Here we are in another January facing down another year full of surprises. While some of those surprises might be unwelcome, there are always plenty to put a spring in your step – and a new album that just hits the right spot is one of the sweetest of the ilk.
As ever, we’ve used our weak-at-best clairvoyance to look into the next 12 months and let you know what albums we’re looking out for – and you should be too.
We’ve once again divided it into our four patented categories:
Confirmed – These are releases that have official release dates, that while subject to change, are at the moment concrete.
Almost Certain – We’re pretty sure these are going to happen, based on release cycles, or maybe the artist or band themselves have stated something’s coming.
Hopefuls – This section is for those we desperately hope to hear from in the next calendar year, despite having minimal concrete evidence. There’s always a chance!
Longshots – Lastly, this group of releases are unlikely to happen, but we can still dream.
Let’s do this!
Albums that have an officially confirmed title and release date, presented chronologically.
Nyte Skye – Vanishing [January 10]
Parents and children alike struggled with the pandemic (yes, a broken record), but one duo pulled off a parent’s dream. Nyte Skye, the father and son duo of vocalist/guitarist Nyles (Film School) and his drummer and son, Skye (who recorded Vanishing when he was only 12 years old) connected in what is surely to be a core memory for Skye. Embracing the concrete operational stage of a tween boy, they experimented in sound using found items like the 1930s Ludwig marching drum from a thrift store that they refurbished together. Nyte Skye drew from some of their favorite bands like Missing Persons, The Cure, Spiritualized, Elliott Smith and The Police (see if you hear an early Stewart Copeland). Out January 10 via Sonic Ritual (Queen Kwong, Imaad Wasif, Gypsum) this much anticipated nostalgic album brought current by a 12 year olds’ contribution, Vanishing just might be the new parenting methodology for Kindlon’s Raising Cane. – Kristy Sawyer
Samia – HONEY [January 27]
Somewhat overlooked in what was a truly excellent year for indie music, Samia’s 2020 LP, The Baby is an exemplary debut – an affecting and empathetic portrayal of coming of age. The pre-release singles for Samia’s follow-up show no signs of a sophomore slump.
Stripped back lead single “Kill Her Freak Out” demonstrates that Samia’s lyricism has reached terrific, new heights, while the infectious bop “Mad At Me” showcases yet another facet of the 26 year old’s seemingly endless talents. The devastating, twin-released “Pink Balloon/Sea Lions” has only further raised expectations for what is shaping up to be one 2023’s most exciting releases. – Tom Williams
The Men – New York City [February 3]
Going from skuzzy lo-fi punkers to polished (relatively) practitioners of heartland expressions, The Men have had an interesting evolution over the last decade or so. But even when they skirted the right side of the dial, they’ve always made room for weird bouts of psychedelia and dense rock collages, opting to obliterate any assumptions people – even fans – might have about their creative trajectory. Each new record offers a chance for discovery: will they embrace soft rock’s emotional core or destroy your speakers in a hurricane of blown-out guitars and pounding percussive structures? Which version of The Men will we get the next time they release an album?
As it turns out, the wait to find out isn’t all that long at all. They’ve recently announced that their next record New York City is due out February 3 via Fuzz Club. Inspired by their experience during New York’s COVID lockdown, the 10-track collection focuses on the difficulties of distance, solitude, and the daily struggle to connect with anyone who might understand what you’re going through. – Joshua Pickard
Andy Shauf – Norm [February 10]
Andy Shauf has been on a roll lately. His 2016 breakthrough record The Party turned heads in the indie scene with its unique, highly character-driven storytelling and rich instrumentation (performed almost entirely by Shauf alone no less), and was followed up with another contemplative banger in The Neon Skyline for 2020. It’s always exciting to see what new stories and characters Shauf will weave into his songs, and luckily, his next project is close at hand. Coming February 10, via ANTI-, his new album, Norm, will center around its titular character and, according to Shauf, explore more sinister themes than we are used to from his work. If the two singles shared so far are any indication, it’s shaping up to be another masterwork in nuanced storytelling beneath Shauf’s trademark blend of catchy, jazz-tinged indie folk. – Grady Penna
Kelela – RAVEN [February 10]
Put away your Playstation 5’s for the Kelela drought is almost over, with her sophomore album Raven upon us next month.
It seems only appropriate that a hacked tweet hilariously became the catalyst for Kelela emerging from her social media silence to confirm new music (many were already hyped just to see a new tweet on her account in the first place regardless of its content). The long-awaited follow-up to the rightfully acclaimed and adored Take Me Apart once seemed so far away and now we know it’s coming and that it is somewhat of a rebirth for the singer-songwriter. The stark album artwork featuring her face, almost meditatively, emerging from a body of water signals this.
