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29 albums we’re anticipating in 2020

SEE ALSO: 26 METAL ALBUMS WE’RE ANTICIPATING IN 2020

BrooklynVegan Anticipated Albums 2020

2019 and the entire 2010s are over, and there’s plenty of music to look forward to in 2020. Is this finally the year we get new albums from The Wrens and My Bloody Valentine? Who knows! But we kept our list mostly to stuff with actual release dates, stuff we’re prettttty sure is coming this year, and artists who only recently started spilling the beans on new material, like The Cure and Archers of Loaf. We didn’t include Grimes and Tame Impala (which are both officially coming in February) ’cause they’ve basically been on this list annually for the past few years, but yes, we’ve got our ears peeled on those too.

Read on for the list, go HERE for a list of anticipated metal albums of 2020, and check out a list of some hip hop we’re crossing our fingers for at the bottom of this post. Is Kendrick finally making his grand return this year??

Bombay Bicycle Club

Bombay Bicycle ClubEverything Else Has Gone Wrong
due 1/17 via Caroline International/Island

Bombay Bicycle Club are back from hiatus and about to release their first album in six years, and as the singles make very clear, they’re leaving their initial run in the dust and starting fresh with a record that’s unmistakably Bombay Bicycle Club yet unlike anything else they’ve done. (Though to be fair, you can kinda say that about all of their albums.) It’s their most psychedelic, but not in an over-the-top kinda way, and it’s got some of the strongest, most immediate hooks of their career. [Andrew Sacher]

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Higher Power

Higher Power27 Miles Underwater
due 1/24 via Roadrunner

We haven’t heard most of the albums on this list, but I’ve listened to this one too many times to write a blurb that pretends I didn’t. Without giving too much away, any fan of loud, ’90s-style rock needs to hear this record. It’s the followup to Higher Power’s very solid 2017, Flatspot Records-released debut Soul Structure, on which this UK band demonstrated a very strong knack for repurposing the sounds of New York hardcore and alt-metal bands like Leeway and Life of Agony, while hinting at something bigger and catchier. On 27 Miles Underwater, they go all in on the big, catchy stuff, recalling anything from Jane’s Addiction to Smashing Pumpkins to Deftones to Glassjaw, while staying true to their hardcore roots. [A.S.]

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709_destroyer_havewemet_900

Destroyer – Have We Met
due 1/31 via Merge

If your favorite Destroyer album is Kaputt, which came in at #20 on our Best Albums of the 2010s list, we have good news; this new album is looking like it’s cut from the same cloth. Singles “Crimson Tide,” “It Just Doesn’t Happen,” and “Cue Synthesizer” all have that same lush, ’80s-ish sound to them, if perhaps drawing from a little later in the decade. As great as Dan Bejar is in rock troubadour mode, his signature offhand lyrical and vocal style sounds even better when set against dreamy layers of neon synths, big orchestrated production and the occasional wailing sax/guitar solo. <i.[Bill Pearis]

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Frances Quinlan Likewise

Frances Quinlan – Likewise
due 1/31 via Saddle Creek

Hop Along started as a solo project, and after a run of excellent full band releases, frontwoman Frances Quinlan is returning to her solo roots with her first album out under her own name. It might be a “solo” album, but that doesn’t mean it’s stripped down. Frances made it with Hop Along guitarist/producer Joe Reinhart, and together they came out with an album that utilizes synths, drum machines, harps, strings, and more. “Working with Joe on this made me able to better see that the guitar is just one vehicle… there are so many others to explore,” Frances said. As you can hear on the three singles she released already, she’s experimenting with a whole new palette of styles on Likewise. But no matter what instrumentation she uses on a particular song, her trademark raw, howling vocal delivery always makes these songs sound like the Frances Quinlan that Hop Along fans know and love. [Amanda Hatfield]

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Cindy Lee

Cindy Lee – What’s Tonight To Eternity
due 2/14 via W.25TH

As Cindy Lee, onetime Women singer/guitarist Patrick Flegel makes music that is eerie, beautiful, and nostalgic, somewhere between the Lady in the Radiator from Eraserhead, his old group, and The Carpenters. “I found a deep interest and comfort in Karen’s story, which is a cautionary tale about the monstrosity of show business, stardom at a young age and being a misfit looking for connection,” Patrick says of Cindy Lee’s new album. “What I relate to in her has to do with what is hidden, what is unknown.” If the absolutely gorgeous closing track, “Heavy Metal,” is any indication, What’s Tonight To Eternity should be a trip into the unknown worth taking. [B.P.]

