Confirmed releases, possible releases, and blatant optimism
Below, we select 66 of the coming year's most noteworthy planned album releases. (Why 66? Why not.) The list is not limited to albums with confirmed release dates, but does include only those releases that have a decent shot at arriving before the end of 2013 (plus, for consistency's sake, The Avalanches and The Wrens); in other words, you won't see artists such as The Stone Roses, where the odds of a 2013 release are miniscule at best. (The Stone Roses, by the way, have managed to record two songs for their next album over the past year, which means that third LP should arrive by 2018.) Release dates (when available) are for the U.S. unless otherwise noted.
tbd due late 2013
The Suburbs 87 (2010)
Average score for the Montreal band's first three albums: 88. So it's fair to say that expectations are high for Arcade Fire's currently underway fourth album, which the band hopes to complete in time for a release late this year. LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy collaborated on and/or produced a handful of the new songs which could make it to the upcoming album, while producer Markus Dravs has also been working with the group. The band has already tested out some of their new material in a secret show in Montreal last month, while another new track, "Crucified Again", was performed in New York.
Atoms for Peace
Amok (XL Recordings) due February 26
Here's a supergroup that might actually produce something super. Previously only a live act, this collaboration between Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, Radiohead producer/Ultraísta member Nigel Godrich, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, drummer Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M.), and percussionist Mauro Refosco have recorded a nine-song LP for release next month, and early tracks suggest a blurring of electronic and rock elements not unlike Radiohead's recent output. Listen to the lead single "Default" and its even better non-album B-side "What the Eyeballs Did", as well as the upcoming second single "Judge, Jury and Executioner", on YouTube.
Exai 2xCD (Warp) due March 5
Oversteps 76 (2010)
Say the title out loud and it sounds like XI, which reveals that Exai is the glitchtronica duo's eleventh studio album. Clocking in at over two hours, the new set is filled, as always, with impenetrable song titles ("irlite (get 0)", "T ess xi", "Flep"), which, coupled with another Designers Republic album cover, suggests business as usual for one of Warp's longest-tenured artists.
Since I Left You 89 (2001)
It doesn't seem fair to run our annual music preview article without our obligatory mention of the mythical second album from The Avalanches, which, despite rumors about its release surfacing every six months or so (coupled with hints of Danny Brown and Ariel Pink collaborations), has yet to materialize. Still, it now seems far more likely that My Bloody Valentine will release a new album before the Australian cut-up artists do, and that's saying something.
Mala (Nonesuch) due spring tbd
What Will We Be 69 (2009)
Four years is a long time between releases for the L.A.-based indie-folk-rock artist, who typically works at an album-a-year (or more) pace. But Banhart will finally return this spring with his debut for new label Nonesuch, which he co-produced with Noah Georgeson of his touring band. If the rest of the album is as good as lead single "Für Hildegard von Bingen" (YouTube), we're in for a treat. (Oh, and here's another just-leaked track, "Never Seen Such Good Things", at Soundcloud.)
Broke With Expensive Taste (Interscope) due February 12
1991 [EP] 84 (2012)
Signed to a major label (Interscope) at the age of 20, the now 21-year-old Harlem rapper, singer, and potential breakout star may finally drop her first full-length album in a few weeks. Originally expected in 2012, Broke With Expensive Taste follows her Fantasea mixtape and 1991 EP, each released to favorable reviews last year. Don't be surprised if that release date gets pushed back, though; the album isn't yet listed for sale on sites like Amazon, which is always a bad sign.
Modern Guilt 77 (2008)
While last year's album-in-book-form Song Reader has been performed by everybody but Beck himself, 2013 should finally see the singer-songwriter-artist emerging from the recording studio with a new batch of songs, which he first started working on in 2008. In fact, Beck has a second album project, partially recorded last year in Nashville, that may get a 2013 release in addition to (or in lieu of) the older material.
