The Alternative’s Most Anticipated Releases of 2018

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Art by Julia Carbone

2018 is already shaping up to be an incredible year for new music. There have already been releases from Jeff Rosenstock, Sidney Gish, Toy Cars, and The Go! Team, and that’s just the start. Check out which prospective releases our staff is most excited for in the coming year.

arctic monkey's zackery michael

Photo by: Zackery Michael

Arctic Monkeys

By now, most everyone has heard of the Arctic Monkeys. The UK rock band has become of one of the flag bearers for British rock, if not rock in general. So you may already have a strong opinion on them, but as a long time fan let me just tell you that I don’t think they are washed up. After going through a few albums of QOTSA-inspired acid rock, Arctic came back to their punky roots a bit on the super suave AM. I thought it was a great album then, and it still holds up. Can they switch things up a bit more and produce another sweet record for the discography? I think so. – Henderson

camp cope ian laidlaw

Photo by: Ian Laidlaw

Camp Cope

Camp Cope’s debut LP was a reinvigorating indie rock gem, but the band have only grown from there, becoming not only one of the most influential rising bands in Australian music, but also leaders in the feminist movement to clean the scum out of the entertainment industry. Their first single from this upcoming record “Opener” was a in your face political anthem. If the rest of the album can come even close to the punch packed in that single, we’ll have an AOTY contender. – Henderson

Danny Brown the gazette review

Photo by: The Gazette Review

Danny Brown

If you haven’t heard Danny Brown’s 2016 record Atrocity Exhibition in a while, or if you’ve never heard it at all, get on that asap. It’s legitimately crazy to hear how that album has aged—as in, no hip-hop album since compares to how batshit insane those songs are. His twisted, mind-boggling instrumentals, his inhuman ability to rap over such frantic and erratic beats, and his fearless admissions of his struggles with addiction and depression are, altogether, unmatched in both hip-hop and the broader music world alike. That record alone has cemented him as one of the genre’s all-time greatest innovators, and whatever he drops next will hopefully be just as out-there. – Eli

death cab mat hayward

Photo by: Mat Hayward

Death Cab For Cutie

Even if DCFC aren’t in constant rotation anymore (doesn’t make sense, but i’ll excuse it), your  facebook feed was likely riddled with lyrics and video links to “The New Year” at the beginning of the month. Death Cab are an extremely emotive band, and pair with the more desolate seasons like an ice cold Mountain Dew on a scorching summer’s day. It’s only getting colder, and I can only hope that Ben Gibbard is tightening and tuning the heartstrings so he can pull on them once again this fall. – Chris

Dogleg Pic

Photo by: Brian Hughes


Ann Arbor speed-rockers Dogleg had a very active 2017. They’ve steadily become a staple of Michigan’s DIY community since 2015, and with many local shows and multiple Midwest tours under their belts this past year, the group isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. They’re currently in the process of recording their debut LP, which should be released at some point this year. The future looks bright for Dogleg, so make sure you keep them on your radar. – AJ Boundy

doe paoro

Doe Paoro

This talented act is headed by singer Sonia Kreitzer. After was an intimate and explorative album with plenty of layers to unravel, but recent singles like “Fade Into Black” and “Second Door” peruse an even broader selection of life’s intensities and deliver a more upfront and emotional punch. The thick layers of synthesizers are replaced with weeping pianos and powerful rhythmic pulses. A release date is not yet announced, but this act will steal your heart with a new LP. – Sean

donovan wolfington

Donovan Wolfington

When I first added Donovan Wolfington to this list, it was a hopeful gesture based on an interview that frontman Neil Berthier had done with AntiGravity Magazine last July that indicated fans would get to hear one more album before the end of the month. 2017 came and went without new music, but 2018 has started much better. Donovan Wolfington officially announced that WAVES is scheduled for release on March 10 via Community Records, and if the first track is any indication of the direction for the rest of the album, we’re in for a real treat. It will be sad to see them go, but thankfully they’ll be heading out with a bang. – Dylan

