Our new years' resolution: Listen to more awesome music.
Thankfully, that's already looking like one we can stick to (hitting the gym to work off that holiday weight, not so much) because there are so many huge albums coming out this year.
Eager for more info, we called, texted, emailed, sent homing pigeons, and combed the deep, dark corners of the online music world for any and all deets.
We got enough to put together the 411 on 44 upcoming albums from some of our favorite artists--Arcade Fire, A$ap Rocky, Atoms for Peace, Azealia Banks...and those are just some of the "A"s!
See if your most-anticipated album for 2013 is on our list--and if it's missing, tell us!
Who: 24-year-old Harlem native A$AP Rocky.
What: His debut album, Long.Live.A$AP, which follows his name-making mix tape Live.Long.A$AP.
When: January 15.
What We Know: Guests include Santigold, Drake, 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar, Big K.R.I.T., Joey BadA$$, Action Bronson and Yelawolf. He explains the crazy list of guest rappers here. Florence Welch croons on a track called "I Come Apart," while Skrillex produces a track, called "Wild for the Night," which A$AP explains here.
Who: Montreal art-rock collective Arcade Fire.
What: Their new album, which follows their Grammy-upsetting 2010 conceptual release The Suburbs.
When: Late 2013.
What We Know: The band are working "full time" on the album with help from LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy and Markus Dravs, who is a long-time collaborator.
The Problem: "They write too many songs," said manager Scott Rodger. "[But] that's a good problem to have. There's around 35 songs with Arcade Fire, two albums' worth for sure." The band recently debuted a few of them live at a secret Montreal gig.
Who: Atoms for Peace, a new supergroup fronted by Radiohead's Thom Yorke and featuring Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea, longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, Beck & R.E.M. drummer Joey Waronker and Brazliain percussionist Mauro Refosco.
What: The band's debut album, Amok
When: February 25.
What Else We Know: Just FYI, Flea doesn't like the word "penis." When referencing his member, please use "c-ck." He insists.
Who: San Diego, CA rockers Augustana, headed by singer-songwriter Dan Layus.
What: The band's first album after being dropped by Epic in 2011, featuring a whole new lineup; the original members left after the dissolution of their Epic deal.
When: There's no set release date yet, but in June Augustana posted a photo to instagram with the caption, "Putting the finishing touches on the new record."
What We Know: Layus says drinking stood in the way of the band's previous success, but it won't anymore: “I spent my 20s at the bottom of a bottle,” he says. “But I’ve been sober for a few years now, which really cleared up a lot of problems... I’m playing very clearheaded shows now, and I’ve never felt so focused or intent on doing great things, on- and offstage."
Who: New York City-femcee Azealia Banks.
What: Broke With Expensive Taste, her debut album on Interscope.
When: Spring 2013.
What We Know: Not much. But the fashion-forward Harlem native says she hopes to release not one, but two albums this year. Fingers crossed. Watch her talks about her new year's resolutions here.
Who: Boho rocker Beck.
What: A new album of real songs you can actually listen to, unlike his latest work, a book of sheet music called Beck Hansen's Song Reader, featuring 20 new songs, all of which YOU have to play yourself to hear. Break out that accordion! (Or hear covers of all the tracks...)
What We Know: The new album is a work in progress. "I started a record, largely recorded in 2008, so I'm trying to carve out some time from all the production work that I'm doing to finish those songs before they become relics from a lost era," Beck said. "It's going on a half decade old at this point."
What: B's fifth album, the follow-up to her 2011 smash 4.
When: The-Dream said Beyonce's "now she's in a place where she's ready to start gearing up to reveal her plan." Bey is also set to perform at the Super Bowl on February 3 and, like Madonna, may use the huge-watched half-time performance as a platform to launch her new single.
What We Know: The sound is "mostly R&B," Bey said in a GQ cover story, but is influenced by Prince, D'Angelo, '60s doo-wop, Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross.
Also: Beyonce's possibly crazy. “I'm more powerful than my mind can even digest and understand,” she told GQ. Okay then!
