Yes, we know we’re about that “new music” thing, but you bet we’re begging for some of our faves to make a welcome return!
Where oh where has Patrick Wolf been? A whole five years has passed since the release of his sixth album Lupercalia and his absence has left a gaping void in the world of alternative pop. His truly unique blend of folk, electronica and otherworldly vocal took a brighter turn in his 2012 release, eschewing the darker, melancholia tones of The Bachelor or Wind in the Wires.
Wolf last released an anniversary EP, Sundark and Riverlight to celebrate his ten years as a recording artist, reimagining his some of his most well known numbers and taking them on an intimate and pared back acoustic tour. Now married, one can only wonder how finding true love will influence his work so previously entrenched in heartache and loneliness. Either way, it will no doubt be captivating. Kayleigh Watson
It may not seem like too long since they released their last album Currents but Tame Impala’s head honcho and main songwriter Kevin Parker isn’t often one to dilly dally when it comes to writing music. 2018 will mark three years since the release of Currents, and whilst his bandmembers have been pursuing their other music endeavours in POND and GUM we don’t doubt that Parker has been brewing his next iteration of the outfit in the background. From the hazy psych sound of Innerspeaker and Lonerism to the re-inspired funk of Currents, we can only wonder where Tame Impala will travel next. KW
United Crushers – the third album by Minneapolis electronica outfit Poliça – my have only been released last year, but the band have turned out consecutive albums in less time than this. Shulasmith followed debut effort Give You The Ghost by only a year, so let’s not give up hope that the follow-up to their recent darkly political effort may come soon, especially with such world turmoil for inspiration. Songs such as ‘Wedding’ and ‘Melting Block’ showcased a band revelling in murky textures and unconventional arrangements, side-stepping the fluid rhythms of fan-favourite ‘Chain My Name’. One of the most interesting pop bands around, Poliça never fail to up their own game. KW
Predictability dictates that when a band releases a new album every even year, then they are about to volunteer one any time soon. Canadian punk rock trio White Lung surprised fans – and themselves – with the comparatively accessible anthems of Paradise, but as vocalist Mish Way said herself “Paradise is the best song writing we have ever done, and I expect the next record to be the same. I have no interest in staying in kindergarten.” So in which direction will they band swing in their next album? It’s hard to say. Whether it be back to their full-throttle punk of the past few years or somehow even more lean and clean, it will no doubt be as riotous fun as it always is. KW
Now, if you have keen eyes you may recall that one particular writer may have picked one particular FKA Twigs for her comeback list this time last year. Did she return? Um, no, but she did persist in releasing some interesting art this year, as always. From her stunning dance performance in her do you believe in more? collaborative advert with NIKE to her innovative visual Instagram magazine AVANTgarden, Twigs is never one to rest on her laurels when it comes to creativity. Having opted to focus on the visual than the audible in the past two years, her last release being her experimental EP M3LL155X, one can only hope that 2018 will be the year where she unleashes her next chapter as a musician. KW
Koan Sound & Asa
Back in 2013, legendary Bristol producers Koan Sound teamed up with the ethereally minded Asa to release one of my favourite electronic EPs to date. In a mix of breakbeat funk and warped DnB, the EP fuses organically orchestral synth and a taste of the electronically epic in what sounds like the soundtrack to a fairy-tale distant world. Since then, the producers have left the partnership behind, but with Koan Sound in the studio working on a new album, I think (I hope) we may be seeing a return of this epic collaboration. James Makin
If you remember that club banger from 2008, ‘Wearing My Rolex,’ and of course ‘Heatwave’ in 2012, then you’ve heard of Wiley. But if that’s all you know of Wiley’s music, you may perhaps be surprised to hear that he released a track back in 2004 that is widely considered the first grime tune, ‘Wot Do U Call It’, under the alias Eskiboy. As the “godfather” of grime, Wiley released his eleventh studio album Godfather in January this year, with Godfather II set for release in February 2018. After seeing chart success way back in 2012, will this new release bring Wiley out from behind the scenes of grime and back into the mainstream? JM
With grime’s resurgence in popular media back in 2014 by Skepta and Stormzy, underground artists such as Sheffield-based rapper Coco were given a platform to release tunes whilst staying true to their musical selves. Collaborating with BBC Radio 1’s Toddla T, Coco saw success in 2015 with a plethora of grime tracks including features with AJ Tracey and Nadia Rose. With a few lone tracks peppering the scene from Coco in 2017 with ‘UP!’ and ‘Ingredients’, I think a new EP is long overdue from the Sheffield artist, and everyone knows grime sounds better in a northern accent. JM
There’s leaving the people wanting more and then there’s Tool: the enigmatic band who have left fans wanting more for eleven years…
For those who think of a spanner when they hear “tool”, it’s time to open your mind to one of the pioneers of alternative rock and metal. With their music best described as art rock, Tool formed in 1990 just before grunge and alternative music went mainstream, to then win three Grammy Awards, perform worldwide tours, and produce album topping charts in several countries. Their debut album Sober even went 2x platinum in the United States. Described as a style-transcending act due to their incorporation of visual arts and lengthy, complex releases, they achieve a highly experimental sound with evolving rhythms, guitar style bass and uncompromising guitar work. Patrick Donovan of The Age described them as “the thinking person’s metal band. Cerebral and visceral, soft and heavy, melodic and abrasive, tender and brutal, familiar and strange, western and eastern, beautiful and ugly, taut yet sprawling and epic, they are a tangle of contradictions.”
