Most Anticipated of 2018: #1 Chance the Rapper Gives Us a Reason to Smile

Over the past two years, Chance the Rapper has maintained such a presence in the cultural zeitgeist, both as an artist and activist, that it almost feels like Coloring Book just dropped. Chance’s third mixtape still feels just as fresh and hopeful as it did upon its 2016 release, but that won’t stop us from wanting more.

In truth, now is the perfect time for Chance to strike again. His carefree and optimistic demeanor elevate him above the greater hip hop narrative and provide him with a unique voice – one that would be quite welcome as we enter another year. Throw in his passion for social justice and his quest to elevate the voices of the youth, and we might just end up with the album that 2018 needs most.

With his cultural cache at an obvious high, another surprise Chance mixtape might be just the positive fodder the internet needs to distract us from the daily flood of dread. Until then, we’ll just keep pressing repeat on “All We Got”.

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Most Anticipated of 2018: #3 Pianos Become the Teeth Wait for Love

If you saw my latest event piece on mewithoutYou, you’ll know about one of my favorite bands: Pianos Become the Teeth. Their last album was released in 2014 and was called Keep You. It’s an album that has meant a lot to me over the past few years and I’ve had the privilege of hearing most of the songs played live. However, I was feeling that it was about time that I had some new songs to cry to. Thankfully, the band is releasing a new album, Wait for Love, on February 16, 2018.

As glad as I am that I’ll get new Pianos tunes, I’m hoping that they’ll be slightly more upbeat. Keep You dealt heavily with the theme of loss and I hope that the band members are having a better season in their life. That seemed to be the idea in their single, “Charisma”.

In listening to the new song, it seems that the band plans to keep the same clean vocal style on Keep You, but since we’ve only got one song to go off of, we’ll see whether they stick with that idea. Musically, though, it sits right in between all of their albums, and I’m very excited for the new approach. The video is interesting as well – the band isn’t featured at all, it’s more of a videographic trip through a city.

You can preorder Wait for Love now on Bandcamp. It was produced by Will Yip for Epitaph Records.

by Nadia Paiva

kiel_hauckNadia Paiva has been a music enthusiast since she can remember. Going to shows is her main pastime. The other is being upset when she can’t go to shows. This is her first official venture into writing about music. You can follow her on Twitter.

Most Anticipated of 2018: #4 Chvrches Turn Up the Pop

As synth-pop continued bleeding back into the mainstream in 2017, it’s almost hard to believe that we didn’t hear from Chvrches. The Glasgow-based trio delivered a sophomore effort for the ages in 2015 with Every Open Eye, capitalizing on every strength the band displayed on their debut.

It appears that we won’t have to wait long to find out what comes next. Near the end of the year, vocalist Lauren Mayberry began sharing details about the third Chvrches album, set to drop sometime this year. The biggest news is that the band decided to work with famed pop producer Greg Kurstin instead of self-producing. The result is the band’s “most pop” work to date, according to Mayberry.

That’s saying a lot, considering the band’s knack for melody. Mayberry has consistently excelled in the juxtaposition of her cheery delivery and her fiery words. If Chvrches’ third album is another step forward in pop progression, go ahead and pencil it in as being one of the top releases of 2018.

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

Most Anticipated of 2018: #5 Can Moose Blood Still Do This (Anymore)?

In my opinion, there are two perfect pop punk bands: The Wonder Years and Moose Blood. It’s been a while since we’ve heard from either, but Moose Blood is set to return with a new album called I Don’t Think I Can Do This Anymore. Set to release on March 9, we’ve received a single (and video) called “Talk In Your Sleep”. I’m not sure whether it’s possible to create another I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time to Time (their 2014 release), but so far they’ve managed to match the length of the title, so that’s promising.

