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The 30 Most Anticipated Albums of 2019

Music Lists 2019 Albums
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Last year was a bountiful one for music, and 2019 is shaping up to be just as promising. In the current musical economy, albums often arrive with no warning, completely out of the blue. So while most of the albums on this list have solid release dates, others have only been announced, but with no details other than a 2019 arrival. Despite various degrees of speculation, we feel fairly certain the records on this list with a “TBD” date will debut in the next 12 months. Plus, we have lots of great music to keep us occupied while we wait. Here, in alphabetical order, are the 30 most anticipated albums on the way in 2019.

Cass McCombs
Date: Feb. 8
Singer/songwriter Cass McCombs is prepping the release of his ninth studio album, Tip of the Sphere, out on Feb. 8 via ANTI-. According to a press release, most of his albums have been recorded in multiple studios over a substantial period of time, but this one was recorded fairly quickly at Figure 8 Studios in Brooklyn. McCombs has been quietly making critics’ album-of-the-year lists for quite some time, and his latest album Mangy Love was no exception with its literary, chilled-out rock soundscapes and his sturdy vocals. We’ve already heard “Estrella” and “Sleeping Volcanoes” from the new LP, and their leisurely pace and understated sonics seem to have carried over from his previous album. —Lizzie Manno

Child’s Pose
Date: TBD
This London band just missed our list of the best EPs of 2018 with their 7” on Nervous Energy, but they’re working on a 2019 release (maybe an EP, maybe an LP) for Thrilling Living that’s at the top of my list of stuff to buy this new year. They’ve shown fantastic taste and craft on songs like “Feral” and “CCMMD,” demanding comparisons to stalwarts of the postpunk canon, but with the bonus of their stuff being fresh and current and not 40-year-old records made by 60-year-old men. On that EP you can hear the economy of Wire, the directness of Kleenex / LiLiPuT, the tunefulness and fury of early Iceage (yes, we know New Brigade is from this decade and not the ’70s), and all kinds of other properties from all kinds of other rad bands that rad record collectors are into. Child’s Pose are bridge-builders, helping to close the gap between the hungry kids of today and their weirdo aunts and uncles. —Garrett Martin

Foals
Date: TBD
It’s been four years since Foals put out their last album—2015’s What Went Down—and with a string of 2019 dates already announced, this Oxford indie-rock crew is set for a big year. With their label confirming the release of their next album, the band has further hyped the record by sharing footage from the studio on their Instagram story. Their original bassist, Walter Gervers, departed Foals earlier this year, so we’re not sure how that will affect their band dynamic, but in a statement on Twitter, the band assured fans that their next record will be “the best yet.” —Lizzie Manno

Grace Potter
Date: TBD
Grace Potter, the Vermont-born singer/songwriter with a knack for fiery ballads and sludgy electric-guitar melodies, released her most recent solo effort, Midnight, in 2015. Since then, she had a baby, got married and continued hosting her annual music festival, Grand Point North, in her home state, but hasn’t released any new material. That could change in 2019, though. According to her Instagram posts from the last few months (like this one), Potter has been busy in the studio working on new songs. In a September interview, Potter said she’d be “disappointed” if her next record wasn’t out soon. Here’s hoping 2019 is her year. —Ellen Johnson

Guster
Date: Jan. 18
Given their fondness for populist precepts, Guster ought to find plenty of inspiration for their upcoming album, and given its prescient title (Look Alive), one would imagine that the band’s in a generally upbeat mood. Word is that it was recorded in a vintage keyboard museum in Calgary, Alberta, and that despite the chilly temperatures, the mood was quite merry. It remains to be seen—and heard—how being set free in a building filled with archaic keyboards might have had a lingering impact on their new music, but given Guster’s generally upbeat antics, we’re guessing that they made the most of the opportunity. Perky piano and sizzling synth ought to temper the tableau. —Lee Zimmerman

