Remember when Lady Gaga said that pop music would never be low brow? Well in 2017, nearly ten years after she exploded onto the music scene and left all of her uppity peers quaking with the aftershock, her belief has been solidified by the work of the women dominating the genre today.
From Lorde's "Melodrama", that used dancey production to tell a story of heartbreak, to bands like Muna who made whole records about queer identity and love, it's safe to say that pop has never been more affecting. In a grim age of Trumpian politics and sexual abuse scandals, not to mention the unsavoury comments from some of the most regarded male figures in music (Morrissey, anyone?), it's refreshing to see the voices of women being recognised for their excellence.
But will 2018 match the excellence of women-driven pop? If any of these artists have anything to do with it, next year will be a brilliant one for awesome women in the industry. Expect to hear their voices everywhere over the next 12 months!
Fans of indie-pop will be glad to hear that Rae Morris, the Blackpool-born pop star who made waves with her debut "Unguarded" back in 2015, will be blessing us all with its follow-up in February. "Someone Out There" features the latest singles she's released – Reborn, Do It and Atletico – as well as a whole bunch of new bangers to bring us into spring.
Rae is one of a few queer women in pop that we expect to switch up the often boring, heteronormative makeup of music. Here's hoping she joins the ranks of queer pop heavyweights like Muna, Kelela and St. Vincent in 2018.
Florence and the Machine
It's been almost three years since Florence Welch topped the Billboard chart with "How Big, How Blue How Beautiful", her monumental third record. After an incessant spell of touring and writing, it's likely that her hotly anticipated follow up will be released in the new year. Nathan Willet, frontman of indie rock band Cold War Kids, is just one of the people she's been working with.
Florence and the Machine have confirmed a few festival dates for the summer, where they're expected to debut some new material. In amongst it? Perhaps a solo rendition of Hey Girl, her collaboration with Lady Gaga, or the song she wrote for this year's quintessential celebration of female power, Wonder Woman?
Lauren Mayberry, the frontwoman of the Scottish band Chvrches, is often called an outspoken character in modern music. Beside her band's soaring style of electro-indie, she's known for the way she brilliantly shuts down trolls and misogynists on Twitter.
She's penned brilliant essays for publications like The Guardian on why the way men talk about women in music is dangerous and skewed; perhaps elements of that will permeate their next record, too. Rumour has it the band are gearing up to release their next album in 2018, with band member Martin Doherty claiming it's the “most aggressive and vulnerable” album they've made yet. Following a duo of critical successes with "The Bones of What You Believe" and "Every Open Eye", don't be surprised if Lauren and her bandmates churn out another gleaming pop masterpiece next year.
It feels like Sky Ferreira has been on this list every year for the past five. Since dropping her debut "Night Time, My Time" back in 2013, there have been rumours swirling that she'll be releasing her sophomore record soon after. Tentatively titled Masochism, it looks like Sky will finally find time to drop it this year. Rumour has it she's collaborating with Ariel Reichstad of Haim and Vampire Weekend fame again, too.
She's a pop-rock warrior; a woman who makes every project she works on that little bit more subversive, so we're blessed to have her back. It's not surprising that it's taken her a while either: in between recording sessions, she's been starring in films like Edgar Wright's Baby Driver and appearing in David Lynch's prolific Twin Peaks reboot.
We're not sure if anybody is quite ready for the insane wave that'll stem from the continued success of Cardi B in 2018. The reality TV turned rap star has had a whirlwind six months since Bodak Yellow dropped. It's been almost 12 months since she gave us her last mixtape, Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol Two, so surely the next big body of work in the pipeline is a debut LP?
Cardi B's status as a Billboard record breaker has everybody from original fans to industry big-wigs salivating for what's about to come next. Could she continue her winning streak and own music in 2018 too? We wouldn't be surprised – and heck, we wouldn't be mad about it either.