10 Electronic Dance Music Albums Expected to Slay in 2017
(Cover photo by Matt Andersen Photography)
Close your eyes. Recount a particular record that tells a story; in fact, your story — one with a beginning and end, a hero and monster. The art of narration is one element that separates mediocre melodies from magnificent compositions even for those who think EDM is laptop racket.
2016 was a banner year for the genre; deadmau5 released his W:/2016ALBUM/; Kygo unveiled his debut album Cloud Nine; Major Lazer solidified their spot as a household name with Music Is The Weapon; DJ Snake's long-awaited debut album Encore brought us hit collaborations with Skrillex and Justin Bieber; and Adventure Club also made their highly anticipated studio album debut, among other highlights.
But as we say goodbye to 2016, we're encouraged by what's on the horizon. Without further ado, let's talk 2017 and the most anticipated electronic dance music albums expected to arrive in the coming months.
2D, Murdoc Niccals, Noodle and Russel Hobbs are the four animated members of the British virtual band Gorillaz concocted in 1998 by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. Albarn started working on their anticipated 2017 album in Sept. 2015. It’s "really fuckin special" but "can’t be rushed" he said. Expect appearances from Vic Mensa, Liam Bailey and Jean Michel Jarre. Albarn's goal? 125 bpm or bust.
Considered some of "the Godfathers of Rave," The Prodigy is a pioneering big beat English group with beginnings that date back to 1990. They dropped their sixth studio album The Day Is My Enemy in 2015 as a pre-retirement gift to fans. Though they claim the 2015 album will stand as their last, they promise - at the very least - new EPs to come. So while this list entry is technically an EP as opposed to an album, fans are nonetheless highly anticipating new music from The Prodigy in 2017, which was recently confirmed in an announcement to Instagram. A hashtag hints at a potential EP title of "Champions of London" but with the advisory "#fuckknowswhatmonthsodontask."
Founding members Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft met while attending Elliott School aka the Ark Putney Academy at 15, the same institution that shaped Hot Chip, Burial, Four Tet and actor Pierce Brosnan. I See You, out Jan. 13, includes ten tracks with provocative names such as "I Dare You" and "Test Me." Four years ago, The xx released minimalistic Coexist and plans to continue maturing without abandoning their beloved insecure sound.
This 1980's electropop band widely known as Depeche Mode maintain a musical footprint centered around the use of synthesizers. Their 14th studio album, Spirit, will arrive spring 2017 with the Global Spirit Tour set to kick off in Stockholm on May 5. With a decorated track record including 70 music videos, 53 singles 13 studio albums, 13 video albums, 10 compilation albums, 8 box sets and 6 live albums, what’s one more LP in the scheme of things?
Los Angeles-based downtempo producer, Simon Green, prefers to take a hands-on approach wholly self-producing and instrumenting his albums. Bonobo's sixth studio, Migration, will land on January 13, 2017 and will be shaped by the 18-month span during which he wrote the album while on tour. On Dec. 8, Green and Rhye let the cat out of the bag with otherworldly visuals for "Break Apart." The lead single "Kerala" incorporates a vocal sample from R&B superstar Brandy. Remember Moesha?
Trance artists Claus Terhoeven and Stefan Bossems are straight out of Germany, notably playing 100 nights every year. Cosmic Gate are offering listeners a two-for-one special; on Jan. 20, they are releasing a seventh LP Materia through Blackhole Recordings and kicking off phase one of their U.S. tour at Exchange in Los Angeles, Calif. To incite anticipation for Materia, Terhoeven and Bossems circulated a teaser video on Facebook using imagery from Netflix's hit original sci-fi series Stranger Things.
Porter Robinson's friend, peer and current touring partner, Hugo Pierre Leclercq, is a French YouTube sensation that skyrocketed into the spotlight after landing himself on deadmau5’s Facebook page (for positive reasons). Leclercq’s 2015 debut album Adventure was backed by the renowned Columbia Records and included trendsetters Bastille, Passion Pit, Foster The People and Aquilo. In May, Madeon confirmed a sophomore gem for 2017 that has his cult followers already stocking up on Kleenex.
Derek Vincent Smith is a DJ that started out playing such gigs as the backyard of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority house at Indiana University’s 2011 GLOWfest. Three years later, he celebrated his fifth season selling out two nights at Red Rocks. Smith looked to the imaginative melting pot of New Orleans for a spark that would reignite his passion for production. After a four-year hiatus of churning out new sounds, Pretty Lights returns with the promise of an electrifying album.
Triple threat millennial Charlotte Emma Aitchison’s 2013 sing-a-long "I Love It" captured our hearts when the anthem was featured in HBO's Girls during Lena Dunham's cocaine-fueled stint. Little did we know that Aitchison’s debut album Sucker was a memoir solely dedicated to getting fucked up at warehouse parties and East London raves. Vroom Vroom, Charlie XCX is off to a good start. After the successful reception of the lead single "After the After Party feat. Lil Yachty," Charlie XCX is likely to hit a home run with her third studio album, which will be largely produced by Sophie and Stargate and is slated to arrive May 2017.
Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight of Odesza are celebrated for their idyllic sound and surreal live sets. In between their Seasons Festival and Troxy international tour stops last March, Odesza made us weak in the knees revealing a third full-length studio LP to succeed their 2014 In Return. Earlier, this month Mills and Knight performed three undisclosed tracks at the Day For Night festival in Houston, Tex.