Confirmed and possible releases coming this year
Some of the over 90 projects listed below are a bit more speculative than others, but almost all of these albums should reach the public before the end of 2014. Together, they represent many of this year's most noteworthy upcoming albums, from artists ranging from superstars to critically acclaimed (but under the radar) to complete newcomers. Note that albums due out next week, including Warpaint's self-titled set and a new Mogwai album, are intentionally omitted; those will be covered in next week's Music Monday column. Did we leave something off that belongs here? Let us know about it in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
21 76 (2011)
There's no date or title yet (though one assumes that 24 is a likely candidate for the latter), but the Grammy- and Oscar-winning British singer is expected to release the follow-up to her massively successful second album this year. Few concrete details have emerged, though Adele may have worked with producers Paul Epworth, William Orbit, and James Ford (among others) for the new album. Whatever comes next will be her first new music since recording the "Skyfall" theme in 2012.
Boys & Girls 76 (2012)
The Southern rock band earned three Grammy nominations for their debut Boys & Girls, and look ready to release a follow-up this year. After self-producing their first album, Alabama Shakes worked with an outside producer (whose identity remains a secret) this time, and recording was completed in December.
Damon Albarn (XL) due tbd
Dr. Dee 64 (2012)
Though the prolific Blur frontman and Gorillaz mastermind seemingly can't stop releasing music with a variety of collaborators, he's never had much of a solo career, aside from an underwhelming collection of demos released under his own name over a decade ago, and an opera score a few years back. But his proper solo debut will arrive in 2014. Though Albarn has released a 20-second teaser for the self-titled set, he hasn't revealed much else about the album, though Brian Eno and Natasha Khan (of Bat for Lashes) are among the guests, and Richard Russell (head of XL Recordings) helped with production. Albarn is expected to tour in support of the album, and he'll perform Blur and Gorillaz songs as well.
tbd (Warner Bros.) due spring tbd
It's Not Me, It's You 71 (2009)
After taking a multi-year break from music to start a family, a record label, and a Twitter feud (with Azealia Banks), British singer-songwriter Lily Allen returned to recording last year with two singles, including the controversial feminist anthem "Hard Out Here". This year, she'll return with her third album (and first for new label Warner Bros.), which is expected to include that previous track plus her just-released single "Air Balloon". And, no, that previously announced name change to Lily Rose Cooper isn't sticking; she's still Lily Allen.
The New Classic (Def Jam) due March tbd
The 23-year-old, Australian-born rapper is finally expected to release her debut studio album this year after a series of delays (and record label changes). Rising to fame on the strength of early viral videos, a pair of mixtapes (including the Diplo-produced TrapGold), and a recent support slot on Beyonce's tour, Azalea hasn't yet revealed an updated tracklist for her upcoming album, though one leaked last fall included the single "Change Your Life" (featuring T.I.).
London EP 78 (2013)
On seemingly every new-artist-to-watch list heading into 2014, 25-year-old L.A.-born, London-based artist Jillian Banks is expected to release her full-length debut this year, following a pair of EPs released in 2013. Banks has toured with fellow modern R&B artist The Weeknd, and has drawn comparisons to Lana Del Rey and Frank Ocean, while she cites Fiona Apple as a major influence.
Broke with Expensive Taste (Interscope) due March tbd
1991 EP 84 (2012)
Five years in the making, Azealia Banks' debut studio LP is now (tentatively) scheduled for a March release, a year an a half after it was first expected. Like everything else associated with the now 22-year-old rapper (whose Wikipedia entry contains an impressively lengthy history of her various feuds), the tracklist is in flux—among other things, a planned collaboration with Disclosure, "Bizzara," was scrapped because Banks didn't like their work on the track—but the album may (as in possibly, rather than definitely) include previously released singles "ATM Jam" (feat. Pharrell) and "Yung Rapunxel". Banks may also drop a new mixtape, Fantasea II: The Second Wave, this summer, but consider that to be in flux, too.
Morning Phase (Capitol) due February 14
Modern Guilt 77 (2008)
It turns out that a major back injury was what was keeping the once-prolific Beck from releasing more than a handful of one-off tracks in recent years, most of which originated in a now-shelved album project. (His sole album since 2008, Song Reader, was released as a book of sheet music rather than a recording.) But 2014 should see a flurry of activity on the Beck front, starting with next month's Morning Phase (his Capitol debut), said to be a like-minded companion piece to 2002's acclaimed, moody Sea Change, though it is also inspired by 1960s California folk-rock. As on that previous album, dad David Campbell will provide orchestral arrangements. Beck is also well into the recording process for Morning Phase's follow-up, and that album could surface as soon as this fall.
