With 2015 out of the way comes a slew of exciting new releases
The commencement of a new year inspires hope. As trends come and go, consumers are prone to soak up what’s branded as popular and this is exemplified through the fickle nature of music monoliths. 2015’s musical output, while excellent, feels like an eerily distant afterthought. It’s easy to quantify the course of popular music and the seismic shifts that occur in modern culture, but it’s fairly pointless trying to map some kind of overarching theme. The most exciting thing about a new year is that its progression is practically unknown. Let us all embrace this uncertain enigma of a year with open arms.
When a new year settles into orbit, a slew of buzzed-about albums inch closer and closer into our collective minds. 2015’s musical spectrum was fraught with heartbreak, irate political mission statements and earnest singer-songwriter ballads. This year promises overdue comebacks, shrouded mystery and innovation.
Adore Life, the follow-up to Savages’ excellent 2013 debut Silence Yourself, should be the first record on your radar this Winter. Adore Life’s singles “The Answer” and “Adore” glimmer with uncompromising expression and encapsulate the unforgiving essence of Montreal winters. “The Answer” pummels listeners with polyphonic assaults and a grinding hardcore riff that dissipates throughout the track’s sultry atmosphere, fluctuating in and out of frame. Militaristic percussion whips the brute force of the guitars into a swirling auditory barrage, but work all the while in tandem with Jenny Beth’s potent vocals. It’s a veritable millennial call to arms that’s, on one side, all-encompassing and the other acerbic. The record will be released Jan. 22 via Matador.
In the tail-end of 2015, sun-kissed beach loiterers DIIV announced their sophomore album Is the Is Are. The record’s latest single, “Under the Sun” is a vivid exploration of DIIV’s effortlessly weightless scope. Guitarist and vocalist Zachary Cole Smith has detailed the record in a multitude of ways, namely on the band’s Tumblr, saying “…it is a happy record, a sad record, happysad, sadhappy…” Is the Is Are will be released Feb. 5 via Captured Tracks. With the release of not one but multiple hot sophomore releases, Montreal’s ensuing winter nightmare will feel like a remote outlier.
Another entrant in this faction of follow-ups is alt-pop practitioner and heart-on-her-sleeve sentimentalist Sky Ferreira. Much in the vein of DIIV’s easy-breezy facade, Ferreira relishes in effervescence and shows a deep appreciation for giddy pop sentiments, but Ferreira’s intractable personal problems are her lyrical selling point and catalyze her keen anthemic sensibility. Hopefully, her forthcoming record Masochism explores Ferreira’s dark and broody side more extensively.
As stated previously, 2016 most closely resembles shrouded mystery. From Frank Ocean’s cryptic online hints and Run the Jewel’s anticipated third album to Death Grips’ contentious antics, very little is known about an increasingly large number of releases. Though most of these releases are still in a very primitive state, that doesn’t invalidate the hype surrounding them.