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The 12 Most Anticipated Albums In 2017

Photo: Tim Mosenfelder (Getty Images)

It is time to finally close the chapter on a year that seems like it was written by George R.R. Martin and flip ahead to the new year. It has to be better, right? Pretty please. 

Also: The 20 Best Songs of 2016

Well, if the upcoming music releases are any indication, 2017 could indeed be a very good year (in music at least) with artists, both new and old inspired and ready to share new work. Here are The 12 Most Anticipated Albums In 2017

The xx – I See You (release date: Jan. 13) 

The achingly lovestruck London trio appears to have traded in dour for dancey in their excellent first single “On Hold” (check out the Terrance Malick-esque video). This third album, much of which was recorded in the US, is perhaps a reflection of a new era, as the band wrote recently on Twitter: “We know these are uncertain times and we hope the joy & love we found making the record will get out into the world, in however a small way.”

Arcade Fire – TBD 

Back in June, band member Will Butler (frontman Win’s brother) confirmed on Reddit (the millennial’s CNN) that a new Arcade Fire album could be here in spring of 2017. Then in October, the Canadian Grammy winners debuted new music to a crowd of about 175 at a private show in New Orleans. Although there is no video of the footage (attendees’ phones were confiscated), the Times-Picayune reports that the new material is “dynamic, danceable rock … driven by percussive-heavy beats with a flavor of disco” and addresses some “weighty topics.” 

Bonobo – Migration (release date: Jan. 13)

If you don’t know your British DJ/producer from your menswear brand of the same name, you will after Bonobo’s (real name Simon Green) highly-anticipated sixth album, Migration, whose first two singles, “Kerala” and “Break Apart” featuring Rhye (see above), set a sky high bar for an ethereal electronic album that explores the broad dynamics of location and destination as Bonobo reflects in a press statement, “It’s interesting how one person will take an influence from one part of the world and move with that influence and effect another part of the world. Over time, the identities of places evolve.”

Sampha – Process  (release date: Feb. 3)

You may not have heard of the name Sampha, but you’ve definitely heard his soul-bearing voice. The British electronic music singer-songwriter has backed tracks from Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Drake, Solange and SBTRKT to name a few. Now, Sampha is ready for his close-up with a debut full-length that touches on electronic, soul, pop, and R&B. The arresting first single “Blood On Me” is a worthy introduction. 

The Gorillaz – TBA

We’ve been waiting for the “fourth stage” of Gorillaz for over six years now. Co-creator Damon Albarn has been dropping a flurry of furry hints on Instagram and Twitter over the past year about the virtual band’s new album which is said to include De La Soul, Snoop Dogg and Vic Mensa. The Blur frontman was even quoted that the album was “almost finished” back in June. For now, check out Gorillaz drummer Russel’s Playlist for Puss Puss Magazine.

Zach De La Rocha – TBD

The former Rage Against the Machine frontman’s mythical solo album is the like Keyser Soze of the music world. Now, with the President Trump-era looming, it seems like the perfect time for a De La Rocha re-introduction and judging from a fiery solo single he collaborated with El-P of Run the Jewels on, the volatile lyricist still has a lot of rage inside him.

Major Lazer –  Music is the Weapon (release date: possibly Jan. 2017)

Diplo is the Kevin Hart of the music world. Their shit-eating grins are everywhere and they know their audience. Like them or not you can’t knock their hustle. Twerking fans can expect the same type of party anthems on Major Lazer’s fourth album with notable cameos from Travis Scott, Sia, PARTYNEXTDOOR, The Weeknd, and more. 

Spoon – TBD 

The Austin rockers are returning to their indie roots by releasing their ninth studio album on Matador Records, whom also released their 1996 debut, Telephono. They’ve also re-teamed with producer Dave Fridmann who worked on their breakout 2014 album, They Want My Soul, so you can expect to hear more master-crafted, retro jams to rock out to. 

Dreamcar – TBD

The latest supergroup is one of the most intriguing and worst named since Audioslave. Instead of enlisting someone to (impossibly) fill the stilettos of Gwen Stefani, No Doubt’s Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont, and Adrian Young have teamed up with AFI frontman Davey Havok for a new (side) project. On paper the pop-ska band and goth hard rock frontman seem like more of an odd couple than Stefani and Blake Shelton, but Dreamcar have hinted at sharing the same love for “80s new wave and new romantic music.”

The Shins – TBD

Although Shins leader James Mercer has been busy with Broken Bells, his project with Danger Mouse, his own band has been on ice since 2012’s Port of Morrow. Word trickled out of Mercer’s home studio in Portland that he was working on the group’s fifth album and dropped a single, Dead On Alive, on Halloween as proof. 

U2 – Songs of Experience (release date: TBD)

The iconic Irish rockers blessed their fans with a Facebook Live video this past Christmas to announce  Songs of Experience, the long-awaited follow-up to 2014 Songs Of Innocence, which features production work from Danger Mouse. In the video, which featured the Edge playing “Little Drummer Boy”, Bono also hinted at some “very, very special shows coming up” to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their landmark album, Joshua Tree.

St. Vincent – TBD

St. Vincent aka Annie Clark’s fifth album will be a “a “real sea change” for her sound according to the quirk queen of rock. “I think it’ll be the deepest, boldest work I’ve ever done,” she told Guitar World. “I feel the playing field is really open for creative people to do whatever you want, and that risk will be rewarded.”