Belle & Sebastian
tbd (Matador/Rough Trade) due tbd
Belle and Sebastian Write About Love 75 (2010)
The Scottish band's first studio album in four years (following a 2013 rarities collection) should arrive this summer or fall, though few details have emerged since the band first entered the studio last fall. Frontman Stuart Murdoch is also branching out into moviemaking this year; his directorial debut, God Help the Girl, will debut at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend.
tbd due spring tbd
Fade Away EP 67 (2013)
The Bethany Cosentino-fronted duo headed to the studio in November to begin recording their third full-length album (their previous LP was 2012's The Only Place) with producer Butch Walker (Taylor Swift). Unlike Best Coast's prior recordings, the new material is reportedly 1990s-influenced.
After the Disco (Columbia) due February 4
Broken Bells 71 (2010)
What seemed like a one-off collaboration between producer Danger Mouse and Shins frontman James Mercer is now a two-off, at the minimum. The pair have reunited to record a second LP, which includes the title track "After the Disco" as well as "Holding on for Life".
Angels and Devils (Ninja Tune) due tbd
London Zoo 90 (2008)
Kevin Martin's first Ninja Tune release as The Bug (the British producer records under various other guises, including King Midas Sound and Techno Animal) wowed critics six years ago, and, after an EP teaser last year, he should release a proper LP follow-up in 2014. Danny Brown, Death Grips, Gonjasufi, and Grouper are among the artists who have contributed to Angels and Devils.
Swim 83 (2010)
A new album from Dan Snaith & co. (following a solo detour in 2012 with Jiaolong) was originally expected in 2013, but never arrived. However, an increasingly lengthening summer touring schedule for Caribou suggests that new material will finally arrive this year.
Out Among The Stars (Columbia) due March 25
American VI: Ain't No Grave 79 (2010)
Music legend Johnny Cash has been gone for a decade, but he's still making quite the impact. Last year brought music critic Robert Hilburn's massive biography of the country/rock star, and this year sees the release of his fourth posthumous album. Never-before-heard Out Among the Stars was recorded during the early 1980s with producer Billy Sherrill, but the album was shelved when Cash was dropped by his then-label Columbia. The 12-song release features duets with June Carter and Waylon Jennings and the ballad "She Used to Love Me a Lot". This might not be the last you'll hear from Cash; the singer's son, John Carter Cash (who discovered the master tapes for this album in 2012), reported that there is more unreleased music in the vaults.
SuperLove (Atlantic) due spring tbd
True Romance 76 (2013)
Just months after releasing her major-label debut album, the 21-year-old English artist was already headed back to the studio to work on her next LP. The new album's first single is the just-released "SuperLove", which is also the likely title of the Patrik Berger-produced set.
Blank Project (Smalltown Supersound) due February 26
The Cherry Thing 77 (2012)
Cherry's first solo album in 18 years (following a collaborative release in 2012 with The Thing) is produced by Four Tet's Kieran Hebden and was recorded and mixed in a mere five days. (Hebden's input results in a looping, minimalist approach). You can already listen to a few of the album's tracks, including "Blank Project" and "Everything".
White Women due tbd
Business Casual 68 (2010)
Canadian party band Chromeo are expected to return with their fourth album of polished, tongue-in-cheek electro-funk early this year. Several tracks have already dropped, including "Come Alive" (featuring Toro y Moi), "Sexy Socialite", and "Over Your Shoulder", and there's also an album trailer for your viewing enjoyment.
tbd (Carpark) due tbd
Attack On Memory 83 (2012)
The Cleveland indie-rock band's completed fourth album (and first since their 2012 breakthrough Attack on Memory) is expected to arrive very soon, after missing its original fall 2013 target. (Fans in New York can see them perform the new album live in its entirety tonight.) John Congleton serves as producer, and the band has hinted at a noisier, more complex style this time out. An album trailer features brief excerpts from many of the LP's songs.
Nobody Smiling due tbd
The Dreamer/The Believer 74 (2011)
Though the rapper/actor is nearly a decade on from Be, his last great album (recent years have seen a greater emphasis on acting rather than rapping), Common always has something to say on his albums, and the upcoming Nobody Smiling finds him turning his attention to inner-city violence, especially in his Chicago hometown. On the music side, production will be handled exclusively by No I.D., who previously paired with the rapper on his classic 1994 sophomore set Resurrection. Listen to "War", the first track released so far.
Death Cab for Cutie
Codes and Keys 71 (2011)
After a brief hiatus to allow frontman Ben Gibbard to release a solo album and then tour with a (briefly) reunited Postal Service, Death Cab for Cutie headed back to the studio last October to record their eighth album.
