Music

The Most Anticipated Albums Of 2017


The start of a new year is always highly-anticipated in the music industry. It’s the chance to cap off all those year end list rankings and start over, looking ahead to the new artists who will emerge, the old favorites who might return, and those in the middle who could break out in a new way. The new year is full of hope and full of possibility, but of course it’s not a totally blank slate. Usually, we have some idea of what albums are on the horizon, or we’ve counted down the months and years enough to know that a reasonable amount of time has passed, and a new album could easily be in the cards.

January is also notoriously a time of waiting, few albums come out this early in the year as everyone recovers from the holidays and refocuses on work.
So, while we wait for the full uptick of new releases to actually kick into gear, here are the records we’re most looking forward to in 2017. These albums might change the game, break artists in a new way, or add to an already-legendary artist’s discography. Here’s hoping your favorites appear on the horizon this year.

Japandroids, Near To The Wild Heart Of Life

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These guys have been easy favorites for rock band of the year for so many years in a row, I think I lost count. They’re returning to give us more earth-shattering, stadium-soaring, heart-on-your-sleeve rock at the end of this month with Near To The Wild Heart Of Life. Get excited. For a taste of what’s to come, check out

Release date: January 27. Pre-order here.

Lil Yachty, Teenage Emotions

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It’s hard to dispute the impact Lil Boat had on 2016. Love him or hate him (I love him), Yachty is here to stay. His debut album will either win over the haters, or push them farther away. Although, I will say that naming it Teenage Emotions is a strong middle finger to those who are already picking apart his non-traditional background. But there’s nothing that makes a rap album better than an artist with a middle finger mentality — just ask Kanye West.

Release date: TBA

Cloud Nothings, Life Without Sound

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Another no-brainer from one of the best rock groups working. Dylan Baldi is one of the foremost young songwriters in the genre, and since 2012’s Attack On Memory Cloud Nothings have consistently released challenging post-punk that pushes rock forward instead of looking backwards. We need more bands like that in this field.

Release date: January 27. Pre-order here.

Taylor Swift, TBA

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Can you believe 1989 came out all the way back in 2014? Those songs still hang pretty omnipresent in the current pop world. So does Taylor Swift herself, as criticism and analysis of her every move continues to keep the rumor mills popping. Regardless of how you feel about her squad, or her Instagram, or her ex-boyfriends, Taylor Swift remains one of the most brilliant songwriters currently working. She is a g*ddamn powerhouse. For that reason alone, a new album from her will always be one of the most anticipated of the year.

Release date: TBA but probably fall, she always releases in fall.

Sorority Noise, You’re Not As _____ As You Think
A band of all dudes named Sorority Noise! Don’t let it fool you, they’re actually pretty great, as their sophomore album, 2015’s Joy, Departed revealed, the band have managed to transcend some of the worst impulses of emo while getting toward the introspective, jagged heart of what makes the genre great. Anyway, they just announced that their third full-length You’re Not As _____ As You Think will be out mid-March, and it is a record I’m very much looking forward to hearing.

Release date: March 7.

Chromatics, Dear Tommy
This one is kind of a myth at this point, right? Dear Tommy has been on these anticipated lists for literally three years in a row, but here we are. Not that Johnny Jewel has been resting on his laurels in the meantime, between scoring movies, producing original soundtracks, and releasing tracks under his own name and as Glass Candy. It will be Chromatics fifth album, and odds are it will be more of their glistening gloom-pop. I really hope it finally comes out in 2017.

Release date: TBA

Ryan Adams, Prisoner

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Aside from his own spectacular catalogue, Ryan Adams has spent a good portion of the last couple years working to highlight, produce, and collaborate with some of the best female songwriters in the business. That kind of devotion to emphasizing the work of female creators deserves kudos, but so does Adams’ prolific nature — Prisoner is something like his seventeenth solo album, his work with The Cardinals and Whiskeytown notwithstanding.

Release date: February 17. Pre-order it here.

Schoolboy Q, TBA

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Even though he capped off 2016 with the successful and solid Blank Face LP — which also landed very high up on our rap albums of 2016 list — Schoolboy Q is not planning to rest on his laurels in 2017. In fact, he’s all but promised that he’ll drop another new project this year. No word on the specific date, but Q is usually a man of his word. While you’re waiting for this one, don’t forget to read up on how five years later, it seems clear that Habits And Contradictions is a stone cold classic.

Release date: TBA

Paul McCartney, TBA

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Following his latest wildly successful tour — I went to go see it last fall — the world’s most lovable Beatle discussed his potential new album with Rolling Stone last spring. His last solo album came out four years ago and still went to No. 3 on the charts, so even after almost 50 years in the business, McCartney’s still got it. Maybe we’ll even get a Kanye feature on there?

