The 30 Most Anticipated Albums of 2019

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The 30 Most Anticipated Albums of 2019

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

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