40 Most Anticipated Albums of 2021

All the music to be on the lookout for and more in a brand-new year

albums anticipated
Anticipated Albums 2021

Well, here we are. Nearly a month into 2021, and it looks suspiciously like 2020. Did someone forget to flip the switch? The big ball dropped, right?

Last year, and, yes, the first two weeks of this year, have been personally humbling. I’ve seen multiple family friends die from COVID-19, and that shakes you. It just does. It definitely puts things like year-end lists and rankings and dumb arguments about pop-culture in perspective. And, you know what? That’s alright. Believe it or not, I’m not here to depress you. I turned to music in so many ways last year to get through everything from personal depression and financial hardships to health scares and tragic passings. I honestly feel like I’m still here with all of you, in part, because I had music to comfort me, distract me, and, yes, even get me into some really stupid, meaningless debates. All of it so very much needed.

That said, it’s time for you to do you in 2021, and I believe music, like always, will have your back. Need some fresh faces for your playlist? We got that. Need some of the biggest bands and artists in the world to finally drop that next album? We will probably have that. Need Weezer pretending to be Van Halen and KISS for an entire album? I can almost guarantee you that we’ll have that and sometime relatively soon. And do with all of this what you will: listen, cry, dance, laugh, ride down a hill in a tire like in that one Smashing Pumpkins video. Whatever you need to be healthy, safe, and keep on keepin’ on. That’s my hope for music in your life in 2021, and, as I learned last year, that’s no mean gift.

Here are 40 albums that might make the difference in 2021.

–Matt Melis
Editorial Director

Editor’s Note: Stay up on our favorite new music via our Top Songs and New Sounds Spotify Playlists.

Arlo Parks – Collapsed in Sunbeams

arlo parks collapsed in sunbeams

Release Date: Jan. 29th via Transgressive Records

Why We’re Excited: Arlo Parks is your favorite songwriter’s favorite songwriter, and in the past 12 months, she’s earned co-signs from Billie Eilish, Phoebe Bridgers, and Florence Welch. Her smoky singing is a big part of the appeal, but her musical constructions are so sturdy they could easily support a weaker vocalist. Her melodies are light and crisp, and her lyrics overflow with perfectly chosen details. Most amazing of all, she’s only 20 years old. We know she’s good now, but there’s no telling how good she can be. –Wren Graves


Madlib – Sound Ancestors

four tet madlib sound ancestors details

Release Date: Jan. 29th via Madlib Invazion Records

Why We’re Excited: Madlib added a touch of madness to MF DOOM’s villainy and powered Freddie Gibbs’ kane train over two classic albums, most recently 2019’s Bandana. He’s a legendary producer who’s still in his prime, and with Sound Ancestors, he’ll take center stage. But he won’t be alone: this album began as loosely structured experimentations that were later given shape by English musician Four Tet. Between these two artists, one editing and the other indulging his creativity, Sound Ancestors promises to be a fascinating listen. –Wren Graves


Weezer – Ok Human and Van Weezer

Weezer - OK Human and Van Weezer

Release Date: Jan. 29th and May 7th via Atlantic Records

Why We’re Excited: Count us in Matt Damon’s camp. Our philosophy when it comes to Weezer is “ride or die.” That doesn’t mean that we were totally down with The Teal Album or even The Black Album, but it does mean that we’ve learned that Rivers Cuomo and co. are going to make the records they want and that if we check our snobbiness, we usually have a pretty good time. So, now more than ever — especially given the sad passing last year of Eddie Van Halen — we’re ready to trust the band with two records in the first half of 2021 alone. The first, Ok Human, will be out Jan. 29th, and, according to Cuomo, it will be “all piano-based but has a ton of orchestration.” Van Weezer, on the other hand, will find the band channeling their inner guitar gods with a throwback and nod to the days of KISS, Metallica, and Van Halen. Toto, I don’t think we’re in “Africa” anymore. –Matt Melis


Black Country, New Road – For the first time

black country new road for the first time album cover artwork science fair

Release Date: Feb. 5th via Ninja Tune

Why We’re Excited: The buzz around London post-rockers Black Country, New Road has come fast and hard as the band — colleagues of Black Midi — have already sold out test pressings and shows and played on television with no less than Kim Gordon and Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien. They now look to capture their early sound — instrumentally sprawling and bonkers experiments arranged around anxious frontman Isaac Wood’s rye, spoken-word reflections (“Just to think I could’ve left the fair with my dignity intact/ And fled from the stage with the world’s second-best Slint tribute act”)  — and the energy of their live performances on record with For the first time. If nothing else, the band promise listeners a road they’ve not already been down a thousand times before … Slint comparisons and all. –Matt Melis