Such a resurfacing is astute as the alien and resurrectionary intro “Washed Away” attests: Kelela is clearly entering a new phase of confidence and renewal. The next single “Happy Ending” provides the classic bop with a nostalgic edge that we only hope pervades more songs on the tracklist. And of course, the amazing latest single “On The Run” is a sensual slow jam that gives a simultaneous playful side-eye and come hither vibe. If these released songs are any indication, Kelela will be – yet again – ticking all the necessary boxes.
Raven seems geared towards rehabilitating the wounds of the past and losing yourself in Kelela’s version of a futuristic yet down-to-earth club. The way she suspends herself between the otherworldly and the, well, world we live in, has always encouraged her audience to look fearlessly towards what awaits and we have no doubt, this album will be a further testament to that. – JT Early
Yo La Tengo – This Stupid World [February 10]
Yo La Tengo have long been one of indie rock’s most consistent and adventurous bands, shifting their approach subtly when necessary to home in on specific musical variations that pique their collective interest and offering recent albums that easily stand alongside their most beloved releases. When the world is filled with so much turmoil, it’s a balm to realize that we’ve got a new Yo La Tengo record on the horizon, providing a safe harbor for us to stay and listen and absorb the sounds of their inspirations.
This Stupid World is due out February 10 on Matador Records and purports to be their most “live-sounding” album in years, with the core trio’s live studio performances laying the foundation for each track. They cut out the middleman this time, opting to produce and mix the record themselves, which should result in a sound that’s familiar but also emotionally volatile and intrinsically complicated. But honestly, we’re getting a new Yo La Tengo album, and that’s all you really need to know. – Joshua Pickard
Caroline Polachek – Desire, I Want To Turn Into You [February 14]
The ethereal goddess of alternative pop Caroline Polachek has been teasing the masses with a new project since 2021 with the liberating and catchy single “Bunny Is A Rider” – an ode to those who cannot be tied down, unapologetically revelling in their freedom. Perhaps this her giving a cheeky wink to her fanbase saying she was going to take as much time as she damn well pleases to work on this project.
There were – rather worryingly – rumours that Caroline’s next project would be an EP and forgive this fan for being so greedy, but that simply wouldn’t satiate the cravings after her incredible album Pang. However, with the release of the euphoric, 80s-influenced explosion “Welcome to My Island”, the singer confirmed that a new full-length album would be arriving on Valentines’ Day titled Desire, I Want To Turn Into You.
Featuring an already amazing array of singles from the erotically choral “Billions” to the flamenco-influenced “Sunset”, this album is pre-emptively proving to be worth the wait. So even if you’re single and weary of the obnoxiousness that oozes out of people on Valentines’ Day, just remember that a present awaits you that is better than any possible date, discounted box of chocolates and/or engagement ring. Caroline knows her album is the only gift that matters and we hope it is just as bizarre, bonkers and brilliant as the songs we’ve heard so far indicate. – JT Early
Anna B Savage – in|FLUX [February 17]
On recent single “The Ghost”, Anna B Savage sings about being haunted by the emotional memory of an ex-lover, which is lurking in her mind every time she feels intimate with another. That’s basically how I’ve felt about Savage’s incredibly dynamic and spine-tingling voice ever since her exceptional debut album A Common Turn. She has promised more sonic diversity on second record in|FLUX and with regular collaborator William Doyle to bounce off in the studio there’s no doubt she’s found new ways to express and display her human heart. The title track is a good dose of the new and the old, and makes us excited to hear what’s in store across the entirety. – Rob Hakimian
Ron Sexsmith – The Vivian Line [February 17]
One of the most underrated songwriters of the last 25 years, Ron Sexsmith makes very small moments seem like the most important things in the world. That’s his gift – that’s the way his songs work, taking ordinary things and giving them the weight of cataclysmic revelation. He also puts together melodies like he was the second coming of Brian Wilson.
Having released over 15 albums, he’s had plenty of time to explore the typical pop narratives, reveling in thoughts of lost love, identity, and the turmoil of various social entanglements. He doesn’t try to knock the bearings loose from the genre; he knows the limits of pop music but is able to convey these desires and needs without relying on other artist’s histories. And after hearing the first two singles of his forthcoming album The Vivian Line, I can say with relief that his aptitude for melody and precise pop composition is still perfectly balanced, and that the songs deliver the emotional ache expected and explore the subtly complex musical ambitions with which he’s long been associated. – Joshua Pickard
BIG|BRAVE – nature morte [February 24]
Robin Wattie is developing into one of the most essential voices in noise rock. February sees the release of BIG|BRAVE’s new record which promises to lean on their recent collaboration with The Body. The harshness of the sounds the trio make are juxtaposed with the heart-rending voice of Wattie who is scathingly critical about the state of things. They’ve released a track called “carvers, farriers and knaves” as a taster which twists and turns under the weight of its own heaviness with Mathieu Ball’s guitar wails perfectly complimented by Tasy Hudson’s tempered and austere drums. Spellbinding stuff. nature morte is an album which Robin Wattie has described as “…violent and terrible. It is crushing and alarming. It is common and basic. It is catastrophic and disheartening.” – Todd Dedman
Gorillaz – Cracker Island [February 24]
Ever since their debut self-titled album was released in 2001, English supergroup Gorillaz have combined visual wizardry with chaotic musical adaptation, developing a sound as memorable as it is difficult to label. Formed by Blur’s Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett, the band has featured Del the Funky Homosapien, Kid Koala, Ibrahim Ferrer, Miho Hatori, Ike Turner, Tina Weymouth, MF Doom, and countless others in a bid to completely blur the line between genres.