Hatchie
Date: TBD
Australian singer/songwriter Hatchie released her debut EP, Sugar & Spice, in May, and she’s been kicking up quite the shimmery storm ever since. In September, she played two festivals back-to-back, and she also recently played a sold-out string of tour dates with Alvvays and Snail Mail (an indie fan’s dream lineup). Hatchie strikes the perfect combination between acoustic and synth, her pop occasionally moonlighting as something folksier. “Sure,” the first song on Sugar & Spice, uses looping drum machines and consistent synth, but it’s softened by soft acoustic guitar as Hatchie fires off question after question. “Why did you do it? / You couldn’t just laugh and walk away?” She recently confirmed her debut full-length is on the way in 2019, and we can’t wait to hear what this pop wizard conjures up next. —Ellen Johnson

Jenny Lewis
Date: TBD
Jenny Lewis   has announced that her fourth album, On the Line, will be released in spring 2019 through Warner Bros. Records. The album will be the follow-up to Lewis’ 2014 LP The Voyager. The 11-track release was recorded at Capitol Records’ Studio B, and features performances from Beck, Benmont Tench, Don Was, Jim Keltner, Ringo Starr and Ryan Adams. The album’s tracklist, exact release date and other details have yet to be revealed. Lewis has also announced the dates for her 2019 headlining tour, set to run March through May, with stops at Chicago’s Riviera Theatre, Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, Seattle’s Moore Theatre, St. Paul’s The Palace, The Hollywood Palladium and more. —Justin Kamp

Jessica Pratt
Date: Feb. 8
Jessica Pratt has announced her third studio album, Quiet Signs, out on Feb. 8, 2019, via Mexican Summer. “On some level I considered an audience while making the last record,” said Pratt in a statement. “But my creative world was still very private then and I analyzed the process less. This was the first time I approached writing with the idea of a cohesive record in mind.” The album was produced by both Pratt and Al Carson, who, along with Matt McDermott, also performs on the record. —Emma Korstanje

Joe Jackson
Date: Jan. 18
Joe Jackson’s career has brought him success as a singer, songwriter and purveyor of popular music in all its forms—pop, punk, jazz and theatrical. Now, 40 years on, Jackson is apparently surveying the larger scope of both his career and an entire purpose of being—in his words, “friendship, laughter, and music, or art itself.” Early indications are that it will revisit the superior strains of his classic Night and Day with a similarly elegiac delivery. Given the fact that Jackson’s upcoming Four Decade Tour will chiefly focus on—what else—highlights of the past 40 years, it makes sense that Fool will find similar footing. —Lee Zimmerman

Lizzo
Date: TBD
Lizzo  is the current queen of self-love anthems, but she has yet to make her full-length debut on her new major label, Atlantic Records. According to an interview with The New York Times from September, that album will arrive in early 2019. Though it’s been more than three years since her most recent LP, 2015’s Big Grrrl Small World, the Minnesota-born rapper hasn’t slowed down a bit. She consistently releases EPs and singles, like this year’s flirty summer bop “Boys,” which landed on our list of the year’s best songs. Lizzo’s confidence-boosting canon has gotten us through the last few years, so her next album will no doubt carry us through 2019. —Ellen Johnson

Maggie Rogers
Date: Jan. 18
Maggie Rogers rose to fame in 2016 with her hit song “Alaska,” which she wrote in about 15 minutes. Read that again—FIFTEEN minutes. Rogers penned “Alaska” for a master class at New York University lead by Pharrell Williams. A video of Pharrell’s awestruck reaction went viral that June, skyrocketing Rogers to instant stardom. The indie-pop singer’s debut EP, Now That the Light Is Fading, was released under a year later, on Feb. 17, 2017. Rogers’ major-label debut Heard It In a Past Life is due out Jan. 18 on Capitol Records and available for preorder now. The 24-year-old sensation previously put out two independently released albums, The Echo (2012) and Blood Ballet (2014). —Cayla Bamberger

My Bloody Valentine
Date: TBD
In 2018, shoegaze titans My Bloody Valentine went out on the road for the first time in five years and guitarist Kevin Shields confirmed their plans to release new material. The initial plan was for the band to release two new EPs—one for summer 2018 and the other in spring 2019. However, those plans have been scrapped as Shields said in an interview this past August, “We’re trying to finish a short album of material. It was going to be an EP in the summer, but we decided not to and decided to make it longer, so it will be seven tracks or eight tracks, hopefully that will be finished in the end of November [2018].” Shields also said they plan to record in 2019, later dropping the most exciting tidbit of news: “There will be a lot of new material coming in the next year, there will be two new records.” It’s unclear whether both albums will be dropping next year, but if 2013’s mbv is anything to go by, we’re in for another beautiful, potent guitar vortex in 2019. —Lizzie Manno