Lana Del Rey
Ultra-Violence (Interscope) due tbd
Born to Die 61 (2012)
Critics didn't love the singer-songwriter's highly anticipated 2012 major-label debut, but it was a hit, selling more than 5 million copies worldwide. Her follow-up is expected to arrive this year, though no details have been released aside from the title.
Salad Days (Captured Tracks) due April tbd
2 81 (2012)
The 23-year-old Canadian "slacker-rock" artist impressed critics with his two previous solo releases on Captured Tracks, and returns with a third this spring. DeMarco will also take his bawdy live act on the road for much of the first half of the year.
English Oceans (ATO) due March 4
Go-Go Boots 78 (2011)
The Southern rockers' first LP in three years (and their 10th overall) is reportedly a return to their simpler, more rock-oriented early sound, with Mike Cooley telling Rolling Stone that English Oceans is reminiscent of the Truckers' 1999 live album Alabama Ass Whuppin'. Cooley and fellow frontman Patterson Hood split songwriting duties evenly (a first), and the band recorded once again with producer David Barbe. Listen to album track "Pauline Hawkins".
Dum Dum Girls
Too True (Sub Pop) due January 28
Only in Dreams 74 (2011)
The Dee Dee Penny-led project returns with album number three next week. Production duties were shared once again by Sune Rose Wagner (of The Raveonettes) and Richard Gottehrer, and early tastes of the album are promising. Watch the video for shoegaze-y "Lost Boys and Girls Club", or listen to the new single "Rimbaud Eyes", which sounds like it was taken from the soundtrack to a lost John Hughes movie.
The Take Off and Landing of Everything (Fiction) due March 10
Build a Rocket Boys! 82 (2011)
Four of the English band's five previous albums scored 82 or higher (the fifth, at 78, wasn't far behind), which means that any new Elbow album automatically qualifies for our most-anticipated list. That's true even when it's as awkwardly titled as this supposedly "experimental" (and Brooklyn-influenced) sixth LP. which was recorded partially at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios and arrives in the UK in early March. Watch the video for new single "Fly Boy Blue/ Lunette".
The Future's Void (Matador) due spring tbd
Past Life Martyred Saints 82 (2011)
Singer-songwriter (and former Gowns frontwoman) Erika M. Anderson followed her impressive 2011 solo debut album by signing to Matador Records, which will release her follow-up—dealing with themes of humanity's place in the digital age—this year. Listen to the menacing but accessible first single "Satellites", which sounds little like her previous album.
tbd (Young Turks) due tbd
Another British artist making the rounds on new-artists-to-watch lists, ballet dancer-turned-singer Tahliah Barnett (currently known as FKA twigs) is expected to release her debut album this year after impressing critics with EPs in 2012 and 2013. For a taste of her darkly themed, experimental trip-hop/R&B sound, check out last year's tracks "Water Me" and "Papi Pacify".
Helplessness Blues 85 (2011)
There's no official word on a third Fleet Foxes album, but the indie folk band has been dropping visual hints on its Facebook page about a return to the studio. When it arrives, the new album will be the Foxes' first without percussionist J. Tillman, who left to launch his solo career as Father John Misty.
Until the Quiet Comes 83 (2012)
Steven Ellison's next Flying Lotus album appears to be close to a release, with the artist reporting in December that it is ready for mixing (though the lack of a current record deal might be a complication). Though FlyLo recently recorded with jazz legend Herbie Hancock, it is unclear if those sessions are part of the next Flying Lotus album or another project altogether. One definite: FlyLo did score an indie film, Imperial Dreams, which is debuting at this week's Sundance Film Festival.
Wasting Light 78 (2011)
Dave Grohl and bandmates are expected to release their eighth studio album this year, after heading to the studio last fall with producer Butch Vig.
Foster the People
Supermodel (Columbia) due March 18
Torches 69 (2011)
After rising to fame on the strength of their ubiquitous single "Pumped Up Kicks," L.A.'s Foster the People went on to receive two Grammy nominations for their 2011 debut album. In a few months, they return with their follow-up, which frontman Mark Foster describes as more "organic and human" and less electronic than the band's debut. Listen to the lead single "Coming of Age".
David Comes To Life 86 (2011)
There's still no official title or a release date (or even a record label, which may no longer be Matador) for the Canadian hardcore band's fourth album, which follows a string of highly acclaimed releases. But recording began last April, and the band has indicated that the album could reach stores this June.
