As the calendar flipped from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1, music writers everywhere got to enjoy the transition from looking back — in year-end wrap-up after year-end wrap-up — to looking ahead. For NPR Music writer and editor Stephen Thompson, it’s meant setting aside stacks of 2013 albums and digging into a feast of forthcoming music by big names and up-and-comers alike.
NPR’s Arun Rath recently asked Thompson to highlight some of the notable albums coming in the next few months, and Thompson brought four: Bruce Springsteen‘s High Hopes (out Jan. 14), on which the singer mixes new and old songs; Hotel Valentine (out Feb. 14), the first album in 15 years by Cibo Matto; Transgender Dysphoria Blues by Against Me! (out Jan. 21), the band’s first album since singer Tom Gabel began identifying as Laura Jane Grace; and an inventive new self-titled album by Annie Clark, who performs under the name St. Vincent (out Feb. 25).
Hear their conversation at the audio link.