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Caribou Suddenly

Caribou – Suddenly
due 2/28 via Merge

Dan Snaith says Suddenly, the first album from his psych-turned-dance alter ego Caribou in over five years, was created from nearly a thousand draft ideas and sketches. “I record music every day, and I love it – as much or more than I have always done,” Dan says. “I feel very lucky – the thrill has never, ever left me.” As laborious as all this may sound on paper — a sonic quilt made of 1000 pieces of fabric — ebullient singles “Home” and “You and I” feel effortless. [B.P.]

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Moses Sumney grae

Moses Sumneygræ
due half in February, half on May 15 via Jagjaguwar

Moses Sumney’s great 2017 debut album Aromanticism mixed art pop, R&B, and singer/songwriter indie in a way you might expect from a guy who’s collaborated with Bon Iver, James Blake, Solange, and Sufjan Stevens (which Moses impressively has), and he’s upping the ante for that album’s followup, a double album that’s getting released in two parts, one in February (exact date TBA) and one on May 15. All three singles — “Virile,” “Polly,” and “Me In 20 Years” — have been vastly different from each other and all immediately great in their own ways. A double album for your sophomore LP is a bold move, but Moses already seems poised to pull it off. [A.S.]

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Heavy Light us girls

U.S. Girls – Heavy Light
due March 6 via 4AD

Meg Remy will follow up 2018’s fantastic In A Poem Unlimited (one of our favorite LPs of the 2010s), with Heavy Light, which features a songs co-written by Basia Bulat and was recorded live in the studio with 20 session musicians (including E. Street Band saxophonist Jake Clemons). First single “Overtime” certainly has that live electricity and we’ll get to hear more when the new iteration of the U.S. Girls live band, featuring seven singers, plays shows in February. [B.P.]

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Nadia Reid
photo by Alex Lovell-Smith

Nadia Reid – Out of My Province
due 3/6 via Spacebomb

New Zealand singer/songwriter Nadia Reid‘s 2017 album Preservation became a sleeper hit (especially here in the US), and time continues to treat it well. So it’s exciting that she’s now got a cool US label (Spacebomb) and is ready to release a followup album this March. The album was co-produced by Spacebomb co-owners Matthew E. White and Trey Pollard, and their knack for grand string arrangements is on full display on the album’s lead single “Best Thing.” It’s a nice touch, and Nadia’s songwriting remains as strong as it was last time around. [A.S.]

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porridge-radio-every-bad

Porridge Radio – Every Bad
due March 13 via Secretly Canadian

UK band Porridge Radio have been part of Brighton’s fertile indie scene for the latter half of this decade, making melancholic, rainy day music with Dana Margolin’s strong songwriting and impassioned delivery at the forefront. We were fans of 2016’s Rice, Pasta and Other Fillers and the band are now signed to Secretly Canadian with their first album for the label due later this year. Meanwhile, their intense, hypnotic new single “Lilac” will hold us for a while. [B.P.]

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night-chancers-baxter-dury

Baxter Dury – The Night Chancers
due 3/20 via Heavenly

Having released one of 2017’s best albums, Prince of Tears, Baxter Dury — the Cockney Serge Gainsbourg (and son of Ian Dury) — is back with its follow-up. While The Night Chancers features many of his regular collaborators — Madeline Heart, Rose Elinor Dougall, Delilah Holliday — Baxter says don’t expect the same old same old. “I don’t need to do another one of those. I’ve done something different, something new, with this one and it’s been fun – although the orchestra was fucking expensive!” Given the first two singles, his penchant for creative swearing has thankfully stuck around. [B.P.]

