50 Albums We're Excited To Hear In 2017
50 Albums We're Excited To Hear In 2017

50 Albums We're Excited To Hear This Year

50 Albums We're Excited To Hear In 2017

We don't have to tell you that 2016 might have been one of the most impactful years of music in recent memory. You heard the work. You weighed in. You, like the rest of us, are still shaking it off.

But as we creep into the year of the orange blob, it dawned on us that if 2017 is to live up to its potent predecessor, there's considerable ground to cover. And quickly. Lest we forget, at this time last year we had a clear-cut contender for MVP (Malibu.) This one's off to steadier start, but by week's end we could have this year's equivalent.

You don't have to look too deep into the crystal ball to see 2017's got more than a chance. As it turns out, if all goes according to plan (it never does) this lap round the sun could prove to be just as overwhelming for heads and their hearts, with rumored projects from GZA, Earl Sweatshirt, Joey Bada$$ and the gamut of hip-hop's most revered MCs and producers across the generational divide. Who knows, we could even get the now mythical DOOMSTARKS project by the time the ball drops on the year.

Hell, the confirmed projects alone are enough to get us giddy. All of The Internet's moving parts are slated to release respective solo records, Stones Throw's readying their next soul stunner in Gabriel Garzón-Montano's debut full-length, while long-delayed projects from Sampha, SZAKehlani, Dirty Projectors and Nelly Furtado are all landing square in the middle of Q1, sustaining the infinite stretch of r&b's boundaries. Throw in potential showings from Kanye West, Travis Scott and G.O.O.D. Music, and you've got all the makings of another stellar year in music just a few months in.

The following pages compile all we know about these most anticipated albums of 2017. That TBD section is extensive, but we're hoping to fill in the lines as details arrive throughout the remainder of the year. Flip through and get an early peek at what's ahead and brace yourself for another year of excellence from go-to's and newcomers alike.


The Internet's Matt Martians Announces Debut Solo Album 'The Drum Chord Theory'

Matt Martians - The Drum Chord Theory

January 27th

Part one of The Internet's piece-by-piece proliferation will arrive January 27th  by way of the group's producer and key player. But if we're to go by the bustling bedroom-produced feel of "Diamond in da Ruff," this will not be the radio-ready outing anticipated from lil sis. Martians is after the crew's A1s, fans drawn to the smokey melodies and perfected minimalism of Ego Death. Only this time he's manning the mothership.

50 Albums We're Excited To Hear In 2017

Migos - C U L T U R E

January 27th

On the strength of their Donald Glover-endorsed, conquer-all single alone, Migos has manifested, seemingly overnight, into the cultural force their album title and cover tease. Throw in a sure-shot nominee for video-of-the-year, and C U L T U R E, like its lead-off smash, is destined for the top spot, no questions asked.

50 Albums We're Excited To Hear In 2017


January 27th

Now a household name, Kehlani's major label debut, like a few records on this list from artists of equal profile, is almost too big too fail. Anchored by raunchy riffs and the Bay Area singer's cool and confident glow, SWEETSEXYSAVAGE is poised to live up to its name and establish Kehlani as a presence beyond the PBR&B sphere.

Hear Gabriel Garz\u00f3n-Montano's Dreamy, Uplifting New Song "The Game"

Gabriel Garzón-Montano - Jardin

January 27th

The Stones Throw debut of Gabriel Garzón-Montano is one we've been keeping tabs on for a minute. With a trio of lush and lucid soul numbers leading the charge and a brimming resumé of subterranean successes, Garzón-Montano's full-length should be on everyone's radar. Don't be surprised if his 2017 bears a glaring resemblance to .Paak's 2016.


50 Albums We're Excited To Hear In 2017

Big Sean - I Decided

February 3rd

One of G.O.O.D. Music's most consistent young guns strikes back this winter with his fourth studio album, anchored by the certified gold, Metro Boomin-powered single "Bounce Back." And while the second and third tier of singles haven't been quite as gripping as the first, Sean's last two records revealed sleepers galore beyond the promo push. That alone's enough to have us hooked until launch day at the very least.

