25 Albums We're Looking Forward to in 2012

Music Lists
Share Tweet Submit Pin

It’s 2012, a year long-rumored to bring about the end of the world. So, if our time really is limited, there’s no reason to waste it on bad music. Below you’ll find a list of the albums we expect to be among the best of the year.

The list is filled with old and familiar along with new and fresh faces, but the artists all have one thing in common: They’ve all got track records for crafting great songs. Take a look below, and feel free to let us know what you’re looking forward to in the comments section.

10. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band: TBA
Release Date: TBA
The Boss’ upcoming album was just wrapping up when it was announced that he’d be going on a world tour in November, and it’s bound to be a powerful one; It’s Springsteen’s first album since the June 20, 2011, death of long-time saxophonist and friend Clarence Clemons. The yet-to-be-titled LP should be a welcome addition to recent releases like Working on a Dream and The Promise.

9. Magnetic Fields: Love at the Bottom of the Sea
Release Date: March 6
After nearly a dozen years away from Merge records, Stephin Merritt’s Magnetic Fields’ Love at the Bottom of the Sea is bound to be instantly recognizable and triumphant.

8. Sharon Van Etten: Tramp
Release Date: Feb. 7
Sharon Van Etten  proved that she’s got a way with words on releases like Epic and Because I Was in Love. Now Aaron Dessner of The National is stepping to produce an album that includes appearances from members of Wye Oak and Beirut. That sounds like a great combo to us.

7. Sleigh Bells: Reign of Terror
Release Date: Feb. 21
Treats set the stage for Sleigh Bells’ in-the-red, clipping take on guitar rock. But the band promises Reign of Terror will be a darker take on the Sleigh Bells sound. You can take a listen to Reign of Terror’s first single, “Born to Lose,” here.

6. Andrew Bird: Break It Yourself
Release Date: March 6
Andrew Bird  has been hinting at the follow up to 2009’s Noble Beast since he finished the soundtrack to the film Norman last October. Recorded by Bird himself in his own “barn studio,” Break It Yourself is sure to be a welcome addition to his catalog of whistling, looping songs.

5. The Long Winters: TBA
Release Date: TBA
The Long Winters’ bandleader and very contemplative songwriter John Roderick has been working on the follow-up to 2006’s excellent Putting the Days to Bed for what seems like forever. Rumors circulated as far back as 2008 that Roderick was working on the album, and the delay’s even been mentioned on Roderick’s podcast, Roderick on the Line. With albums like Putting the Days to Bed and When I Pretend to Fall under his belt (and not to mention a great handle on short-form communication), we’re hoping this is the year Roderick finally finishes the band’s fourth LP.

4. The xx: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Although The xx was one of the most-hyped bands of 2010, the trio wasn’t in any rush to hop back into the studio. “There is no plan to even put out a second album,” bassist Oliver Sim said in 2010. “We’re going to write and record just for the love of it, even if we didn’t do anything with it.” And it looks like that time is 2012; the band has been updating the progress through their own website and Facebook, and we’re eager to see how the young band has evolved.

3. Sigur Rós: TBA
Release Date: TBA
While Sigur Rós isn’t exactly known for communicating about upcoming releases, the band did manage to get fans hopes up in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal. There’s a lot of mystery behind their yet-to-be-titled, post-hiatus release, which frontman Jónsi Birgisson calls “introverted” and “floaty and minimal.” Although we’ve heard plenty of output from Birgisson since a 2008 hiatus—Go and the soundtrack to We Built a Zoo—we’re still excited to see what the Iceland-based quartet will pull off with their new full-length.

2. The Shins: Port of Morrow
Release Date: March
The Shins  showed us some stellar sneak peeks of what’s to come from their upcoming fourth album, Port of Morrow at the Deluna Fest this October. With a new lineup, a new label and a seemingly fresh start, we have high expectations for James Mercer and company.

1. Diamond Rugs: TBA
Release Date: April 24
If the names John McCauley, Ian St. Pé, Robbie Crowell, Steve Berlin, Bryan Dufresne and Hardy Morris aren’t exactly conjuring up images of a super group, wait a few more months. Featuring members of Deer Tick, Black Lips, Los Lobos, Six Finger Satellite and Dead Confederate, Diamond Rugs look like they could pull off one of the best straight-up-rock albums of the year. You can read our feature on the band here.

Recently in Music