Who: Ohio-bred blues-rock duo the Black Keys, featuring singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney.
What: Their new album, the follow-up to their massive, radio-ruling 2011 album El Camino, which nabbed the boys five Grammy noms.
When: Summer/fall 2013.
Where: The band is currently recording at Auerbach's studio in his adopted hometown of Nashville."We're going to start making the new album in the second week of January and we're hoping to have it done by some time in March," Auerbach said.
What We Know: The band write best in the studio. They spent time working on ideas last summer, and are now hashing it out in the studio together: "This is when we both work best, when we're dying to make an album," said Auerbach. "All of our records take place in the studio, in that we make stuff up while we're there."
Estimated Number of Blues Riffs Written: 73.
What: His debut solo album, titled Lysandre.
When: January 15.
What We Know: Instead of the druggy, sensitive, 1950s-indebted take on pop music that Owens flaunted in Girls, the onetime member of the Children of God cult is focusing his solo debut on the 1970s folk-pop he was raised on. And the album follows a story arc, telling the story of Owens' first tour with Girls, traveling to S.F. to New York to France, where he fell in love with a girl named Lysandre. Stream the album now.
If You See Him Live...: Expect to hear the new tracks live, plus covers of Cat Stevens' "Wild World" and Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice It's Alright."
Who: R&B and neo-soul singer D'Angelo—you know, the guy with those abs from his music video "How Does It Feel."
What: His long-awaited comeback album, tentatively titled James River, his first release since his 2000 breakout Voodoo. His return follows a decade of tragic drug and alcohol addiction, as chronicled in an in-depth SPIN article.
What We Know: D'Angelo finally made his comeback in 2012, appearing onstage at Bonnaroo with Questlove for his first U.S. show in 12 years. He followed with a series of shows, during which he debuted tracks possibly on the new LP, including "Sugar Daddy," "Ain't That Easy," "The Charade" and "A Thousand Deaths."
What Questlove Says: The Roots drummer claims the LP will be a "radical 180 degree turn" from his previous material. "It's going to throw people off the same way that Prince's Dirty Mind threw his R&B fan base off," he told RS. "In the past few years, he's discovered Bowie and Zeppelin, the Beatles, Pet Sounds, Captain Beefheart and Zappa.
Who: Toronto rapper and former Degrassi: The Next Generation actor Drake.
What: His yet-to-be-titled follow-up to his smash Take Care.
What We Know: The album will reportedly differ from the down-tempo Take Care, which Drizzy recorded at home in Toronto. Drake, now living in Los Angeles, is focusing on new inspiration. The album is "...conceptually one of the most exciting projects I've worked on," he said, "just 'cause there's so many new things going on in my life." He's also rumored to again be collaborating with Jamie xx.
Definitely Not Appearing on the LP: Chris Brown. The two singer-rappers (and their crews) fought at a New York City club in 2012, leaving Brown with a gash on his chin from a flying bottle. Of course, they were fighting over Rihanna, who will also probably not appear on the LP.
Who: The nine-member (yes, NINE) K-pop girl group Girls' Generation (a.k.a. SNSD, a nickname from the Korean pronunciation) who became fast friends with Kelly Ripa when they performed their first international single "The Boys," released in Korean and English.
What: An American version of their I Got A Boy Korean album (released New Years Day).
What We Know: The group is in talks with Interscope Records to release an American version of their latest Korean album though a date, title, and track details are undecided. If a nine-member Korean group making it in the U.S. sounds like a stretch remember two members are from America! Yet we think most will react like David Letterman -- with nine women writhing in front of them, he looked like he could barely control himself!
Who: 27-year-old, North Carolina-bred Roc Nation rapper J Cole, born Jermaine Cole.
What: His sophomore album Born Sinner.
When: It was scheduled to drop January 28, but on the red carpet in Las Vegas on NYE he said the album is getting pushed back to a TBD date.
What We Know: The LP features production from No I.D. and Elite. The first single, "Miss America," arrived on November 13.
