The 20 Most Anticipated Albums of 2018

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The 20 Most Anticipated Albums of 2018

This week we were gifted with lots of exciting new music, and as we look forward to the rest of 2018, there’s plenty more on the horizon. While some artists have scheduled releases we can mark on our calendars, some have chosen a more mysterious path, dropping vague hints via Twitter and Instagram, confusing both fans and critics alike. Regardless of how, where, and/or when these albums finally reach us, we can’t wait to listen. Here are the 20 albums Paste is most looking forward to in 2018. (And in the meantime, check out which albums made our best of 2017 list right here.)

Blood Orange
Date: TBD
Last summer, Dev Hynes teased fans with an Instagram pic of him in the studio, announcing that he was “currently working on Blood Orange album 4.” We know next to nothing about this record—Hynes has stayed pretty mum on the subject since—but after 2013’s Cupid Deluxe and 2016’s Freetown Sound, we’re ready for more genre-bending brilliance and impressive guest stars (Hynes has collaborated with the likes of Debbie Harry and Carly Rae Jepsen).

The Breeders
Date: Mar. 2
What’s most exciting about the first record from The Breeders since 2008 is that it’s the first LP with a Last Splash-era lineup in 25 years. Kim and Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs and Jim Macpherson will officially reunite Mar. 2 with All Nerve. On lead single “Wait in the Car,” Kim Deal showcased her always awkward relationship with expression: “I always struggle with the right words / Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow.” Listen to the album’s blunt title track here.

Car Seat Headrest
Date: Feb. 16
Car Seat Headrest’s next album isn’t exactly new, but it will certainly be fresh; Will Toledo has given his 2011 Bandcamp release Twin Fantasy a total makeover, and it’s out Feb. 16 on Matador. We love the sleek, shadowy look (and perfectly purposeful awkward dancing) in the band’s new video for “Nervous Young Inhumans” (directed by Toledo).

Frank Ocean
Date: TBD
How Frank Ocean finds time to write new music in between hanging out with his bestie Brad Pitt, we don’t know, but hey, we’re not as talented as he is. Whether or not he’ll release the follow-up to 2016’s sweeping Blonde this year is very TBD; the only hint we have to go on is this Tumblr post from late last year, in which Ocean offered a (maybe fake) quote from “an interview [he] hasn’t given yet.” Hmm. We’re hoping for the best.

Date: TBD
Last year, Damon Albarn and Gorillaz released the politically fueled Humanz, their first album since 2010. This time they aren’t taking much time off. “We’re working on another Gorilllaz album that we’re going to be releasing [in 2018],” the band’s Jamie Hewlett confirmed in late 2017. We’re keeping our eyes and ears peeled for more details.

Jack White
Date: TBD
Jack White’s last solo record was 2014’s Lazaretto, and there have been rumblings of a follow-up since last month, when White released a sound collage called “Servings and Portions From My Boarding House Reach.” This week, White confirmed he will release a new album in 2018, and it is in fact titled Boarding House Reach. The record’s release date has yet to be announced, but in the meantime, we have two brand new singles to tide us over.

Justin Timberlake
Date: Feb. 2
We only have to wait a few more weeks to find out if Justin Timberlake’s new persona related to Man of the Woods, his first album in five years, is a joke or not. So far, it seems like Timberlake is totally serious about learning to embrace the merits of fresh air and flannel, despite the slick, futuristic vibes of his brand new “Filthy” video. We’re curious to find out what Timberlake is really up to, and if his new material will ever match the brilliance of 2007’s Future Sex/Love Sounds.

Kal Marks
Date: Feb. 23
Kal Marks, the supremely loud trio from Boston, make sludgy rock that tackles sophisticated topics like life, death, and finding happiness in even the darkest corners. “Adventure,” the first single from their forthcoming third LP, Universal Care, is intense and expansive, yet finished with the utmost delicacy.

Kanye West
Date: TBD
Kanye West  says his new album will be called Turbo Grafx 16. He also said 2016’s The Life of Pablo would be called So Help Me God, Swish, Waves, and probably a dozen other titles before settling on the final one. And of course, he kept working on Pablo after it came out, so the question is: Will Kanye’s new album even be out when it’s released? TBD indeed.

