Whether it's debut albums from Future Brown and Kelela, or returns from bold artists like Björk, here are the 24 albums we're most anticipating over the next 12 months.
Gwilym Gold is a proper pop auteur and the sort of guy you couldn't imagine doing anything other than making bold, adventurous music. His debut album, 'Tender Metal', was incredibly innovative - it was an ever-changing piece of music released via the Bronze app - but due to its niche format, barely anyone actually heard the thing. His new album follows last year's Muscle and collaborations with Hyetal and will, we hope, reach the audience it deserves.
TBA, Big Dada
Did you know that Young Fathers have already recorded the follow-up to last year’s Mercury Prize-winning ‘Dead’? During November, they ran ‘PLOT27’, an artist residence in Berlin where the band recorded the album and formulated its artwork and videos. A group of people were invited every week into the sessions for 'quality control', eating dinner with the band and casting their opinion on the previous week’s recordings.
TBA, Weird World
Jaakko Eino Kalevi’s album for Domino sublabel Weird World is being billed as his debut, but it follows a slew of low-run and self-released albums from the Finnish musician. His last two EPs – 'Dreamzone' and 'Speak Out', the latter for Beats In Space – managed to somehow sound both slack and chill, yet taut and groovy, and should give a hint as to the album’s direction.
'Astral Travelling Man'
Following his ‘Hearing Colors’ mixtape, the Filipino producer/singer/musician should release his debut artist album for XL sublabel Abeano this year. Expect a few collaborations: Eyedress has been working with underground pop musicians like GEoRGiA and Pix, while we’ve seen him tweeting at young grime MC Novelist.
TBA, Italians Do It Better
Due "before Valentine's Day", the third Chromatics album clocks in at 17 tracks and is looking to be just as long and winding as 2012's 'Kill For Love'. Its poisoned apple artwork suggests something far darker than previous albums, although titles like Time Rider, Cherry, and After Hours let you know that band leader Johnny Jewel's usual obsessions are all in check.
A new New Order album is definitely on the cards: last year they announced that they'd signed to Mute, and they've been playing new songs at their shows. After their last album, 2005's guitar-centric 'Waiting For The Siren's Call' it's fairly refreshing to hear that this album will be "dance-based", but will it be worthy of the name New Order, or is it more likely to be - in the words of erstwhile member Peter Hook - "New Odour"?
Kelela recently confirmed to Dazed Digital that her debut album proper was due in the summer. Agenda-setting mixtape ‘CUT 4 ME’ saw her collaborating with friends from the Fade to Mind and Night Slugs camps, but her album promises to introduce new faces into the fold. Hopefully she’ll be able to leave that reductive ‘experimental R&B’ tag behind once and for all, too.
Computer musician Holly Herndon should be following up last year’s singles Chorus and Home with her second album, a follow-up to 2012’s ‘Movement’ for RVNG Intl. Home in particular was one of her most pointed, critical songs, and we're hoping to hear more in this vein.
UMO’s second album, ‘II’, was split between psychedelic pop songs and deeper, proggier explorations. Their third album might see them head further down one path or the other, or they might try and reconcile both of those directions.
PJ Harvey is spending January recording her album in a specially constructed glass box in front of paying audience members as part of an art installation at Somerset House. We doubt that anybody knows what the end result will be like at this stage, least of all PJ Harvey.
Ed Simons let slip that a new Chems album would see its release this year when he announced that he’d be leaving the live show to continue with his PhD. He described it as "far-our electronic music", which is both exactly what we expected him to say, and exactly what we wanted him to say.
True Panther, March 17th
An extraordinarily talented songwriter (and an extraordinarily hyped one), Tobias Jesso Jr. is set to release his debut album via True Panther Sounds in the summer, featuring production from. 'Goon' features production from Chet White (formerly of Girls), Patrick Carney (The Black Keys), and pop producer of the moment Ariel Rechtshaid. Expect mentions of Nilsson and Newman to increase tenfold in music mags upon its release.
'Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper'
Domino, January 12th
Panda Bear’s meeting with death himself is the first album on this list to drop – it’s out next week. The long-touted album sees the Animal Collective dude pack in more groove and melody than 2011’s 'Tomboy'. We dig it, even if - as he told us in a recent interview - his daughter can't stand his music.
TBA, Young Turks
Jamie xx’s long-in-the-works solo album should be due on Young Turks this year, if a recent interview with The FADER is to be believed. To be honest, we’d have been just as happy if The xx ringleader had stuck to releasing club 12”s, but if there's an album being offered, we're hardly gonna say no, are we?
Somehow Radiohead found time to get back in the studio in between Thom Yorke's surprise solo albums and Jonny Greenwood's endless run of soundtrack commissions - Greenwood told BBC Radio 1 that they were back in the studio working on their ninth album, while Nigel Godrich shared a photo of them staring at some cables on his Twitter late last year.
HudMo confirmed that his long-touted follow-up to 2008’s ‘Butter’ has been handed in to his label late last year in an interview with Benji B, stressing that it’ll see him adopt the role of ‘producer’ rather than ‘beatmaker’ and features plenty of collaborations made in the studio rather than over email back-and-forths.
We have our fingers crossed that John Maus’s follow-up to one of this era’s most enduring underground albums, ‘We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves’, will land this year. Maus tweeted at the tail end of last year that he hoped to release something in 2015, but given he's only just finished building the instruments for it, this is probably the least certain album on this list.
TBA, PC Music
Can Hannah Diamond make the transition from ‘singles artist’ to ‘album artist’? What does being a ‘singles artist’ even mean anymore? Hannah Diamond’s debut is allegedly not the only full-length from a PC Music artist that you might see this year, but it’s definitely the most high profile from the label and should strike a perfect balance between bangers and ballads.
Warp, February 23rd
Fatima Al Qadiri, J-Cush, and Nguzunguzu drop their debut album for Warp in February, bringing together various international street music styles and melding them with their own avant-club aesthetic. We've been looking forward to this for ages.
James Blake’s follow-up to 2013’s ‘Overgrown’ is pretty far along, if recent interviews are to be believed, and the album could sneak in some time this year. The album might feature Kanye West, which we guess is cool if it does happen, but to be honest we're way more interested in seeing what new directions Blake will start exploring.
TBA, Def Jam
Yeezy saw in the new year by releasing the first single from his new album, Only One, a stripped-back keys-‘n’-vocals song recorded with none other than Paul McCartney – the first of many collaborations between the two artists. After the blistering aggro of ‘Yeezus’, this could be Kanye entering his sentimental phase.
Grimes should be releasing the follow-up to 2012’s ‘Visions’ on 4AD later this year. An early version of the album was allegedly scrapped by Grimes because she didn't think it was her best, so with such stringent quality control you can expect this to be a worthy sequel.
TBA, Night Slugs
Unhappy and Crisis, the two songs already released ahead of Jam City’s second album, suggest a complete departure from the HD-rendered sound of ‘Classical Curves’. Jam City wrote the rulebook and now he's torn it up – a bold move, sure, but Jam City is one of the boldest artists working today.
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Having counted down our favourite songs, favourite albums, and favourite non-album albums of 2014, it's time to look to the future. Here, we've listed 24 albums set for release in 2015 that we’re raring to hear.
We’ve only included albums that we’re certain – well, 99% certain – will actually see the light of day this year. So while the music press has published murmurings that there might be a new Frank Ocean album, or that there might be new music from Joanna Newsom and Destroyer, we have enough experience with the music industry to know that album campaigns take ages and that these records could, for all we know, be miles off.
We’ve also only picked records that we’re actually really excited by the prospect of – no offense to Giorgio Moroder, but we’re feeling that his comeback album will be an interesting listen rather than a good one. Likewise, we’re looking forward to hearing the new Purity Ring album, but their most recent song did leave us feeling a little cold.
Some of these albums have been formally announced, with singles released, interviews in the bag, and pre-orders available, while others are just whispers at this moment. But they’re all records by artists close to our heart, and we’d like to think that some of them might end up on our ‘best of 2015’ list in 12 months time.