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The 1975 NOACF

The 1975Notes On A Conditional Form
due 4/24 via Interscope/Dirty Hit (pushed back from 2/21)

Every 1975 album has been a clear progression from the last, and going by recent singles “People” and “Frail State of Mind,” it looks like this band is continuing to set absolutely no limits for themselves. The former is the kind of noisy, shouty post-punk that you just don’t hear from bands this popular anymore, and the latter sounds rooted in the underground electronic music of this UK band’s home country. We wouldn’t be surprised if the album has 15 other songs that all sound entirely different. We’ll just have to wait to find out. [A.S.]

Update: it has 20 other songs. More info and another new single here.

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Paramore at Barclays Center
Hayley Williams with Paramore at Barclays Center in 2018 (more by Em Grey)

Hayley Williams – Petals For Armor
due 5/8 via Atlantic

The last Paramore album (2017’s After Laughter) saw them going in a sharp, new wavey direction and coming out with one of our favorite albums of the decade, so, needless to say, we can’t wait to see what Hayley Williams & co will do next. As it turns out, what Hayley is doing next is presumably her first-ever solo album. On December 27, she announced, “I’m putting out some music next year. With the help of some of my closest friends, I made something I’m going to call my own. It’s a really special project and you’ll get a taste of it in January. Then, she launched the website petalsforarmor.com (album name? solo moniker?), which includes a teaser video that says January 22, so we should find out more soon. [A.S.]

UPDATE (1/22): Album announced! Here’s the first single:

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Rentals Q36

The Rentals – Q36
due June 2

The Rentals look like they’re about to release their most ambitious album yet. Main member Matt Sharp made Q36 with Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner on guitar, The Killers’ Ronnie Vannucci on drums, and Flaming Lips collaborator Dave Fridmann as mixing engineer, and it’s an outer space-themed double album that they’re releasing one song from every two weeks. Going by the singles that are out so far, much of it seems like exactly the kind of floating-in-space psych-pop that Fridmann is the perfect fit for, and each one has been really great. [A.S.]

jarvis-cocker

Jarvis Cocker – title TBA
release date TBA via Rough Trade

As the campaign to get his 2006 song “Running the World” into the UK charts for Christmas showed, the world needs Jarvis Cocker actively back in its life. It’s been 10 years since the Pulp frontman’s last proper solo album and, though he hasn’t announced a new one yet, Jarvis spent the last two years touring with his new group, JARV IS, playing an album’s worth of psych-leaning new material, and he released their terrific first single, “Must I Evolve?” last year. We are ready and it feels like Jarvis is too. [B.P.]

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Frank Ocean - In My Room

Frank Ocean – title TBA
release date TBA

Frank Ocean has been talking about a new album since last year, and so far he has released two awesome new singles, the Boys Noize-produced “DHL” and “In My Room,” both of which see him taking his sound in a psychedelic electronic direction. With a headlining slot at Coachella coming up, can we expect 2020 to be the year Frank drops the album? [A.S.]

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MGMT

MGMT – title TBA
release date TBA via MGMT Records

After four albums for Sony (most recently 2018’s excellent Little Dark Age), Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser have launched their own label for future MGMT releases. They’ve already released their first single for MGMT Records — charmingly glum synthpop number “In the Afternoon” — which bodes well for whatever comes next. [B.P.]

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Fireworks

Fireworks – Higher Lonely Power
release date TBA

Michigan emo/pop punk band Fireworks went on hiatus in 2015, but they returned last year with the new single “Demitasse” and entirely reinvented themselves with it. It’s a soaring, post-rocky song fueled by somber piano, ambient textures, sputtering percussion, and choir-like vocal harmonies. It isn’t even remotely an offshoot of “punk” until about five minutes in, and even at that point, it’s a much more majestic thing than your average emo/pop punk band. They later confirmed a new album called Higher Lonely Power for 2020, and if the rest is anything like that song, it’s gonna really be something. [A.S.]

