At this moment it’s hard to believe that 2018 could be as good a year for music as 2017, such was the breadth and depth of brilliant albums released by female artists. Still this time last year I hadn’t even heard of many of the acts who ended up on my favourite albums list so I’m hoping for more hidden gems to surprise me over the next few months. Read on to find out who you might be listening to this year.
New Albums Definitely Confirmed
1. Belly – Dove
I am probably going to write a lot about Belly in 2018 but, hey, if one of your all time favourite bands releases a new album after a TWENTY FOUR YEAR wait then you would too. Out in May and you should preorder it on Pledge Music now.
2. Lindi Ortega – What A Girl’s Gotta Do
I backed this on Kickstarter and judging by the cover art alone this album is going to be another winner. After last year’s dramatic EP suggested the end of something, this album marks the beginning of a welcome new phase in Lindi’s musical career. A UK tour would be really welcome too.
3. First Aid Kit – Ruins
I’m a huge fan of this band and have been from the start. This is their first album not produced by Mike Mogis which might suggest a shift away from their indie country roots. Of the three songs released I’m most impressed with It’s A Shame, as perhaps the other two are a little too poppy and polished – hopefully they might work better in the context of the whole record. We don’t have to wait long to hear the album in full, as it’s out in a couple of weeks time.
4. Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour
The new album from Kacey promises to be a ‘trippy’ one and that certainly sounds like an interesting twist on the classic country of her last two albums. You feel she’s perfected the kitsch throwback vibe and now is her chance to evolve and become even more ambitious with her sound. This is no major departure though as her usual team of Nashville songwriters are involved. In the end whatever this girl sings will no doubt turn to gold.
Scotland’s finest young band are gearing up for a full on world take over, having been working with super producer Greg Kurstin on their new album due sometime this year. The potential of this band is infinite and it has been a privilege to see them grow and evolve over the last few years. I cannot wait to hear this new one, which they are saying is the most ‘pop’ thing they’ve done yet.
Other albums on the release schedule include a new one from lovely Alela Diane, Brandi Carlile (her single was chosen by President Obama on his 2017 playlist) and today Joan Baez has announced she is releasing her final album in March. Look out for reviews of these and much more in the next few months.
The Pistol Annies have been hinting at a possible album for a while now, especially after recording a song for the Don Williams tribute album last year. If it doesn’t happen then at least Ashley Monroe has confirmed her own solo album should be out this year, likely produced by Dave Cobb who has also been working on the Elle King and Amanda Shires new albums.
Natalie Prass released my favourite album of 2015 and the follow up was finished as early as April last year but no word of release dates yet. Spacebomb also delayed the release of Natalie’s debut album – they are a small label and seem to have a strategy to only focus on one artist at a time. It is frustrating for fans but I’m hopeful that album number two comes out soon and continues to build a fan base for her indie soul sweetness.
Lianne La Havas has been hinting at recording sessions on Twitter and since we haven’t heard from her since Blood, released in 2015 it would seem possible that she might have some new music for us in 2018.
When I reviewed the lost album released by PP Arnold last year there were rumours she might be recording a new album and it would be a real treat to hear new material from her after the success of The Turning Tide.
My favourite and constant inspiration Jenny Lewis posted up a picture on Instagram of a wall of new song lyrics, hinting at a follow up to The Voyager. She’s definitely been in Ryan Adams’ studio again as he confirmed on Instagram last year. Considering she’s been hanging out with Nikki Lane a lot and wearing Gram Parsons suits I’m hoping she has recorded that acoustic alt-country campfire record which she has so often flirted with. Although right now I would take any album, even another Nice As Fuck album would be awesome. Jenny we miss you, we love you and we need you in 2018.
What albums are you looking forward to or hoping to see in 2018? Let me know in the comments!