Photo: Francis Seura
Welcome to the BroBible New Music Round-Up, where we see what new music has been released this week and are hoping our parents don’t notice the “parental advisory” stickers on the CDs we got for Christmas this year. For more, follow me @ryanoconnell79
As far as new releases go, things are a little slow today. And by “a little slow,” I mean that a tumbleweed could blow by and it wouldn’t seem like an oversimplification of the situation at all. So, with the pickings being what they are, the New Music Round-Up is looking forward, down the road to 2019, and to some of the releases (both real and imagined) slated for the upcoming year that we are looking forward to the most.
Kanye West Yandhi
There was a time, back when the leaves had yet to turn and summer beers were still readily available, when I was pretty interested in a new Kanye West album. But that seems like a lifetime ago and I’m a different person now. I’ve changed. I started not shaving as often, I might have a bone spur in my foot and my beloved New England Patriots are causing me to endure the kind of emotional trials and tribulations usually reserved for a season of The Bachelor. Long story short, I’m just not sure how much I’m actually anticipating Yandhi anymore, especially because the release date has most recently been pushed back to “once it’s done.”
It’s Kanye though, so recent controversies aside, I’m at the very least curious about Yandhi. And from a pure pop culture happening stand point, I’m here for it. Yandhi will either be a glorious master piece or unbelievable disaster. There will be no in between. It’s Kanye. We should expect nothing less.
Rihanna’s Next Album
It’s been a few years since Rihanna’s last album (ANTI in 2016,) and between then and now she’s popped up in Ocean’s 8 and dropped a beauty line, Fenty. But in a recent Instagram post, RiRi confirmed that her long-rumored follow-up to ANTI would be coming out in 2019. And this long-rumored follow-up album? It’s apparently a reggae album. I’m going to be honest- few things in life have made more sense to me than Rihanna releasing a reggae album. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go.
Run the Jewels Run the Jewels 4
In early December, El-P, one half of Run the Jewels, took to Instagram to casually announce that the fourth Run the Jewels’ album would be coming in 2019. Before that, El-P and Killer Mike appeared on Apple Music Beats 1 Radio with Zane Lowe, where El-P said that “I’ve been collecting beats and we’re just going to kind of try and make the grimiest, rawest record we possibly can.” A lot of the groundwork for the new album was laid while El-P was work shopping ideas for the Blade Runner 2049 soundtrack, work that also produced “Let’s Go (The Royal We,)” which appeared on the Venom soundtrack (as well as my list of the 40 best Hey Oh! songs of 2018.)
If the end of 2018 is any indication for what we’ll be facing in 2019, we are going to need as much grime and rawness as humanely possible. Run the Jewels, as a nation, we thank you in advance.
Something New From Vampire Weekend
Six years. It has been six long years since we were blessed with something new from Vampire Weekend. In my opinion, that is roughly five years too long. Even though the band has lost a key member (Rostam,) there is still plenty of hope that they’ll be able to follow up the excellent Modern Vampires of the City with something equally as exciting, original and 100% amazing. Frontman Ezra Koening has said a new album is penciled in for 2019 and the band’s return to festivals last summer provides us with some healthy reassurance.
Now, I can admit that when I first listened to Modern Vampires, I was a little disappointed. But that faded pretty quickly and I can say with complete confidence that there are few bands out there as capable of surprising people as Vampire Weekend are.
Wait…A New Kendrick Lamar Album???
Really? Are you serious? That’s…that’s…THAT’S FANTASTIC NEWS.
Wait, what’s that?
The Final Childish Gambino Album
The Childish Gambino curtain call hovered over 2018 for most of the year, starting with the surprise release of “This Is America.” Gambino dropped some new tunes here and there following that release, but not the rumored album that was supposed to be coming. In October, Gambino wrapped up his tour, making sure to let people know that this was it for Gambino. The album though, it remains a mystery.
So let’s make a bet- what comes first, the last Gambino album or the third season of Atlanta? I’ll take the third season of Atlanta. If I win, I get your CD collection. If you win, you get mine. Cool? Deal.
