Welcome to 2015, everyone! Now that our 2014 Recap is finished, The Garden Statement is looking forward to another year of great releases, starting off with Fall Out Boy’s release of American Beauty/American Psycho in a few weeks, with a few TGS favorites like letlive., The Wonder Years, and Citizen slated to release new material afterwards. With our mid-year lists due in 6 months, we thought it would be a good idea to once again talk about some releases that we’re excited (or not so excited) to hear. Hopefully you find something new to get excited for here, and if we missed something, let us know in the comments! Without further ado, here is the Roundtable Discussion fo The Garden Statement’s Most Anticipated albums of 2014!
What album that has already been given a release date are you most excited for?
Donald: The easy answer, for me, is Title Fight’s Hyperview. After the Spring Songs EP went in a much different direction than fans were used to, but they seemed to enjoy it. Now, the band are going head-first into this shoegaze/grunge sound, if first single “Chlorine” is any indication. I’m really excited for this album, specifically, because it’s very rare that a band so beloved, who’s garnered as much praise and reached such heights that Title Fight has completely change their sound. Will this be a line in the sand for many Title Fight fans still trying to pretend they’re a pop-punk band, or will Title Fight usher in a new era of the scene?
Madison: I haven’t been as excited for a release as I am for Modest Mouse’s Strangers to Ourselves. It’s been eight years since these guys have dropped an LP, and it’s seemed like this album was in the works for a long time but never coming to fruition. However, the band seemed to get serious about releasing some new tunes and even cancel a summer tour to do so. The lead single “Lampshades on Fire” serves as a strong reminder as to why I love this band so much in the first place. Although it’s taking Modest Mouse a while to get going on this release, it will be well worth the wait.
Craig: Both great selections to be sure, but my sloppy metalcore band selection (everyone gets one) Enter Shikari is set to release their fourth full-length The Mindsweep on January 20th. That’s going to be one of the most chaotic, wild releases of the year and I’m sure I’m going to love it way more than both of you guys will. I also think we’re all looking forward to how Fall Out Boy can follow-up what was the number 2 album of 2014 for our show in Save Rock and Roll. Their newest, American Beauty/American Psycho, which comes out the same day as Enter Shikari, has a chance to break new ground for the band. It’s probably, just judging by the singles already released, going to be a straight-up pop record. But that worked for Paramore last time (right, guys?)
Are there any debut albums you’ve heard are being released that you are really looking forward to?
Craig: I’m personally really looking forward to Smallpools’ debut album LOVETAP, coming out February 3rd. I was lucky enough to catch the band twice now live (once opening for Two Door Cinema Club and once at Firefly Music Festival) and they killed it both times. Their self-titled EP came out back in 2013 and it had an absolute jam in “Dreaming” on it. And they recently released the first single from the full-length titled “Karaoke” which is a really fun song. I think this could be something of a spiritual sequel to Walk the Moon’s Talking is Hard which came out last month.
Donald: This is a really tough one for me, because I’m just not sure if there are any that I know of. I guess Knuckle Puck’s debut full-length will be interesting, because they just announced that they signed to Rise Records and pop-punk fans are all of a sudden alarmed that the band is going to go more towards a metalcore route. Are these fans so easily forgetting that Rise has also signed Transit, A Loss for Words, and Man Overboard? Anyway, Knuckle Puck’s cover of The 1975’s “Chocolate” was surprisingly tolerable, and we’ve been looking for a new band to garner some buzz in the pop-punk community, so why not Knuckle Puck?
Madison: Not a debut album, but Head North is putting out an EP this year which will serve as their Bad Timing Records debut. We’ve highlighted the split they put out last year with A Will Away quite a bit, and I am stoked to hear new material. They have the potential to be the next break-out pop-punk band. I think it is just a matter of time and them putting out more material to showcase their ridiculous amount of talent.
Taylor Swift, or as I like to call her, Sailor Twift, took the pop music world by storm in 2014, and actually appeared on 2 out of our 3 individual top albums lists. With that said, what album outside of the scope of The Garden Statement’s usual coverage blanket are you most excited for in 2015?
Craig: I’m not sure if they’re officially out of our circle, but I’m heavily anticipating whatever fun. does to follow up their mega-breakout Some Nights. In terms of albums definitely outside our scope, I, as I think everyone is, am highly anticipating the new album from Kendrick Lamar. I was way late on the good kid m.A.A.d city hype train, but I’m fully on board for this new release. If you were paying attention, the new record’s lead single “i” made my Songs of the Year list last year. I’m excited to see where he goes from that intricate, complex track. The new record from post-rock wizards Explosions in the Sky is scheduled to come out in 2015 as well, and they have the potential to put together an album of the year contender for me.
