17 Albums to Look Forward to in 2017

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There’s no doubt that 2016 produced some of the most intricate and challenging records in recent memory. It’s going to be tough for this year to follow up the critical consensus of 2016, but the next 365 days are already promising some excellent releases. Here’s just a handful of the noteworthy releases to keep an eye on this year, listed in chronological release order. Of course, release dates are subject to change. Get the intel on our top picks below, and scroll down for the full list. –Isabelia Herrera

La Favi & Deltatron - 'Reir & Llorar' EP

Release Date: February 14
Label: Terror Negro

In 2016, our favorite Bay Area sad girl La Favi quietly released a collection of forlorn reggaeton ballads on SoundCloud. That was just a taste of Reir & Llorar EP, her collaborative project with Deltatron, the head honcho of Peruvian net label Terror Negro. La Favi’s morose, cante jondo-inflected compositions are breathing new life into reggaeton, and we can’t wait to hear what else she has up her sleeve. –Isabelia Herrera

AJ Dávila - 'Futuro'

Release Date: February 17
Label: Discos Panoram

In between records, El Babysito has dabbled in everything from hip-hop to free jazz and even mariachi, as well as collaborating with and producing other acts. His next solo album showcases the melodic side he has been exploring since going solo, but as evidenced by singles “Beautiful” and “Post Tenebras Lux,”  he’s injecting his music with exciting new layers and depth. –Marcos Hassan

Fat Joe & Remy Ma - 'Plata o Plomo'

Release Date: February 17
Label: RNG/Empire

After becoming a spokesperson for a highly questionable pyramid scheme back in 2014, it seemed that the Fat Joe we know and love would never rebound to relevance. But Plata o Plomo, his long-awaited collaborative album with Terror Squad first lady Remy Ma, promises the return of Joey Crack and the New York sound he championed. –Isabelia Herrera

Chicano Batman - 'Freedom is Free'

Release Date: March 3
Label ATO Records

Chicano Batman has been busy playing some of the world’s biggest stages, thanks to performances at festivals like Coachella and a tour with rock royalty Jack White. Now they are following up their 2014 album Cycles of Existential Rhyme on ATO Records. The brutally soulful singles they’ve shared to date suggest the full project might be one of the year’s best releases. –Marcos Hassan

Mariel Mariel - TBA

Release Date: summer 2017

Since her relocation to Mexico City and the release of her record Foto Pa Ti, Mariel Mariel has ridden a wave of hype and hits that peaked with her glorious award-winning return to her native Chile. This excellent MC is expected to drop a new, as yet untitled album under the musical guise of fellow Chilean chilango producer Andrés Landon. –Richard Villegas

Los Macuanos - 'Epílogo'

Release Date: March/April
Label: Nacional Records

The final chapter in Los Macuanos’ epic trilogy of doom will be Epílogo, the group’s long-awaited follow-up to 2010’s El Fin and 2013’s El Origen. The album will feature previously unreleased material recorded between 2012 – 2016 and will close the band’s reign as the ominous kings of ruidosón. –Richard Villegas


Release Date: March
Label: Discos Ifá

The tremendous spiritual and musical ensemble led by Yoruba priest Otura Mun is slated to release its debut album in 2017, packed with the electronic touches and deeply rooted Afro-Caribbean percussion that have made ÌFÉ one of Puerto Rico’s most captivating new forces. –Richard Villegas

Las Robertas - 'Waves of the New'

Release Date: March

After non-stop touring, a mini documentary, and earworm gold in lead single “The Feel,” 2017 will have the queens of Costa Rican garage rock unleashing new noisy goodness in the form of Waves Of The New. –Richard Villegas

Café Tacvba - TBA

Release Date: April

With just two songs shared from their as-yet untitled new album, Cafeta have generated a level of buzz we haven’t seen since 2003’s Cuatro Caminos. “Un Par De Lugares” and “Futuro” showcase strong songwriting and a willingness to explore musical directions they haven’t dared to before, brewing a perfect storm that has yielded them some of their strongest records yet. –Marcos Hassan

Fuego - 'Fireboy Forever III'

Release Date: TBA
Label: Mr. 305 Inc.