What: Her sophomore album, tentatively titled The Electric Lady. It will follow her Grammy-nominated debut The ArchAndroid (Suit II & III).
What We Know: Monae has been performing new tracks, including "The Electric Lady," on tour. Check out footage here. But fans should expect a high-energy mash-up of funk, soul and rock styles.
Height of Monae's 'Fro: 7.
Who: Hova, aka Shawn Carter, aka the one and only Jay-Z.
What: His 12th studio album and follow-up to 2009's The Blueprint 3.
What We Know: Back in 2010 Q-Tip said that Hov was working on new material for an album, saying three tracks had been recorded, including one with Frank Ocean. Last spring Roc Nation producer Jahlil Beats said, "We definitely working on some stuff... I sent him my favorite [beats]. He hit me right back like, ‘Yo, I’ma go in on this,’ or, ‘I like this.'"
Number of False Reports to Publish Pre-Album Release: 1,238
Who: Jim James, frontman of Southern-fried rockers My Morning Jacket.
What: His solo debut, Regions of Light and Sound of God.
When: February 5.
What We Know: James found musical inspiration in God's Man, a wordless 1929 woodcut novel by Lynd Ward that helped lay the groundwork for graphic novels.
Whoa, Dude, Tell Me More: James was particularly moved by a scene in which the main character is "chased out of town and he falls off a cliff and is lost and kind of injured and this woman finds him and nurses him back to health and they fall in love," James tells Rolling Stone.
"They have a child together and they have this new life that’s kind of coming. That had happened to me. Like, I had fallen offstage and gotten injured and gotten super dark and fell in love and all that was happening at the same time I was loving this book. It was like I had this beautiful illustration of what was happening in my life."
Who: Piano R&B crooner John Legend, who's working primarily on his new LP with Kanye West (Legend contributed to West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and G.O.O.D. Music's Cruel Summer and Cruel Winter projects).
What: Love in the Future, Legend's fourth studio album.
When: Originally slated to arrive late last year, but now expected in early 2013.
What's Taking So Long: Legend just sold a sitcom to Fox that's "very loosely" based on his life. "It's about kids growing up in a kind of unconventional parenting situation and trying to make the best of it," he explained to Rolling Stone.
What We Know: "My mission was: How do I make a definitive 21st century soul album?" Legend said. "We'll see if I accomplish it, but that's what the mission is."
Who: Ex-Smiths guitarist-gone-solo Johnny Marr, who in recent years has worked with the Cribs and Modest Mouse, among others.
What: The Messenger, his first solo album in a decade.
When: February 26.
Where: Recorded at his studio in Manchester, England.
What We Know: The album hews closely to the jangly, Britpop sounds—think Oasis, Stone Roses, Paul Weller—that he's familiar with. Check out album leak "The Right Thing Right" for proof.
Cool, Tell Me More: Marr told Stereogum about leaving Modest Mouse and the Cribs to record solo: "I’d been working as part of different groups and writing music for other people to sing, which is cool because it’s easy for me to come up with riffs, but when those riffs were married to these other ideas and notions that seemed bigger—and it wasn’t just about playing my part of the song on the guitar, but rather that these were my songs—it became a different thing. There was an overriding aesthetic to these things I was coming up which made it seem like they should all be a part of a record."
Least Likely Album or Concert Guest: Morrissey. Yes, Coachella, even if you go vegan.
Who: Mr. SexyBack Justin Timberlake, aka the guy in The Social Network.
What: His first album since 2006, now officially called The 20/20 Experience.
When: Sometime in 2013.
What We Know: On January 10 Timberlake announced his return to music and directed fans to a website counting down to Sunday, January 13, when his song "Suit & Tie," featuring Jay-Z, dropped alongside another message telling fans that he's been quietly recording since last summer.
"I just went into the studio and started playing around with some sounds and songs," he explained. "It was probably the best time I've had in my career... Just creating with no rules and/or end goal in mind and really enjoying the process."
Chances of a MySpace Exclusive Album Release: Very, very, very, very, very high.
