By Henry Thomas
- Texas Sun EP, Khruangbin and Leon Bridges
Chilled out Texan instrumental trio Khruangbin team up with the golden-voiced retro fashion God Leon Bridges for an EP scheduled for release in February. When I first heard that two of my favorite artists of the 2010s were collaborating, I knew 2020 was looking bright. The single from the EP, titled “Texas Sun,” dropped in early December and gave us a glimpse at sound of the finished record. Bridges’ voice fits in perfectly with the minimalist rhythm section of Khrungbin, while Mark Speer’s trademark guitar tone adds flourishes to one of the most relaxing songs of the fall. Both collaborators are from Texas, which explains the Texan theme of the EP. I’m really counting on this album to bring a little light to the frozen wasteland that is Skidmore in mid February.
- Printer’s Devil, Ratboys
I truly can’t wait for this one. Ratboys has put out some of the most interesting and listenable indie rock of the last 10 years, and their third album looks to expand the horizons of their recognizably melodic power-pop. This will be the first Ratboys release conceived and recorded as a full band. The added participation of bassist Sean Neumann and drummer Marcus Nuccio makes for an even more varied listening experience, with their website claiming: “Ratboys captures the bombastic, electrified fun of their live show in a bottle on Printer’s Devil and showcases their growing chemistry as a tight-knit group. Through all the change that fueled the record, Ratboys’ latest album Printer’s Devil finds a band that’s truly grown into itself and is just getting started.” Can’t wait to start spinning this on WSPN in 2020!
- Factory Baby, Noname/Untitled Album, Ghetto Sage
I couldn’t decide between these two, and with Chicago rapper Noname as a common denominator, I just put both of these on the list. Noname is looking to capitalize on her rapid rise to fame, and both 2018’s Room 25 and 2016’s Telefone received significant audience and critical acclaim. With a nonchalant delivery and poetically thoughtful lyrics, she frequently collaborates with artists from her native Chicago. Two of these artists are the genre defying Chicagoans Smino and Saba, who, along with Noname, are the supergroup Ghetto Sage. The group has only released one single, 2019’s “Haagen Dasz.” While plans for an album haven’t been officially announced, I’m eager for an extended project from the trio. 2020 is looking to be quite a busy year for Noname.
There are so many albums and EPs being released in 2020, and these three are only a few of my picks. If there is a release that you’re particularly stoked for, drop a comment! Maybe you’ll hear these releases on 91.1 WSPN!