2018 is set up to be an epic year for the music scene. From the Arctic Monkeys to The Prodigy, these are the 10 hottest music releases that you do not want to miss in 2018.
After the sheer brilliance of 2013’s ‘AM,’ you can forgive the Arctic Monkeys for taking an extended hiatus. From the opening bars and quite brilliant graphics of opening song and single, ‘Do I Wanna Know,’ the listener knew they were in for something very special. Managing to mix Alex Turner’s ebullient lyrics with a rock star vibe, wrapped in 70’s disco chic, ‘AM’ was a tour de force to say the least. Currently, little is known about what the Monkeys are up to. All that has been revealed thus far, is the band have been recording music together in a secret location. How very exciting!
Do not be surprised to hear an announcement from the Arctic Monkey’s camp in the near future. With speculation hotting up over who will be headlining the big festivals in 2018, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear their name at the top of 2018’s most wanted list.
Louis Berry has been quietly going about his business in 2017. The Liverpool-born rock n’ roll, breakthrough artist has toured the UK extensively this year, ending with a headline show at Camden Town’s uber-trendy venue, Koko.
Louis Berry is perhaps the coolest name in rock at the moment. Those who have seen him live, know that he is a star beyond his years. Enigmatic and confident, it is difficult to take your eyes off the 23-year old frontman. You will often see him swigging from a bottle of Jack Daniels on stage and his smile has been known to melt many a female heart, in the crowd, throughout his set.
The real USP of this young artist to watch, is not his rockabilly sound or rebellious attitude, but his refusal to conform to the mainstream. When asked whether he would adapt his Liverpuddlian accent to breakthrough in America, he replied with short thrift, ‘authenticity is important.’
Check out ‘Restless,’ Louis Berry’s powerful, first single. His album should follow early in 2018.
One of New Jersey’s sleeping giants, Brian Fallon, is destined for a big year in 2018. Having put his band, The Gaslight Anthem on hold in 2015 after an emotional performance at Reading Festival, UK, the lead singer has worked relentlessly on his solo work. 2016’s ‘Painkillers’ was a wonderful, folk-driven melange on Americana and Fallon’s New Jersey roots.
Touted as the new Bruce Springsteen, Fallon has a lot to live up to. After performing with Springsteen a number of times the pair’s relationship is one that is strong. Springsteen famously said if he is ‘The Boss,’ Fallon is ‘The Manager.’ Perhaps with this new release, the manager is ready for promotion?
If the first single, ‘Forget Me Not’ from Sleepwalkers is anything to go by, it may be Fallon’s time for great things. Recently shouting out The Killer’s to take him on tour, 2018 could really be Brian Fallon’s year.
No matter what your personal feelings towards Yeezy, he is one of the greatest rap artists of our time. Having made his name as Jay-Z’s producer, he is an expert beat maker and that remains at the heart of West’s rap career. Think back to floor filler’s like ‘Gold Digger’ or ‘Jesus Walks’ and it is not hard to remember the talent behind the ego.
Much has been discussed of West’s 2017. Breakdowns on stage, fallouts with celebrity stars, closing down his social media accounts. This is not the behaviour we have come to expect from the Rap juggernaut. However, behind the scenes he has been getting on with business. With a back to basics approach to life it would appear, West is slowly getting back to his best. His first musical release since ‘The Life of Pablo,’ was ‘Dat Side’ with CyHi the Prince. Containing a simple beat and West’s trademark comic lyrics, we could be forgiven for thinking 2018 we could see Kanye West make his triumphant return to the limelight.
An American artist that needs no introduction is Jack White. Having made his name with The White Stripes and then The Raconteurs, Jack White is a connoisseur of the Great American rock song, but, with his own unique twist.
Liking to keep his style and genre fresh and unique, White’s most recent release was with the Dead Weather, 2015’s ‘Dodge and Burn.’ A critical success, with American Songwriter and AllMusic giving the album 4 out of 5 stars, expectation is high for White’s 2018 new release.
Of his new records, he calls it ‘good gardening music or roofing music or…back stabbing alley music.’ So make of that what you will, one things that will be certain is White’s 2018 release will be unique, just like his character.
Now, this artist would not usually make the most anticipated releases of 2018. However, the ex-Disney socialite has had a period to remember and sadly for all of the wrong reasons. In 2016, Gomez had to cancel large sections of her tour: The European and South American legs namely. She checked into a rehabilitation clinic to help refocus on her mental health.
As such 2017 was a fairly quiet year for the pop starlet. She released a single with Norwegian DJ Kygo, before the singles ‘Bad Liar’ and ‘Wolves’ were released later in the year. Gomez has talked candidly about her recent history and is excited about the new material she will be releasing in the coming year. She says:
‘I’ve poured my heart into my music and I wanted it to be fresh. It wasn’t really about charts for me or numbers. It was more about what I could creatively do for my music.’
The world looks exciting and rosy, with potentially a whole new vibe for Selena Gomez fans.
Nicki Minaj has successfully and seamlessly transitioned from Li’l Kim-esque rap upstart to pop princess and household name in a very short space of time. When her first full length ‘Pink Friday’ dropped in 2010, the rap game knew that the game was about to change. Minaj’s fast-paced staccato style was impressive to say the least, yet she still had the ability to change styles and tones and even bring in different roles into her presentation. Neat, huh?
After subsequent collaborations with anyone who is anyone in the rap world, Minaj went on to take the pop world by storm, with her highly suggestive, ‘Anaconda,’ filling up dance floors around the globe.
As for the future, Minaj has made it clear that crossing genres and defying the odds are part and parcel of her mystique. She states there is an album in the pipeline and she believes it to be her ‘best body of work.’
There are few dance artists that have stood the test of time and not needed to adapt their style to stay relevant. If we think of some of the other big dance players from the mid – 90’s, many have needed to change or have fallen by the wayside. Not The Prodigy mind you. Their big beats and ferocious lyrical style, have been a mainstay of the headline festival slots for the past two decades.
Last year, The Prodigy announced a full set of tour dates, taking in places such as Russia and the Czech Republic, not to mention festival slots Mallorca Rock, NovaRock and We Are Electric across Europe.
It has been confirmed by brains of the operation, Liam Howlett, that The Prodigy will be releasing new material at some point next year, most probably before their busy summer schedule.
A band that formed in the early noughties, yet have still managed to carve out an important niche for the brand of melancholic rock, arena fillers. Borne out of the void left by the likes of The Strokes and influenced by the likes of Joy Division, Interpol have a large cult following in both the US and UK markets.
Having five diverse and eclectic releases in their back catalogue, not to mention 2007’s breakthrough, ‘Our Love To Admire,’ Interpol have certainly earned the right to take things at their own pace. Their sixth studio album has been two years in the making, but drummer Sam Fogarino insists, ‘fist in the air, arena rock ballads’ are to follow.
Born out of the burgeoning New York music scene in the late 1990’s, The Strokes have to be amongst the coolest and most influential outfits of the modern era. The band’s debut album ‘Is This It?’ with its pseudo-provocative cover, lit up 2001.
The garage band revival was very much spawned by singer Julian Casablancas and guitarist Nick Valensi and had a heady impact on a number of artists that followed. The Killers, Arctic Monkeys are but a few stadium-rock bands who have claimed they have been influenced by the New York outfit.
Casablancas is back in 2018, but whether he is back with the band, time will only tell. Some reports state that the band have been working with Rick Rubin of System Of A Down/Jay-Z production fame. Others suggest, that Casablancas will release with new band, The Voidz. Either way, an early 2018 release is scheduled, leaving fans on tenterhooks for the latest instalment.
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