Albums to look forward to in 2015

By Jack Nichols


Though we are only a few weeks into the new year, the musical prospects for 2015 already appear promising.

The year started with new albums from big name artists including Meghan Trainor, David Bronson, Fall Out Boy and Marilyn Manson. In addition, somewhat lesser known musicians like Panda Bear, Joey Bada$$ and Dengue Fever also released music in the early days of 2015. And big-market artists such as Frank Ocean, Adele, Kanye West and Drake will soon join the list of new releases this year. However, there are several upcoming albums that are a bit more off the radar.

Hip-hop sensation Run the Jewels has confirmed the imminent release of “Run the Jewels 3” at some point in 2015. Hip-hop veterans El-P and Killer Mike created Run the Jewels as a one-off project, releasing a self-titled album in June 2013. The success of the debut album brought the duo a cult following. Their music is a mix of quality beats complimented by crude and brash lyrics similar to those of Earl Sweatshirt and Casey Veggies. If the duo brings the same amount of energy and skill to “Run the Jewels 3” as they brought to last year’s “Run the Jewels 2,” it will surely be one of the best hip-hop albums of 2015.

After a two-year wait between releases, Stick Figure front man Scott Woodruff recently announced that the band would release a new album in 2015. Focusing on reggae influences, Stick Figure takes a unique approach to the recent ska explosion. With more relaxed tones, Stick Figure separated themselves from the popular ska-punk bands such as Sublime, Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake. Having consistently produced quality music over five albums, one can expect that the new Stick Figure album will give listeners something that they can relax to.

London-based duo Public Service Broadcasting announced that it will continue its ingenuity with a new album titled “The Race for Space.” The group has created, by far, one of the strangest and most interesting sounds in modern music.

Combining the more traditional rock music with electronic undertones, elements of spoken word and voice samples from the British Film Institute, Public Service Broadcasting creates a sound that definitely stands out. “The Race for Space,” set for a Feb. 24 release, features a unique premise, as the band set out to musically document the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. With that premise, “The Race For Space” will surely offer quite the unique listening experience.

The inventors of dance-punk, Gang of Four, have scheduled a release for Feb. 24, titled “What Happens Next.” This British quartet produced some of the most quintessential music of the post-punk era. Throughout its career, the band always looked to create brash, powerful and radical rock and roll. But with guitarist Andy Gill standing as the only original member of the band left, it will be interesting to see if he can still portray the band’s sound 35 years after its inception.

Having vanished from the music scene after its 2003 album, “The Meadowlands,” the Wrens will return in 2015 with its first album in 12 years. The Wrens established itself as a successful, critically acclaimed indie rock band in the mid1990s. But label problems forced the band to remain stagnant for seven years.

Due to the success of “The Meadowlands,” however, the band re-established itself as a force in independent music. Its new album will surely build the band’s following and possibly even place it in the charts.

Jack Nichols can be reached at [email protected].