Now that we're in the wake of Taylor Swift's epic release of The Tortured Poets Department anthology, other artists have gathered the courage to release music yet again...I mean, the album literally broke every Spotify record in the book- already surpassing 1 billion streams in five days, she has the most streamed song and album in a single day. You get the point.
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I write this fresh out of the Barben-heimer challenge, where I spent 5 hours in a movie theater. It must be a world record sitting through that 3 hour Oppenheimer, and the first thing I do when I get home is rush to my computer. I exited the theater just after midnight on Friday morning, so I had a whole world of new music waiting for me.

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MUSIC

14 Most Anticipated Albums of 2020

Halsey, Dua Lipa, Tame Impala, and more.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

While it's plenty fun to revisit music of the last year (or decade), it's equally exciting to point our focus to future releases.

2020 is coming soon, with no shortage of both indie and major-label releases in the early months to keep our ears busy. Below, we've picked just a few that we can't wait to hear.

The 1975: Notes On A Conditional Form (Interscope/Dirty Hit, 2/21)

After dropping their acclaimed A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships late last year, the modern indie pop legends return this year with their fourth studio album. They've released three songs from it so far, including opener "The 1975," featuring teen climate activist (turned Matty Healy's friend) Greta Thunberg.

The 1975 - People (Official Video)www.youtube.com


Grimes: Miss Anthropocene (4AD, 2/21)

The follow-up to Grimes' 2015 magnum opus, Art Angels is "a concept album about the anthropomorphic goddess of climate change." She's released five singles, most recently "4ÆM."

Grimes – 4ÆMwww.youtube.com


Georgia: Seeking Thrills (Domino, 1/10)

British producer Georgia Barnes' second album is due at the beginning of the year. If '80s-indebted synth-pop is up your alley, check out her fantastic single "About Work the Dancefloor."

Georgia - About Work The Dancefloor (Official Video)www.youtube.com


Frances Quinlan: Likewise (Saddle Creek, 1/31)

Frances Quinlan is best known as the lead singer of Philadelphia indie rockers Hop Along, but her inimitable voice still packs a punch as a solo act. Her first album under her own name comes out next month. Check out a single from it, "Now That I'm Back."

Frances Quinlan - Now That I'm Backwww.youtube.com


Tame Impala: The Slow Rush (Interscope, 2/14)

The Slow Rush is Kevin Parker and company's first album since 2015's instant-classic, Currents. The Australian band has released three singles so far: "Borderline," "It Might Be Time," and "Posthumous Forgiveness."

Tame Impala - Borderline (Audio)www.youtube.com


Halsey: Manic (Capitol, 1/17)

Manic is Halsey's third album. It includes her No. 1 hit "Without Me," as well as features from Alanis Morrisette, Dominic Fike, and Min Yoon-gi of BTS.

Halsey - Without Mewww.youtube.com


Beach Slang: The Deadbeat Bang of Heartbreak City (Bridge Nine, 1/10)

Last year, James Alex released the mellowed-out, acoustic-focused Everything Matters But No One Is Listening as Quiet Slang. Now he's back with his full punk band, Beach Slang, with their third studio album. It features Tommy Stinson of the Replacements on bass.'

Beach Slang - Bam Rang Rangwww.youtube.com


Kesha: High Road (Kemosabe, 1/10)

After the stream of empowerment anthems that comprised 2017's Rainbow, Kesha is returning to her party-pop roots for her fourth album. Singles "Raising Hell," "My Own Dance," and "Resentment" are out now.

Kesha - Raising Hell (Official Video) ft. Big Freediawww.youtube.com


Mura Masa: Raw Youth Collage (Polydor, 1/17)

Grammy-winning British producer Mura Masa's second record is on the horizon. It features guest vocals from pop darling Clairo, idiosyncratic rapper slowthai, lo-fi R&B upstart Tirzah, and more.

Mura Masa, Clairo - I Don't Think I Can Do This Again (Official Video)www.youtube.com


Bombay Bicycle Club: Everything Else Has Gone Wrong (Island, 1/17)

After taking some time off, London indie pop band Bombay Bicycle Club are back with their first new album since 2013. So far, you can hear "Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You)," "Racing Stripes," and the album's title track. Read our interview with bassist Ed Nash about the band's return.

Bombay Bicycle Club - Racing Stripeswww.youtube.com


Okay Kaya: Watch This Liquid Pour Itself (Jagjaguwar, 1/24)

Norweigan singer-songwriter Okay Kaya's second album is out soon, intertwining her themes of melancholy and anxiety into dark, eerie pop. She's released three singles so far: "Ascend and Try Again," "Baby Little Tween," and "Asexual Wellbeing."