Who: Kanye West and his hip hop crew G.O.O.D. Music, who dropped one of the year's best compilations with Cruel Summer.
What: Cruel Winter, the G.O.O.D. Music gang's follow-up.
What We Know: G.O.O.D. Music's Big Sean confirmed the project in November '12, saying he recorded a track for Cruel Winter, but decided to keep it for his own forthcoming second album Hall Of Fame: Memoirs Of A Detroit Player. He doesn't know when it'll drop, though, but assumes it'll arrive in, ya know, winter: "It can't be Cruel Spring. It's gotta be in a timely fashion."
Number of Kim K's OBGYN Visits Pre-Album Release: 19.
Number of House-Shopping Outings Pre-Release: 11.
Who: Southern radio-rock royalty the Kings of Leon, comprised of the Followill clan (three brothers and their cousin).
What: The quartet's sixth album, following 2010's Come Around Sundown.
When: Early 2013.
What We Know: After all getting hitched (mostly to models) and adding a few members to the Following family, the boys are ready to rock again. In October 2012 bassist Jared Followill said, "We are in the writing process right now and it's coming along pretty quickly... I think people should expect something from us sooner rather than later." Now rumor has it that KOL are close to capping the LP in a Nashville studio.
Bottles of Gatorade Chugged in the Studio: Tons...
Who: Mother Monster, aka Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, aka Lady Gaga.
What: Her much-hyped third studio album, ARTPOP.
What We Know: Though Gaga has been working with big-name producers DJ White Shadow, RedOne, Zedd and Madeon on the project, don't expect any high-profile collaborations. In December Gaga said has written 50 songs, and she's also an ARTPOP interactive app, which will feature extras like videos, bonus music, games and fashion updates.
Who: Canadian electro-pop songwriter Lights, aka Valerie Anne Poxleitner.
What: A new, all-acoustic version of Siberia, her second electro-pop album released in October 2011.
When: Expected early 2013.
What We Know: Not many details have leaked yet, but in July Lights took to Twitter to tease a photo of her at work on the LP.
Who: Los Angeles indie rockers Local Natives, who broke out behind their 2009 debut, Gorilla Manor.
What: Their second album, Hummingbird
When: January 29.
What We Know:The boys built a studio/rehearsal space in their L.A. 'hood Silverlake to work on Hummingbird, then decamped to New York City, where the National's Aaron Dessner handled production duties. Listen to "Breakers."
What: Mariah's 13th studio album (!).
Where: Hopefully in Dupri's studio—it has a stripper pole.
What We Know: Mariah’s been in the studio the last year or so working on the album. Co-producer Bryan-Michael Cox said he and Dupri have recorded 10 new songs with Carey. "I think four or five may stick," he said.
Least Likely Guest Collaborator: Nicki Minaj, the fellow American Idol judge who allegedly threatened to shoot Mariah.
Who: Marsha Ambrosius, formerly of duo Floetry.
What: Her sophomore solo album, Friends & Lovers, the follow-up to her solo debut Late Nights & Early Mornings in 2011.
What We Know: She's in full album prep mode: Her first single “Cold War,” co-produced by Diplo, dropped on December 11. On January 3 she tweeted that she was shooting the album cover, then followed on January 5 by saying that she was filming the “Cold War” video.
Who: Brooklyn-based retro rockers MGMT, led by Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser.
What: Their third album, tentatively self-titled, which will follow-up their excellent second LP Congratulations.
When: Spring 2013.
What We Know: In an August '12 interview, VanWyngarden said their new album is "too good not to talk about." He added that it sounds close to Congratulations, and that they're "making good songs."
Who: Disney's 'Hannah Montana' pop starlet turned bad ass (that haircut!) Miley Cyrus, who is working with Pharrell Williams, Odd Future's Tyler, the Creator and "a lot of hip-hop producers that are actually from the South, because I wanted more of that dirty-South vibe, a little ATL in there," Miley's said.
What: Cyrus' new album, her fourth.
