Last yr, we have been bombarded by big-deal releases. Beyoncé and Jay-Z launched an album collectively. Kanye West was concerned in at least 5 albums in as many weeks. Christina Aguilera made a comeback and the yr was so packed that it barely acquired observed. Mariah Carey got here in on the finish of 2018 with a lean, totally fashionable album that’s nonetheless yielding nice moments … we might go on, however the level stays: There’s a wealth of nice music on the market, and 2019 goes to convey a lot extra. Below are some highlights from the yr forward, together with some wild hypothesis.

Deerhunter, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared (1/18)

Deerhunter co-founder Bradford Cox writes pointed songs about interior turmoil, however this month’s Why Hasn’t Everything Disappeared? turns his focus outward as he surveys a world in political and ecological disarray via a tune cycle knowledgeable by latest and historic tragedy. In place of the jangly guitars of Deerhunter albums previous is a group of stately acoustic guitar, piano, and harpsichord compositions which have extra in widespread with previous Byrds and Kinks information than something on Microcastle or Monomania. —Craig Jenkins

Maggie Rogers, Heard It in a Past Life (1/18)

Maggie Rogers gained some notoriety after, having performed a tune for Pharrell whereas he was visiting her class at NYU, he in contrast her songwriting to Stevie Wonder’s. She signed on to open for Mumford & Sons, launched a bunch of singles — all earworms rooted in fashionable pop, however with a depth and disappointment that permeate even the euphoric moments — after which acquired to be the musical visitor on SNL. Heard It in a Past Life is her debut album, and he or she did all that earlier than it even got here out. —Sam Hockley-Smith

Pedro the Lion, Phoenix (1/18)

Seattle singer-songwriter David Bazan hasn’t made a Pedro the Lion report in 15 years, partly as a result of his pursuits carried him away from the lean indie rock nuggets of the Pedro classics Control and It’s Hard to Find a Friend and into the synth-pop textures of his 2005 Headphones facet mission and the folkier vistas he visited in a string of pensive solo albums. Returning to Pedro for this yr’s Phoenix meant revisiting the writing and recording course of, i.e., assembling a scrappy three-piece rock album from the bottom up, on his personal. His instincts paid off; Phoenix is Bazan’s greatest work in years and a worthy successor to a again catalog beloved by indie rock and emo followers for over 20 years. —CJ

Sharon Van Etten, Remind Me Tomorrow (1/18)

There’s a sure profession arc that appears more and more uncommon in right this moment’s musical panorama. If an artist is fortunate, they could transfer from promising newcomer to style vanguard, after which towards veteran-who-can-do-no-wrong, though they often truly do fallacious. This final standing is usually reserved for older artists: Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen … however Bill Callahan, Will Oldham, and Cat Power ought to all be folded into these classes, and it’s time to place Sharon Van Etten there, too. Remind Me Tomorrow is her greatest album to this point, however she’s absolutely acquired a lot extra greatness in her. —SHS

Steve Gunn, The Unseen In-Between (1/18)

Every Steve Gunn tune is hypnotic. The manner his voice lilts together with his guitar may lull you right into a form of half-awake state, however it’s his chops as a songwriter that’ll hold you coming again. His just lately launched single “Stonehurst Cowboy,” a tribute to his late father, approaches household historical past, and the way tales can turn into legends, with reverence and beauty. The remainder of The Unseen In-Between is simply pretty much as good. —SHS

Toro y Moi, Outer Peace (1/18)

We’re now ten years on from 2009’s stoned, blissful “summer season of chillwave,” when Neon Indian, Washed Out, and Memory Tapes put out singles that seemed like stunning funk sides melted within the solar. Since 2009’s woozy, delicate “Blessa,” Chaz Bundick of Toro y Moi has constructed a stable catalog of wistful dance pop and indie rock tunes that flex his versatility whereas sustaining a heat, acquainted sound. This yr’s Outer Peace is one other balanced platter of heady grooves that provides wry, self-deprecating entice to the singer and multi-instrumentalist’s formidable arsenal of vibes. —CJ

DAWN, New Breed (1/25)

Singer, producer, and actress Dawn Richard returns from the intergalactic odyssey detailed in her Heart album trilogy — comprising 2013’s Goldenheart, 2015’s Blackheart, and 2016’s Redemption — on this January’s New Breed. The new album is a love letter to the individuals and tradition of the someday Danity Kane singer’s hometown of New Orleans and a refined pivot away from the space-age digital music she minimize her enamel on as a solo artist. New Breed adorns Dawn’s wealthy voice with a wise mix of soul, entice, funk, reggae, and screw music, pushing boundaries and difficult conventions however by no means shedding focus. —CJ

