Words by Josh Fletcher

When the holiday events die down and the cold weather sets in, it’s natural for music lovers to turn their thoughts to new releases. There’s nothing like the anticipation of some new tracks to dig into on vinyl, CD, or through electronic files. Whether you’re searching for new music or waiting for a release from an old favorite, here are five albums to look for in 2017…


Brian Eno – Reflection

Release Date: January 1st

The prolific ex-Roxy Music member (who is better known for producing other artists’ work and his own solo offerings) wastes no time in releasing Reflection this New Year’s Day. Returning to an ambient sound, “Reflection,” which consists of a single, 54-minute piece, is the follow-up to the recently released The Ship. Eno indicates that the album is a result of letting some of his technological experiments run their own course. Reportedly, the music is played on several vintage electronic musical instruments.


Flaming Lips – Oczy Mlody

Release Date: January 13th

“Oczy Mlody” is a Polish phrase that means “eyes of the young.” It’s a phrase that Flaming Lips’ frontman Wayne Coyne became enamored with years ago when he picked up a book written in that language. Doubtless, fans of the psychedelic rock band will soon have the phrase rolling off their tongues with ease, yet the title isn’t the oddest thing about the album. One is a protest song about unicorn eye colors featuring a spoken interlude by Reggie Watts, inspired by Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not be Televised.” Coyne said working with Miley Cyrus on her 2015 release reinvigorated the Lips’s desire to produce new music. The songs on Oczy Mlody have been characterized by Coyne as “Syd Barrett meets ASAP Rocky.”


Elbow – Little Fictions

Release Date: February 3rd

The seventh release by this Manchester, England-based band that became favorites on the British festival circuit over the last decade, will be their first as a quartet. Founding drummer Richard Jupp left the band last March, leaving the remaining members to continue the project. Frontman Guy Garvey is also coming off a successful project. Band members cite the album as chunky and beat heavy, signalling a possible departure from its pared-down quasi prog-pop sound.


Depeche Mode – Spirit

Release Date: Spring 2017

The dark synth-pop band only seems to put out a new work once every four years, and Spirit is no exception, as the last release by Depeche Mode arrived in 2013. This time, the group is working with a new producer, namely James Ford (Florence + the Machine and Arctic Monkeys). Even though the album was largely written before the political upheavals of 2016, guitarist Martin Gore indicated that tracks like “Where’s the Revolution?” ended up being more topical than intended as there were a lot of hints that the world was in turmoil.


The Shins – I Gleek on Your Grave

Release Date: TBA

A teaser video in October 2016 revealed the alleged title of the new album whose name has not been officially announced. Singer James Mercer has noted that he wanted to get back into the production and engineering as well as writing the album’s 11 songs. Style is widespread, going from Beach-Boys-style arrangements to synth melodies to country-tinged ballads.


TheWaster.com | 2017