2016 is here and it’s time to look ahead. There is plenty of music to look forward to including the possibility of new albums from the likes of Radiohead, Local Natives, maybe even Fleet Foxes, and so many more. While we can’t wait for our favorite bands to bring us new music, there is new blood ready to make an impact with their debut albums set to be released early this year.
Spanish quartet Hinds released their infectious, rambunctious and rowdy debut Leave Me Alone on January 4th, easily one of the most anticipated debuts this year. Last week, we introduced you to another one of our most anticipated debut albums from Atlanta’s Newark Wilder. Check out our interview with Benjamin Kinzer and get to know Newark Wilder (here) whose debut Vanessa Atalanta is due out March 18th. Let us introduce you to 15 more debut albums (with dates) that we think you should pay attention to this year, at least we will be:
Book of Colors: Book of Colors; Out February 5 via Deer Bear Wolf Records
Atlanta’s Book of Colors, led André Paraguassu, is a psychedelic folk rock ensemble surrounded by an impressive list of 14 of Atlanta’s most talented musicians from bands such as Little Tybee, Faun and a Pan Flute, Adron & more. The first single, “Why Don’t You,” premiered earlier last week via Immersive Atlanta, shows African and Middle Eastern influences, a song that builds into an orchestra of harmonies and rhythms that takes the listener on a soothing journey. It’s a gorgeous listen, and with the multitude of instruments (violin, viola, marimba, vibraphone, flute, horns, piano, organ, pedal steel, guitars, and synthesizers) used on the album, Book of Colors always keeps the listener on it’s toes. This is sure to be one of the best and most interesting debut albums of 2016.
Coasts: Coasts; Out January 22 via Capitol Records
Bristol, England’s Coasts have already played some the world’s biggest and best festivals including Coachella, Glastonbury, Lollapalooza and more. It seems like they’ve been around forever, and should have already put out multiple albums. Since forming in 2011, the band has been slowly releasing multiple singles showing arena ready, hook driven, electro indie rock with captivating and inspiring lyrics. Lauded for their live shows, a listen to any of their singles and you know they will have the crowds dancing. 2016 is the year they are ready to release their full length debut in the US, ready to continue their ascent up the charts.
Cullen Omori: New Misery; Out March 18th via Sub Pop Records
Former Smith Westerns frontman Cullen Omori has been listening to Top 40 radio at his medical supply company day job, and for his debut solo album New Misery, Cullen took those listens to heart to write his own pop songs. They may not be your typical Top 40 radio ready cuts, but his own songs are quite compelling and ready to take the indie rock spheres by storm. The first single, “Cinnamon”, is a sun drenched breezy pop song that’s ready to lead you right into spring, and perhaps the soundtrack for the blossoming flowers that come with it.
Eliot Sumner: Information; Out January 22nd via Island Records
Ok so technically this isn’t a debut album. Eliot Sumner’s official debut was released in 2010 as I Blame Coco, but in 2014 she released her first EP under her proper name. Now set to release her full length debut as Eliot Sumner, Sumner has taken influences of Krautrock, in addition to plenty of new wave, possibly from her own semi famous father, Sting. Sumner shows dark elements with pulsating synths and heavy bass lines that can drive home the emotional sting in her voice. There’s no doubt that at times you will also hear hints her father within her voice. Lead single “Information” is 7 minutes of hard hitting bliss that will have you speeding as Sumner pulls you along in every which direction.
exmagician: Scan The Blue; Out March 25th via Bella Union
Belfast duo exmagician are longtime collaborators Danny Todd and James Smith, the songwriter partnership behind Cashier No.9, who released the David Holmes produced album To The Death Of Fun in 2011 to widespread critical acclaim. On their 2015 debut EP Kiss That Wealth Goodbye as exmagician, the duo show a guitar driven garage rock sound effortlessly mixed with hints of spaced out synths and psychedelia. Whether it’s the newest single’s (“Job Done”) hazy and distorted riffs, or the harmonies and melodies of “Smile to the Gallery” that can calm any rage, exmagician will grab you from multiple angles.
Holy Esque: At Hope’s Ravine; out February 26th 2016 via Beyond The Frequency
Glaswegian band Holy Esque have been slowly building hype with a few Eps and singles released the last few years, but now set to release their debut album, it’s seems Holy Esque is ready for the big stage. With the release of their latest single “Tear”, Holy Esque has put the world on notice that 2016 is going to be their year. With elements of modern day indie rock, arena ready hooks, swirling guitars, and undertones of heavier post punk, but it’s lead vocalist Pat Hynes that sets them apart, with a growling presence and harsh gritty voice. WU LYF comes to mind vocally, and it’s that howl from Pat that has the listener feeling the emotional intensity, every painful moment. This is the type of band that could have a whole festival belting out their tunes, all in unison, loving every minute.
James Supercave: Better Strange; Out February 12th via Fairfax Recordings
LA psych pop band, James Supercave, released their debut EP last spring, The Afternoon, garnering plenty of praise and known for their live performance. Recently the title track for their debut album “Better Strange” was released, which the band describes as “a sweat-drenched handshake on a warehouse dance floor.” The band has an affinity for the weird, but despite their efforts they are able to keep the melodies going, never losing the audience looking for an earworms. They can get spacey, they can get dancey, they channel the melancholy, this is one indie rock band ready to take their sound to a larger audience with their debut.