“Talk In Your Sleep” isn’t overly different for the Moose Blood guys. If anything, it’s on the same level as I’ll Keep You In Mind. This isn’t a surprise, as they rarely break the mold, and personally, I think that’s what makes them work so well. They’ve found a groove and stuck with it and yet still have some semblance of growth on each album. They’ve found that perfect balance of keeping everyone guessing but never straying too far from the path of success.

The video for the song seems to be an artistic continuity of the Blush era of the band – light colors and minimalist subject matter. Blush was almost a concept album, lyrically, mostly dwelling on the lead singer’s (then) recent marriage. I’m excited to see how these developments have musically influenced the band or whether they’ll touch on them at all.

by Nadia Paiva

kiel_hauckNadia Paiva has been a music enthusiast since she can remember. Going to shows is her main pastime. The other is being upset when she can’t go to shows. This is her first official venture into writing about music. You can follow her on Twitter.

Most Anticipated of 2018: #6 The Fratellis Take Their Sweet Time

The release of a new album from The Fratellis always feels like an event. While it’s an expectation to find popping guitars and bounds of energy, each release isn’t afraid to experiment away from rewriting “Chelsea Dagger”. Their new album, In Your Own Sweet Time seems to be keeping this tradition alive.

Leads singles, “The Next Time We Wed” and “Stand Up Tragedy” take the focus off of rock and hone in a poppier dance beat. The sound doesn’t differ significantly from The Fratellis’ past work, but lays a bouncing beat of guitar and drum effects that feel at home in a dark pub.

Each release has added a bit more of a bluesy influence that tampers the band’s spiraling guitar work and lyricism. In Your Own Sweet Time is sure to continue the band’s progression of being the most famous underappreciated band around. If you listen to this album without a pint in your hand, it’s a disservice to us all.

by Kyle Schultz

kyle_catKyle Schultz is the Senior Editor at It’s All Dead and has worked as a gaming journalist at Structure Gaming. He lives in Chicago and fell in love with the Blackhawks partially because “Chelsea Dagger” was their theme song. He’s followed The Fratellis since 2006 and obsesses over every line of every album, year after year like a zilch.

Most Anticipated of 2018: #7 Kanye West Returns to the Throne

I’m placing Kanye West on this list knowing full well what history has taught us. The lead-ups to Kanye albums are notoriously mysterious and filled with confusion. I have no idea if Yeezus will bless us with new music this year, and neither do you. But that won’t stop me from clicking down endless conspiracy theory rabbit holes and getting myself excited without a shred of concrete evidence.

Here’s what we do know: Kanye and Kid Cudi’s reconciliation last summer allegedly led the duo to Japan for a private recording session. G.O.O.D. Music teased us with a new and suspiciously blank Soundcloud account at the end of December. Multiple tweets and Instagram posts from involved parties appeared to hint at a New Year’s Eve release, which obviously didn’t come to pass, but then again, when is the last time a Kanye album arrived on time?

Whether we receive a Kanye/Cudi collab, a potential Cruel Winter collection from G.O.O.D. Music, or a full-blown Kanye West follow up to 2016’s The Life of Pablo, odds are, something is dropping early in 2018. Will there be frustrations along the way? Of course. But if it leads to another potential hip hop masterpiece, we’ll deal with the hiccups as they come.

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

Most Anticipated of 2018: #8 Say Anything Speak Up

I won’t lie: I haven’t been a big fan of Say Anything’s last couple of albums. Upon initial release, I will fan-geek out for a hot minute before moving along. That doesn’t mean I respect them any less or don’t obsess about the next thing Max Bemis touches.

Say Anything is one of the most unique bands around. I recently saw the band perform on their In Defense of the Genre 10th anniversary tour. Any feeling I had that perhaps they had lost some of their inspiration was tossed away by an absolutely killer performance. The confidence and power behind them was nothing short of awe-inspiring.

