SCAN’s picks of 2017

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Photograph: Dafne Cholet

It’s no longer 2016, in case you didn’t notice. While it may go down in history as generally a pretty crap year, it was actually a very decent year in music. We got new albums from Slaves, Glass Animals, Childish Gambino and many more. So, what does 2017 have in store?

Daniel Mason.

1)  Depeche mode: Most people would agree that Depeche Mode’s last two albums are two of their worst. They’re no bad albums, they just don’t come close to the bands output in the late 80’s and early 90’s, or even 2005’s ‘Playing the Angel’. Despite this, I’m still looking forward to their new album. James Ford is on production for the first time with thte band, they’re embarking on a worldwide tour, and in interviews they claim that their new approach to songwriting has alleviated the tensions that caused issues on the last two albums. This one could go either way, but I’m remaining hopeful.

2) Gorillaz: Since the release of the well-regarded ‘Plastic Beach’ in 2010 and the considerably less well-regarded ‘The Fall’ in the same year, Gorillaz have been mostly silent. The one exception to this came in 2012 when, as part of a project where Converse would get three seemingly unrelated artists to record a song together, Damon Albarn got together with LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and Outkast’s Andree 3000 to release a single called DoYaThing. DoYaThing might be the best Gorillaz song. Listen to that and try not to be excited for whatever comes next.

3) Zach De La Rocha: Since Rage Against the Machine’s last album in 2000, there have been rumours of a solo album from frontman Zach De La Rocha. For almost the same amount of time, it’s been rumoured that this album would be produced by El-P, nowadays of Run the Jewels Fame. When Zach appeared on Run the Jewels 2 in 2014, hopes of this long-rumoured album reemerged. Last year it was finally confirmed alongside an El-P produced single, Digging for Windows. Considering the quality of his recent features and the lead single, this is definitely worth looking forward to.

Conor Giblin

Dua Lipa: After it’s release was pushed back from February to June, the anticipation for Dua Lipa’s self-titled debut album has soared even higher. Off the back of hit singles such as ‘Blow Your Mind (Mwah)’, ‘Be The One’, and ‘Hotter than Hell’, we can only expect more catchy pop tunes with a dark twist from pop princess Dua to soundtrack the summer, as well as a few high profile collaborations that are in the pipeline. Hopefully, it’ll all be worth the wait!

Chris Bickley

The Wrens:

Silver (1994) took a few weeks. Secaucus (1996) took two years. The Meadowlands (2003) took twice as long. This effort has lasted over a decade. To go back a little bit, The Meadowlands was a beautiful album from four guys with jobs and families. A follow-up to this mature album has been hotly anticipated for years, being repeatedly included in Pitchfork and more’s most awaited albums of the year for ages. But 2017 seems like the year that it’ll finally come. Lead singer Charles Bissell has been through chemotherapy, and all the signs point to another heart-wrenching, incredible album, despite the band’s pessimism.

Zach Hughes

Mastodon: With the band’s direction getting somewhat lost after their elemental series finished with 2009’s critically acclaimed ‘Crack the Skye’, newly released single ‘Sultan’s curse’ has finally given us a taste of the good stuff. With guitar tracks being recorded INSIDE THE MOON, we can definitely look forward to a stonker of an album. The album cover itself, a noticeably unpolished effort compared to their last two, also gives us an indicator of the slightly heavier nature this new effort will have. A welcome decision to most fans, who have felt that their more recent efforts have been a tad diluted. Basically no growls. Which after 15 years of growling might be understandable on a physiological level. Still, early comparison’s to Crack the Skye from Neurosis frontman Scott Kelly are encouraging.

Queens of the Stone Age: Now this one is only rumoured but with QOTSA and Mastodon members currently being a part of supergroup ‘Gone is Gone’, and a certain member of the latter claiming that all members were involved in recording with their respective groups, we can safely assume this is happening. It’s been four years since the group’s last effort ‘…Like Clockwork’ which marked a considerable progression in their sound. Frontman Josh Homme has since been involved with Iggy Pop, touring their album ‘Post Pop Depression’, so its possible that rubbing shoulders with the icon could have influence the sound. Fingers crossed.

Tool: Nah just kidding.

So, with Trump finally in power and our red white and blue Brexit being a solid eight lines long, it may not seem like the future holds much to offer. Never fear, for the world of music often thrives in such dirth and misery. Take 1976 for example. 1976 was crap. Yet it helped to give birth to punk. I think now more than ever we need an escapism, an opposition, a reflection of the way we feel and we need it fast. So take some solace in this list of things to come and just pray that everything won’t stay crap forever.