Foo Fighters – Medicine at Midnight

Foo Fighters Medicine at Midnight

Release Date: Feb. 5th via Roswell Records

Why We’re Excited: After having their 25th anniversary celebrations scrapped by COVID-19 in 2020, the Foo Fighters aren’t wasting any more time getting started on their next quarter-century. Beginning with the Foos’ reemergence on Saturday Night Live last fall, we’ve gotten a steady drip of singles in support of Medicine at Midnight. Judging by those tracks, the band’s 10th studio album should have something for every kind of fan; whether you prefer the smoky tautness of “Shame, Shame”, the straight-ahead rock of “No Son of Mine”, or the acoustic introspection of “Waiting on a War”, the album should tide you over until Dave Grohl and company can hit the road again.–Tyler Clark


John Carpenter – Lost Themes III

John Carpenter - Lost Themes III

Release Date: Feb. 5th via Sacred Bones Records

Why We’re Excited: Six years after returning to the synthesizer for 2015’s Lost Themes, the Master of Horror is back for more with its second sequel: Lost Themes III: Alive After Death. Once again, Carpenter is working alongside his son Cody Carpenter and his godson Daniel Davies, a collaboration that’s only grown stronger with time. “We understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, how to communicate without words, and the process is easier now than it was in the beginning,” Carpenter stated in a press release, adding: “We’ve matured.” That growth is evident in the handful of singles we’ve heard thus far: “Weeping Ghost” is a midnight marauder, “The Dead Walk” is a haunting hallway, and the titular track is the Stranger Things theme we never knew we needed. John Carpenter is back, alright, and this time we’re ready. –Michael Roffman


slowthai – TYRON

slowthai tyron album cover art 40 Most Anticipated Albums of 2021

Release Date: Feb. 5th via Method Records

Why We’re Excited: The artist born Tyron Frampton made slowthai a household name with the scorching politics of Nothing Great About Britain. With his sophomore album, TYRON, the English rapper looks to turn his attention inwards. The project is as split as his personality, with one half said to be full of “hubris, machismo, and braggadocio” and the other given over to thoughtful introspection. Both are meant to be standalone listens, which means TYRON offers an ambitious two-for-one special. –Wren Graves


Claud – Super Monster

Claud - Super Monster - Album Art

Release Date: Feb. 12th via Saddest Factory/Dead Oceans Records

Why We’re Excited: As the first musician signed to the new imprint from our 2020 Artist of the Year, Phoebe Bridgers, of course Claud has our attention. The lovely bedroom melodies of “Cuff Your Jeans”, “Gold”, and “Soft Spot” make it perfectly clear what caught their label boss’ ear in the first place. They also have us hyped to get our own ears on their full-length debut, Super Monster. –Ben Kaye


Lael Neale – Acquainted with Night

Lael Neale, courtesy of artist

Lael Neale, courtesy of artist

Release Date: Feb. 19th via Sub Pop Records

Why We’re Excited: A little serendipity never hurt anyone, and it seems to be the very thing songwriter Lael Neale needed. In this case, that stroke of fortune was a friend loaning Neale an omnichord. That loan led the recent Sub Pop signee to tap into a wellspring of inspiration that directly led to her upcoming album, Acquainted with Night. With three singles, including the gorgeous “Blue Vein”, to judge from, we can only hope that Neale’s friend let her keep that omnichord. They’re a perfect match. –Matt Melis


Julien Baker – Little Oblivions

Julien Baker - Little Oblivions

Release Date: Feb. 26th via Matador Records

Why We’re Excited: Following Phoebe Bridgers’ Punisher and Lucy Dacus’ 2019 EP, Julien Baker is the last member of boygenius to put out a solo effort since the super-trio dropped their debut. Already we’ve gotten a taste of how raw and aching Little Oblivions is going to be with singles like “Hardline” and “Faith Healer”. It’s been four years since Baker’s last LP, so it’s fair to say we’re ready for her to break our hearts again. –Ben Kaye