Royal Trux
Date: TBD
When Royal Trux split in 2001, they were coming off one of the best runs of any rock band ever. Between 1990 and 2000 they released eight immaculate LPs that ran Stones-style jive through a filter of drugged-up, fin de siècle abandon, and with a wit and intelligence they never got enough credit for. (Say what you will about the two Virgin records, but showing smoke-addled jokers like the Black Crowes how to sleaze it up properly on a major’s dime was always a noble goal.) Neil Michael Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema have continued to make vital rock ’n’ roll in their own projects ever since, but these debased times are the perfect backdrop for this much-needed reunion. They should have a new album out in 2019, and if the two tracks they released in 2018 are any indication, there’s no telling what guests we can expect. We can probably assume whatever they do will sound like the shambling corpse of rock ’n’ roll, though, and an ideal soundtrack to whatever kind of hell world we have to muddle through these next 12 months. —Garrett Martin

(Sandy) Alex G
Date: TBD
Philadelphia singer/songwriter (Sandy) Alex G’s latest album—2017’s Rocket—felt like a career-defining moment as his lo-fi rock got a hefty infusion of alt-country—and with overwhelmingly favorable results. He’s toured extensively since the release of Rocket, and due to the sheer amount of new material he’s been playing live, all indications point to a new album in 2019. Though many of the songs on Rocket were infused with folk and country, Alex was also able to flex his experimental muscles on songs like “Brick” and “Sportstar.” His no holds barred approach to songwriting and his simultaneous knack for earworm melodies mean that his next record will be anything but bland. —Lizzie Manno

Sharon Van Etten
Date: Jan. 18
Remind Me Tomorrow is Van Etten’s fifth album and her first in over four years, and was thus announced with an appropriately titled single, “Comback Kid.” The album’s lead single reflects the atmosphere in which it was written—during a time when Van Etten was balancing pregnancy, acting and going to school—and reveals a new sense of urgency not felt in the songwriter’s earlier Are We There back in 2014. Balancing a distaste for complacency with booming, bass-heavy drums and layered synth, the single raised excitement for Van Etten’s comeback album tenfold. — Emma Korstanje

Sleaford Mods
Date: Feb. 22
Jason Williamson is nature’s greatest grouse, the truest living heir to Mark E. Smith (and without the abusive behavior), and a realist who sees straight through society’s bullshit and the ways in which it’s constantly being shoveled onto the working class. Their fifth album Eton Alive, their first since ditching Rough Trade, will be out in late February, and if first single “Flipside” is any indication, Williamson and his partner Andrew Fearn haven’t suddenly become big fans of Theresa May, Brexit or austerity politics. Okay, I’m actually taking a guess there—the only lyric I’ve been able to make out in full confidence so far is “Graham Coxon looks like a left-wing Boris Johnson,” and even this dumb American can recognize the sheer genius of that. Fearn’s loops on “Flipside” are as blistering as ever, and Williamson delivers his screed with the same agitated, condescending, weirdly measured flow that’s been the Mods’ calling card from the start. That bodes well for Eton Alive. —Garrett Martin

Sky Ferreira
Date: TBD
Model and actress Sky Ferreira dropped her debut full-length album, Night Time, My Time, back in 2013 after the release of two EPs—2011’s As If! and 2012’s Ghost. Night Time, My Time marked a departure from her earlier work with a captivating foray into synth-pop and alternative rock. She’s teased new music on Instagram, saying “this winter it is official.” In the years since her debut LP, she’s mentioned plans for an album called Masochism (without any details) as well as a visual EP, but those plans appear to be up in the air as the visual EP was supposedly going to drop in February or March of 2018. She recently contributed vocals to tracks by Iceage (“Pain Killer”) and The Jesus and Mary Chain (“Black and Blues”). —Lizzie Manno

