ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
After all the album of the year lists of 2015 have been scoured, dissected, argued, and put away, the next big list is the most anticipated albums of 2016. Some artists, like Sia, have confessed all the details of the album’s concept already, while others, like At the Drive-In, are still keeping most details under wraps for now. Prolific artists and new favorites alike are dropping new al-bums that we hope will make 2016 better than 2015 in terms of music.
Animal Collective, “Painting With,” Feb. 19
The band shot into indie success with 2009’s “Merriweather Post Pavilion” but lost critical acclaim a few years later with the chaotic and confusing “Centipede Hz.” In “Painting With,” Animal Collective said we can expect more of a positive pop sound and less reverb, which travels backwards to the sounds of their earlier releases. “Painting With” is influenced by art styles like Cubism and Dadaism, according to Rolling Stone. We get a taste of the new album with the first single, “Floridada.” Its heavy, rapid percussion, gimmicky background noises, and cheerful vocals promise the rest of the al-bum to follow through as an enjoyable, weird-pop release.
At the Drive-In, TBA
The post-hardcore band is releasing music for the first time in 16 years since 2000’s “Relationship of Command.” At the Drive-In initially reunited in 2012 to tour with old material, though co-founder Omar Rodriguez-Lopez said the old ma-terial no longer resonated with him, according to Consequence of Sound. The band announced the new album and world tour Thursday. We don’t know most of the details yet, except for a teaser video with only 15 seconds of new music.
Crystal Castles, TBA
The world of dark electronic music grew dimmer when Crystal Castles vocalist Alice Glass announced her departure from the goth dance duo. But Crystal Castles never died as producer Ethan Kath recruited a mysterious “Edith” as vocalist shortly after Glass left. The new duo has already released two singles, “Frail” and “Deicide,” that seem to follow in past releases’ eldritch, distorted electronic tunes. Though Edith’s voice isn’t as writhing and ghoulish as Alice Glass’s, it promises a more ethereal tone that complements Kath’s atmospheric synth. Glass also hinted at a solo album of her own set for release in 2016.
Frank Ocean, “Boys Don’t Cry,” TBA
Frank Ocean received mass critical acclaim with 2012’s “Channel Orange,” and all we’ve heard of since
is that he’s constantly at work on the follow-up. “Boys Don’t Cry” has been in the works since early 2013, so the fact that it’s taken nearly three years to perfect an album is exciting enough. We don’t know much about who Ocean is working with or how the album with sound, but we do know he will be releasing the album along with his own publication, according to Consequence of Sound.
Kanye West, “Swish,” TBA
The hip hop veteran tweeted about working to finish his latest album last month. Rapper Pusha T already approved the sound. We’re expecting Sir Paul McCartney to hold a spot on a few songs. Besides the fact that it’s Kanye West and he’s done little wrong production-wise in his career, we don’t need much more proof to validate our excitement for the follow-up to “Yeezus.”
Radiohead recently announced a new album and world tour, so we don’t know much about what to expect yet. 2011’s “The King of Limbs” was an interesting – to say the least – release that didn’t grab near the same acclaim as “Kid A” and “OK Computer” back in their day. Talk about new music has been scarce, with only a few hints of new recorded material. Thom Yorke de-buted “Silent Spring” at an acoustic solo gig, but alluded guitarist John-ny Greenwood’s involvement in the song. So far, that single is our only window into the new Radiohead album, and it sounds melodic, with Yorke’s usual wails somewhere in the middle.
Sia, “This is Acting,” Jan. 29
One of pop’s weirdest artists is following up 2014’s “1000 Forms of Fear” with a release rumored to be an album completely made up of her songwriting attempts for other pop singers. Her singles still bite in 2016 with incorporating trap beats into pop hits with surround-sound vocals. With “This is Acting,” Sia is changing up the interpretations she laid out for the likes of Shakira, Rihanna, Adele and more to fit her sound. The first two singles are available on Spotify. “Unstoppable” doesn’t seem to waltz too far from her breakthrough album, but “Reaper” sounds like a Lion King soundtrack song, with a poppy hook and bouncy percussion. This album is sure to make music critics and the pop stars who rejected the songs wonder, why would anyone let these songs slip through their fingers?
Other expected albums in 2016:
Beyonce, Drake, Gorillaz, Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, Nine Inch Nails, HAIM