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib
Piñata (Madlib Invazion) due February 4
The first album-length collab between the "MadGibbs" pairing of rapper Freddie Gibbs and producer Madlib is set to drop next month, and will include the lead single "Deeper". It may also include collaborations with Danny Brown, Earl Sweatshirt, Raekwon, Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller, and Ab-Soul.
Visions 80 (2012)
Another tentative 2014 release is the fourth album from Canadian artist and recent Roc Nation signee Claire Boucher as Grimes. A post from Boucher late last year indicated that she was working on the album, and recently tweeted a tentative September 9 release date (without providing any other details).
The Hold Steady
Teeth Dreams (Washington Square) due March 25
Heaven Is Whenever 76 (2010)
The once prolific rockers have been atypically quiet on the release front in recent years (though frontman Craig Finn did release a solo album), but will finally return with their sixth LP this spring. Their first album with new guitarist Steve Selvidge (formerly of Lucero), Teeth Dreams will be their (and anyone's) first release on the brand-new Razor & Tie-affiliated label Washington Square.
Skying 83 (2011)
The English alt-rock outfit will be looking for its third consecutive 80+ album when it releases its fourth (still-untitled) LP later this year. Originally set for release last September, the new album is said to be "different" from past releases (specifically, more electronic), and the band may use the delay to add more songs.
Chlöe Howl (Columbia) due summer tbd
Another rising star in the British music scene, the 18-year-old Howl signed her first major label contract at 16, and churned out three EPs last year, earning comparisons to Lily Allen along the way. With recording (with producer Eg White, who previously worked with Adele) now complete, she will make her highly anticipated full-length debut in 2014.
Little Red (Columbia) due February 10
On a Mission 76 (2011)
The British dance-pop singer-songwriter (real name: Kathleen Anne Brien) will return with a second album next month. Little Red features the tracks "5 AM" and "Crying for No Reason", plus collaborations with Jessie Ware and Sampha.
Cut 4 Me 81 (2013)
Though Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Kelela Mizanekristos has yet to release an official studio album, her futuristic R&B mixtape Cut 4 Me landed on multiple year-end top 10 lists. She's now working on her proper debut album, reportedly with producer Hudson Mohawke.
Food (Ninja Tune) due April 28
Flesh Tone 77 (2010)
Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Kelis moves to an new label (Ninja Tune, an intriguing choice) for her sixth album, with a title that embraces her second career as a professionally trained chef: Food. TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek serves as sole producer on the new set. Listen to "Been Given a Morning".
Good Kid, M.A.A.D City 91 (2012)
His stunning major-label debut was easily one of the top releases of 2012 (and earned seven Grammy nominations), and now it looks likely that the L.A. rapper's follow-up will arrive this year. We'd love to tell you more about it, but details so far are nonexistent; and, with Lamar beginning recording sessions only this month, it's always possible that it could get bumped into 2015.
Four the Record 83 (2011)
The talented country singer has received widespread critical acclaim for her first four studio albums, with the last three also topping Billboard's country music charts. Recent years have been spent recording and touring with her group Pistol Annies (with yet more acclaim following), but Lambert will return to her solo career this year with a new album.
Wounded Rhymes 83 (2011)
A third album from Swedish singer-songwriter Lykke Li is no sure thing in 2014, but a recent flurry of activity (including a collaboration with David Lynch, the founding of a new record label, Ingrid, and recent performances) has fans optimistic. Li will also make her acting debut this year, starring in the Swedish thriller Tommy.
Mess (Mute) due March 25
WIXIW 81 (2012)
Two years removed from their best album to date, indie iconoclasts Liars return with their seventh LP this spring. The first album track to emerge so far is the propulsive "Mess on a Mission", though the band has also released an album trailer. All in all, it sounds like a return to the Radiohead-influenced electronics of WIXIW is in store, perhaps with a more forceful, confident approach.
tbd due spring tbd
Ritual Union 78 (2011)
The Swedish electronic-pop band's fourth album was nearly complete as of last fall, with Rolling Stone reporting that a spring 2014 release was planned. For the first time, the new album will feature several tracks with a string quartet.
The Hunter 83 (2011)
After detouring into something (ever so slightly) more accessible and straightforward with 2011's acclaimed The Hunter, what will sludge metal act Mastodon do for an encore? How about something "massive and insane," with "lots of epic greatness"? The still-untitled/undated new set was produced by Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters).
Tomorrow's Hits (Sacred Bones) due March 4
New Moon 76 (2013)
Brooklyn punk band The Men have released a new album every year since 2010, and 2014 will be no different. Actually recorded before the release of last year's New Moon, Tomorrow's Hits marks the first time the band has recorded in a high-end studio. Listen to lead single "Pearly Gates".