Kings of Leon – When You See Yourself

Kings of Leon - When You See Yourself

Release Date: Mar. 5th via RCA Records

Why We’re Excited: Kings of Leon have solidified themselves as veterans of American rock and roll. However, it’s been five years now since we last heard them on WALLS. Coming out March 5th, When You See Yourself is preceded by singles “The Bandit” and “100,000 People.” And if these songs are an accurate preview of what we’re in store for, Kings of Leon are here to make their mark on a new decade. –Christopher Thiessen


Rob Zombie – The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy

Rob Zombie - Lunar Injection album art

Release Date: Mar. 12th via Nuclear Blast Records

Why We’re Excited: After nearly five years since his last release, we’re finally close to hearing the album that Rob Zombie has called his best yet: The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy. If its leading single, “The Triumph of King Freak (A Crypt of Preservation and Superstition)”, is anything to judge by, we’re in store for something that’s totally unafraid to go big, dark, and delectable — in other words, it’s sure to be well worth waiting for. –Lindsay Teske


Alice Phoebe Lou – Glow

Alice Phoebe Lou, photo by artist

Release Date: Mar. 19th

Why We’re Excited: We’re excited about all the albums on this list, but we always hold a special place in our music discovery hearts for our former Artists of the Month like Alice Phoebe Lou. The South African singer-songwriter had us from the word “go” two years ago with her airy, organic take on bedroom pop, and now she has us hanging on the word Glow, the title of her upcoming album. Judging by lead single “Dusk”, APL has only grown as a songwriter while taking care to not lose what makes her sound like nobody else out there. –Matt Melis


Lana Del Rey – Chemtrails over the Country Club

Lana Del Rey - Chemtrails over the Country Club

Release Date: Mar. 19th via Interscope and Polydor Records

Why We’re Excited: It’s far more refreshing to talk about a new Lana Del Rey album than the latest controversial statement from the singer, who has developed a habit for sticking her foot in her mouth in recent years. But art isn’t always neat and tidy, and while Del Rey has been a polarizing figure, both as a musician and a PR nightmare, ever since her emergence on the scene, she’s also responsible for some of the most-lauded and -discussed albums of the last decade and change. With our first glimpse at and sample of the new album last week, we’re sure, if nothing else, that Lana will continue to give us plenty to talk about. –Matt Melis


Evanescence – The Bitter Truth

Evanescence - The Bitter Truth

Release Date: Mar. 26th via BMG

Why We’re Excited: It’s been 10 years since the world was blessed with a proper Evanescence studio album, and the anticipation only escalated when the band delayed the release of their new effort, The Bitter Truth, due to the pandemic. However, singer Amy Lee and company gave us a nice sampling of the LP in the form of four singles released during 2020, including empowering anthem “Use My Voice”. –Spencer Kaufman


Gary Numan – Intruder

Gary Numan Intruder

Release Date: May 21st via BMG

Why We’re Excited: On his last effort (2017’s Savage: Songs from a Broken World), Gary Numan chained his signature industrial synths to a concept record about humanity’s responsibility for and struggle against climate change. Those mid-apocalyptic vibes seem poised to hit even harder on Intruder. Described as a companion piece to its predecessor, the synth-pop pioneer’s forthcoming 18th studio album promises songs written from the point of view of the planet itself. Numan’s songs won’t do much to stop the world’s descent into climate chaos, but they might give us something to dance to while we wait for the fall. –Tyler Clark


Adele – TBA

Adele, photo via Saturday Night Live

Adele, photo via Saturday Night Live

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: Adele has suffered heartbreak and loss before, but her split from husband Simon Konecki seems to have led to a transformation none of us could have ever foreseen. After spending the last year or so refocusing on herself, the UK pop icon finally re-emerged last fall with a new look and a stint hosting Saturday Night Live. We still have no idea what her first album since 2015 will sound like (veteran session drummer Matt Chamberlain said it gave him “chills”), but one thing’s for sure: Adele has begun writing a new chapter in this book called life, and boy, is she having fun. –Lake Schatz

Arcade Fire – TBA

video arcade fire colbert election special performance showtime 40 Most Anticipated Albums of 2021

Arcade Fire on Stephen Colbert’s Election Night 2020

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: 2021 is set to ring in our first taste of what Win Butler has been up to in lockdown, with the frontman revealing that he wrote enough material to fill two or three albums during that time. While the world hasn’t been clued in on further details just yet, it’s safe to say that people will be eagerly awaiting what Arcade Fire may have in store for their first release since 2017’s Everything Now, which marked a sonic pivot point for the band. –Lindsay Teske

