There’s no doubt that 2016 was a rough year for music. It provided a solid crop of amazing albums, but with the seemingly non-stop loss of greats like Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Merle Haggard, George Michael, Sharon Jones, Phife Dog and others, it’s now time to start looking forward.
Fortunately, there are plenty of highlights to be had in the upcoming year.
Run the Jewels – “Run the Jewels 3”
Rappers Killer Mike and El-P surprised everyone on Christmas by offering a digital copy of their highly-anticipated third album for free on their website. The link is still up, but physical copies drop on the 13th. Politically charged and featuring razor-sharp production, this one renders all end-of-year lists incomplete. They play at The Observatory North Park Jan. 30.
Bonobo – “Migration”
CRSSD Festival vet Simon Green (aka Bonobo) returns with his sixth album of technically savvy musical tapestries and lush soundscapes.
The Flaming Lips – “Oczy Mlody”
Released on bandleader Wayne Coyne’s birthday, the Grammy-winning rock pranksters drop their 15th album and first since partnering with Miley Cyrus on 23 experimental tracks last year.
Tycho – “Epoch”
Released digitally last September, the electronic composer and CRSSD Fest vet finally gets around to putting physical copies out. The album is nominated for a 2017 Grammy. Tycho will be at Coachella in April. Check out the recently announced Coachella lineup here.
Other January releases to watch for include albums from AFI (who play Feb. 20 at The Observatory North Park), Kid Koala, Foxygen, Japandroids (who will be at Music Box on March 11), Ty Segall, Train, Bell Biv DeVoe, and Cloud Nothings.