50 Albums We're Excited To Hear In 2017

Sampha - Process

February 3rd

On the heels of his most visible year to date, contributing to best-of-2016 projects from Solange, Frank Ocean and Kanye West, Sampha incepting his way into your musical palette. A debut album from the affectionate, weathered vocalist has been in and out of the works for roughly three years with few, if any, clues as to what could be expected as follow-up to his critic and pedestrian approved Dual EP. But "Blood On Me" and "(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano" are here and serve as stunningly intimate portraits of a soft-spoken recluse on the verge of his big moment. And it seems he's ready for it.

Here's Our First-Take Listen To Syd's "Fin" Album

Syd - Fin

February 3rd

As The Internet's leading lady, Syd's likely the most readily-identifiable piece of this prolific puzzle of a production team/band/squad. But for her first solo project, she's slipping away from the group's electric r&b palette, stepping into the world of big, clean productions a la "All About Me" and the new grown and sexy anthem, "Body." It's all about grabbing new ears for Syd, and Fin seems to be a necessary and proper means of getting to them, sophisticated and swaggering straight through.

The Energy At This Year's Camp Flog Gnaw Was Absolutely Insane Photo by Vickey Ford (SneakShot) for Okayplayer.


February 3rd

2016 commenced on rocky ground for TDE's First Lady. Label troubles and creative anxieties almost derailed a career just easing into its sweet spot. So when the siren rang and signaled SZA's return with a grip of private shows and a stud single, we were happy to learn that the raspy r&b queen was back on track to deliver her debut full-length project. What shape it'll take has yet to be revealed, but with as many features as she's gifted artists over the years, a little reciprocation is both necessary and proper. Exciting time in the Top Dawg camp.

Dirty Projectors Announce Self-Titled Album, Share Glitchy and Nostalgic New Single "Up In Hudson"

Dirty Projectors - Self-Titled

February 10th

A group that once comprised a legion of pop experimentalists is now down to a lone scientist, but Dirty Projectors' forthcoming self-titled album isn't nearly as thin as its roster. The swells of nostalgia in "Up In Hudson" and the lo-fi lonerism of "Little Bubble" prove a one-man-show (Dave Longstreth) to be as rich, emotionally and musically, as any Dirty Projectors outing.

50 Albums We're Excited To Hear In 2017

Sinkane - Life & Livin It

February 10th

New year, new groove from the London transplant. The follow-up to 2014's Mean Love was announced with the arrival of "Telephone," a pristinely clean two-stepper that promises extra polish and potency in this next batch of funk and boogie explorations.

"I'm Officially Not Releasing Anymore Music. Albums Cancelled\u201d - Lupe Fiasco

Lupe Fiasco - DROGAS Light

February 10th

Some records don't pique your interests based on their potential for success. Some records are that car already wobbling down the freeway at 80mph chipping away at its body as it speeds to imminent doom. Sadly, with two pop-leaning singles that landed way off the mark, DROGAS Light seems to be that car. And we're just holding up traffic trying to catch a glimpse.

Jonwayne Announces New Project 'Rap Album Two', Shares Tranquil Single "Out of Sight"

Jonwayne - Rap Album Two

February 17th

The Stones Throw alum occupies rare space in the rap world. Part dynamo, part weirdo, part label chief, part et al. Now sober and with renewed purpose, his sequel to 2013's Rap Album One, is marked by new trajectory and musical depth, readily-apparent on the album's tranquil lead-off "Out Of Sight." If the rest of the project stacks up, Rap Album Two may be one of 2017's quietest victories.

Maggie Rogers has another hit on her hands.

Maggie Rogers - Now That the Light Is Fading

February 17th

The girl who nearly brought Pharrell to tears has been stirring up buzz in a big way throughout the last year. Her breakout single "Alaska" is still getting heavy rotations, now as an auxiliary cut next to "On + Off" and "Dog Years," each delivering a new shade in the young songwriter's arsenal. We'll see how many tears are shed over her debut.

