The Most Anticipated Releases For Spring 2017
2017 has been an exceptional year so far for new music. We may only be three months into the year, but there are still plenty of exciting releases to look forward to. Here is a list of just a few of the new releases to look for during the second quarter, all of which should be on any music fan's radar.
1. Kendrick Lamar (April 7 Preorder and April 14 Release)
You might think coming off of three massively successful albums in a row (along with last year's critically-acclaimed compilation Untitled Unmastered) that Kendrick Lamar would take some time well-deserved time off. That thought was squashed with the recent release of the single "The Heart Pt. 4." It's a fiery track that closes with the ominous line "Y'all got till April 7th to get y'all shit together." Whatever he plans to release on this day, whether it be another new song or a full-length album, is something you'll want to keep your eye on.
Also at the time of publishing this article he has since dropped an excellent new single "HUMBLE." which you should definitely check out.
2. Arca - Arca (April 7)
Venezuelan producer Arca has been making waves in the world of electronic music, providing production for artists such as Kanye West, FKA twigs, Björk, and Frank Ocean, as well as releasing his own solo albums Xen and Mutant. April 7 will see the release of his most experimental and forward-thinking album yet, Arca.
The disturbing video for new song "Reverie" features Arca's signature gloomy electronic flourishes as well as the debut of Arca's bone-chilling Spanish-sung vocals. With two other songs released so far, Arca should be an exciting release for people looking for innovation in the world of electronic and experimental music.
3. Future Islands - The Far Field (April 7)
Baltimore-based synthpop trio Future Islands have spent their 11-year career crafting a unique blend of tight new wave vibes with singer Samuel Herring's signature dramatic vocal delivery. After the release of their breakthrough 2014 album Singles and acquiring a large new group of fans, their new album The Far Field looks to be the band's most fully realized release yet. Their recent single "Ran" is a prime example of Future Islands' ability to captivate listeners with emotive vocals over striking '80s-inspired dance grooves. The Far Field is looking to be another win for the band.
4. Father John Misty - Pure Comedy (April 7)
Folk singer-songwriter Josh Tillman has found a great deal of success since leaving Fleet Foxes in 2012 and reinventing himself as Father John Misty. After the release of the earnest Fear Fun in 2012 and the self-reflective, I Love You, Honeybear in 2015, Tillman is looking very political with his upcoming album Pure Comedy.
His trademark biting wit turns cynical on the title track, lashing out at humanity with lines like, "Oh, their religions are the best/They worship themselves yet they're totally obsessed/With risen zombies, celestial virgins, magic tricks, these unbelievable outfits." At 74 minutes, Pure Comedy is shaping up to be a contemptuous odyssey into the mind of Josh Tillman.
5. Timber Timbre - Sincerely, Future Pollution (April 7)
Canadian music group Timber Timbre have forged a strange and exceptional aesthetic for themselves. Singer Taylor Kirk's bluesy vocal style combined with the band's psychedelic style of folk creates a spooky and enigmatic sound that they can safely call their own. With the band's upcoming album Sincerely, Future Pollution, the first without violinist Mika Posen, Timber Timbre seem to be going for a more dreamy approach to their music. The latest preview for the album, "Velvet Gloves & Spit," creates an evocative and lucid mood that seems to set the tone for their new album in an extraordinary way.
6. Feist - Pleasure (April 28)
Leslie Feist, a singer-songwriter and member of famed indie rock group Broken Social Scene, has had a fruitful and extensive solo career. It's been nearly six years since the release of her last album Metals, and now she seems ready to finally make her return with a new studio album entitled Pleasure.
So far she has only released the title track, a grungey, slow-burning rock tune that incorporates Feist's rich and emotive vocal delivery. It's a pleasant tease into an album that will be here sooner than expected and should be on anyone's radar who's looking for a powerful release from one of indie's leading female songwriters.
7. Gorillaz - Humanz (April 28)
Damon Albarn, the leading mastermind behind Gorillaz, has reunited with animator Jamie Hewlett for the first new studio album from Gorillaz since 2010's The Fall. After releasing the divisive single "Hallelujah Money" in January, the Gorillaz have recently unveiled four new previews of the upcoming new album Humanz: "Saturnz Barz" featuring Jamaican singer Popcaan, "We Got the Power" featuring Jehnny Beth of Savages, "Andromeda" featuring D.R.A.M., and personal favorite "Ascension" featuring Long Beach rapper Vince Staples. Humanz is shaping up to be an exciting hip-hop sci-fi odyssey and is by far one of the most anticipated releases of 2017.
