hmv.com previews... - December 15, 2016

hmv.com previews... 2017's Best Pop Albums
by Tom
Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

hmv.com previews... 2017's Best Pop Albums

Over the next 10 days we'll be previewing 100 of the best albums you can expect to hear in 2017. Most will come out, some inevitably won't, but they are all worth getting excited about. 

We begin today with 10 pop albums to get your pulses racing...

 

Charli XCX

 

A little background…

Charli XCX, or Charlotte Aitchison as she’s formally known, has spent the last three years making a name for herself as a whip smart pop firebrand, every song bursting with energy and ideas.

Her last album was 2015’s Sucker which contained megahit ‘Boom Clap’ as well as ‘Break The Rules’ and ‘Doing It’. Equally inspired by pop-punk and 1990s teen movies, the album was a bubblegum throwback and sold handsomely.

But for her new trick it seems the singer is promising something quite different, with all the talk about album number three being of pure pop and electronica and making a real party album.

 

Any titles yet?

None as yet.

 

Has she got a producer on board?

Aitchison has been working with SOPHIE, a.k.a British producer Samuel Long, a man whose signature style is a total embrace of the synthetic on top of a wall of electronics.

As well as SOPHIE she’s also been in studio with Norwegian super producers Stargate - the pair who helped Coldplay produce the enormous dreamy pop on A Head Full Of Dreams - and BloodPop, best known for their collaborations with Grimes, Fifth Harmony and most recently Lady Gaga.

 

Any special guests?

The album’s first single ‘After The After Party’ featured a guest spot from Lil Yachty, that’s unlikely to be last guest spot on the follow-up to Sucker.

 

What can we expect and when can we expect it?

From all her post-Sucker interviews and the Vroom Vroom EP she unveiled earlier this year, you can expect this to be a pure pop extravaganza with the guitars and teen movie aesthetic of Sucker firmly in the rearview mirror.

As for release we’d bet on Spring 2017, but that may change of course...

 
 
 

Clean Bandit

 

A little background…

When the hotly tipped artists of 2014 were all being punted around it was unlikely many people would have named a classical quintet who mixed orchestral sonics with electronic pop would go on to be the year’s biggest breakout act, but so it proved, largely thanks to monster hit ‘Rather Be’.

It’s not all been plain sailing in the Clean Bandit camp though, they’ve recently announced the departure of violinist Neil Amin-Smith leaving the group now as a trio.

 

Any titles yet?

Not so far.

 

Have they got a producer on board?

Their first album was completely self-produced, but success brings new opportunities and the trio have been working with Olly Murs’ producer Steve Mac, Mark Ralph, who steered the ship on Years & Years’ debut album, and RØMANS, who has worked with Disclosure, Kwabs and many more.

 

Any special guests?

Sean Paul, Anne Marie and 2015 X-Factor winner Louisa Johnson are the ones we know so far, but there will be lots more.

 

What can we expect and when can we expect it?

Judging by the early singles the band’s influences, which were already diverse enough, now include 90s R’n’B and reggae, meaning we can expect another grand tour of a multitude of musical styles on album number two.

As for when? Spring probably, maybe summer in time for the festivals...

 
 

Louisa Johnson

 

A little background…

It used to be the done thing with X-Factor winners to get them in the studio as soon as possible and out touring their debut album, but that has changed in recent years and artists are allowed to take their time to figure out where to take their first full-length effort.

By the time her album hits shelves 2015 winner Louisa Johnson will have enjoyed the longest gestation periods of any winner, but her album is on the way and will be here next year! You can pre-order it here too. 

 

Any titles yet?

Still TBC at the moment.

 

Has she got a producer on board?

As you’d expect all SyCo’s riches buys you access to the brightest and best in the game. We know she’s worked with the aforementioned Steve Mac as well as Ariana Grande’s go-to guy JKash, BURNS, the electro whizz who has worked with both Britney Spears and Ellie Goulding, and Ed Drewett, who’s best known for penning multiple hits for One Direction.

 

Any special guests?

We know about Clean Bandit, but we’d be very surprised if the classical trio were the only ones on the singer’s first LP.

 

What can we expect and when can we expect it?

An album that’s half bangers and half ballads, probably before the summer time.

 
 
 

Paloma Faith

 

A little background…

2014’s A Perfect Contradiction was the album that took Paloma Faith into superstardom, giving her BRIT Awards, two Top 10 hits and sales of over 600,000. Next year she will return with her fourth full-length effort, which was originally due this year, but Faith’s spell as a judge on The Voice as well as giving birth to her first child have lead to some much needed time off. She’s promised to be back in 2017 and full of energy...

 

Any titles yet?

It’s currently planned to be called The Architect.

 

Has she got a producer on board?

The name we know so far is Jesse Shatkin, the man responsible for helping Sia co-write ‘Chandelier’, he’s also worked with One Direction, Foxes and Rihanna.

 

Any special guests?

One in particular. Always one with a taste for the expansive, Faith has recruited David Arnold, scorer of the last five James Bond movies, to oversee an orchestra for her latest album. It’s unlikely to be a subtle affair...