Weezer The Black Album
In last week’s New Music Round-Up, I address the three main Weezer takes, one of which is that their best albums are officially self-titled and unofficially known by the colors of the album cover. However, based on what has been released so far, The Black Album could possibly be the exception. Or maybe not! Let’s stay positive everyone. We’re entering a new year and we should do so with only the best of intentions. Weezer has earned the benefit of the doubt and the benefit of the doubt is what we shall give them.
Unless their next single is rough. Then we reserve the right to remove said benefit and proceed with extreme caution.
It’s only fair. They’re professionals. They’ll understand.
Galactic Already Ready Already
Galactic, the New Orleans-based funk band, have a new album coming out on February. Without hesitation, I can tell you that it’ll be fun, it’ll be funky as all hell, it’ll be a blast to play extremely loud and it’ll be damn near impossible to get tired of. This is the band’s tenth album and all of those things have applied to each and every one of them. I don’t see things changing now.
Jenny Lewis On the Line
Lewis’ last solo album was Voyager, it came out in 2014 and it includes one of the songs most commonly stuck in my head, even if it’s been a while since I actually heard it.
I haven’t really listened to much of Lewis’ stuff beyond “Just One Of The Guys,” but based solely on my affection for that song, I’m on board with whatever she is releasing. What she is releasing is her fourth solo album, On The Line, slated to come out sometime in the spring. The album features cameos by Beck, Ringo Starr and Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
But most importantly, it features Lewis. Sold.
The Raconteurs Are Back!
Jack White and company dropped two new songs before Christmas, new tunes that are said to be part of an upcoming album that will be released sometime next year. In a world where legitimate rock bands are becoming urban myths, the return of The Raconteurs couldn’t come at a better time.
The final months of 2018 belonged to either Ariana Grande or Gritty, depending on the circles you travel in. But this is a music circle, so we’re awarding the end of 2018 to Ms. Ariana Grande. But we also fully salute the accomplishments of Gritty. Grande’s next album is said to be coming sometime in 2019 and if it has more songs like “thank u, next” on it, it should be more than enough to keep her winning streak going.
The Weeknd has a new album coming out in 2019, Chapter 6. He took to Twitter in early November to say that “some chapters are smaller than others. Not this next one though.” Dude, I think he’s talking about Chapter 6, but I can’t be sure. I mean, I can be sure. But, I also can’t. It’s the holidays.
You know what? I’d like a new TV on the Radio album in 2019. I don’t think that’s asking too much. In September, Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio, said the band was working on new material. Although it’s not like he instilled much confidence by saying “when the time…when we get done with a record, it’ll come out. I just don’t know when that’s gonna be.” Who do these dudes think they are? Kanye?
Vince Staples’ album FM! was one of my favorite albums of 2018, but if I had any bones to pick with it, it’s that it was really short and left me wanting more. Did it leave me wanting a Staples’ album that was a collaboration with Pharrell? I didn’t think so until I heard that was actually a thing. But now I know it’s a thing I am totally on board and can’t wait. Can’t wait!
The Miley Cyrus/Mark Ronson tune “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” was possibly one of the more interesting songs released in the last gasps of 2018. The song sounds like the soundtrack to a western that takes place in space, which also sounds kind of like Westworld, but the song was infinitely cooler than Westworld. Cyrus’ voice continues to get better with age and the idea of her working on an album with not just Ronson, but Mike Will-Made-It is as enticing as the idea of Westworld, which we all should admit is way more exciting than the actual show.
Trey Anastasio of the up and coming jam band Phish has a new side hustle, Ghosts of the Forest. The project is still new, but it includes his bandmate Jon Fishman on drums and former ringers from his previous solo projects. Anastasio’s new gig has tour dates, but there hasn’t been much in terms of an album. Give that one time, though.
And let’s end here.
Cardi B might release a new album in 2019. That morsel of hope, that glimmer of potential positivity, is what we should all carry with us as we cross the threshold into the new year. Because things might be bad, things might get worse. But if this holds, if we do get a new album from Cardi B, things won’t be as bad as they could be. Things could definitely be worse.
We’ll have that going for us, which is nice.
See you all in 2019.