4 73 (2011)
The pop star is expected to collaborate with Pharrell, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, and The-Dream on her upcoming fifth album, part of a busy year for Ms. Knowles that has already included a "performance" of the national anthem at Barack Obama's inauguration this week. Expect her to unveil at least one new song during her high-profile gig next month during the Super Bowl halftime show, which will be followed on February 16 with a new HBO documentary about her life (which she directed herself). She also recently recorded a new single ("Nuclear") with her former group, Destiny's Child, which will be included on their upcoming greatest hits compilation Love Songs (out January 29) and performed at that Super Bowl gig.
The Black Keys
El Camino 84 (2011)
In a little over a decade, The Black Keys have worked their way up from little-known Ohio blues-rock duo to Grammy-winning, arena-filling superstars. 2011's El Camino was their biggest success to date, and that album's follow-up is almost certain to arrive in 2013. Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have already begun work on the new set, which they are writing in the studio as they record, and they hope to have the album completed in March prior to a spring tour.
13 (Vertigo) due June tbd
It likely won't be the best album released this summer, but it should attract the curious, at least. Heavy Metal pioneers Black Sabbath last recorded an album with Ozzy Osbourne as their frontman in 1978 (the now-not-ironically-titled Never Say Die!), but now, he and (most of) the group are back together, working with producer Rick Rubin on 13. Though ill, guitarist Tony Iommi was part of the recording sessions, but original drummer Bill Ward was not; Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk will be heard on the new album instead.
James Blake 81 (2011)
The young English producer/singer-songwriter will finally release a follow-up to his Mercury Prize-nominated debut sometime this year. While few details about the still-untitled album are available (various interviews last year unhelpfully suggested that the second LP would be either more or less electronic than the first), Blake performed some of the new tracks during his live sets last month, a few of which have made their way to YouTube.
The Next Day (Columbia) due March 12
Reality 74 (2003)
Now this was unexpected. The Next Day, the 66-year-old rock legend's first album in a decade, was recorded in secret over the past two years with longtime producer Tony Visconti; in fact, so many tracks were recorded that a second new album could arrive next year. The album's lead single, "Where Are We Now" (lyric video at YouTube), is already the artist's first UK top-10 hit in 20 years, though it isn't necessarily representative of the album as a whole. Note that Bowie has insisted that he has no plans to tour in support of the album.
British Sea Power
Valhalla Dancehall 70 (2011)
The UK indie rockers recently recorded their fifth studio album and have now completed mixing and mastering, meaning a release is likely in the first half of 2013. In the meantime, die-hard fans in the UK can pick up the new DVD release of the documentary film From The Sea To The Land Beyond, which features a score performed by the band.
Old (Fool's Gold) due tbd
XXX 83 (2011)
Originally titled ODB, Old is either the first or the third proper album (depending on how you count) from Detroit rapper Danny Brown. While a final tracklist hasn't been confirmed, the new LP is expected to feature A$AP Rocky, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and indie synth-pop band Purity Ring; the latter also contribute beats, along with Rustie and other producers. Note that, unlike with the free XXX, you'll have to pay to get a copy of the new album.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Push the Sky Away (Anti-) due February 19
Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! 87 (2008)
Though Nick Cave hasn't been completely silent—among other things, he released a second album from his Grinderman side project and wrote the film Lawless—five years is a long time to wait for a new album from his main gig. But Cave's 15th album with The Bad Seeds (minus, for the first time, co-founder Mick Harvey) arrives in just a few weeks. The Nick Launay-produced Push the Sky Away includes lead single "We No Who U R", the video for which is viewable at YouTube.
tbd (IAMSOUND) due spring tbd
The 20-year-old English singer-songwriter (known to her parents as Charlotte Aitchison) is poised to become one of 2013's next big things, with buzz building on the strength of a handful of singles, a few mixtapes, and one EP (You're the One)—or, more accurately, on the strength of her voice, surprisingly mature songwriting, and eclectic electro sounds that would make early fan M.I.A. proud. Charli has been working on her debut album since the age of 14, and the LP is expected to include production work from Clams Casino, Andrew Wyatt (Miike Snow), and others. Watch the video for "You (Ha Ha Ha)", the first official single released from the still-untitled album, at YouTube.