In September of 2021, Albarn announced that he had recorded a new Gorillaz song with Bad Bunny and revealed that a new album called Cracker Island would be coming out soon (though it would get pushed back to February of 2023). Inspired by Latin America, the record will feature collaborations with Tame Impala, Beck, Thundercat, and Stevie Nicks, among others. After the wonderfully bonkers Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez was released in 2020, the band sounded reinvigorated after 2018’s ho-hum The Now Now. And with four singles already out in the wild – and all filled with clever aesthetic deconstructions – the new album can’t get here soon enough. – Joshua Pickard
Shame – Food For Worms [February 24]
South London post-punk band Shame are only one of a few current bands who actually know how to make the genre sound interesting. Honestly, it’s much harder than it looks to make these sounds come across as more than just blatant nostalgia for a time when bands like Pere Ubu, The Pop Group, and Magazine were basically inventing and defining the genre. The members of Shame thread their work with humor and possess an awareness that post-punk can often feel shrill and thin, taking care to fill out their songs with muscle and more than its fair share of vitriol. Their songs are also melodic, hummable, and tend to get stuck in your head, circling inside there for hours searching for a way out. They find a perfect balance between dissonance and catchiness, occasionally leaning into pop territory before quickly dashing back toward their punk roots.
And that’s why Food for Worms, their forthcoming third album, feels like such a needed breath of fresh air, all wriggling guitar lines, fuzzy melodies, and, for this one, a focus on the joy and mischievous nature of friendship. – Joshua Pickard
The Telescopes – Experimental Health [February 24]
February sees the release of the fourteenth studio album from space rock mainstays The Telescopes. It’s a wild ride of experimentation and Suicide-style drone electronics. Essentially a solo record from Stephen Lawrie, no guitars feature on the record and the instrumentation consists of cheap old toys and broken synths. It’s a distorted mess of wonder and joy that leans on the past without being derivative. – Todd Dedman
Kate NV – WOW[March 3]
Pop experimentalist Kate NV revels in both the playful side of her rhythmic impulses and those which push her into darker territories. Ever since she released her debut album Binasu back in 2016, she’s been constantly balancing between the ecstatic malleability of pop music and her tendency to find release in pulling the genre apart completely. And on the strength of that first one, and her subsequent albums, it’s exciting to know that we’ll soon have another glimpse into that kaleidoscopic world of fractured pop wonder. With the announcement that her fourth album Wow is coming out on March 3 via Rvng Intl., the wait is almost over, and our collective desire for more of the Russian artist’s puzzle-like concoctions is perfectly primed to be sated as only she knows how. Never content to retread past accomplishments, it’s exhilarating to imagine where these new songs might take her and how they’ll likely undermine our emotional defenses. – Joshua Pickard
Fever Ray – Radical Romantics [March 10]
It’s been over five years since Karin Dreijer resurrected their Fever Ray side project to release their sophomore album, Plunge. It was a bit more divisive than the still-glorious self-titled debut, but it was still exciting that the once-frontperson of the now-defunct adventurous electronic act The Knife was back with more haunted tunes for us. And now, we are lucky to be getting a third helping.
Releasing on March 10, Radical Romantics is bound to be one to look out for this year. Judging from the two lead singles — the spooky, candlelit “What They Call Us” and the more danceable “Carbon Dioxide” — the album looks to be, possibly, splitting the difference between the debut’s icy eeriness and the followup’s higher energy, groovier numbers. Across both, we get Dreijer’s trademark vocals, whether they’re steeped in pitch-shifting effects (as is oft the Dreijer way) or shooting through, laser-like, in their natural register, the songs are a tantalizing taste of what’s to come. – Jeremy J. Fisette
Lana Del Rey – Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd. [March 10]
Lana Del Rey released two albums in 2021 and the opening track on one of them indirectly addressed her 2020 Instagram snafu: a (since-deleted) incident that she accuses haters of deliberately misunderstanding. Boasting an updated image and logo, Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd’s title track ignores any controversy and finds her hewing to type.