Stream Oddisee's New Instrumental Album 'The Odd Tape'

Oddisee - The Iceberg

February 24th

It took two years for Oddisee to resurface in the wake of 2013's brilliant Tangible Dream. But ever since, he's been as prolific as they get, doing it all and doing it damn-well as both MC and producer. With three stellar albums out in less than two years, the dynamo has little left to prove. But that won't stop him from giving your favorite rappers a run for their check.

Anderson .Paak, NAO + Chance The Rapper Ether The 2016 Pitchfork Music Festival

Thundercat - Drunk 

February 24th

When Brainfeeder announced a new solo album from their resident bass sage late last year, the shape and scope of the project was difficult to pinpoint. The last few years have seen him lend low-end theories to Kendrick Lamar,Ab-Soul, I CED, Terrace Martin and damn-near anyone that wanted a piece, but Thundercat's follow-up to 2015's acclaimed mini-LP, The Beyond/Where The Giants Roam, could outshine them all, linking with lifelong yacht rock heroes like Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald on "Show You The Way" and promising guest spots from Kendrick Lamar and Pharrell on a 23-track epic.

Karriem Riggins Will Sleep When He's Dead: The Stones Throw Producer on a Prolific Year [Interview]

Karriem Riggins - Head-Nod Suite

February 24th

Another one from from the Stones Throw camp. Riggins, the principal producer behind Common's stirringly poignant Black America Again, will follow his 2012 solo debut Alone Together, with another near-30 track suite. One that, judging by its title, might leave you soar in the neck from the seismic swing only a drummer can wield.


50 Albums We're Excited To Hear In 2017

Valerie June - The Order of Time

March 10th

Though it's been a minute (roughly four years) since we last caught up with her, frequent readers of these pages need no intro to this Tennessee songbird. And with two stone-cold blues-infused cuts leading the march towards her fourth full-length studio album, it's clear no steps were lost along the way.

50 Albums We're Excited To Hear In 2017

Chaz Bundick Meets The Mattson 2  - Star Stuff 

March 31st

The Toro y Moi frontman has been dying to scratch his psych-rock itch for years now. And with his latest project, a collaborative effort with brothers in blood and arms, The Mattson 2, Bundick will get to shoot his shot. The title-track, "Star Stuff," not just for its Lebowski-channelling aesthetic, already feels like a big step towards that end; as much a departure from the duo's jazzy ways as Bundick's pop and electronic experiments.

50 Albums We're Excited To Hear In 2017

Nelly Furtado - The Ride

March 31st

Then there's the curious case of Nelly Furtado, who hasn't released an album since 2012, but has been spotted in-session with Dev Hynes and David Byrne as of late. For her sixth studio album, Furtado's going indie, and has the imprint to prove it. In a recent interview, she explained that much of the album was recorded at the helm of heralded producer/engineer, John Congleton, making this one of the year's most oddly compelling offerings in theory alone.


Father John Misty Jabs at Right-Wing Ignorance With Scathing "Pure Comedy"

Father John Misty - Pure Comedy 

April 7th

On his 2015 release, Father John Misty pulled at political and cultural threads with grace and an uncommon bite. His follow-up to the critically-adored I Love You, Honeybear promises to carry a more cutting tone, taking aim at current affairs with hallmark snark and sarcasm, woven into thick tapestries of psychedelic folk and sprawling rock balladry. The title track says it all.


And now for some wishful, albeit informed, thinking. Below you'll find strictly rumored projects and their tentative titles, some more likely than others to actually materialize. Keep your head on a swivel for more details. They're arriving steady by the day. Also, be sure to peep the playlist below with all of the tracks in these pages. A little primer on all that lays ahead.

Amber Coffman - City Of No Reply

Chic - It's About Time

Drake - More Life

Earl Sweatshirt




Joey Bada$$

Kanye West - TurboGrafx16


King Krule

LCD Soundsystem

Lil B - Black Ken 

Lil Wayne - The Carter V

Lil Yachty - Teenage Emotions


Mac DeMarco


Nick Hakim - Green Twins

Pusha T


Raekwon - The Wild 

Sky Ferreira - Masochism

St. Vincent

Starchild & The New Romantic

Steve Lacy


Travis Scott - Astroworld


Zack de la Rocha