Upcoming! The rest of 2018: A preview.

According to my calendar, it is the end of July. This means that somehow we are over halfway through 2018 already. However! The year is far from over, with many top musical artists set to release an LP before ’18 is up. Let’s have a look at a few, shall we?

August

Ariana Grande – Sweetener (17th)

The follow-up to Ariana’s 2016 banger filled ‘Dangerous Woman’ album is set to release mid-August. With production from Pharrell, features from Missy Elliott and three already released, very good singles, this could be the best pop album of the year.

Spring King – A Better Life (17th)

Following on from their blistering 2016 debut album ‘Tell Me If You Like To’, Spring King will release ‘A Better Life’ in August. Expect the same level of energy as their previous effort but with higher production levels and even more bangers, as shown with lead single ‘Animal’

Animal Collective – Tangerine Reef (17th)

Experimental Americans Animal Collective are releasing an audiovisual album in celebration of the International Year of the Reef on the 17th August. Should be interesting.

Interpol – Marauder (24th)

Returning for their first album in 4 years, New York indie legends Interpol will release Marauder on the 24th August. Lead single ‘The Rover’ is pretty damn good so i’m hopeful that the rest will follow suit.

The Lemon Twigs – Go To School (24th)

The New York Duo are set to release their second album, Go To School in August. They’ve released 2 singles from it so far, with ‘Small Victories’ being a peppy little number, and ‘If You Give Enough’ being a slower, piano based ballad.

Emma Blackery – Villains (31st)

Releasing her debut album in August, Emma Blackery has slowly built up her sound over the years to the refined pop it is today. Recent singles ‘Agenda’ and ‘Icarus’ should be good tasters for what is shaping up to be a very nice 1st effort.

Troye Sivan – Bloom (31st)

Kiwi pop prodigy Troye is set to follow up 2015’s Blue Neighbourhood this August. Lead single ‘My My My!’ was an absolute banger, and recent Ariana Grande collab ‘Dance To This’ was also rather good. Good.

September

Paul McCartney – Egypt Station (7th)

Sir Macca is releasing his first album since 2013’s ‘New’, and the first two singles from it have been very pleasant. You’d think he would have got the hang of this sort of thing by now anyway.

Spiritualized – And Nothing Hurt (7th)

Spiritualized return for their first album in around 6 years, with ‘And Nothing Hurt’ coming out early September. They’ve released a double single to kick this album campaign off, and ‘I’m Your Man’ is very nice indeed.

Pale Waves – My Mind Makes Noises (14th)

Very fast-rising stars of indie-pop Pale Waves are set to release their debut in September. Featuring a few of their recent singles, but mostly new material, this could be one of the buzziest, and best albums of the year.

Christine and The Queens – Chris (21st)

Following up her massive breakthrough debut is a big ask, but the first two singles from ‘Chris’ – ‘Girlfriend’ and ‘Doesn’t Matter’ have been her best work yet, so this could be very special.

Suede – The Blue Hour (21st)

Indie legends Suede follow up their brilliant ‘Night Thoughts’ album with a new LP in September. Latest single ‘Don’t Be Afraid If Nobody Loves You’ was a continuation of their good form, so i’m hopeful for the full project.

Black Honey – Black Honey (21st)

The debut album by Black Honey comes out in September. With big tracks like ‘Hello Today’ under their belt, the indie rockers should easily pull a belter of a debut off.

Amber Arcades – European Heartbreak (28th)

Consistently good since her debut in 2016, Amber Arcades has released a scattering of singles and an EP since then, and is building up to release her 2nd project proper in late September.

Doe – Grow Into It (28th)

London indie rock trio Doe will be following up their brilliant debut ‘Some Things Last Longer Than You’ in September. Lead single ‘Heated’ is a punky banger.

October

Twenty One Pilots – Trench (5th)

The emo rock/rap duo return after 2015’s massive ‘Blurryface’ album, which catapulted them into the mainstream. Lead double singles ‘Jumpsuit’ and ‘Nico and the Niners’ were both quality tunes from the lads.

Estrons – You Say I’m Too Much, I Say You’re Not Enough (5th)

The welsh rockers are winding up to release their debut album on in October, with lead single ‘Cameras’ giving a good taste of what to expect.

The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships

Matty and co. have been working on two new albums since 2016’s ‘I Like It When You Sleep..’ and the first of those is slated for release some time in October. The 2 singles released so far have been good pop bangers so we shall see.

Some time this year (hopefully)

Charli XCX

She’s been working on her third ‘proper’ album for quite some time now, releasing a slew of mixtapes and singles since 2015’s ‘Sucker’. It will probably be worth the wait though.

Childish Gambino

Donald has been rather busy lately, and rumour is the singles he has been dropping so far this year are part of a full project slated for Autumn. Very good.

Vampire Weekend

Please hurry up you’ve had since 2013.

Brockhampton

We know they have an album out, just not when. Good singles so far this year though, especially ‘1997 Wildfire’.