The title, however, refers to a pedway bypassing Myrtle Beach’s busy tourist areas and perhaps implies that – away from the noise – she’s a vulnerable person like any other. While this might be the sort of tack that landed her in hot water, Del Rey’s volatile, public personality could well inject her glamour-era pastiche with a welcome dose of real-life drama. Other guests on the album will reportedly include Jon Batiste, Jack Antonoff, Father John Misty, Judah Smith, Tommy Genesis, and SYML – no Taylor Swift, as rumored. – Steve Forstneger
Liturgy – 93696 [March 24]
Ravenna Hunt Hendrix has always pushed the boundaries of what metal is, and what metal can be. Liturgy’s last record Origin of the Alimonies was a beguiling and rapturous affair, combining blast beats and black metal riffs with neo-classical arrangements to startling effect. Rarely an “easy” listen, Liturgy are breath taking in their ability to create new soundscapes that shake the listener out of their comfort zone while also being some of the most life-affirming sounds around. 93696 promises to be their most extreme album to date which can only be a good thing. You’ll have to wait until 24th March for this one, although the album’s title track is already out, and it’s a near-15-minute masterpiece. Go listen. – Todd Dedman
TWICE – Our Youth [March]
There’s never not a reason to celebrate a return from the hardest working girl group in K-pop. TWICE have already promised their 12th (12th!) mini-album, Our Youth, for this March, so we don’t have all too long to wait before pop bliss arrives. They’re kicking things off with an English language pre-release single this month. Beyond that, little is known about the project, but it’s safe to say that it’ll be another dose of just what the doctor ordered: pure sweetness, delectable pop as perfection. – Chase McMullen
Albums that don’t have a release date, but have more or less been confirmed.
Just a few days into the new year, we were given hope that a new album from ANOHNI might be on the horizon. In a since-deleted Instagram post, she posted a clip of her performing Billie Holiday’s “Glad to Be Unhappy” and saying: “But hey, I’m releasing a new record this year. That’s something to look forward to…” — and I couldn’t agree more.
Whether she’s detailing our destruction of the natural world or the ache and joy of elemental love, there’s something innately brilliant about the way she’s able to deliver these emotional narratives without false sentiment or musical misstep. Knowing that she may have new music out there that we’ve yet to hear somehow makes the day seem a little bit brighter, a little more hopeful. And despite the cautionary nature and sadness of some of her work, I’ve always felt that her music possessed a lightness which never succumbed to the darker themes explored in those songs. Here’s hoping for confirmation of a new AHNONI album in 2023. We desperately need it. – Joshua Pickard
Bat For Lashes – The Dream of Delphi
We’ve known about the upcoming album from Natasha Khan’s Bat for Lashes outfit for some time, with her having confirmed its existence and the recording of its last song on Instagram back in August of 2022. Her first record since 2019’s Lost Girls (a lesser but still gorgeous collection), The Dream of Delphi should excite any fan ready for more of her art-pop beauty.
Across her back catalog, she’s been able to mold various genres to suit any of her given musical affections: detours through synth-pop, indie rock, baroque orchestration, and folk-leaning experimentalism have all played a part in shaping her aesthetic. Songs like “Laura” from The Haunted Man and “Joe’s Dream” from The Bride shouldn’t be far from rotation in any given avant-pop playlist, with Khan’s mesmerizing voice breaking like a sunrise over crystalline piano lines and synths that shudder and shake the surrounding landscape. Here’s hoping we get more news about The Dream of Delphi sooner rather than later – it’d be a great way to start the new year. – Joshua Pickard
Cardi, Cardi, Cardi. Why have you kept us waiting so long? Having surprised even her greatest naysayers with a more than strong debut, Cardi B has kept her buzz going since with a series of singles and guest appearances, but the big question has nonetheless loomed omnipresent: when will the damn sophomore album arrive, already? In early December she said it would be “next year”, so here’s hoping. There’s a hole in rap without its most entertaining female rapper, and it’s far past time that she filled it. – Chase McMullen
Danny Brown – Quaranta
Initially revealed during an interview with Anthony Fantano in November of 2021, Danny Brown’s upcoming album Quaranta will be his first since 2019’s uknowhatimsayin¿. And while we got a cover of Korn’s “Freak on a Leash”, a feature with Mount Kimbie and a collaboration with Brockhampton back in 2021, it’s been a while since we’ve had some pure, undiluted Danny Brown.