Billie Eilish – TBA

Billie Eilish Announces New Photo Book

Billie Eilish, photo by Amy Price

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: Billie Eilish pulled no punches on her debut album, which earned the now-19-year-old several Grammys for its captivating, eerie spin on modern electropop. Eilish’s music reveals new layers on each listen, with her hypnotic whispers and menacing bass tracks sometimes cloaking the earnestness at the heart of her writing. Her music so far has tackled issues like heartbreak, substance abuse, and climate change from incisive angles, and with all the uncertainty moving into 2021 — especially when it comes to young people and the troubled world they’re gradually inheriting — hers is a focused voice that we need to listen to. –Laura Dzubay

Cardi B – TBA

Cardi B trump teen arrested doxing dox address home

Cardi B, photo by Natalie Somekh

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: It’s pretty simple. Cardi B doesn’t do anything half-ass or small time. “Bodak Yellow” introduced her to the masses and made its “money moves” right up to No. 1 on the charts. She followed with a debut that, song for song, became a smash and largely introduced J Balvin and Bad Bunny to American audiences. As a live act, she’s done everything from steal spotlights to elegantly reveal a baby bump on SNL, and last year she dominated thinkpieces and sparked serious discussion about the expression of sexuality by women of color with her controversial, sexy, and hilarious “WAP” collab with Megan Thee Stallion. While we know next to nothing about what her sophomore album may bring, we can say with certainty that Cardi B will be giving us plenty to talk about — and, hell, we like it like that. –Matt Melis


Chvrches Death Stranding late late show james corden

CHVRCHES on The Late Late Show with James Corden

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: Last April, towards the beginning of the pandemic, CHVRCHES released an endearing music video for their song “Forever” called “Forever (Separate but Together)”. In the visual, the band members play the track from respective locations, showing that they weren’t going to let 2020’s chaos stop them from making music. The Glasgow group’s new album is due out this year, and singer Lauren Mayberry said that “this is the most excited that anybody in the band has been about an album since the first record.” –Annie Black

The Cure – TBA

The Cure at Austin City Limits 2019, photo by Amy Price

The Cure at Austin City Limits 2019, photo by Amy Price

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: Over the last 40ish years, Robert Smith and The Cure have been there for the happy times, the sad times, the happy-but-somehow-also-sad times, and everything in between. In the midst of one of the most tumultuous periods of history, a new LP from The Cure, no matter how “incredibly intense”, as Robert Smith has said it will be, would be a welcome breath of fresh, albeit likely on edge, air. –Annie Black

Darkside – Spiral

darkside 40 Most Anticipated Albums of 2021

Darkside, Courtesy of Band

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: After six long years, Darkside have returned from their hiatus. The musical landscape has drastically shifted since 2013 when they released their first and only album, Psychic, a record whose psychedelic and bluesy electronic production stood out amongst a sea of indie rock. But it appears the duo of Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington have changed with the times, too — if lead single “Liberty Bell” is any indication, Darkside are back with more instrumentation than ever before. –Lake Schatz


Dinosaur Jr. – TBA

dinosaur jr outdoor socially distanced concerts tour dates tickets 40 Most Anticipated Albums of 2021

Dinosaur Jr., courtesy of band

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: It’s been five years since Dinosaur Jr. released their last LP (2016’s underrated Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not), and while that break gave us another introspective solo album from J Mascis and a quality Sebadoh record from Lou Barlow, we think those dudes are stronger together than apart. We shouldn’t have to wait too much longer for more proof; Barlow posted about sessions for the band’s 12th studio album to Instagram back in 2019, which means the next wave of bone-rattling guitar noise you hear might be from the band that does it best. –Tyler Clark

Drake – Certified Lover Boy

Drake Unveils New album Certified Lover Boy

Drake, photo by David Brendan Hall

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: Whether you’re a supporter or a skeptic, there’s no denying the immense cultural impact that Drake has had on hip-hop and pop music over the last decade. Whether he’s belting out modern balladry (“Marvin’s Room”), seasoning songs with Caribbean flair (“One Dance”), or instructing listeners on how to pull off the simplest choreography (“Toosie Slide”), Drizzy’s innovative approach to music-making always sets trends and break records. His upcoming album will undoubtedly continue this streak and give fans tracks that are artful yet addictive. –Candace McDuffie

