Here, we celebrate and speculate this year’s best, upcoming album releases. From the Ed Sheeran collaboration project, to Taylor Swift’s Lover, to a new LP from the rock trio Sleater-Kinney, there is a lot to be excited about in 2019. And you know what new albums mean: Your favorite artists, on tour.
Now, because you deserve the best new music, first: The Most Anticipated Albums of 2019.
Since the release of her sophomore album hopeless fountain kingdom, Halsey has been working with the biggest names in pop music. Her distinguished vocals can be heard on Benny Blanco’s “Eastside” with Khalid. Or, more recently, on YUNGBLUD’s “11 Minutes” with Travis Barker. She concluded 2018 with dropping her best, most personal song to date “Without Me“. Now, Halsey is preparing her third LP, which she has confirmed will arrive sometime in 2019. In response to a fan’s inquiry, Halsey wrote: “I know you guys are anxious for new music and new memories. for touring and traveling with your friends. for events and pop ups and meeting new people. for music video screenshots. for group chats and late night. thank you for being patient with me. I want it to be perfect.”
SLeater-Kinney, The Center Won’t Hold
We can’t imagine a better match than alt-rock band Sleater-Kinney and St. Vincent, who will serve as the producer of Sleater-Kinney’s forthcoming album The Center Won’t Hold. Spanning 11 tracks—including the singles “Hurry on Home” and “The Future Is Here”—Sleater-Kinney’s ninth studio album will serve as the follow-up to 2015’s reunion LP, No Cities to Love. The St. Vincent produced The Center Won’t Hold will be out August 16 via Mom + Pop Records.
The Hold Steady, Thrashing Thru The Passion
It’s been five years since the Craig Finn-led rock outfit The Hold Steady released Teeth Dreams. Since, fans have received deluxe versions of earlier LPs, in addition to a number of singles—beginning with 2017’s “Entitlement Crew” and “A Snake In The Shower.” Now, The Hold Steady has announced that they will in fact be releasing another album, this time with keyboardist Franz Nicolay (who was last heard on their 2008 album Stay Positive). The new Hold Steady LP—Thrashing Thru The Passion—will be out August 16 via Frenchkiss.
Lana Del Rey, Norman F***ing Rockwell
First, she was the soft spoken Americana singer. Then, she was the R&B influenced pop starlet, working with the likes of The Weeknd, dominating the radio waves with her seductive vocal delivery. Now, she has honed her sound to be an amalgamation of everything she’s put out, and been through. Norman F***ing Rockwell will include “Venice Bitch”, “Mariners Apartment Complex”, and her latest single, “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have — but i have it”. From what we can tell so far, Del Rey’s upcoming LP will be a more spare, personal record, with a focus on dark, introspective songwriting.
Charli XCX, Charli
Not only will Charli XCX release a self-titled album this year. She will also embark on an expansive world tour, bringing Charli to cities all over the world. Star-studded, teeming with guests, Charli’s third studio LP brings together Lizzo, Troye Sivan, HAIM, Big Freedia, Christine and the Queens, and Sky Ferreira, in addition to the rapper CupcaKke and a number of other rising producers and singers. Being at the forefront of pop music, Charli XCX will certainly exert dominance in her genre this year with some of 2019’s most relevant musicians. Charli will be out September 13, and include the already released singles “Blame It On Your Love” and “Gone.”
Ed Sheeran, No. 6 Collaborations Project
It looks like Ed Sheeran has deviated from his symbolic albums to drop No. 6 Collaborations Project, a new LP that will feature collaborations with Chance the Rapper (“Cross Me”), Beyonce (“River”), Taylor Swift (“End Game”), and more. Sheeran said in a press release: “Before I was signed in 2011, I made an EP called No.5 Collaborations Project. Since then, I’ve always wanted to do another, so I started No.6 on my laptop when I was on tour last year. I’m a huge fan of all the artists I’ve collaborated with and it’s been a lot of fun to make.” No. 6 Collaborations Project will arrive July 13 via Atlantic.
