Most anticipated new music coming out in 2017

Most anticipated new music coming out in 2017

Gorillaz, feat. Benjamin Clementine

From Goldfrapp to Coldplay and Optimo to U2, this looks like being be a massive year in music

With albums increasingly being released on an overnight online drop, it's hard to tell which record is going to make the most seismic change to your ears over the next few months. In an ideal world, we'd discover that Beyoncé's creative skills are such that she can follow up Lemonade with something equally epochal in the space of 12 months. Either way, it looks like the protest song is back for 2017 and who can blame it?

The eve of the US Presidential inauguration delivered a taste of what we can expect, when two of the most attention-grabbing alternative crossover bands in the Northern Hemisphere surprise-dropped new tracks with a very political edge. From Arcade Fire, it was the growling electronic mantra 'I Give You Power' alongside Mavis Staples, and from Gorillaz, the apocalyptic hip-hop beat 'Hallelujah Money' with Benjamin Clementine. Both artists have as-yet-unscheduled albums on the way this year.

In news concerning veteran tentpole recording titans, U2 have declared that the election of Trump means their Songs of Experience – the companion piece to 2014's Songs of Innocence – may not be political enough, so they've put it on hold in favour of a money-spinning summer nostalgia tour of their 1987 classic, The Joshua Tree. The new album may or may not surface this year, but if not, there's always Coldplay's intended Kaleidoscope EP for all our earnest stadium-rock needs, which apparently comprises offcuts from 2015's A Head Full of Dreams. In news from the next generation of Atlantic-straddling, arena-filling talents, Ed Sheeran's third album is out in March.

There are artists you feel obliged to mention amid an exercise like this, and there are those whose return is genuinely excitement-inducing. Strictly in the latter category comes 'Anymore', the first track from Alison Goldfrapp's March-due Silver Eye, which reveals a move away from recent pastoral efforts and back to the dirtier electronic sound of Black Cherry and Supernature. And, of course, the Jesus and Mary Chain are also back in March with Damage and Joy, the very long-awaited follow-up to 1998's Munki. A collaboration with the producer Youth, the record's not-unworthy advance track 'Amputation' suggests it will be a collection worth getting thrilled about.

Despite her reputation for drowsy, bluesy folk-indie of a very polite brand, Laura Marling demonstrated once more at the Celtic Connections opening concert in January why she's such a vital artist. Semper Femina will be here in March, and that title alone (it translates as 'Woman Forever') lends high expectations. In a very different vein, Depeche Mode bring us Spirit, the follow-up to 2013's Delta Machine. We're especially eager to find out what they can do with producer James Ford (he of Simian Mobile Disco fame) at the helm.

Most of the above will doubtless be on tour, but we'd also point you to a few more interesting shows which are on the books already. There's the Weeknd at the Hydro, Glasgow (Fri 10 Mar), which will give us a chance to see how his unusual combination of expansive pop sound and often bleating introspection translates to the big stage. Factory Floor will be appearing in quadrophonic sound, no less, at SWG3, Glasgow (Thu 16 Mar) while Future Islands are also a joyous live experience as they'll prove at Barrowlands, Glasgow (Thu 27 Apr). Anyone who experienced the mighty Black Madonna on Hogmanay at Edinburgh's Biscuit Factory will want to be back at that venue for Nightvision's first date there (Fri 31 Mar), with Move D and Optimo.

Staying with Optimo (Espacio), Twitch and Wilkes' iconic Glasgow club night is 20 years old, and to celebrate they'll be holding a special one-day festival early in August. On a very different tack (but again incorporating Scottish artists and the arrival of a brand new one-dayer), singularly powerful Edinburgh songwriter Meursault will be releasing the cheerily titled I Will Kill Again, as part of Song, by Toad's Granfalloon mini-festival at Summerhall, Edinburgh (Sat 25 Feb).

Other March developments to spy from a Scottish perspective are the arrival of the debut album by Manuela (comprising Manuela Gernedel and her husband Nick McCarthy, formerly of Franz Ferdinand), Strange Words, and Weird Wars from Glasgow's Marnie (ex-Ladytron), as well as records from Campfires in Winter and State Broadcasters. In festival news, DF Concerts' 2017 T in the Park replacement on Glasgow Green will be TRNSMT (Fri 7–Sun 9 Jul), while the much-loved Electric Fields at the start of September in Dumfriesshire has announced its headliners: Frightened Rabbit, the Jesus and Mary Chain and Arab Strap.

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