We may be just three weeks into 2017, but there has already been a flurry of strong releases from across the genres, and there’s lots to look forward to, as well. So far we’ve seen David Bowie’s posthumous No Plan EP and Brian Eno’s ambient album Reflection, while Ed Sheeran dropped singles Castle On The Hill and Shape Of You from his eagerly-anticipated album Divide, due out in March.
In the alternative field, gloom-rockers The xx recently delivered their third record I Can See You, Bonobo released an electronica gem in Migration, and You Me At Six went all out with anthems on Night People.
For acoustic and folk fans, there has been Alessi’s new cut, Wives, and in the dance realm, SOHN gave our ears his intoxicating, beat-driven Rennen.
Looking ahead, the remainder of January will be shaped by hip hop artist Tinie Tempah, emo-punks AFI and the physical release of Tycho’s highly popular Epoch. For the classically-inclined listener, Max Richter presents Three Worlds, and supergroup Minor Victories reinterpret their own critically-acclaimed debut on Orchestral Variations.
February sees the arrival of Elbow’s seventh effort Little Fictions, singer-songwriter Amy Macdonald’s Under Stars, and there’ll be more from rapper Lupe Fiasco and veteran goth-rocker Marilyn Manson.
LeAnn Rimes is also set to return with Remnants, alongside UK math-pop outfit Dutch Uncles with Big Balloon.
March, meanwhile, is jam-packed, as folk singer Laura Marling reveals her sixth record, Semper Femina, psychedelic rockers Temples unleash Volcano, and Nelly Furtado takes us along on The Ride. Pop giants Take That will also show us what its like in Wonderland.
Tame Impala fans should check out touring bassist Cameron Avery’s solo debut Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams, inspired by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley.
British Sea Power, The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Shins all round off the most anticipated returns of the month.
But from April onwards is anyone’s guess. Announcements are expected from Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem and Gorillaz in coming weeks. Also don’t be surprised to see news from U2 or Major Lazer in the not-too-distant future. Elsewhere, shoegaze legends Slowdive look set to put out their first material in 22 years.
We can prepare for new work from Clockenflap stars Lucy Rose and Sigur Ros, guitar-shredder Anna Calvi and indie rock favourites The National: all reportedly in the studio. Many pop fans will be holding out for news from chart-topping heavyweights Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Lorde: all overdue to reclaim the radio airwaves.
In the K-pop world, Day6 and Loona seem to release new singles every month, iKon are likely to promote fresh music soon, and full-length albums from Melody Day and Baek A Yeon are also in the pipeline.
Although there are plenty of exciting records already scheduled for this year, there are still many unexpected surprises to come. Let’s just hope reports of a Liam Gallagher record remain just a rumour …