Feature: Top 12 Albums To Look Forward To In 2016

With the start of the new year just around the corner, we take a look at some of the most exciting albums set for release in 2016 so far.

hinds

Hinds – Leave Me Alone

After forming in Madrid in 2011, Hinds have been having far too much fun playing international festivals and making friends with the likes of the Vaccines and Mac DeMarco to release an album, but all of this will change at the beginning of January 2016 with the release of their debut album Leave Me Alone.

The Spanish four-piece, recognisable by their wild hair, hoop earrings and carefree attitude, are releasing the twelve song album in the midst of a mega thirty date European tour stretching from December until March. The album will feature fan favourites ‘Bamboo’ and ‘Chili Town’ alongside new material mostly inspired by their time on the road touring across the US, though the new album is being recorded in Cádiz – the band’s favourite Spanish town.

Hinds are certainly one of the most interesting bands around at the moment and have had more than their fair share of crazy experiences, including playing a gig and throwing up inside Harrison Ford’s house, receiving love letters from fourteen year old boys and being the first Spanish band to play a Glastonbury main stage.

Armed with a fun-loving attitude and musical talent to match, these girls are certainly causing a stir. Leave Me Alone is sure to be the perfect album to kick off 2016 in style.

Release date: 8th January 2016

Abigail Herbert

daughter

Daughter – Not To Disappear

Since being established in 2010, indie folk band Daughter have been progressively recognised in the music scene. Their debut album If You Leave showed off their chilled, ambient modern folk style, as Elena Tonra’s mellow female vocals beautiful compliment Igor Haefeli’s guitar and Remi Aguilella’s percussion.

Now as we approach 2016, excitement builds with their second album on the horizon, titled Not to Disappear. Having a taste of the new singles ‘Numbers’ and ‘Doing the Right Thing’, increasingly more experimental approaches to the indie folk genre can be expected, as they incorporate more electronica to compliment their chilled out musical productions.

The band’s lyricism has never failed to intrigue, as Elena is said to write from her own emotional experiences. We can continue to expect beautifully emotional songs in their new album, amongst the mystically of their moody tones. Their new singles gives us a taste of their powerful instrumentals, as this gives balance to the emotive female vocals.

As a relatively new band, the prospects of Daughter’s new album is especially exciting as we know this band still has so much to give, and so much ability to impress us as they experiment around the perimeters of the traditional folk genre.

Release date: 15th January 2016

Rowan Bennett

sky

Sky Ferreira – Masochism
Sky Ferreira’s first album, filled with grunge-tinged bubble-gum pop, was lapped up by critics – but few clues have been let slip about the singer’s next musical venture.

Last summer, Ferreira posted a snippet of the single ‘Guardian’ from her album on Instagram. Since the release of this single, not a peep has been heard from the singer. However, Ferriera is notorious for her ability to manage lengthy gaps between releases – such as the three year pause between her first and second singles – without being forgotten by her audience.

The song appeared alongside artwork by Lucas David. While Ferreira claimed this image will not make the album cover, the choice of David as an artist offers some hints about the content of this album. David’s oeuvre is made up of eerie ink portraits of musicians from Kurt Cobain to Ferreira herself, all resembling members of the pale-skinned undead – perhaps suggesting that this album may have a darker edge than the singer’s previously sweeter output.

Ferreira has proved her ability to shapeshift; while her first single, ‘As If!’, marked Ferreira as a Kylie-alike pop singer, her album Everything’s Embarrassing demonstrated a more tongue-in-cheek edge to her persona. Meanwhile, ‘Guardian’ itself appears lusher and more swooning than the punchy pop of her previous output, reminiscent of Lana Del Rey – suggesting that we may be about to discover another fresh incarnation of Sky Ferreira.

Release date: TBA

Molly Kerkham

eliot sumner

Eliot Sumner – Information
Having been brought up surrounded by music, mainly as her father is the world famous Sting, Eliot Sumner was thrust into her own personal spotlight in 2010 with her first album, The Constant. After changing her name from Coco to Eliot, Sumner is bringing back her style and powering forward in her revamped rock career with an exciting new album Information, giving her fans songs which Sumner expresses as “the kind of music that I would listen to myself”.

Previously, Sumner used synthesisers along with traditional rock instruments, such as those in Species, to create unique backing tracks to accompany her soft and almost tranquil voice. Interestingly, her voice is not readily associated with a rock band as there are no gravel-like undertones or screaming interludes, yet she still manages to capture the essence of rock music, just with an alternative twist, to grab the attention of her listeners.