He’s said that the new record is “going to be fun” and is “an update of what I’ve been going through the last 10 years”, though that doesn’t really give us much in the way of musical direction. We do know that Q-Tip wasn’t involved in the album’s recording, but Brown has revealed that The Alchemist does appear in some fashion. Always breaking down hip-hop conventions by splicing in elements of other genres and warping everything until it all feels like a fever dream fueled by his maniacal genius, he has never approached his work in half measures. And I have no doubt that Quaranta will be filled with the same sort of delirious creativity we’ve to expect from the Detroit native. – Joshua Pickard
There are rumblings in the Shady camp. When one of the members of the label’s marketing team declared that it’d be a “Big Shady 2023”, fans went bananas, with one of his longtime directors fanning the flames. To be sure, there are plenty of folk disappointed with late career Eminem, but I personally found plenty to enjoy within both sides of his Music to Be Murdered By project, and there’s always the hope that he’ll fully tap back into his greatness for what could be a triumphant (for all we know) swan song. Whatever way you look at it, there’s still plenty of gas left in the tank for a rapper who consumed the most YouTube views in 2022, alongside being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If his music can match that humble speech essentially entirely dedicated to his influences? We can only hope for one for the books. – Chase McMullen
Love or hate the viral, tik-tok-driven buzz that has swarmed songs like “Munch” or “Bikini Bottom,” New York artist Ice Spice ruled 2022 without even releasing an album. Ice Spice radiates confidence and a commanding presence that is customary of rappers of the Bronx kind but rarely seen from artists her age. There is definite talent about the young rapper; how much talent has been hotly debated. Regardless, she is bound to continue to grab headlines in 2023. She’s already garnered the attention of other behemoths in the industry, i.e., Drake and Cardi B, and has even signed with Capitol Records. So anticipate a new project in the near future, of some shape or form, and expect it to expedite her meteoric rise. – Kyle Kohner
The years have truly weathered us since the release of the last Julie Byrne album. Considering the brilliance of both her debut and sophomore albums, it seems almost cruel that she’s kept us waiting so long, but one can scarcely imagine the pressure to follow up those folk opuses. Still, 2023 seems to be the year she’s poised to finally do just that and the mind (and heart) races at the prospect of new material from the luminary. Surely the isolation of the early COVID years, and the ensuing global mess and strife had some kind of impact on her songwriting, and we’ve never needed a presence so calming as her’s before. – Chase McMullen
New York’s indie darlings Madder Rose brought their twenty-year hiatus to an end in 2019 with the release of the exquisite To Be Beautiful. Everyone by now knows the rules of bands getting back together – tour the world for huge sums of money and/or release music that is nowhere near as good as it used to be. Madder Rose don’t play by the rules and this was a reunion borne out of creative desire rather than snatching at the hand of a nostalgia driven payday. The record is currently slated for a release around springtime. – Todd Dedman
Oneohtrix Point Never
Over the last few years, Daniel Lopatin has lent his considerable talents to artists such as Soccer Mommy, The Weekend, and Charli XCX, finding ways to blend his electronic auteurism into other genres and other musicians’ artistic visions. But there comes a point where I just want to hear him, alone in his thoughts, finding new ways to tear apart the conventions of experimental music.
The last official studio album from Oneohtrix Point Never was 2020’s underrated Magic Oneohtrix Point Never, and it found him continuing to expand and refine his unique approach to conjuring circuital bliss. On December 2, Lopatin posted a simple message to his Twitter feed: “opn lp #10 2023”. Not much more information is known right now, but this confirmation is enough to make 0PN fans go into a state of hyper-anticipation, digging back through old records while wondering about the scope and tenor of the new recordings. It’s a wonderful time to be a Oneohtrix Point Never devotee.
Pusha T & DJ Drama – Gangsta Grillz [Mixtape]
Pusha T and DJ Drama? Yes, please. With all the pressure the near flawless rapper puts on himself for each proper album – taking years between releases – a rapid follow up, which the rapper revealed at the end of December in a Twitter spaces chat, is something to truly celebrate. What’s more, the DJ Drama mixtape format is sure to lower the stakes for the perfectionist, allowing for what he does best shine through: pure snarl. Having (thankfully) finally parted ways with Kanye West (Ye, whatever), he’s now free to do as he pleases, and this promised mixtape is the perfect way to kickstart a new chapter for the unflappable rapper. – Chase McMullen
Swans are a band that ageing seems to pass by. The outfit fronted by Michael Gira finds new ways to reinvent themselves in each new incarnation and with each new album. Perhaps, it cannot even be called reinvention properly, because it seems that there’s a road of sonic experimentation that the band keeps following and it merely keeps unwinding with every album. Their style which blends post-rock, industrial, and no-wave has an unmistakable touch, which instantly lets the listener know that they’re listening to a Swans record.
Since their emergence in the 1982, Swans became one of the household names for “most unfathomable musical experimentation”. Michael Gira and co. define what it means to push music forward as an art form.
It is enough to remember the trilogy of The Seer, To Be Kind and The Glowing Man to understand this point. Perhaps, most noteworthy the second installment, To Be Kind is dubbed by many as the best album in history of music and, while it is arguable, this record is certainly a contender. All three of these albums at one point or another will have the listener think “I didn’t know that music could do/be that”.
The latest widely released record by Swans, Leaving Meaning, came out in 2019 and was rather a compilation (with a rework of a previously released song, “Amnesia”), which in the case of this band could only mean excitement ahead.
