Here's a list of 28 albums to get excited about this year
Here's to never taking our headphones off in 2018.
It's a new year, and thus there's an entire calendar year of new music releases to look forward to.
With some major albums already set in stone and many others anticipated, let's have a glance at the landscape...
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Who? Gritty old-school rock trio who like to throw the word 'love' around.
What? Wrong Creatures marks the first BRMC album since 2013's languid Specter at the Feast.
When? 12 January
Story so far? Lead single 'Little Thing Gone Wild' is a back-to-basics rock number that suggests the San Francisco leather jacket enthusiasts are adopting something of a disappointingly stock approach.
Clip via BlackRebelMCVEVO
Who? Ireland's potential Next Big Thing.
What? Debut album Tales From The Backseat.
When? 12 January
Story so far? Lively Mullingar foursome The Academic trade in breezy festival-friendly indie-pop.
Their first album arrives on the back of viral fame, following their clever live looped video for 'Bear Claws', which currently sits on over 1.8 million views.
Clip via TheAcademicVEVO
Who? The dizzying folk-dance project of Merrill Garbus and Nate Brenner.
What? Fourth studio album I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life.
When? 19 January
Story so far? New England native Garbus has powered the eclectic Tune-Yards (or tUnE-yArDs if you're a diehard fan) with the strength of her wildly distinctive voice for a touch over a decade now.
Pleasingly hard to pin down, Tune-Yards excel at creating adventurous, artful and up-tempo pop music. More of the same would be most welcome indeed.
Clip via Tune-Yards
Who? 22-year-old Dublin-based electronic producer Jonathon Ng.
What? Debut album Vertigo.
When? 19 January
Story so far? Seriously prolific when trading under The Eden Project, Ng has reinvented himself as EDEN, launching his own label MCMXCV and releasing a pair of EPs on that imprint.
There really is quite a buzz about the young artist - Lorde is a noted fan, for one - with tracks such as 'start//end' giving some indication as to the patient, singular dream-pop sound expected from Vertigo.
Clip via EDEN
Fall Out Boy
Who? Fearless emo veterans with arguable notions.
What? The album is called M A N I A. Seriously, that's how they're styling it.
When? 19 January
Story so far? Overrated in some corners and underrated in others, Fall Out Boy press on regardless.
We've already heard a decent chunk of their seventh album, with everything from EDM-flecked gloss ('Young And Menace') to awkward anthems ('Champion') to hurl-it-all-at-the-wall heroics ('The Last Of The Real Ones') on display.
In other words, it's another Fall Out Boy album.
Clip via FallOutBoyVEVO
First Aid Kit
Who? Winsome Swedish folk duo.
What? Ruins is the fourth album from First Aid Kit.
When? 19 January
Story so far? First Aid Kit have been making 'em swoon since the turn of the decade with beautiful melodies and clever, intimate songwriting. Look for that to continue in winning fashion.
Clip via FirstAidKitVEVO
Who? You know the name.
What? The Time Is Now marks his seventh studio album.
Yes, Craig David (almost) has seven albums.
When? 26 January
Story so far? Is there a more successful - and cruel - example of a parody utterly destroying someone's career than Avid Merrion's Bo Selecta! smackdown of Craig David?
And yet, somehow, CD pushes on. Well, he was born to do it, after all...
Clip via CraigDavidVEVO
Who? Experimental art-rock outfit whose lead singer hails from Derry.
What? Third album Marble Skies.
When? 26 January
Story so far? Having burst onto the scene with the infectious 'Default' at the beginning of 2012, Django Django have maintained a steady enough presence since.
Marble Skies may not break much in the way of new ground, but it retains a sense of defiant mystery.
Clip via Django Django
Who? "A gifted actor" who has appeared in "diverse films including ALPHA DOG, BLACK SNAKE MOAN and SHREK THE THIRD", according to his latest press release. Also a noted song and dance man.
What? Man of the Woods, the first new Justin Timberlake album in five years.
When? 2 February
Story so far? Once a shining star at the very top tier of pop, JT flew too close to the sun with double album project The 20/20 Experience.
Man of the Woods appears, on the surface at least, to be a tale of two Timberlakes; the funky adventurer heard above on divisive lead-off track 'Filthy', and a more country-flavoured troubadour who proudly pens songs with names like 'Flannel' and 'Livin' Off The Land'.