Release date: TBA

Arcade Fire, TBA

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Given the band has been teasing new songs and even asked the audience at a recent headlining slot at Voodoo Festival to participate in a track that will be on their new album, it seems clear that we are getting a follow up to 2015’s Reflektor this year. Win Butler and his wife Regine Chassagne have been living in New Orleans part-time for a while now, and especially after their third line in honor of David Bowie last year was explosively celebrated, odds are some of the city’s many musical charms will work their way into the band’s newest release.

Release date: TBA

Vampire Weekend, TBA

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Well, while the exit of Rostam at the beginning of last year means that Vampire Weekend will never be the same, Ezra Koenig is too interesting a thinker and creator to not give us new music. Right, Ezra? His Time Crisis radio show has been a good way to tide fans over for a bit, but the last Vampire Weekend album came out in 2013, it’s highly possible a new record is coming this year.

Release date: TBA

Allan Kingdom, TBA
After his huge breakout at Kanye West’s fire-breathing BRIT Awards performance of “All Day” in early 2015, Allan Kingdom has nowhere to go but up. He released the excellent, if overlooked tape Northern Lights early last year, and it stands to reason that he’s been busy working on a more official debut, which could see the light of day in 2017. As always, Kanye’s taste precedes him, and Kingdom is one of the most promising new rappers who might breakout this year.

Release date: TBA

LCD Soundsystem, TBA

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After much ado about, well, nothing, LCD Soundsystem left behind their brief retirement phase and went on international tour, only to put shows on hold so they could get back into the studio. They are very much still working on a new record, but there will very much be a new record, and most likely before the year is over. Are they a bit like the boy who cried wolf at this point? Well, that’s up to the fans to judge. If they give us another “Someone Great” I won’t complain, but I’m having a hard time with the whole comeback narrative here. Hopefully the music is good enough to take my edge off.

Release date: TBA

Real Estate, TBA

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This New Jersey band’s meandering pysch-rock has been steadily growing since their debut self-titled came out back in 2009. Though founding member Matt Mondanile has left the band to focus on his family, Martin Courtney’s guiding hand should make this one of Real Estate’s biggest releases to date. The record is definitely finished, and they’ll be playing Coachella this year, so look for new music coming this spring.

Release date: TBA

Brand New, TBA

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Last year Brand New teased a new album, their first 2009, but ultimately had to scrap those plans to ensure the record they released was up to their standards. But now that we know new songs are in the works, it seems likely that the record might come out this year instead? Given there is an out-and-out emo resurgence, it would be silly for one of the best bands of that era to miss out on releasing new material.

Release date: TBA

Vagabon, Infinite Worlds
This is one of the strongest debut albums of 2017. Laetitia Tamko has been making music for several years now, but Infinite Worlds is her debut full-length, and it’s a searing and intimate album full of the kind of songwriting that can stop you in your tracks, break open old hurts and knit your heart back together. The best albums find a way to touch on and empathize with old hurts or heal you and part toward new beginnings — this one does both. In a year marked by treachery and betrayal on the highest levels of office, we need a heartfelt message like Tamko’s to hold on while we endure.

Release date: February 24. Pre-order here.

Katy Perry, TBA

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It’s been since 2013 since we got a new Katy Perry album. Sure, she’s been busy fending off the gossip cycle that Taylor Swift sucked her into, by, well, mostly just minding her own g*ddamn business. As someone who went through this same kind of unwarranted and weird poisonous rumor cycle with some of my peers last year, that’s the smartest thing she can do. So I assume that Perry has been keeping her head down and heading into the studio to give us the follow-up to Prism. She put out a single in mid-2016 but it came without any follow ups, so odds are we’ll get some this year. There’s a lot to be said for gracious silence, but at some point, you’ve got to speak out.

Release date: TBA

Dirty Projectors, TBA

We’re two songs deep into the new Dirty Projectors album, and it sounds sad as f*ck. Is it a breakup record? Maybe. Is it another entry into David Longstreth’s near-perfect discography with his foremost musical project? Definitely. This one should be coming very soon, so watch for more new songs or videos, or the whole thing sprung on us all at once. With how up-in-the-air the whole release cycle thing is these days, a surprise release seems imminent.

Release date: TBA, but probably very soong

Sky Ferreira, Masochism

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Sky Ferreira has taken her space while working on the follow-up to 2013’s Night Time, My Time, and now she’s ready to return with the follow-up, aptly named Masochism. Considering how often dickhead male journalists think that turning Ferreira into a sex object is still acceptable, it seems like her continued persistence on being perceived as an artist and treated as… oh I don’t know, a human being is something of an uphill battle. But her music is important, her voice is important, and we’re lucky to get another record from her in 2017.