Say Anything, Oliver Appropriate (1/25)

Say Anything entrance man Max Bemis is stepping other than his flagship band this yr to maintain his household and kind via psychological well being struggles detailed in a protracted “goodbye summation” revealed to the band’s web site this summer season. Before he takes a break, Bemis will launch Oliver Appropriate, an idea album impressed by Say Anything’s personal … Is a Real Boy album and the unrequited love tales of Alex, I Am Nothing, by his associates within the North Carolina punk band Museum Mouth. Oliver imagines an epilogue to the rock star paranoia of … Is a Real Boy because it catalogs the way forward for medication, nostalgia, and worry of letting go on the finish of the protagonist’s time within the highlight. It’s the quietest Say Anything album, however even amid Oliver’s sedate, acoustic sing-alongs, Bemis stays biting and vibrant. —CJ

James Blake, Assume Form (1/25)

Rumor has it that James Blake is dropping an album on the finish of this month, and that it’ll function Rosalia and Travis Scott and Andre 3000, which is nice information for anybody who enjoys downer digital jams that deal with breakups and romance as an idea typically with the sort of hushed reverence usually dedicated to witnessing the Northern Lights for the primary time. This isn’t a nasty factor! Blake has perfected the artwork of the unhappy digital tune, and he’s additionally coming off of a yr that concerned contributions to some fairly main albums, together with Travis Scott’s Astroworld, and the nonetheless very glorious “King’s Dead.”—SHS

Girlpool, What Chaos Is Imaginary (2/1)

Girlpool’s debut, Before the World Was Big, was intimate and wide-eyed — a touching have a look at youth and friendship and tragedy. The follow-up, Powerplant, misplaced among the intimacy of that first LP, however nonetheless managed to sound like knowledge whispered to you by your greatest good friend. It was clear then that Girlpool had little interest in recreating the identical album again and again (and in the event that they did, they’d’ve had sufficient goodwill to maintain it going for a pair extra information on the very least). Their third full-length, What Chaos Is Imaginary, is expansive however nonetheless private, the sort of album made by artists who sound older than their years. —SHS

Beirut, Gallipoli (2/1)

Named after the Italian city the place Beirut’s Zach Condon wrote the album, Gallipoli seems to be an organ-heavy album that, like earlier Beirut information, sounds cannily retro however builds subtly upon itself with extra fashionable sounds. Also, the dude wrote this album in an Italian city. What did you do in an Italian city? Sometimes being a musician appears like a fairly candy deal. —SHS

Cass McCombs, Tip of the Sphere (2/eight)

In the e book I Was Looking for a Street, author Charles Willeford recounts his younger years as a hobo throughout the Great Depression. It’s not a romantic e book. Willeford writes concerning the onerous truths of life in an unsentimental and easy manner. The musician Cass McCombs, who additionally writes about strained moments, quiet epiphanies, and onerous occasions, has loads in widespread with Willeford, to the purpose that I semi-arbitrarily group them collectively in my head on a regular basis. The distinction, although, is that McCombs by no means appears to lose religion in human beings. Part of that might be attributable to his voice: it’s barely nasal, however goes down like honey. —SHS

HEALTH, Vol four: Slaves of Fear (2/eight)

Is 2019 formally the yr of the nu-metal resurgence? This will not be the primary yr somebody has posited because the time once we’d lastly critically reevaluate the maligned style, however to my ears, it’s the primary yr the place it seems like musicians of different genres will efficiently interpolate elements of nu-metal into their sound. Enter HEALTH’s Vol four: Slaves of Fear, a whirlwind of an album pulsing with fury that evokes the primal parts of nu steel with out, you recognize, truly being nu steel. —SHS

Jessica Pratt, Quiet Signs (2/eight)

Imagine an previous world the place, upon waking up, there was no Twitter to examine. No mobile phone to make use of for something in any respect. Things are slower and quieter, and everyone seems to be, like, 10 p.c extra oblivious about all the pieces than they’re now. Jessica Pratt’s music — hushed, intimate, and perpetually stunning — is a nod to easier occasions, however not in that overly self-conscious manner that posits the previous as objectively higher than the current. Instead, she’s a part of a protracted lineage of folks music that quietly dazzles the extra you come to it. Quiet Signs is pretty much as good as 2015’s On Your Own Love Again, which is pretty much as good as 2012’s Jessica Pratt. —SHS