If nothing else, it promises to be a fascinating first listen.
Clip via justintimberlakeVEVO
Who? Former NME darlings, current new wave enthusiasts.
What? Always Ascending follows on from 2013's Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.
When? 9 February
Story so far? It might be unfair to suggest that Franz Ferdinand were never better than their self-titled breakthrough, but them's the breaks. For the record, that album really holds up.
Later efforts would prove less engaging, however, and though the tracks released from their upcoming fifth studio full-length are punchy enough, expect business as usual from the Scots.
Clip via franzferdinandVEVO
Various Artists: Black Panther OST
Who? Black Panther marks a pretty huge cultural moment for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as a predominantly black cast and crew seize the spotlight.
What? That extends to the soundtrack, with Kendrick Lamar entrusted to curate and produce.
When? 9 February, one week prior to the film hitting the big screen.
Story so far? Music has often felt like an afterthought in the MCU, so it's interesting to see if Kendrick really wants to leave a mark or if he's just picking up an easy cheque.
Early signs are good - 'All The Stars' is a fun, if slight bedroom jam on which SZA steals the show, and the latest TV spot teases a fresh team-up between Kendrick and Vince Staples. Promising.
Clip via KendrickLamarVEVO
Who? One of the best bands of recent times.
What? The last stand of one of the best bands of recent times.
When? 16 February
Story so far? Wild Beasts have officially called it a day. It's a shame, but they did it their way.
Last Night All My Dreams Came True is the farewell offering; a 13-track career retrospective freshly recorded live in-studio that catches Wild Beasts "as tight and slick" as they have ever been.
Clip via WildBeastsVEVO
Who? The Wombats.
What? You remember The Wombats, don't you? Late 2000s sugary indie-rock. They're back.
When? Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life on 9 February.
Story so far? You kinda root for The Wombats, given their plucky resurgence from the dreaded British indie landfill of that aforementioned era.
They're like a tolerable version of The Vaccines. Sort of.
Clip via The Wombats
Who? Leader of The Frames and busking enthusiast.
What? Third solo album Between Two Shores.
When? 19 February
Story so far? A seasoned veteran, Glen Hansard has done it all, winning plaudits, awards and fans seemingly wherever he goes.
His next move is inspired by an ongoing love of sailing and the sea, so don't rule out the odd pirate shanty, then.
Clip via antirecords
Who? Arresting Bray trio, fond of harmonies.
What? Long-awaited self-titled debut album proper.
When? 23 February
Story so far? It's been a steady and patient rise for Wyvern Lingo, with their first album following a couple of strong EPs and numerous notable live outings.
The official release of 'Wyvern Lingo' also kicks off a lengthy nationwide and European tour.
Clip via Wyvern Lingo
Who? Stylish dude behind that amazing theme tune for the Bourne films.
What? Everything Was Beautiful And Nothing Hurt.
When? 3 March
Story so far? Despite arguably peaking creatively and commercially with Play in 1999, Moby still has things to say, as evidenced by a fifteenth studio album.
Clip via Moby
Who? David Byrne!
What? David bloody Byrne! The Talking Heads supremo is set to release American Utopia, his first solo album in 13 years.
When? 9 March
Story so far? American Utopia is one part of a larger multimedia project entitled 'Reasons to Be Cheerful', which aims for happiness and optimism in the face of political and environmental strife.
So, just the tonic we need for 2018, then. 'Everybody's Coming To My House' materialised out of thin air this week, and brings the final recordings of one David Bowie to mind.
Byrne has recruited an interesting cast of contributors for his upcoming record, including Oneohtrix Point Never (who provided great work on last year's Robert Pattinson-led Good Time) and one-time British indie hopeful Jack Peñate.
Clip via David Byrne
Manic Street Preachers
Who? Enduring, sometimes socially-conscious Welsh rock three-piece.
What? 13th studio album Resistance Is Futile.
When? 6 April
Story so far? Having banded 'Together Stronger' to cheer Wales into the semi-finals of Euro 2016, the Manics are back for yet another round of rousing alt-rock.
Though a resilient enough musical force, they sound like a tired pub band on 'International Blue', so perhaps temper those expectations.
Clip via ManicStPreachersVEVO
Who? Four lads from Sheffield done good.
What? The follow-up to 2013's AM.
When? Yet to be announced, but bassist Nick O'Malley says it's on the way.
