Five Quality Tracks: February 2015

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This was a feature that I used to do for the Daily Californian’s Arts & Entertainment blog. I decided to give it life again here. At the end of each month, I’ll post a feature highlighting five quality tracks released during that month.

1. Alabama Shakes: “Don’t Wanna Fight”

Alabama Shakes surprised everyone with their fully-formed, blues-rock debut Boys & Girls in 2012, gaining popularity on the back of lead single “Hold On.” The band makes their return this year, delighting us with the booming and gritty “Don’t Wanna Fight.” The instrumentation sounds like peak Brothers-era Black Keys, but with the always-impressive yowl of lead singer Brittany Howard.

 
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These 10 Upcoming Albums are Making Me Ridiculously Excited for Spring

The music gods have been raining down on us recently with a deluge of album announcements. Here are the 10 biggest reasons to get excited. The album covers that follow are pretty colorless overall, ensuring that the future year-end “Best Albums” post will not be the most riveting thing to look at. But riveting to listen to? That’s another story entirely.

Jack White – Blunderbuss
Release Date: April 24


The driving force of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, and the Dead Weather is now stepping out on his own for his first solo album.
“Sixteen Candles”

“Love Interruption”

Ty Segall/White Fence – Hair
Release Date: April 24


California garage rock hero Ty Segall teams up with 1960s psych revivalists White Fence for some raw rock n’ roll.
“I Am Not a Game”

Santigold – Master of My Make Believe
Release Date: May 1


The artist formerly known as Santogold gives us her sophomore album after a four-year hiatus. Check out “Disparate Youth” from a previous post.
“Big Mouth”

Beach House – Bloom
Release Date: May 15


Dream pop duo Beach House go for a more expansive sound, and they seem to have to hit the spot nicely.
“Myth”

Best Coast – The Only Place
Release Date: May 15


Best Coast clean up their sound for another summer soundtrack.
“The Only Place”

Sigur Rós – Valtari
Release Date: May 28


It’s been a while. But for something this epic, I’ll wait as long as you need me to, guys.
“Ekki Múkk”

Japandroids – Celebration Rock
Release Date: June 5


My devotion to this Vancouver duo is very apparent, so it’s no surprise that I’m incredibly stoked for these guys’ second album.
“The House That Heaven Built”

The Walkmen – Heaven
Release Date: June 5


The Walkmen haven’t found the popularity as most of those on this list, but they have a solid run of consistently brilliant albums. Heaven should be no different.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Americana
Release Date: June 5


Dude is a legend, plain and simple.

The Tallest Man on Earth – There’s No Leaving Now
Release Date: June 12


I can’t imagine that the third album from this Swedish acoustic genius will sound much different than his previous releases, but that’s a good thing. Such a good thing.