Music

Lana Del Rey, Liam Gallagher and Arcade Fire – best of the rest of 2017

Looking ahead to some of the albums still to come in the second half of the year, with Lana Del Rey, Liam Gallagher, The National, The War on Drugs and more.

Arcade Fire

As the albums release schedule goes through its traditional halfway-point-of-the-year slump, with summer festivals dominating the agenda, it’s a good time to cast an eye over some of the buzzed-about records set for release in the latter part of 2017.

Let’s start with Californian queen of retro-noirish pop Lana Del Rey’s long-awaited LP Lust For Life (although you could be forgiven for thinking this one came out ages ago, at such languid length has it been trailered since its first single Love arrived way back in February). The final tracklisting remains a secret – Del Rey’s mysterious like that – but with Stevie Nicks, Sean Lennon and A$AP Rocky among the featured contributors, her
cinematic high-drama torch songs are set to stretch wider screen than ever.

Due in late July, Arcade Fire’s (pictured above) fifth album Everything Now has been preceded by a trademark flurry of conceptual promotional trickery – from cryptic tweets by a fake Russian spambot to a fabricated fallout with a manipulative corporation. That and an ABBA-esque disco title track and lead single which, at risk of invoking high street buskers and the kind of non-music you might hear while getting a massage, at one point features pan flutes. No wait, come back – it’s good, honest. It’s co-produced by Thomas Bangalter from Daft Punk among others, so how could it not be?

After ruling the end-of-year charts like few other indie bands have done in recent memory with 2014’s near-universally acclaimed Lost In The Dream, Philadelphian purveyors of psychedelia-bathed heartland rock The War On Drugs make a switch to major label Atlantic for the much-anticipated follow-up A Deeper Understanding. It’ll arrive in August, and could see them make a well-earned commercial breakout in that way The National did thanks to Boxer’s critical reception back in 2007.

Speaking of The National, they’re back too in early September with their seventh album Sleep Well Beast, the latest installment in the Ohio indie icons steady rise and rise, which last month saw them placed second from top on the Saturday Pyramid Stage bill at Glastonbury. Also in early September, James Murphy’s New York electronic-dance-punk outfit LCD Soundsystem release their first album since reforming in 2015, and evidence suggests it’s going to be a return to vintage form.

Riding high up there with The War On Drugs on the 2014 end-of-year lists were Canadian indie-pop five-piece Alvvays 
with their self-titled debut. Its follow-up Antisocialites is similarly a gem, stuffed with melodies that stick like bubblegum.

Lastly, the noise levels are already rising towards the arrival of Liam Gallagher’s solo debut As You Were in October. Being Liam, he’s already loudly pronouncing its brilliance (“the melodies are sick and the words are fucking funny”) and shouting down his perceived rivals (on U2: “I’d rather eat my own shit than listen to them bunch of beige fucks”). It’s hard to imagine his solo songs outstripping his talent for cutting soundbites – stodgy first single Wall of Glass isn’t much to shout about – but as with everything the man does, expect him to do it with attitude.

Pic credit: Arcade Fire photographed by Anton Corbijn

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