2016 hit us hard, and now we have to rebuild. Luckily it is looking like we will have one hell of a soundtrack to help us along, with Arcade Fire, Cloud Nothings, Japandroids, and Fleetwood Mac all releasing new albums in 2017. And those didn’t even make our top 17!
Check out the albums we are most looking forward to wrapping our ears around in 2017
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Flying Microtonal Banana (Feb 24)
King Gizz have promised to release five full-length albums this year, which will obviously be a treat if it comes to fruition. The only one that is locked down with a release date so far is the tantalisingly-named Flying Microtonal Banana, which has seen the band experiment with micro-tones: intervals smaller than a semi-tone, more commonly used in Eastern music. The second single released from the album – ‘Nuclear Fusion’ – can be heard below.
The Smith Street Band – TBA
Will Wagner is one of the country’s hardest-working musicians, putting out three Smith Street albums, a string of singles, and a few solo records to boot within a couple of years, all while touring endlessly in support of them. Still, we haven’t seen a new Smith Street Band album since 2014’s nuanced Throw Me In The River, with a handful of singles all we’ve had to appease us since them. Last year’s triple j favourite ‘Death To The Lads’ probably won’t make it onto their 2017 album – these guys love a standalone single – but whatever they put out in 2017 is sure to be heartfelt, hooky and punk as all fuck.
Lorde – TBA
It’s been over three years since Lorde released her debut album Pure Heroine, and three-and-a-half since ‘Royals’ made her an international pop star before her 18th birthday. The pop world moves quickly in these post-FB times, so it wasn’t at all surprising when Lorde announced last August that her sophomore album was in its final stages, writing on Instagram: “The record is written, we’re in the production stage now. I’ve worked like a dog for a year making this thing great for you guys.” Co-writing and producer Joel Little is back on board, with rumours of involvement from Flume and Jack Antonoff.
360 – TBA
“I promise the album is on some next shit, flows, punches, wordplay, everything. It’s the best I’ve ever rapped and I don’t say that lightly.” This was 360’s response to a fan’s query on his very active Facebook page, and it’s enough to get 360 fans excited, especially after the dark turn his music took on his third studio album, Utopia. Judging by snippets posted online, he has moved away from the pop sound that permeated his releases upto this point, and may even be leaning closer to a classic boom bap sound. Hopefully his recent studio woes won’t delay the release of this album.
Queens Of The Stone Age – TBA
Their last album …Like Clockwork was their first to hit the top spot in America, but it’s been over three-and-a-half years since the release of that record, and despite Josh Homme’s heavy involvement in Iggy Pop’s 2016 record Post Pop Depression, fans have been clambering for a new QOTSA album.
Guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen mentioned in an interview that the album was slated to be recorded “sometime” last year, so it looks like 2017 will see the Queens reign over the rock world once again.
Bliss N Eso – Off The Grid (March 3)
Last September, Bliss N Eso unleashed ‘Dopamine’, the first taste of upcoming sixth album Off The Grid, due in March alongside a run of capital city shows next month. They told triple j around the time of ‘Dopamine’ that the upcoming album was born of some tough times.
“There’s a lot of evolution in the record in terms of us as humans as we come out of some tough times. One thing we noticed was as we injected more of ourselves into the music, we found that there was more and more people relating. Hearing that more and more as we toured around the world was such an encouraging thing.
“I’m really excited about this record it, I think it’s going to be the best one yet.”
Ocean Grove – The Rhapsody Tapes (Feb 3)
Much-hyped UNFD signing Ocean Grove are set to release their eagerly-awaited debut album next month and the band claim they aren’t just dropping a record, but instead kicking off their own genre, ‘Odd World Music’ – an ethos that the group say will inform every aspect of the record, and all that goes along with it.
“The Rhapsody Tapes explores a fascination with a warped perception of reality,” says frontman Luke Holmes. “It tells parallel stories that come in waves… and parts of the album are written from the view of a child standing on the edge, looking out into a hyper-reality in search of something.”