Story so far? A much-needed break followed the AM tour - and Alex Turner's weird "rock and roll, maaaan" speech at the 2014 Brit Awards - and it appears that Arctic Monkeys are finally back and ready to take back their throne - they've just confirmed a headline slot at an American festival in June.
Expect a rollicking lead single by, oh I don't know, May.
Who? New York art-pop artistes.
What? The fourth Vampire Weekend album, which boasts the working title of Mitsubishi Macchiato.
When? Good question, but hopefully soon enough.
Story so far? Frontman Ezra Koenig said in September that the album is "80% done" so that's a good sign.
Less encouraging is the departure of Rostam Batmanglij, but everyone is still friends and Rostam has apparently been involved to some degree.
2013's Modern Vampires of the City is a modern classic, so the pressure is definitely on here.
Who? Neon-drenched Irish electro overlords.
What? Pleasure marks the first Le Galaxie feature-length widescreen motion picture engagement since 2015's Le Club.
When? TBA, though March looks likely.
Story so far? With former Fight Like Apes force of nature MayKay joining the band full-time and a fresh record deal inked Stateside, things are looking rosy in the Le Galaxie camp.
New single 'Day Of The Child' should arrive before January is dust.
Clip via LeGalaxieTV
Who? Choice Prize-winning Dubliners with a penchant for upbeat/wistful indie.
What? The fifth Delorentos album is presently without a name.
Story so far? Following their Choice Music Prize triumph with Little Sparks, the Delos lads opted for an even mix of radio-friendly numbers and thoughtful deep cuts.
Expect less of the former and more of the latter at the fifth time of asking.
Clip via delorentos music
My Bloody Valentine
Who? Shoegaze pioneers responsible for arguably the greatest Irish album ever.
What? That album is 1991's Loveless. M B V followed some 22 years later. Frontman Kevin Shields has pretty much guaranteed that 2018 will see a new record.
When? No date as of now, but that "one hundred percent" quote means it can't be long. Right?
Story so far? Where to begin? The story behind Loveless' recording process alone is worth a book or two in and of itself.
Short version, My Bloody Valentine are one of the most particular acts in music history, and their output is as unrivalled as it is unique.
There's no real 'pressure' to speak of here, but it's seriously intriguing to hear what the album after 'the one after Loveless' might sound like.
Who? American psych-rock pair with incredible surnames.
What? Fourth album Little Dark Age.
Story so far? Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser are victims of the 'too much, too soon' thing, having rocketed to fame on the back of the still-fantastic 'Time To Pretend' and 'Kids'.
Later material wasn't so engaging, but the clutch of singles so far are all up to interesting, experimental scratch.
Clip via MGMTVEVO
A Perfect Circle
Who? The alt-rock side project of Tool mastermind Maynard James Keenan.
What? The first A Perfect Circle album since 2004.
Story so far? We're probably never getting another Tool album as long as we live, so it's nice to have A Perfect Circle back in the wild.
That said, the lead-off tracks are sprawling enough. Here's hoping.
Clip via APerfectCircleVEVO
Who? A bit of a genius, really.
What? There's another album ready to go, allegedly.
When? Your guess is as good as mine.
Story so far? Endless and Blonde proved well worth the super-long wait, and Frank was prolific by his standards in 2017, dropping tracks at random via his Blonded Radio show on Apple Music.
Ever the enigma, Ocean intimated via his Tumblr account that he's sitting on another album, ready to put it out whenever he feels like it. Please don't take another four years, thanks.
Who? The supercharged project of Claire Boucher.
What? The follow-up to 2015's Art Angels is currently in the works.
Story so far? Grimes has blazed quite the trail since 'Oblivion' made its way into everyone's ears back in 2012 - it even wound up on an Eircom ad.
Her last visit to Dublin resulted in technical difficulties of the electric shock variety, such is the sheer size and scope of her art. Boucher has teased on social media that a new album is imminent.
What? Turbo Grafx 16 is the working title. Look for that to change. A lot.
Story so far? Kanye West plays by his own rules, which includes changing tracks on existing albums so who knows when, or indeed if, he'll release the follow-up to 2016's The Life of Pablo.
Yeezy had planned to put out another album before now, and various bits and pieces have surfaced online. Still, you really only know what you're getting with Kanye when he finally officially unveils something. And even then...
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