As we close out 2016, we are thinking about the new year ahead.
These are the picks keeping us looking forward:
The Pepperoni Playboy is back in 2017. This week on Instagram he posted “#that’s a #wrap. Just finished #Mixin the new #disc.” Along with a bunch of goofy pictures from him in the studio. Can’t wait to #hear the #newtunes, Mac.
Father John Misty
In an interview that Father John Misty did here at 88Nine he said that after looking inward on his first two albums, his third would look outward. He’s got plenty of ammunition with the year that was 2016, and the election of Donald Trump, which has caused the singer quite a bit of controversy already.
Fleet Foxes – “Ylajali”
Fleet Foxes released their last album, “Helplessness Blues” in 2011, and then in 2013 they announced that they were on “hiatus.” Leaving us to wonder if that was shorthand for a breakup. Josh Tillman left to become Father John Misty, and it looked as if the members were on to greener pastures. But, in May lead vocalist Robin Pecknold announced that they had a new drummer and that they were in fact working on new material that will be the album Ylajali.”
A new Beck album is always an event. He is always stretching his imagination and releasing something totally unexpected. His latest album, “Morning Phase” found Beck at an acoustic guitar, whispering atmospheric melodies and drifting off into song. 2017’s album looks like it is going to be a complete 180. In June he dropped the first single, “Wow” and it sounds as if Beck will be doing his best to emulate a musician on the Billboard Top 200. If anyone can do it, it’s Beck.
Where does a band that’s on top of the world take their next record?
In 2014 Annie Clark revealed a vision of music to come with her futuristic self-titled album, “St. Vincent.” She followed it with a tour that mirrored the stage presence of David Byrne, a collaborator of hers. We are not sure what to expect with her 2017 release, but you can be sure that no matter when the release, it will be far ahead of its time.
The National is a band who has their thing down. We would be shocked if The National tried to release the turn-up track of 2017. Their album is sure to be filled with a certain melancholy of Matt Berninger’s signature baritone. The arrangements might be a little tighter and a little quicker, but it is sure to have the feel of The National.
Are Gorillaz even a band? The idea of Gorillaz is one of the more unique ideas to the concept of what a band can be. They are animated figures that live in their own world and make music. It kind of leaves the door totally open creatively speaking. Their last album, “Plastic Beach” had intros, plotlines, the thing even had commercials, or songs that acted as parodies of them. It’s taken seven years to put together their forthcoming album, and we are expecting quite a bit from these characters.
Where does a band that’s on top of the world take their next record? Apparently add synths. Why not? Lead singer Will Butler said that he got a couple synths that he is excited by and likes the sound of. He was also very candid about having a loose release date on the record saying, “It’s a bit different this time because everyone’s older and fatter and lazier, so it might take longer.” Take as much time as you want and be as casual as you possibly can, Will Butler, you know we will be waiting.
This will be an interesting one. Vampire Weekend’s guitarist Rostam Batmanglij left the band nearly a year ago. Batmanglij was a key to Vampire Weekend’s sound. However, he did agree with lead singer, Ezra Koenig, that he would help on new album. So, we are not exactly sure what to expect here, but we will be listening.
Posthumous releases can be good and they can be bad. They are great for reminding us of what a great artist is, but oftentimes they miss on the vision of that artist or true artistic intent due to the circumstances. But for Phife there is no doubt that he had bars and bars stowed away. Every time a Tribe song comes on you are just waiting, thinking “When is Phife coming in?” and the brilliance is that he always left us wanting more. In 2017, we get it.
The xx’s first two albums have been pretty massive in terms of success. We are aware of this. The xx is aware of this. They know that they are known for making albums that are sparse and minimalistic. So what do they do? Do they play into it, or do they turn away? We will see in 2017.
The Shins have been around just long enough where just the thought of hearing a new Shins song for the first time sends warm waves of nostalgia to our minds. Songs like “New Slang” and “Pink Bullets” have become, I guess, Classic Indie, if we could invent that genre right now. We can’t wait to go all Zach Braff, close our eyes, but those big headphones over our ears, and fall in love all over again.