Chelsea Light Moving
Chelsea Light Moving (Matador) due March 5
While the legendary Sonic Youth appears to be done for good, its members continue to make music. Last year brought a Lee Ranaldo solo album, and this year sees the debut from Chelsea Light Moving, a new quartet fronted by SY's Thurston Moore that should instantly appeal to fans of Moore's former band (hint: you'll recognize his distinctive guitar-playing immediately). Grab MP3s of the band's "Empires of Time", "Burroughs" and "Groovy & Linda" at Matador, and look for the band's first official U.S. tour this spring.
tbd due fall tbd
Attack On Memory 83 (2012)
With the Cleveland indie rock band's third album still a very recent memory (and one that appeared on many critics' best of 2012 lists), it's a bit surprising to find them here in our 2013 preview. But band leader Dylan Baldi informed MTV Hive a few weeks ago that he has already written much of the follow-up LP, and the plan is to record the new tracks in April for a release this fall. Expect the new material to be "noisier" and "less melodic," influenced by early punk.
Tron: Legacy OST 71 (2010)
Tron soundtracks aside, the helmeted French duo haven't released an album since 2005's Human After All. Could 2013 finally be the year of their return? The answer is a big fat peut-être. The good news is that recording sessions have occurred in recent months (if not years), and if even half of the confirmed collaborators—Panda Bear, disco-era legends Giorgio Moroder and Nile Rodgers, Muppet Movie songwriter Paul Williams, Chilly Gonzales—appear on the finished album, we could be in for something worth the wait.
Soul singer-songwriter D'Angelo was on the verge of superstardom at the turn of the century when he released Voodoo, still considered one of the best R&B albums of its era (if not of all time). But then came nearly a full decade with no new releases, no live shows, and no contact with the press, while a series of legal and personal issues interfered with his attempts to write new material. But last year saw D'Angelo touring once again, and now comes word that a new album is nearing completion. Talking to Billboard this week, Roots drummer Questlove (who has been in the studio with D'Angelo) indicated that the album is 99% finished, and should be submitted to the label by February. Oh, and he also described it as an instant classic.
Event II (EMI) due tbd
Deltron 3030 (2000)
Another album that's a decade in the making, Event II will be the second sci-fi-influenced hip hop LP from the trio of Dan the Automator, Del the Funky Homosapien, and Kid Koala. The new album (which takes place in the year 4010, for those of you keeping score at home) has already been previewed live, though only one track has been officially released so far: "Pay the Price", which you can hear at Soundcloud.
tbd (Columbia) due March tbd
Sounds Of The Universe 70 (2009)
Depeche Mode have been on an album-every-four-years pace for the past two decades, which means their still-untitled spring follow-up to Sounds of the Universe will arrive right on schedule. (Before that, the first single, "Heaven," will drop February 5th.) Produced by the band's Martin Gore with Ben Hillier (who also was behind the boards for the previous two albums), the new set will be mixed by Flood, who is working with the band for the first time since Songs of Faith and Devotion, and frontman Dave Gahan has suggested that the latter album is a good reference point for the blues-influenced new LP. Expect a massive world tour to follow.
The Dismemberment Plan
Change 83 (2001)
The Washington, D.C. indie rockers have a pretty good excuse for their lack of new material over the past dozen years: the band broke up in 2003. But a few reunion shows in January 2011 turned into a few more later that year, which turned into even more live dates in 2012. And those performances last year included eight brand new songs, representing the Plan's first new material since 2001's Change. (Watch fan-shot footage of most of the new songs at Consequence of Sound.) A tweet from frontman Travis Morrison last fall confirmed the obvious: the band was in the process of recording a new album. With recording nearly complete at the end of next year, you probably won't have to wait too much longer to hear the new LP.
Thank Me Later 75 (2010)
The one-time child actor's first two LPs have combined to sell more than 5 million copies worldwide, though the past year has seen Drake showing up on other artists' albums rather than his own. But a tweet last fall confirmed that he was at work on a third album, and the first taste could arrive soon in the form of "Started From the Bottom", "No New Friends", or both.
