2016 has been a little lacklustre for music, with the charts being awash with mediocrity and very few in the way of great albums that demand to be listened to again and again.
It’s a shame that in a year so beset by truly terrible new events that there’s been little in the way of pick-me-ups to help the masses cope.
But the famine of 2016 will make way for the feast of 2017, and there’s so many albums coming out next year that leave me so excited for what’s to come.
I count no fewer than 12 albums I’m looking forward to, with around half of those releases being set in stone and the other half being confident guesses based on artists’ history and noise from the newswires this year.
So let’s have a look at the albums I’m most excited for in 2017:
The band haven’t been shy about their excitement to work on a new album, or #CHV3 as they’re affectionately calling it, and with no tour planned next year and a regular 2-year cycle between their albums so far it seems very likely that Autumn next year will be time for another slice of 80s nostalgia mixed with the best of modern music.
Song to set the scene: “Clearest Blue”
Paramore’s self-titled fourth album dropped in 2013, being the first to go without the Farro brothers’ whose sound dominated the background of Hayley Williams’ signature vocals. It wasn’t quite the same without them, but there were a couple of good tunes that made the album worthwhile.
Years have gone by though and Zac Farro will be back on the drums as the group release another album, presumably sometime next year. It’ll be great to see what they can produce with the combination of their mature sound and the vibrant drum style they had before.
Song to set the scene: “Still Into You”
Despite losing major band member Neil Milan earlier this year, Clean Bandit have gone on to brand new successes – with their single “Rockabye” currently on a 5-week run at the top of the charts, which has only been bested by Drake’s “One Dance” in 2016.
“Rockabye” isn’t one of their best in my opinion, and it has me pining for their more underground styles of their debut album New Eyes, but it isn’t to say that the band will lose their touch altogether.
It’ll have been three years in 2017 since that album launched, so it’s a relatively safe bet that the band will be working on a new LP to share with the masses and capitalise on their recent chart success. I’m delighted for them, and I really hope they can deliver some classic songs like last time.
Song to set the scene: “Tears” (feat. Louisa Johnson)
Drum and bass has gone through fits and starts of popularity, with one artist paving a way for another, and Sub Focus might have just been the predecessor to Sigma’s current reign as the chart’s darling for D&B.
The once and future king return’s next year though with a follow-up to Torus, which had some incredible songs packed with emotion and rhythm that I still play over and over again now.
The first single from said album, “Love Divine”, isn’t perfect though – so it’s not unbridled enthusiasm I have at the moment, but I have faith that there’ll be a few more chart-oriented tunes that will break through and do justice to the fantastic ability he has at his disposal.
Song to set the scene: “Love Divine”
The fresh face of country delighted us once again this year with a Christmas album delivered in a signature style that made old classics and new favourites shine.
Both of Musgraves’ two “mainstream” studio albums have gone on to critical acclaim and it stands to reason that another will come out next year as well to capitalise on her rising star status.
What’s great though is that even though she’s got hits under her belt she still wants to take a risk, and there’s good reason to believe that the next album will take a different tack from what’s going before too – so it’ll be really interesting to see how she manages to blend the traditional country, modern pop and any other style she plans on working into record number 3 (if it’s to come next year)