Lucy Dacus
Date: Mar. 2
Richmond, Va., songwriter Lucy Dacus made a big splash with her 2016 debut, No Burden, after the confessional lyrics and garage-blues propulsion of its lead single, “I Don’t Want To Be Funny Anymore,” catapulted her straight to indie-rock stardom. That record’s follow-up, Historian, arrives Mar. 2 via Matador. Its first single, “Night Shift,” is tragic, beautiful and heroic.

My Bloody Valentine
Date: TBD
Last year, My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields teamed with Brian Eno for the shimmering nine-minute “Only Once Away My Son,” raising the hope that Shields might get back in the studio for a followup to 2013’s m b v. Then he told Pitchfork that the prospects of a new MBV album in 2018 were “one hundred percent.” That’s enough confirmation for us.

Date: Feb. 16
Gleefully askew Montreal indie-rock wunderkinds Ought return Feb. 16 with Room Inside the World, the long-awaited follow-up to 2015’s Sun Coming Down. (In the meantime, frontman Tim Darcy made the solid solo LP Saturday Night.) Impressive first single “These Three Things” finds the band heavily embracing electronics and emphasizing Darcy’s signature vocal swagger.

Date: Feb. 9
Philadelphia art-rockers Palm are one of the more inventive bands making music today, thanks to their experiments with bizarre melodies and disjointed rhythms. They’re set to release Rock Island on Feb. 9 via Carpark Records, and first single “Pearly” is a lush and poppy take on their signature brand of strange.

Screaming Females
Date: Feb. 23
The New Jersey garage rockers have never stopped churning out great records, even if frontwoman Marrissa Paternoster has doesn’t been doing quite as much screaming recently. A new album, All At Once, is out Feb. 23 on Don Giovanni. Lead single “Black Moon” starts out fast and furious with Paternoster’s signature guitar wail, while second single “Glass
House” goes for the multi-tonal dramatic epic, equal parts pretty and pummeling.

Date Jan. 19
London’s Shopping make clean, upbeat post-punk reminiscent of bands such as The Raincoats and The Slits. The Official Body, out Jan. 19, promises even more smart, nostalgic dance tracks for our modern times.

Soccer Mommy
Date: Mar. 2
We’re deeply impressed with Soccer Mommy’s gorgeous, slightly fuzzy sounds, and can’t wait for the Nashville singer-songwriter’s debut to arrive on Mar. 2. “Your Dog,” the first single from Clean, finds Sophie Allison making a bold statement of independence: “I don’t wanna be your fucking dog.”

Date: Mar. 2
Superorganism, the absurdly fun pop collective based in London (though its members hail from around the globe), will mark their official arrival Mar. 2 with a self-titled record via Domino after releasing four joyously wobbly singles. Their recent Paste studio session marked their very first American performance, and was one of our favorites from last year.

Date: Jan. 19
Merill Garbus has come a long way in four albums, from the super-looped Afro-funk of 2009’s Bird Brains and 2011’s WHOKILL to the more polished production of 2014’s Nikki Nack. Her new release with constant collaborator Nate Brenner, I can feel you creep into my private life, keeps the programmed beats and playful multipart harmonies firmly intact. The perfect vintage beats of “Look at Your Hands” makes us glad that the wait for the duo’s new 12-track collection is almost over.

U.S. Girls
Date: Feb. 16
U.S. Girls is the Toronto- based project of Meg Remy, who’s assembled a new eight-piece band around her forthcoming sixth album, In a Poem Unlimited, out Feb. 16 via 4AD. If “Velvet 4 Sale” and second single “Pearly Gates” are any indication, the record will offer a sleek, elegant blend of electronics, hip-hop and indie rock.

Vampire Weekend
Date: TBD
Last September, Ezra Koenig tweeted that the new Vampire Weekend album was “80% done,” but that “the last 20% is always the hardest.” With a rumored working title of Mitsubishi Macchiato, that new album should be on its way sometime this year. It will be the band’s first without multi-instrumentalist and producer Rostam Batmanglij, who left the band in 2016 and made an excellent solo album in 2017, so we’re especially anxious to hear what a Rostam-less VW sounds like.

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