In 2022’s Gira released Is There Really A Mind?, a record limited to 2,500 physical copies that featured sketches of new songs to be on the next record. The funds received from sales of the record were intended to fund the recording of the songs properly. He has continued playing those songs on his recent solo tour around Europe and Swans fans, feel that something big is brewing and regardless of how we’ll feel about it, it will certainly be worth it. – Aleksandr Smirnov
Travis Scott – Utopia
A Reddit user recently re-posted an MTV Unplugged clip from the Great White episode and, predictably, one of the first comments mocked the band for The Station nightclub fire where 100 died. The 20th anniversary of that tragedy is this February and Great White’s experience ought to be instructive for Travis Scott, who is barely 15 months into a nightmare of his own. It’s guaranteed that when it’s finally released, Utopia – which has been teased since 2020 – will be mined for potential references to the Astroworld disaster, preferably the humanity displayed in his initial response rather than Scott’s not-my-fault callousness that came later.
The early returns are that Utopia will very much resemble an album that was largely finished before November 2021. A Las Vegas listening party in September unveiled features from Future, Pharrell Williams, Kid Cudi, Lil Uzi Vert and more, with production by 30 Roc, James Blake, BNYK, and Metro Boomin. The tracks, as well as fan-transcribed lyrics at Genius.com, hint that the party hasn’t stopped in the past 5 years: hi-hat psychedelia, monstrous bass breakdowns, and Auto-Tune, Auto-Tune, Auto-Tune. The Pharrell-assisted track, tentatively titled “Down in Atlanta”, sounds completely like Williams’ handiwork, while Future and Vert dominate “Cinderella” and “Aye,” respectively. Utopia’s loudest statement (so far) appears to be no statement at all. – Steve Forstneger
Albums we desperately hope to hear in the next calendar year, though evidence is scant. There’s always a chance!
One of the acts that blasted the legendary label Captured Tracks into indie stardom, Beach Fossils are teasing new music for this year. Their previous effort Somersault came out over five years ago, not counting the compilation of jazzy versions of some of their most popular tracks, The Other Side of Life: Piano Ballads.
Beach Fossils started as a bedroom project of frontman, Dustin Payseur, and since became a band with a constant squad, which used to include Zachary Cole Smith, who went on to create the band DIIV. Beach Fossils have progressed from lo-fi dream-pop to indie infused with the former as well as with elements of punk, while Somersault saw them turn to a more psychedelic direction which left fans craving more.
The band does not overly complicate their sound and arrangements, which serves as a perfect vehicle for lyrics about everyday worries, personal philosophical questions, relationships, etc. Payseur’s songs rely on simple ways of seeing the hard times that we all go through. – Aleksandr Smirnov
Though it was maligned by critics upon release, Hole’s last album Nobody’s Daughter contains some of Courtney Love’s most affecting and well-crafted songs – from the ever-building epic “Samantha” to the gut-wrenching “Someone Else’s Bed” and “Happy Ending Story”. Thirteen years later, that album has stood the test of time, while 1994’s Live Through This is finally getting recognised as the towering classic that it is – shooting up to the #106 spot on Rolling Stone’s all-time greatest albums list in 2020 and earnin the #8 spot on Pitchfork’s 90s-Best list. Now, Love has confirmed that new music is on the way – even going so far to brand it her “magnum opus”. It will surely be thrilling to hear her voice anew after all these years. – Tom Williams
The Cure – Songs of a Lost World
Déjà bloody vu. I’m sure I wrote about a new album from The Cure this time last year (**checks notes**) – yep, thought so.
Anyways, with five tracks played during their recent European tour the long-gestating album now has a title and by the looks of the merch stall at the shows there’s artwork to boot, too. Highlights of the newly premiered tracks were “Alone” and “Endsong” where elongated introspective instrumental passages folded into Smith’s agonising lyrical take on the end of things. Just get it done and out into the world, boys. – Todd Dedman
Speculating on what a new album might sound like seems redundant; Lange always delivers with emotion and class. Here’s hoping we get a much needed dose of it in 2023. – Rob Hakimian
Another year has come and gone and it’s another year of patiently waiting for a new Hop Along album. Though we were gifted a solo effort from band leader Francis Quinlan in 2020, a proper follow-up to the excellent Bark Your Head Off, Dog, has been nearly five years in the making and the anticipation is boiling over at this point. The band’s elastic indie rock and Quinlin’s consistently engaging songwriting have made for some of the genre’s most unpredictable and exciting music over the last decade and there’s no telling how the band’s sound will evolve from here. With no clear indication as to why the band has slowed down a bit recently and recent tour dates featuring now new songs, it’s hard to say whether or not 2023 will be the year Hop Along makes their long-awaited return, but here’s hoping we’ll get something to sink our teeth into. – Grady Penna
You never know what IU is going to do. Hell, the woman is a Cannes nominated Best Actress now, having more than proven her acting chops, it’s hard to predict which direction the beloved Korean singer-songwriter-actress-producer (phew) will go next, but I’d be surprised if she didn’t offer at least something musical in 2023. Whether a full album (we can pray) or simply a mini-album, whatever she deigns to share, her fanbase is certain to salivate at the very mention. Here’s to hoping. – Chase McMullen
Jerskin Fendrix released one of the very best and most bizarre albums of 2020 in Winterreise. A frenetic glitch-pop project that peeked into a frigid and bleak future, Jerskin’s unsettling debut thrived in its own loneliness, which is why it came to us at the (im)perfect time — the beginning of an ongoing, global pandemic. That being said, it’s been a long three years since we’ve heard anything new from Jerskin. But I could only imagine this mad scientist has been using this time, a period that could only have been conducive to his loner-ism art, to cook up an even zanier but resonant follow-up. There’s no use speculating what Jerskin Fendrix’s second record may sound like — his music will never sound like anything, truthfully. However, when or if this one-person band does decide to brave the daylight once again with new music, rest assured it will be a most weird but welcomed reappearance. – Kyle Kohner
Having departed Psy’s P-Nation without ever releasing a proper album, it’s hard to understand how Mr. “New Face” so mishandled his beyond promising artist’s presence. Now, all we can do is wonder what’s next for the Korean-American rapper: will Jessi make that push for an American presence she’s long considered, will she stick to South Korea and seek out a new label to call home? Whatever she does, we can only hope that finally – finally – she’ll get her proper due.
