Preview of 2017’s upcoming releases; Music to look forward to while we’re away

By Paige Daniel

Thoughts Editor

As this is the last edition of the Almanian for the year, a look at some of the most anticipated albums to be released in 2017 is in order.

Kendrick Lamar will be following 2015’s widely acclaimed “To Pimp a Butterfly” with his untitled fourth studio album dropping April 14th. Lamar has released one single, “Humble,” a bare-bones instrumental featuring the refrain “sit down, be humble.”

Lana del Rey recently announced her upcoming album, “Lust for Life,” via an Internet video. In the video, del Rey is tucked away inside the Hollywood sign, looking extra witchy. Lead single “Love” has a music video that places del Rey in a more straightforward position, hearkening back to the bubblegum balladry of her first album “Born to Die.” The official release date for “Lust for Life” is May 26th.

2017 is raising many iconic indie bands from the dead, including Grizzly Bear, Fleet Foxes, and Vampire Weekend. All of these bands released their last album over four years ago – leaving high praise and hopes for their return in its wake.

Grizzly Bear, resident chamber rock group, hinted at a new album in 2017 on their Instagram account with a cryptic moving image and accompanying music clip. Their last album, “Shields,” was a lushly arranged ten-song work; certainly there are high expectations for their new release but the already-established and solid foundations of their sound allay any fears.

Folk band Fleet Foxes are gearing up for their third album, “Crack-Up,” after disappearing for six years. “Helplessness Blues” was their 2011 release and is a must-listen for folk music fans. Front man Robin Pecknold took a break to attend university, meanwhile leaving the band in flux – it wasn’t guaranteed that they would come back; some fans even came to the conclusion that the band was done making music together. Thankfully, they are back on June 16.

Post-collegiate grace and wit was not lost on Vampire Weekend’s most recent album, the Grammy-winning and excellent “Modern Vampires of the City” (2013). Lead singer Ezra Koenig is by now a fixture in the indie music community, with a Beats 1 radio show offering bite-size pieces of his sometimes absurd, ever-charming persona. The popularity of “Modern Vampires of the City” makes Vampire Weekend’s next release hotly anticipated.

Koenig has announced a working title for their next release: “Mitsubishi Macchiato.” However, the band members behind this future release are questionable. Keyboardist and producer Rostam Batmanglij left the band around a year ago, with bassist Chris Baio and drummer Chris Tomson staying on while pursuing solo careers in the meantime. Batmanglij is said to have contributed to this upcoming album, but the band will no doubt be missing a piece of its live performance without him.

Some of pop’s most revered stars are making their comeback as well. Katy Perry is back as evident in her faux-political statement single “Chained to the Rhythm.”  Rumors abound where Taylor Swift is concerned – she may be in the studio gearing up to drop an album this year, according to Ed Sheeran. Nothing is confirmed as of yet, though. That may be for the best; Swift’s image saturated the media landscape for what some would argue was far too long.

Swift’s close friends Haim are also rumored to have an album out this year. The three sisters’ debut album “Days Are Gone” (2013) collected the sounds of 80s pop/rock. Halsey’s alt-pop single “Now or Never” is the first single for her album “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom,” (June 2) the follow-up to 2015’s polarizing “Badlands.” Sadly, “Now or Never” is almost a complete rip off of Rihanna’s “Needed Me.”

Collaborators Lorde and Jack Antonoff of the band Bleachers are both releasing albums in the same month. Antonoff produced Lorde’s lead single “Green Light,” an empowered kiss-off. Her second album, “Melodrama,” is due out on June 16th. Meanwhile, Lorde performed background vocals on Bleachers’ single “Don’t Take the Money” from their second album “Everybody Lost Somebody” (out June 2).

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