Release date: TBA

Lorde, TBA

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After the smash success of Pure Heroine Lorde’s every move has been carefully chronicled, and she keeps teasing her nearly-completed new album. Here’s hoping it lives up to the success of her debut, but based off loosies like “Yellow Flicker Beat” off the Hunger Games soundtrack, we’ve got nothing to worry about. A heartfelt social media posts about the record and a few more actual details about it would be preferable, but if anyone knows how to play the long game, it’s Lorde.

Release date: TBA

Childish Gambino & Chance The Rapper, TBA
These two go way way back, and 2016 saw them both winning more than ever before. So why not parlay that longterm friendship and respective star power into a mutual victory? Chance confirmed a possible collaborative release between him and Glover back in May, but when the two shared a picture together a couple weeks ago the internet was in a frenzy about the possibility of a new record. Please, let it come soon?

Drake, More Life

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Everybody’s favorite Canadian popstar (yeah I said it) has been teasing yet another release for weeks now. Drizzy said More Life would be coming in December, but that month came and went without another word about it. Knowing Drake it will probably come to us out of the blue in the wee hours of the morning, so be on stand-by for this one. It may or may not have “Fake Love” on it.

Release date: TBA

Amber Coffman, City Of No Reply
This album would be hotly anticipated no matter what, since it’s the debut album from one our generations most talented singers and songwriters via her work with the Dirty Projectors. It takes on another sheen though, given the fact that it seems like the lead single “All To Myself” alludes to her possible split with David Longstreth. Not since Fleetwood Mac have I been this interested in the music output and couple status of two extremely talented artists.

Release date: TBA

Young Thug, TBA

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After Jeffery‘s show-stopping album artwork, it was important to take a moment and note the impact of the album itself; it was the best rap album of 2016. Which only makes me more excited to see what Thug cooks up for 2017. Even if the “Wyclef Jean” video was barely passable since he couldn’t show up for the shoot, the one place he consistently shows up is the studio.

Release date: TBA

Nikki Lane, Highway Queen

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This spitfire Nashville alt-rocker is not one to be held down by a single career. Instead, Nikki Lane is a singer and songwriter who independently flies in the face of the Nashville machine, while doing the same in the fashion world. Her East Nashville boutique High Class Hillbilly is also thriving in vintage world, but Lane managed to find the time to record a new album, and Highway Queen

Release date: February 17. Pre-order it here.

Gorillaz, TBA

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Last summer Damon Albarn said the new Gorillaz album was well on its way, and it stands to reason that in the ensuing months the group has finished that record and will be delivering it to us in 2017. The group hasn’t put out an album together since 2011, so this will be a big one.

Release date: TBA

Nine Inch Nails, TBA

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Fresh off the release of the Not The Actual Events EP, Trent Reznor and his crew are reportedly prepping more major releases for 2017. In an interview with Zane Lowe Reznor said there would be two major release from Nine Inch Nails this year, without giving any further details. But consider the scope of 2013’s Hesitation Marks, whatever they are, they’re bound to make an impact.

Release date: TBA

Father John Misty, TBA

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Father John Misty has been busy writing songs with pop stars, elevating his status quite a bit since the release of his last excellently loved-up album I Love You, Honeybear in 2015. And though it hasn’t been a drastically long time, why shouldn’t one Josh Tillman keep up his winning streak by expanding his own palette even farther and releasing an album that catches us all off guard in 2017? I can’t wait to hear what a post-Gaga Father John Misty album sounds like. If last summer’s “Real Love” is any indication, it’s going to be more gorgeous psych-rock that transcends time and space. Sign me up.

Release date: TBA

Fleet Foxes, Ylajali

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This is a real, actual event to be excited about: The First Fleet Foxes album since 2011. It’s been so long since Fleet Foxes put out an album that the last time they did, I was just an unknown grad student in Los Angeles fervently tweeting my fandom at their now-defunct account pretty much every day. To his credit, Robin Pecknold never blocked me and instead gifted my broke ass tickets to one of their shows! Don’t say Twitter never got anyone anything. Anyway, in the meantime I’ve spent the last five years building a career as a music journalist and Pecknold has spent it gathering his thoughts and creative impulses to create the perfect follow up to 2011’s perfect Helplessness Blues. Ylajali, as it’s reportedly called, might honestly be my most anticipated album of 2017. After all the endless social media teasing, and a corresponding tour, it’s clear that it will be out sometime this year.

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