Most Anticipated Albums of 2015

A look forward to the music coming in the year ahead.

At the close of 2014, we celebrated our favorite albums of the year, and with the turn to a new year, it’s only fitting that we give our excitement an outlet with a glance at what to expect from music in 2015.

We included albums both rumored and scheduled on this list, and forever-awaited reunions, buzzed-about debuts, and the return of long-absent faces are just a few of the records we’re anticipating destst this year.


Panda Bear
Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper
January 13

A new year signals a new beginning, and starting fresh with Panda Bear feels like cosmic kismet. Whereas his Animal Collective bandmate Avey Tare examined the darkness of Slasher Flicks last year, in 2015, Noah Lennox meets up with Death himself. Much like the other existential realities Lennox has faced in the past—birth, afterlife, and the middle in-betweens—Meets the Grim Reaper is a cerebral sonic trip that examines and illuminates the miraculous in the minutiae.—Breanna Murphy

Belle and Sebastian
Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance
January 20

After 2010’s Write About Love—the tepid (at best) follow-up album to 2006’s powerhouse The Life PursuitBelle and Sebastian had a lot of work to do to assume their former glory status. In between band member solo projects, feature films, a couple of one-off festival appearances, and a retrospective release of B & S material, it seemed like the Scottish collective was on an extended hiatus (or maybe on the way out entirely), but after five years, they’re back. Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, their ninth LP, is a very welcomed return to their signature twee sensibilities, featuring an addictive disco (and remix-ready) lead single and a massive impending tour.—Bailey Pennick

Björk
Vulnicura
January 20

Iceland recently gave Björk an island as a thank you for her cultural contributions. The Nordic pop icon continues to earn her country’s admiration with a new album—the release of which caught us all by surprise. Expect collaborations with witch house king Haxan Cloak and Venezuelan producer Arca, and a large helping of otherworldly pop weirdness, as only Miss Guðmundsdóttir can deliver.—Laura Studarus

Sleater-Kinney
No Cities to Love
January 20

A decade since their last release (2005’s The Woods) and twenty years after their self-titled debut, Sleater-Kinney are ready to turn up the volume and kick ass all over again. After a massive hiatus and a few very excellent side projects (Portlandia, Wild Flag, The Corin Tucker Band), on their new record No Cities To Love, Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein, and Janet Weiss have re-harnessed the high-energy and raw sound that made them one of the best indie-punk bands of the ’90s. Within a growing market for female rockers, and the always-evolving impact of the Internet on the music industry, the reemergence of Sleater-Kinney could not have come at a better time. Hopefully, No Cities to Love will jumpstart overdue wide appreciation for the gritty trio, and inspire a few girls to pick up guitars along the way.—Bailey Pennick

Viet Cong
Viet Cong
January 20

For many listeners, the tangy sting of Viet Cong’s debut, last year’s “Cassette”, is still working its way through their systems. Yet, on January 20, the band returned with something tighter, bleaker, and more bent on subcutaneous annihilation than its predecessor. Viet Cong is, after all, an album with lyrics nearly nihilistic, with rhythm sections obsessed with their own demise—never malevolent, it simply looks forward to the brick wall of death we’ll all face at some point, preparing not to flinch when it hits. Which makes sense coming from former Women bassist/vocalist Matt Flegel, because having stepped through what’s left of whatever wreckage he previously punched free from the landscape of indie rock, now he’s recording music like he’s got no time left to lose. This is dire, urgent, fleeting sound. In other words: it’s just too good to last.—Dom Sinacola

Read our Breaking feature with Viet Cong

Jessica Pratt
On Your Own Love Again
January 27

Jessica Pratt‘s distinctive voice and songwriting feels achingly timeless. With a sound that belies both her age and the era in which she creates, the twenty-seven-year-old songwriter winds delicately spun odes with an impressively mature emotional weight. Her first, self-titled album in 2011 was so moving that White Fence‘s Tim Presley founded a record label just so he could put it out. Now, the San Franciscan songstress has joined many of her Bay Area comrades on Drag City with a new record that’s worth celebrating that the present is here and the only time is now.—Breanna Murphy

