Piano Magic — Closure (Second Language Music)
This will be Piano Magic’s final album. I haven’t been a fan of their recent work but I still have a fondness for albums like Low Birth Weight, Artists’ Rifles, and Writers Without Homes. I hope Glen Johnson et al. are able to go out on a high note. Watch a video for the album’s first single, “Exile,” below. Release Date: January 20
Lift to Experience — The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads Reissue (Mute Records)
This will be a nice (albeit belated) way to celebrate my birthday. One of my favorite albums of all time is getting remastered, remixed, and reissued “as God intended.” Listen to the updated version of “Just As Was Told” below. Release Date: February 3
Sun Kil Moon — Common as Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood (Caldo Verde Records)
Sun Kil Moon’s next will be a double CD. Its first single, “God Bless Ohio,” is everything you’d expect from Sun Kil Moon, e.g., gorgeous acoustic guitar work and meandering autobiographical lyrics delivered in Kozelek’s rambling voice. Release Date: February 28
Eric Matthews — Too Much World (Lo-Fidelity Records)
Champer-pop maestro Eric Matthews released the “Exactly Like Them” single back in November as a precursor to Too Much World, his first solo album since 2008’s The Imagination Stage. Too Much World will be released by Lo-Fidelity Records, which reissued Matthews’ stunning debut, It’s Heavy in Here, back in 2015. Release Date: February
The Jesus and Mary Chain — Damage and Joy (Warner Bros.)
The original noise-poppers will release their first new album in nearly two decades. The band says Damage and Joy will have “a more mature sound” but hopefully it’ll still be capable of making ears bleed. Listen to the first single, titled “Amputation,” below. Release Date: March 24
The following albums are scheduled/rumored to come out in 2017 but no official release dates have been announced for them yet.
Airiel — Molten Young Lovers (Shelflife)
Arguably one of the best shoegazer bands to emerge on this side of the pond, Airiel will be releasing their first album in a decade. Molten Young Lovers’ first single, “Cloudburst,” is fantastic, and hopefully a good sign of things to come.
Amp — Q Factors (A Mixtape)
The noise/drone duo of Richard Walker and Karine Charff return with their first new album since 2011’s Outposts. Three songs from Q Factors have been added to Amp’s Soundcloud page; listen to the kaleidoscopic “Push and Hold (The Mistral)” below.
Arcade Fire — TBA
The world’s biggest indie band has been working on their fifth album for awhile now even as they’ve played shows throughout the year. They’ve even debuted new material at various concerts and venues. While no specific release date’s been announced, a spring release has been theorized.
Arcade Fire has also been working on The Reflektor Tapes/Live at Earls Court, a DVD/Blu-ray set that features “interviews, concert footage, and other candid moments from the band” as well as a live film shot during the band’s 2014 Reflektor tour. The Reflektor Tapes/Live at Earls Court will be released on January 27.
Broken Social Scene — TBA
It’s been over six years since Broken Social Scene’s last album, 2010’s Forgiveness Rock Record. But after the Paris shootings in November 2015, the group reformed to play some shows, which then led to the recording studio. As an added bonus, Feist will be singing on the new album, which will be released next summer.
Chad Valley — TBA
It was a pleasant surprise to learn that Chad Valley will be playing in Lincoln during his upcoming 2017 tour. I’m hoping this is a sign that a new album is in the works — an album that apparently will feature lots of panpipes. (Which, given Valley’s brand of soulful chillwave, makes total sense.)
Cigarettes After Sex — TBA (Partisan Records)
The Brooklyn-based band aren’t exactly the most prolific of outfits, having released only seven songs of exquisitely sensual dreampop in the last four years. Fortunately, we’ll get a lot more of it in 2017 via their debut full-length on Partisan Records.
The Cure — TBA
To be clear, there’s no official news that The Cure will release a new album in 2017 or that they’ve even been working on said album. However, the band debuted a couple of excellent new songs during their 2016 North American tour and there’s still the business of the unreleased 4:14 Scream material — so there’s reason to hope, right?