Father John Misty – TBA

Father John Misty Live album Third Man Records

Father John Misty, photo by David Brendan Hall

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: For a couple of years, Father John Misty was at the forefront of the indie world’s collective mind. Between the years of I Love You, Honey Bear and Pure Comedy, a ticket to a Father John Misty show seemed to be the hottest in town and for good reason. The man is talented; there’s no denying that. After 2018’s God’s Favorite Customer, though, Josh Tillman has laid pretty low, despite having released a couple of singles and a live album for COVID-19 relief. Will 2021 be the year we get a Father John Misty renaissance? Only time will tell, but here’s hoping. –Annie Black

Kendrick Lamar – TBA

Kendrick lamar new album damn follow-up rock social

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: Kendrick Lamar has been quiet. While that’s frustrating for fans, ultimately, it all but promises we’re in for another meticulously thought-out work of art from Compton’s Kubrick. We still don’t have any details on the next chapter of the Good Kid’s cinematic saga; however, a statement from Roskilde Festival indicates new music is forthcoming. Hopefully soon. –Christopher Thiessen

Lorde — TBA

Lorde, photo by Kimberley Ross

Lorde, photo by Kimberley Ross

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: Look, Lorde, we know you’ve been terribly busy, and it’ll be so fun to read about your 2019 adventures throughout Antarctica in your upcoming memoir. But it’s also been so, so long since Melodrama was released. 2017 was a lifetime ago! There’s perhaps never been a better time for Lorde’s moody vocals, introspective storytelling, and gut-punch tracks. The news broke that she had finally begun work on a new project with trusty collaborator Jack Antonoff, and we are ready to get hurt again. –Mary Siroky

Mastodon – TBA

Mastodon new album Adult Swim set

Mastodon, photo by Jimmy Hubbard

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: Mastodon have been one of metal’s most consistent and critically acclaimed bands of the past 20 years. Drummer-singer Brann Dailor told us that the Atlanta-based foursome had more than 30 new songs heading into the studio and that they were “really zeroing in on the stuff that’s definitely gonna make the album.” As with their previous LPs, expect a central theme, influenced by the tragic 2018 passing of their longtime manager, Nick John. –Spencer Kaufman

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Carnage

Nick Cave Cancel 2020 Tour Dates Bad Seeds Postpone Reschedule Weyes Blood Coronavirus Covid-19

Nick Cave, photo by Ben Kaye

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: Despite being accustomed to self-isolation, Nick Cave isn’t immune to the grief of this ongoing hellish pandemic. “There is a terrible yearning and a feeling of a life being half-lived,” Cave wrote in Issue #129 of his Red Hand Files. Oh, and by the way, he off-handedly mentions a new record coming soon titled Carnage. Considering the gutting themes of loss and grief that marked 2016’s Skeleton Tree and 2019’s Ghosteen, Carnage will probably leave us absolutely wrecked. –Christopher Thiessen

Nine Inch Nails – TBA

Nine Inch Nails, photo by Lior Phillips

Nine Inch Nails, photo by Lior Phillips

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: Nine Inch Nails fans may have lost the chance to see them on tour last year, but they’re set to gain a new album instead. Last May, frontmant Trent Reznor shared that he had imminent plans to do a “deep dive” into new material and hopefully resume touring in 2021. While further information hasn’t surfaced yet, knowing the new batch of songs could be heard live before the year’s end leaves plenty to look forward to. –Lindsay Teske

Phoenix – TBA

Phoenix, Austin City Limits 2018, photo by Amy Price

Phoenix, Austin City Limits 2018, photo by Amy Price

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: We got our first taste of new Phoenix last year with the synth-heavy new single “Identical” for Sofia Coppola’s latest film, On the Rocks. If that was any indication of what’s to come, we’re in for a treat with their next album. Frontman Thomas Mars said the upcoming LP is reminiscent of their debut and not entirely tied to one sound. To Apple Music’s Zane Lowe he said, “As a musician, it’s the most exciting moment because everything’s all over the place. There’s no coherence and it’s a little bit like our first record, maybe; United, which had songs that would explore heavy metal and then country music.” –Annie Black


Red Hot Chili Peppers – TBA

Red Hot Chili Peppers with John Frusciante

Red Hot Chili Peppers with John Frusciante

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: One proper name, damn difficult to spell, and not the easiest to pronounce either: Frusciante. Sure, we’re always going to be game to get on top of what Red Hot Chili Peppers have been working on, but last year’s announcement that the on-again, off-again guitarist responsible for the band’s most indelible songs has returned for the latest patch of Pepper tunes only heats anticipation up on the old Scoville Scale. Think about this: The other two records John Frusciante has made when joining or reuniting with the Peppers are Mother’s Milk and Californication. We might need a big glass of milk pretty soon. –Matt Melis