Read our Breaking feature with Jessica Pratt

Father John Misty
I Love You, Honeybear
February 10

Father John Misty‘s first album, Fear Fun, captured the hearts and minds of a lot of cynical, lovelorn indie-rock folk out there with its delirious swagger and prophetic swing. While it’s no longer a surprise that the drummer from Fleet Foxes knows how to shake a leg, push your buttons, tug your heartstrings, and wear an old, worn suit with grace, the world is about to find out just how cynical and lovelorn Our Father truly can be. In part a genuinely felt and gorgeous love letter to his new wife and at times a brilliant transmission of sardonic bombast to incite and confuse the hell out of the millennial generation, I Love You, Honeybear might be one of 2015’s first truly great albums. With darkly charming and silly, sexy songs like “Bored in the USA” and “Chateau Lobby #4,” Tillman is indisputably a deep, dark well of talent.—Pat McGuire

José González
Vestiges & Claws
February 17

This month, José González will release Vestiges & Claws, his first solo album in seven years—making early 2015 a boon for folk fans. The release is being touted as González’s first solo album without any cover songs—but don’t be surprised if he slips a few gems into his live shows.—Laura Studarus

Elvis Perkins
I Aubade
February 24

Elvis Perkins burst upon the scene in 2006 with the tender and mournful solo record Ash Wednesday and followed it up with the rollicking and folksy band effort Elvis Perkins in Dearland in 2009. But then somewhere along the way, he slipped out of record-making, leaving a nearly six-year gap without new work. This winter’s forthcoming I Aubade is his third album, and was mostly self-produced by the New Yorker in various locales across America. Perkins is known for his wry, earnest songwriting and I Aubade promises even more humor, as evidenced by the released track “Hogus Pogus,” the story of a man whose life improves when he is given the heart of a pig in a transplant operation.—Pat McGuire

Matthew E. White
Fresh Blood
March 10

It was never supposed to come to this. 2012’s Big Inner was supposed to be a sonic business card for Matthew E. White’s Spacebomb Studios—a way of advertising what he and his ace studio band (including choir and horns, naturally) could do. Turns out the guy can write just as well as he can record. And while this year’s follow-up taps the same vein of cool late-night soul power that gave Big Inner life, it also finds White growing more comfortable as a lyricist. Ain’t nobody gonna break your heart and free your mind so easily in 2015.—Marty Sartini Garner

Modest Mouse
Strangers to Ourselves
March 17

Say what you will about 2009’s No One’s First And You’re Next. No, seriously, say what you will; Isaac Brock was born to play the righteous underdog, and with the recent flurry of reissues making Modest Mouse’s last record even less intriguing than it was on release, the time feels right for King Rat to reassert himself. The rumored collaborations with Krist Novoselic and Big Boi didn’t make the cut (despite the tracks being “a hodgepodge of funkiness,” per Sir Lucious Leftfoot himself), but you have to imagine that some of the Dungeon Family sparkle rubbed off on the final product.—Marty Sartini Garner

Twin Shadow
Eclipse
March 17

This spring, George Lewis, Jr. will release his third full-length album under the Twin Shadow moniker. Eclipse—Twin Shadow’s first release after leaving indie label 4AD for the major label powerhouse Warner Bros.—is touted to be the next step in Lewis’s evolution as an artist. Following the ’80s pop-rock-influenced Confess in 2012 (complete with clichéd “tough guy” themes: lyrical bravado and leather-jacket-clad cover art), Eclipse will see Lewis shedding his rock skin and embracing the inclusive, beat-driven sounds and power of pure, uncut pop music. If the LP’s first single “Turn Me Up” is any indication of Twin Shadow’s future, expect a lot of epic ’90s crooning, echoing vocals and harmonies, drum-machine beats, and almost no guitar within Eclipse. Oh, and synths, there will always be room for the synths.—Bailey Pennick

Built To Spill
Untethered Moon
April

That peppery, mighty beard; those effortlessly tasty guitar licks—twenty-two years in and they still exist on a space-time continuum of their own devising. So it’s no revelation that Built To Spill took their sweet time getting their eighth record ready for release. Like 2009’s There Is No Enemy, which was recorded in 2007 but not released until over two years later, this new jam has been gestating since 2012 when it was claimed that Built To Spill were full steam ahead recording at Audible Alchemy in Portland. Another two years passed, and after reports they’d re-located their riffage to Jackpot Studios under the tutelage of Larry Crane and Sam Coomes, some summer touring premiering new material, seemingly revitalized, and a Martsch-ian confirmation that, sure, “the record’s still moving along nicely,” it’s a safe a time as ever to get excited. Or, at least, start to.—Dom Sinacola

