It’s around this time of year that the critics start to compile their ‘best of’ lists. And with this year’s music, there’s a hell of a lot of contenders. Robyn’s new album just came out, Ariana set the summer ablaze with Sweetener, Janelle Monáe unleashed another masterpiece in the form of Dirty Computer, and I’ve yet to even mention Cardi B. But that doesn’t mean that those best of lists can be finalised. There are still five major albums coming out in 2018, and a few of them might well be some of this year’s best and biggest.
Certain acts in this list have certainly played the long game. Elaborate advertising, a slow and steady release of singles, enough hype to power a small island for a month. Others have been more low-key, or have just straight up come out of the blue. Either way, if you’re still trying to get your head around all of the amazing releases this year, then you’ll have to save some room. There are still plenty more songs to fill those playlists and albums to soundtrack all your wintry drives home from work. Here are five albums still to look forward to in 2018.
This one can go straight to the top of the pile, since it doesn’t need anymore anticipation. Matt Healy and his boys have been plastering billboards across cities throughout the UK in anticipation of their third album since way earlier on in the year, as well as devoting some space to the late Lil Peep, too. In A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, The 1975’s desire to be the voice of millennials is clear, but it’s precisely the band’s modern outlook that makes them so charming. As Pitchfork reports, the album’s out on Nov. 30, and it’s irresistibly poppy.
Ok so technically this one is already out, but only just. Vince Staples’ last release, the political, bass heavy ‘Big Fish Theory’ topped plenty of best of lists last year, and now he’s returned with new music sooner than anticipated. On Oct. 29 he tweeted “GOOD MORNING CITCH WE GOT NEW VINCE STAPLES THIS FRIDAY”. And now a new one from Staples on Nov. 2 has been the ultimate pinch, punch, second day of the month. It’s less of an essential listen than Big Fish Theory, but it’ll for sure have you dancing into the new year.
Solange’s 2016 release A Seat At The Table was one of the landmark albums in a year that boasted decade defining records. It rivalled the sexiness and sumptuousness of Frank Ocean’s Blond, as well as the innovation of big sister Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade. While she’s not taking cues from big sis — who’s been more inclined to drop absolute fire without any warning in advance — Solange has played it more like Staples, as she’s been tweeting about a potential new release. While they’ve since been deleted, the New York Times‘ Ayana Mathis wrote that another album is “imminent this fall”. I’ve reached out to Solange’s reps for confirmation, and will let you know as soon as I hear anything back.
It should be a truth universally acknowledged that “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey is the greatest Christmas song of all time. And while it’s unlikely she’ll be topping it this year, the most seasonal diva in pop is due to get everyone in the spirit with her new album Caution. She gave a taste on Sept. 13 with the album’s lead single “GTFO”, and then again with “With You” on Oct. 5. They each gave a different flavour of what to expect from the album, with the first single showcasing Carey at her most sassy and memeable, while the second showed off more of her romantic side. Hear it in its entirety from Nov. 16.
No one caters for their fans quite like Little Mix. Even the title for their fifth studio album was inspired by their fans. “We love how you’ve named each of our eras over the years. So we’ve decided to call our next album…
#LM5,” they tweeted on Oct. 15. As we reported, the fifth iteration of their sound will be arriving on Nov. 16, and fans got an idea of what to expect when they performed single ‘Woman Like Me’ on The X Factor. It had all of their trademark sass and empowerment with a more grown-up edge.