2016 has been one of music’s biggest years in a long time, and we’ve still got quite a bit to go.
While it’ll be hard to upstage the releases from Flume, Beyonce, Kanye West and Rihanna, there are still a few should-be highlights left in the year, some with confirmed release dates, others still shrouded in mystery.
Regardless, these albums should be playing at parties and helping everyone survive midterms.
Tove Lo — Lady Wood, Oct. 28
After becoming a household name via her first album and feature on Flume’s anthem “Say It,” Sweden’s Tove Lo seems poised to continue her blazing hot streak with her sophomore album. Titled Lady Wood, she has shared one single so far in August, “Cool Girl.” Over a grimy electronic beat, Tove Lo cooly disparages a boy’s unwanted advances. When she croons in the chorus, “I’m a Cool Girl, I’m ice cold, I roll my eyes at you, boy,” one would be hard pressed to disagree.
GZA — Dark Matter, Fall
One of legendary rap group Wu Tang Clan’s most tragically underrated members, GZA (a.k.a. Genius) is allegedly planning to release his long-awaited album Dark Matter sometime in 2016. Having dropped a benchmark album with Liquid Swords, fans have been waiting for a proper follow-up to it ever since with 2008’s Pro Tools having gone slightly under the radar. “The Mexican” was a non-album single he released back in 2015.
Kings of Leon — Walls, Oct. 14
Three years ago, it seemed like Kings of Leon was one of the biggest bands on the planet. Nowadays, the Nashville alt-rockers still pack stadiums, but loyal listeners have grown restless for new material. Luckily for them, the band announced an Oct. 14 release date for the project, Walls, back in August. No singles have been released, but the band’s been very active on their Twitter as of late teasing what appears to be one of the album’s songs.
Two Door Cinema Club — Gameshow, Oct. 14
Indie Pop acts like Two Door Cinema Club, helped bring their brand of fun, atmospheric music to the forefront with their 2010 and 2012 releases, Tourist History and Beacon. Now, after four years, the band released two new singles over the summer, “Bad Decisions” and “Are We Ready (Wreck)”. These tracks are noticeably sparser than previous releases, but are a tad more intriguing and still guaranteed to get feet tapping.
Bon Iver — 22, A Million, Sept. 30
The funny thing about Bon Iver’s new album 22, A Million, is that many people have already heard without a leak despite it not having been released. Helmed by Justin Vernon, they performed the record at his Eaux Claires music festival in August, and then played a recording of it at a press conference in Eaux Claires as well. While still rooted in the gentle folk Bon Iver has mastered, 22, A Million is a drastic departure from previous works, being heavily experimental, abrasive at times and featuring a large list of different instrumental parts. It’s all but guaranteed to make major waves.