Having made a name for himself with Spanish remixes of songs by Rihanna, Drake, and Majid Jordan, the Dominican rapper quickly established his voice with his Fireboy Forever releases. Following collaborations with J Balvin and 808 Mafia’s Steve Lean, his next volume could bring him closer to the biggest hip-hop audiences of his career. –Marcos Hassan

Romeo Santos - 'Golden'

Release Date: TBA
Label: Sony Music Latin

After Aventura’s earth-shaking reunion shows in February 2016, and a two-year tour that sent the King of Bachata to every corner of the globe, romeistas everywhere thirsted for more from the star. In November, the new CEO of Roc Nation Latino posted an Instagram thanking fans for embarking on a six-year solo journey with him – and slyly announcing his forthcoming third solo album, Golden. –Isabelia Herrera

Arca - 'Reverie'

Release Date: TBA
Label: Mute

The mysterious Venezuelan producer first previewed his forthcoming album last February when he teased a short clip on his Instagram account. Arca has been mum ever since, but a recent show in Mexico City alongside Total Freedom and NAAFI’s Zutzut and Debit once again stoked excitement for the unknown mutant pleasures of Reverie. –Richard Villegas

Residente - TBA

Release Date: TBA
Label: Fusion Media Group

Residente sent shockwaves through the music universe when he announced a hiatus from Calle 13 in 2015 and an upcoming solo project late last year. The new project, which took René Pérez Joglar to China, Africa, Siberia, and beyond, is based on his DNA test results and where his ancestors come from. As his first solo project – and one that will see Pérez incorporating new sounds into his repertoire – it’s sure to spark some conversation this year. –Isabelia Herrera

Balún - 'Prisma Tropical'

Release Date: TBA
Label: Good Child Music

We have been hype for Balún’s return since 2014, when the beloved Puerto Rican band dropped “Años Atrás,” a one-off glimpse into their new world of dreambow. In the wake of last year’s excellent “La Nueva Ciudad” and news of the band’s official billing at SXSW 2017, Prisma Tropical instantly became one of the year’s most anticipated swoon fests. –Richard Villegas

Füete Billete - 'Papelón City'

Release Date: TBA
Label: NAAFI

Following the runaway success of their 2013 album Musica de Capsulón, 2017 will finally see the release of Füete Billete’s much anticipated return, Papelón City. For this new project, the Boricuas enlisted the NAAFI crew for production duties. Their first two singles “Tra” and “Una Changa” lit up international dance floors the moment they dropped. –Richard Villegas

Kali Mutsa & Imaabs - TBA

Release Date: TBA

In 2016, Chilean indie mystic Kali Mutsa and NAAFI titan Imaabs linked up as kindred spirits, touring partners, and unlikely collaborators. This year we’ll see that friendship blossom in an enigmatic EP heavily influenced by grime and reggaeton, an intriguing, cerebral departure for both of the musicians. –Richard Villegas

Mula - TBA

Release date: TBA
Label: TBA

All through 2016, Mula delighted fans and critics with a string of fresh and catchy singles heralding the arrival of their upcoming, still untitled album. The Dominican power trio’s colorful reinvention of dembow and featherless vocals will surely land Mula on all our summer playlists. –Richard Villegas

More Releases

Nicola Cruz – Cantos de Vision EP (Multi Culti)

Ela Minus – Adapt EP
Girl Ultra – Boys (Finesse Records)
La Banda Bastön – Luces Fantasma (Homegrown Entertainment)
Various – Terror Negro Records Presents: Negroide. Explorations on Afro-Peruvian Music (Terror Negro)

Daymé Arocena – Cubafonia (Brownswood Recordings)
Fntxy & Yoga Fire – TBA (Homegrown Entertainment/La Trampa Records)
Hurray for the Riff Raff – The Navigator (ATO Records)
Trillones – Tal Vez Sí Exista

amaF alaM – TBA (Apocalipsis)
Cero39 – TBA
Santa Muerte – TBA

Clubz – Destellos 

C. Tangana – TBA (AGZ)
Centavrvs – TBA (Casete)
DEBIT – TBA (Extasis Records)
Various – Hiedrah Club de Baile compilation
Los Blenders – TBA
Los Vigilantes – TBA
Sotomayor – TBA