No Mythologies To Follow (Chess Club/RCA) due February 24
It only seems like every newcomer on our list this year hails from England. At least one—Karen Marie Ørsted, who records under the name MØ—is Danish instead. The electro-pop artist releases her debut full-length next month after winning fans around the world with recent singles like the Diplo-aided "XXX 88", "Pilgrim", "Glass", and "Waste of Time" (as well as singing on the Avicii cut "Dear Boy").
We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank 78 (2007)
We'd love to tell you definitively that the first Modest Mouse studio album in seven years is arriving in 2014, but there's nothing definitive about it, and "hurry up" is not a mode that Modest Mouse seems familiar with. (Remember, frontman Isaac Brock named his record label Glacial Pace.) The good news is that the band seemed to get more serious about recording the album last year, canceling a planned tour in order to return to the studio. At one point, Modest Mouse recorded "maybe 4-5 songs" with OutKast's Big Boi—if at least one doesn't make it to the album, there will be a lot of angry music bloggers—while Nirvana's Krist Novoselic also contributed to recording sessions.
World Wide Rebel Songs 61 (2011)
After spending the last year touring as an unofficial member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band (you can also hear him on The Boss's new release High Hopes), The Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave guitarist is headed to the studio this spring to record his first rock-oriented solo album under his own name. (He previously issued four solo acoustic/folk records under the name The Nightwatchman.)
tbd (Harvest) due summer/fall tbd
Years Of Refusal 79 (2009)
Last year brought an autobiography and a live DVD; this year will finally bring new music. Morrissey's long-gestating 10th solo album looks like it will finally surface in the latter half of 2014, thanks to a newly signed record contract with Harvest/Capitol. The one catch is that, despite performing numerous new songs in recent years, and claiming that he had an album in the can, nothing has been recorded yet. So the album's release this year is contingent upon him actually finishing it up. But given that Moz is heading to the studio this month with producer Joe Chiccarelli (and his touring band), progress is being made.
My Morning Jacket
tbd (ATO) due tbd
Circuital 76 (2011)
With frontman Jim James busy pursuing his solo production and recording careers, more time than usual has passed between My Morning Jacket albums. Nothing is known about their next album, but it should arrive this year.
tbd (Def Jam) due tbd
Life Is Good 81 (2012)
One of the most successful rappers in history, Nas is expected to release his 12th studio LP in 2014, ending his contract with Def Jam. Before then (we think), Nas will perform again at Coachella, and he is also expected to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his classic Illmatic with a special concert.
The New Pornographers
tbd (Matador) due spring tbd
Together 71 (2010)
Recording was mostly complete by last summer for the sixth album from the Canadian supergroup, and several of those new songs have already been performed live.
Have One On Me 85 (2010)
This one is speculative, but the new Mrs. Andy Samberg has been performing new songs in concert dating back to 2012, and the time seems right for a new album.
Close to the Glass (Sub Pop) due February 25
The Devil, You + Me 74 (2008)
New albums from the German indie rockers arrive only every 4-6 years (not including collaborations with Themselves as 13 & God, though those are just as infrequent), which means we're right on schedule for the band's latest. Though the previous Notwist album wasn't quite as strong as predecessors Neon Golden or Shrink, it still contained its fair share of strong tracks, so consider us excited to hear their Sub Pop debut next month. For now, you can listen to the album's title track.
tbd due summer tbd
Channel Orange 92 (2012)
After dropping one of the strongest debut albums in recent memory, R&B singer Frank Ocean looks ready to release a follow-up this summer. What shape the final album will take is still unknown. Early reports (recording began last year) suggested another concept album, possibly beach-related and influenced by the 1960s pop of The Beatles and Beach Boys. Tyler the Creator, Danger Mouse, and Pharrell may be involved, while Ocean was also seeking to collaborate with Tame Impala.
Two (Polyvinyl) due March 25
Consisting of most of the members of defunct emo band Cap'n Jazz (including members of Owen and Joan of Arc), Chicago-based Owls released one album and then disbanded over a decade ago. After unexpectedly reuniting to perform live a few years ago, Owls returned to the studio, and will release their belated second LP this spring. Listen to the album cut "I'm Surprised".
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
tbd due April tbd
Belong 76 (2011)
Though their singles typically outshine their albums, New York indie pop/shoegaze outfit The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have grown slightly more ambitious and polished with each passing release, and they have hinted at a new (reverb-free) direction for their next album. Their completed third full-length was being mixed late last year (by Andy Savours, who has worked with My Bloody Valentine and Sigur Ros), with a spring release likely.