Panda Bear, Buoys (2/eight)

Panda Bear’s Person Pitch was such a definite and out-of-the-ordinary launch that it feels just like the artist, Noah Lennox, has been making an attempt to flee its sparse, dub-y, watery aesthetic ever since. His information have gotten incrementally busier and trippier within the intervening decade; by 2015’s Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, Lennox’s productions bore a better resemblance to genre-hopping UK dance pioneers like Primal Scream and the Stone Roses than the hooky experimental pop of his different mission, Animal Collective. This yr, Buoys carries Lennox again out to sea, fairly actually so within the first line of opener “Dolphin.” The new music filters the aquatic sonics of Person Pitch via the refined constructions of newer Panda Bear outings. It’s the sort of report he must be making — a bit little bit of the previous knowledgeable by the teachings of the current. —CJ

Weezer, The Black Album (three/1)

If SNL’s bizarre Weezer sketch taught us something, it’s that there’s apparently nonetheless a strong public marketplace for arguing about Weezer. If you’re like Matt Damon and unabashedly love Weezer’s newer albums, then you definately’re most likely excited for The Black Album; for those who’re like Leslie Jones and also you maintain the opinion that Weezer fell off after Pinkerton or, possibly, like, some of the Green Album, then you definately’re most likely cautiously excited for The Black Album, which can or might not be a return to kind for the band. But ought to they even return to their roots? Maybe the Weezer we’ve got now — the Weezer of Hurley and Raditude — is the true Weezer. Still, a pair years in the past, Rivers Cuomo said that The Black Album was “possibly going to be like Beach Boys gone unhealthy,” which is an fascinating framework. —SHS

American Football, LP3 (three/22)

With the discharge of March’s LP3, Chicago emo outfit American Football will formally have made extra music since reuniting in 2014 than it did in its temporary however beloved late-’90s heyday. LP3 hews nearer in spirit to affected person LP1 jams like “Honestly?” than the catchy, compact tunes of their 2016 comeback album. The band’s trademark gauzy math rock moods and nostalgic lyricism haven’t misplaced any luster, however this time there are well-known visitors! Hayley Williams of Paramore, Rachel Goswell of Slowdive, and Elizabeth Powell of Quebec indie rock trio Land of Talk all pop in to commerce vocals with singer-guitarist Mike Kinsella. —CJ

Lil Pump, Harverd Dropout (TBA)

Lil Pump and Kanye’s “I Love It” was one of many greatest songs of final yr, so it’s fairly secure to imagine that Pump’s Harverd Dropout is being positioned as a Post Malone-esque chameleonic superstar-in-the-making arrival album. If these connotations hassle you, give it some thought this manner: Sometimes the most important label music machine so efficiently molds and sculpts an artist that they turn into a form of platonic pop ideally suited, and generally these platonic pop beliefs provide up so many conflicting concepts and musical viewpoints that regardless of being vastly well-liked, they will’t assist however be actually, actually bizarre. Lil Pump’s musical viewpoint will not be but absolutely fashioned, so it’ll be fascinating to see the place he takes this one. —SHS

Ariana Grande, Thank U, Next (TBA)

In the race to be as prolific as inhumanly potential, Ariana Grande has taken the lead. Moving on from August’s Sweetener, she’s set to launch her second album in lower than six months, following yet one more yr from hell through which she misplaced two essential males in her life: Mac Miller and Pete Davidson. Both the viral title observe “Thank U, Next” and the hovering mid-tempo ballad “Imagine” have hinted at even deeper ranges of reflection from Ari, who was nearly as emotionally bare because it will get on Sweetener post-Manchester and her breakup from Mac Miller. So, uh, about not having any tears left to cry? False alarm, of us. —Dee Lockett

Rihanna, TBA

You can all cease harassing Rihanna now; the album is coming! Or ought to we are saying, albums? Rih has confirmed that #R9, the follow-up to 2016’s Anti, will bless our lives in 2019 and scrub 2018 from reminiscence. According to reports, she’s plotting a double whammy — one reggae album and a second, poppier album. There hasn’t been a single nanosecond of advance music to tide us over, simply the odd tease from the studio. But one piece of proof to assist the reggae album concept? Rih just lately started following Jamaican dancehall star Buju Banton on Instagram simply after his launch from jail earlier this month and a collab is already said to be within the works. Skrillex can be apparently concerned within the reggae album, for some purpose. Just hold Diplo and his “airport reggae” at a secure distance! —DL

