Junip - Junip
Junip is the band of Swedish singer-songwriter José González. They released an EP in 2005, then disappeared for the next five years. During that time, José released his second solo album. When they came back in 2010, it was full force, with a full-length album and two EPs by 2011. 2012 was another quiet year, until December when they announced the new album and released a new single!
Listen/Watch: "Line of Fire"
No Joy - Wait to Pleasure
No Joy (and no, I don't like them just because of their name) is a band I first became aware of after they signed with Mexican Summer, a label that also boasts Tamaryn and Best Coast. The label has many breezy, alt-rock bands and this shoegaze act is no different. They released their debut album, Ghost Blonde, to much acclaim, and their sophomore release has been no different.
Listen/Watch: "Lunar Phobia"
Phoenix - Bankrupt!
One of my best friends introduced me to this French band back in 2005 after they had released their first two albums (and yeah, I'll say it, before they got big). I don't mind their fame, since they still made great music, although, I do have an inside joke with this friend regarding their success. I expect that this will be another great release from them!
Other New Releases
Christopher Owens - Lysandre Acoustic
Christopher Owens released his first post-Girls album, Lysandre, earlier this year. I didn't quite love it; I appreciate that it sounded different than Girls, but I think I loved that band too much. Last week, he released this acoustic version of the album as a free download. It probably won't add anything to his work, but I'm a completist, so...yeah, downloaded!
Listen: "Here We Go Again" (Acoustic)
Janelle Monáe - "Q.U.E.E.N." (featuring Erykah Badu)
I love it when great musicians get together! Monáe and Badu are very similar in that they both changed up the R&B game. Badu ushered in the neo-soul era and, more recently, Monáe, has heralded a more alternative style of R&B music. This is the first single off of Monáe's upcoming album, The Electric Lady, which should be released later this year, though no specific date has been announced.