Here, we have all of the best, most anticipated album releases that are coming this year. From Rihanna’s long awaited R9, to Vampire Weekend’s first album since 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City, to Ariana Grande’s second album in six months, there’s a lot of new music to get excited about. And you know what new albums typically lead to: Your favorite artists, on tour.
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.
Mark Ronson, Late Night Feelings
At the end of 2018, producer Mark Ronson dropped “Nothing Breaks Like A Heart”, featuring Miley Cyrus. The disco-western romp did more than infect bars and clubs for a few months. It signaled the next Mark Ronson album, the first since 2015’s Uptown Special, the hit record which contained the acclaimed single “Uptown Funk” with Bruno Mars. Recently, Ronson was seen in the studio with Camila Cabello. Considering the last Mark Ronson LP guest list, we think there will be some incredible features on the forthcoming Late Night Feelings.
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. Recently, it was announced that not only will Tame Impala be performing this Summer, they are officially on the circuit, scheduled to deliver headlining sets to three music festivals, including the premier, Indio Cali fest Coachella. And in his last Billboard interview, when asked if there were plans for new Tame Impala music in the works, Parker replied, “I can’t say too much. But it’s my main focus right now. All I can say is it’s gone back to being my main focus.” Though nothing has been said about the new Tame Impala album, we’re hoping to hear at least something new at this year’s Coachella festival.
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Ariana Grande, thank u, next
Last year, with the arrival of Sweetener, Ariana Grande solidified herself as one of the top-selling female musicians of this era. Now, Grande has announced her second album in six months, titled thank u, next. Recently, Grande detailed the 12-song album, which will include already released singles “7 Rings” and the title track. Grande has revealed that the album will come out February 8th. Plenty of time for fans to get it in their heads before Ari embarks on what will undoubtedly be the biggest tour of her career.
Vampire Weekend, FOTB
Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig has shared all of the details we’ve been waiting for. Not only will the beloved indie rock outfit be dropping their new album in 2019, 18 songs long. “It’s a lot of songs but they all belong there. (If you disagree, you can always say it was 6 songs too long & make a lil 12-song playlist version of it.),” Koenig wrote with his doughy sarcasm. Vampire Weekend will have two song drops every month until the album is out. Their new album bears the initials FOTB, which has already spurred a storm of speculation. What does FOTB stand for? Considering Vampire Weekend’s earlier, working title was “Mitsubishi Macchiato”, there’s simply no telling what FOTB could stand for. We suggest grabbing your tickets for either the Firefly or Hangout Music Festival, where the band will definitely be showing off their new material.
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.
Bad Bunny and J Balvin, Oasis
Though there hasn’t been any update since last Fall, we are holding out for the collaborative project between Bad Bunny and J Balvin. In an interview on Beats 1 with Ebro Darden, J Balvin teased the LP, saying the two had already recorded six or seven songs. Currently, the project has no release date, but considering the momentum both of these artists achieved in 2018—with Bad Bunny’s invigorating debut X 100PRE and J Balvin’s most recent Vibras—we think it makes complete sense that these two join up for a collaborative album.
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.
Look, we know it’s coming. But just like 2016’s A Seat at the Table, the new Solange LP requires patience, and trust. Now more than ever, Solange knows who she is. And if she needs to extend her original timetable of dropping the new album on Dec. 31, 2018, then she will. Since she has been fine-tuning the album for awhile now, we hope to get the album in early Spring. Though very little is known about Solange’s upcoming LP, she has described it as soulful and jazzy, but with an intention to “make our trunks rattle.”
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.