2016 may have been a tough year for the music world, but it's miraculously produced some incredible releases. In 2017, we’re hoping for a lot less hate, zero deaths of music legends and even more good music. Whereas several high-profile LPs already have official release dates, many are still being tweaked and finalized. Check out the ten albums we’re most excited for in the (fingers-crossed) great new year.
The xx, I See You (Jan. 13, Young Turks)
After a four year absence, The xx will finally release their third LP at the start of the new year. Founding member Jamie xx claims his 2015 debut solo project was part of the band's evolution: "It feels like the next part of what we're all doing rather than just [me] branching off," he told NME. "It has definitely informed what we're doing for the next [xx] album.” The band has also indicated that their next project will have "a completely different concept" than their first two efforts. In November, they released the album's lead single "On Hold," an exercise in piercing minimalism which is reflected in the song's barren music video. Check out their upcoming tour dates here.
Arcade Fire, Untitled (Merge)
Between summer festival gigs, Arcade Fire was logging studio time in Montreal and Paris, work Win Butler confirmed via Reddit was for AF LP5. He indicated a spring '17 release, but said they had "no definite schedule” and that "It’ll be done when it’s done.” Member Tim Kingsbury recently confirmed the album would be out in 2017.
The Killers, Untitled (Island)
With reissues, side projects and compilations, The Killers never seem to travel too far from the public eye (they just released the holiday retrospective Don’t Waste Your Wishes), but it’s been four years and counting since we’ve heard any fresh grooves from the Vegas rockers. Brandon Flowers recently confirmed a forthcoming release on KROQ, stating, “We will definitely have a record in 2017." The fifth album, which follows up 2012’s Battle Born, is said to “take the experience of playing over a thousand shows and mix that with the enthusiasm we had making our first album.” They’ve been working with producer Jacknife Lee (Snow Patrol, Taylor Swift) and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, who claims their initial product “sounds 100% like them and nothing like me.”
Fleet Foxes, Untitled (Sub Pop)
In 2014, Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold went on hiatus to pursue an undergraduate degree at Columbia University, but apparently carved out some time to write new music. Earlier this year, the scholastic rocker revealed to fans via his personal Instagram that he was back in the studio with long-time collaborator Neil Morgan working on a follow up to 2011’s Helplessness Blues. He described the forthcoming project as having "a different vibe.” Over on the band’s Facebook page, Pecknold responded to an inquiry about LP3, writing “Alllllmost (sic) done. In response to a fan's question on Instagram, Pecknold commented on the band’s touring plans, writing, “So far - Australia in May, EU in July, US Aug, US October, EU November” before confirming their show at Iveagh Gardens in Dublin, Ireland on July 14. We recommend following the band’s various social accounts, where Pecknold is a very active user.
Gorillaz, Untitled (Parlophone)
After a six year absence, Gorillaz will soon release the follow-up to 2011’s The Fall, which co-founder/animator Jamie Hewlett has called “really f***ing special” and “can’t be rushed.” Earlier this year, Damon Albarn described the project as "really fast, and it's got quite a lot of energy. I've been stuck on piano, somewhere off Broadway, for years now. I want to go somewhere completely opposite of that." Rumored collaborators include Liam Bailey, The Twilite Tone, Jean Michel Jarre, Massive Attack, hip-hop artist Vic Mensa and Two Inch Punch.
Lorde, Untitled (Lava)
In celebration of her 20th birthday, Lorde took to Facebook to confirm the forthcoming follow-up to her formative debut Pure Heroine. In the effusive note, she wrote, “I want you to see the album cover, pore over the lyrics (the best I’ve written in my life), touch the merch, experience the live show. I can hardly stop myself from typing out the name. I just need to keep working a while longer to make it as good as it can be. You'll have to hold on. The big day is not tomorrow, or even next month realistically, but soon. I know you understand.” We do, and we can't wait.
LCD Soundsystem, Untitled (Columbia)
After retiring from music six years ago, James Murphy made a valiant return to the stage at Coachella and numerous other festivals this year. LCD recently signed with Columbia Records and cancelled a recent festival gig due to “studio scheduling conflicts related to their new album," which is expected next year.
The Shins, I Gleek on Your Grave (Columbia)
Over the summer, The Shins frontman James Mercer told a Portland radio station, “The record is done, basically, and mixed" and stated, “We’ve been making little tweaks just because we have the time.” The band released the lead single "Dead Alive" and a music video in October, which indicated the album would be called I Gleek on Your Grave. As for a release date? Mercer says it's up to the label, but we're hearing early 2017.
Flaming Lips, Oczy Mlody (Jan. 13)
Described by frontman Wayne Coyne as “Syd Barrett meets A$AP Rocky and they get trapped in a fairy tale from the future,” the 16th Flaming Lips LP, which translates roughly to "Eyes of the Young" in "Polish-ish," will show the band veering even farther off the beaten path. Check out their upcoming tour dates here.
U2, Songs of Experience (Island)
They've never been big on time off, and U2 will pick up right where 2014’s Songs of Innocence left off with Songs of Experience, due out spring 2017. The overachieving band has said they've written and recorded over 50 songs and worked with producers including Ryan Tedder, Danger Mouse and Jacknife Lee.