Matt Corby: Telluric; Out March 11th via Elektra Records
Since his first EP in 2009, Sydney, Australia’s Matt Corby has released five Eps including 2011’s six-times-platinum Into the Flame, multiple singles that have won plenty of awards through the years like ARIA Music Awards for Song of the Year, but he has never released a full length album. Recently Corby revealed that 2 years ago he recorded an album, scrapped it because he didn’t like it, only to take time to accept his failures, and now he is finally ready to drop that long-awaited debut full length. The singer songwriter has always had a deeply soulful voice, but on the latest single “Sooth Lady Wine” it sounds like he has been listening to the Australian psychedelic scene backed by a little jazz, and his harmonies comes together to make a 70’s Cali feel that’s perfect for a late night dance. This is one long awaited debut album that may just be worth it.
Margo Price: Midwest Farmer’s Daughter; Out March 25 on Third Man Records
Real country music has been making a comeback of sorts with Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton breaking the mold of what had become to be known as “Nashville country”, otherwise known as country radio ready pop music. Now living in Nashville, Jack White knows that great country music (in addition to the rock ‘n’ roll scene) has never truly disappeared, signing on Margo Price to release her debut album on his Third Man Records. Margo, born in Illinois, has been a longtime Nashville resident rejected in the past by the major labels. But with Third Man behind her debut, Margo is set to blow the roof off of the country music charts, bringing that rootsy twang back to the forefront. Just listen to the latest single “About to Find Out” and you know Margo is ready to kick ass and take names, an anthem that shows we are all about to find out about Margo Price.
Matthew Logan Vasquez: Solicitor Returns; Out February 9th
With Delta Spirit taking a break after extensive touring behind their last album, Into The Wild, frontman Matthew Logan Vasquez, also one third of the Middle Brother supergroup, released his first solo EP back in November, Austin-EP. Included on the EP is an epic almost 18 minute slow burning rock song that can feel like an updated Neil Young song from the 70s. “Everything I Do is Out”, also from the EP, could easily fit on the Dazed and Confused soundtrack, a throw back rocker. With limited time before Delta Spirit gets back in the studio, Matthew Logan Vasquez is releasing his debut full length, Solicitor Returns, in February with “Everything I Do is Out’ being the only song from the EP. The first single released “Maria” shows Matthew exploring more 70s rock with an acoustic guitar and electric providing the licks, sounding like a folk song with shades of Tom Petty before really tearing it up with the electric solos. Matthew has already proved his talent working with two amazing bands, and his solo album is just going to cement his status as one of our generation’s best.
Prepare yourself for one of the best debut albums of 2016 from Athens, GA’s Mothers. The raw emotion, vulnerability and unique tone in Kristine Leschper’s vocals is what immediately catches you. Whether it’s the delicate folk tune “Too Small For Eyes”, with only a soft mandolin, piano, and haunting strings, with Kristine’s confessional vocals front and center, or the latest single’s, “Copper Mines”, weaving rock ‘n’ roll with distorted guitars and a slacker energy building into a crescendo, Mothers will hit you from all sides of the spectrum. This may not only be one of the best debuts, but possibly one of the best albums of 2016. And if the different styles of When You Walk aren’t enough, Mothers is rumored to still be expanding their sound from this record, and may even release a second album this year.
Nevermen: Nevermen; Out January 29th via Lex Records
TV on the Radio‘s Tunde Adebimpe, Faith No More‘s Mike Patton and rapper doseone have formed band called Nevermen with their self titled debut due out later this month. Need we say more? After sharing “Tough Towns”, they’ve offered up a new one called “Mr. Mistake”, that shows an upbeat experimental electro indie sound the Supergroup has meshed together switching vocals, hitting choruses that will have the crowds dancing and hands flaring in the air. For a side project that has no rules with nothing to lose and collaboration to drive them, Nevermen is sure to be one of the year’s more interesting releases.
Public Memory: Wuthering Drum, Out March 18th via fetle
Public Memory is the solo project of Brooklyn’s Robert Toher, recorded over the course of a year as he lived in Los Angeles temporarily. Previously of the group ERAAS, rhythm is the name of the game, with narcotic impressions of krautrock, hypnotic percussion, and subtly layered atmospherics. Public Memory evokes shades of Massive Attack & Thom Yorke, with a dark, entrancing electronic sound led by the Korg MS-20.
Sunflower Bean: Human Ceremony; Out on February 5th via Fat Possum
Dream pop, shoe gaze, psych rock, etc., the young Brooklyn trio, Sunflower Bean, meshes it all into a tight hazy guitar led indie rock with ethereal vocals from bassist Julia Cumming, and a youthful look at growing up (all members are under 21), yet still a maturity to their lyrics. At times they hit the fuzzed out rock like on “Tame Impala”, other times they get all dreamy on latest single “Easier Said”, Sunflower Bean has been making waves on tour with DIIV (whose fans should love SB) and others. Human Ceremony is becoming one of the most buzzed about debut albums, for good reason.
Your Friend: Gumption; Out January 29th via Domino Records
After Taryn Miller’s (aka Your Friend) debut self-recorded EP, Jekyll/Hyde, got picked up and reissued on Domino Records, the Lawrence, Kansas resident is set to release her debut full length on the label in a few weeks. With the first few singles from Gumption released so far, you hear a growth in production and sounds she incorporates and loops into the songs that weren’t as evident on the EP, signaling just how great this debut album is set to be. One thing that seems to stay consistent is Taryn’s haunting spaced out vocals, just listen to the gorgeous first single “Heathering”. The latest single “Come Back from It” is a dark swirling song with soft repeated jabs to the gut that grabs you from within and won’t let you pull away.
For those that want to listen on one easy Spotify playlist: