This has been quite an exciting year for music, and we've seen a lot of our favorite artist release their third, fourth or even fifth studio album. While our favorites are progressing forward nicely, I'm unsure if they're going to be releasing anything in the year to come...well, unless we're talking about Portugal. The Man.
There were a few releases this year from artist that may not get their dues until next year. Here's five artist worth checking out live and on record in the year to come. Props to Anton on helping with this one.
1) Brian Bonz + The Dot Hongs --- Part comedian, part singer songwriter, this New York native brought us a pretty good album this year on Triple Crown Records. From Sumi to Japan is an elegant touch of keys and story telling by a guy who's stripped down acoustic performances are sometimes his best work, not to mention his interludes of humor. With a stint of solo openings for John Nolan and Person L's Kenny Vasoli, Bonz and his band is one to watch in the year to come.
2) Givers --- These Louisiana natives are one part Of Montreal showmanship and two parts Talking Heads groove. While most of the group is pretty young, they've already had a small U.S. stint with The Dirty Projectors earlier this Fall. If funk and fun are your plans, then Givers is worth at least one dance number. There's nothing mucky and swampy about this group.
3) Native --- Literally, I walk into a bar and...well, it was more like a local pizza parlour here in Austin where a friend's band is opening their first show for, you guessed it. The intensity of this four piece was like no other. With the digital release of their debut Wrestling Moves out now (with a physical copy poised for the first month of 2010), I'm excited about the bite that's as smooth as Minus the Bear and energetic as These Arms Are Snakes.
4) Mansions --- Christopher Browder may not sound like a Postal Service rip off that sells thousands, but his music is a lot more honest and is a breath of fresh air to some of these one person, home studio acts. Browder also landed big with a spot opening for Straylight Run's tour followed by an opening spot on the end of The Get Up Kids' reunion tour. Match that to the praise he's been getting from the artists around him - here's hoping he gets the same from the listening community.
5) Jeff Martin and Steve Padin (Anton's pick) --- From the ashes of This Day & Age, from the heart of one who left the industry to get a "real job," and from the soul of one in another band that had some material for a side project comes The First Joke & Other Matters by Jeff Martin and Steve Padin. The two collaborate on a project that is less Outkast than it is Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, but the back and forth dichotomy on the upcoming release is something the blends together without distraction and works; though they gravitate toward a different sound (Martin more toward the acoustic, Padin more toward the experimental), the root of it is good, mellow music that should be on anyone's list of anticipated releases in 2010.