Light Up Gold 84 (2013)
One of our favorite debuts of last year was the extremely fun, punk-meets-Pavement Light Up Gold. Much like that album breezed through 15 tracks in half an hour, Parquet Courts have been rushing to churn out new material in the studio, following that full-length late last year with the looser and wilder 5-song EP Tally All the Things That You Broke, reportedly culled from recording sessions that produced 20 new songs. This year will bring another new release—this time, a full-length—as well as near-constant touring.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Mojo 72 (2010)
Petty's first album in four years (and 13th with The Heartbreakers) is "not like anything we've ever done," the veteran rocker told Rolling Stone last year, also comparing the new material to 1979 classic Damn the Torpedoes.
Voices (Republic) due February 18
Eyelid Movies 76 (2010)
Since releasing their terrific debut album four years ago, the electronic-rock duo of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter have dropped a few EPs and collaborated on albums by Big Boi and The Flaming Lips. Next month will finally bring their second full-length album, Voices, produced by John Hill (Santigold). Numerous tracks from the new album have already hit the web, including "Celebrating Nothing" (a repeat from last year's EP), "Fall in Love", "Black Out Days", and the newest, "Nothing But Trouble". We're still waiting to hear "Bill Murray."
tbd (Columbia) due tbd
In My Mind 52 (2006)
Prolific, always-in-demand producer Pharrell Williams managed to earn Grammy nominations last year as both a producer (for Kendrick Lamar's album) and as an artist and writer (for his contributions to the summer's two biggest hits, "Get Lucky" and "Blurred Lines"). Striking while the iron is hot, he plans to release a solo album in 2014, his first in eight years. Critics didn't like that previous release—and it wasn't much of a hit—but maybe he can finally achieve the success as a solo artist that has come so easily to him in every other aspect of the music business. The only confirmed track so far is "Happy", released last year on the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack. Pharrell will also open for Bruno Mars on a few of his 2014 dates.
Closer 73 (2003)
Techno legend Richie Hawtin's last proper album as Plastikman came more than a decade ago. But after returning to live performance with a show at New York's Guggenheim Museum last fall, Hawtin was inspired to return to the studio, completing an entire new album in five days. What does a 2014 version of Plastikman sound like? We're curious to find out.
King Push (Def Jam) due tbd
My Name Is My Name 81 (2013)
Fresh off the release of October's My Name Is My Name, one of 2013's most lauded hip-hop releases, rapper Pusha T plans to return with his second solo studio album this year. The Neptunes will be producing, though it's unclear if others will be involved as well. In recent weeks, there have also been conflicting reports about a potential new 2014 album (As God As My Witness) from Clipse, Pusha T's duo with No Malice; just this week, however, Pusha T denied that Clipse has been in the studio working on the album.
Atlas (Domino) due March 4
Days 77 (2011)
The un-Google-able New Jersey band's third album of sunny, guitar-driven indie rock finds a slightly tweaked lineup, with a new drummer and keyboardist joining the remaining trio of founding members. Tom Schick (Rufus Wainwright, Low) produces. Watch the video for lead single "Talking Backwards". Real Estate will tour this spring in support of the album.
Unapologetic 61 (2012)
After missing her customary November release window last fall, chart-topper Rihanna should return with her eighth studio album this year, though work on the still-untitled album began only recently. Producers will likely include DJ Mustard and David Guetta.
Robyn and/or Röyksopp
Body Talk 86 (2010)
Swedish pop star Robyn hasn't released any new music whatsoever since 2010 (unless you count this), while Norwegian dance music duo Röyksopp have had only a few scattered tracks emerge since their last album, 2010's Senior. But the frequent collaborators have been recording new music together, and will hit the road for a joint tour in 2014. It is unclear whether the new material will be part of an album (or albums) or something more limited, but both artists are due for a new LP in the near future.
Mastermind (Def Jam) due March 4
God Forgives, I Don't 70 (2012)
Maybach Music Group head Rick Ross should release his delayed Mastermind project in March. Though a final tracklist hasn't been confirmed, it should include the Jay Z-assisted single "The Devil Is a Lie." Here's a brief album teaser.
Run the Jewels
Run the Jewels 2 (Fool's Gold) due tbd
Run the Jewels 86 (2013)
The highest-scoring debut album of 2013, the first LP from the hip-hop duo of El-P and Killer Mike went so smoothly that the pair are planning a quick follow-up for 2014. Including the El-P produced Killer Mike album R.A.P. Music, it'll be the third album-length collaboration for the pair, and they haven't had a dud yet.
