15 Albums To Look Out For In 2018

Words by Dom O’Connor and Darren Levin

So far in 2018, we’ve already been given new records from Ty Segall, First Aid Kit, Car Seat Headrest, Marlon Williams, and Tune-Yards. In this playlist, we look further into some of the most anticipated releases still to come in 2018, from long-standing returns (David Byrne) to much-awaited follow ups to debut smashes (Camp Cope, Courtney Barnett).

It’s also worth mentioning the many records still to come this year without a firm release date – from the caustic, insular hip-hop of Earl Sweatshirt to the genre experimentations of Jon Hopkins to the long-rumoured new record of Sky Ferreira’s unique avant-pop.

 

How To Socialise & Make Friends

Camp Cope

Camp Cope’s ‘The Opener’ will be tough to beat for the ultimate diss track of 2018. And don’t expect the Melbourne trio to pull any punches on their second LP, How To Socialise & Make Friends, which was smashed out in just a couple days. “The themes on the album revolve around empowerment, not caring about what any man thinks, dealing with death, loss and trauma,” Camp Cope’s Georgia Maq told LNWY.co contributor Holly Pereira late last year. – Darren

Release date: March 2

Historian

Lucy Dacus

Lucy Dacus’ 2016 powerfully frank debut No Burden immediately cemented her as an artist to watch. And it speaks volumes of her confidence as a songwriter that she considers its follow-up, Historian, her definitive statement yet. “Everything after this is a bonus,” she says. Described by Lucy herself as a concept album about “cautious optimism in the face of adversity”, it features the slow-burning first single ‘Night Shift’. – Darren

Release date: March 2

Superorganism

Superorganism

Expect the unexpected from this wonky worldly collective, who make music by bouncing tracks around a London sharehouse, room-to-room. Fronted by Japanese-born teen sensation Orono, Superorganism have already given us 2017’s biggest earworm in ‘Something For Your M.I.N.D’, a colourful cut-and-paste pastiche that recalls the warped kaleidoscopic vision of The Avalanches or Odelay-era Beck. – Darren

Release date: March 2

Late Teens

Press Club

Efficient Melbourne four-piece Press Club managed to crank out their self-produced debut album in a year of relentless shows. The album’s third single ‘Suburbia’ covers vast emotional and dynamic terrain in just four minutes, with singer Natalie Foster bleeding every line. – Darren

Release date: March 16

Now Only

Mount Eerie

Mount Eerie honcho/noted autograph hater Phil Elverum is following up last year’s heart-breaking A Crow Looked At Me with Now Only, a further look at the singer’s continued grief over his wife’s passing. Written again in A Crow Looked At Me’s dense, conversational turn of phrase, Now Only features an even more introspective artist grappling with his evolving grief, as well as the raising of the couple’s only child. – Dom

Release date: March 16

Primal Heart

Kimbra

It’s been three years since her underrated 2015 album Golden Echo and New Zealand-born singer Kimbra is back with a new posse of collaborators including Childish Gambino, David Longstreth of Dirty Projectors, and even Skrillex. And while Kimbra is certainly not averse to bringing other voices into her world, third album Primal Heart is her vision through and through. “I’ve been intentional about this record – being quite a focus less on features and more about my message,” she told triple j. – Darren

Release date: April 20

For Now

DMA's

Jangly single ‘Dawning’ and the dreamy ‘In The Air’ put to bed any fears that Sydney’s DMA’s were “going electro” after teaming up with The Presets’ Kim Moyes. The follow-up to 2016’s Hills End, For Now was recorded between two distinct spaces: a beautiful studio called The Grove in rural NSW and the band’s ramshackle space above The Lady Hampshire, a pub in Sydney’s inner-west. Says it all, really. – Darren

Release date: April 27

Sex & Food

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Ruban Nielson got a bit sick of recording in his basement, so Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s auteur decided to look outward for album number four. Recorded in Seoul, South Korea, Hanoi, Vietnam, Reykjavik, Iceland, Mexico City, his former home of Auckland, and his adopted home of Portland, the album is reflective of his experiences in each city, imbuing the album with an eclectic worldly sound. – Darren

Release date: April 6

Echoes In Blue

City Calm Down

“Has life has ever been more exciting or more artificial? Why are we so connected yet feel so alone?” City Calm Down will probe some pretty deep questions on Echoes Blue, the follow-up to fully formed 2015 debut In A Restless House. Then again, would you expect anything less from this austere Melbourne outfit with their penchant for deep baritones, existential musings and dark synths? – Darren

Release date: April 6

Wide Awake

Parquet Courts

The NYC-via-Denton garage punks return with Wide Awake!, their Danger-Mouse produced fifth album. In comparison to the relative quiet of 2016’s Human Performance, Wide Awake is frontman A Savage’s “outlet for the side of me that feels emotions like joy, rage, silliness and anger”, so expect some of the classic Parquet jitter and twang. – Dom

Release date: May 18

Islands, Pt. 1

No Mono

The two Toms – Iansek and Snowdon – first collaborated on 2014’s stunning #1 Dads album, and they’re back with No Mono, an ambient project with a focus on Snowdon’s heavenly falsetto. The duo’s first shows had people raving, and early cuts like ‘Butterflies’ and ‘Tidal Fight’ both feature the same naked, emotionally resonant edge that gave their previous collaborations such heart. – Dom

Release date: May 4

American Utopia

David Byrne

The erstwhile Talking Heads leader’s first LP in 14 years is produced by a veritable laundry list of A-listers: Brian Eno, Oneohtrix Point Never and XL Records in-house producer Rodaigh McDonald. First single ‘Everybody’s Coming To My House’ is a paranoid, warped funk jam and Byrne has spoken of following the album’s release with “the most ambitious show I’ve done since the shows that were filmed for Stop Making Sense“. – Dom

Release date: March 9

Tell Me How You Really Feel

Courtney Barnett

The long-awaited follow up to 2015’s Sometimes I Sit and Think… is almost due, and first single ‘Nameless, Faceless’ gave us another example of her acerbic wit (not to mention a Margaret Atwood quote in the chorus). Elsewhere, song titles like ‘I’m Not Your Mother, I’m Not Your Bitch’ and ‘Crippling Self Doubt And A General Lack Of Self Confidence’ promise a further exploration of Barnett’s unique psyche and skill for crafting memorable pop moments. – Dom

Release date: March 18

A Productive Cough

Titus Andronicus

Patrick Stickles doesn’t do albums by halves. Previous Titus Andronicus records have included civil-war themed concept albums (2010’s The Monitor) and triple-album length dissertations on manic depression (2015’s The Most Lamentable Tragedy). A Productive Cough is a relatively slim eight tracks, toning down the pummelling tempos in favour of cathartic ballads and a perspective-swapping Bob Dylan cover. – Dom

Release date: March 2

Love Is Dead

Chvrches

We don’t know much about Chvrches follow-up to 2015’s Every Open Eye, but what we do know certainly points to something, well, a little dark. Reportedly titled Love Is Dead, the album’s tracks include first single ‘Get Out’ (with its foreboding synths), ‘Graves’, and ‘Heaven/Hell’. To top it off there’s a rumoured collab with The National’s Matt Berninger called ‘My Enemy’. – Darren

Release date: TBA

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