Doris (Tan Cressida/Columbia) due tbd
A member of L.A.'s Odd Future collective follows a well-received free mixtape with an official major-label debut album. The formula that worked so well for Frank Ocean last year will be followed in 2013 by 18-year-old rapper Earl Sweatshirt (perhaps OF's strongest MC), who is set to drop the album Doris three years after his free debut Earl. Expect Ocean to be just one of many Odd Future members guesting on Doris, which could also include contributions from The Alchemist and the Neptunes. Listen to the likely album track "Chum" at NPR. Speaking of chums, Earl's OF colleague Tyler, the Creator could finally release his third album Wolf this year, though we wouldn't put money on it.
The Flaming Lips
The Terror (Warner Bros.) due spring tbd
The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends 72 (2012)
While the Lips have spent the last few years creating 24-hour songs, playing eight concerts in a day, covering King Crimson, and collaborating with artists ranging from Ke$ha to Yoko Ono, we haven't seen a real studio album from the band since 2009's Embryonic 81. When it arrives (perhaps as soon as this spring), The Terror will be the band's 15th studio album. The Lips' Steven Drozd told Stereogum last year that the record will feature a low-fi, synth-based sound that will mark a shift from the prior album's more psychedelic approach.
Holy Fire (Transgressive/Warner Bros.) due February 12
Total Life Forever 78 (2010)
Following two well received LPs and a Mercury Prize nomination, Foals return with their third album in just a few weeks. Still a bit more popular in their native England than in the States (though the new album's American release sees them jumping from indie label Sub Pop to the larger Warner Bros.), the indie rockers worked with veteran producers Flood and Alan Moulder on Holy Fire, which the band has described as "swampy" and "stinky." Videos for album tracks "My Number" and "Inhaler" can watched at YouTube.
tbd (Columbia) due spring
Without releasing a single album, the Los Angeles-based sister trio have already landed on the cover of NME and topped the BBC's Sound of 2013 poll, while their harmony-drenched, radio-friendly pop (think Fleetwood Mac meets '90s R&B) in early songs like "Forever" earned them a major-label contract. Their album-less status should change in May or June, and their debut should be a good one, with producers James Ford (Simian Mobile Disco) and Paul Epworth on board. Watch the videos for "Forever" and "Don't Save Me" at YouTube, or listen to "Better Off" at Soundcloud.
How to Destroy Angels
Welcome Oblivion (Columbia) due March 5
An Omen EP 78 (2012)
With Nine Inch Nails on hiatus, Trent Reznor has busied himself in recent years with soundtrack work, including his acclaimed score for The Social Network with collaborator Atticus Ross. Reznor also founded a new project, How to Destroy Angels, with Ross and vocalist Mariqueen Maandig (Reznor's wife), and, following a few EPs released over the last few years, the trio are finally ready to issue their full-length debut. Watch a video for their recent EP track "The Loop Closes" at Vimeo.
You're Nothing (Matador) due February 19
New Brigade 85 (2011)
The Copenhagen-based teen punk band released one of the better debut albums in recent memory in the form of 2011's New Brigade. What will they do for an encore now that they are have entered their twenties? The 12-song You're Nothing marks the band's debut on the legendary Matador label, and early track "Coalition" (free MP3 at Pitchfork) suggests that they haven't lost any of their youthful energy.
The Blueprint 3 65 (2009)
After collaborating with Kanye West on 2011's Watch the Throne 76 (and its associated, never-ending tour), Jay-Z would seem to be due for an album of his own. Indeed, reports of studio time (with the likes of Pharrell, Timbaland, Q-Tip, and pal Kanye) have surfaced recently, so a 2013 release is not so far-fetched.
Shaking the Habitual (Rabid/Mute) due April 8
Silent Shout 74 (2006)
We haven't heard from the Swedish electronic duo since their collaborative 2010 release Tomorrow, In a Year (featuring music written for a Danish opera), and, before that, their underrated 2006 studio album Silent Shout, though the band's Karin Dreijer Andersson released an excellent solo album under the name Fever Ray. Consider Shaking the Habitual, then, one of the most anticipated electronic releases of 2013. The Knife have revealed little about the upcoming release, though Light Asylum's Shannon Funchess is expected to guest on the album, the band's fourth. A nine-minute single, "Full of Fire," comes out next week, but, in the meantime, you can watch a trailer for the album at YouTube.