Kanye West, Yandhi (TBA)

Oh boy, right here we go. —SHS


Despite that fake-out through which somebody uploaded an entire album’s worth of old SZA demos to Spotify, an precise new SZA album is coming. She’s promised as a lot, having even shared snippets of it on social media. (What’s extra, she just lately blacked out her Instagram — the telltale signal of the fashionable music age that one thing’s up.) Her 2017 debut CTRL was acclaimed (5 Grammy noms!) and her Black Panther collab with Kendrick Lamar, “All the Stars,” is now within the race for an Oscar. How she’ll high all of that’s anybody’s wager. —DL

Solange, TBA

Though originally promised for the fall, Solange’s follow-up to her 2017 masterpiece A Seat on the Table is now wanting extra like “prolly subsequent yr” (2019), in keeping with her Instagram bio, which has now put us all on the sting of stated seat. In teasing what’s to return of her new work, Solange instructed the New York Times it’ll have jazz “on the core,” combined with digital music and drum and bass, as a result of she intends on “making your trunk rattle.” Its inspirations embrace dancer-choreographer Diane Madden, director Busby Berkeley, Joni Mitchell, Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Sun Ra, Rotary Connection, and Stevie Wonder’s Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants, which is the sort of combination that instantly will get our consideration. But, as with ASATT, don’t count on a lot warning earlier than it drops: She’s stated it’ll be “in progress till the very finish.” —DL

Jenny Lewis, On the Line (Spring)

Here’s what we all know to this point. On the Line is popping out someday within the spring; Jenny Lewis has introduced in Ringo Starr, Beck, Don Was, and others. We don’t know, nonetheless, how this may all sound, however it’s a secure wager that it’ll be the sort of rigorously thought-out album that isn’t flashy concerning the care and time that went into making it. In different phrases, it’s a fairly secure wager that it’ll be a Big Deal Album that doesn’t make an entire factor out of being one. —SHS

Lizzo, TBA

If you’re late to the Lizzo get together, to start with, bye, bitch. Second, know these two issues: Lizzo can twerk while playing the flute prefer it’s nothing (she’s classically trained! In each, most likely) and Lizzo’s Instagram will change your whole outlook on life. Lizzo is, amongst many issues, a supremely proficient musician whose each tune doubles as an anthem for saving your spirit from life’s evils (like, say, dusty dudes). But largely, she is a strolling mission assertion for confidence; count on nothing much less from her forthcoming album. —DL

Normani, TBA

You might know her as a former member of Fifth Harmony, however put together to quickly get acquainted with Normani Kordei on her personal. She’s a double menace, each a dancer (she practically gained DWTS) and a singer whose honeyed vocals are lastly entering into their very own heart stage. She’s acquired the sort of charming star energy that’s made her beloved by Beyoncé and Barack Obama alike, and for those who haven’t heard her single with Khalid, “Love Lies,” you’re lacking out on the way forward for R&B. After additionally dropping a pair of scorching songs with Calvin Harris, her debut album is slated for early 2019. —DL

Lana Del Rey, Norman Fucking Rockwell (TBA)

It will not be completely shocking that Lana Del Rey is rising as one of many musical voices greatest geared up to jot down about America’s “present state of affairs.” In a way, it’s what she’s all the time been doing, however it feels extra highly effective now. She sings all the pieces with a form of detachment that, within the fallacious fingers, might come off as apathetic, however together with her, all you may hear is disappointment and frustration. Lana Del Rey’s music will not be optimistic, however that doesn’t imply it isn’t enjoyable to hearken to. Norman Fucking Rockwell is correct. —SHS

Chance the Rapper and Kanye West, Good Ass Job (TBA)

One of my favourite Chance the Rapper moments occurred in 2014. Already on a course to superstardom, Chance had been anointed as part of XXL journal’s Freshman Class, which meant that along with showing on the journal’s cowl alongside his friends, he’d even be grouped with a few of these friends in a freestyle video. It’s a telling second: Chance has most likely the shortest verse, however it’s all manic power. He’s carrying overalls, bouncing across the room. Basically, he’s having enjoyable in a room full of people that appear largely reluctant to behave like they’re having enjoyable. His verse will not be the most effective within the video (that honor goes to the perpetually underrated Isaiah Rashad), however it’s the most fun. Watching it, it’s onerous to not assume again to when Kanye first made the soar from producer to rapper — he was younger, sort of corny, endlessly endearing, and inhabited a panorama that originally appeared unreceptive to what he needed to provide. Can these two dudes — now older, extra cynical, (and within the case of one in every of them, flailing — guess which one!) recapture their very own magic a shared hometown and dedication to sonic adventurousness? Will this album even come out? Should it? —SHS