Donald: Sad as it is for me to admit, I think we have to give up the ghost with fun., but I’m totally looking forward to that. That being said, we’re getting a new Kanye West album this year, and any time he releases music, it should be highly anticipated. He’s one of the most fascinating people on earth, and more importantly one of the most forward thinking minds in music, and if the track he released as the ball was dropping to ring in 2015 (“Only One,” which showed that there was a widespread lack of awareness of who Paul McCartney is) is any indication, we’re going to get yet another soul-bearing album from one of entertainment’s most tortured minds.
Madison: Kanye West. Mostly because he is a kind soul who likes to give unknown artists on the rise, like Paul McCartney, a shot at this whole “music thing.” Whatta guy. I actually have a massive list of non-emo albums that I’m stoked on. Marilyn Manson’s new album is going to be wild. I had this idea of who Marilyn was and what his music was about, based on all his past releases. “Deep Six,” the single from upcoming The Pale Emperor, dropped and changed everything. Yeah, the video is still really weird. But, the song is incredible and I am hooked. 2015 is also conjuring up some new tunes by Girlpool, My Morning Jacket, and possibly Radiohead, which all should be cool.
Is there a reuniting band you are most excited to hear release new music this year?
Craig: One band which is working on new music that I think is flying under the radar is Story of the Year. I think it’s pretty amazing we’ll be getting a new record from them this year. But I will have to go with The Starting Line, who announced at their recent annual holiday show that they will be working on new music in 2015. I’m not sure if this will amount to an EP, a full-length or just a recorded version of the “Luck” single that they’ve been playing live for years now, but whatever ends up coming out from them will easily be my most anticipated.
Donald: No confirmation from Thrice that we get a new album yet, unfortunately. If they do, that may be my most anticipated release of the whole year. They were a band that were in a league of their own, and if they’re able to come back with the same ambition and intensity they were known for, they’re a shoe-in for one of the top albums of the year. That being said, I’m not sure we’ll get one. Maybe they spend all of 2015 touring, then release the new album next year?
Craig: Yeah, but how cool would it be if they put out a new album out of nowhere next year after announcing their reunion? Just straight up Fall Out Boy their reunion.
Madison: If we get a new Thrice album, I am losing every single bit of cool I have.
What bands who released albums in 2014 do you think will return with another album in 2015?
Craig: This category takes finding a candidate that has two features, 1) and incredibly prolific songwriting group and b) an album released in the first half of last year. I don’t care how prolific you are as an artist, the chances of you having less than 1 year in between albums is pretty slim. So for this category, I’m personally going to go with Tides of Man. While it remains to be seen if they have feature number 1, they released their last record Young and Courageous in February of last year, and since they don’t need to write lyrics or melodies now that they are an instrumental band, I feel like their chances of releasing another album in the later part of this year are high.
Madison: Although no official announcements were made, Dikembe tweeted last week that they were working on demos for a new album. I guess it is safe to say we will be getting a new album from them at some point in 2015. The band’s 2012 release Broad Shoulders was real good. The 2014 follow-up Mediumship was incredible. Following the trend, their next album is set to make my head explode. Is this cheating at this question? Probably. Do I ever miss a chance to tell everyone how much I love Dikembe? Never.
Donald: I just wanted to point out that in the answer to this question last year, we correctly predicted that Transit would release an album. So with that, dear reader, I recommend you pay attention to our answers to this question. As far as my answer goes, I think Craig just did a great job laying out the perfect “formula” to predict these types of things. However, I’d like to humbly add my own criteria on top of that: the album had to have a lot of hype. Transit’s Young New England was hyped up for all the wrong reasons in 2013, leading them to make Joyride to hopefully get the taste out of everyone’s mouths (including theirs). But this year, I want to look on the bright side. I want to see an album from a band whose sophomore full-length changed the level of expectations for every album released after in in the emo genre. I think in 2015, we see a new album from The Hotelier. They have so much going for them right now, as Home, Like Noplace Is There is popping up at the top spot on numerous “Best of 2014” lists (including all three of ours). They’ve proven that they have a lot to say, and after they wrap up their spring run with Title Fight and La Dispute, I think it’d be the perfect time for them to spend the summer writing and recording, and have an album out in the fall.
What album released in 2015 do you think will be the most disappointing?