Okay Kaya - Ascend and Try Againwww.youtube.com


Wolf Parade: Thin Mind (Sub Pop, 1/24)

Indie rock stalwarts Wolf Parade are back with their fifth album, their first since departure of multi-instrumentalist Dante DeCaro. They've already released two songs from it, "Forest Green" and "Against the Day."

Wolf Parade - Forest Green [LYRIC VIDEO]www.youtube.com


Andy Shauf: The Neon Skyline (Anti-, 1/24)

Canadian singer-songwriter Andy Shauf is soon releasing his sixth solo album. The singles "Things I Do" and "Try Again" are out now.

Andy Shauf - "Try Again"www.youtube.com


Dua Lipa: Future Nostalgia (Warner, TBA)

Dua Lipa's second studio album doesn't have a set release date, but we know it's coming in early 2020. If the two lead singles so far—"Don't Start Now" and "Future Nostalgia"—are any indication, it won't be a disappointment.

Dua Lipa - Don't Start Now (Official Music Video)www.youtube.com

MUSIC

Future Generations Heads to the Beach in "Just Pretend" Video

The Brooklyn outfit's latest offering is a sweet and diverting trip to Coney Island harnessing pleasant slacker energy.

Britnee Meiser

Future Generations' new music video is a jangly romp, its lo-fi fantasy boosted by the easygoing charm of the track "Just Pretend."

The Brooklyn band's latest single is a sweet slacker lullaby, carrying notes of Tame Impala and Belle & Sebastian Frontman Eddie Gore's voice floats in and out of clarity as a marimba-like trill dances under the brisk psychedelia of the track: "Every time I think I've got it figured out / I find a new way to remember how to doubt," Gore laments, his vocals splitting and reassembling over the beat. There's a sadness to the track, as it indulges in the feeling of being cast about in life's waves, but the gentle and sunny production allows that anxiety to just be a moment in time.

Future Generations - Just Pretend (Official Music Video)www.youtube.com

The video features the band enjoying a lazy day on Coney Island, traipsing about the boardwalk with ice cream cones and dancing goofily to the backing track. The stoner rock of "Just Pretend" is tailored perfectly to the setting, making a trip to Luna Park a true escape from reality. Even in the video, the uneasy lyrics come off like a brief darkness that's passing by. "Just Pretend" is another solid offering from Future Generations, a track happy to embrace the present for what it is.

Follow Future Generations online Instagram | Facebook | Spotify

MUSIC

Tame Impala Dances To Heartbreak on "Borderline"

The Australian psychedelic-rock outfit's second single this year is a foray into heartbreak, buoyed by a new sonic confidence.

Mairo Cinquetti/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

For Kevin Parker on "Borderline," heartbreak is no longer just a possible future: it's arrived in the present.

Tame Impala, Parker's beloved psychedelic-rock project, has returned with "Borderline," the second of two singles from an as-yet-untitled upcoming album, was released on Friday after premiering on Saturday Night Live the week before. The track indicates an exciting new depth in Tame's signature atmospheric rock and maybe even hints at a newfound musical maturity.

Which isn't to say Tame's sound has been reined in or stunted with time: the Australian band's hallucinatory sensibility remains intact, headed up as always by Parker's lilting vocals and obsessively tight production. But "Borderline" is still a notable step away from both the stoner rock of their first two albums and the shimmering synth-pop of 2015's massive super hit, Currents. It's the sound of recalibration, as Parker carefully centers the track on the uncoiling of a groove. Crisper drums and bass and a de-emphasized fuzz, bubble under a sound somewhere between chamber-pop and funk, as Parker infuses a sonic clarity into a song ambiguously about ending a relationship. "We're on the borderline / Dangerously far and all forgiven," Parker floats over the music, a sadness buoyed by Tame's renewed sense of curation.

Thematically, Tame Impala has always danced with ambiguity, the paralyzing uncertainty of what's to come in life and love. "Patience," the first of Tame's new releases, grasped for some understanding of the passage of time, seeking a balance with this uncertainty, but "Borderline" pushes this fear even further, into the bitterness of love lost. The song is willfully trapped in a moment, doubt and anxiety juxtaposed with a confident growth in Tame Impala's sound. It's a bracing change, and only makes the prospect of their new album all the more enticing.

Borderline



Matthew Apadula is a writer and music critic from New York. His work has previously appeared on GIGsoup Music and in Drunk in a Midnight Choir. Find him on Twitter @imdoingmybest.


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MUSIC

On PONYBOY, Jimi Somewhere Navigates Growing Up

We talked to the up-and-comer about nostalgia, change, Coppola, and whether he actually shot his dog.

At 17, the now LA-based artist, Jimi Somewhere, was a Norwegian kid dreaming of moving to the US to pursue his musical dreams.

Today, he's 20 years old and releasing his first EP, PONYBOY, after a string of singles including the infectious "I Shot My Dog."

