OK, so we know that it’s not quite the end of 2016, but yes, we really are already gearing up for next year. It’s exciting, alright! But before we begin to pick our ones to watch to next for next year (how exciting!), here are the artists that we are hoping will make a comeback in the near future…
She may have been quiet musically in 2016, but FKA TWIGS has had one hell of a busy year. From curating an immersive performance entitled ‘Rooms’ as part of Veuve Clicquot’s Window Series – which saw the artist take over an entire building with 30 performers as well as writing and directing the spectacle – to premiering her “abstract autobiographical” documentary Soundtrack 7 on BBC 4 as well as her philanthropic dance project Baltimore Dance Project, Tahliah Barnett has been flexing her creative muscles in many arenas in the past few months.
Twigs has never been one to shy away from merging her various areas of creative interest however; having started her career as a backing dancer for artists including Kylie Minogue and Jessie J, her first musical outings – EP1 and EP2 – were released in 2012 and 2013 respectively before her debut album LP1 dropped in 2014 and was subsequently shortlisted for that year’s Mercury Prize and a Grammy. 2015 saw Twigs shake up her own formula was the deliciously experimental EP M3LL155X (aka. “Mellissa”), infusing her work with booming bass and skittish clicks, the tracks flit from one bit of symbolism to another. It is easily the most challenging piece of music that Twigs has put out to date.
In July of this year, Twigs performed a new live show – Radiant Me² – in seven shows in Russia, Norway and North America, culminating at the Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival in which she premiered new, though untitled, material. Given that this year has seen the auteur relentlessly pursue her more non-musical endeavours, it seems inevitable (we hope!) that FKA Twigs debut a more extensive set of tracks in 2017. Kayleigh Watson
It was 2011, five years ago, that we were graced with Fleet Foxes sophomore album Helplessness Blues. We learnt last year, in 2014, that this was partially due to frontman Robin Pecknold’s desire to go back to school, which he did, successfully achieving an undergraduate degree from Columbia University and of course, it must have been kickstarted by the departure of drummer Josh Tillman (AKA Father John Misty)
Back in the earlier parts of this year, Pecknold posted a teasing Instagram post from in the studio, tagging in it bandmate Casey Wescott. This was shortly followed by bassist Christian Wargo explaining that the end of the band’s hiatus was ‘happening’ albeit ‘unofficially’… It has however been confirmed that this FF return does not include Father John Misty, Pecknold even revealed that not only have they not spoken since the end of their last album tour but that they hadn’t really spoken in the previous two years before that.
Since then, we’ve learnt a lot more. Indie-Folk legends, Fleet Foxes have recorded an album – which happens to stand at 11 songs, 55 minutes-ish – they also have plans for a massive world tour next year, having already announced a few dates and appearances, such at BBK Festival in Bilbao.
The new, supposedly Folk-Soul infused album is said to be “crazy and vast” and that seems to be no word of an exaggeration when you see the kind of instrumentation that has been included in the making of the LP: “Tuned autoharp (tuning all strings to one chord or mode and played percussively), prepared electric guitar, cello, hell of stairwell re-amping, bass winds pitched down octaves, sounds of waves, sounds of trains as basis of percussion loops, goat hooves, Cale-ish harmonic screech strings, lots of sound effects in general as basis for rhythms and place-setting. That’s all on the first song.”
So, 2016 isn’t even over yet and 2017 looks set to be a belter. We may not yet have any of this new material to listen to in full, but we do still have their delightful back catalogue to immerse ourselves in, just like this… Samantha Daly
LANA DEL REY
Just as I was getting used to the illustrious Lana Del Rey releasing annual albums after 2014’s Ultraviolence and 2015’s Honeymoon, Ms. Grant cruelly decided to shun the limelight in 2016, appearing for all of 60 seconds on The Weeknd’s interlude track ‘Stargirl’. The sleek, breathy vocal and ethereal, orgasmic delivery has wholly whet my appetite for another collection from the melancholic pop starlet.
Following the snowballing success of debut Born To Die and its repackaged Paradise, most fair-weather fans wrote Lana off after she delivered the far darker sophomore LP Ultraviolence. The sheer indulgence of Honeymoon seemed to alienate those who subscribed to the bold sounds of ‘Blue Jeans’ and the like. Those first album fans have missed out on some of the most cinematic, symphonic pop songs released this decade. Now the enigmatic songwriter has now been confirmed to headline Oya Festival in 2017 and it’s the first strong clue new music is on the horizon. It had also been confirmed earlier in the year Del Rey headed to the studio shortly after the release of her third LP to begin work on the next release.
It is difficult to predict the style or sound of LDR4 with little clue given to the direction of a new project or who will be involved. The character of Lana Del Rey is the connecting factor of her previous three LPs, a bold femme fatale seductively guiding you through her sonar existence. Composing a fiction surrounding her releases works well with Lana’s own gorgeous tones the perfect soundtrack for this world of luxurious lust, harrowing heartbreak and decadent design. We are yet to see our leading lady explore the medium of a concept album; something similar to 2016’s The Bride from Bat For Lashes would offer Lana a creative freedom and ability to create even stronger visual ties between her art, video, performance and music.
Not an artist instantly known for collaboration, the R & B leanings of ‘Freak’ and ‘Art Deco’ would benefit from The Weeknd repaying Lana’s recent guest spot on ‘Starboy’. Elsewhere video co-star Father John Misty could add earthier tones to the bombastic production style of Lana’s current work. Cedric Jervais may have taken Lana to the dancefloor yet the downtempo production style of SBTRKT, SOHN or Jon Hopkins would suit her nocturnal tone far better. A collaboration with pure pop hit maker Blood Orange would also be a welcome edition to any new release in the near future and should this collab occur, Dev should definitely invite his good pal Ms. Florence Welch to duet with Del Rey in true cinematic style. Sean Ward