11 albums the Blinded By The Floodlights team can't wait to hear this year - both confirmed releases and a few we're speculating about.
January is a depressing month. Not only do the Christmas decorations have to come down, but the same eating habits enjoyed between Christmas and New Year no longer contain the same guilt-free charm of before.
It's not all bad, though! New Year means a new start. Here at Blinded By The Floodlights we’ve gotten our reflective, best of 2023 content out the way and are now excited for the year that’s ahead of us.
In doing so, we’ve come up with a list of 11 indie albums we can’t wait to hear this year, some confirmed and a few we reckon could be arriving.
The Vaccines - Pick-Up Full Of Pink Carnations (12 January)
Getting the ball rolling on the album releases is an old favourite of ours. Since their 2011 debut What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?, The Vaccines have delivered album after album of charismatic indie-pop anthems which rarely provide a dull moment. In 2021, their fifth album Back In Love City took a slight detour – a fictionalised city concept album with a cinematic outlook, one which was inspired by Ridley Scott’s version of LA in Blade Runner.
The tunes were surreal, Spaghetti Western-inspired and archaic, though still maintaining the accompanying joyfulness of the West London band. Pick-Up Full Of Pink Carnations arrives on 12 January and apparently will be very different. Their sixth album is said to be “hopeful and euphoric”, a more organic effort than their last. The singles to date have focused on more personal issues of heartbreak and loneliness, revealing a new era of The Vaccines is upon us. (Words by Matthew McLister)
NewDad – Madra (26 January)
Since releasing their debut EP Waves in 2021 – and following it up with the equally excellent Banshee in 2022 - anticipation has been high for the debut album by Irish shoegazers NewDad. The Galway band produce a sound which combines dreamy soundscapes with an undercurrent of poignancy, inspired by bands at the forefront of the member’s formative years: the Pixies, Slowdive and The Cure, in particular.
Debut album Madra (which means “dog” in Irish) is said to have singer/guitarist Julie Dawson on a “journey of self-exploration, self-sabotage and reflection”. From the music we’ve heard so far, the record is likely to cement NewDad’s position as one of Ireland’s most exciting new bands. (Words by Matthew McLister)
The Smile - Wall Of Eyes (26 January)
When is a side project not just a side project? When it's The Smile. Radiohead pair Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood along with drummer Tom Skinner are striking while the iron is hot with new release Wall of Eyes.
It picks up nicely from 2022 album A Light for Attracting Attention which was one of the best of that year and confirmed the undeniable talent that the three of them possess. The follow-up only has eight songs on it but if they're as good as the title track then The Smile will leave many folk grinning from ear to ear in musical satisfaction. (Words by Neil Renton)
The Last Dinner Party - Prelude to Ecstasy (2 February)
I’ll hold my hands up and admit I was pretty ambivalent at first to the acclaim The Last Dinner Party were receiving last year. The five-piece’s success appeared to come out of nowhere: the entire indie world and their dog were quickly gushing over them at breakneck speed. It was like Wet Leg in 2021 all over again. It felt, dare I say, suspiciously planty.
Given time, I’ve slowly come around. First up, the music is objectively good: hooky art rock with plenty of theatrics wrapped around it - an undeniable Bowie/Sparks influence acting as a nice reference point. They look like they have bags of character too, a group of girls who could pass as extras on the set of Saltburn. Signature song ‘Nothing Matters’, which won many a song of the year award last year, is undeniably quite the bop and well worth the acclaim for all its accompanying lust-filled drama. The Last Dinner Party were recently announced as the winners of BBC Radio 1’s Sound of 2024 and I guess the proof will be in the pudding when we hear their debut album Prelude to Ecstasy come February. (Words by Matthew McLister)
Bob Vylan - Humble As The Sun (5 April 2024)
Following up a hugely monumental album is never easy, but if there is any band right now up to that challenge, you’d put money on the red-hot Bob Vylan.
In 2022, the grime-punk duo made history with their sophomore effort Bob Vylan presents The Price of Life, a record that became the first entirely independent album (produced, mixed, recorded and even released themselves through their own record label) to break into the UK Top 20 Album Chart. A few months later, they then became the first-ever winner of the Best Alternative Act award at the prestigious MOBOs – an award that they had lobbied hard to be included alongside the ceremony’s traditional categories.