ARTPOP (Interscope) due spring tbd
Born This Way 71 (2011)
While Lady Gaga released nothing more than a fragrance in 2012, she has promised a new album in 2013. And we're willing to guarantee that it will be called ARTPOP, given that she had the name tattooed on her body. Though MTV recently reported that the constantly-touring Gaga still has major work to do on the new songs (throwing that spring release window into question), it is conceivable that the pop star could release both ARTPOP and a previously announced collaboration with Tony Bennett in 2013.
Jamie Lidell (Warp) due February 18
Compass 76 (2010)
Unlike most Warp artists, Jamie Lidell is known for his soulful vocals, though his R&B songs are occasionally married to the glitchy IDM beats more typical of the label. The British singer has relocated to Nashville, where he recorded his self-titled fifth-album, and based on the tracks released so far, it could be his most diverse set yet. Listen to the funky album cut "why_ya_why" at Soundcloud or the glitchier "What a Shame" at YouTube, and feel free to ignore the complaints about Lidell turning dubstep.
The Invisible Way (Sub Pop) due March 19
C'mon 80 (2011)
By now, you know what to expect from Low: slow, sparely instrumented tunes filled with the wondrous harmonies of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker. The Invisible Way looks unlikely to change the trio's formula, though the album does add a new element in the form of production from Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, whom the band enlisted after hearing his recent work with Mavis Staples. Hear the album track "Plastic Cup" at NPR, or stream "Just Make It Stop" at Soundcloud.
tbd (Stones Throw)
Madvillainy 93 (2004)
The duo of MF DOOM and Madlib collaborated on the acclaimed Madvillainy LP in 2004—which remains one of the all-time highest-scoring hip hop records in our database—but a long-rumored follow-up has yet to surface, with the pair's only other output in the interim consisting of a 2008 remix album (Madvillainy 2: The Madlib Remix). But DOOM reported last fall that a new album was "almost done," and who are we to question someone who is constantly wearing a mask?
Free the Universe (Mad Decent/Downtown) due February 19
Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do 77 (2009)
One-time member Switch is gone, but producer Diplo has enlisted a pair of newcomers (Walshy Fire, Jillionaire) to fill out his Major Lazer project, which releases album #2 next month. Guests on the party-ready Free the Universe include Santigold, Peaches, Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend), Danielle Haim (HAIM), Wyclef Jean, Bruno Mars, Shaggy, and Ms. Dynamite, though rumored collaborations with Lykke Li and Lee "Scratch" Perry appear not to have made the final cut. Listen to the album's first two singles, "Get Free" (featuring Dirty Projectors' Amber Coffman) and "Jah No Partial", at YouTube.
The Messenger (Sire) due February 26
Over three decades into his music career, former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr has finally recorded a solo album. Marr serves as writer, producer, and, yes, lead vocalist on The Messenger, a 12-song set that follows recent years spent playing with bands ranging from Modest Mouse to The Cribs, as well as his own short-lived band, The Healers (which also featured Marr on vocals). Watch the video for lead single "Upstarts" at YouTube
The Marriage of True Minds (Thrill Jockey) due February 19
Supreme Balloon 78 (2008)
You'll notice a few minor changes when the sample-loving experimentalists return next month with their first album in five years. For one thing, the duo have jumped to Thrill Jockey after releasing their previous seven albums on Matador. And the new album features a larger roster of collaborators than is the norm; Dan Deacon, Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak), and Jason Willett (Half Japanese) are just a few of the names that appear. But what hasn't changed is Matmos' love of an overarching concept, and on the new record, that concept is telepathy, which even worked its way into the album's unusual recording process. Fittingly, the diverse set closes with a cover of the Buzzcocks' "E.S.P.," which is taken in an unexpected doom metal direction.
New Moon (Sacred Bones) due March 5
Open Your Heart 83 (2012)
Nearly a year after releasing their adventurous critical hit Open Your Heart—which continued to earn the band comparisons to The Replacements—Brooklyn indie rockers The Men will return with their fourth album. Streaming now at YouTube, the garage-punk lead single "Electric" suggests that their emphasis is still clearly on the "rock" part of indie rock.
