Due for release Feb. 1, "Gallipoli" will be the band’s fifth album. Singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Zach Condon’s indie-rock pet project has gained a reputation for its full, laid-back indie sound defined by international influences, and this album should be no different. On the band’s website, Condon tells the story of the album’s creation: its inception in his Brooklyn home on a time-tried Farfisa organ, a stint in a private studio in Berlin, a creative frenzy in the Italian countryside accompanied by several bandmates.
If the migratory narrative surrounding the album is any indication, these songs should contain influences from all over the map; the titular single, already available for listening, is a sonic tidal wave alive with atmospheric instrumentation that borrows from the old world and the new.
Avril Lavigne: "Head Above Water"
The artist, who last released an album back in 2013, is gearing up for a comeback this year. As if the revelation that the early 2000s pop-punk queen is still making music wasn’t enough, the new album will represent a huge stylistic turn for the artist: while Lavigne is known for the skate-punk persona and edgy pop-rock style that defined her early career, this album will be more mature — the first single, the album’s titular song, is a deeply personal ballad that has charted high on Christian radio stations.
SWMRS: "Berkeley’s on Fire"
The San Fran grunge-punk group garnered acclaim with its 2016 album, "Drive North"; this next release could give the group a chance to secure its place among the host of contemporary pop-punk artists who have evolved the genre from a teenage fad into something more complex and engaging. Based on the singles released so far, though, it seems that the band is keen to do more than solidify a reputation.
The songs are tinged with a poppy, electronic sound, giving us a glimpse of a highly evolved, dynamic sound. Will the rest of the album follow the same experimental trend, or will we see a return to the more traditional pop punk of "Drive North"? It’s hard to say. What’s certain, though, is that "Berkeley’s on Fire" will truly show us what this band is made of.
Hozier: "Wasteland, Baby!"
Hozier rose to fame with his critically-acclaimed EP featuring the hit single "Take Me to Church" back in 2013. His unique sound, slow pop with influence springing from blues and gospel, captured listeners around the world. But you probably remember all of that.
What some may not know is that the Irish singer-songwriter has been back in the studio, first releasing a short EP in 2018, and now preparing to release a second studio album later this year. For Hozier, the pressure is on to top his spectacularly romantic, nuanced first album, but none of that seems to phase him, as he releases singles that carry the same grace and gentle power that defined his earlier work.
Die Antwoord: 27
The eccentric South African duo will release what is to be its final album later this year. You might recognize the group from its outrageous music videos, its viral online presence or its international reputation. Or, you might not know them at all. Either way, tune in for the group's new release for a listen that will be everything but boring. The unmistakably intense, vulgar, electronic rave-rap isn’t for everyone.
But Die Antwoord is massively famous around the world for a good reason: whether you loathe it, love it or just don’t understand what’s going on, Die Antwoord is great at entertaining, and "27" is sure to deliver. True to form, the album won’t be released conventionally; 10 of the songs will be released as the soundtrack to a feature film the duo is working on, but the other 17? They’ll be “hidden in various places,” according to the band’s Twitter.