It’s been roughly seven years since we had a proper M83 album (and no, I’m not counting DSVII), and with each passing year, hope slowly fades. Longtime fans of Chromatics can empathize, I’m sure. But that doesn’t mean those loyal to Gonzalez’s brand of spacious synth-pop have lost all faith.
2016’s Junk was unfairly maligned as unwarranted comparisons to 2011’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming kept it from attaining the kind of reputation fans had come to expect. But where could he turn to for inspiration on a new record? Would it be a continuation of the glorious technicolor pop that filed his last two or would it be something denser and more in line with Before the Dawn Heals Us or Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts? With no firm answers and little communication expected all we can do is keep our fingers crossed and play “Midnight City” for the 10,000th time in hopes that Gonzalez will somehow hear our lamentations and descend once more to grace us with new music. – Joshua Pickard
Can we all just agree that Phil Elvrum has an open invitation to wreck our hearts whenever he wants? He resurrected The Microphones moniker for 2020’s remarkable Microphones in 2020, and now we’ve been given “Huge Fire”, a new Mount Eerie song for the Colors 20th anniversary compilation put together by Tokyo-based label 7e.p. Records. And it just stirs a need, an elemental desire, for a new record from him under that name.
We last heard from Mount Eerie on 2019’s Lost Wisdom pt. 2, a collaborative album he recorded with Julie Doiron that finds him facing the turmoil of an impending divorce. Darkness has always been a part of Elvrum’s oeuvre and his audience’s ability to reckon with it and how it infects everything it touches speaks to our own emotional processing as much as it does to how he manages grief through musical creation. Maybe we just need to console each other again, and what better way than to lose ourselves in a new Mount Eerie record. – Joshua Pickard
Needless to say, Offset had a beyond difficult 2022, having lost family member and Migos brethren Takeoff to a senseless crime. It surely didn’t help that Offset was at odds with his two counterparts at the time of his cousin’s death, and he’s admitted to being in a very dark place since. His sophomore album was originally intended to arrive in ‘22, but was pushed back due to this, and it’s impossible to say how the specter of Takeoff will loom over the finished project. His wife Cardi has previewed a track with Future that she more than hyped up, so perhaps it will simply be a fire starter of a project, but my money is on some serious mourning leaking through all the stunting. Whatever the case may be, it’s certainly a project to look forward to. – Chase McMullen
Protomartyr haven’t left us waiting more than three years between albums in their decade-plus run, and Ultimate Success Today came out in 2020 so that would mean 2023 will see another from the reliable Detroit rockers if all is well. This caustic quartet never seem to be lacking for inspiration and towards the tail end of their 2022 tour dates they started slipping in the odd new song, so that bodes well. A tweet sent from the band at the end of 2022 promised “see you in 2023”, which could be a new album or could simply mean more touring – let’s hope it’s the former (followed by the latter). – Rob Hakimian
Francis Bacon said it best: “age appears to be best in four things; old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.”
I wake up every morning to Slowdive. Literally, every single day to that warm bubble-wrapped acoustic guitar of “Sugar for the Pill”. Holding our breath for a new album is easy when a band gives you so many repeat-worthy tracks whether it is “Allison” or “Catch the Breeze” or “Souvlaki Space Station”. The perfect offspring of goth and indie roots, “Sugar for the Pill” is no doubt worthy of the title of one of the best shoegaze bands of all time.
Trolling social media for any indication from the band, we know they were in the studio in 2022 according to Twitter and in case you were wondering, Slowdive read the news and makes sure to correct “those journos” so we must get this right. They cannot be blamed after all, critics slammed their debut and Souvlaki. Hateful nonsensical slurs put the band into remission and an eventual split. They resurrected in 2014 and played Primavera Sound, opening with “Slowdive”, they rose like a phoenix.