Congratulations 72 (2010)
The indie rockers have been in the studio this month to complete work on tracks for their upcoming third album, and while the new material might not go down well with kittens, it should be welcomed by fans who have waited nearly three years for a follow-up to MGMT's less user-friendly second album. Dave Fridmann is serving as producer, as he did on MGMT's lauded debut Oracular Spectacular. The band have been spotted performing a new track, "Alien Days" (YouTube), in concert, though it is unclear whether that song will be included on the new album, which may or may not be titled MGMT.
Matangi (Interscope) due April tbd
MAYA 68 (2010)
Originally set for release late last year, M.I.A.'s fourth LP has been delayed to April so that the artist could rework the album in response to complaints from her label that it was sounding "too positive." (Yeah, that's a first for us, too.) The album was originally set to include year-old single "Bad Girls" (which should remain, given its lack of positivity), but the rest of the previously announced tracklist now should be considered tentative, and the artist was last seen heading to India for further recording sessions.
We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank 78 (2007)
While there is nothing official about a new Modest Mouse album arriving in 2013, the band has been testing new material in its live shows over the past year. (Here's a fan-shot video of one such track, "Heart of Mine".) And there have been studio sightings as well, including at least one session with OutKast's Big Boi, an unlikely collaboration that seems too intriguing to be kept away from the public for long. Unfortunately, progress has been slow going; after all, there's a reason frontman Isaac Brock named his label Glacial Pace.
Years Of Refusal 79 (2009)
What is standing in the way of Morrissey's first album in four years? It's certainly not a lack of material; he's playing plenty of new songs on his current tour—as well as on the talk show circuit, where he recently performed "Action Is My Middle Name" on Letterman—and as far back as 2011, the artist reported that the follow-up to Years of Refusal was in the can. The obstacle, rather, is Morrissey's own years of refusal of whatever record contracts he has been offered, and he remains label-less for the moment. But a change of heart—or a better deal—could bring a new LP this year. Also in limbo is Moz's 600+-page autobiography that he claims to have written but is—wait for it—still awaiting a publishing deal. (Stop me if you think you've heard this one before.)
My Bloody Valentine
Loveless 93 (1991)
"On 21-12-12 we finished mastering the new album!" read the post on the legendary shoegaze band's Facebook page last month, suggesting an imminent end to the long global nightmare that saw the world's music fans lacking a third My Bloody Valentine album. Over the past few years, tours, album reissues, and a rarities comp saw the Kevin Shields-led project slowly come back to life (and sounding just as good as ever), and while Shields has been hinting at a new album for over a decade (with recording commencing way back in 1996), 2013 is looking like the year it finally arrives. A few live 2013 dates are already confirmed; cross your fingers for a full tour.
High Violet 85 (2010)
Another band with nothing confirmed for the new year, Matt Berninger & co. have reportedly been in the studio over the past year, and were spotted as recently as December working up to five new songs into their live sets. That adds up to an album arriving sooner rather than later, which should delight fans of intelligent indie rock and NPR music coordinators everywhere.
Stainless Style 79 (2008)
The duo of Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys and producer Boom Bip was supposed to be a one-off (the result being an excellent 2008 concept album about John DeLorean). But the collaboration appears to have a second life, with the pair dropping recent hints of a new album, possibly themed this time around the life of Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, an Italian communist, avant-garde publisher, and revolutionary.
Bankrupt! (Glassnote) due April tbd
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix 82 (2009)
After giving the world some of the catchiest songs of the past decade on 2009's Grammy-winning Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, the French band took their time in recording a follow-up. All that we know so far about Phoenix's fifth album is its title (Bankrupt!, revealed last week), and that it has a tentative April release date. The band indicated a few years ago that they were headed in a less pop-oriented, more experimental direction, though that was prior to the final recording sessions. A few scattered festival dates have already been announced for 2013, so there is hope for a full tour.
