THUMP's 12 Most Anticipated Albums of 2017

From Arca to Ricardo Villalobos, a guide to the electronic releases we can't wait to hear this year.

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Jan 16 2017, 3:40pm

Austra photo by Renata Raksha

We may not have left 2016 feeling very optimistic about the world, but as depressing as things seemed at times, artists still managed to make incredible music. This year, we're already excited about several album announcements: expect big comebacks, long-awaited debuts, and rising stars taking their stories and sounds to a whole new level.

Dates and details are subject to change—however, based on what we know at present, these acts are primed to release some of our anticipated records of 2017. Already this year there have been enough singles, teasers, and announcements from groups and producers to make us hopeful that these EPs and LPs will make for some of the most talked about music of the year.


Richard Wolfsdorf - MDRNTY002 [MDRNTY]

Release Date: January 16

Berlin's Ricardo Villalobos is reviving his Richard Wolfsdorf alias to drop a 12" on MDRNTY. The two-track release marks the third time the veteran techno producer has used the alter-ego, which he created in 1996, using it once in 2000 and 2005 for different albums.

Club Chai - Club Chai Volume 1 [self-released]

Release Date: January 17

Club Chai has brought some of the Bay Area's producers and international friends together for a compilation titled Club Chai Volume 1. The Oakland party collective, founded about a year ago, focuses on "hybridizing non-Western sounds with club music." NON's MORO, DJ Haram, and Russell E.L. Butler are just a few of the names that'll be featured on the comp.

FJAAK - FJAAK [Monkeytown]

Release Date: January 20

After releasing the stand-alone single "Wolves" last month, Berlin techno trio FJAAK announced that their self-titled debut album comes out January 20 via Modeselektor's label Monkeytown. For a taste of what to expect, check out their exclusive half-hour mix for THUMP from late last year.

Austra - Future Politics [Domino]

Release Date: January 20

The first two singles off Future Politics, Austra's forthcoming third album, have seen frontwoman Katie Stelmanis channel European techno music influences into her icy synth-pop anthems. The radical energy imbued in the Toronto group's latest work pushes the dialogue surrounding colonialism, white supremacy, and corrupt politics to the forefront, creating space on the dance-floor to ponder what's next for our society.

Sampha - Process [Young Turks]

Release Date: February 3

Between featuring on Kanye West's "Saint Pablo" and Solange Knowles' "Don't Touch My Hair" last year, British singer-songwriter and producer Sampha found time to release two songs off his debut album, Process. The hitmaker has developed a reputation as a reclusive enigma, but if the boldly evocative "Blood On Me" is any indication, it seems he's finally ready to let the world know who he really is.

Moire - No Future [Ghostly International]

Release Date: February 17

Following his 12-inch Lines + Colours on Spectral Sounds last year, London-based producer Moire will release his sophomore album on Ghostly. In a press release, he said No Future "captures a fading sense of what makes our cities so special—a celebration of art itself, something that's been threatened by the rising cost of real estate and the steady closure of major clubs like Fabric and Plastic People." Colour us intrigued.

Superpitcher - The Golden Ravedays [Hippie Dance]

Release Date: Across 2017

German producer Superpitcher's first album since 2010's Kilimanjaro will come out this year, but it won't be your typical rollout. The Golden Ravedays is a 24-track release that will emerge in two-track intervals every month in 2017, making up 12 individual releases. Each song will be at least 10-20 minutes in length, with the first offerings "Little Raver" and "Snow Blind" coming later this month.

Arca - Reverie [Mute]

Release Date: TBA

Arca first hinted at Reverie, the follow-up to 2015's Mutant, being "almost done" in a Instagram post last February. The Venezuelan producer dropped the stunning mixtape Entrañas in the summer, and not much about his forthcoming third album has been discussed since. Recently, a Facebook meme surfaced about the status of the record, to which Arca replied:

"whoever made this is crazy
but many others have asked
i'll explain:
i had to break a promise
to honor my instincts
i ask your trust
they had good enough reason
patience is a virtue
face u in 2017"

Avicii - TBA [TBA]

Release Date: TBA

Telling the world you're working on the "best damn album of your career" is a pretty audacious claim, but if anybody can talk the talk and walk the walk, it's Swedish DJ and producer Avicii. There's scant details on the follow-up to 2015's Stories, but here's hoping it includes his full "Stairway To Heaven" cover.

Cashmere Cat - Wild Love [Mad Love/Interscope]

Release Date: TBA

Back in August, Cashmere Cat (aka Magnus August Høiberg) announced his long-awaited debut album, Wild Love, with the title track featuring Francis and the Lights and the Weeknd. So far we've heard the Selena Gomez and Tory Lanez-assisted "Trust Nobody" and "Throw Myself A Party," and the Norwegian producer has also lined up guest spots from Sia, Kehlani, SOPHIE, and more.

Chic - It's About Time [TBA]

Release Date: TBA

In December, Nile Rodgers announced that a new Chic album titled It's About Time would be out in 2017, marking the influential American group's 40th anniversary. In a blog post on Rodgers' website, he explained that the record is distinctly about life after a year of so many deaths in 2016.

Kelela - TBA [TBA]

Release Date: TBA

While we haven't heard much about Kelela's long-awaited debut album since her interview with Dazed in February, but we do know she's been working with collaborators including Arca, Bok Bok, and Jam City, and that it'll definitely be worth the wait.

Max Mohenu is on Twitter.