Taylor Swift, Lover
It seems that Taylor Swift is reverting back to romantics with this forthcoming album, a side step from 2017’s Reputation. Preceded by singles “ME!” featuring Brandon Urie from Panic! At the Disco and “You Need to Calm Down”, the 18-track LP Lover will be out August 23. This will be Taylor Swift’s seventh studio album, and even though it seems like she just stopped touring for Reputation, we wouldn’t be surprised if an announcement to tour behind Lover arrives sometime soon.
Two years ago, Banks suddenly disappeared from her prospering career, her endless tour schedule, largely all commitments that would take her away from home. “It was very necessary,” she says of her break. “I never really had time to digest how much my life had changed. I needed to rediscover how to live in one place, reestablish a nesting place and be a little more grounded. I purposely told my management, ‘I don’t want to leave for at least a year.’” Now, after writing nonstop and hunkering down in an L.A recording studio, Banks is ready to re-emerge with III. With a tight knit group of collaborators, Banks created an album to encompass everything from that bright yet tumultuous chapter of her life, when her career really took off after 2016’s The Altar. Including the singles “Gimme” and “Look What You’re Doing to Me”, III will seamlessly fit amongst the goth synth-pop scene Banks helped draw in the first place, the one Billie Eilish has managed to fortify since she’s been gone. III will arrive July 12.
Tame Impala, TBD
Fans and critics alike have been waiting patiently for Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker to affirm his plans for a new record. We finally have what could be the first single from the new Tame Impala album, the hypnotic, disco-flecked “Patience“. And not only will Tame Impala be performing this Summer, they are officially on the circuit, scheduled to deliver headlining sets to four music festivals, including the premier, Indio Cali fest Coachella. Now that “Patience” has arrived, we are looking forward to its live debut, not to mention any other new music Kevin Parker decides to drop before Coachella’s Weekend One. Though an official title and release date have yet to be announced, we are finally getting closer to the return of Tame Impala.
Kanye West, TBD
Okay, so maybe it won’t be ‘Yandhi’, or ‘So Help Me God’, but we would be very surprised if he lets 2019 come and go without an album release. And now that Ye freed himself, we think the new LP could match the genius, the chaos, the power flexing of The Life of Pablo. And it’s not like the artist hasn’t been at work. Last year, we saw an impressive 7-track rollout. Yeezy’s hands yielded DAYTONA, NASIR, Kids See Ghosts, and K.T.S.E, which made for a very G.O.O.D Summer. Knowing that Kanye was in and out of the studio pretty much all year, and was much recently reported to be recording in Miami with Timbaland and 2 Chainz, we can’t help but assume that in 2019 we will see the fruit of his labor, in a FULL, solo LP.
Childish Gambino, TBD
We know it’s happening. Some people, the ones who attended Gambino’s final “This Is America” Tour, even heard it: The final Gambino LP. Though we don’t want the end to be so near, we’re excited for what Gambino has in store for his final say. Will it include his internet-breaking single “This Is America”? Or the love-joyous Summer Pack? Though he’s committed to retiring the Childish Gambino moniker, we are holding out for another Donald Glover rap ego to emerge once this era has come to an end.
On Friday (Dec. 21) Rihanna slyly responded to a fan on Fenty’s Instagram, who asked outright when the new album was coming. Her response? “2019.” Rihanna’s vocal producer Kuk Harrell also teased the album earlier this week. “R9 is great. R9 is amazing. It’s incredible, And that’s all I’m going to say,” he said in response to a fan on social media. Earlier this year, RiRi was said to have embarked on a dancehall album, taking in over 500 tracks to sample from. Will she use 2019 to explore her Caribbean roots? We think it’s possible, if not likely, since Rihanna’s inner circle is finally opening up about the highly anticipated R9.