By Meredith Nardino
If 2016 was any indication, we have an endless amount of incredible music to look forward to this year. Top music publications have been speculating about the biggest album drops of the year, posting lists that include every artist from Drake and Gorillaz to U2 and Arcade Fire. It is easy to get swept up in the excitement of these hypotheticals, so I created my own list of the artists I’d love to see make comebacks in 2017, as well as their most notable songs.
- “Buzzcut Season” – Lorde
It’s been an excruciating four years since we’ve had substantial new material from New Zealand’s quirky pop-star. Lorde’s work on the soundtracks for the latest installments of The Hunger Games films has kept her in our sights, but only minimally. It wasn’t until the singer posted a thoughtful letter on her 20th birthday that we could confirm a new album would be on the way soon. Though her debut album is full of swoon-worthy whimsy, the dreamy desperation of “Buzzcut Season” still gives me chills. Like so many other fans, I have a feeling 2017 will be Lorde’s year. David Bowie didn’t call her the future of music for nothing.
2. “Running If You Call My Name” – Haim
The Haim sisters broke into the indie-rock boys’ club with their exciting LP, Days Are Gone. Another 2013 standout, the album reasserts the importance of female bands taking creative power back into their own hands. “Running if You Call My Name” is one of the album’s most impressive tracks, yet is often overlooked in favor of hit singles like “The Wire” and “Forever.” Harmonies as haunting and expansive as the ones heard on this track could only be produced by Danielle, Alana and Este Haim. The three are multitalented instrumentalists and self-proclaimed perfectionists, so production of their sophomore album was delayed multiple times; rumor has it the sisters will finally release new work this summer.
3. “Mad Sounds” – Arctic Monkeys
When the now legendary English four-piece was spotted in their hometown of Sheffield, England late last fall, claims of a new album quickly spread through fans’ news feeds. Whether this work will actually appear in 2017 is questionable, but the possibility of new tunes from the Arctic Monkeys is always exciting. The band is prone to reinventing themselves with each LP they drop, as seen with 2013’s leather-clad and lusty “AM.” On the brooding ballad, “Mad Sounds,” Alex Turner’s illustrious lyrical poetry and silky vocals take precedence. Turner has never been one to shy away from bearing his heart on his sleeve, as he does so mercilessly on this woefully underappreciated track.
4. “Drops in the River” – Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes hardly receives the attention they so rightfully deserve. With acts like Mumford & Sons dominating the conversation, Fleet Foxes have become little more than a footnote of the new-age folk genre. The second track on their 2008 EP “Drops in the River” turns the ephemeral notion of mortality into a gorgeous anthem. Since going on a hiatus in 2011, the band has experienced some major changes, so much so that singer Robin Pecknold has alluded to a departure from the band’s typical sound. With drummer Josh Tillman now following his own path under the guise of Father John Misty, the potential release of an album this summer may define a new era for the Foxes.
5. “Hannah Hunt” – Vampire Weekend
In a recent interview with Stereogum, Vampire Weekend drummer Chris Tomson confirmed the Grammy-winners are in the process of constructing a new album. Expectations for the follow-up to 2013’s wildly romantic “Modern Vampires of the City” are very high. However, late last year, Vampire Weekend fans were shocked to learn about the departure of key member Rostam Batmanglij. Though Rostam is said to still be collaborating with the band on this new release, no one knows how the loss will impact the band’s sound. “Hannah Hunt” is just one of many examples of VW’s experimental style. The track opens with the calming sound of rushing water and climaxes with one of the most stunning instrumental breaks in the band’s discography.