Where: The 20-year-old shared a photo of herself working hard in a recording studio sitting at a computer beside some decks, saying "guess where I am?" At a studio, clearly, but where... good question.
What We Know: Pharrell is saying its sound is totally unexpected: "Her sound right now is her personality. That’s what we've been aiming for in the studio, and that’s what’s been coming out and that's what it’s been sounding like. It's interesting. Her voice is a very powerful one, and you know, you just have to hear it to know that and to understand it.” He adds "It's nowhere near what it is that you think."
What: Missy's eight-year-in-the-making comeback album, tentatively titled either Class Dismissed or the previously announced Block Party.
What We Know: In September Elliott and Timbaland debuted two new tracks, "9th Inning" and "Triple Threat," on New York's Hot 97, before taking to Ustream to chat with fans: "The direction of the album? I like to call it theatrical hip-hop," Missy said. "It's not [1999 sophomore album] Da Real World all over again, but the dramatics of Da Real World is a feeling I get from it."
Who: Seattle-bred, Portland-based indie rock vets Modest Mouse.
What: Their long-awaited sixth studio album, their first since parting ways with Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, who joined on the band's 2007 release We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank.
Where: Big Boi's Stankonia Studios in Atlanta.
What We Know: The band have been debuting new material on the road, including "Poison the Well" and "Lampshades on Fire" at Washington State's Sasquatch Fest and a few more at Metallica's Orion Fest in Atlantic City. They recently hit Big Boi's Atlanta Stankonia studio for recording sessions, during which they taught the rapper the art of the apple bong.
Who: New Jersey-bred, anthem-lovin' emo-punks My Chemical Romance.
What: A new full-length album, their first since 2010's Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.
Where: The studio the build themselves in L.A.
What We Know: MCR are already releasing songs piecemeal from Conventional Weapons, the album the band ditched before recording Danger Days, and the band have said that those songs represent their direction on their next proper LP. Guitarist Frank Iero also previously said MCR had started working on the next album in their L.A. studio.
They've already begun releasing songs from the so-called Conventional Weapons series — aka the album they scrapped before recording 2010's Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys — and guitarist Frank Iero previously said MCR had already begun work on a conventional follow up, writing and recording in the studio they built in Los Angeles. What will be the concept this time? We'll just have to wait and see.
And link with hints back in may:
What We Know:
Who: Tennessee-bred pop-punks Paramore, led by singer Hayley Williams. This is their first album since the departure of founding members Josh and Zac Farro.
What: Their fourth studio album, titled Paramore.
When: April 9.
Where: Paramore spent the fall recording in Los Angeles with producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen, longtime bassist for Beck, who has previously produced records for M83 and Neon Trees.
What We Know: Check out a teaser of the band's new song, "Now," set to drop online January 22.
Who: Parisian indie rockers Phoenix, whose frontman is married to filmmaker Sophia Coppola (Phoenix appeared in the soundtrack to her Virgin Suicides).
What: Their yet-to-be-titled follow-up to their 2009 breakout album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, which launched hit singles like "1901" and "Lisztomania" and won a Grammy for Best Alternative Album.
When: April 2013.
What We Know. Not much. But Daniel Glass, head of Phoenix's Glassnote Records, did confirm the next Phoenix album should be out in April of 2013."I got to have a treat last Friday. I went to Paris to hear the Phoenix album, which is now done," he said. He also told Billboard that the LP would be "revolutionary."
Who: The artist with the most-viewed video ever on YouTube, Psy (which means a new Psy music video AND a new dance, how could we NOT be excited?!)
When: March or April
What We Know: He has global appeal now, but Psy has expressed he wants to release his new single in Korean with an accompanying dance featuring "some sports move". The K-pop veteran has said he wants a solo comeback single to prove he can have similar success as "Gangnam Style" without the help of another big name. Can he deliver a song that crosses language barriers...AGAIN?!
What: Their yet-to-be-titled sixth album, the band's first since 2007.
Where: Los Angeles.
