We’re almost halfway 2018, and there’s new music on the way. Here’s a countdown of the music that is expected to be playing either on the radio or your personal playlists. There’s a few expected ones and a few that aren’t, so if you’re in to find something new please challenge yourself.
1. Plan B – Heaven Before All Hell Breaks Loose
Plan B, aka Ben Drew, who is quite the underrated artist in my opinion, is a surprise. This English hip-hop artist slides in and out of soul and rap like a well-tailored suit. He’s done with dabbling in hip-hop and soul on his debut and sophomore albums, composing chart-topping soundtracks and directing; Plan B is now experimenting with soul and spirituality.
It doesn’t sound like American gospel or anything imitating it but sonically, the songs so far are easy on the ear. If you want to hear a neo-gospel album by a millennial that lays low on the preaching and has a production quality that impresses you, Plan B’s Heaven Before All Hell Breaks Loose is for you.
2. Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
Post-punk revivalists, The Artic Monkeys, are back after a two-year hiatus, with Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. With a new take on their garage yet indie rock styles that catapulted them to international success, their latest has a more introspective look at life rather than the observer’s view their last albums have been cloaked in.
With their latest, they’re settled. Finally in peace with the sound they’ve run with on the album, the Arctic Monkeys promise a more classic and warmer tone, perhaps inspired by their stay in LA, with subtext open to interpretation. Cop it while you can, because it might actually surprise you.
3. Charlie Puth – Voicenotes
I’ll admit, I’m biased. Charlie Puth is a guilty pleasure. He’s the kind of male popstar that you always wanted Justin Bieber to be. Easy on the eye, the man can belt tunes out that are velvet. Let’s hope he doesn’t take on the bad boy persona any time soon. Besides, memorable tunes like Attention and Done For Me ft. Kehlani and RnB royalty Boyz II Men, Puth who was supposed to drop the album in January 2018, pushed the release to May citing that the “album is not perfect.”
Since he’s producing the album himself, perhaps he deserves a break. Nothing close to perfect is ever achieved in a hurry. Until then, I’ll jam to other records and count down till the 11th of May.
4. CHVRCHΞS – Love Is Dead
We last heard from CHVRCHΞS in 2016 playing Bonnaroo. It’s 2018, and the Scottish bandmates in CHVRCHΞS bring their clean, 80s inspired synth pop back to life on Love Is Dead. Four singles, a a single feature by Matt Berninger of the indie bank the National, the album mostly written by the bandmates has Greg Kurstin handling production, making this the first time the band had invited others to co-produce their work.
Don’t quote me on it but Lauren Mayberry’s acoustic rendition of Never Say Die has to be one of the most organic renditions of it pop original. I’m keen to see what the band has in store with their latest release and if I base it on what I’ve heard so far, we’re in for a treat.
5. Snow Patrol – Wildness
Writer’s block can be such a bitch. Gary Lightbody, bandmate of the Northern Irish-Scottish indie rock band Snow Patrol, can attest to that. With success off 2011’s Fallen Empires, and a follow up of their greatest hits, taking on a new sound seemed to be a challenge particularly when the material to support the same didn’t seem to take seed.
Well, Wilderness is late by almost seven years but the band has taken their time with the latest album, crafting music and releasing singles leading up to the release with a sound swaying between alternative rock and pop, particularly embracing a post-Britpop sound for emphasis on the dramatic flair. Will it pay off? That’s a gamble the band is willing to take, seeing that they do explore different directions of the same sound with each album. Here’s to hoping that the popular band lives up to the expectations of the many fans and contemporaries that stand by their music.
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