In this week's NME, we round up the most exciting albums heading our way in 2014. With new albums due from everyone from Friendly Fires to Foster the People, there's no shortage of exciting new releases on the horizon. Which will blow-up and which will bomb? Only the ticking clock of time will tell. That doesn't stop us having a cheeky guess though. Here's our album predictions for this year...
The new classic: Kasabian (according to Kasabian)
"This record is as good as it gets for us," says Kasabian's Tom Meighan. "If we were on a mountain, we're at the top of Mount Everest now. We've stuck the flag in and we're saluting it. Top of the world, that's where we are." Sounds like the pair are preparing to unleash a real gem of a new album this year. That or lead an expedition up the Himalayas. One or the other.
The one that will get all the hype: FKA Twigs
Signed to Young Turks alongside The xx, FKA Twigs is primed to take on the shaky tightrope between becoming massively popular and remaining uber-cool. Succeed, and she'll become one of the most hyped artist of 2014. Fail and she'll fall into the spiky canyon of would-be stars. The Gloucestershire gal's got the right equipment though. In addition to being hugely talented, she has a super-stylised look (a la M.I.A), an intriguing eerie vibe (similar to Lana Del Rey) and a slighty terrifying music video (hell, it worked for Lady Gaga).
The big comeback: Jamie T
There's been very little hoo-haa about Jamie T's return, but it sounds like his forthcoming album is worth getting hot and bothered about. Former Tribes frontman Johnny Lloyd was working on the record last year. He says: "Jamie’s record is great, it’s really slow, angry punk." Bring it on.
The one we hope won't do a Johnny Borrell: Jimi Goodwin
Last year, Jonny Borrell's solo effort only sold 594 records in its first week, so we're a tad concerned about how former Doves' bassist Jimi Goodwin will fare. He announced his debut LP 'Odludek' last December. "I wanted to make this mad mixtape…," he said. "The kind you'd pass back and forth with your mates; eclectic as fuck." Fingers crossed it's good-eclectic not cat lady's nic-nac cupboard-eclectic...
The one that'll get played in Starbucks: Mastodon (we wish), probably Bombay Bicycle Club
One beautiful day in the future we'll reach the counter at our local coffee shop and have to scream our drink order over bellowing heavy metal. Until that day we're probably going to be listening to something distinctly inoffensive. Enter Bombay Bicycle Club, who are presently hard at work on new material set for release in 2014.
The one that'll cause controversy: Ratking
Hip hop group Ratking once declared their music an antidote to "a bloated and self-satisfied hip-hop [and] the nihilist refrain of dead-end punk". The crazy-young New York boys have already brought us tracks 'Piece Of Shit' and 'Wikispeaks', so we seriously doubt they'll steer away from awkward, political or sexual topics on their debut album. Can they can top Kasabian's groundbreaking horsemeat lyrics? We just don't know.
The one the broadsheets will run think pieces on: Tune-Yards
Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards explores gender and sexuality within her music, while skipping the overly made-up plastic look of many female singers. This makes her brilliant. It's also made her the focus of many broadsheet think pieces. With a new album on its way, 10 points to Gryffindor when Comment Is Free runs a SEO-grabbing piece entitled 'Hey, Miley Cyrus! Why Tune-Yards proves female artists don't need to grind on Robin Thicke to get ahead'.
The one the fashion mags will rave about: Sky Ferreira
Part model, part singer, part actress - Sky Ferreira has all the credentials needed to be a fashion fave. Sky's also not afraid of controversy, getting caught by police in a car containing a 'plastic bag containing 42 decks of heroin' last year. Plus, she's more than happy to do scantily-clad art shoots (she went topless on the cover of album 'Night Time, My Time') and is supporting Miley Cyrus (the new face of Marc Jacobs) on tour. She's gonna be bezzies with Cara Delevingne in no time.
The dancefloor filler: Hudson Mohawke
As well as producing tracks for Azealia, Drake and Pusha T, Glagow's Hudson Mohawke worked with Kanye West on 'Yeezus'. With a solo album in development, we're expecting hit after heavy hit.
The crossover record: Grimes
In her own words, Grimes "joined the X-Men" at the end of 2013 when she signed to Jay Z's Roc Nation imprint, joining Kylie Minogue, Haim, Timbaland and of course Hov himself on the rapper's roster. 2014's going to be the year she takes over the world.
The one that'll have a 'quirky' marketing campaign: Coldplay
The group who brought us Xylobands - the light-up wristbands that glow in time to their music - and once spent a whole promo tour dressed up like old-fashioned solders, must surely have something unusual up their sleeve to promote their new album. Goop nutritional advice in every album sleeve perhaps? 'Fix You' walk-in clinics? A 'Yellow' brick road stretching the length of the UK? Massive Papier Mâché heads? Oh, wait, Arcade Fire already did that...
The new 'ARTPOP': Lana Del Rey
Add that unusual short film to last year's track leak incident and Lana's very serious opinion of herself ("I do actually aim to live my life with grace and dignity") and you have an 'ARTPOP' waiting to happen.
David Cameron's new fave: Cerebral Ballzy
Cammy's surely sick of Mumford & Sons by now. And he's been banned from listening to Morrissey and Johnny Marr. Maybe it's time for the PM to get into Brooklyn punk. Blood-splattered, sweat-drenched denims and a skinhead would suit you, Mr. Prime Minister.
The one with the political message: Johnny Marr
The one with all the collabs: Pharrell
Pharrell guested on tracks by everyone from Daft Punk to 2 Chainz in 2013 - names he'll no doubt be asking to return the favour on his new album due in spring. Add to this the list of stars he's been Instagrammed hanging out with recently and you're looking at a potential all-star cast of collaborators on the long-awaited record: Miley Cyrus, Jessie J, Solange, Steve Aoki, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Justin Timberlake and… Robin Williams. A big album is on its way. Maybe with a Mrs Doubtfire theme?
The one that will never arrive: La Roux
You thought we were going to say Azealia Banks, didn't you? Her long-awaited debut might have been due since September 2012, but La Roux's second album has already been FIVE years in the making. Slow-and-steady Azealia is practically a rapid hare in comparison to La Roux's lethargic tortoise. The duo released their first EP in June 2009. But you know what they say - good things come to those who wait...