London Grammar – TBA
The UK trio released ‘Rooting For You’ just a few days, the first single from their forthcoming record, and one in which the title might not be interpreted here in Australia quite the way they intended. None of that matters once you hear the song – a stirring ballad which starts a cappella, focusing on Hannah Reid’s amazing voice, before sparse instrumentation helps the song hit heady heights. It’s the best thing they’ve ever done, and it bodes very well for album number two.
Gang Of Youths – TBA
2015’s The Positions was a dark record, dealing with vocalist David Le’aupepe’s various suicide attempts, his wife’s cancer treatment, and their eventual separation. The album debuted at #5 on the ARIA chart, and scored five nominations at the award ceremony of the same name. Last year saw the release of an EP, but fans have been hanging out for a full-length follow up for sometime now. We already know their next album won’t disappoint.
Gorillaz – TBA
For a bunch of cartoons, Gorillaz sure know how to rile up the public, after news leaked that 2017 would see a new Gorillaz album. It’s been a long-time coming. In 2015, Damon Albarn said of the album, “So far, it’s 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.”
Thundamentals – Everyone We Know (Feb 10)
How can a song named ‘Reebok Pumps’ not be amazing? That’s one of 15 tracks we’ll be treated to when Everyone We Know drops next month. The title is more than just an arbitrary choice; with the album recorded at Hermitude’s home studio (fellow Blue Mountains friends), and featuring Hilltop Hoods, Mataya, Laneous and Peta & The Wolves, this is certainly a group effort.
Wavves – TBA (April)
Nathan Williams recorded the first two Wavves records into the tiny inbuilt microphone on his MacBook Pro, and it certainly sounds like it. Since then, his albums have progressively become more technicoloured in scope and sound, with King Of The Beach sounding like a ’90s pop punk classic, while 2015’s V was positively crisp-sounding. The new Wavves album is due in April, and following the sonic logic of past releases, it will probably be produced by Brian Wilson or someone. It would certainly suit Williams’ California dreaming aesthetic.
Tigertown – TBA
One of Australia’s best young bands, Tigertown released their Papernote EP last October, trailing their Lonely Cities EP by a mere nine months. The twin EPs of 2016 were the perfect setup for when their debut album drops this year. Wide-eyed, big-sounding pop music from Sydney – we cannot wait for whatever they end up releasing in 2017.
Tash Sultana – TBA
This Melbourne-based musician might be just 21, but she has a wealth of wisdom in her sound. Her sultry soul music, tasteful guitar playing, impressive use of loops, and aching vocals will all contribute in making her 2017 record one of this country’s most accomplished debut albums in some time. We would not be at all surprised if Tash Sultana becomes our next big musical export.
JOY – TBA
At a mere 19 years of age, Brisbane electro-pop artist Olivia McCarthy seems to have arrived at her sound fully-formed, with two successful singles, and a surprise mixtape (dropped last September) setting her up as one of the artists to watch in 2017. We hear a debut album is on the way, and if her output so far is any indication, it will be hard to see Joy doing anything but succeeding. Don’t be surprised if she breaks America, either.
Strangers – TBA
Strangers have been kicking around the rock scene for some years now, but with a newly-minted deal with Sony, and a recent tour with the world-beating Birds Of Tokyo, we can reliably expect these guys to be everywhere in 2017. The first taste of their new album, ‘God Is In My Head’ suggests this is a very good thing, indeed.
Dune Rats – The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit (Feb. 3)
If the recent Rancid-sounding, drug-drenched single ‘Scott Green’ is any indication, the Brisbane boys certainly haven’t grown up on their second album – which is exactly as we hoped it would be. Previous single ‘Bullshit’, which we assume will also be included on the record, makes the case further, and although there will only be one month of summer left by the time this record hits, it should still be the soundtrack to the season.