Her quirky videos, deep lyrics and alternative backing tracks are sure to be a prominent part of Sumner’s new album as she sticks to her traditional style. We’ll have to wait to see the reaction of her rock fans this coming January when Information is released for all to hear.

Release date: 22nd January 2016

Emma Humphrey

bloc party

Bloc Party – Hymns
Having not made an album since 2012, Bloc Party’s latest record, entitled Hymns, is certainly something to look forward to in January 2016. The band have solidly established themselves in the indie rock music scene, having won multiple music awards, and, although some may see them as having already peaked, surely they still have a lot more to give.

Their indie rock-come-punk and electronica genre has given us years of fun and excitingly outlandish tunes, as well as skilful musicianship from Kele Okereke, Russell Lissack, Justin Harris, Louise Bartle, Matt Tong and Gordon Moakes. The latter two having left the band in the last two years, it will be interesting to see how the band have now fully re-established themselves as a four piece.

From listening to their two recent 2015 singles, ‘The Good News’ and ‘The Love Within’, it seems we can expect a slightly more experimental and electronic style rock from the album, with these two forces especially present in ‘The Love Within’ as the instrumental breaks are infused with electronic sounds. Bloc Party commendably don’t take themselves too seriously, as they never fail to lift our spirits amongst a world of music which can often prove emotionally draining.

This makes them a band still very much worth listening to, as their new album will be sure to put another smile on our face as we dance to their fun-loving music.

Release date: 29th January 2016

Rowan Bennett

diiv

DIIV – Is the Is Are
For a relatively new band, DIIV have had a turbulent career to say the least, with drugs being at the forefront of both their musical successes and their personal issues. Formed just four years ago, the New York group already boast a successful debut album, Oshin, which featured on several ‘Top 50 tracks of 2012’ lists. Frontman Zachary Cole-Smith has not been shy of media attention due to his relationship with model and singer Sky Ferreira, particularly in 2013 when the two were arrested and charged with several crimes involving theft and heroin possession. Drugs continue to majorly influence the band, but Smith promises fans he will ‘stay alive at least until the album’s done’.

Entitled Is the Is Are, their follow up album is due for release in February 2016 but the track listing and artwork have already been released and they have begun playing tracks such as ‘Under the Sun’ and ‘Dust’ on tour. From the original 300 songs Smith claims to have written for the record, seventeen have been chosen, which include ‘Mire (Grant’s Song)’ and ‘Bent (Roi’s Song)’, which Smith argues are not dedicated to or written about his friends, but they are people that he ‘just can’t disconnect from the song’ due to the struggles they have faced together.

A lot has changed for DIIV since their debut three years ago, but whether this will reflect well or badly on their new album is as difficult to predict as what the band will get up to next.

Release date: 5th February 2016

Abigail Herbert

the cult

The Cult – Hidden City

A band to keep an eye on in 2016 is the Cult, with their new album Hidden City. After already releasing ‘Dark Energy’, a track set to be on the new album, it is safe to say their rocking days are certainly not over.

Formed in 1983, the Cult are a symbol of traditional hard rock as they embed their music with all the typical rock elements; profound guitar melodies, passionate vocals and heavy, relentless drumming. Their new album is said to be another one of Bob Rock’s creations, having already produced four of their albums including Sonic Temple and Beyond Good and Evil. He is well known for producing some of Bon Jovi’s albums, elevating our excitement for Hidden City even more and setting the bar extremely high for later rock music to come.

In interviews, the band has revealed an alteration in band members as they say farewell to Chris Wyse and hire Grant Fitzpatrick to replace the former bassist. With their traditional rock musicality, mixed with new members and an accomplished record producer, the Cult are set to define rock music like never before, and February 2016 will definitely be their time to shine.

Release date: 5th February 2016

Emma Humphrey

jack garratt

Jack Garratt – Phase
Jack Garratt’s admirable musicianship and crafty song writing has so far only delighted us through his EPs. Now he is finally releasing his debut album on the 19th February 2016, entitled Phase, – an album many are hugely looking forward to.

His music production has largely centred itself around the singer-songwriter electro-pop genres, as his experimental musical creations work beautifully alongside his warm male vocals. Starting writing songs from the mere age of twelve, and creating himself as a skilful multi-instrumentalist, playing electric guitar, drum machines and keyboard, Jack Garratt is an artist certainly to look out for. He is already widely recognised amongst the more alternative music scene, and will undoubtedly grow in popularity after his album release and in the next few years coming up.

His new single ‘Breathe Life’ gives us a taste of what we can expect from the new album, hinting towards more emotionally powerful lyrics and experimental music production, dipping into the electronic genres mixed with indie pop tones. The sound is rich as the music and vocals compliment each other in harmonious warmth. The album is sure to deliver chilled out tones and rich musical quality, giving us musicality we can truly appreciate.

