10 Surprise Albums We Hope to See in 2014
From the start, 2013 has been a sneaky year for music. Things kicked off in January with David Bowie emerging from his 10-year musical hibernation and shocking everyone with some fantastic brand-new music. Then My Bloody Valentine decided to release ‘m b v,’ their first collection of fresh material in 22 years, and in the process, they threw the digital world into hysterics as fans bombarded their website, only to find it had crashed due to traffic. Pixies followed in June, and not to be outdone, Beyoncé recently threw us all one final curve ball, uploading her self-titled visual album to iTunes without any word of warning. 'Beyonce' quickly became the fastest-selling album in the history of the online music store, both stateside and worldwide, so it’s safe to say people like surprises -- and that 2014 has a lot to live up to. Will the coming 12 months bring more shocking releases from our favorite artists? We sure hope so. Here are 10 surprise albums we’d love to see come out of 2014.
It’s been more than a decade since Blur treated fans to a collection of new songs, but amid periodic live shows and releases from the members' solo projects, there’s been chatter of a new record. The band has confirmed its been working on new material, and frontman Damon Albarn’s has hinted it will be available after he’s released his solo LP, but a date has yet to be set. Might 2014 finally be the year?
Amanda Palmer is no stranger to controversy. She’s spoken out on the state of the music industry, earned criticism for her crowdsourcing of musicians and even gotten involved in the whole Miley/Sinead open-letter dispute. But let's not forget she’s also an insanely talented vocalist and songwriter, which she first proved to the world when she formed punk-cabaret duo the Dresden Dolls with Brian Viglione -- now the drummer for the Violent Femmes -- back in 2000. Eight years later, they announced a hiatus, then two years after that (and the following year), they rekindled their musical romance with a handful of live shows. They’re still good friends, and they’ve never said no to another potential reunion, so maybe 2014 will be the year that we see a follow up to 2006’s 'Yes, Virginia....'
Since releasing 'Ceremonials' in 2011, Flo’s recorded a song for 'the 'Great Gatsby' soundtrack, collaborated with Calvin Harris and talked about writing a musical. It's also been rumored she'll appear in the upcoming Star Wars trilogy. Meanwhile, we've been waiting for a new album. Florence has said she’s already written most of the LP in her head, but she's also said her label is allowing her to take as much time as she wants. Maybe 2014 will mark the year of her return.
Green Day may have spoiled us a little bit in 2012 with their ¡Uno!/¡Dos!/¡Tré! trilogy. Three albums in one year? Plus a Billie Joe Armstrong/Norah Jones collaboration? We couldn’t have asked for more. But hopefully that won’t mean we’ll have to wait too long to get a follow-up. After Green Day wrap up their Australian tour on March 3, the band plan to take a break to charge their batteries, and with luck, that break will leave them amped up and ready to roll out some new material by the end of the year.
Will they? Won’t they? Here’s one of those "probably not gonna happen" ones, but we can still hope for it. Back in 2012, there was talk of the Libertines getting back together again and writing some new music. But it didn’t happen. This year, Peter Doherty said that although he hadn’t recently been in touch with Carl Barât, he was still hoping for a future reunion. But 2013 never saw an album. Maybe Pete will be able to take some time off from running his bizarre shop in London and finally make the album happen in 2014.
The 2012 album 'Push and Shove' marked the long-overdue return of Gwen and co., and of course, it left us wanting more. Last year came and went without any new No Doubt material, but in October, guitarist Tom Dumont wrote on Twitter (in response to a fan asking about a new album) that the band were going on another short hiatus, and that perhaps they’d have more news the following year. Well, the following year is nearly here, guys. Time for that new album.
Wishful thinking? Probably. But will we ever stop hoping for it? Probably not. Seems like nothing will ever change at this point -- Noel and Liam will carry on slagging each other off, and they’ll continue fielding questions about when the reunion’s gonna happen. But 2014 seems like an opportune moment, given that it's the 20th anniversary of the release of their debut album, 'Definitely Maybe.' But Creation Records boss Alan McGee has said the idea of a reunion next year seems unlikely, and last month, Noel told Rolling Stone the “band is no more. There is no band. So, no, I won’t be getting involved, anyway. If there is a reunion, I won’t be in it.” Still, with those two, you never know…
Will we ever get a follow-up to 2006’s I'dlewild?' All signs point to yes, or so we hope. With reports that the duo will be hitting up the festival circuit in summer 2014, and that there have been "some conversations" about a reunion, the next logical step would be recording some new material. And as if that weren’t enough to convince us, Big Boi posted a picture of himself with Andre 3000 on Instagram a few weeks ago. We smell a reunion…
For Radiohead, 2013 was all about side projects, solo projects and Spotify bashing, but could 2014 bring a new album? In February, guitarist Colin Greenwood said that he thought the band would return to the studio at the end of the summer, but a few months later, Thom Yorke told Rolling Stone it would probably be a longer wait than that, as he’d need to take a break. “I really haven't got a clue,” he said, “which I quite like. We didn't, like, say, ‘F--- you, I'll see you whenever.’ But it was quite exciting to actually finally decide to take a proper, proper break. We'd never really done that, not by choice.” But hey, if Radiohead can get an album together in the next 12 months, we wouldn’t be opposed to the idea.
Don’t get us wrong: We love the sound of a Weezer cruise, and we’re thrilled to hear that it’s returning in 2014. But we’d very much prefer to hear that there will also be a new floating our way. Last Christmas, the band revealed on their website that there will indeed be a new album, but the release date was still very much up in the air. "While it's impossible to say when the next Weezer album will come out, rest assured the band is excited and united in their desire to make it great.," the group wrote. In October, singer Rivers Cuomo revealed that the band were going to finally begin working on a new record in January (sessions continuing throughout the summer) and once again work with producer Ric Ocasek. It also sounds like the band is looking to release a greatest-hits album, so it’s certainly feasible to expect something new from Weezer in 2014.