ETID Kill Your Stereo

Every Time I Die

Nothing is confirmed, but historically the band usually releases something every two years. Low Teens was a different animal. The record has seen the Buffalo group tour relentlessly, and now with a Fall Out Boy tour happening soon, maybe, just maybe a new album could happen by the end of the year. Who knows. – Sean

half waif

Half Waif

2017 was an incredible year for Half Waif. Multiple cross-country tours behind the EP form/a propelled the project to new heights. I heard “Severed Logic” in the Chicago Airport Starbucks the other day (one of the many). A new LP is the next process for the group, and a new song was played during Half Waif’s final 2017 tour with Julien Baker. The excitement is real. – Sean

hop along

Hop Along

Look, Painted Shut & Get Disowned are nothing short of majesties to rock n’ roll. Hop Along has a way of scratching at your walls and softening your own fears. The lyrics often involve narratives that serve multiples ends, delivered with one of the more unique voices I have heard in this modern era of music. – Sean



Hovvdy caught my attention early last year and by gosh they’re a pleasant group to listen to. Cranberry is the lo-fi group’s second full length, out February 9 via Double Double Whammy, and the singles released so far are enchanting. Members Charlie Martin and Will Taylor craft soothing melodies that build delicate layer upon layer while still managing to capture an eerie intensity. This album is quickly going to find its way into my daily rotation. – Dylan


Photo By: Zach Miller

Just Friends

Just Friends don’t like to be referred to as ska just because of their brass-heavy punk sound, and that’s very fair. They’re much more than that. A better term for them is “party punk” or “just listen to this get dancing.” Their last EP NOTHING BUT LOVE PROMO TAPE was five minutes of pure energy. They alternate singing, rapping, and hyping on the mic, and its all so organic and fun. HYPE HYPE HYPE. If they can capture that same energy on their upcoming release, it’s going to blow some minds. – Henderson

kal marks

Kal Marks

If you know anything about me, you know that I’m a huge fan of pretty much every band on Exploding In Sound’s roster, and sludgy slacker rockers Kal Marks are no exception. Universal Care, the third LP from the Boston trio, is due out February 23rd. The band recently streamed “Adventure,” the first single from their new record, and if this track is any indication of what to expect for the rest of the album then I think Universal Care is likely to end up in my top 5 this year. – AJ Boundy


Kanye West

Even though Kanye’s 2016 record The Life of Pablo was, especially upon revisiting it, a complete and utter fiasco, I still have hope that hip-hop’s most polarizing character has a third wind in him somewhere. It’s crazy to think that we’re nearing the 10-year anniversary of his magnum opus, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but if we use his musical timeline as a template for what to expect going forward, the last time he was at a similarly questionable career crossroads (the aftermath of 2008’s then-loathed 808’s & Heartbreak) he obliterated skeptics with a masterpiece. I predict that this next project will be either a much-needed return to form, or it’ll flop and relegate Yeezy to the circle of ridicule that’s recently consumed Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake. Please, dear lord, the former. – Eli



Towards the end of last year, Philadelphia indie rocker’s Kississippi simultaneously released one of their best tracks to date, (“Cut Yr Teeth”) and announced that their debut record Sunset Blush would be due out this April via SideOneDummy records. I was a huge fan of the band’s 2015 EP, We Have No Future, We’re All Doomed, and with three years of progression and maturation under their belt, I think it’s safe to say we’re going to be given a serious AOTY contender with Sunset Blush. The sky’s the limit for Kississippi and I’m excited to see what they do in 2018. -AJ Boundy

la dispute substream magazine

Photo credit: Substream Magazine

La Dispute

La Dispute spent time in 2017 writing a new full-length before recording it with acclaimed producer Will Yip. Each release from the Michigan natives has progressively pushed the boundaries of storytelling and what it means to make emotionally cathartic music; this album will certainly keep that trend moving forward. At this point, La Dispute have already cemented themselves as some of the greatest songwriters of the last decade, and we’re eager to hear what they’ve come up with this time. – Dylan

lucy dacus

Lucy Dacus

Lucy Dacus’ No Burden was one of the most accomplished debuts I’ve ever heard. The then-20-year-old sounded like she’d been making music a decade longer than she actually had, with an ear for nuanced crescendos, a stylized blend of Western-tinged folk and bombastic indie rock, and a prematurely perceptive view of both herself and her relationships that flowed effortlessly into her lyrics. However, “Night Shift,” the first single from her sophomore record Historian, is by far her greatest song yet. With a build that keeps you on the edge of your seat before exploding into a throbbing guitar riff, flinging Dacus’ mighty wails up into a register she never reached on No Burden. It’s a shattering song, and thankfully it’s one of many on Historian. – Eli

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