What Are We Excited For?

by
Coldplay
As we bid farewell to this year's PearShaped Committee, they give us the low-down of what they're excited for.

This article was originally published by Exetera Magazine.

Jack Reid – Society President
Most excited for: What comes after House?

I chewed on this question for a few days, because in my world there’s just been a huge surge of exciting things happening locally and globally in music. However, I think what I’m most anticipating isn’t a specific release or live show. I’m most excited for the next fad of electronic music to make the mainstream.

If you go back a few years we watched Dubstep worm its way into the mainstream, get oversaturated and fold in on itself. Most recently, House, particularly of the deep / garage-y flavour, has seeped into the Top 40 and the ears of the average man. We will either reach saturation point as the popularity of the genre climbs, or the genre will sink back down into something else, as something new takes the limelight. But what will it be?

Lizzie Hatfield – Chief Editor
Most excited for: Coldplay’s upcoming album

As a self-confessed fan girl of all things Coldplay, I am most looking forward to the release of their upcoming album this May. Ghost Stories is the sixth release from the band, and will probably take them in a different musical direction once again. Since debut Parachutes back in 2000, the band have ever so slightly reinvented themselves with each album release, the most noticeable change being 2011’s Mylo Xyloto, which received some criticism for its change in direction (including a controversial collaboration with Rihanna).

Two tracks have been released from Ghost Stories thus far: Midnight and Magic. I have to say, contrary to most, Magic is my favourite of the two. It goes back to their roots of soft vocals and simple yet irresistibly catchy melodies; for me the magic of Coldplay is the way their music is so understated. Midnight is also incredibly chill, and reminiscent of Bon Iver, hinting that their new release will be far less upbeat than Xyloto, and probably a return to Parachutes with slightly more experimentation. I, for one, can’t wait.

Matt Hacke – Assistant Editor
Most excited for: The rebirth of Klaxons

There’s a strong chance I’ll get this one completely wrong. It’s possible, and perhaps probable, that the Klaxons may implode on their upcoming third effort, an outcome that will ultimately consign the pioneers of Nu-rave to the position of a footnote in music history. Still, we can hope.

On the back of their debut album, Myths Of The Near Future, eons ago in 2007, Klaxons were the poster-boys of what many critics felt would be the next big trend in electronic. We can see the undoubted influence they had on similar original artists from recent years, e.g. James Blake. One wonders if we all might be listening to a lot more split vocals and juddering synth / guitar lines if Klaxons had released a strong second album quickly.

After years of dithering, broken up by a decent but late sophomore effort, the 4-piece may have lost their chance to stamp authority on electro-vogue. However, with the weight of expectation off their shoulders, we might finally be able to experience a fitting sequel to their early excellence. Children Of The Sun is a good omen, a track that sees them return to their roots, augmented with a Kasabian-esque swagger. On the back of this, I recommend keeping track of Klaxons over the next few months; if they fail, the outcome will be hideous, but if they succeed, it will be incredible.

Elliott Boekhoff – Treasurer
Most excited for: Anything remotely Maccabees

If the combination of melancholic vocals, catchy riffs and heroic guitar solos sounds like your kind of indie rock band, then you need The Maccabees in your life. Much like recent visitors to the Great Hall, Bombay Bicycle Club, their style has adapted over time but remains unique all the same. From the catchy pop rock tones of Colour It In, to the restrained and epic Given To The Wild, there’s a lot of music to enjoy so long as lead singer Orlando Weeks’ distinctively soft vocals don’t put you off.

Late last year the boys promised us a new album for early 2014; unfortunately as of January, only 2 songs had been completed, although they’ve also teased at a release of “something else”; perhaps an EP to act as a prelude to the new album. Let’s hope the slow progress is an indication that their forthcoming album will be of the same impeccable standard we’ve come to expect from them.