More Light due May tbd
Beautiful Future 64 (2008)
David Holmes (working with Primal Scream for the first time since their brilliant XTRMNTR) produced the band's recently completed follow-up to 2008's Beautiful Future. The new album—the band's 10th overall—sees bassist Debbie Googe of My Bloody Valentine replacing the departed Man, who has returned to the Stone Roses. Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant is expected to contribute vocals to at least one track on More Light, with My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields and Mark Stewart (The Pop Group) also guesting.
Queens of the Stone Age
Era Vulgaris 75 (2007)
It might be easier to name who won't be contributing to the Josh Homme-led band's sixth studio album and first new release in six years rather than list who will. That short list includes drummer Joey Castillo, who has left the project after a decade and has been replaced by original QOTSA drummer Dave Grohl. Otherwise, the ever-growing roster of contributors who have been in the studio with Homme over the past year includes Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears, and fired former QOTSA bassist Nick Oliveri. In a recent interview, Homme suggested that the still in-progress LP would be "deeper", "richer", and "stranger" than past outings.
Oxymoron (Interscope) due tbd
Habits & Contradictions 78 (2012)
Like his fellow Black Hippy member Kendrick Lamar did last year, Los Angeles rapper Schoolboy Q is looking to make a big impression with his major-label and commercial debut. While it obviously might be tough to match Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d city, Q will have some help from A$AP Rocky and Danny Brown on Oxymoron. You can also expect at least one new release in the coming year from Q's fellow Black Hippy member Ab-Soul, likely starting with Unit 6, a collaboration with producer JMSN.
The Sebadoh (1999)
Probably the most personal of Lou Barlow's numerous projects is Sebadoh, the low-fi college-rock band he founded after first departing Dinosaur Jr. But, after releasing nine albums (with varying lineups), Barlow put Sebadoh on the shelf in 1999 to concentrate on other projects (Folk Implosion, some solo records, an eventual return to Dinosaur Jr.), and the group, like their contemporaries Pavement, seemed likely never to record again. But last year, out of the blue, came a new EP from a reunited Sebadoh (who had re-formed to tour in support of some album reissues), with a note that a full album would follow in 2013. Consider us intrigued.
Reign of Terror 77 (2012)
With their difficult second album is out of the way early last year, the Brooklyn-based duo immediately jumped back into songwriting mode, and the payoff should come in the form of a third LP this year. Three new tracks were already recorded last October, and the band told Huffington Post last fall that the new material would continue their move away from their noisy beginnings to more "melodic" and "clean" sounds.
Angles 71 (2011)
The band's still-untitled fifth album was recently announced for a 2013 release, and it will be preceded by a soon-to-arrive single called "All The Time." Unlike the sessions for their prior album, which found singer Julian Casablancas recording his parts in a separate location away from his bandmates, the new album was recorded by The Strokes as a group in New York with producer Gus Oberg (who mixed part of Angles).
Bloodsports (Warner) due March 18
A New Morning 65 (2002)
After an 11-year absence, the Britpop band fronted by Brett Anderson returns with Bloodsports this spring. While fans who attended the band's reunion shows a few years ago got to hear some new material, most of it was scrapped once the band entered the studio with producer Ed Buller (who also worked with Suede on their first three albums), and the result, according to Anderson, sounds like a cross between Dog Man Star and Coming Up. The first track released from the ten-song album is "Barriers", which you can stream at Pitchfork.
The 20/20 Experience due tbd
FutureSex/LoveSounds 70 (2006)
After devoting the past few years to his acting career, the one-time 'N Sync member is finally returning to music later this year with his third solo album The 20/20 Experience. While few details have emerged so far, the just-released lead single "Suit & Tie" is produced by Timbaland and features Jay-Z.