What We Know: It's one of the most anticipated albums for many very, very good reasons. Dave Grohl, who manned sticks on Queens' classic 2002 LP Songs for the Deaf, is returning on drums. Plus, collabos are confirmed with Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears and former bassist Nick Oliveri (didn't see that one coming...)
What: Her second album, and first solo release since 2006, Don't Look Down.
When: Spring 2013.
What We Know: While Grey has worked with tons of artists, she's picked only two guests for her album: Eminem and Marilyn Manson. The video for her Em collabo, "C'mon Let Me Ride," recently dropped online. Go behind the scenes of the video!
Who: Ivy League preppies Vampire Weekend.
What: The New York City band's third album and follow-up to 2009's Contra.
Where: Recorded in L.A. with Ariel Rechtshaid, who has produced work by Usher, Major Lazer, Alex Clare and the Plain White T's.
When: Spring 2013 and no earlier, dammit: "If someone had put a gun to our heads a year ago, we could have handed something in and it wouldn't have sucked," frontman Ezra Koenig told Q. "But if we listen back to our own work and it doesn't sound the way we wanted, the depression that sets in is really extreme. So releasing a record that we didn't feel 100 percent about would commit us to a year of depression, touring a half-assed record."
What We Know: The new record is apparently "darker" and more "organic." "On this album, there's a lot of organic sounds and a lot of performance," multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij said. "You want the personality of each performer—whether it's singing or bass or drums or piano—to be intact. In some ways it's much more challenging to preserve that and to also make music that sounds modern. The way this album sounds is the product of thinking forward and being fearless in terms of mixing and production, going for something that hasn't been done before but using elements and techniques that have existed for years and years, pushing them as far as they can go."
Who: Synth-pop/chillwave laptop wizard Toro Y Moi, the project of North Carolina's Chaz Bundick.
What: His third album Anything In Return.
When: January 22.
What We Know:Bundwick told Interview that he was “trying to make sincere pop music that’s not all processed and bubblegum... Underground isn’t always relevant; I want to see what’s popular, then put my own spin on it.” He added to Pitchfork, “This record was just me having fun, making music that my girlfriend would dance to or something."
Who: Canadian sister act Tegan and Sara.
What: Their seventh studio album, Heartthrob, produced by the Bird and the Bee's Greg Kurstin (Ke$ha), Mike Elizondo (50 Cent, Mastodon) and Beck bassist Justin Meldal-Johnsen.
When: January 29
What We Know: At Austin City Limits the girls debuted a handful of dancier, synthier tracks, including first single "Closer." The fresh sound could be what the duo need to push them into the fringes of pop stardom.
What: Their follow-up to 2009's synth-heavy It's Blitz, called Mosquito.
When: April 16.
WTF..." Is up with the album's super-creepy new cover art? Seriously...
What We Know: The YYYs recently debuted a pair of new songs live in Pamona, CA, called "Earth" and "Suck Young Blood," and they sound like classic YYYs—fun, pinky, lo-fi and sassy. Newly blonde frontwoman Karen O says Mosquito is meant to make fans "feeeeel something" again. "So much feeling went into this record, it was the rope ladder thrown down into the ditch for us to climb up and dust ourselves off. I hope others can climb up it too; we’re excited to share the good vibes.”
Who: Dreamy Brooklyn-based indie pop act Widowspeak, fronted by singer Molly Hamilton.
What: Their second album, Almanac.
When: January 22.
Where: Recorded in Brooklyn with producer Kevin McMahon, who also worked with Real Estate, Titus Andronicus, Swans, Walkmen, Frightened Rabbit and more.
What We Know: Stream the full album now ahead of its release!
Who: Norwegian chamber-pop collective Young Dreams who create Beach Boys-inspired baroque pop gems, recalling the best of Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear.
What: Their debut album Between Places.
When: March 5.
Where: Recorded in Bergen, Norway, the group is already big in their home country and plan to touch down stateside this year.
What We Know: Every song on the group's self-titled EP was on constant rotation in the Fuse office. Between Places expands the group's already-ambitious mix of swooshing synths and blissed-out melodies.
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