Emily Pratten – Press Officer
Most excited for: The rise of Rhodes

My current obsession is the song Your Soul, by Rhodes, featured in the PearShaped Listening Post this week. It’s phenomenal, it really is, and my obsession with it has led to it being on repeat for days at a time whilst I eagerly wait for Rhodes’ new EP Morning to drop on May 11th, from which Your Soul is taken.

I am very excited to get my hands on new material, despite only having had my hands on old material for less than a week. The almost ballad-like quality of his previous tracks combined with echoes and ambience and atmospheric ebbs and flows make for genuinely beautiful songs. All of this on top of a rich and gloomy vocal performance means ‘Your Soul’ is a track with an echo-filled immensity to it. It’s moody and intense as well as being mildly uplifting; the combination of his talent with some expert level production on the track has me excited for whatever else is coming up on this EP. I want it and I want it now.

Colin Bugler – Social Secretary
Most excited for: This year’s Record Store Day

I’m definitely looking forward to this year’s upcoming Record Store Day on April 19th, which for those not in the know, involves a nation-wide sale across independent record shops. Many artists release limited pressings or re-releases of out-of-press singles or LP’s, so it’s always worth having a look round locally or online to see what’s available. Last year involved Frank Turner, Jamie XX, demos from Bob Dylan and a re-release of The White Stripes classic LP, Elephant.

Over the next few months, there are many fantastic re-releases that’ll doubtless make an appearance on vinyl – Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page is planning to release the band’s entire back-catalogue, starting with the seminal LP’s I, II, and III on June 3rd. I’m personally very excited about the 20th anniversary edition of Illmatic – the classic debut from Queensbridge rapper Nas, and arguably the best hip-hop album ever made. There’s been a huge wave of Internet anticipation recently following the announcement that the album will include new remixes and several previously unreleased tracks, as well as a follow-up tour. Definitely worth a look!

Leah Devaney – Publicity Officer
Most excited for: Iggy Azalea’s upcoming debut

With the release of her new album, The New Classic, imminent, Iggy Azalea is a woman with a lot to prove. Until her explosion onto the music scene with a handful of singles and collaborations in 2012, the category of the female white rapper had been represented almost exclusively by Lady Sovereign, hardly a shining example of what we girls can do. Unlike the former, Iggy Azalea can actually rap, something pretty crucial to her career choice, as well as writing ridiculously catchy tunes to boot. It remains to be seen how the wider musical world reacts to her putting out an actual album, as it’s one thing for a blonde white girl from Australia to release a few rap singles, and quite another for her to create an LP alongside the musical statement that goes with it.

No matter how it’s received by the famously cynical press, The New Classic is bound to send the Internet into fevered excitement, and we all know that it’s the bonkers bloggers and 140 character Twitter critics that matter these days anyway.

To be honest, Iggy could put out four hours of goat noises before declaring it a deep concept album in an egocentric thirty page Rolling Stone interview and I would be completely uncritical. As long as The New Classic features Fancy, the wonderfully infectious collaboration with Charli XCX that features quite possibly the greatest music video ever conceived in history, I will be content. Not a lot of pressure then.

Amy Garner – Assistant Publicity Officer
Most excited for: La Sera’s Hour Of The Dawn

After her punk band, Vivian Girls, recently split, Katy Goodman has been back as La Sera in the studio to record her third album, Hour Of The Dawn. Yet this time we’ve been told to expect something a little different from the previous albums, which rock a distinctly melancholy bittersweet break-up feel.

This time she’s teamed up with a new band, including guitarist Todd Wisenbaker, and we’ve been promised some louder, faster and more fun rock songs – a mixture of punk and 80s power pop. La Sera is leaving the pain and heartbreak of the previous two albums behind and embracing her enthusiasm for the future, with a brighter and more vibrant feel. Speaking about the album, she commented “I wanted the new La Sera record to sound like Lesley Gore fronting Black Flag,” adding “I didn’t want it to be another record of me sad, alone in my room. I wanted to have fun playing music and writing songs with a band.” Definitely one to watch out for this 13th May.