The 1975, Notes on a Conditional Form (May)

Notes on a Conditional Form was all the time meant to be the the almost-immediate comply with as much as A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, so it’s a fairly good wager that’ll it’ll come out this yr. So far, we’ve seen it described as a “nighttime report,” which might imply just about something. That stated, the 1975 like to make songs concerning the apocalypse and ennui and the aimlessness of recent life, and there’s a lot extra to be drawn from that effectively earlier than the precise apocalypse hits. Love it if we made it. —SHS

Ty Dolla Sign, TBA

Ty Dolla Sign is a treasure. He’s been concerned in nearly each massive album in latest reminiscence. His solo work is heat and bizarre and catchy. We aren’t speaking about Ty Dolla Sign sufficient, however when he subsequent releases an album, that ought to change. —SHS

Billie Eilish, TBA

No one loves Billie Eilish greater than the web. She’s a Tumblr sensation, a YouTube phenom, a Spotify star (a billion streams and counting), and virtually a SoundCloud invention. Where most of her friends can’t boast greater than a sure degree of social media clout, Eilish stands among the many bunch whose expertise helps the celebrity. She’s visually placing — care to observe her “eat” a tarantula alive? — with a quietly forceful vocal and lyrical presence that makes it even more durable to show away. (Let “when the party’s over,” probably the greatest songs of 2018, into your life and also you’ll get what all of the fuss is about.) She’ll quickly launch her debut album, which is bound to hit vital mass with each the kids and a pair generations eliminated. —DL

The Weeknd, Chapter VI (TBA)

After defining a melancholic, drug-soaked pressure of R&B with House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence, Abel Tesfaye had to determine stay true to his sound whereas ditching among the murk and extra alienating downer moments that characterised his early work. It took awhile, however by the point he’d launched 2016’s Starboy, he’d figured it out. He was nonetheless recognizably the Weeknd, solely … barely extra optimistic, or at the least extra prepared to revel within the completely satisfied moments that got here with the bummer ones. Chapter 6, no matter it’s, each time it’s, might be enormous — there’s no questioning that, however it’s price questioning the place Tesfaye will take his sound subsequent. —SHS

Cardi B, TBA

On Instagram, Cardi B stated that “in fact” she would launch a brand new album in 2019, and why shouldn’t she? She’s within the midst of an astonishing run: raking in awards and dropping singles at a fast tempo. We ought to take pleasure in her music whereas we will, as a result of I absolutely count on her to finish up as a chat present host sometime within the close to future. That’ll be nice too. —SHS

Vampire Weekend, Mitsubishi Macchiato (TBA)

Admittedly, these lists generally devolve right into a degree of hypothesis just about constructed on the notion that if a band or artist hasn’t launched something in awhile, they absolutely will this yr. That will not be the case with Vampire Weekend! This summer season, frontman Ezra Koenig stated the album was carried out, and it even has a tentative title so spot-on that I’ll perpetually complain about their not utilizing it in the event that they go in a special path. —SHS

Grimes, TBA

It was under no circumstances set in stone that Grimes would attain the extent of fame that she’s at the moment at, however it’s good that she has. While it has turn into one thing of a development to poke enjoyable on the primary information of her present life (the pictures of her and Elon Musk at a pumpkin patch), as a manner of reveling within the dissonance that comes with a serious pop determine additionally being “very on-line” and desirous about pushing the boundaries of her sound whereas additionally spending quite a lot of time with an eccentric millionaire who actually loves tunnels, it must be famous that we’d like individuals like Grimes. We want them to level to a manner ahead. To change what pop music might be. Even if she fails, it’s nonetheless fascinating. Plus, what does failure even imply on this context, anyway? —SHS

Tame Impala, TBA

At the highest of this yr, it was announced that Tame Impala could be one in every of Coachella’s headliners. In a manner, this was inevitable from the second they popped onto the scene. What was not inevitable, nonetheless, was their ascent to the place they at the moment occupy. Tame Impala are actually a part of a uncommon breed of present rock bands which are (comparatively) younger, critically acclaimed, and vastly well-liked. Not too many different bands sit within the heart of that Venn diagram proper now, and contemplating the truth that they launched Currents within the historic days of 2015, a headlining spot on the greatest music competition within the nation will not be a nasty peg to hold a complete new album on. —SHS

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