The Lookahead Part II / April 2012 / National

[The Lookahead is a monthly segment where we get to be all newsy and point out cool stuff going down in the next 30 days or so. We'll have cool Pittsburgh music shows and events, local album releases, and some national releases of interest. This is the good stuff we've heard about. Come back on the 1st of each month for more!]

Earlier today, we shared some upcoming Pittsburgh events and releases, and now it’s time for part two: all the non-local indie rock bands we’re looking forward to hearing new tunes from in April. There’s awesome music coming out just about every day, and we did our best to whittle it down to the ones that seem particularly interesting, so feel free to comment and add your own picks. What are you excited for? Read on for our choices!

National Releases

Since we’re posting this on the 3rd of the month, the first few albums were technically released yesterday and are, thus, not lookahead-able. Forgive us :-)

Zammuto / Zammuto / 04.03

CC just mentioned The Books earlier this week, and although we do really like them, the band announced earlier this year that their last record’s title, The Way Out, was “very aptly named”. Sad face. They’re moving on to pursue other projects and, amazingly, singer Nick Zammuto already has a release with a new group of players. I haven’t had enough time to digest this album, but you know it has to be weird and amazing when it comes from a guy that could make the stuff that The Books made. Do yourself a favor and just stream the album on Zammuto‘s website. You might find your new favorite album.

Zammuto / Insound / iTunes / Amazon / Soundcloud

Lotus Plaza / Spooky Action at a Distance / 04.03

Another side project of a great band, Lotus Plaza is guitarist Lockett Pundt from Deerhunter. Expect the same kind of mature and shimmery indie rock of that band, minus Bradford Cox’s voice and outspoken oddity, with a little more focus on some atmospherics and effects. This is a rather talented musician taking some time to craft something he’s proud of, and it deserves just as much attention as any outlandish stuntery (and great music, as well) that Cox does, so don’t sleep on it. Recommended if you’re into, say, War on Drugs or Beach House or Beach Fossils or, of course, Deerhunter.

Lotus Plaza / Kranky Records / Insound pre-order / iTunes / Amazon

Alabama Shakes / Boys and Girls / 04.10

Man, do these boys and girl deserve all the hype that’s been swelling around them lately. Don’t ignore it, embrace it. This homegrown, gritty, energetic, genuine rock ‘n roll is perfect at this moment and deserves to be enjoyed fully. Check out a couple of advance tracks on the band’s website, especially standout single “Hold On”, and just Google their name to find any number of other fantastic reviews and Youtube vids, including an awesome video of entire set at NPR’s SXSW showcase.

Alabama Shakes / Band store pre-order / Insound pre-order / Amazon pre-order / iTunes

M. Ward / A Wasteland Companion / 04.10

There’s been so much attention showered on the She of She & Him these days, it’s almost easy to forget about how talented Him is. (Trust me, that sentence makes sense.) M. Ward‘s guitar and singing and songwriting talent knows no bounds, but for this new album on Merge Records, he thought, “What the heck, I’ll bring in a lot of other talented people to help me record it.” Eight studios, eighteen musicians, including folks from Sonic Youth, Dr. Dog, Devotchka, Bright Eyes, and yeah, that Zooey lady. This should be a great listen.

M. Ward / Merge pre-order / Insound pre-order / iTunes / Amazon

Allo Darlin’ / Europe / 04.17

Jonesing for some twee pop, à la Belle & Sebastian or Camera Obscura? I think Allo Darlin’ could be your fix. I slept on their debut in 2010 and am just catching up to them now, and I think I’ll really dig this. Sweet melodies, upbeat songs, pretty vocals, the kind of lyrics you’ll want to sit down and dissect and sing along with. They recently put out a picture-disc 7″ of a bonus track and a cover of The French, so check that out too.

Allo Darlin’ / Insound pre-order / iTunes / Amazon

Sidi Touré / Koïma / 04.17

I was lucky enough to see Sidi Touré perform on his first ever tour of the US last year, and it was incredible. The show was a genuine celebration of music and its power, with his friends spread across the stage all joining in on their strange-looking instruments that produced simple and beautiful sounds. His Sahel Folk album of last year was an exploration of quiet contemplation with friends, recorded by meeting with a string of fellow musicians in a hut for some tea and a songwriting session, day after day. This new album, though, will explore Gao music in a “celebration of an evening of dance” way. The lead single, “Tondi Karaa (The White Stone)” is described in a press release as follows:

This song refers to a legendary stone that sat in the center of Gao for 500 years, a symbol of purity and prosperity, that, in the 1970s, went missing. Sidi sings of how misfortune has befallen Gao ever since, and the missing stone represents how individuality and money have damaged the unity of the Songhaï culture.

Sidi Touré / Tondi Karaa

Sidi Touré / Thrill Jockey pre-order / Insound pre-order / Amazon

Jack White / Blunderbuss / 04.24

I probably don’t need to say much about this one. You know this will be a wild and awesome album. I caught Jack White‘s SNL set a few weeks back, and even if I knew nothing about the man, I might buy this album based on that performance of “Sixteen Saltines”. The first single, “Love Interruption”, shows a mellower side of the guy, though, and makes me even more intrigued but what the rest of this album will sound like.

Jack White / Third Man pre-order / Insound pre-order / Amazon

The Dandy Warhols / This Machine / 04.24

Having not heard from The Dandy Warhols since 2008, except for a remastering of their classic Welcome to the Funhouse, I’m interested to see how this album turns out. Could be great, could be weird and almost bad, could be just kinda forgettable, could be awesome and remind me why I liked them in the first place. We’ll see!

Dandy Warhols / The End pre-order / Insound pre-order / Amazon

Suckers / Candy Salad / 04.24

Suckers do some crazy interesting things in their pop songs and it’s hard to explain just why they’re so darn catchy, but they are. Frenchkiss manages to find some genuinely innovative bands, and this is one of them. They’ll be playing in Pittsburgh at Stage AE just a week or so after the album drops, so check that out, too!

Suckers / Frenchkiss Records / Insound pre-order / Amazon

Ty Segall and White Fence / Hair / 04.28

We are all about the wild world of Ty Segall here at DUL, and Brendan really digs the lo-fi psych pop of White Fence, so it only makes sense that we’re excited about this collaboration project. Gritty, fuzzy guitars and awesomely catchy tunes will abound, no doubt. Here’s hoping they stop in town sometime soon, too!

Record Store Day / 04.21

Huzzah for physical media! This annual celebration of independent record stores and specialty vinyl boasts a huge list of exclusive and limited releases. Peruse it and jot down a list of what you’re excited about, then take it with you as you skip around town to all the participating stores. You can’t be sure of what any individual store will have until that very day, so be prepared to potentially do some serious hunting to find what you want! We’ll share some more news about what Pittsburgh stores will be doing as the date gets closer, too.

Record Store Day website

Have any thoughts on these upcoming records? Know of any others that we missed? Leave some comments and we’ll hash it out!

One Response to “The Lookahead Part II / April 2012 / National”

  1. Totally forgot about Maps & Atlases‘ new album, due 04.17, too!

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