Madison: I am not predicting the new Senses Fail album to be good. With Buddy Neilsen being the only original member left, it’s nowhere close to being the band that was such a force in the mid 2000s. It’s not that their 2013 release Renancer wasn’t good (I actually really enjoyed it), but it doesn’t sit well with the rest of their discography. It was the start of a new phase, one that doesn’t begin to compare with the earlier times of their career. It’s a bummer, for sure, and I hope I missed the mark on this.
Donald: This is such a downer to think about, because there’s just so many great bands that we may get albums from this year. But if I’m being honest, I’m having trouble believing that the new Senses Fail album is going to be up to par with the band’s previous work. Buddy Neilsen is the band’s lone remaining original member that’s still around, and if Renacer is any indication, the band’s sound will continue to transition heavily from their melodic post-hardcore to a more punk/hardcore blend, but I’m just not as excited for this album as I have been for their releases in the past.
Craig: I think at this point I have to go with Motion City Soundtrack. I don’t know if the well has just run dry or if they’re just throwing everything at the wall and hoping something sticks, but I just don’t see how their new record can possibly be any good. I’d love to be proven wrong, but the writing is clearly on the wall. They apparently tracked the whole thing live in the studio, with the full band playing at once, to try and capture the band’s live energy. I hope it works. The fact that they’re playing Commit this to Memory in full (now the second tour in which they’ve played the album front-to-back after the four albums tour a few years back) just seems like even more confirmation to me that they have no hope in the future, so they’re trying to support themselves through nostalgia.
Is this the year where we finally get a new Brand New album? Explain your answer.
Donald: No. It’s time to give up the ghost. We’ve been asking ourselves this question every year since Daisy came out, and frankly, I’m sick of it. I think the band are, too, and it’s caused them to feel so much unnecessary pressure. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve already written, recorded, and scrapped an entire album. But go ahead, keep thinking they’re still an active band. Keep getting your hopes up that they’re going to finally release something this year, and that it’s going to be (Your favorite Brand New album title here), Part 2. I’ll believe it when I hear it. In the mean time, get off my lawn.
Craig: How am I gonna be the optimist about this? I know one year ago we sat here and asked the same question and I had the same answer, but it just seems like with them ramping up their touring a bit last year that this may finally be the year. They’re playing Coachella in the Spring, and wouldn’t it be great if they could bring some new songs to play out to the desert in California?
Madison: I mean, it would be great for them to bring some new jams to the hipsters in Indio, but they’ve played major festivals all throughout 2014 without bringing anything new to the table. I would hope, for all of the die-hard fans sake, they wouldn’t debut new material in a setting such as Coachella. This time last year, I was incredibly confident Brand New would release new material in 2014. I did not have any evidence, just a gut-feeling and a ton of faith. And guess what? I waited and waited, just like all the other fans, and was disappointed. Brand New will come around and put out new material eventually, but trying to figure out a timeline for it is a waste of time.
Lightning round! Going on record now in January, predict what your Album of the Year will be when 2015 is all said and done.
Donald: We thought The Wonder Years would never top The Upsides, and then they made Suburbia. We thought they’d never top Suburbia, and then they made The Greatest Generation. Now, it seems nearly impossible that they’d actually be able to top themselves again, but that makes me believe that they can do it. I don’t believe this band has the potential to be special any more; they already are. And if the new album, which is tentatively scheduled for a late summer/early fall release (according to the new issue of Alternative Press, for what that’s worth), is better than The Greatest Generation, I think it will be impossible for us to keep The Wonder Years from the Album of the Year title for their third straight album. I’m really hoping they prove me right.
Craig: Don, I would say you have a good chance of being right with your selection. Interestingly, we have not mentioned many of the bands who were on our 2013 countdown in this most anticipated, but I expect The 1975 to release a new record in the late fall which will be a factor in my list. I would also expect the new letlive. record to make a huge dent in my chart. And if Brand New actually does put something out it will probably contend for the title as well. But my winner here, the band that I think will be my album of the year 2015 if they release an album, is The Front Bottoms. They came close in 2013 with Talon of the Hawk, and they’ve only gotten more acclaim from me since then.
Madison: The Wonder Years is definitely a frontrunner and one of my most anticipated of the year. However, I am going to go for the underdog here and predict Citizen’s upcoming album is going to shred even more. If I were to redo my Top Albums of 2013 list, Youth would easily make my top 5. The band has grown immensely in popularity since that release, and it is going to really cool to see what potential is unlocked using slightly more resources this time around. While I am not as convinced they can outdo the previous album’s artwork, I think Citizen is going to impress everybody.