We’ve all been a bit preoccupied thinking about the musical headlines of 2017, but I’m here to do a little forward-thinking this week. The temperatures have finally dropped to seasonally appropriate lows, Uber is hiking its carfare, and I’m craving soup. That’s right: It’s winter. And while this isn’t the most wonderful season in New York (see: snow of every color but white), there is still a hell of a lot of great music coming out in the next three months.
Whether it’s a long-awaited record by Nils Frahm or a New Year’s Eve gig by Hot Chip, musicians sure ain’t hibernating this winter, and neither should you. Here are my top picks for upcoming album releases and New York concerts to keep you warm on frosty nights. Don’t forget your puffy coat.
First Aid Kit, Ruins
Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg will follow-up their 2014 debut Stay Gold with the much-anticipated Ruins. The folk duo recently released the single, “Postcard” and will headline New York’s Beacon Theatre on February 19th.
Porches, The House
Porches mastermind Aaron Maine worked on his third LP The House for a solid 18 months. That’s no surprise given the record’s colorful list of contributors, including Dev Hynes, (Sandy) Alex G, and Maine’s own father. The album will be a follow-up to Porches’ 2016 Pool and Water EP. Check out the video for the first single, “Find Me” below.
Nils Frahm, All Melody
There is no album I am more excited about in 2018 than All Melody, Nils Frahm’s follow-up to 2015’s Solo. Recorded in Frahm’s brand new, custom built studio, All Melody ventures into sonic territory untraveled by the artist so far – namely his new use of the human voice. The composer, instrument designer, and all-around piano philosopher is supporting the record with a worldwide tour, playing New York’s Knockdown Center on March 15th. I’ll be in the front row, weeping at every keystroke.
No Age, Snares Like A Haircut
Drag City and Sub-Pop alums No Age are hitting extra heavy on their fourth full-length Snares Like A Haircut. The Los Angeles duo comprising drummer/vocalist Dean Spunt and guitarist Randy Randall kicked off the record’s promo with killer single “Soft Collar Fad.” Perhaps the upcoming record is best described by Drag City’s website, which calls it, “Rock and roll for the black hole.”
Field Music, Open Here
2018 will be a great year for siblings. Peter and David Brewis of Field Music certainly ensure this fate (along with First Aid Kit). Their delightfully ‘80s lead single “Count It Up” from forthcoming LP Open Here sounds like a happy marriage between Crowded House (another sibling set), Gary Numan, and Phil Collins at his hit-making best. Not too shabby for a pair of penniless Sunderland brothers.
Leeds’ electro/psych rockers Hookworms will follow up their 2014 studio LP The Hum with Microshift, which is rumored to be far more dance-driven than their previous krautrock influenced work. By the sound of lead single “Negative Space” it seems that rumors are true.
Ought, Room Inside the World
Montreal’s beloved post-punks Ought released the fantastic single “These 3 Things” last month, and I’ve been chomping at the bit for their new record ever since. Room Inside the World is the band’s first record since 2015’s Sun Coming Down, and it’s sure to be a highlight of 2018.
U.S. Girls, In A Poem Unlimited
Something tells me 2018 is going be U.S. Girls’ Meghan Remy’s breakout year. It’s already apparent on Remy’s most recent single “Velvet 4 Sale” that she has grown as a composer – the track feels more fleshed out, in-depth, and powerful than some of her previous lo-fi recordings. I’m looking forward to what the entire album has in store.
Fever Ray, Plunge
Fortunately, Fever Ray’s Karin Dreijer already dropped the digital release of Plunge in October. But for all of you vinyl collectors out there, the physical LP will be available come February 23rd via Mute and Rabid Records.