With that in mind, expectations for forthcoming third album Humble as the Sun are sky high, which is already confirmed for release this coming April. However, based on the three singles released so far - the inspirational 'Dream Big', the toxic masculinity damning 'He’s A Man' and the economic crisis tackling / self-worth affirming 'Hunger Games' - it looks like Bobby and Bobbie might just be about to drop their best record yet. (Words by Karl Blakesley)
Fontaines D.C. (rumoured)
Fontaines D.C. are up there with indie’s hardest-working bands, so after a productive few years, would you really be surprised if they dropped their fifth album in 2024? The Irish post-punkers have already delivered three albums in four years, each of which can claim for to be the best of their respective years.
Last year saw frontman Grian Chatten drop his excellent, Celtic-inspired solo debut album Chaos For the Fly, the boys then later re-connected to tour across North American in support of Arctic Monkeys. Before they flew across the pond, singer Chatten revealed to Uncut magazine that they “already know what the next record is going to sound like”. This hints that the wheels are in motion for album number four, right? (Words by Matthew McLister)
Liam Gallagher and John Squire (date TBA)
Why am I looking forward to this collaboration when I wasn't a fan of the overhyped lead single 'Just Another Rainbow' I hear you ask? On his day, Liam Gallagher is one of the finest vocalists of his generation, imitated by many, beaten by few. And in John Squire you've got one of the finest guitarists this country has ever produced.
I've no idea how they're going to tour this with Liam's schedule or if John can hit the heights without Reni and Mani. But I tell you what - if they at least make amends for the terrible listing of colours in their debut offering then it's going to be half decent. (Words by Neil Renton)
At the time of writing, there's a cloud of mystery hanging over Paramore. All their socials have been deleted and their official website appears to be offline. Some say that the band have called it quits while others are citing the end of their record contract with Atlantic Records being the reason.
Here's hoping it's a new beginning for Hayley Williams, Zach Farro and Taylor York. Imagine if they took us all by surprise and followed up last year's This Is Why with an album just as relevant and defiant and did so that it was ready in time for their support of Taylor Swift on her Era's tour? (Words by Neil Renton)
Soft Play (formerly known as Slaves - date TBA)
There’s no denying that the name of a band is at the heart and soul of their identity. Whether representing their ethos (Rage Against The Machine) or thoughtlessly chosen then later regretted (Arctic Monkeys), a band name carries a helluva lot of importance. Laurie Vincent and Isaac Holman hit the headlines in December 2022 when they took the rare step of changing their band name from Slaves to Soft Play, declaring that “the name doesn’t represent who we are as people or what our music stands for any longer”.
Three albums and a decade into their career, the move certainly was bold. The backlash they’d receive was hilariously parodied on August 2023 single ‘Punk’s Dead’. They put a second middle finger up to the haters by allowing pop star Robbie Williams to appear on the song’s bridge. Thankfully, the whole thing was punchy and uncompromising, a welcomed return after a four-year absence. Their 2015 debut album Are You Satisfied? is now considered an uncompromising indie punk classic and the signs are strong that a new album will follow in a similar vein. Slaves are dead, long live Soft Play. (Words by Matthew McLister)
The Strokes (rumoured)
The Strokes are one of the most iconic bands still producing music of an incredibly high standard. Last April, guitarist Albert Hammond Jr confirmed the New York band were working on a follow-up to 2020’s Grammy Award-winning The New Abnormal - news which couldn’t help but get indie fans across the globe more than a little giddy.
Despite producer Rick Rubin also revealing he had been working with the band in Costa Rica, Hammond Jr continued to play his cards close to his chest in an interview with NME: “I don’t have any information on it…It could come out a year or two years from now…but, yes, we are working on another record.” Fingers crossed this is the year for album number seven! (Words by Matthew McLister)
The xx (rumoured)
Seven years after their last album, this week we got the news every fan of The xx was hoping for in 2024 – Oliver, Jamie and Romy are back in the studio together. Of course, those seven years haven’t been unproductive for the electro-indie trio, with Oliver Sim releasing his solo debut Hideous Bastard in 2022 and Romy then following suit with her own in 2023, the much-praised Mid-Air.
But there is something magical when the three of them make music as a collective and it’s great to hear from Romy in her recent interview with NME that everything creatively for the highly anticipated follow-up to I See You is currently “wide open”. Although it sounds like it’s still early days, there’s a good chance we could finally see some new music from The xx in late 2024. (Words by Karl Blakesley)
If you want to keep up to date with the best new indie songs being released, check out our regularly updated Indie songs of 2024 playlist.