Don’t miss this one – Jack Garratt is, and will increasingly be, an artist worth listening to.

Release date: 19th February 2016

Rowan Bennett

Yuck

Yuck – TBA
This London-based indie rock band have announced a forthcoming album, set for release some time in the new year. The fuzz-pop quartet’s musical journey promises that exciting things are in store for their next venture.

Their early work belongs to the flock of 2010s indie rock bands whose work is a nostalgic homage to their 90s forefathers. Like bands such as Superfood, Yuck’s debut album feels close to a parody of their own record collection. It’s like listening to various references being mechanically ticked off a list.

While their music might not seem as original as other 90s-influenced bands like Best Coast, the energy with which Yuck approach their work shines through in their more evocative songs. These include the moping ‘Suicide Policeman’, with its stripped-back dolefulness, and ‘Georgia’, a sweet song with peppy vocals, verging on twee. Hopefully, Yuck will continue with this kind of catchy, poignant music during this year’s album.

In their more recent output, Yuck’s sound has become more unique, such as the lackadaisical closing number of ‘Glow & Behold’. It’s more like listening to a record that’s definitely by Yuck, rather than something that might or might not be by Dinosaur Jr. – a promising sign for things to come with this band.

Release date: TBA

Molly Kerkham

the last shadow puppets

The Last Shadow Puppets – TBA
Back in 2008 Alex Turner, with two successful album releases under his belt, took a break during the height of his Arctic Monkeys career to team up with best friend and the Rascals guitarist Miles Kane for a side project entitled the Last Shadow Puppets. Their critically acclaimed debut album, The Age of the Understatement, was released in April that year, receiving widespread praise from fans and critics alike. So, there was understandably a lot of excitement when two months ago Owen Pallett, who featured on the first album, tweeted “That rare and thrilling moment when the record you’re working on crosses the threshold into Classic Status #TLSP2”.

The hysteria following this announcement was heightened shortly after when the reunion was confirmed with the creation of a Twitter account and the release of a video comprised of clips of Turner and Kane in the studio on their Facebook page, which had been inactive for nearly seven years previously. The band are not giving anything away about the new album in this video, choosing to soundtrack it with obscure sounds and melodies rather than a taster of a new song – a decision which sets it apart from usual album release videos, suggesting that this highly anticipated album is going to be something rather special.

Release date: Spring 2016

Abigail Herbert

bon jovi

Bon Jovi – This House is Not For Sale
After an alteration with band members, Bon Jovi introduces fans to new guitarist Matt O’Ree in their new album, This House is Not For Sale. From the age of fourteen, Matt O’Ree has been musically gifted and has released numerous blues-rock albums including Shelf Life and Chalk It Up. Fans are waiting for his inevitable blues-rock style contributions to his new music family, developing the band’s repertoire even more.

Although Bon Jovi is renowned for strong, persistent drum beats and memorable lyrics, the band did take an alternative path for their 2015 album, Burning Bridges. With a slower tempo and subtle bass notes in many of the songs, the album focused more on the power and presence of the vocals rather than the intensity of the instrumental backing. According to Bon Jovi, the album was a “fan album” to accompany their imminent international tour.

Nevertheless, the new album, set to be released March, promises to be “really going back to the beginning” and to highlight the original Bon Jovi style of rock used in their earlier songs, ‘It’s My Life’ and ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’. One to watch.

Release date: March 2016

Emma Humphrey

metronomy

Metronomy – TBA

Metronomy, masters of sleekly minimal electronic pop, are due to release an album some time in 2016. Frontman Joseph Mount told Digital Spy that their 2016 release will be a “confident dance album”, taking its cues from the likes of Beck and Bryan Ferry. This album promises to be “funkier” than their previous work, but hopefully will not sacrifice the qualities that have made their previous work so enticing.

Metronomy’s third album, English Riviera, was slick, urbane electronica – a self-conscious departure from the mainstream of 2011 British indie rock. However, the same elements that made this album so effortlessly appealing (mellow vocals in combination with polished and elegant backing) struggle  tohold their own against the slightly faster tempo of Love Letters. In this album, Mount’s high vocals become grating and passionless, dance music that no one wants to dance to – despite the neat storytelling of songs such as ‘The Upsetter’.

The quartet’s new album risks falling into this same trap: attempting to apply their old formula to “funky” disco beats, without adapting them to their new surrounds. If Metronomy avoid this pitfall, their new album may well be their best yet.

Release date: TBA

Molly Kerkham

 

 

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