15 albums to look forward to in 2018
It's a New Year. A chance for new possibilities. An opportunity to be a better person than you were every other year of your life. A clean slate upon which we can etch something truly exciting.
If you're in any way obsessed with music, then one of the most exciting prospects that a New Year brings is that of new music. What are the albums that will blow our minds in 2018? Which will we argue over tirelessly when it comes time to cobbling together our end of year lists? Which new music will soundtrack not just 2018, but the rest of our lives?
We've thought of 15 albums that we're eager to hear in 2018, though there are hundreds that we haven't mentioned.
Which new album are you most excited about hearing in 2018? Let us know.
Adalita – TBC
It’s been a pretty long time coming, but we’re fairly confident Adalita will release her third solo record in 2018. In October she said she was “recording a few more overdubs and working on some progress mixes”, which suggests the bulk of the recording has been completed.
But she told us that it's taking a while to get the album finished.
“It’s been two years in the making and I’m still working on it,” she told Double J in December. “It’s quite a full-on, intense record. The songs are really personal.
“The songs have been hard to get down. They’re really complex and have lots of tempo changes. They’re quite a step up from what I’ve been doing.”
The only potential hold-up is that she’s busy with American Idiot duties for quite a lot of the first part of the year. Here’s hoping she’s got enough time for her own work too.
Abbe May – Fruit (out February 2)
"Fruit is a declaration of identity,” Abbe May says of her forthcoming fifth album. "These songs are stories from my life. Some true, some exaggerated, but always for a purpose. I don't want to hide anymore. I am proud and Fruit is my way of showing my face without shame."
The record is her first since coming out early in 2017 and is said to be more honest and personal than anything she’s done before. Fans will already be well aware of her power as a vocalist and skill as a songwriter, but this opportunity to get closer to her than ever presents a new kind of excitement.
Augie March – Bootikins (out February 23)
The title track from Augie March’s sixth record Bootikins is an ambitious (even by their standards) prog-ish epic that hints at a new, grander iteration of this much loved Australian band. Glenn Richards is in typically astounding lyrical form and the band follow their leader with just as much complexity and grace.
The best thing about a new Augie March record is the knowledge that it will not be a short-lived companion. In order to extract maximum enjoyment from their albums, you need to sit with them and marvel in their quirks and intricacies. It’s out in February, we might be close to getting our heads around it by September. Can’t wait.
Chromatics – Dear Tommy (TBC)
Do you know the story of Chromatics’ unreleased fifth album and what the band’s Johnny Jewel did with it?
Long story is here. Short version: Jewel had a near-death experience and destroyed every one of the 25,000 copies in existence (including removing its already released singles from YouTube and Spotify). He then went on to re-record the whole thing.
In May, his label said it was getting close to being released. We really hope that happens in 2018. What we had heard of the record was brilliant.
Fischerspooner – SIR (out February 18)
New York duo Fischerspooner haven’t released an album since 2009’s Entertainment. But 2018 will see them finally release SIR, and there’s one monumental name attached that will have music fans very interested in how it turns out.
None other than Michael Stipe has taken on co-writing and co-production duties for the album. The R.E.M. frontman has been pretty quiet since his band split back in 2011 and word is he’s pretty hands on with a lot of the material on this record.
On paper, it’s one hell of an exciting prospect. Here’s hoping the record lives up to that.
Sampa The Great – TBC
We make no apologies for our continued gushing about Sampa The Great. Her mixtapes have been unbelievable. Her live shows just get better and better. She might be this country’s greatest rapper and is fast becoming one of its greatest songwriters.
We’re expecting her debut album in 2018 and, to be honest, we’re expecting it to be pretty amazing. No pressure…
Tool – TBC
Fans have been waiting impatiently for well over ten years. The band have teased it for what feels like almost as long. Tom Morello reckons he has heard it.
Will TOOL give us a new album in 2018? Surely! If so, will it live up to the immense expectations their diehard fans have built up. Even if it doesn’t, will those fans admit it? Time will tell.
Hatchie – TBC
Robin Guthrie from Cocteau Twins reached out to Harriet Pilbeam when he heard ‘Try’, her first single as Hatchie. And we reckon he’s probably just as psyched about ‘Sure’, the second single. If this Brisbane artist releases her debut album in 2018, it will be a highlight of the year. Calling it early.
If you’re a fan of shoegazy dream-pop and you’re not across Hatchie yet, oh my goodness you’re in for a treat.
Superchunk – What A Time To Be Alive (out February 16)
If you weren’t paying attention, you might have missed Superchunk’s 2013 album I Hate Music. If that’s the case, you owe it to yourself to go back and rediscover it. It’s an absolute cracker.
The band follow it up with What A Time To Be Alive, a mediation on the US election of 2016 and what’s happened in the wake of it. The title track sounds pretty angry and we’re sure the rest of the record will probably be pretty similar. But, as expected, it’s also catchy as hell.
Totally Mild – Her (out February 23)
Totally Mild’s 2015 album Down Time was a stunning collection of unpretentious jangly pop that just made you feel good every time you put it on.
We’re expecting something just as beautiful from Her, after hearing the intriguing pop of ‘Today Tonight’ and the beautiful, gentle piano ballad ‘Lucky Stars’. We’re confident they will deliver. If you’re not already on board, let 2018 be the year you discover Totally Mild.
Kimbra – Primal Heart (out April 20)
It’s hard to believe that Primal Heart is only Kimbra’s third album, so prolific has her output been over the years. No point in mincing words here, recent single ‘Top Of The World’ is just so freaking good that we can’t contain our excitement about this new record.
She has said she’s extremely proud of the record (of course) and that is more personal than anything she’s done before. We’ll have to wait and see how it sits among her enviable canon thus far.
Sarah Blasko – Depth Of Field (out February 23)
It’s Sarah Blasko, so of course we’re keen to hear it. But we take an extra interest in this release given the unorthodox and fascinating way that it was made, as detailed in the documentary Blasko, screened on the ABC in November. Blasko and collaborators locked themselves in the Campbelltown Arts Centre for two weeks to try and write in a live setting – we can’t wait for the results.
Donny Benet – TBC
We love ‘Konichiwa’ and ‘Melodie’, the first two singles from Donny Benet’s forthcoming … album. But we were also fortunate enough to hear plenty more of his new material when he played BIGSOUND in September and we’re certain that it’s going to be the hardest hitting soft rock record of the year.
Chic – It’s About Time (TBC)
This is becoming ridiculous. Chic (featuring Nile Rodgers) were meant to release It’s About Time, their first album since 1992, in 2015. Then it was meant to be 2016. You see where this is going…
Maybe 2018 is the year we finally get it. No matter what happens with the record, Chic will be back in Australia for Bluesfest and shows with Lionel Richie in March/April and you would be a damn fool to miss them.
Missy Elliott – TBC
We ended up getting The Avalanches’ Wildflower. For better or worse, Axl Rose finished Chinese Democracy. Frank Ocean gave us two albums to make up for the delay that came post-Channel Orange.
So, we think it’s okay to get excited about a Missy Elliott record. Even though it has been well over a decade since the last one, and there’ve been a dozen false-starts.
Look, it might not come in 2018. It might not come in 2019. It might not ever come (though that’s not a very nice thought). But we need to have hope. And, to be honest, I think we need a new Missy Elliott record.
Listen to 2017’s ‘I’m Better’ if you’re wondering whether or not she’s still got.