SOAK
Date: TBD
Bridie Monds-Watson, who records under the name SOAK, began to drum up attention with the release of her 2015 debut album Before We Forgot How to Dream, which received a Mercury Prize nomination. It would be easy to assume that this 22-year-old Irish singer/songwriter’s emotionally transparent lyrics and euphonious vocals belong to someone much older and wiser. However her marked sweetness and arresting vitality are indicative of someone who hasn’t succumbed to pessimism and isn’t ready to surrender any time soon. Her first new single in three years, “Everybody Loves You,” was one of the most endearing songs of 2018 with its smooth, melodic prowess and intense emotional depth. —Lizzie Manno

Solange
Date: TBD
In October, Solange Knowles teased that a new album would arrive before the end of the year. 2018 has come and gone, and we still haven’t heard any new material from Beyoncé’s talented younger sister, so there’s a good chance the follow-up to 2016’s A Seat at the Table is en route in 2019. More than likely, though, Solange’s next album will go the way of much anticipated music in 2019, arriving “into the world fully formed at some mysterious and unexpected moment,” or so says Solange. Whenever the stork decides to drop her next prize, there’s a good chance it could be just as groundbreaking as A Seat at the Table, full of jazzy charms and the calculated glory of neo-soul. —Ellen Johnson

Son Volt
Date: March 29
At a time when the Americana umbrella seems to be stretched further than ever before, Son Volt’s return reminds us of what its precursors really had in mind. We’re told it marks a return to basic folk values by way of founder Jay Farrar’s perspective on the current chaos engulfing Americans here at home, and that it finds inspiration in the ideals etched by two iconic activists, labor and community organizer Mary Harris “Mother Jones” and iconic folk hero Woody Guthrie. As the nation tries to reconcile the divide that engulfs us, we can only hope that Farrar and company’s message to the masses provides some sort of salve. —Lee Zimmerman

Tame Impala
Date: TBD
We’ve been craving new Tame Impala pretty much since getting through our first listen of Currents, their sweeping 2015 master work. And we have good reason to believe the follow-up will arrive in the next 12 months: In July, Kevin Parker said he’d be “very disappointed” if a new Tame Impala record doesn’t arrive by summer 2019, and they’ve secured several festival bookings including a headlining spot at Shaky Knees. Thankfully, Currents is plenty to keep us quenched until their next psych-rock masterpiece arrives. —Ellen Johnson

The Cure
Date: TBD
Despite releasing no new material in 2018, The Cure had a big year. They received news of their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they had a 40th anniversary party in the form of a massive outdoor show in London’s Hyde Park and they headlined Robert Smith’s own Meltdown Festival. They haven’t released an album since 2008’s 4:13 Dream, but Smith said in a recent radio interview that the band was almost done with their new album. He added that seeing new bands at Meltdown Festival was the inspirational spark to start writing music again. Their last album, 4:13 Dream, isn’t a bad record by any means, but drew criticism for its production style—after all, The Cure aren’t necessary the type of band you’d want to make a live-sounding record. It’s hard to guess where The Cure will go from here, but with a decade-long music drought and such a creative force like Smith at the helm, it’s hard to bet against them. —Lizzie Manno

The Gotobeds
Date: TBD
Pittsburgh is a beautiful town that makes beautiful bands, and it doesn’t get more beautiful than the Gotobeds. Rock ’n’ roll is a granddad’s age and about as relevant as landlines these days, and the best bands are the ones who realize it and also realize that it doesn’t matter. This stuff was always awesome and stupid and that’ll always be true, so don’t take it so seriously, you yahoos. The Gotobeds take it the right amount of serious, with some tremendous noise that chugs along the line between whatever nonsense terms like “punk” and “indie rock” mean today, and some of the most casually hilarious and ornery words this side of those Bob Pollard crowd banter records. They’re putting out a new LP on Sub Pop at some undisclosed point in 2019, and if it’s even half as good as their first two it’ll probably be the thing I listen to most in 2019. Why don’t you join me? —Garrett Martin

The Raconteurs
Date: TBD
The Raconteurs are back, baby. The acclaimed collaborative act led by Jack White and Brendan Benson are busy recording their first new album in more than a decade. The record doesn’t have a name or an official release date yet, but despite details being few and far between, we aren’t completely in the dark about the band’s third LP. We do know that it will be out in 2019. This news came as part of the band’s 10-year anniversary reissue of their Grammy-winning last studio album, Consolers of the Lonely. The reissue found the band heading back into the studio together to find the original master tapes and from there, they began recording together in Nashville. —Justin Kamp

