The Most Anticipated Local Releases of 2013 

Lookout for new releases from Wallpaper., Christopher Owens, and Wax Idols.


Bay Area artists don't have the advantage of living near New York City-based media or Los Angeles' entertainment industry executives, but if 2012 proves anything, it's that the music scene is fertile and resourceful, relying on word of mouth as much as traditional promotion. Artists like garage rock poster boy Ty Segall, who produced three full-length albums last year, and underground psych-punkers The Mallard, which managed to play countless shows in support of its debut album and start recording a second album, sent a message to the world: Don't underestimate us.

Christopher Owens

Lysandre, January 15

Whether you love or hate his former band Girls (I'm reluctantly in the former camp), Christopher Owens will surely get a lot of people talking when he releases his solo debut Lysandre. Doug Boehm, the producer on Girls' final album, Father, Son, Holy Ghost, also produced Lysandre, and his influence can be heard in the first single, "Lysandre's Theme/Here We Go," which is infused with a similar guitar melody and female backup vocals. Lysandre will be Owens' chance to showcase his singer-songwriter capabilities, but fans may miss Girls' raucous, boys-being-boys sound. (Fat Possum)

Sonny Smith

100 Records, January 29

Sonny Smith of Sonny & the Sunsets completes his 100 Records project with the release of Vol. 3 later this month. Since starting the project in 2010, Smith has created one hundred different musical personalities and written a song for each of them. Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 will also be widely released after limited-edition runs, allowing listeners to hear the entire project start-to-finish for the first time. (Polyvinyl)

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down

We the Common, February 5

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down barely belongs to the Bay anymore, and frontwoman Thao Nguyen has become an international sensation in her own right. Nguyen has the perfect pop voice — sultry, yet sweet — and the band's quirky folk songs are ridiculously catchy. Listen once to We the Common's first single, "Holy Roller," and you'll find yourself wanting more. (Ribbon Music)

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down plays Great American Music Hall (859 O'Farrell St., San Francisco) as part of the Noise Pop Festival on Saturday, March 2. 8 p.m., $17, $19.

Warm Soda

Someone For You, February 13

When Oakland outfit Bare Wires broke up last year in an on-stage meltdown at SXSW, all that remained was posthumous album Idle Dreams, a masterpiece of Sixties-inspired glam and power-pop revivalism. Fans should find solace in frontman Matthew Melton's new project Warm Soda, a sunnier, lighter take on the Bare Wires sound. (Castle Face)


TBD, February

San Jose rapper Antwon is no longer our local secret: His video for "Living Every Dream," one of the best tracks of 2012, appeared on MTV's Hive last week. Antwon's End of Earth mixtape made many year-end lists, including Spin's top forty hip-hop albums and Gorilla vs. Bear's top fifty albums. Antwon's appeal, in addition to his offbeat lyrics and deadpan flow, lies in his infectious beats — a mix of hyperactive, Internet-style bombast and old-school boom-bap. In February, Antwon is set to release a new album on Greedhead Music, his first on any label. Antwon said he met Greedhead owner Himanshu Suri, then of Das Racist, last year at a Sick, Sad World warehouse party at the now-defunct Rec Center Studios in downtown Oakland. (Greedhead Music)


Ways to End a Day, February

It seems like every band is going for an Eighties pop sound these days — the darker and more synth-heavy, the better. LENZ has been at it since 2010, relying more on traditional instruments — guitar, keyboard, drums — than on laptops. Sure, it's retro, but new tracks like "In the Middle of the Night" prove LENZ is an original rock outfit in its own right. (1-2-3-4 Go!)

Wax Idols

Discipline & Desire, March 26

She's been a punx (of Hunx and His Punx); was once the drummer for Bare Wires; and is still an active member of rock trio Blasted Canyons, but Hether Fortune's first love, her bruised and battered S&M baby, is her band Wax Idols. Like Fortune, Wax Idols has an Eighties post-punk-meets-gothic-pop vibe. Discipline & Desire, Wax Idols' sophomore album and its first on the Slumberland label, demonstrates Fortune's ability to craft a demented and depressing pop song that can also shine with polish and grace. (Slumberland Records)


Between Waves, May 25

A member of the Oakland electronic producer collective known as the "Mapzzz crew," Shortcircles worked toward finding his style last year, producing two solid-yet-diverse EPs. His debut album, Between Waves, will surely incorporate his signature thick bass lines and sexy synths, and hopefully some of the darker, glitchier beats he's been experimenting with. (Plug Research)


TBD, Winter

If last year's "Puke My Brains Out" is any indication, the new album by Oakland's Wallpaper. (aka Ricky Reed) will continue the hard-partying, getting-crunk-on-spastic-dance-beats, and overdosing-on-AutoTune formula that earned him a major label deal. Just how hard can Reed party? Andrew W.K. enlisted his co-writing skills for his next album. (Epic)

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