Years from now, you’ll be taking a bullet train to your job designing fashionable safety gear for quad-copter jetpack pilots, and a song will pop up as you listen to a playlist on your phone/wallet/tricorder that will fill you with nostalgia. You’ll remember with crystal clarity the moment you first heard it while you were cramming late at night, or maybe it will bring back a flood of memories of that amazing year at CU.
That song hasn’t come out yet, but here’s a glimpse into what the future holds in store.
De La Soul
And The Anonymous Nobody (Aug. 26)
Hip-hop heavyweights De La Soul are set to release their new record via Rough Trade on Aug. 26. The new album marks De La Soul’s first venture into crowdsourcing. “And The Anonymous Nobody” was funded by a kickstarter campaign that reached its goal of $110,000 in under 10 hours. In return for the record’s enormous support, De La Soul has crafted a 67-minute epic featuring artists Jill Scott, Snoop Dogg, David Byrne, Usher, 2 Chainz, Damon Albarn and more. We’ll see if this experiment pays off when “And The Anonymous Nobody” comes out in full.
My Woman (Sept. 2)
“Burn Your Fire for No Witness” was a top spot on many 2014 end-of-the-year lists. Since then, Angel Olsen has been creating “My Woman.” There’s enormous pressure against Olsen, but it looks like she’s going to deliver. Singles “Shut Up Kiss Me” and “Intern” are less low-fi than her previous releases but still hold that signature Angel Olsen charm. The 2016 releases from bedroom-pop contemporaries Car Seat Headrest and Pity Sex were also better produced than their previous albums; both records were met with varying critical reception. I’m excited to see how “My Woman” sounds on Sept. 2.
Sunlit Youth (Sept. 9)
In a news release, Ryan Hahn says, “Forget about what we’ve done and what people expect. … We wanted all the new songs to have a different energy, to challenge ourselves to do something different each time.” The three released singles — “Fountain Of Youth,” “Villainy” and “Past Lives” — are a definite departure from the group’s previous releases. All of the past elements are there: soaring guitars, beautiful harmonies and frantic drumming, but the singles strike closer to pop songs than ever before. Will the Local Natives be able to keep their indie cred with “Sunlit Youth”? Only time will tell.
Shmilco (Sept. 9)
Wilco’s hilariously titled 10th album is slated for release at the top of September. The lead single “Locator” was released on wilcoworld.net in commemoration of the one-year anniversary of 2015’s “Star Wars.” The single sounds similar to tracks on “Star Wars”: weird guitar, Jeff Tweedy drawl and alt-country sensibilities. The record will be released on dBpm, Wilco’s self-run record label. We can expect Wilco to put out a solid record. Whether it will be as groundbreaking as “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” or “Sky Blue Sky” remains to be seen.
Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid (Sept. 16)
Ninja and Yolandi Visser are back with Die Antwoord’s fourth studio album. The leaked tracklist looks like the two are sticking to their brand of irreverent, badass, electronic rap. Track names like “BANANA BRAIN,” “RATS RULE,” “STOOPID RICH,” and “PEANUTBUTTER+JELLY” suggest that we will hear similar subject matter as 2014’s “Donker Mag” and 2012’s “Ten$ion.” Die Antwoord are simply continuing their path of world domination. They’ve received a lot of press recently for both their music and their role in the movie “Chappie.” “Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid” will definitely be an interesting release come September.
Preoccupations (Sept. 16)
After major public outcry over the name Viet Cong, the Calgary four-piece changed their name to Preoccupations. The visual style is largely the same — black and white photos, slightly creepy images and the post-punk tradition of using the Helvetica typeface for album covers. I’m super excited for this one. Viet Cong put on one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen and have definitely led the charge in 2016’s post-punk revival. We can expect angular guitar lines, tight drumming and monotone vocal delivery from Preoccupations’ self-titled album.
Ape in Pink Marble (Sept. 23)
“Ape in Pink Marble” will be the ninth studio release for Venezuelan-American Devandra Obi Banhart. Banhart’s records have always had a strong visual component. Devandra studied at the San Francisco Art Institute before pursuing music. “Mala” was a phenomenal record that married Latin music, bedroom pop and freak folk. I have high expectations for “Ape in Pink Marble,” and I hope I’m not disappointed.
Head Carrier (Sept. 30)
The Pixies are objectively one of the most important bands of the last 25 years. “Surfer Rosa” and “Doolittle” are two sides of a coin that has fed the alternative jukebox since 1988. “Head Carrier” reportedly has a song about Kim Deal, a founding member and recent ex-Pixie. Frank Black & Co. will definitely splash some waves with “Head Carrier,” but I’m not sure if they could redefine rock again.
Indie-rap mastermind Danny Brown will release a new record sometime before the end of 2016. In June, he put out a video called “When It Rain” that exploded on YouTube. The MC shared in a recent interview with Pitchfork that the new record will be heavily inspired by Talking Heads’ “Fear Of Music” and “Little Creatures,” and Radiohead’s “A Moon Shaped Pool.” With those influences and Brown’s rap prowess, it would be hard to put out a flop. Hopefully the new Danny Brown record won’t turn into a Frank Ocean scenario.
One thing’s for sure, when LCD Soundsystem puts out a new record, it will be a huge deal. The group, after supposedly calling it quits in 2014 with their Madison Square Garden gig (remember that?), recently announced a slew of festival appearances, tour dates and new recordings. The opinion is largely split on the dance-punkers’ return. Should LCD Soundsystem have stayed dead? If the new record disappoints, the dancefloor supergroup will lose all their credibility. If the new record is a success, LCD Soundsystem will once more live as kings. James Murphy penned a letter to LCD fans in regard to the reunion. In it, he states that he felt as though LCD Soundsystem wasn’t quite done yet. We’ll see about that.
It’s a long shot whether the Gorillaz will get their act together and release a new record in 2016. That being said, if the Gorillaz can once again release something on the scale of their self-titled first record, they could push hip-hop in a totally different direction. Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett haven’t released a record since 2011’s “The Fall.” As with LCD Soundsystem, the record had better be incredible or the Gorillaz simply won’t be relevant anymore.
Elijah Jarocki is Radio 1190’s music director. Read his “On Air Next” column every Thursday in the Daily, or online: coloradodaily.com/columnists