Sure, Daft Punk are dominating headlines right now, next week releasing their first non-soundtrack album since 2005’s Human After All, but their comeback story is just one from a year that seems to throw up a new return every week.
As most years do, it all started in January. With a promotional video for a new Knife album and news that indie rock’s holy grail, My Bloody Valentine’s follow-up to 1991’s classic Loveless, had finally been finished ringing in our ears, January 2013 set the tone for the year ahead with a succession of comebacks. Synth-pop duo The Postal Service set the tone for a comeback tour and reissue of their album Give Up by changing their website’s lead image to read ‘2013’, new Prince material started to trickle into the internet, and incredibly, we had a Destiny’s Child comeback, news of a new Justin Timberlake album and Noreaga’s return (poor sod) all in the same day.
That’s not even the half of it: January also threw up David Bowie’s first album in a decade, news that D’Angelo [above]’s long-awaited Voodoo follow-up was almost completed, and the relaunch of the new look MySpace.
February, of course, couldn’t live up to that deluge, but we still got news of trip-hop hero Tricky’s new album – and record label of the same name – False Idols, drum’n’bass veterans Bad Company getting back on the wagon for a one-off live show, the first Stooges album since 2007 and the announcement that Trent Reznor was “reinventing” industrial behemoth Nine Inch Nails for a tour and, potentially, new material. March followed with a corking return to form from original Sugababes Mutya Keisha Siobhan, news of a live reunion for hip-hop veterans Jurassic 5, and confirmation that Queens of the Stone Age’s new album would feature the return of past members Nick Oliveri, Mark Lanegan and Dave Grohl.
As for April – what more can be said? After years of hype, Daft Punk finally announced Random Access Memories, debuting the Pharrell-featuring ‘Get Lucky’ at California’s Coachella festival, but they were arguably one-upped by 2013’s most ambitious campaign, that of Boards of Canada – though it’s worth noting that there’s probably less than 10 acts in the world with a fanbase both dedicated and geeky enough for it to work. If you’re not familiar with the pre-release campaign for their first album since 2005, Tomorrow’s Harvest, then you can read up on it here.
The French and Scottish duos may have dominated April’s news, but they weren’t the only returns to the fray: Black Sabbath announced their first album with Ozzy Osbourne since 1978, crate-diggers rejoiced as Madlib revived his Quasimoto alias, albeit only for a rarities collection, and one of indie’s most mythologised groups, Neutral Milk Hotel, announced a reunion tour. Not enough for you? April also saw De La Soul’s first single for almost a decade, Mike Paradinas reviving his uZiq alias, a new EP by underground kings Cannibal Ox, the first Chris and Cosey single in 20 years, Matias Aguayo’s first album in four, and Parris Mitchell revealing to FACT that he would be restoring one of dance music’s greatest labels, Dance Mania.
As for May? We’re not even halfway into the month, but we’ve already seen a new single by Lauryn Hill, details of Creation label boss Alan McGee’s long-awaited new venture, new TLC material, Eve’s first album since 2002, Primal Scream’s More Light and news of a new Chic album – kind of.
So what’s next? It’s been well-publicised that there’s a new Avalanches album on the way, though whether it drops this year remains to be seen. French veteran DJ Falcon this week told FACT that he’s planning his first release of original music in over a decade, while it’s understood that there’s new Aphex Twin music ready to go once he sorts out his divorce. Missy Elliot is recording new material with Timbaland, and as for that new Outkast album? Big Boi and Andre 3000 have already appeared on a couple of tracks together this year, and if there’s ever a year we see a full reunion, it’s 2013.