The Good, The Bad and The Queen

One of Damon Albarn’s 100 bands has their second album ‘finished’ and will be released sometime in 2018. Their last one way back in 2007 was some of Damo’s finest work to date, so this should be very good.

Anderson Paak.

Following on from the excellent ‘Malibu’ album, Anderson is meant to have 2 albums coming out in 2018. He’s leaving it late if that’s the case but still, something to look forward to.


Of course, there will be a few surprise releases, and there’s always a few date changes but that’s all part of the fun really.

Advertisements

The Top 10 Albums of 2016.

Here are my top 10 albums of 2016. It was very hard to narrow it down to just 10, with albums like Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool and Spring King’s debut narrowly missing out.


#10 – Amber Arcades: Fading Lines

Image result for amber arcades album cover

Amber Arcades’ debut album is full of beautifully crafted, and beautifully sung songs that demand your attention without being too overpowering.

‘Right Now’ is my favourite track on the album, with the western-y guitar riff throughout and very catchy chorus making for a v sweet cut indeed.

 

#9 – Teleman: Brilliant Sanity

Teleman’s second album improved on everything that their debut, Breakfast, did. Opening track and lead single ‘ Dusseldorf’ is a brilliant track, with its twinkling synth backing and simple but effective chorus, it sets the rest of the album up nicely, and what am album it is.

 

#8 – Two Door Cinema Club: Gameshow

Coming back from a break of 4 years without an album, Two Door Cinema Club returned with a focused, disco-y album full of instantly catchy tracks.

Lead single and opening track on the album ‘Are We Ready? (Wreck)’ was made pretty much FIFA ready with the track easily being in the running for catchiest song of the year. However, that title could also be taken by a few other tracks off this album, ‘Ordinary’ and ‘Bad Decisions’ to name a few.

Mid-album tracks like ‘Lavender’ and ‘Fever’ are not as instant as the big hitting singles, but they are by no means filler, with ‘Invincible’ sounding like the best ‘School dance at the end of a teen movie’ song you have ever heard.

 

#7 – Blossoms: Blossoms

Blossoms album.jpg

You can say what you want about Blossoms, but you can’t deny that they can write a bloody good pop song. In fact, i’d say about 12 of them.

Each track on this album is brilliantly produced by the Coral’s James Skelly, with his production only adding to the already brilliant songs penned by Ogden and co.

The collection of tracks sounds more like a greatest hits collection than a fairly new band’s debut album, with ‘Charlemange’, ‘At Most A Kiss’ and ‘Getaway’ being the LP’s opening three tracks this is an incredibly strong first try.

 

#6 – Skepta: Konnichiwa

Image result for skepta konnichiwa album cover

Grime has seen the biggest surge in popularity this year, with Skepta’s record label Boy Better Know playing main stage slots at Reading & Leeds festivals and headlining Wireless.

From ‘Lyrics’ featuring Novelist, to ‘Numbers’ with Pharrell, Skepta is still the main attraction on each of the tracks even with such impressive features.

‘That’s Not Me’ featuring Skep’s brother Jme is the highlight of this album for me, having seen the crowd’s reaction to it and other tracks off the album first hand at Leeds festival this year really shows how much of an impact Skepta, and grime as a whole has had this year.

This album won the mercury prize this year and it is very easy to see why. Each and every track on this album is an example of why Skepta is the very best around at what he does.

 

#5 – Rihanna: Anti

From the opening track ‘Consideration’, you can tell that this is going to be a different kind of Rihanna album than we are used to, and it is.

The album includes a cover of Tame Impala’s ‘New Person, Same Old Mistakes’, which when I first heard news of I was worried but she makes it sound like the song was written for her. (It could be just that the song is just so well written in the first place but idk).

More subdued than her previous efforts this is, in my opinion, her best album to date. ‘Desperado’ sounds like it is right out of a dramatic movie trailer in the best possible way, but at the same time it is not over-produced; the same goes for the whole album.

 

#4 – Kanye West: The Life Of Pablo

Image result for the life of pablo album cover

The Life Of Pablo is Kanye West’s seventh full length album, which was released originally solely through the streaming service Tidal, eventually getting a general digital release after he was done making changes.

In the run up to the album being released he teased that it was going to be a gospel album, with many people laughing him off, but when the first track ‘Ultralight Beam’ kicks in you can see he definitely wasn’t lying, with the gospel feel strongly continuing in tracks like ‘Low Lights’.

The album is like a scrapbook of Kanye’s ideas, with the album’s tracks flowing into one another with each sample being perfectly placed, at one point he uses Desiigner’s ‘Panda’ in the track ‘Father Stretch My Hands Pt.1’ that massively improves upon the original. ‘No More Parties In LA’ uses a variety of samples to create Kanye’s own custom funk backdrop to the Kendrick Lamar featuring track.

I feel like the album is at its best when at its most mellow however, with ‘Real Friends’ showing Kanye really opening up over a really thought-provoking, subdued beat. “When was the last time I remembered a birthday” he asks, going on to talk about how he is sick of people only wanting him when they want something.

