The most anticipated albums of 2018
New year, new soundtrack.
2018 is already set to be a year for musical comebacks in the alternative-indie realm with bands like Vampire Weekend and Franz Ferdinand already confirming new material. Along with this massive shift back to alternative music, some of our favourite mainstream hip hop and pop artists will only become more popular with new releases rumoured from some of the biggest names. From Australian pop icons (wait until the end) to groundbreaking international bands, take a look at our picks of the most anticipated albums of this year.
Riding off the back of a successful collaboration with Kurt Vile, Courtney Barnett is just about ready to grace us with her second LP after letting it slip in a recent interview with Zane Lowe that she was “trying to come up with a title for [the] new album”. Barnett’s Paul Kelly-esque ability to meld social commentary with free-flowing melodies made her first album, Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit hugely successful in Australia and around the world, with Ellen Degeneres becoming an unlikely fan after inviting Barnett to perform on Ellen in 2015. We should expect more from Courtney Barnett in the tail-end of 2018 and hopefully her second album will see a resurgence of the masterful balance of grunge, spoken word and charming melody that makes her so loveable.
Returning on February 9 is everyone’s favourite Scottish indie-punk band with an optimistically-titled fifth studio album, Always Ascending. After a shaky two years, the band recently announced themselves to be a five-piece after the departure of their lead guitarist. October saw a fresh release of a title track from Always Ascending which was met with surprisingly positive reception. Franz Ferdinand’s latest album will be a fascinating release considering the band’s popularity peaked in the early 2000’s…maybe the album’s title is a sign of things to come.
Rising to notoriety after her powerful albeit short contribution in Gotye’s chart-topping single “Somebody That I Used To Know”, Kimbra has since been working tirelessly to produce the eccentric yet charming sounds fans love so much. 2018 will see the release of her third studio album, Primal Heart of which we have already had a taste of through powerful singles “Everybody Knows” and “Top of the World”. If these songs are anything to go by, Primal Heart is set to be a collection of feminist anthems providing social commentary to the gender inequality 2017 uncovered and simultaneously battled. Kimbra is undeniably one of the best songwriters of our generation and exhibits an unashamedly eccentric persona, however Primal Heart looks to be a much more serious take on issues close to her heart. Primal Heart will release on April 20.
Presumably still riding off the back of the success of their chart-topping 2013 album AM, Arctic Monkeys have finally come out of post-album hibernation to announce they’re working on new sounds. Arctic Monkeys’ last album saw an unforeseen leap towards R&B influences while maintaining the lyrically dense, punk-pop vibe their fans know so well. Their monolithic single, “Do I Wanna Know?” propelled them towards notoriety in Billboard’s alternative charts – the song even spent 20 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100. Alex Turner is certainly a hardworking frontman and we hope that his three year focus on his project with Miles Kane, The Last Shadow Puppets won’t cast a shadow over the Arctic Monkeys’ most highly anticipated album. A date and title is yet to be revealed but will mostly emerge towards the end of 2018.
It’s hard to believe that Rihanna is already approaching her ninth studio album. 2017 was a mammoth year for the R&B superstar even without releasing an album. Instead, she released a hugely successful cosmetics line in her name, Fenty Beauty, gained the prestigious award of Harvard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year and kickstarted her acting career alongside Cara Delevingne in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. A recent interview with a producer of Drake and Rihanna’s mentioned in October that a few “sessions” had been completed with the singer meaning new content is most likely on it’s way.
This one we’ve known for a while: back in April 2017, Matty Healy revealed to Zane Lowe the title of The 1975’s third album: Music for Cars. The band’s first record captured the hearts of thousands with nostalgic lyrics, Manchester swagger and preppy 80’s melodies and their second album saw a more dulcet yet synthesised side of The 1975 which is well indicated in its title: I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it. This month, speculation has risen about Music for Car‘s song titles which have been reportedly leaked from a royalties database along possible release dates in April. Let’s hope it’s correct.
Britain’s queen of soft grunge is (finally) returning in 2018 to follow up her debut album’s success. Just last week she released potential album artwork across social media much to the excitement of fans who have been waiting for the new album since announcements by Ferreira in July. Alongside this year’s release of Ferreira’s second album which is reportedly titled Masochism, there are reports of a brand new visual EP, meaning 2018 may very well be Ferreira’s year in the limelight. The hard working musician, model and actress has been lending a hand in many other projects including David Lynch’s Twin Peaks reboot, Baby Driver and Elvis & Nixon.
Vampire Weekend has similarly been taking a hiatus but is marking 2018 their year for a comeback. Frontman Ezra Koenig has been giving fans plenty of information including the long-awaited fourth album’s “working” title: Mitsubishi Macchiato. Almost a year ago Koenig released this information alongside some song names including Conversation and Flower Moon, which is a pretty good indicator that a release should be on the cards this year. With a slight shuffle of the band including the departure of one of their most active songwriters, the new album could present a radically different sound.
Last but not least, Australia’s pop queen will be returning in spring this year to release her latest line up of material: Golden. On January 11, she tweeted “we have GOLDEN times ahead” and there is speculation that her first single of the year, Dancing, will be on the airwaves later this month. Posters have been circulating around the French press promoting Golden and stating “on sale in Paris January 16 and 17”. Golden will be Kylie’s fourteenth album and will be her first pop release since 2014’s Kiss Me Once. Although we’ve always loved her tunes, her legendary album of 2003, Fever remains her most successful breakthrough in her 4-decade career. Golden is set to be a summer playlist for this year.
(Featured Image: Junkee)