Band of Horses
TBA
TBA 2015

It’s now known that Ben Bridwell and company are teaming up with Grandaddy maestro Jason Lytle for their as yet untitled fifth full-length, to be released at some point in 2015. On the heels of a solid yet shrugged off fourth record, the amped-up Mirage Rock, and an acoustic live album released in 2014, it’s high time for the smash BOH radio single that has eluded them the past several years. This holiday number from December indicates that they’re headed in the right direction.—Pat McGuire

FIDLAR
TBA
TBA

Unbeknownst to fans, after FIDLAR released their raucous 2013 debut and toured the world over more than once, the band took an unannounced hiatus last year to deal with their “fair share of obstacles” including: an eviction from their old FIDhaus, Max locking himself in his apartment to become the orld’s greatest method actor, and Elvis trying his hand at composing avant-garde music based on Goosebumps, Zac taking some time off to live on a house boat and give tourists paddle-boat adventure tours, while Brandon simply disappeared…before showing back up again. Thankfully, the dudes weather the bizarro storm of 2015 and, in January, played their first show in months. No word yet on new sounds (except for a Sheryl Crow cover) or plans for a release, but we’ve got a 30-pack on ice for whenever they do.—Breanna Murphy

Florence + the Machine
TBA
TBA 2015

So far, all we have is a single photo (with the album title blocked out!) confirming that Florence + The Machine are at work mixing their third album. But given the band’s recently announced extensive festival schedule, expect that more information and songs will follow shortly. Stevie Nicks, your position as the witchiest woman in music is once again in jeopardy.—Laura Studarus

florenceandthemachine-studio

 

Grimes
TBA
TBA 2015

What we know about this new Grimes record: It will not suck. The Canadian musician née Claire Boucher whose 2012 record Visions still sounds a good three years ahead of the game apparently wrote, recorded, and scrapped a followup in 2014. “It sucked,” she told the New York Times, “so I threw it out and started again.” The only indication we have of what that record sounded like is the single “Go,” which Boucher wrote for Rihanna. While it slayed live, the big-tent EDM track felt a little safe for an artist of such singular vision. So, no, we have no idea what the next Grimes record will sound like. But to be fair, our language probably doesn’t have the words necessary to describe it yet anyway.—Marty Sartini Garner

PJ Harvey
TBA
TBA

Details are excruciatingly few, but here’s what we do know: Polly Jean Harvey is at work in the studio recording her ninth full-length with her producers Flood and John Parish in London. Oh, yeah: it’s also a fully functioning art exhibit that’s open to the public.—Alan Sartirana

White Fence and Cate Le Bon
TBA project
TBA

A new White Fence record? A collaborative LP? A covers album? Production exchange? It’s hard to anticipate what Tim Presley might do next, and if the Los Angeles musician’s career has taught us anything, it’s to expect everything. The prolific musician only just released For the Recently Found Innocent last year (his sixth in as many years), but both Presley and friend Cate Le Bon (whose excellent 2013 record Mug Museum left a residual afterglow that’s still burning bright) have been leaving teases of studio times and tour hangs on their respective social media accounts. Presley’s collaborative track record (with Ty Segall, Strange Boys, Jessica Pratt, and others) currently stands at flawless, so any hint of a musical match with Le Bon is one worth watching with eagerness.—Breanna Murphy

"Recording LP W/ Cate Le Bon . at comp-ny | Los Angeles Recording Studio ."

“Recording LP W/ Cate Le Bon . at comp-ny | Los Angeles Recording Studio .”

 

 

The Wrens
TBA
TBA 2015

If 2001’s The Meadowlands was an album about stagnation—and what it means for anyone to look behind them, hoping that their best times aren’t long gone—then a new Wrens album, thirteen years in the making, is both addendum to that particularly morbid kind of resignation and a chance to prove it wrong. Good fucking luck: the band has just celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary, and with only three albums to show in that time, the fourth is, by design, bound to carry with it unreasonable expectations. Pressure seems to be getting to Charles Bissell, having gotten almost-fatally sick this past Thanksgiving, but at least he admitted that it’s time to stop tinkering and just let this new record be whatever it’s going to be. A new indie-rock classic or an overworked disappointment, whatever—this year we’ll finally get the chance to decide, and with that decision, realize that our heroes are people too.—Dom Sinacola


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