Top 10 Most Anticipated Music Releases of 2014

In a ranking of the months by number of great albums released, January would be right there with December at the bottom. That trend has been proven especially true this year, since there’s been a severe lack of releases that anyone will be listening to a month from now. Between disappointing releases from the promising young artists of today (Warpaint, Young the Giant) and disappointing releases from artists who were promising and young in 1997 (Crystal Method, Mogwai), January 2014 has gone down in music history as a good time to catch up on music from another era.

Fortunately, the rest of 2014 should be jam-packed with great new music. I now present the top 10 upcoming releases most worthy of hype, starting with…

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Classixx – Hanging Gardens (Innovative Leisure)

Dance music, plain and simple. One 4/4 synth-washed banger after another. Track 1 is the perfect introduction to the group, with a slow build to an in-the-clouds chorus. Honestly you could throw on every track to a similar effect. Highly recommended. Similar to: Justice, Todd Terje, early Daft Punk.

-Zach Shealy 8/21/2013

Godforbid – Equilibrium (Victory)

This is a textbook example of Victory Records metalcore. Exactly what I expected based on the album cover and names (of the band, tracks, album, etc.). But I liked it. Recommended for a metal show.

-Kaleb Lowe 4/12/13

DJ Kentaro – Contrast (Ninja Tune)

Master spinner DJ Kentaro mixes one part two-step, one part DNB, one part hip-hop, and two parts electro in his fourth album under Ninja Tune. This mix is high-tempo, head-banging goodness, with “Kikkake” and “North South  East West”  rising above the rest in terms of the number of times I pulled an important muscle. Contrast is deep and progressive, futuristic and “Lapis Lazuli” interrupts the madness with a just beautiful, 100-feet underground groove. “Higher” features some lip=biting UK rap, “Big Timer” and “Fire is On”. Yup, this genre puts out more of the same each year, and while this album is superficially different, it is a also a very dense symposium of what we expect. Recommended for bassheads only (hip-hop enthusiasts, beware).

- Will Doran 4/18/13

Major Lazer – Free the Universe (Secretly Canadian)

RATCHET!!! Get crunk, get dusted, make yo booty clap, and make it Wop! Wop! Wop! If you like to bring the heat and wile out… spin some of this. If you’ve hated the Harlem Shake since it’s first incarnation, skip these tribal electro crackhead beats.

- R. Blanton 04/13