x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

The 10 most exciting debut albums

It's been an exciting year for fresh musical talent and it's only February. We list the 10 most exciting debut albums of the year.

Pusha T. Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images
Pusha T. Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images

It's been an exciting year for fresh musical talent and it's only February: A$AP Rocky's debut, which blends hip-hop styles from different regions and times, went straight into the Billboard charts at No 1 in January, and there's plenty more to look forward to this year.

While Palma Violets and Tom Odell demonstrate that certain rock hallmarks will never die, genre blending has never been so popular. Azealia Banks is equally obsessed with alt-rock and hip-hop; Haim blend folk and R&B; Laura Mvula mashes up classical choral music with electro - and there wasn't even room to mention Kitty's "Tumblr-wave" or the K-pop-influenced confections of A*M*E.

It's a lot to keep up with. Here's a guide to the freshest and best debut releases still to come this year.

Atoms for Peace, Amok (today)

Thom Yorke's supergroup (with Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers and the longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich) have been playing unannounced gigs for three years now. Their album, from which the glitchy, soulful single Default has already been released, was recorded during the course of a three-day-long jam session.

French Montana, Excuse My French (May 21)

P. Diddy signed this 28-year-old rapper, who moved from Morocco to the Bronx at the age of 13, to his Bad Boy record label just over a year ago, impressed by the 20 or so mixtapes he's put out over the past five years. Stuffed with high-profile guest appearances from the likes of Lil Wayne, Lana Del Rey and Nicki Minaj, the album's going to be big.

Charli XCX (April/May)

She's got a punk spirit, is obsessed with the Spice Girls (despite the fact that she was only born in 1992) and recently toured with Coldplay: if one singer best exemplifies today's internet-enabled fashion for genre-hopping, it's this Londoner, who's currently working with the whiz behind Sky Ferreira's latest record.

Pusha T, My Name Is My Name (May TBC)

Best known as half of the Virginia Beach hip-hop duo Clipse, Pusha T was signed as a solo artist by Kanye West a few years ago and has already had a taste of chart success, guesting on a single by the British pop singer Pixie Lott. His solo album, named after a quote from the TV series The Wire, will feature production from The-Dream, The Neptunes and West himself.

Azealia Banks, Broke With Expensive Taste (TBC)

It's been more than a year since the 21-year-old Harlem rapper, best known for Nicki Minaj-style fast-talking rap, topped the NME's annual "Cool List". Since then she's guested on tracks by Lady Gaga and Kanye West as well as worked on her debut album with the super-producer Paul Epworth. Check out the catchy first single, Yung Rapunxel.

Palma Violets, 180 (today)

Signed by the Rough Trade boss Geoff Travis on the basis of just one song last May, this gang of student-age south Londoners are being hyped by the NME as the new, post-Libertines saviours of British rock. They have the onstage chemistry; their future rests on whether or not they have enough lo-fi, rackety hits to fill out an entire LP.

Sky Ferreira, I'm Not Alright (TBC)

The Los Angeles-based, 20-year-old actress/model/teenage internet sensation/childhood friend of Michael Jackson has spent the past year making a series of well-reviewed, Blondie-esque alt-pop EPs, the third of which, Everything Is Embarrassing, will come out next month. The blogosphere will explode when she finally releases an album later in the year.

Tom Odell, Long Way Down (April 15)

Soaring, piano-backed ballads are the speciality of this 22-year-old waif from Chichester, who's often compared with Jeff Buckley and Chris Martin from Coldplay. He won the most recent Critics' Choice Brit Award and Taylor Swift tweeted recently that she was a "superfan" after he covered her hit I Knew You Were Trouble in typically angsty fashion.

Haim (TBC)

Three sisters from the San Fernando valley, whose music mixes Fleetwood Mac-style folk-pop with R&B, won the BBC's Sound of 2013 poll in January and have already gone on tour with Ke$ha, Mumford & Sons and Florence + the Machine. They were signed last summer, but plans for their debut album are tightly under wraps.

Laura Mvula, Sing To The Moon (March 4)

A classically trained soul singer from Birmingham with a voice like Billie Holiday, Mvula is working with the same producer as Amy Winehouse and Adele for her debut album. Her layered sound, which combines classical strings and electronic beats, has been dubbed "gospeldelica", and she's already been shortlisted for a Critics' Choice Brit Award.