#Oxymoron (Interscope) due February 25
Habits & Contradictions 78 (2012)
Another of the year's most-anticipated hip-hop albums is this third studio release and major-label debut from Top Dawg artist Schoolboy Q. Oxymoron is expected to feature Raekwon, Danny Brown, and A$AP Rocky, as well as recent singles "Man of the Year" and "Collard Greens", featuring Kendrick Lamar. Can he follow in his colleague Lamar's footsteps and achieve critical and commercial success? Don't bet against him.
In the Lonely Hour (Capitol) due May 26
You may not have heard of Sam Smith, but you'll probably be hearing a lot from him in 2014. The English 21-year-old soul singer-songwriter—who was still working as a bartender a little more than a year ago—first gained attention when he featured on Disclosure's single "Latch," and was recently named the winner of the BBC's influential Sound of 2014 poll as the #1 new artist to watch in the coming year. Signed to a major-label contract after impressing with his vocal prowess on his debut EP Nirvana last fall, Smith will release his debut LP in May. In the Lonely Hour will include previously released single "Lay Me Down" as well as the new track "Money on My Mind". Watch the album trailer.
True EP 79 (2012)
Beyoncé's little sister has also become a respected solo recording artist, but Solange Knowles hasn't released a full-length album since her 2008 sophomore set Sol-Angel And The Hadley St. Dreams. (A stop-gap EP, True, dropped a little over a year ago.) Her years-in-the-making third album is expected to arrive this year, when it will be released on her own new label, Saint Records. The new set may include some of the Dev Hynes-produced tracks from True, as well as new collaborations with Dirty Projectors' Dave Longstreth, Chairlift's Patrick Wimberly, Sampha, and SBTRKT.
tbd (Merge) due tbd
Transference 80 (2010)
Critic favorites (with five consecutive 80+ records) Spoon will finally return with a new album this year after an atypically long four-year gap, partially caused by frontman Britt Daniel's side gig with Divine Fits. Recording was completed last spring, with mixing (by Dave Fridmann and the band's own Jim Eno) in progress last fall, so you may not have much longer to wait for new Spoon music.
St. Vincent (Loma Vista) due February 25
Strange Mercy 85 (2011)
Following a one-off collaboration with David Byrne, Annie Clark will return with her fourth solo studio album next month. John Congleton produces, and the new album includes the tracks "Digital Witness" and "Birth in Reverse".
The Seer 87 (2012)
Since coming back to life in 2010 after a hiatus of over a decade, Michael Gira's Swans project has been remarkably prolific, releasing two studio albums and several live sets (in addition to touring constantly). Another new studio album (with John Congleton producing) was first announced last year, and could surface sometime in 2014.
Z (Top Dawg) due tbd
Another rising star in the Top Dawg stable (see Schoolboy Q, above), SZA is not male, not from Southern California, and not a rapper. Instead, TDE's newest signee is a young New Jersey singer, whose icy modern take on R&B captivated on her debut EP, S. A second EP, Z, follows in 2014 (how long must we wait for A?)—likely including "Teen Spirit"—with an LP also a possibility this year.
Tears for Fears
Everybody Loves A Happy Ending 65 (2004)
After spending the past year covering songs by some of their favorite new(ish) artists, including Arcade Fire's "Ready to Start", Animal Collective's "My Girls", and Hot Chip's "And I Was a Boy From School", the duo of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith are set to return later this year with an album of originals. It'll be their first studio LP in a decade.
Local Business 78 (2012)
The New Jersey indie-rock band's fourth album will be a 30-song rock opera partly inspired by Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy and Kay Redfield's Touched with Fire but mainly dealing with manic depression. Not ambitious enough? There may be a film, too. The band has the untitled set scheduled for a November release.
Tokyo Police Club
Forcefield (Mom + Pop) due March 25
Champ 71 (2010)
Canadian indie rockers Tokyo Police Club have never quite lived up to the promise suggested by their early singles, but perhaps they'll get there with this third album (their first in four years), produced by Doug Boehm (Girls) with the band's own David Monks. We've now heard two tracks from the new album, lead single "Hot Tonight" and nine-minute opener "Argentina (Parts I, II, III)".
whokill 86 (2011)
Merrill Garbus's third album better come out in 2014, because we don't want to re-learn how to type tUnE-yArDs again next year. Possibly titled Sink-o, her next release is expected to be even more rhythm-focused; Garbus has spent the last year studying Haitian drumming in preparation.
TV on the Radio
Nine Types of Light 82 (2011)
TV on the Radio began work on their fifth studio album late last year, which will be their first full-length release since the death of bassist Gerard Smith in 2011. The album will also be the band's first since leaving Interscope, where they released their three most recent LPs. The only taste of new material we've had so far are the songs "Mercy" and "Million Miles" (both released last summer), though it is unclear if they will wind up on the new album.