Liz Phair Good Side

Liz Phair – title TBA
release date TBA

Liz Phair has spent the past couple years returning to her classic ’90s era, having put out an Exile In Guyville 25th anniversary boxset, and now she’s finally set to release a new album — her first in 10 years — which reunites her with her ’90s producer Brad Wood and features the new song “Good Side” that sounds much more like classic Liz Phair than her last album did. She’s also touring with Alanis Morissette (who’s playing her classic ’90s album Jagged Little Pill for its 25th anniversary) and Garbage, all three of whom also toured together in 1998. Bring on the nostalgia. [A.S.]

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Touche Amore Deflector

Touche Amore – title TBA
release date TBA

It feels like a lifetime ago that Touche Amore released their last album, 2016’s devastatingly powerful Stage Four (which, along with two of their other albums, we included among our favorite punk/emo albums of the 2010s), and they’ve since been busy revisiting older material while frontman Jeremy Bolm also released a new album with his band Hesitation Wounds. But also in that time, they released two new songs: 2018’s “Green” and 2019’s Ross Robinnson-produced “Deflector.” They chose to work with Ross because they wanted “someone who would take [them] out of [their] comfort zone,” and they said they “entered the studio to record a song with Ross and see if there was chemistry…,” leaving it off with that ellipses, so it seems like they’ve got something more up their sleeves. Let’s hope. [A.S.]

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Ohana Festival 2017 - Saturday
Fiona Apple at Ohana Festival 2017 (more by Samantha Saturday)

Fiona Apple – TBA
release date TBA, label TBA

Fiona Apple only released one album last decade, but it’s a truly incredible one: 2012’s The Idler Wheel… is a masterpiece, and perhaps her best work yet. After eight years of spinning it, we’re eager for a follow-up, and luckily, it’s in the works. Speaking to Vulture for her first interview in a while, Fiona said her new album was “supposed to be done a million years ago” but that she’s “hoping for early 2020. I think.” Here’s to hoping we hear more about it soon. [A.H.]

ACL Festival 2019 - Saturday Weekend One
The Cure at ACL 2019 (more by Corwin Wickersham)

The Cure – title TBA
release date TBA via Geffen

It’s been 12 years since The Cure released 4:13 Dream but Robert Smith claims the band are making up for it by releasing three new albums. One of them, with a working title of Live from the Moon, has been described by Smith as “dark and intense” and was supposed to be out last year. With no live shows on their tour schedule currently, it feels like The Cure are keeping 2020 open for anything. [B.P.]

Phoebe Bridgers at Brooklyn Steel
Phoebe Bridgers at Brooklyn Steel in 2018 (more by Amanda Hatfield)

Phoebe Bridgers – title TBA
release date TBA via Dead Oceans

It’s almost hard to believe that Phoebe Bridgers has only released one proper album, her decade list-dominating 2017 debut Stranger in the Alps, considering how busy she’s remained since then. She ended up ranking among our year-end faves in both years that followed, first as a member of boygenius (with Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus) in 2018 and then as a member of Better Oblivion Community Center (with Conor Oberst) in 2019. Now, it looks like she finally is ready to release her own new album, judging by the in-studio updates she’s been giving on Instagram and the new material she’s been doing live. As good as her collaborative albums are, Phoebe’s solo material is truly –pardon us the pun — “Killer,” and we have high hopes for whatever she releases next. [A.H.]

The National at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
Matt Berninger with The National in Chicago in 2019 (more by Catalina Florea)

Matt BerningerSerpentine Prison
release date TBA

The National followed 2017’s excellent Sleep Well Beast with the great I Am Easy To Find in 2019, wrapping up a decade of incredible output. Frontman Matt Berninger knows he’s been on a roll; “it’s been busy, really prolific, very exciting couple of years,” he said in a December interview with NME. “I’ve been through a maximalist writing phase. I’m still writing way more than I ever did. I’m like Bradley Cooper in Limitless or something.” Lucky for us, it looks like he isn’t entirely out of that phase, either. He announced his first-ever solo album, Serpentine Prison, back in October. We don’t know a release date for it yet, but we do know it was produced by the legendary Booker T. Jones, and some of Matt’s “brilliant friends” make appearances on it, both of which are very exciting prospects. [A.H.]

