Daniel Rossen – Silent Hour/Golden Mile EP
Talk about a multitasker: already a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist for Brooklyn darlings Grizzly Bear as well as the more experimental Department of Eagles, Daniel Rossen is now releasing his first solo EP. The perfect teaser to Grizzy Bear’s forthcoming album, set for release this year, these five tracks drip with the melancholy and painstaking composition that has already won Rossen a following — now it’s all just a little bit more one-on-one.
Melanie Fiona – The MF Life
It’s not every day that a female R&B singer breaks out with the chops to handle old-school soul and jazz, but Melanie Fiona has built up a reputation as that kind of singer. Her second album features collaborations with the likes of Drake, J. Cole, Nas and John Legend — in other words, she belongs on the must-listen-in-2012 list of any R&B fan.
Odd Future – The Odd Future Tape Vol. 2
In a hip hop landscape where flamboyance and skinny jeans have just about become passé (we’re looking at you, Kanye and Kid Cudi), Odd Future has kept everyone guessing with their almost guerilla style of running a rap collective. Hopefully this studio debut will deliver the biggest surprise of all: telling us how well these dudes can actually rap, and when they can find time for doing so amidst their (admittedly entertaining) antics.
Pep Love – Rigmarole
Looking back to earlier days of the rap collective, Pep Love once belonged to famed underground outfit Hieroglyphics, founded by Del the Funky Homosapien in Oakland in the early ‘90s. Veteran rappers like Pep Love face interesting challenges carving a space in a constantly evolving scene, but Pep seems ready to jump right back into the game.
The Shins – Port of Morrow
Ever since winning over the hearts and minds of indie-loving adolescents with their soundtrack-defining feature in Garden State, James Mercer and The Shins have been busy proving that angst doesn’t have to evaporate once you hit 30. We can expect the usual savvy with pop sensibilities (and with whatever it takes to make a grown man cry) on their fourth studio release.