Receiving consistently high praise from critics, the unique idiosyncratic band released four albums from 1993 to 2006 with their last being 10,000 Days. Fans have been waiting 11 years for one of the greatest art rock bands of all time to make their comeback and finally, Tool have announced an album will definitely be released in 2018. RB
Grimes first made a name for herself in 2010 with the release of pop-pioneering album Geidi Primes; a concept album based on the Frank Herbert novel Dune. Her musical style incorporates an eclectic blend ranging from synthpop all the way to medieval music, producing a unique style of electro-pop containing completely unique melodies. The refreshing delivery of her helium balloon vocals compliment the music in such a way it sounds like nothing the human race has heard before, and yet she manages to keep everything at an arm’s length ensuing an odd sense of familiarity, rocketing her to an accessible medium and stardom.
Two years since her last release and it seems she’s finally ready to make her comeback, issuing a cute statement on Instagram: “when u have all the songs but u still need to do vox and fix drums on p much every thing and its been almost a year of isolation despair and chaos when will… it……… end. only i can end it oh my god hzhahhaah.” RB
Canadian duo Purity Ring formed in 2010 consisting of Megan James and James Roddick. The two create spaced out soundscapes with tonnes of melodic qualities and reverb. Upon listening, it all seems fairly jovial. Then the lyrics come in. Megan James toys with grotesque imagery concerning parts of the body relating to love and emotion. ‘Belispeak’ talks about holes drilled through eyes and the lyrical content for ‘Fineshrine’ sounds something like this: “Get a little closer, let fold/cut open my sternum, and pull.” An eerie Tim Burton sensibility ensues when engaging with this incredibly dark pair, however the feelings evoked are more euphoric than depressed. The witch house duo’s last record was released in 2015 but with a single being released back in July, it seems a new one is on the horizon. RB
One of the biggest disappointments this year (personally), was when Robyn only joined The xx in London and not the rest of the country. This has really stuck with us for the rest of the year and with so much great (REALLY GREAT at that) pop music coming out… it’s just calling for Robyn really, isn’t it?!
That’s not to say that Robyn hasn’t been completely inactive since her last release of album Body Talk (parts one and two), in September of this year she released ‘Be Mine’ remixed by Mark E. There was also the debut of track ‘Honey’ during the final TV Series of Girls, let’s not forget. Robyn has been openly cited as influences for most of this years active artists, most notably in Lorde who arguably has won pop music this year.
Imagine what would happen if Robyn appeared, new album in hand, the face of pop music would no doubt be altered again, just as it was in (and has ever since) 2010. Samantha Daly
We know this one’s happening. But that doesn’t stop our excitement, in fact it’s made it worse. CHVRCHES have been announced as one of the headliners for one of Scotland’s newest festivals: TRNSMT, announcing it as the first gig announcement of #CHV3!
Since then, Martin has tweeted saying that they’re “putting the finishing touches on ‘the most aggressive and vulnerable’ album we’ve ever made,” if that doesn’t stir up some excitement in you then we’re really not sure what will.
Lauren Mayberry also spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the new album explaining how their writing process has changed, that it feels “the most pop stuff we’ve done”, whilst at the same time “aggressive and vulnerable” (this is what Martin was quoting on Twitter FYI). She says that they’re focussing a lot on the delivery this time… we’re sure it’s going to be brilliant. We’re just very impatient. SD
With five whole years since her debut record and only one new song since, we are eagerly awaiting new music from Sky Ferreira. But to make up for that, it looks like we might be getting two projects from her this year. Her very delayed full length follow-up Masochism should be coming out, along with a “heavily visual EP” scheduled for “February or March”.
A visual record might be a surprise, but as she’s recently appeared on both the big screen and silver screen (Baby Driver and Twin Peaks) and directed Marching Church’s ‘Christmas On Earth’ video, it could be something very exciting indeed. Tobias Pugh
Three years since their darker, more mature sophomore album Undertow, the world is due another record from the Loveless brothers. There’s no word on whether Drenge are actually recording a follow up, but given that they’ve not posted on social media since June, something might be brewing (or they just don’t like the internet who knows). TP
After kicking off the year with a cover of Nirvana’s ‘Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle’, LA punx FIDLAR are looking set for a return. Their hilarious, deep and unhinged brand of poppy punk is exactly what we need right now, so it’s lucky that frontman Zac Carper recently told MTV that “Threes coming out soon”. TP
After tweeting “I can’t risk rushing what I love, but I hope when it finds you, this music I’m making might give you something.” and “I’m very close… See you in 2018” straight after, there’s a renewed longing for more music from the two time Mercury Prize nominee. TP