So far, the only hint of the band’s new album is Bemis’ description of it being “super fucked up.” While this could be a bad thing, I am incredibly intrigued nonetheless. The energy of their recent tour was proof of a band at the top of their game. If even half of that was forged into the new record, there is potential for a new album to look forward to seeing an anniversary event for in 10 years time.

by Kyle Schultz

kyle_catKyle Schultz is the Senior Editor at It’s All Dead and has worked as a gaming journalist at Structure Gaming. He lives in Chicago and takes any chance to have a conversation about Max Bemis and Say Anything at every opportunity.

Most Anticipated of 2018: #9 The 1975 Cruise into Another Album Cycle

Ever since their debut in 2013, The 1975 have wowed music fans everywhere with their unique expression of pop rock music. They’ve been teasing us for months now about a project called Music for Cars, and after what they accomplished with 2016’s i like it when you sleep for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it, I’m psyched.

The 1975 never fail to impress when it comes to their experimental view of music and they’ve managed to grow their sound in exciting ways across their first two albums. The band hasn’t given us anything but a title and a potential release date for their third full-length, but that doesn’t mean the buzz will cease. Everyone is excited for the new soundscapes Matty Healy and company have created for us.

The album title is also the name of an EP the band released in 2013, which leads me to believe that they’re returning to their roots. Hopefully they’ll expand on that theme a bit more, because even though I loved i like it when you sleep, I enjoyed the musical direction they took in their first album.

Music for Cars is to be released on both Dirty Hit and Polydor. There’s no preorder, no singles, no videos. Just high expectations. In the meantime, you can listen to the live album they just put out called DH00278.

by Nadia Paiva

kiel_hauckNadia Paiva has been a music enthusiast since she can remember. Going to shows is her main pastime. The other is being upset when she can’t go to shows. This is her first official venture into writing about music. You can follow her on Twitter.

Most Anticipated of 2018: #10 Architects Press Onward

Last year proved to be one of reflection and recovery for many in the heavy music scene, as fans mourned the 2016 loss of Architects’ founding guitarist and songwriter Tom Searle. In September, the British metalcore act released “Doomsday”, their first track since Searle’s passing, serving as a farewell to their brother and a notice that they intend to carry on.

While it was hard to imagine Architects without Tom in the near aftermath of his passing, it’s even harder to think of one of the genre’s best bands hanging it up. It’s true – things won’t be the same without Tom, but Architects have shown themselves time and again to possess the kind of talent and drive needed to push the boundaries of the genre. Whatever comes next from the band will be welcomed with open arms.

And certainly, after 2017 proved to be worse than most of us imagined, the blistering voice of Sam Carter would be music to our ears. Even aside from their musical prowess, Architects’ penchant for battling against the voices of privilege, wealth, and oppression in our world have become one of the band’s hallmarks. If ever there was a time for punk music to land a blow amidst our current state of affairs, the time is now.

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

Most Anticipated Music of 2018

Another new year has arrived, and as always, we’re eagerly awaiting what’s ahead. While 2017 may not have been the best year on record by any stretch, there was certainly plenty of good music to keep us company along the way. We’ve got a feeling 2018 could be even better.

As always, our most anticipated albums aren’t locked in with release dates, cover art, or promotional singles just yet. This is just our wish list for the coming year. Several of the albums on our list will almost certainly see the light of day in 2018, but a few are shots in the dark, and if they actually arrive? Well, we’ll take full credit.

Take a look below and see if you’re just as stoked as we are about what’s to come in 2018. Check back each day as we continue to add to our list, and as always, comment and let us know what your most anticipated music is for the coming year!

10. Architects Press Onward

9. The 1975 Cruise into Another Album Cycle

8. Say Anything Speak Up

7. Kanye West Returns to the Throne

6. The Fratellis Take Their Sweet Time

5. Can Moose Blood Still Do This (Anymore)?

4. Chvrches Turn Up the Pop

3. Pianos Become the Teeth Wait for Love

2. Real Friends Take it to the Next Level

1. Chance the Rapper Gives Us a Reason to Smile