Depeche Mode — Spirit (Columbia Records)
The synth-pop pioneers’ fourteenth album will be produced by Simian Mobile Disco’s James Ford and followed by a 32-date European tour.
Do Make Say Think — TBA
Back in September, Do Make Say Think posted a photo on their Facebook page of “new final masters” with titles like “Horripilations” and “Murder of Thoughts, Come Back, Come Back.” Presumably, this means the post-rock outfit has wrapped up recording and we’ll hear something new from them in 2017.
Ester Drang — TBA
The Oklahoma-based shoegaze rock band landed a dream gig opening for Echo and the Bunnymen on their recent North American tour. Following the tour, Ester Drang announced they have “some great plans for 2017” — which hopefully includes new music.
Gang Gang Dance — TBA
The band announced via Instagram that they’ve started working on new material. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything; there was a three-year gap between 2008’s Saint Dymphna and 2011’s Eye Contact, so the group definitely likes to take their time. Still, it’s been more than five years since we’ve heard anything from Gang Gang Dance, so this is still welcome news any way you slice it.
HKE — TBA
HKE released one of my favorite albums of 2016, Rain Temple, via his 2814 side-project, and he composed an excellent (though unused) track for the first trailer for the upcoming Ghost in the Shell movie. Even so, he claims his next album will be his best yet. I can’t wait to hear it.
Memory Drawings — The Nearest Exit
The dulcimer-driven post-rock of Memory Drawings makes its return on The Nearest Exit. The first single, “There Is a Last Time for Everything,” can be listened to below, and it’s an excellent example of everything good about the band’s music.
Nine Inch Nails — TBA
Earlier this month, Trent Reznor released a new EP titled Not the Actual Events (and announced vinyl releases of several Nine Inch Nails records). He then announced that he’ll be releasing “two new major” Nine Inch Nails projects in 2017.
Ride — TBA
Yet another member of the shoegaze old guard have announced a new album. Pitchfork reports that the album, which will be the first since 1996’s Tarantula, will be produced by Erol Alkan.
Currently in the studio with Ride (@rideox4) producing their forthcoming album@Andybebop @MarkGardener @SteveQueralt @doctorloz https://t.co/TTWtZDgBBv— erol alkan (@erolalkan) #
Spiritualized — TBA
Jason Pierce says the upcoming Spiritualized album will probably be his last record. What’s more, he claims it’ll be just as good as, if not better than, 1997’s Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, which many consider Pierce’s masterpiece.
Slowdive — TBA
Earlier this year, news broke that Slowdive had finished recording their new album in the summer. No specific release date has been announced but drummer Simon Scott said the album “would probably be out in 2017.”
Tears For Fears — TBA (Warner Bros.)
Yes, that Tears For Fears. No details are currently known about the band’s upcoming album, which will be their first studio recording since 2004’s Everybody Loves a Happy Ending.
U2 — Songs of Experience (Island)
Everyone dogged on Bono and the boys when U2’s Songs of Innocence appeared on their iPhones. That brouhaha overlooked the fact that Songs of Innocence contained some of U2’s best music in a long time. How will the long-awaited follow-up compare?
In addition to releasing Songs of Experience, U2 will also be playing some “very, very special shows” to celebrate The Joshua Tree, which turns 30 next year.
The Violet Burning — TBA
Back in 2011, The Violet Burning released The Story of Our Lives, a massive three-disc concept album that one critic called the band’s “most ambitious and hardest hitting record to date.” Since then, they’ve been working on not one but two albums planned for 2017, including an album of psalms and worship songs that Pritzl describes as similar to Strength (arguably The Violet Burning’s most beloved album).
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I've also written for Christ and Pop Culture, ScreenAnarchy, Filmwell, and Christian Research Journal. I pay the bills by creating beautiful user interfaces and websites for Firespring and Red Bicycle.