Most anticipated new music coming out in 2017
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.