With 2023 shaping out to be a refreshing release year for non-pop old faithfuls (no offense Taylor and Harry), we can trust our old friend to be in the mix. And maybe if they do, I will change my alarm clock song, my household might appreciate that although I sure do love hearing my 10 year old humming along. – Kristy Sawyer
Yves Tumor gave us The Asymptotical World in 2021 and spent a lot of 2022 on the road, so it might be wishful thinking that we’ll get a new album this year. But then again, November’s surprise single “God Is A Circle” can’t help but make you think. Leering and lucid post-punk, it finds Tumor at their absolute best, treading the fine line between overdoing the hedonism and simultaneously sneering at the lavishness all around. The video was a sight to behold as well – and would make a perfect early introduction to a new album campaign, wouldn’t it? – Rob Hakimian
Albums we’ll probably be waiting several more years – if not forever – to hear. But you never know…
With Lucy Dacus and Julienne Baker having wrapped up tours for their most recent albums, and with Phoebe Bridgers’ eternal undead spectacular finally coming to a conclusion this year, could it be that the three masterminds behind boygenius finally all have gaps in their schedules that all sync up? In fact, Bridgers even has March and April off before she returns to the stage for the final leg of her Punisher tour in May.
Sure, it’s a longshot, but the trio seem to have remained pretty close in the intervening years since the debut EP that cemented all three of them in the top tier of young indie musicians. You can’t help but wonder what they could craft for a debut full-length, especially with a few more years of writing and touring under all their belts. Let’s see if they’re as curious and keen as we are. – Rob Hakimian
Ah, another year, another no-new-Joanna-Newsom-record. When the renowned harpist/pianist singer/songwriter announced a string of solo dates back in 2019 and 2020, there was hope that new material would be not far behind, especially given how quiet she had been since touring around 2015’s Divers settled down.
But alas, we were left without. Not to say those shows were anything other than vital performances — as someone who was lucky enough to catch one, they were absolutely transcendent and intimate (nothing can really compare to seeing Newsom run through all 17 minutes of “Only Skin” alone on stage) — but there was a certain selfish desire to hear even a morsel of new material.
As someone who has historically taken time between records — four years between her masterpiece Ys and the magnum opus Have One on Me, then five more until Divers — it’s not surprising that Newsom has been slow to put out her fifth record. No one would want her to rush something out just to release something. Her songs (and albums) are meticulous constructions, full of beautiful words and impossible melodies — it must take some time to craft.
When asked during a mid-show Q&A during that tour, though, one fan asked when we’d get a new album. “Whenever I write some songs,” she said matter-of-factly.
And now, four years on, we can really only hope that she has. – Jeremy J. Fisette
Yes, I am fully aware that we got a new album from Kendrick Lamar in 2022 – a double album, in fact – but hear me out. Remember untitled unmastered, which came out a year after To Pimp A Butterfly and, despite being outtakes, was just as essential as the rest of K-dot’s discography? Could he have another one of those in store?
DAMN. was a tight, focused project, probably without too many tracks left on the cutting room floor. Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers returned to a more expansive, ambitious form revealing a superfluity of inspiration – is it not unreasonable to think that Kendrick and co had extra pieces that just didn’t fit in the final product? If so, I’m sure they’re worth hearing and Kendrick won’t let them go to waste. Anyway, we can but dream… – Rob Hakimian
My Bloody Valentine
My Bloody Valentine must have read the study published in eNeuro in 2017 that anticipation helps gamblers hold out for larger rewards (two albums) instead of smaller immediate rewards (single on Spotify, teaser on social media) because every music rag on the interwebs has been calling a new MBV release for years.
In 2013, Kevin Shields announced plans of a new EP followed by the 100% promise in a Pitchfork interview of a studio album somewhere around 2017. Then we expected, unquestionably, that it would pop in 2019 because Shields spent most of 2018 Dita Von Tees-ing us about two EPs, one over the summer and the other late spring.
Tick tock, tick tock. 2021, My Bloody Valentine tweeted what was believed to be another announcement of a new album. Our salivating mouths waited, 2021 came and went. Then in 2022, let’s be honest, 2022 was a blur anyway. As the New York Times reported in an interview with Shields, MBV is “known for disappearing.” Even without live dates, we can all relax, or not, and bet on the drop this year or the next one or the next one because after all, we can wait forever and again. – Kristy Sawyer
Did Beth Gibbons’ incredible feature on Kendrick Lamar’s recent album signal that the Portishead singer is warmed up and ready to break our hearts once again? Or have the band not been in a room together for several years? As far as we know, either of these facts is equally true. Which is to say, there is absolutely no news about anything new from the beloved band. But that doesn’t mean it’s not happening, right? – Rob Hakimian