March 18, 2010 | by Rob Boeger
Old favorites, new hopefuls highlight spring’s indie scene

Electropop group Goldfrapp follows up their last critically acclaimed release, “Seventh Tree,” with their fifth studio album, “Head First” on March 23. Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory have modified their sound over their career from electronic balladry to electropop dancebeats. This release wouldn’t be out of place in the ’80s with its retro sound and visual images evoking Xanadu-era Olivia Newton John.

Five-piece Norwegian band Serena-Maneesh are back March 23 with a new release, “S-M: Abyss in B Minor.” The band has been compared to My Bloody Valentine with their use of guitar distortion effects that create their noise pop sound.

Glam rock-disco favorites Scissor Sisters return with their first album in four years, “Hurrah! A Year of Ta-Dah.” Singer Jake Shears said in promotional materials that this release will sound more “masculine.” He also said he will be singing with a “deeper” voice as he would not be relying as much on the falsetto heard in previous albums. The album is due out later this month.

Erykah Badu follows up 2008’s “New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)” with “New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh)” on March 30. Expect Badu to tap into her feelings about romance and relationships. First single and video “Jump In The Air (Stay There)” features Lil’ Wayne.

Last year, gay Sigur Ros frontman Jónsi released with his partner Alex Somers, “Riceboy Sleeps.” On April 6, he will release a solo effort, “Go.” It features acoustic and string arrangements by Nico Muhly who has previously worked with Björk and Anthony and the Johnsons.

For those seeking something with a bit more R&B/soul feel, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings release their fourth studio album, “I Learned the Hard Way,” on April 6. Throughout their previous releases, they have continued their sound fronted by Sharon Jones, who has a vocal range that is reminiscent of early Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin.

MGMT return with their follow up to 2007’s critically acclaimed “Oracular Spectacular” with “Congratulations” on March 16. The new release will be a complete piece rather than containing individual singles as on their first album. First released track “Flash Delerium” has them sounding less poppy than before.

Electronic group Javelin recreate the digital sounds of the ’80s on their new album, “No Mas.” Expect the unexpected as they deliver their new release on April 20.

Gay indie singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright returns on April 20 with his sixth studio album, “All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu.” This release is mostly produced by Wainwright himself. Of the 12 songs, three include adaptations of William Shakespeare’s sonnets.

Singer and songwriter Kate Nash debuts her next album “My Best Friend is You,” on April 20. Bernard Butler, ex-guitarist of Suede produced her album. First track and video, “Do Wah Doo,” sees Nash delivering “girl band” pop.

After a four-year hiatus, Sweden’s The Radio Dept. releases their third album, “Clinging to a Scheme,” on April 20. File this one under ethereal dream pop for those lazy Sunday afternoons.

New York-based electronic duo, The Golden Filter, release their debut album Voluspa on April 26. First track, “Hide Me,” sounds like a cross between Goldfrapp and Dot Allison.

The New Pornographers head back into the indie scene with their fifth release, “Together,” on May 4. The album features appearances by Zach Condon of Beirut and Annie Clark of St. Vincent.

Swedish duo Club 8 will release their seventh album, “The People’s Record,” on May 12. First track “Western Hospitality” shows influences from Bow Wow Wow of the ’80s.

On May 18, ex-Everything But the Girl’s Tracey Thorn, comes out with a follow up to 2007’s “Out of the Woods,” which saw her once again drifting into the electro-pop arena. If first single, “Oh, the Divorces!” is an indicator of what’s to come, this could be a less dance-driven affair given its violins and piano accompaniment.

San Francisco band Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti will be releasing their new album, “Before Today” in late spring. They have already released their first single off the album, “Round and Round,” which has them sounding more produced while retaining a unique and eclectic sound.

Local musician Tom Goss recently released an ep called “Politics of Love,” which is available on his web site, tomgossmusic.com/PoliticsOfLove. The ep explores his emotions about recent events surrounding marriage equality. Goss will be playing songs from the CD at the DC Center on April 1 at 8 p.m.

Submit a tip about the local music scene to rboeger@www.washingtonblade.com.

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