We’re staring down the barrel of another great year for music, so to give you a preview, here are 13 of the most highly anticipated albums set to hit the shelves this year.
Atoms for Peace – Amok- February 26
Featuring Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and world class percussionists Maruo Refosco and Joey Waronker, as well as Radiohead producer Nigel Goodrich, Thom Yorke’s new project Atoms for Peace is set to release their debut LP this February. Previous singles ‘Default’ and ‘Judge, Jury and Executioner’ hint that Yorke’s brand of glitchy electronica has evolved to the truly mind-bending, thanks largely to the sleek, angular bass lines supplied by master Flea.
Beyoncé -Title TBA- Date Unknown
After kicking off the year with a fiery performance at the Superbowl, Beyoncé Knowles is tipped to be releasing her fifth record sometime this year. It’s all very hush-hush though, with reports coming in that she has recorded as many as fifty songs for the album, and that the guest list features the likes of Pharrell, Timbaland and Justin Timberlake.
David Bowie –The Next Day- March 12
He dropped mellow first single “Where Are We Now” out of the blue earlier this year, and now the Thin White Duke is set to release his first record in a decade. It’s an album that was 2 and a half years in the making, recorded under the utmost secrecy (people at the New York Magic Shop Studios referred to the Bowie sessions as “the Secret”). Whilst the first single was a restrained, piano ballad, Bowie has since let slip that the other tracks are funky, mid tempo rockers.
Vampire Weekend -Modern Vampires of the City – May 7
They cheekily revealed the name of their third LP via a classified ad in the New York Times, and now Vampire Weekend are releasing the highly anticipated follow-up to Contra in May. First single “Unbelievers”, recalls previous favourite “Cousins” – a high energy pop cut ready for heavy airplay. Taking nearly 2 years to write and record, the album is set to be big.
Paramore– Paramore – April 9
They may have gone through a drastic line up change (guitarist Josh Farro and drummer Zac Farro left in late 2010 after angrily claiming the band had sold out), but the Tennessee band patched themselves up and headed into the studio with big name producer Justin Meldal-Johnson (of Beck and Garbage fame). 2009’s Brand New Eyes was packed full of muscular rock riffs, but guitarist Taylor York has now hinted that the new cuts are more poppy and dance-oriented.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Mosquito- April 16
Lead singer Karen O has mentioned that psychedelia and roots reggae may appear on the bands fourth LP, and that the album contains “more moodier and tripped-out songs than you’ve ever heard from us” she said recently. Recording took place mainly in Tornillo, Texas, with the tracks demoed beforehand in a basement in New York on a drum machine and an old keyboard. They then enlisted produced Nick Launay (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) and James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) to help beef up the tracks on what will be one of the years biggest releases.
Bernard Fanning – TBA- May/June
Now that Powderfinger are well and truly in the past, Fanning settled down in L.A.’s Sunset Sound Studios to record his long awaited follow-up to 2005’s Tea & Sympathy. A few co-writes are slated to be appearing, most notably a track written with Beck drummer (and Atoms for Peace member) Joey Waronker.
Arcade Fire – TBD- Date Unknown
They sailed to indie stardom with 2010’s The Suburbs, and now the follow-up from Montreal band Arcade Fire is scheduled for release sometime later this year. LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy has been tagged as the producer, and although details are thin on the ground about the release, it’s set to be one of the biggest of the year.
The Black Keys – TBD- Date Unknown
They may have only just wrapped up touring on El Camino and snapped up a Grammy for it, but a new record from The Black Keys is set to drop late 2013. Singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach told Uncut magazine that the band were going back in the studio in January, hoping to finish the record before the end of March. Drummer Patrick Carney confirmed this in a later interview, adding that they could even be back on the road by the end of the year. It will be the bands eighth album.
Emma Louise – Vs Head vs Heart- March 22
She’s garnered a fair amount of airplay and attention off the back of two big singles: 2011’s “Jungle” and 2012’s “Boy”, but now the Brisbane singer has announced her debut LP is due to appear late March. New single “Freedom” is already on heavy rotation on the radio, and tickets to her album preview shows sold out lighting fast. All signs point to a big record.
Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience – March 19
He’s now added ‘Actor’ to his extensive resumé, but Timberlake is back on track to drop his comeback LP in March. First single “Suit and Tie” was a slow, swerving RnB cut produced by longtime pal Timbaland, who will no doubt feature prominently on the rest of the record.
Matt Corby – TBD- Date Unknown
Arguably the most anticipated Australian album of the year, Matt Corby’s debut LP should be released late 2013. After the mega success of his EP Into The Flame (which went five times platinum in Australia), and single ‘Brother’ nabbing the No. 3 spot in the Hottest 100 of 2011, Corby fled to London where he holed up with longtime collaborator Bree Tranter to record the album.
Tool – TBD- Date Unknown
Not a band to do things quickly (it’s been seven years since their last release, 10,000 Days), Tool have confirmed that 2013 will see them drop their fifth studio album. Drummer Danny Carney confirmed the band had begun work on the album last July, and that the album was set for a 2013 release (this was later denied by bandmate Maynard James Keenan, and then a few days after that it was confirmed again). Pieces of information have leaked out, like the fact the record apparently contains a 20 minute song.