2016 was a huge year in music, no question. Release after release of insanely high quality music and 2017 is shaping up to be a very promising year in music as well. Here are some of the albums we’re looking forward to in the new year and some of the rumours that are getting us excited for what’s to come:
The xx, I See You
Expected release date: January 13
It’s been just a little over four years since The xx released their sophomore effort Coexist. The friend who introduced me to what is now one of my favourite bands once described their self titled debut and Coexist as ‘the stories teenage infatuation followed by the stories of adult relationships’ as their sound matured over time. We’ve been given a taste of what is to come with lead single On Hold and the newly dropped Say Something Loving, we may be looking at an xx album that explores the moments where you realise your relationship isn’t working, and you have no idea where you go from here. Prepare to feel.
Expected release date: January 27
After dropping her mixtape You Should Be Here in 2015 to massive acclaim, 2016 was an intense, emotional year for Kehlani. Following a damaging social media incident, Kehlani was briefly hospitalised. Soon, she returned to the live scene with the beautiful 24/7, in which she shed light on the incident and, before following it up with teaser singles CRZY, Distraction and Advice. From what we’ve heard so far, SweetSexySavage is going to be an R&B-heavy album with incredibly personal lyrics. Kehlani was named ‘one to watch’ in 2015 and in 2017 I believe she’s about to prove that.
Big Sean, I Decided
Expected release date: February 3
After crafting a modern classic with his 2015 third album Dark Sky Paradise Big Sean is only moving from strength to strength. Last year he joined forces with Jhené Aiko to release TWENTY88, commenced work on G.O.O.D Music’s second compilation album Cruel Winter and was nominated for a slew of awards. Released in succession, lead singles Bounce Back and No More Interviews immediately set the bar high, as well as new single Moves, which came out with the official album announcement late last month. One of G.O.O.D’s most consistently promising artists, this should be a great album indeed.
Expected release date: February 3
On a routine flight between Melbourne and Sydney some time ago, I opened the inflight magazine. In the music section was a feature on, at the time, up and coming electronic musician SBTRKT. The visuals were so intriguing that I went a bought his self-titled debut the same day. This also introduced me to British crooner Sampha, who features heavily on SBTRKT’s work, and has since been called up to sing and produce with some of the world’s biggest names, like Kanye West, Drake, Solange and Frank Ocean. Sampha’s voice is a work of art in and of itself and his production talents are second to none. Having released two EPs and featuring on so many other songs over the past few years, it’s almost difficult to believe that Process is his debut album, but we absolutely cannot wait to experience the fully realised project, particularly as a solo artist, rather than as a collaborator. Pre-released singles Timmy’s Prayer and Blood On Me are both outstanding – this will undoubtedly be one of the best “debuts” of 2017.
Thundamentals, Everyone We Know
Expected release date: February 10
Sydney legends Thundamentals have been off the scene since their 2014 release So We Can Remember but have come roaring back with the announcement of their next album Everyone We Know. In 2016 we were treated to four singles Late Nights, Never Say Never, Think About It and Ignorance Is Bliss as well as a huge national tour with Pez and Mallrat (check out H&E’s review of their Melbourne show here). 2017 is set to be a huge year for the Thundas, let’s get it.
G.O.O.D MUSIC (Various artists), Cruel Winter– G.O.O.D Music/Various Artists
Kanye West’s beloved imprint released its first compilation Cruel Summer was released back in 2012, and its follow-up, Cruel Winter has been constantly rumoured ever since. In the middle of 2016, West released a massive collaborative track, Champions, featuring heavyweights Gucci Mane, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Travis Scott, Yo Gotti, Quavo and Desiigner. The track, as well as a few related social media posts, sparked more interest in the compilation. It has now been rumoured for a February release, although this is completely tentative; considering how busy Kanye West has been in both his personal life and careers, not to mention so many of their artists releasing their own albums and embarking on world tours (Desiigner is in Australia right now and Big Sean’s album is out next month, to name just two examples,) exactly where they found the time to piece it together is unknown. That said, they have had almost five years, so you never know.
During a reddit AMA in mid-2016, the band’s frontman Win Butler hinted that the next Arcade Fire album could be ready for the North American spring of 2017. Back in October, the Canadian group also played a secret show, during which they apparently debuted several new songs. Considering that Butler released his solo album last year, the 3+ year break since 2013’s Reflektor is understandable, but we’re hoping that 2017 will see the band’s fifth studio album.
Arctic Monkeys members have been busy with their own projects, including Alex Turner’s Last Shadow Puppets, and drummer Matt Helders spent much of 2016 touring with Iggy Pop. Now that that’s all been wrapepd up, it’s looking like a follow-up to 2014’s AM is on its way; the boys were recently spotted arriving in their home town, spurring rumours that they’re back in the studio.
— Tom (@1892AnfieldRoad) December 9, 2016
Donald Trump is President of the United States, so of course Bad Religion are making an album.
Gorillaz creator Damon Albarn has been hinting at a new Gorillaz album throughout 2016, sending the internet into a frenzy. Now slated for 2017 the album is rumoured to feature Vic Mensa, De La Soul, Snoop Dogg, LCD Soundsystem, André 3000 and The Horrors, just to name a few.
Fresh from performing at Falls Festival, London Grammar dropped an ethereal new track on January 1, no doubt a first taste of their long-awaited follow up to 2013’s If you Wait. Judging by the ethereal atmospherics and the spotlight firmly focused on Hannah Reid’s stirring vocals, it’s looking like the album will no doubt expand on the sound fans came to know and love on their groundbreaking debut.
Although he only dropped Blank Face last year, Q recently posted on Instagram that he’s already working on a new album, which will hopefully see the light of day this year. We’re cool with that!
System of a Down
SOAD have been spotted on Instagram practicing new material, and have just announced a string of new shows. If this is a new album, it’s the bands first in 12 years. Further evidence of new material is that they have announced a few European tour dates, and it’s looking like they’ll perform at a few festivals as well.
It’ll be hard for 2017 to live up to the amazing music that 2016 produced, but considering that these are just a tiny percentage of the albums we’re waiting on, it’s looking pretty promising.