Apparently, everyone got together (and by "everyone," I mean "M. Ward, Zooey Deschanel, The Kills, and Devotchka"), and said, "how can we overwhelm Alec? Oh yes - let's all put out albums on the same day! That will really fry her music-addled brain!"
There are worse ways to fry your brain, I suppose. Now let me break it down like a fraction for ya...
She & Him (M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel) release Volume 1.
M. Ward's been doing his thing for quite some time, steadily putting out heartbreaking, sung-into-a-tin-can type albums. Zooey Deschanel's been doing her acting thing for a while, but I hope this turns her towards music more permanently. She's got some amazing pipes - smoky, sassy, and surprisingly strong. There are some original tracks on this, as well as some old soul covers. I foresee this album to be prime new meat for indie and neo-soul kids who like a little 60's Du-Wop. I just hope this impending popularity doesn't overwhelm the low-key Ward and/or put him in some second fiddle corner... because he's awesome. And amazing as Volume 1 sounds, I hope he continues to put out solo material.
The Kills release Midnight Boom.
Another male/female duo! But these two are a little more rock'n'roll... but don't you dare compare them to the White Stripes, because unlike the White Stripes, The Kills don't suck!
The Kills last album was No Wow in 2005 - a good and rough and gritty record with plenty of growling bass, sex, drugs, and rock and roll. With this upcoming record, however, they've apparently headed in a more electronic direction (which is what they've partially classified themselves as for some time), so I'm interested to see what they do with that. I'm already a fan of the sexy and nonsensical single, "U.R.A Fever" - here's hoping the whole album is this solid.
Devotchka releases A Mad and Faithful Telling.
Devotchka always reminded me of a few ragtag kids from marching band in high school that were constantly picked on and disappeared after high school, only to pop up ten years later to kick an awesome amount of ass.
Their sound is that of a band of Eastern European folk musicians, blended with an western American vibe, à la Calexico, with a splash of mariachi. Since their amazing and epic theme album, How It Ends, in 2004, they've released an EP of covers (containing a Velvet Underground cover that may be even better than the original), and were the main creative force behind the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack. Stereogum has the new single, "Transliterator," available for download... or you can just listen to it on the band's myspace.
From the sound of it, it would seem that Devotchka's up to their old, feisty tricks -- and that's perfectly fine with me. It looks like I will be one happy camper come March 18th.