We’re already a quarter of the way through the year, where does the time go really?! More and more of the new material that has been promised by a bunch of musicians, some established, some fresh on the scene, is dropping. We’ve already had albums from the likes of Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Death Grips amongst others, but what is still on the horizon, what have we still got to look forward to in 2015?
Florence & the Machine- How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Florence is back with a relative bang. Another star whose had a quiet spell since her last release, the Londoner has returned, her haunting vocals hitting all the right notes as if it hasn’t been away at all. What Kind of Man came out of nowhere to kick off the campaign for How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful as the woman who most closely resembles the kind of concept album that Kate Bush was famed for decades ago, returned with a sombre, yet ultimately haunting first single back. While she may not be ascending to headliner status at Glastonbury just yet, it’s fairly clear a woman of Florence’s talent won’t be waiting too long for such an accolade to come her way.
Shamir is an absolute star in the making. From his quirky music videos to the electro instrumentation and interesting, diverse vocals that often see the androgynous star confused for genders, the music seems fit for major radio success worldwide. For me it’s the catchiness of his work that has attracted me to his work, it’s not the most groundbreaking of work, but I like the humourous video such as the one below, and can see the music complimenting the warm summer months, similarly to Chance the Rapper, perfectly. Also, Shamir’s current image, a fun-loving, colourful popstar will work perfectly in 2015’s growing scene.
Blur- The Magic Whip
Some thought they’d never see the day when Brit-pop pioneers Blur would make it back to the big time. Sure the band have been active since their 2009 reunion, with a Glasto headline slot thrown in for good measure amongst a slew of festival shows around the world, but new material, was it ever a real possibility? Well it appears Damon, Alex, Graham and Dave have been wiling away many hours in Hong Kong of all places for the April release The Magic Whip. The Eastern influences are obvious with the cover art, a florescent ice cream cone looking as delicious as the opening few tracks that have been revealed to us. Go Out is a record that literally feels as if it is blowing away the cobwebs, while Lonesome Street allows Coxon to unleash some guitar-based goodness on us. It’s nothing mindblowingly different from what has been before for Blur, but for some that will be more than enough.
The Maccabees- TBA
These Brit indie rockers have taken some time out since 2012’s Given to the Wild, with this eagerly anticipated album having been started at the beginning of 2014 and been in production since then. Several songs are finished, there’s no title or release date set, so why the fuss? Well The Maccabees have recently returned to live performances, supporting titans Kasabian on their recent UK tour, and the material played was up to scratch. Whether it’s a strong indicator of the album or not is another mystery, but a part of me thinks that’s totally okay, for in 2015 so much is known about an album months prior to the release of the thing, with often the majority of its tracks able to be enjoyed. So for the mood, the tone, the name, the genre to still be determined for the Maccabees new record? Well that’s alright by me.
Sia- This is Acting
Aussie artist Sia has had an incredible couple of years. Her last release 1000 Forms of Fear was cobbled together to release her from a record contract, but the massive success of Elastic Heart and Chandelier, both singles from the record, led her to get a new release together, This is Acting. The pop sensation has been around for a considerable length of time, but has often taken to behind-the-scenes work, writing for the likes of Christina Aguilera, Beyonce and Rihanna among others, and the release of that last LP was with the intention of going back to writing. But alas her success finally catapulted her into the public eye, something she protests against with her ways of hiding her face, seriously Google it, it’s intriguing, but the next piece of music from this pioneer is definitely going to be worth waiting for.
Chance the Rapper- Surf
The follow-up to ‘mix tape’ Acid Rap, but technically the first full release of the young talented rapper’s burgeoning career, Surf is going to be one to watch. It’ll hopefully propel Chance from the relative unknown status he has tagged to him at the minute, into stardom ala a certain Mr Lamar. If his work with his live band, The Social Experiment is anything to go by, and the resulting clamour which surrounded the release of their cover of the Arthur theme tune (check it out below), is a promising reaction to this interesting new talent. Expect a summer release of sun-drenched, warm tunes that can only be listened to while kicking back in the sun, preferably with an ice-cold beverage.
Giorgio Moroder – TBA
King of the dancefloor Moroder maintains his revival this decade with his first LP release in donkeys years. And what a way to make a comeback. Pop staplemarks Kyle Minogue, Britney Spears, Sia and Charli XCX pepper the as-yet untitled album with collaborations the key here. From the massive influence the veteran Italian had on Daft Punk’s last record, it is clear to see the 74-year-old still has an ear for a hot beat and you can expect the slices with the aforementioned female stars to be filling the speakers of your local nightclub by summer, when the album is expected to be released to the masses.
So there you have it! Bands like Muse, Mumford & Sons and Of Monsters and Men also have new records, so let me know if there’s been a misstep in this list in the comments below.