Rihanna – R9

Rihanna Savage Fenty Show Amazon 2020 Travis Scott Rosalia Big Sean Special

Rihanna, photo courtesy of artist

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: Perhaps the only person whose silence has been louder than Kendrick Lamar’s is Rihanna, who has featured on a total of five songs in the years following 2016’s Anti. We have no idea when RiRi will make her return to music, and she certainly isn’t dropping any hints — responding to IG followers’ 2021 album requests with a curt, “this comment is sooo 2019. grow up.” Let me tell you, we’re not ready to grow up. –Christopher Thiessen

Rosalía – R3

Rosalia at Austin City Limits 2019, photo by Amy Price

Rosalia at Austin City Limits 2019, photo by Amy Price

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: It’s been three years now since El Mal Querer, the experimental pop concept album based on a 13th century Occitan novel that opened the door to Rosalía’s global success. But she’s given us no shortage of singles, and if the magnetic beat of “A Palé” and the refined flamenco vocals of “Juro Que” are anything to go by, we have a lot to look forward to from her next venture. –Laura Dzubay


Slowdive – TBA

Slowdive // Photo by Philip Cosores

Slowdive, Photo by Philip Cosores

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: Of all the shoegaze reunions of the 2010s, Slowdive’s may have been the most important; in addition to giving the band a victory lap with a new generation of fans, it also produced a record (2017’s Slowdive) that actually surpassed the much-lauded ’90s output that came before it. We’re hoping that the Reading five-piece don’t wait 22 years between records again; with as fractured as the world is right now, it’d be the perfect moment to lose yourself in the all-encompassing sonic eddies that made Slowdive famous in the first place.–Tyler Clark

The Smashing Pumpkins – TBA

Ranking: Every Smashing Pumpkins Album from Worst to Best

The Smashing Pumpkins, Courtesy of Band

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: “What’s that?” you ask. “Didn’t Smashing Pumpkins like just release a double album to mark the twin anniversaries of 1995’s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and 2000’s Machina releases?” They did, but apparently 2020’s Cyr was just a warm-up for the official sequel to those albums; announced last October and described by Billy Corgan as a “rock opera” that would complete a trilogy-we-didn’t-know-was-a-trilogy, the 33-track record might be the next entry in The Smashing Pumpkins catalog. While Corgan’s chronic need of an editor obviously isn’t going anywhere, we’re still curious to see what (if any) late-stage magic the mercurial frontman still has in waiting.–Tyler Clark

St. Vincent – TBA

St. Vincent To Release New Album in 2021

St. Vincent, photo by Ben Kaye

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: Since the release of 2017’s masterful MASSEDUCTION, St. Vincent fans have been given not one but two reworks of her fifth studio album in MassEducation and Nina Kraviz Presents MASSEDUCTION Rewired. The reworks were wanted, sure, but there’s nothing like a new St. Vincent album to fully dive into. Luckily last month, Annie Clark announced that her next album is officially on the way, due for release in late spring or summer of 2021. That’s exciting enough on its own, but Clark also said the new album is inspired by Stevie Wonder and Sly and the Family Stone. Color me intrigued. –Annie Black


 40 Most Anticipated Albums of 2021

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: Time is measured in B.C. and A.C. — that is, Before Ctrl and After Ctrl. When the wonderfully messy, disastrously sexy album was released in June 2017, it not only propelled SZA to the top of almost every festival lineup, but also tapped into the psyche of a self-destructive, love-struck twentysomething in an unparalleled way. SZA’s been featured on a number of tracks in the years since, but there’s been no sign of an upcoming album. In the past six months, though, she’s released two singles: “Hit Different” and (after being convinced by fans) “Good Days”. So, now the chance of getting emotionally destroyed again (in the best way) seems closer than ever. –Lucy Shanker


The War on Drugs – TBA

The War on Drugs

The War on Drugs, photo by Philip Cosores

Release Date: TBA

Why We’re Excited: The War on Drugs reminded us of their particular kind of indie magic with a live album and a number of new songs debuted during steams during the pandemic. Their ability to send listeners off into a wistful dream state is just the kind of musical escapism everyone could use these days. All we need is for them to compile all this new material into their first full-length since 2017’s A Deeper Understanding, and we just might make it through this madness. –Ben Kaye

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