their latest release, “The Black Album,” is expected to be released March 1. It looks to be shaping up to be a different direction for the band, as evidenced by the singles “Can’t Knock the Hustle” and “Zombie Bastards.” While it may not be the Weezer people are used to, it is intriguing, nonetheless.
- Vampire Weekend – Frontman Ezra Koenig has kept busy during Vampire Weekend’s hiatus, working on tracks for Beyonce’s “Lemonade” album in 2016 and raising his son with girlfriend Rashida Jones. Even though Vampire Weekend has also lost a member in guitarist and songwriter Rostam Batmanglij, the first taste of songs like “Harmony Hall” and “2021” are irresistible pieces of pop bliss. Their latest record, “Father of the Bride,” is expected to be released later this year.
- Simple Creatures – This is a supergroup of sorts comprised of Mark Hoppus from Blink-182 and Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low. While they have only promised an EP as of writing, the first track released, “Drug,” shows a unique trade-off between the two frontmen. If anything else, this EP may be a good pit stop in between releases before the duo get back to their respective groups.
- The 1975 – The group’s fantastic record from last year, “A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships,” was an alternative rock triumph. Having their next record come out so quickly after their last is very ambitious considering what they must live up to, but there have been no disappointments thus far for Matty Healy and company.
- Tool – While this progressive metal band has never broken up, they have not put out any new material since 2006. With their fans chomping at the bits for a new album, things started to look up when the band spoke about having an album out by the end of the summer. Tool have always been a band that have a knack for taking difficult concepts and songwriting approaches and making them incredibly fascinating. After the 13 year studio hiatus, here’s hoping that the long wait will pay off for these modern metal giants.