Last weekend, a major scoop about preparation for one of the year’s first buzz-worthy releases — a new track called “Blue Moon,” streaming from Beck’s forthcoming album, “Morning Phase” — appeared on various music blogs. The LP will be released Feb. 25, and it marks Beck’s first release since 2008’s critically hailed “Modern Guilt.”
Iconic ’90s indie band Guided by Voices has also sparked chatter with their plans to release “Motivational Jumpsuit” on Feb. 18. This album is the latest in a string of new releases from Guided by Voices, all of which have been recorded by the band’s original lineup.
Following her jazz album “The Cherry Thing,” Neneh Cherry is on a return path similar to that of Guided by Voices. In February, the Swedish hip-hop innovator is releasing her first album as a solo artist since 1996’s “Man.”
For music fans of a more mainstream stripe than Cherry, Beck or Guided by Voices, there are many exciting prospects lined up for the first quarter of the new year.
On the pop diva front, newbies Candice Glover of “American Idol” and Lea Michele of “Glee” plan to release their first solo albums.
Meanwhile, in the veteran corner, Mariah Carey faces pressure after album delays for “The Art of Letting Go,” which has been exacerbated by her controversial “American Idol” stint. It’s difficult to say whether this new album will bring her a new hit.
Popular act Rick Ross is expected to release new material in March. The new album, “Mastermind,” has been in progress for over a year. Meanwhile, indie songstress St. Vincent plans to release her album “St. Vincent” in late February. She has kept critics’ attention and has built a steady following, but it remains to be seen whether her newest album will continue to increase her momentum.
Audiophiles seeking a combination of pop and indie sensibilities (Robyn fans, for example) may be more excited by the forthcoming releases that can live in both worlds. Pop artist Katy B will follow up her lauded 2011 album “On a Mission” with new release “Little Red.” Swedish solo artist ceo will put out a new album after his viral 2011 cover of Beyoncé’s “Halo.”
The question of what will become this year’s “Beyoncé” is one that will take time and perspective to answer. Until then, music fans can delight in watching for promising releases on the horizon.