10,000 Days 68 (2006)
Tool have been working for three years on their first album since 2006's 10,000 Days—with breaks for winemaking and other side projects, naturally—but this should finally be the year it surfaces. One encouraging sign: they have actually been spending time in the studio, and a recent communication from the band indicated that the record is halfway done. (Of course, that also could mean that it won't be 100% complete until 2015.)
tbd due summer/fall tbd
No Line on the Horizon 72 (2009)
Some news on the Irish band's long-delayed album finally emerged last week, when drummer Larry Mullen Jr. announced that a new LP would be out in September at the latest. It's not clear, however, which album this might be; while the band has reportedly recorded a "rock" album (possibly titled 10 Reasons to Exist) with producer Danger Mouse, U2 have also been associated with several other projects in recent years, including more club-oriented material as well as a more "meditative" album originally titled Songs of Ascent. Will it be one new album, or three? At least there should finally be something this fall.
tbd (XL Recordings) due May 7
Contra 81 (2010)
Vampire Weekend's third album took the band much longer to record than their previous critically-praised albums, but the nearly two-year process is finally complete. The still-untitled LP was produced by Ariel Rechtshaid (Major Lazer, Usher) with VW keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij, with the band indicating to Q that the sound is "darker" and more "organic" than their previous releases. The album is expected to include the new track "Unbelievers", which the band performed last fall on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and fan blog Team Vampire Weekend has audio of the new track "Arms" performed live this week in Australia.
Wakin on a Pretty Daze (Matador) due spring tbd
Smoke Ring for My Halo 82 (2011)
Former War on Drugs member Kurt Vile has been slowly making a name as a solo artist since leaving that band five years ago, with his most recent release, Smoke Ring for My Halo, his best LP yet. This spring brings his fifth album—its title announced with a mural in his native Philadelphia—and while no other details have been released to date, Vile told Spin last year that the new material reminds him of Fleetwood Mac's Tusk.
Trilogy 79 (2012)
After releasing three hugely acclaimed mixtapes, which were later compiled together into the major-label release Trilogy, Toronto's Abel Tesfaye still owes us a proper debut album. And, if we can trust a picture posted on The Weeknd's Twitter feed (and, really, when can you not trust Twitter?), that album should be arriving in 2013.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 94 (2010)
While a Cruel Winter-titled follow-up to the G.O.O.D. Music comp Cruel Summer seems to be more rumor than actual album, 2013 could finally bring a new solo set from Kanye himself. Given that his last album (not counting Summer or Watch the Throne) was 2010's best, and that his five solo studio albums have averaged an impressive 84, you can see why fans might be getting impatient. No ID and Skrillex are among the producers who have reportedly spent time in the studio with West to record his secretive sixth album over the past year, with other firm details hard to come by. Still, most observers are expecting the album to drop sometime in 2013.
Smother 85 (2011)
After releasing three increasingly successful albums in a four-year span, the English art-rockers took a bit of a breather before heading back into the studio last fall to begin work on album four. There are no clues yet as to what the new record will sound like, but it is expected to arrive in the second half of the year.
Change Becomes Us (Pinkflag) due March 26
Red Barked Tree 77 (2011)
The 21st century reunion of spiky English art-rockers Wire has proven to be surprisingly enduring, resulting in three excellent albums over the past decade. Their latest should be especially appealing to longtime fans, as it consists of new takes on songs and fragments originally written (and never before recorded, though some were performed live) during Wire's 1979-80 heyday. It's also their first record to feature touring guitarist Matthew Simms, who replaced Bruce Gilbert several years ago. Listen to lead track "Doubles & Trebles" at Pitchfork.
The Meadowlands 85 (2003)
One of the most beloved indie-rock records of the young century, The Meadowlands is now a decade old, which means New Jersey's The Wrens are more than overdue for a follow-up. There have been hints about recording sessions off and on for years, as well as recent suggestions of a 2013 release, but we're including the band here more out of habit than due to any concrete proof that a new album is forthcoming.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Mosquito (Interscope) due April 16
It's Blitz 82 (2009)
Never the most prolific band in the world, the trio of Karen O, Nick Zinner, and Brian Chase took an even longer than normal four years between albums, but will finally return this spring with their fourth studio set. Dave Sitek (of TV on the Radio) and Nick Launay serve as the main producers, as they did on the previous album It's Blitz, though one track (featuring Dr. Octagon) was produced by LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy. No tracks have been released yet, but there is a teaser video at YouTube. (And don't forget the insane cover art.)
What do you think?
Which albums are you looking forward to in 2013? Give us your picks for the coming year in the comments section below.