Hate it or love it, 2016 is finally gone and 2017 is here to right some wrongs and deliver some brand-spankin’-new music for our listening delight. With that in mind here are some things coming down the pipeline that I think are worthy to keep your ears open for.
Lorde has been announced to play Coachella this year as well as Governor’s Ball which can only mean she’s got new music coming for us and her tweet “Um….so I think it’s time we danced” should be enough to get fans excited for what she has in store for her sophomore LP. In the meantime, her debut album “Pure Heroine” still has a lot to offer like her mega-hit “Royals” or the more subdued “Tennis Court” which is on this playlist to get things started.
Rapper Kool A.D. formerly of hip-hop duo Das Racist, released more music in 2016 than some artists’ do in their entire career. His final mixtape of 2016 “The Natural” shows he’s not slowing down anytime soon. “Punic Wars (Scooby Doo)” features his laid-back approach to rapping and music in general and it’s hard to not vibe with him on a beat with horn samples and crashing cymbals on the upbeats. While it’d be difficult to meet or even exceed releasing 10 collections of music in a year, if anyone is wile enough to do it, it’s Kool A.D.
It’s finally here! Well digitally anyway. Hip-hop duo El-P and Killer Mike dropped their third album as duo Run the Jewels titled “Run the Jewels 3.” While the digital album was a Christmas gift from the two, the hard copies will arrive in January and knowing these two it should be worth picking up. The track “Panther Like a Panther” is arguably the hardest hitting track on the album and you’d be hard pressed to not get hyped listening to the fast beat and even faster raps here.
Australia is known for enormous spiders, shrimp and thanks to Thundamentals, hip-hop. The group is primed and ready to drop their third album “Everyone We Know” in February, but for now their single “Think About It” is all we have to go on. The track plays more like a soul song than straight hip-hop thanks to some guest work from Peta & The Wolves, but the beat has plenty of bass and bars spat. This is one hip-hop act to keep an eye on in 2017.
The xx are not afraid of releasing music in unconventional ways like giving one fan the album and leaving it up to them to share. The group has music on the way for January but how it will be released is anyone’s guess. “Say Something Loving” is the lead single for “I See You” and sounds more upbeat than some of the band’s past work and builds upward the entire song until the very end. The English group said they want this album to be more positive and features them growing outward, if “Say Something Loving” is what we can expect then they will achieve that goal easily.
A seven-minute song is mostly uncharted territory for garage-rock bands, but that didn’t stop Illinois rockers The Orwells from dropping “Double Feature” on us right before 2017 with their third album set to arrive in February. “Double Feature” covers a lot of ground in the seven minutes it hangs around and like its title suggests, switches gears about halfway through the song. The first half sounds like the guys are shouting and has cymbals crashing and guitars are strummed with reckless abandon and it sounds like a garage band. The second half takes a turn for the groovy with a deep bass line and a drum beat that keeps the song chugging along. This leads into a crescendo of loud cymbals and unintelligible shouting from the band members as the only vocals past the three-minute mark. It’s a neat idea for a track and if their third album “Terrible Human Beings” is anything like it, then we are in for a treat.
The final track for this playlist is based on rumors and hope more than anything else but it’s been picking up steam the last few months with Childish Gambino dropping his third album and Chance the Rapper doing the same in 2016. The two have worked together before on Gambino’s “The Worst Guys” on his 2013 album “Because the Internet” as well as “Favorite Song” from Chance’s “Acid Rap.” “The Worst Guys” doesn’t have that much Chance on it, but “Favorite Song” offers a better balance of the two MCs. With everything else Gambino has going on (his TV show “Atlanta,” Lando Calrissian in the Han Solo spin off movie and any shows he may play to support his album “Awaken My Love!”) a collaborative EP or LP with the two seems more like a pipe-dream for 2017, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hope!