2016 spoiled us with some pretty amazing music. (Not many years can boast new albums by Kanye, Bowie, Radiohead AND Beyonce.) But the year ahead looks just as promising for legends and newcomers alike. Below are our most anticipated releases for 2017.
What We Know: When Beck dropped lead the playful single "Wow" last fall, many suspected a new album was right around the corner. But the expected October release date came and went without a peep. But now it's 2017 and we're still waiting.
What We Expect: His last album, Morning Phase, was ponderous folksy affair. This time around, he's planning to switch sounds up again, as the genre chameleon is prone to do, with a more party-centric electro-pop record.
What We Know: Last year Drake released three new songs on his thirtieth birthday: "Fake Love," "Sneakin'," and "Two Birds One Stone" and he announced a new project, which he called "a collection of songs that become the soundtrack to your life." Potential collaborators include Jennifer Lopez, (they pair have been awfully chummy lately) and probably other guests from the OVO stable.
What We Expect: More chart-toppers from the pope of mopey r&b jams.
What We Know: The cartoon band's fourth album has been hinted at via cryptic social media posts and even an OK Cupid profile for guitarist Noodle, which was swiftly deleted. We do know that Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett are back on good terms and have been in the studio with De La Soul, Snoop Dogg, Jean-Michel Jarre and Vic Mensa so it could be the band's most eclectic offering yet.
What We Expect: Oddball pop that's as charming as it is genre-defying.
What We Know: The California trio recently took a break from touring to get back to their sisterly roots. As Danielle Haim explained "We needed just it be the three of us in the beginning. We just wanted to get back in the zone." The only outside influencers on their upcoming album appear to be producer Ariel Rechtshaid and ex-Vampire Weekend-er Rostam Batmanglij.
What We Expect: Based on the two new songs they premiered live last year "Nothing's Wrong" and "Give Me Just A Little of Your Love," there will be just as many hooks as on 2013's pop playground, Days Are Gone.
Japandroids - Near To The Wild Heart of Life (January 27)
What We Know: One of rock's most vital acts returns with their first album in nearly five years. While on a new label (ANTI-), the Vancouver duo continue their reign as the most earnest and melodic noisemakers around.
What We Expect: If the title track is any indication, there'll be more fast and loud anthems, but with a higher production budget.
LCD Soundsystem - TBA
What We Know: LCD Soundsystem recently cancelled a bunch of Asian and Australian tour dates to finish up their next album, so they must be pretty far along in the recording process, right?
What We Expect: If you caught them during their reunion tour last year, then you probably know how re-energized the electro-rock collective sound. It'll be great to hear new LCD tunes for the first time in seven years.
Lorde - TBA
What We Know: As she crossed over from adolescence, New Zealand wunderkind Ella Yelich-O'Connor took to Facebook shortly after her twentieth birthday in November letting us know a new album, her highly anticipated follow-up to 2013's Pure Heroine is on the way. She spent the years that ensued chronicling the tumultuous emotions that arise alongside the end of her teenage years. "Writing Pure Heroine was my way of enshrining our teenage glory, putting it up in lights forever so that part of me never dies, and this record — well, this one is about what comes next," she said.
What We Expect: We can't wait to see how the songwriter tackles emerging adulthood, given the precocious eloquence of her debut album. Needless to say, the pressure is on.
Marilyn Manson - SAY10 (February 14)
What We Know: Recorded in Louisiana, while he was filming Salem, Manson claims his new album is "pretty violent in its nature." If you say the title out loud you'll also get a sense of the album's demonic overtones, which doesn't come as much of a surprise for the shock rocker's tenth record.
What We Expect: A more aggressive sound that harkens back to his Antichrist Superstar days.
Migos - Culture (January 27)
What We Know: Migos just hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Bad and Boujee," thanks in part to a meme no less. The rap trio even got a shout-out from Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, at the Golden Globes, to add to the hype.
What We Expect: A mainstream breakthrough for the Atlanta group.
Vampire Weekend - TBA
What We Know: It's been almost four years since the release of these critical darlings last album, the stellar Modern Vampire of the City. And in that time the band has seen some major line-up changes. Key member Rostam Batmanglij left to pursue successful solo projects. Whether or not he appears on the new record has yet to be seen, as frontman Ezra Koenig posted on Instagram: "For now in the Vampire Weekend universe, it's all about recording the next album. There will be a lot of familiar faces in the studio but also some fresh, new one"
What We Expect: Rumours that the band have signed with Columbia are also swirling, but no matter who puts out the album it will probably top year end lists, regardless.
What We Know: The dream-pop trio took a few years off between albums while Jamie xx dropped his solo effort In Colour back in 2015. The dance party vibes of that record may have rubbed off on his bandmates, as The xx's latest release appears to be their brightest and most sample-heavy yet.
What We Expect: A commercial breakthrough for an already beloved indie act.
Other artists expected to release albums include: Alice Glass, The Arcade Fire, Cloud Nothings, Dirty Projectors, Grizzly Bear, Jens Lekman, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Los Campesinos!, The National, Ryan Adams, The Shins, Sky Ferriera, Spoon, St. Vincent, Wolf Parade and many more. Get excited!