No Line On The Horizon 72 (2009)
The only new U2 music we've had in recent years is the Golden Globe-winning (and now Oscar-nominated) cut "Ordinary Love" from the Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom soundtrack, but U2 are expected to release their long-delayed 13th studio album in 2014, perhaps as soon as April. (Look for an album announcement during the Super Bowl broadcast next month). Exactly what the album will contain is a mystery; it will definitely include songs produced by Danger Mouse, but the band has also worked with will.i.am, RedOne, and David Guetta in recent years.
Sharon Van Etten
Are We There? due May tbd
Tramp 81 (2012)
The Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter is expected to release her fourth studio set this spring, with NME suggesting that it's a slightly happier, more romantic set than previous albums. Depending on the final tracklist, Adam Granduciel of The War on Drugs (see below) may be among the guests.
The War on Drugs
Lost in the Dream (Secretly Canadian) due March 18
Slave Ambient 82 (2011)
Indie rockers The War on Drugs return with a follow-up to their acclaimed sophomore set Slave Ambient. Two years in the making, the new album will contain the recent track "Red Eyes". A monthlong tour follows the album's release.
Dean Wareham (Double Feature) due March 11
Emancipated Hearts EP 78 (2013)
After spending parts of three decades fronting the bands Galaxie 500 and Luna, and then recording a pair of albums with his wife Britta Phillips as the duo Dean & Britta, Dean Wareham is finally ready to step into the spotlight alone (though he's backed by a band, including Phillips on bass). His self-titled solo debut (following the EP teaser Emancipated Hearts released last year) is produced by My Morning Jacket's Jim James, and includes the song "Holding Pattern".
tbd due summer tbd
Yeezus 84 (2013)
That was quick. About a year after releasing Yeezus, an album that topped more critic top 10 lists last year than any other 2013 release, West should be back with a follow-up. His untitled seventh solo set will be produced by Rick Rubin and Q-Tip, though you probably won't be able to pay for it with Coinye. A second Watch the Throne collab with Jay Z is also theoretically possible for 2014, though the pair haven't recorded any material for it yet. West also partnered with Adidas for a new clothing line coming this year.
Blunderbuss 83 (2012)
The former White Stripes leader and Third Man Records head is reportedly nearing completion of his second solo album, to be released later in 2014. A second 2014 release is also in the works, and that one looks like it will be an album-length covers collaboration with Neil Young. The year ahead will also bring a series of singles from White's Dead Weather project (including the just-released "Rough Detective"), leading up to a Dead Weather album in 2015.
Present Tense (Domino) due February 24
Smother 85 (2011)
The title might be Present Tense, but the inspiration for this fourth album from the Mercury Prize-nominated art-rockers comes from electronic music of the 1980s and '90s. The new album took longer to make than previous Wild Beasts releases; the band spent a year working on the new tracks with producers Leo Abrahams (Brian Eno's recent collaborator) and Lexxx. Watch the video for lead single "Wanderlust".
tbd due June
Blessed 79 (2011)
Following an acclaimed reissue of her 1988 self-titled third album this week, the veteran singer-songwriter plans to have new music in stores this June. Her still-untitled 11th studio album will be culled from recent recording sessions (with guitarist Bill Frisell and her touring band) that produced over 30 tracks, with the leftovers possibly going on a second new album.
In the Key of Disney 61 (2011)
After reuniting with the Beach Boys in 2012 for a new album and tour, Brian Wilson has returned to his solo career, possibly in a big way. One, two, or three separate albums could emerge in the near future, including a full album that he's been recording with guitarist Jeff Beck (which seems the closest of the projects to completion). The other projects may include an instrumental album, as well as a "suite" said to be a successor to Pet Sounds and Smile.
A Better Tomorrow due tbd
8 Diagrams 73 (2007)
Expected to arrive last year in honor of the hip-hop collective's 20th anniversary, Wu-Tang's sixth studio album has yet to surface, though a Facebook update a few weeks ago suggests that it is "coming soon."
Obligatory mention of a new Avalanches album
Since I Left You 89 (2001)
If My Bloody Valentine could finally do it last year, will this year be The Avalanches's turn to release their decade-in-the-making album? There's always a chance ... just like there's a chance they'll team up with The Wrens, Andre 3000, The Postal Service, D'Angelo, Tool, Madvillain, and Dr. Dre to form a supergroup. (May we suggest a name: The Procrastinators.) In all seriousness, there's no news to report on the Avalanches front, but who knows what that means.
What do you think?
Yes, we know we neglected to mention your favorite artist(s). Which albums are you looking forward to in 2014? Give us your picks for the coming year in the comments section below.