Now that the year's winding down, it's time to look ahead to some of the San Diego music to get excited about in the new year. Here are five albums I'm watching for in 2014:
Dum Dum Girls: While they're technically not in San Diego anymore, they're locals at heart. Dum Dum Girls have a new album dropping on Jan. 28 called Too True, and the first single, "Lost Boys and Girls Club," is gothically delicious.
The artists formerly known as Cuckoo Chaos: So, Cuckoo Chaos is ending in just a few days, but come Jan. 1, they'll be reborn as a new band with a new name, and soon enough, a new album. For a hint of where they're going, listen to their 2012 single "Super Skeleton."
Hills Like Elephants: This soulful indie-pop outfit is wrapping up a brand-new full-length that's set for release on March 1. It's still in the mastering phase, but based on recently released tracks like the synth-heavy "Non Fictionalism" and "Fall Through," expect something dreamy, dense and a little bit sexy.
The Midnight Pine: After winning a San Diego Music Award for Best Local Recording, Midnight Pine singer Shelbi Bennett spent a month in Europe, giving the band a short break. But just beforehand, the group was working on some new material, including a track that Al Howard told me is maybe his favorite thing he's ever written.
Barbarian: Shoegazing post-punk group Barbarian just had a vision quest in the desert to record a new full-length, and given how great a job they did with the City of Women EP, this one's bound to be a winner.