JIMI SOMEWHERE - I SHOT MY DOG / 1st PLACEwww.youtube.com

Despite all this, life was better—or at least less complicated—when he was 17. Or at least that's the thesis of his most popular song, "1st Place," which forms the heart of his nostalgic and infectious EP . Like the movie from which it draws its name, the EP explores the simultaneous discomfort and thrill of leaving home and striking out on one's own.

In a way, Jimi Somewhere's music is youth incarnate. Intense, saturated with feeling, and yet still buoyant and dreamlike, existing somewhere outside of time, PONYBOY is tailor-made for savoring sunsets by the ocean or late-night drives in the heart of summer while knowing that soon, nothing will ever be the same.

Popdust caught up with Jimi Somewhere—real name Benjamin Schnandy—to talk about Los Angeles living, famous friends, songwriting therapy, Coppola movies, and that simultaneously universal and intimate experience called coming of age.

What was the move from Norway to LA like? How was meeting Kevin Abstract, getting connected with all these producers and having all that happen so quickly?

It all felt really organic. I was scared before leaving since being so far away from home on my own for so long felt super scary, but it all ended up flowing really well. I've met Kevin [Abstract] a couple of times, and he is the nicest guy, so it was cool even though I was always nervous. When it came to the producers and stuff, it was so much fun. Me and Milo Orchis (the producer behind all my music) hadn't been in any session with other people before LA, so it was interesting to experience that.

What was growing up in Norway like? What music did you cut your teeth on? Do you feel like being Norwegian influences your work?

Growing up in Norway was great—it was also a bit boring. I listened to all kinds of music during those years. My dad is heavy into Supertramp, Pink Floyd, Elton John, and all those 80s artists so that's what was playing in the car when I was a kid, while my sisters played a lot of Coldplay, Green Day and U2 in their rooms. Other than that I got heavy into hip-hop in elementary school and used to listen to a lot of 90s, early 2000s stuff. And then later I got into pop punk and folk-rock. I really love all kinds of music [so long as it's] made with passion and has some emotion to it. Emotion is what I'm drawn the most to.

I do think being Norwegian influences my work. I think that growing up unable to understand a lot of the lyrics in the music I listened to made me pay more attention to the melody and flow. I think that's a strength in Scandinavian music in general. We've got great melodies.

A lot of your songs are about coming of age. Has your music helped you process growing up?

Yeah. Writing is therapeutic, and it helps me deal with stuff that feels overwhelming. When I feel bad or sad I can turn those dark feelings into something worth something, which makes it feel better, like my sadness isn't wasted.

How do you write your songs? What's the process?

I don't really have a routine or anything, but usually, it starts with Milo bringing me chords or a small idea he had, and me just sitting down with it and starting to write. I write really fast; it just pours out.

The emo-suburban-coming of age story is a very specific one, and it's been prominent for a while, especially with artists like Kevin Abstract and Roy Blair really pushing that imagery. Do you feel connected to this narrative? What about it inspires you?

Overall I guess I'm inspired by it because I grew up in a suburb myself. I don't overthink it or anything. I just try to replicate the feelings I've experienced in different situations and make them into songs. In general, I'm just very nostalgic as a person. I'm always thinking about things that have been.

What inspires you in general? What makes you want to share your voice through music?

I have a need to express myself. It's always been there. I've written songs for as long as I can remember, so it's just in my nature. Whenever I've gone through something or experienced something, I just put it into words and melody.

What's the story behind the name "I Shot My Dog"? It's a pretty intense title.

I had this dog in elementary called Noddy that we had to put down because he was getting aggressive and bit this girl in my class. It was really sad and broke my heart. In the old days, farmers used to shoot their dogs when they had to put them down. So instead of singing "I put down my dog" I chose to write "I shot my dog." I thought it had more punch and felt more cinematic. But for everybody asking, for the millionth time, I didn't actually shoot a dog.

Your new EP is called PONYBOY—what made you choose that name? Why do you feel connected to Coppola, and how does film influence your music?

I chose the name just because I felt so connected with the movie. Coppola's Ponyboy is who I want Jimi Somewhere to be. The whole feeling in that movie is so special, and I definitely found myself thinking about it while writing. Film influences all my music pretty heavily. I love movies, and I watch one almost every day. My favorite movies are always spinning in my head whenever I write.

Where do you see yourself going in the future? Where do you want to be?

I've been thinking about that a lot. Watching Billie Eilish doing what she is doing right now is really inspiring. That's the position I want to be in—to be able to create freely whatever I want, whenever I want and still have it top the charts. That's the ultimate dream, but I'm happy as long as I get to do this for a living.

JIMI SOMEWHERE - BLUE SKIESwww.youtube.com



Eden Arielle Gordon is a writer and musician from New York City. Follow her on Twitter @edenarielmusic.


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