From Kendrick and Vince to Lorde and St Vincent, 2017 was one outstanding year for music. arguably the best year of music since 2011, and personally the best year for rap music ever. 2018 should be no different in terms of quality, a lot of big stars are due releases, a lot of up and comers could be set to jump into that next bracket of stardom. This is Viberant’s ones to watch for 2018.
Most obviously. Front man Matt Healy has been tweeting for a while about the bands third studio album Music For Cars. Healy tweeted ‘1st June’ which one can only assume is the release date of the album. I’m honestly expecting it to be one of the best albums of the year, something that not only defines them as the best of the current scene, but puts them in a conversation with the top bands of the decade. The album release will fall in line perfectly with festival season, I can see them headlining Reading & Leeds this year.
From one of the R&L headliners to another. Arctic Monkeys are one of the biggest Brit bands of all time with some absolutely phenomenal albums. They’ve been working on this album for over a year, possibly closer to two by the time it’s out. We haven’t heard much from them since 2014 so this is an exciting time for fans, again it all lines up perfectly for festival season so in all likelihood AM will be everywhere for the foreseeable.
Yes everyone our lord and saviour Frank Ocean will return with new music this year. He’s been teasing a release for a while stating “If you liked 2017, you’ll love 2018.” It could feature some of 2017 biggest tracks released by the man himself including Lens, Chanel, Provider and Biking. If not, Frank is more than capable to make an album without those tracks. Blonde was an absolutely stunning album, and if Frank can show evolution on top of it then we might just be looking at the best album of all time, no exaggeration.
Thankfully it’s been very quiet on the Kanye West front for over a year. He needed to get his own health in control and disappear for a while, but I feel this year he’ll be back. I think the time away will have done him wonders, his production skills will have improved if that even possible, and I have a feeling that time away will have been humbling, and perhaps great motivation for his next album. All we want from Kanye West in 2018 is for him to have happiness and good health, with a bit of luck a new album coincides with that.
The youngest artist on this list having just turned 16 in December, Billie Eilish is an American electropop artist who could very well be dropping a big project this year. At the age of 15 she released her debut EP, Don’t Smile at Me, it was met to very positive reviews and a lot of people have now pinned their hopes on this young talent to become of the leaders of the music scene for years and years to come.
Earl Sweatshirt was one of my only failures from my 2017 ones to watch, he was very quiet. I figured if I just put him on the list every year he HAS to drop an album eventually. He’s so ridiculously skilled, I think people sometimes forget because of how quiet he’s gone. When he does choose to release an album, I’m assuming it’ll be fantastic, it’s been so long that he’ll have improved as an artist. He was always better than Tyler when it came to out and out bars, nobody can rhyme like him, so hopefully he drops something for all of our sake’s.
There’s not many producers in the world quite like KAYTRANADA, he’s unique, clever and super cool. The man is an absolute genius, his next album (hopefully this year) will be an epic one. It’s always exciting because his production is that good, and it’s even more exciting when you think of the endless possibilities we could see in terms of interesting features for an album.
Late in 2017, Skepta dropped the Vicious EP, it was a fine enough release, nothing that will set the world alight though, I suspect he has something a lot bigger in the pipeline for 2018. He’s due an album, and I’m all but certain it’ll be this year, I think it’ll be feature heavy, both with his BBK family and some of the worlds biggest stars from across the pond, it could be very exciting and another major step forwards for the ever growing grime scene.
Please please please drop a solo album Rocky. Incredible artist, if he put his all into music he’d easily be one of the best rappers in the game, pushing top five. He has so much going on that at times music takes a back seat, but I feel like this year is finally the year, and I feel like it’ll be one of the best rap albums of the year. If I’m wrong and there is no album this year, then Rocky needs to let A$AP Ferg run the Mob from now on, he’s starting to hold them back.
In 2016 Noname dropped her debut mixtape Telefone to widespread critical acclaim, and whilst she isn’t the most well known rapper, she’s certainly one of the best. Her next project Room 25, will be released in 2018, I’m not entirely sure if it’s going to be a full length album or another mixtape, either way it’ll be a damn good project.
There’s 10 to watch for 2018. It’s going to be a wild year, I haven’t even mentioned some possibilities of a returning Chance the Rapper, the ever present Drake, and this year and last years XXL Freshmen. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a fun ride so let’s just sit back and enjoy it, happy new year!