Perfume Genius at Forest Hills Stadium
Perfume Genius at Forest Hills Stadium in 2018 (more by Amanda Hatfield)

Perfume Genius – title TBA
release date TBA, via Matador

Perfume Genius released his most ambitious album yet with 2017’s No Shape, which fully opened up the scope of his once intimate and delicate sounds, pushing them in new, gorgeous directions. He’s been busy since its release, including working on a collaborative dance and music piece, but he’s found time to work on new material of his own, too, and we can probably expect it to come out pretty soon. He tweeted in December, “my album is done and YES nearly every song makes me full on sob. Whole sheets, full fuckin blankets of tears.” Better start stockpiling tissues now! [A.H.]

Real Estate
photo by Jake Michaels

Real Estate – title TBA
release date TBA via Domino

While there’s been no formal announcement on a new Real Estate album in 2020, which would be their first since 2017’s In Mind, the Brooklyn via NJ indie rock band have been hinting it’s on its way. On New Year’s Eve, they tweeted, “If you don’t like this band, 2020 is gonna suck for you,” and in reference to their upcoming spring tour they wrote “We might have some new songs to play if we can convince [singer/songwriter] Martin Courtney to release the album.” C’mon Martin, what are you waiting for? [B.P.]

Archers of Loaf

Archers of Loaf – title TBA
release date TBA via Merge

The North Carolina indie rock greats got back together in 2011 and have toured a few times since, but they haven’t made a record since 1998’s White Trash Heroes. That’s finally gonna change as Eric Bachmann and the rest of the band spent the holidays in the studio. There’s been no word beyond that but the band are on tour this spring — if you hit one of those shows and we still don’t know by then, maybe you can coax some details out of Eric. [B.P.]

Panorama 2018 - Sunday
Fleet Foxes at Panorama 2018 (more by Amanda Hatfield)

Fleet Foxes – title TBA
release date TBA

Is 2020 the year we finally get the fourth Fleet Foxes album? Robin Pecknold has been teasing/discussing it for a while, but there’s no real word on when it will come out. We hope this is the year, and we expect nothing but great things from it. Every Fleet Foxes album has seen the band spiraling into weirder and more adventurous territory than the last. [A.S.]

Anxious

Anxious – title TBA
release date TBA via Triple B Records

Anxious’ Never Better EP is one of 2019’s best punk EPs, thanks to four addictive songs that seem to pull from Touche Amore-style hardcore, Torche-style heavy pop, Taking Back Sunday-style emo, and more without ever losing focus. Anxious and their Triple B Records labelmates One Step Closer (who also released one of 2019’s best punk EPs) are gearing up for a tour opening for popular pop punk band Knuckle Puck, which should help give them some much-deserved exposure, and they just confirmed they’d have an album out this year too. We’re staying tuned!

Power Trip
Power Trip (photo by Kevin Estrada)

ANTICIPATED METAL ALBUMS OF 2020

For some heavier albums we’re anticipating this year, visit our list of 26 anticipated metal albums of 2020, including Envy, Kvelertak, Today Is The Day, Code Orange, Human Impact, Carcass, Pallbearer, Power Trip, Dying Wish, and more.

Kendrick Lamar at Barclays Center
Kendrick Lamar at Barclays Center in 2017 (more by P Squared)

SOME ANTICIPATED HIP HOP OF 2020

There’s plenty of new hip hop we’re anticipating this year, most of which doesn’t really have release dates or much concrete info at all, but here’s a list of some stuff we’re banking on seeing released in 2020:

Cardi B
Kendrick Lamar
Noname
Run The Jewels
Rihanna
Tierra Whack
Vince Staples
J Hus
Princess Nokia
Drake
J Cole
Megan Thee Stallion

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