Ara City’s Hot Tips for 2018 - Music
Whilst last year saw many releases from the so called Big Hitters such as Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, Jay Z, Foo Fighters, Eminem among others, there were also top-notch records from St. Vincent, the Mercury Music Prize winning Sampha, Semper Femina from the wonderful Laura Marling and The National’s engaging yet maudlin drama, Sleep Well Beast.
The tiresome airing of dirty laundry that was the Brothers Gallagher near constant bickering/cunning PR campaign, resulted in the release of two so-so LPS containing all that you might expect from the former Oasis figureheads and, in Noel’s case at least, some scissors.
There was relative disappointment with both The Killers’ Wonderful Wonderful and Arcade Fire’s Everything Now and Royal Blood’s much hyped sophomore effort, that while terrifically riff-tastic was buffered and polished to within an inch of its life. Oh, and some people called Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran did a few things too.
Our picks of ’17 included the raucous post-punk carnage of Algiers’ The Underside of Power, the sludgy power of Sleeping Through The War from All Them Witches, the sometime camera kicking soundtrack of QOTSA’s glammed up Villains, while the much hyped Wolf Alice delivered on their early promise and considerable column inches with sophomore effort Visions of a Life and The xx had a good reception for I See You. It was a good if not earth-shattering year.
Ones that may have slipped past you: Nadine Shah – Holiday Destination, Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone, Japanese Breakfast – Soft Sounds From Another Planet.
Ara City take a look in the digital tea-leaves to preview some of the biggest upcoming releases for this year and indeed aim to tease out some of the lesser known gems:
First Aid Kit – Ruins: rumoured to be a much rawer release, the Swedish pair continue their subtle beauty found on 2014’s Stay Gold. Released this week.
Tune-Yards – I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life: somewhat a curates egg, Merril Garbus wanders down groove laden house beats on this forward thinking LP. Released January.
Franz Ferdinand - Always Ascending: Not having released a pure FF LP since 2013’s and having collaborated with Sparks, the revamped Scots stalwarts (Nick McCarthy has left) are working with Philippe Zdar to take back the indie dance pop crown. Released February.
Jack White – Boarding House Reach: The once prolific White has slowed down a little of late. Said by the man himself to be ‘good gardening music, roofing music, or back alley stabbing music’, White’s maverick are always a joyous cacophony.
Justin Timberlake – Man Of The Woods: We don’t suffer music snobs here at ACR. A quality tune is a TUNE and JT knows how to pen one. Lead single Filthy has been likened to Prince but it’s the continued invention and playfulness that has us excited about a mainstream pop act. Released February.
Charli XCX – TBC: Delayed for over a year, Charli’s 3rd album promises to give us the full repertoire of her pop smarts. No doubt bountiful with giddy, catchiness and, we hope, a little less of the Autotune. Release TBC
The 1975 – Music For Cars: Not known for being back to basics, except a raft of kitchen sinks to be thrown at this full blown reach for the aerodromes and festival singalongs. Matt Healy claims to have a two day quality control system, “If it doesn’t make me physically dance or cry within the first 48 hours we normally get rid of it”, he says, Let’s hope the album lasts longer in the mind. Release Summer.
Vampire Weekend – TBC: Seeing as though this record comes five years after Modern Vampires in the City, you could be forgiven for thing VW have been dragging their heels. Solo records and TV shows have allowed for more creative freedom and this signals something completely different on the horizon. Released TBC
And that’s before we mention upcoming (and as yet untitled) releases from Florence + The Machine, Lily Allen, Chance The Rapper, Arctic Monkeys, Frank Ocean, FKA Twigs, Death Cab For Cutie, The Breeders, Kanye West and A Perfect Circle to name but a few.
We’re quite partial to Screaming Females and their 7th riff heavy punk laden All At Once, out next month **ssshhh though**
Have we missed any out? Which LPS are you looking forward to the most? Let us know….