8. Mew - Visuals (April 28)
Danish dream pop band Mew has proven themselves to be indie rock darlings over the span of their now 22-year career. Following the release of 2015's underrated +-, Mew plan to make a return in 2017 with Visuals, their first album not to feature longtime guitarist Bo Madsen. However, they seem unfazed by the loss of a member with their most recent single "Carry Me to Safety," featuring Mew's trademark spacey sonic soundscapes and singer Jonas Bjerre's harmonious voice. Mew is looking once again to deliver another strong, dreamy album with the release of Visuals in April.
9. At the Drive-In - In•ter a•li•a (May 5)
It's so nice to have these guys back. After originally disbanding in 2001 and evolving into The Mars Volta, seminal post-hardcore act At the Drive-In have finally decided the time was right to reform for a new studio album. In•ter a•li•a is the band's first release since 2000's excellent and groundbreaking Relationship in Command, and also the first without founding guitarist Jim Ward. Newest single "Incurably Innocent" seems to pick up right where they left off. Singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala's voice still sounds great after all these years, and while it may not seem as fresh as it did back in the day, they still sound as energetic as ever. Read our review of At The Drive-In's recent performance in Atlanta here.
10. Alt-J - Relaxer (June 9)
English art rockers Alt-J are prepping for the release of their upcoming third studio album Relaxer in June. The recent release of dreamy new single "3WW" seems to hint toward a smoother and more streamlined sound, featuring a light, driving drumbeat accompanied by hocketing between lead singer Joe Newman and Wolf Alice frontwoman Ellie Roswell. It's a unique choice for the lead single, with Alt-J's signature offbeat song structures on full display. It's a very pleasant tune, however, and leaves any fan of the band excited for what's to come.
11. Lorde - Melodrama (June 16)
New Zealand pop singer Lorde made big waves a few years ago at the age of 16 when she debuted with her first solo album Pure Heroine. Sparked by the massive hit "Royals," she essentially blew up into stardom overnight. With this quick success, it's natural that she decided to take her time working on the follow-up. Now at 20 years old, she has decided to make her return with a new album titled Melodrama. Lorde seems to have matured in songwriting during this time, evidenced by lead single "Green Light," a dancey number backed by piano and a pulsating drum beat. Melodrama is shaping up to be an interesting new direction for her music when it arrives this June.
12. Fleet Foxes - Crack-Up (June 16)
After taking time off to finish school, Robin Pecknold is back to make the long-awaited return of famed indie folk group Fleet Foxes. Hailing from Seattle, Fleet Foxes rose to prominence in 2008 with their self-titled debut album, fusing classic folk sounds of decades past with a modern sensibility. This sound was refined even further with 2011's astonishing Helplessness Blues, upping the ante greatly production-wise.
After six years, Fleet Foxes have recently released their new single "Third of May / Ōdaigahara," a nine-minute epic preview of upcoming album Crack-Up that showcases Robin's impeccable craft as a songwriter, with stunning pauses of silence scattered throughout that explode into a chorus of powerful electric guitar riffs. It's a bold return to the music world for Fleet Foxes, and it's an album that anyone with an ear for well-crafted folk rock should look forward to.
Other notable Spring 2017 releases:
Cold War Kids - L.A. Divine (April 7)
Joey Bada$$ - All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ (April 7)
The New Pornographers - Whiteout Conditions (April 7)
San Fermin - Belong (April 7)
Mac Demarco - This Old Dog (May 5)
John Mayer - The Search for Everything (April 14)
Little Dragon - Season High (April 14)
Gas - Narkopop (April 21)
The Afghan Whigs - In Spades (May 5)
Perfume Genius - No Shape (May 5)
Pond - The Weather (May 5)
Linkin Park - One More Light (May 19)
The Mountain Goats - Goths (May 19)
Roger Waters - Is This the Life We Really Want? (May 19)
Coldplay - Kaleidoscope EP (June 2)
Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly - Planetarium (June 9)
Ride - Weather Diaries (June 16)