 

 #3 – A Tribe Called Quest:  We Got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service

Image result for a tribe called quest we got it from here

The (sadly) final A Tribe Called Quest album was released in November and it quickly shot up this list as well as many others, with the album topping the Billboard 200 in America.

Sampling from sources like Gene Wilder in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory may seem strange but it fits in perfectly on opener ‘The Space Program’, as does everything else on the record.

The album boasts features from Kanye, Kendrick, Jack White, Busta Rhymes and Elton John, and features the late Phife Dawg, as the album began recording in 2015 before he passed away.

The album easily manages to carry their sound into 2016 without it even slightly sounding like a cash-in on their legacy; perhaps they were that far ahead of their time back when they were first starting out that we’ve finally caught up with them.

#2 – The Crookes: Lucky Ones

Image result for The Crookes lucky ones cover

The Crookes made it clear they mean business on this album. From the slow, scene setting opening track ‘Brand New Start’ to the conclusion with a sequel to that track, Lucky Ones is a near perfect pop album.

‘The World Is Waiting’ kicks the album off proper, with the chorus being one of, if not the catchiest of the year. (with a good oooh ooh ee oooo bit to get stuck in your head for weeks on end.)

Lead single ‘I Wanna Waste My Time On You’ is again, annoyingly catchy, but also lyrically impressive, with the chorus invoking pictures of fun times to be had in the future with someone you perhaps haven’t even met yet.

Title track ‘The Lucky Ones’ has one of the simplest synth melody throughout it, but the more you listen to it, the more complex you realise the track is; the layers of echoes and synth effects on the track mean that the chorus of the song is almost hazy. I like it.

‘Real Life’ really shows great lyrical skill, with ‘Real life sucks me dry
I wanna sleep all through the day, this world will take the colour from your eyes’ being one of those phrases that seem very personal but also easily relate out to a lot of people.

Recent single from the album ‘Roman Candle’ is my favourite from the album; the swirling synths and dreamy chorus make for another brilliant track, with again the lyrics shining through ‘Just be yourself, I’m not an easy thing to be’ really resonating with me.

Often a reprise can be cheesy or feel tacked on to the end of an album to fill time, but B.N.S pt. II really does bring the album to a beautiful close.

 aoty

This is the english version of the debut album from the French singer, songwriter and producer Heloise Letissier under the stage name Christine and The Queens. Having already made it big in her home country, 2016 was the year that her appeal rightly spread across the channel.

The album on the surface can be seen as simply brilliant pop music, with all the songs having great hooks and choruses (just try and get Tilted out of your head after hearing a few seconds of it) throughout. The real brilliance in this album is when you realise its complexity.

From the first track, ‘iT’, the album begins to explore topics like gender and sexuality, with lyrics like “She wants to be a man, but she lies, she wants to be born again” and “there’s nothing you can do to make me change my mind.” This is explored throughout the album, with ‘Science Fiction’ stating that “In this sea of eyes, every move’s a coup” proving that this is an artist not afraid to be themselves, or to push boundaries.

‘Paradis Perdus’ is an interpolation of Kanye West’s ‘Heartless’ and French Singer-Songwriter Christophe’s 1973 song ‘Les paradis perdus’. Despite Letissier and West’s styles being completely different, she has arranged this in such a way that it works perfectly.

Hopefully this is the start of a long and brilliant career for Christine, but even if not, this album is something to be more than proud of.

 


Below is a playlist with some of my top picks from the albums;

The 16 Best Music Videos of 2016

2016 has been a great year for music videos; below is a list of the best 16 from throughout the year (in alphabetical order.)

Amber Arcades: Turning Light

Directed by Jeroen van der Poel

Christine & The Queens: Saint Claude

Directed by JACK

Chvrches: Clearest Blue

Directed by Warren Fu

Coldplay: Up & Up

Directed by: Vania Heymann and Gal Muggia

 

 

Courtney Barnett: Elevator Operator

Directed by: Sunny Leunig

The Crookes: Roman Candle

Directed by: Bertie Gilbert

 

DJ Shadow ft. Run The Jewels: Nobody Speak

Directed by Sam Pilling

 

 

The Kills: Doing It To Death

Directed by Wendy Morgan 

 

 

The Last Shadow Puppets: Aviation

 

Directed by Saam Farahmand

 

 

Massive Attack: Voodoo In My Blood ft. Young Fathers

Directed by Ringan Ledwidge

 

Miike Snow: Genghis Khan 

Directed by Ninian Goff

 

 

Radiohead: Burn The Witch

Directed by Chris Hopewell

 

 

Teleman: Tangerine

Directed by Andrew West 

 

 

 

 

SOTD 29/10/16 – Christine and The Queens: Ugly-Pretty

Christine and The Queens has today’s song of the day with ‘Ugly-Pretty’, a track taken from her newly released collection of ‘Bonus tracks’ from her hit album ‘Chaleur Humaine’, which includes the French language version of ‘Tilted’, originally titled ‘Christine.’

You can find the full Songs of the Days playlist below, with recent additions from D.D Dumbo, The Lemon Twigs and Hooton Tennis Club: