The summer might be over but don’t despair: there’s a ton of exciting music still to come this year. Here, NME writers pick the albums they’re most looking forward to for the rest of 2013. I’m torn between Pusha T’s debut, ‘My Name Is My Name’ and the Bishop Nehru/DOOM collaboration. What we’ve heard of Pusha’s debut so far suggests good things. The production and guest appearance roll call is quite something: Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Kanye West, Big Sean, Kelly Rowland, Chris Brown, Hudson Mohawke, Kendrick Lamar and more. And this is the greatest beat of the year so far.
It’s never easy with MIA. The follow up to 2010’s deliberately difficult ‘///Y/’ has been delayed. It’s been called “too positive” by a label unable to think outside of the dubstep box. It’s been born out of personal struggles, a break-up and a very public custody battle over her son. Yet difficult situations are where MIA thrives. In ‘Bad Girls’ and ‘Bring The Noize’ it already has two huge, direct anthems, while ‘Come Walk With Me’ showcases her idiosyncratic take on pop. Don’t expect it to be easy. Do expect it to be smart, different and defiantly unique.
Kevin EG Perry
All the signs are encouraging ahead of the release of Monae’s third studio album. The cover’s cool as fuck, the first single ‘Q.U.E.E.N’ is superb and, well, the album features Miguel, Solange and Prince. Where her breakthrough EP ‘Metropolis Suite 1 (The Chase)’ was a little overlooked, and her second release ‘The ArchAndroid’ was maybe a little overcooked ‘The Electric Lady’ could yet rocket Monae to the mainstream notoriety she rightly deserves. Pop’s missing a sci-fi soul diva.
Since emerging with her debut EP ‘The Love Club’, 16 year old New Zealander Lorde has captured the imaginations of the likes of Grimes, Diplo and Sky Ferreira and for good reason. Whilst some have compared the precocious musician to Lana Del Rey, the similarities between them are few. Where Lana simpers about needing her man and tries to be sexy, Lorde builds a world that’s rooted in reality, strength and empowerment, and occasionally dressed up in the crown and diamonds of a ruler. It’s as opulent and luxurious as the things she namechecks with her tongue firmly in her cheek on single ‘Royals’. She’s basically the most exciting, fresh and scarily talented thing to happen to pop music in a very long time. I, along with everyone else with ears, think she’s going to be massive and her debut album ‘Pure Heroine’ will be the catalyst to make that happen.
If you have been paying attention to your local pavements and the side of buildings nearby recently you might be aware of some graffiti promoting ‘The Reflektors’. The name, though sounding like a post-punk band from the ’80s or a new horror film from the producers of Paranormal Activity, is strongly rumoured to be a pseudonym for Arcade Fire ahead of their new album release. Though we never had them down as Canada’s answer to Banksy, you come to expect the unexpected from Win Butler and co. and the band’s fourth album will be released on October 29, promising to be one of not just autumn’s biggest treats but a cherry on top of 2013 as a whole. Little to nothing is known about the album, bar this 15 second instrumental preview on Spotify, but you can expect the usual epic joy that the band do so well when the album does finally arrive. Fingers crossed it sells well, the’ve got a hefty clean-up bill coming their way.
Not your everyday pop star, Omar Souleyman. A diminutive fortysomething Syrian with a bushy moustache who takes to the stage in dark glasses and traditional kaffiyeh headdress, Souleyman cut his teeth playing weddings, refining a super-speed, electronics-fired take on tradional Dabke dancing music splattered in blazing electronic saz. In recent years, though, he’s collaborated with Bjork and Damon Albarn and his band have played barnstorming sets at festivals like Glastonbury, Field Day and Primavera. And now he’s been snapped up by Domino, who’ll be releasing his new Four Tet-produced album ‘Wenu Wenu’ at the end of October.