most anticipated albums of 2018

featured image courtesy of minimally minimal –

as 2017 draws to a close, we naturally shift our focus to 2018 and the bevy of albums slated to be released throughout the year.  admittedly, the following list largely focuses on albums due out in the first quarter, with a couple of pipe dreams sprinkled in.  for those still trying to soak up as much of 2017 as possible, check out our favorite releases of the year here.  for those looking to forge ahead, read on.  links to pre-order are embedded if available.

rhyerhye – blood (february 2nd || loma vista)

three strong singles have thus far precluded rhye’s long-awaited sophomore full-length.  after returning this summer with “please,” rhye closed out 2017 with the supple one-two punch of “taste” and “count to five.”  if the samplings and album art are any indication, mike milosh’s work remains as intimate and sensual as ever.

 

Hovvdy Cranberryhovvdy – cranberry (february 9th || double double whammy)

austin duo hovvdy released one of 2016’s most enduring – and endearing – albums in taster.  cranberry, their first since signing to the venerable double double whammy, seems poised to flesh out the warm, lived-in aura that permeates their disarmingly honest work.  case in point: lead single “petal” drips with nostalgia, its assured pace gently giving way to tender falsetto.

 

quiet friendquiet friend – quiet friend (march 9th || elestial sound)

after years of releasing music by himself under the moniker mister lies, nick zanca has shifted into collaborative mode to build quiet friend with steven rogers.  the duo, along with a rotating cast of other contributors, sculpt an audiophile’s dreamscape; lead single “safe” is a whirlwind, but is also just a hint of what quiet friend have in store throughout their self-titled debut.

– other notable releases – 

a grave with no name – passover (january 19th || forged artifacts)

nadine – oh my (january 26th || father/daughter)

triathalon – online (february 16th || broken circles)

s. carey – hundred acres (february 23rd || jagjaguwar)

lucy dacus – historian (march 2nd || matador)

half waif – lavender (tbd || cascine)

helena deland – tba (tbd || luminelle)

ness nite – dream girl (tbd || pow recordings)

pat moon – tba (tbd || track & field)

yours are the only ears – tba (tbd || team love)

 

s. carey – “fool’s gold”

– featured image courtesy of cameron wittig –

sean carey has long augmented his contributions to bon iver with a solo output under the moniker of s. carey.  that body of work is now slated to grow even further; carey will release his new album, hundred acres, on february 23rd via jagjaguwar.

coupled with the announcement is “fool’s gold,” the affecting catalyst for the rest of the songs that populate hundred acres.  the palette of “fool’s gold” reflect’s carey’s sparse, stripped-down approach to this project; an acoustic guitar lightly accents carey’s crystalline, prominent lead vocal for much of the track before ben lester’s pedal steel leads a small band into the fray, providing a warm pad of gentle flourishes through to its conclusion.

hundred acres will arrive in time to provide respite from a bitter midwestern winter.  for the time being, reflect on “fool’s gold,” below.

owen – “settled down”

owen shervin lainez
photo courtesy of shervin lainez

the first single from owen’s upcoming album, the king of whys, is certifiably bucolic.  “lost” is firmly grounded in mike kinsella’s voice and the subtle, rhythmic strums of his acoustic guitar, with lilting pedal steel phrases peppered in for supplemental texture.  it’s a logical outcome when kinsella’s minimal confessionals get paired with arrangements played by a lauded collective of eau claire session musicians; quite frankly, an entire album’s worth of material like this would be more than welcomed.

“settled down” isn’t exactly the antithesis of its predecessor, but it is maximal in comparison.  a polyrhythmic drum beat, reminiscent of kinsella’s work behind the kit in their/they’re/there, anchors the track, with steadily-arpeggiated chords weaving through a fuzzed-out foundation to create a series of sweeping passages.  the sparse interludes that do occur feel that much more impactful as a result; indeed, the coda is a particularly arrest respite from the dissonance that threatens to bleed through prior to its arrival.  a listless song with natural disaster as a central metaphor shouldn’t be this beautiful.

the king of whys arrives july 29th via polyvinyl records.  listen to “settled down” below.

owen – “lost”

owen shervin lainez
photo courtesy of shervin lainez

owen is sonically a far cry from mike kinsella’s work in seminal chicago outfits like american football and joan of arc, yet its sparseness and vulnerability still nestles in close to the rest of his output’s affecting tendencies.  for his latest solo effort, the king of whys, due out july 29th via polyvinyl records, kinsella decamped to justin vernon’s april base studio to record with sean carey and a host of eau claire’s finest session musicians.  the more collaborative nature of these sessions shows on lead single “lost,” with kinsella’s soft acoustic guitar strums bolstered by pedal steel swells and tasteful orchestral pads.  it’s a gentle offering, swaying peacefully in the summer’s breeze.  take a listen to “lost” below.