 

What can we expect and when can we expect it?

A big, sweeping album full of verve and pomp, but we don’t know exactly when.

 
 

Nelly Furtado

 

A little background…

It’s been five years since Nelly Furtado’s last LP The Spirit Indestructible, but she’s due to return next year with a brand new album, which will be her sixth.

She’s been quietly working away in the background on the album, but also found time last year to collaborate with Dev Hynes on ‘Hadron Collider’, a track that ended up on his Freetown Sound album earlier this year.

 

Any titles yet?

Indeed, it’s going to be called The Ride.

 

Has she got a producer on board?

She has and it’s a bit of a left turn for Furtado who has spent most of her career working with more hip-hop and R’n’B types like Timbaland and The Neptunes. This time she’s working with John Congleton, he’s best known for his work with St. Vincent and Wild Beasts, indie with groove at its heart, it should suit Furtado perfectly.

 

Any special guests?

We’re sure there will be some, but there’s no definite list as yet.

 

What can we expect and when can we expect it?

A slick, but less polished pop album. It’s due on March 3rd. You can watch a trailer for it and everything.

 
 

The Vamps

 

A little background…

After the success and huge tour that followed their second LP Wake Up, The Vamps have taken a little time off, but are now back and readying their third full-length effort, an album that they’ve already revealed will be a lot dancier than what they’ve done before...

So far we’ve heard ‘All Night’, a collaboration with Norwegian tropical house producer Matoma which is a very direction sound from the pop rock of the band’s first two albums.

 

Any titles yet?

Not so far.

 

Have they got a producer on board?

They haven't announced one so far, no.

 

Any special guests?

Aside from Matoma, we’re not sure as yet.

 

What can we expect and when can we expect it?

Another pop spectacular, and, given they’ve got a big arena tour booked for April, probably in time for that.

 
 

Kelly Clarkson

 

A little background…

It’s been 14 years since Kelly Clarkson won the inaugural season of American Idol and in that time she’s released seven studio albums, selling over 25 million LPs across her career. Now, for the first time in her career, she’s in unchartered territory having departed longtime label RCA for a new life over at Atlantic Records.

Despite only giving birth to her second child in April of this year, she’s already hard at work on what will be her eighth studio album which she says will be a more soulful LP and that she’s aiming for a June release.

 

Any titles yet?

Nope.

 

Has she got a producer on board?

As with her previous LPs you’d expect a range of top-notch collaborators, but we don’t know who they are as yet.

 

Any special guests?

Again there’s no word on this yet.

 

What can we expect and when can we expect it?

A more soulful Clarkson and an album this summer.

 
 

Labrinth

 

A little background…

Everything looked set for Labrinth to become a megastar with his second album. His debut Electronic Earth had sold handsomely, he had high-profile duets with Emeli Sande and Etta Bond under his belt and two big hits in ‘Jealous’ and ‘Let It Be’, but it still hasn't come out.

He’s been talking up second album Take Up Me To The Truth since the middle of 2014, but will 2017 see it finally get a proper release?

 

Any titles yet?

Take Me To The Truth, it’s been called that since the start, long ago as that was.

 

Have they got a producer on board?

The singer will produce himself, as he has done on tracks for Mike Posner, Tinie Tempah and various others over the last couple of years.

 

Any special guests?

We’d expect at least a couple, but there’s no confirmation on who they might be.

 

What can we expect and when can we expect it?

A soulful collection of forward-thinking pop, but when is really anyone’s guess at this point.

 
 

Zara Larsson

 

A little background…

She turns 19 tomorrow, but Zara Larsson already feels like a comparative veteran in pop today. She’s had four hit singles in the past 18 months and is gearing up for the release of her second studio album next year.

 

Any titles yet?

Not so far.

 

Have she got a producer on board?

Her singles have seen her work with both MNEK and Swedish hit makers Monsterz and The Strangerz, but expect a bigger roster than this for the album when we get full details.

 

Any special guests?

As well as Tinie Tempah and MNEK, we’d expect there might be one or two more...

 

What can we expect and when can we expect it?

A glossy collection of pop bangers and in the first half of this year.

 
 

The Chainsmokers

 

A little background…

Most of us were introduced to dance duo The Chainsmokers with their hit ‘Selfie’, a novelty track that had all the makings of a one-hit wonder. It proved not so with the pair going on to have two of the summer’s biggest hits with ‘Roses’ and ‘Don’t Let Me Down’, it’s all set up for their debut album now...

 

Any titles yet?

Nope.

 

Have they got a producer on board?

The pair will be at the controls for this one.

 

Any special guests?

We’d expect there to be plenty more alongside the tracks with Daya and Halsey that have spent  the summer practically glued to the radio. 

 

What can we expect and when can we expect it?

This could go either way. The pair have openly said that they’d love to do an album, but understand it’s a huge commitment. However after the summer they’ve had we’d be shocked if an album doesn’t hit shelves in 2017.

 

To check out hmv's full range of new albums for 2017, click here. 

Title TBC
Title TBC Louisa Johnson

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