Toro y Moi
Date: Jan. 18
In October, Toro y Moi shared “Freelance,” the first single from their newly announced album Outer Peace, due out Jan. 18, 2019, on Carpark Records.“Freelance” is a cheekily titled foray into the feelings of baselessness that are part and parcel of living in modernity. “Mystic staring at his phone for oneness / Silver or black mirror, what’s the difference?” Frontman Chaz Bear says in a statement that the song addresses “how disposable culture has become and how it affects creativity.” The video (dir. Harry Israelson) features Bear staring into a computer screen while photographers take his picture and an hourglass drips sand. Timeliness and timelessness are clearly on the brain. “While listening, you might pay attention or ignore—either way that’s ok,” Bear adds. “This is music for a creative mind.” —Justin Kamp

Toy
Date: Jan. 26
After their best record yet with 2016’s Clear Shot, the stakes are even higher for Toy’s fourth studio album. The nimble, chugging psych and krautrock from this British five-piece makes the sinister sound pretty and the pitch-black sound luminous. We’ve heard four tracks so far from their forthcoming album Happy in the Hollow, out on Jan. 26 via Tough Love Records. They released two tracks as part of a 12-inch single—“The Willo” / “Energy”—which are both on the record, in addition to “Sequence One” and “You Make Me Forget Myself.” According to their bio, their new album, is “unquestionably their most direct and propulsive album to date.” —Lizzie Manno

Vampire Weekend
Date: TBD
In the years since Vampire Weekend’s last album, 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City, the world has seemingly gotten … darker. Now, that may be due to the near-constant sense of impending doom that’s gripped the country since about two years ago, or maybe just because feeling gloomy all the time is an inherent part of growing older, but we prefer to think that maybe part of the reason things seem so bleak is because of a lack of easily digestible, Ivy League indie-yacht-pop, and not because of any incredibly complex sociopolitical issues. Yeah, that first one seems better. Luckily, Vampire Weekend have been teasing a new album for some time now. Unluckily, there is still no set release date, no confirmed album title and really no official details of any kind. —Justin Kamp

Victor Krummenacher
Date: TBD
With a resume that encompasses the band Cracker, its spin-off Monks of Doom and several outings on his own, Victor Krummenacher sets a high bar for any ongoing efforts. Never an especially effusive individual, Blue Pacific will arrive with some heavy baggage, specifically the after effects of a divorce and an attempt to nurse his emotional wounds. Although the influences are said to be obvious—vintage Stones, The Dead, The E Street Band, Elvis Costello and Pete Townshend are all cited in a press release—Krummenacher himself has admitted that due to the difficulty of his mindset, “It was one of the hardest projects I’ve worked on,” he’s said. Hmmm… it appears Blue Pacific will be pretty blue and, umm, very specific. —Lee Zimmerman

Whitney
Date: TBD
Self-described Chicago “country-soul” band Whitney’s debut album, 2016’s Light Upon the Lake, was a surprise critical and commercial hit, one that helped put the city’s vibrant, bustling indie-rock scene on the national map. Core songwriting duo Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek’s layered instrumental harmonies and soulful pop frameworks were particular sticking points for fans of the group. But in the more than two years since the release of their debut, the band has been mostly quiet on all new music fronts. They’ve hinted that LP2 is on the way. They’re mostly pretty mum on the subject of actual sounds, aside from an October tweet saying that the album “is starting to sound fucking insane,” which is enticing. —Justin Kamp

Yak
Date: Feb. 8
When London rock trio Yak burst onto the scene in 2016 with their debut album Alas Salvation, it felt like an earthquake. Frontman Oli Burslem’s Jagger-like yelps contained much more vigor than any other band at that time and a few bits of their bad to the bone rock ’n’ roll have already emerged in 2018. Their new singles—“Bellyache,” “White Male Carnivore” and “Fried”—are the first tracks we’ve heard from their forthcoming album Pursuit of Momentary Happiness, and not only do they have that kind of freakish, diabolic energy, we’ve come to expect from Yak, but they might have even taken it up a notch. Pursuit of Momentary Happiness is out on Third Man Records and Virgin EMI on Feb. 8. —Lizzie Manno

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