10 Delayed Debut Albums That Were Totally Worth the Wait


Good news this week for fans of UK experimental trio Factory Floor — after nearly a decade of waiting, the band are finally putting out an actual full-length debut album. It’s due early next year through DFA, and we’re betting it’s gonna be excellent. This news, along with the release of Purity Ring’s long-awaited first LP next week (we’ve heard it, and it’s not bad at all) got us thinking about debut albums that have proven worth a lengthy wait. Most bands chunk out an album as soon as they get a sniff of a record deal; these bands didn’t, and we reckon the wait made their releases all the sweeter.

Purity Ring — Shrines

It’s perhaps a sign of the shorter attention span of the Internet generation that it feels like Purity Ring have been around for ages, because Megan James and Corin Roddick have only been working together for a couple of years. Still, it feels like they’ve been a bona fide buzzband for pretty much all that time, so it’s a pleasure to see them finally releasing an album to justify said buzz.

Factory Floor — Factory Floor

In Factory Floor’s case, however, if it feels like they’ve been around forever, it’s because they really have. The trio have been working together since 2005, and their first release, the mini-album Talking On Cliffs, dropped back in 2009. They’ve released various EPs and singles since, but never a full-length record. The wait will be over next year, and we’re gonna go out on a limb and say this record will be pretty good indeed.

Jens Lekman — When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog

Another artist enamored of the EP at the expense of the album, Lekman put out a slew of short-form releases at the start of his career, and for a while it was unclear whether he’d ever release a full-length album. Happily, he did, and it’s still on high rotation round Flavorpill’s way some eight years later.

HTRK — Marry Me Tonight

HTRK had quite a history even before they made their excellent debut album in 2006 — they’d played in their native Melbourne since 2003 (initially under the name Haterock Trio). They moved to Berlin shortly after the album was made, but due to a series of tedious record industry wrangles, it had to wait until 2009 to get a release through UK label Blast First Petite.

Rye Rye — Go! Pop! Bang!

It took nearly four years for this to see the light of day, although in Rye Rye’s defense, there was at least one good reason for this: she had a baby!

Kid Sister — Ultraviolet

There must be something with female hip hoppers, because Kid Sister took her sweet time before eventually releasing this in late 2009. “Sometimes,” she told Pitchfork just prior to the album’s release, “you just gotta let it marinate.” It���s been pretty much radio silence from her since, too.

Julianna Barwick — The Magic Place

Happily, there are no such concerns for Julianna Barwick, who appears to have been working constantly since the release of her sublime album The Magic Place last year. As far as debut albums that both delivered upon and built upon early promise go, you couldn’t really find a better record than Barwick’s — it arrived a good five years after she first emerged in 2006 with her home-recorded vocal textures, and it was worth every second of the wait.

Leonard Cohen — Songs of Leonard Cohen

It’s hard to believe it now, but Cohen had to be cajoled into making this — he was already a successful novelist and poet, and was in his 30s by the time that he was talked into putting some of his songs on record. The rest, as they say, is history.

The La’s — The La’s

The story behind the delay in this album’s release has been well-documented, and it all comes down to one thing — Lee Mavers’ perfectionism/OCD (delete as appropriate). The record was re-recorded several times, and the band never made another one.

The Velvet Underground — The Velvet Underground and Nico

It’s a sign of how far ahead of their time The Velvet Underground were that no record company wanted to touch their debut album with the proverbial barge pole. It took a year’s worth of wrangling before it got a release — through jazz label Verve, of all people.