Happy New Year. Here’s to 2018 being significantly less crappy than 2017 was, and to help give you a little bit of hope, we’ve compiled a list of a few musical things, from festival season to a couple of highly anticipated returns, that we’re looking forward to this year…
The return of My Bloody Valentine
Hardly the most prolific band of all time, MBV are set to release new analogy remasters of ‘Loveless’ and ‘Isn’t Anything’ later this month. On top of that Kevin Shields stated last year that they would “100%” be releasing a new album in 2018 – here’s hoping that comes off to mark the return of the legendary shoegaze band. – Steve Aston
Arctic Monkeys’ new album
They’re a purveyor of our indie discos, the creators of a classic noughties teenage aesthetic and home-grown Sheffield icons. The Arctic Monkeys are messiahs of the indie music scene, dotted in amongst the back catalogue of any music fan, if not in tangible form then still, an influence amongst many current artists. Think back to 2006 and their debut studio album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, unapologetic indie rock with a side note of punk thrusted through ‘Fake Tales of San Francisco’ and ‘Dancing Shoes’, which introduced the raucous English youth to the raw verses of Alex Turner’s Brit kid ideologies.
There have been hints and whispers of a sixth album heading our way in 2018, with Arctic Monkeys’ bassist Nick O’Malley mentioning that if there isn’t a drop this year then “we’re in trouble” as the quartet have been recording at a “top-secret location”. You can almost hear the clinking chorus of Strongbow cans across the country, as fans prepare themselves to discover whether the sixth instalment compares to the critically acclaimed ‘AM’ album. But since their rise through the ranks, other international artists have been preparing themselves to reach the same lofty heights as that of the Northern English foursome. With the likes of Grimes and Interpol releasing undeniably awaited albums this year, can the commercialised image of Arctic Monkeys compare to the ever-evolving diversity of the modern music industry? – Hannah Tinker
Hookworms’ new album
It has been over three years – 38 months, to be exact – since we were last gifted an album by Leeds noiseniks Hookworms, an agonising delay for their loyal fanbase. Mercifully, there is less than one final month left in this wait, with LP three, Microshift, due out in February.
Now, there are good reasons for such a gap. Frontman Matthew ‘MJ’ Johnson is one of UK indie’s busiest figures for one; he owns and runs the Suburban Home Studio, a rite of passage recording venue for Yorkshire bands and for a good many from further afield, which has led to his being credited as producer on records by Drenge, Joanna Gruesome, Mazes, Menace Beach and many, many others. Tragically, disaster struck on Boxing Day 2015 when the studio was flooded, causing a small fortune of damage and keeping it out of action for some six months.
With this in mind, the turnaround seems actually rather speedy. And judging by lead single ‘Negative Space’, the band have been through a transformation of their own: gone is the scuzzy, feedback-shrouded fog that filled their first two albums, and in its place a maximalist, DFA-flavoured, primary colour fantasia. It remains the only new track we’ve heard, but a cursory glance at the tracklist reveals two more 7min+ tracks, the promise of which is more than enough to keep the otherwise all-pervading misery of 2018 away for now. – Max Pilley
Needless to say I was not the only one gutted when organisers DF Concerts cancelled T In The Park last year but to make matters even more painful my wife booked a (non-refundable) family holiday over the weekend of the inaugural (replacement) TRNSMT festival. Gutted…doesn’t quite describe how I was feeling and then when I got back to Bonnie Scotland and watched footage of Scotland’s new King Gerry Cinnamon bossing the stage…I swore to myself that I would doing everything I can to make it along to TRSMT 2018!
This summer the festival looks set to build on the success of last year with the confirmation of massive headliners Stereophonics, Liam Gallagher and The Killers. With Wolf Alice, The Courteeners and Gerry Cinnamon joining LG on the main stage the Saturday is shaping up to be hotter than a vindaloo curry. Having recently caught LG at Glasgow’s Hydro and been lucky enough to experience both nights of Gerry Cinnamon’s Bonny burning bright at the Barras I cannae wait to see both artists tear up the TRSMT main stage (and hopefully snap a photo or two). – Bazza Mills
…And festival season in general
After summer 2017, I never thought I’d want to go to another festival. In total, I went to eight, ranging from all-dayers to nearly two weeks at Boardmasters. Despite all the rain and head first falls into the mud at 4am, I managed to cram in around 45 days of music and camping across four months. Getting to see so many bands I loved already, and new people I now love after giving them a chance made it all worth it.
The thought of getting to do it again (maybe not eight though…) is one I can’t stop thinking about. Will I get to see King Gizzard three times in 48 hours again? Will I serve Bastille or Matt Smith from Doctor Who in the stall I work on again? Will I get to see Wayne Coyne roll around in a giant inflatable hamster ball while singing his heart out to ‘Space Oddity’ again? Please can festivals announce their line-ups so I stop reminiscing and get even more excited for what 2018 has to offer. – Becky Rogers
And the abundance of new music coming our way…
It’s a vague anticipation, but an exciting one (albeit a little lame) is that for the new music that 2018 is set to give to us.
With expected album offerings from the likes of Peace, Vaccines, MGMT (and of course the Hookworms and Arctic Monkeys ones) as well as stuff coming out from newcomers like shame, Sunflower Bean we’re certainly not going to be short of new records. On top of inevitable EP and track releases from the best up and coming bands/artists (some of whom I’m sure we’re yet to hear), I’m really looking forward to seeing what the year gives us. – Melissa Svensen