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10 Canadian albums to look forward to in 2018

CBC Music

While it can be fun to look back at the year in music and revisit the albums and songs that made the biggest impact in 2017, it’s also important to look ahead at the exciting releases coming up in the new year.

From classical to rap, these are the 10 albums that we can’t wait to hear in 2018.

Cadence Weapon
Album: Cadence Weapon
Release date: Jan. 19

It’s been five years since Edmonton’s former poet laureate, Rollie Pemberton, a.k.a. Cadence Weapon, released an album, and while he has been very busy in that time, between DJ-ing, writing and hosting a variety of projects, the rapper is finally bringing his focus back to music. His upcoming self-titled record boasts a tracklist that’s packed with great Canadian guests and collaborators, including Blue Hawaii, Brendan Philip, Casey MQ, and Kaytranada, who produced the dynamic lead single and ode to Montreal’s creative scene, “My Crew (Woooo).” — Melody Lau

Artists: La Nef and Michael Slattery
The People's Purcell
Release date:
Jan. 19

Following up on 2012's wonderful Dowland in Dublin, the musicians of La Nef and tenor Michael Slattery are back, this time unbuttoning the music of Henry Purcell. Their informal, folksy and truly imaginative arrangements of familiar airs and suites transport Purcell's music from the concert stage to the pub, where you'll hear baroque music in an entirely new light. — Robert Rowat

Artist: Bahamas
Album: Earthtones
Release date: Jan. 19

Afie Jurvanen, a.k.a. Bahamas, says D’Angelo’s Black Messiah was “the biggest record of the past few years” for him. It’s an obsession that serendipitously led the singer-songwriter to link up with two players on the R&B star’s 2014 album, and get three days in a studio with them. The results are a number of tracks that have now ended up on Jurvanen’s upcoming album, Earthtones, a collection of songs that stay true to Bahamas’ folk-pop roots while exploring something more “rhythmic and funky,” as he told Billboard. — ML

Artist: Laila Biali
Album: Laila Biali
Release date: Jan. 26

In 2015, pianist/jazz artist Laila Biali put out her first album of entirely original music called House of Many Rooms. To follow that up, Biali, who is currently the host of CBC’s Saturday Night Jazz, will release her self-titled album next year filled with mostly original music with a few special covers of David Bowie, Randy Newman and a beautifully lush rendition of Coldplay’s 2000 hit, “Yellow.” It’s an album that Biali says is “fully representative” of her musical self. She adds, in a press release: “This album feels like an arrival, a homecoming." — ML

Artist: Rhye
Album: Blood
Release date: Feb. 2

In the four years since Rhye’s fantastic debut album, Woman, came out, Mike Milosh has kept himself busy between touring and guesting on other artists’ tracks such the King Henry collaboration, “Moment.” It’s during that time on the road, though, that Rhye developed new material, as Milosh said in a statement: “The music and sounds were really born out of the live environment and are built for performance.” Soon, we’ll get to experience it all, on record, with their new album, Blood. — ML

Artist: U.S. Girls
Album: In a Poem Unlimited
Release date: Feb. 16

Following up her Polaris Music Prize-nominated album, Half Free, U.S. Girls’ Meg Remy will return with her sixth studio album, In a Poem Unlimited, early next year. Perhaps inspired by the current political and societal climate, Remy’s new record will reflect on violence, women grappling with power, and rallying against “the public lies told by political and religious leaders,” as noted in a press release. If 2017 sparked a rebirth of protest music, Remy is determined to continue the fight in 2018. — ML

Artist: Ought
Room Inside the World
Release date: Feb. 16

Post-punk rockers Ought came onto the scene in 2014 with an electrifying debut album, which was quickly followed by another album the next year. Since then, the band has learned to slow down a little and be more patient. The results of that change of pace shows on their upcoming third album, Room Inside the World, a record where its members take the time to create a moodboard, set intentions and meticulously execute their ideas, showing a clear growth in the band. — ML

Artist: Adam Cicchillitti
Release date: Feb. 23

Guitarist Adam Cicchillitti, one of CBC Music's 30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30 in 2017, will drop his debut album, Canciones, in February. It'll show the full range of his artistry, as a stunning soloist (works by Albéniz, Torroba, Turina), an arranger and accompanist (songs by de Falla and Lorca with baritone Philippe Courchesne-Leboeuf), and as a chamber musician (Rodrigo's Tonadilla with fellow guitarist Steve Cowan.) Warm Spanish music to get us through the last month of winter. — RR

Artist: Chromeo
Album: Head Over Heels
Release date: TBA

Electro-pop duo Chromeo have teased a new album called Head Over Heels, and while a release date hasn’t been announced yet, we do have a lead single to tide us over into the new year. “Juice” is a fun dance number that utilizes the duo’s sense of wit and humour with the cheeky chorus: “You’ve got the juice, oh yeah/That’s why I keep pressin’ ya, pressin’ ya.” Whenever they decide to release the album, we'll be ready with our dancing shoes on. — ML

Artist: Charlotte Day Wilson
Album: TBA
Release date: TBA

After putting out an EP in 2016, fans of Charlotte Day Wilson waited all year for more music from the Toronto R&B artist. Alas, 2017 came and went without a new release, but it looks like next year will finally yield more new music from the musician who has frequently collaborated with artists like BADBADNOTGOOD, Daniel Caesar and River Tiber. Till then, Wilson did leave us with one great gift this year in the form of the satisfyingly soulful single, “Doubt.” — ML

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