This week’s NME looks ahead to the 100 biggest albums set to land in 2014. Here’s 50 of them presented in alphabetical order, starting with Alt-J. The Mercury Prize winners may have lost a member in bassist Gwil Sainsbury since ‘An Awesome Wave’ but have reassured fans they’re hard at work on new material and plan to enter the studio shortly. Expect a late 2014 release.
Who: Amazing Snakeheads
Details: TBC, March.
What to expect: Freshly signed to Domino, the Scottish rockers promise their debut album will come in more shades than their raucous live show might suggest. “We’ve got ballads on there,” drummer Jordan Hutchison says. “It’s not all your one-and-a-half minute punk rock.”
Who: Angel Olsen
Details: ‘Burn Your Fire For No Witness’, February 18.
What to expect: Olsen’s ‘Half Way Home’, released in 2012, marked her out as one to watch, infusing melancholy with gritty grunge guitars. February sees the release of its follow-up, which hones the spellbinding sounds of that second album into something even more intense.
Who: Ariel Pink
What to expect: Pink’s also working on a soundtrack for Eilijah Wood’s latest movie, describing it as “a bizarro-world chronology of free love, dark psychedelic music and permissiveness gone hog-wild”. Wonder if it will influence the album?
Who: Arthur Beatrice
Details: ‘Working Out’, February 3.
What to expect: “The record is very personal to us, having been written and recorded in our own space,” say the rising four-piece. “We were able to take the time to craft it into something we’re hugely proud of.” Expect Wild Beasts-style melodies, swamped in spooky electronic echoes.
Who: Azealia Banks
Details: ‘Broke With Expensive Taste’, TBC.
What to expect: New year, same old question: is Azealia Banks any closer to releasing her debut album? The rapper has been delaying the LP since 2011, and now has significantly more Twitter scraps to her name than singles. But is this the year that she justifies the hype?
Who: Beach House
What to expect: Beach House ended their run of tour dates supporting 2012 album ‘Bloom’ with a new violent streak to their sound, boasting more explosive renditions of fan favourites ’10 Mile Stereo’ and ‘Norway’ than previously heard. Does a new, louder, darker album beckon in 2014? Fingers crossed.
Details: ‘Morning Phase’, February.
What to expect: Described by the Beck as being part of a “California tradition”, his first LP since 2008 was recorded in part by Jack White and pays homage to the sepia-hued 60s sounds of The Byrds and Neil Young. A second new album is also said to be recorded, scheduled for release in late 2014.
Who: Belle And Sebastian
Details: TBC, Autumn.
What to expect: According to Stuart Murdoch, the band set themselves unusual songwriting tasks for their next record – “like, let’s write a song that sounds like the 1974 song by Cyprus for the Eurovision Song Contest. Or let’s write a song that sounds like it might be played in Russia in the ‘60s.”
Who: The Black Keys
What to expect: The Black Keys are said to be putting the finishing touches on their follow-up to ‘El Camino’ in Nashville at the moment, with frequent collaborator Danger Mouse expected to be involved once more in producing the record.
Who: The Black Lips
Details: ‘Underneath The Rainbow’, March 18.
What to expect: “Our main influences [this time] are pretty traditional,” bassist Jared Swilley told Rolling Stone of the band’s new album. “It’s roots music.” Recorded by the Black Keys’ Patrick Carney, the record includes tracks about Swilley’s brief stay in prison last year.
Who: Bombay Bicycle Club
Details: ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’, February.
What to expect:: Jack Steadman and co have already previewed a smattering of new songs from their forthcoming fourth LP, including ‘Luna’ and ‘It’s Alright Now’. The album is the follow-up to 2011’s ‘A Different Kind Of Fix’.
Who: Brody Dalle
What to expect: The former Distillers singer goes solo for the first time – with a little help from members of Warpaint and Garbage’s Shirley Manson.
Who: Broken Bells
Details: ‘After The Disco’, February 3.
What to expect: The Shins’ James Mercer and Brian ‘Dangermouse’ Burton have been crafting an album inspired by late night New York, dancefloors and Joy Division for their second outing as Broken Bells.
Who: Cee-Lo Green
Details: ‘Girl Power’, February/March.
What to expect: Aided by production guru Paul Epworth, Cee Lo’s latest isn’t a Spice Girls tribute. “It’s a homage to all things women,” he says. He’s described the sound, meanwhile, as being similar to “punk rock”…
Who: Cerebral Ballzy
Details: ‘Jaded & Faded’, TBC.
What to expect: According to frontman Honor Titus, the Dave Sitek-produced LP is “way more melodic” and is “about being a young, wily teenager growing up into an older adult”.
Who: Charli XCX
Details: TBC, Autumn 2014.
What to expect: The songwriter behind Icona Pop’s ‘I Love It’ says her new album is inspired by new wave bands like The Waitresses and Bow Wow Wow and is “really raw, really live sounding”.
Who: Chloe Howl
Details: ‘Chloe Howl’, June 2014.
What to expect: BBC Critics Choice nominee Howl’s debut will range from electronic pop to big ballads. Her favourite, she says, is future single ‘Disappointed’ – inspired by the first boy who ever made her cry.
Who: Cloud Nothings
Details: ‘Here And Nowhere Else’, March 31
What to expect: A short record – just eight tracks and 32 minutes long – of crackly power-pop and, according to the band’s Dylan Baldi, a theme of “adolescent malaise”.
What to expect: Just whispered rumours right now, but the band played a surprise gig at a Somerset pub in December 2013 and released the song ‘Atlas’, from the ‘Hunger Games’ soundtrack, last year.
Who: The Cribs
What to expect: Wakefield’s finest are planning two new albums for 2014: a collection of snarling, punkier cuts and a poppier, brighter album. “I feel like there’s two sides to the band,” says Gary Jarman. “The idea is to let them exist separately as different records.”
Who: Damon Albarn
Details: TBC, Spring 2014.
What to expect: The Blur man’s long-awaited solo album is out this year. Produced by XL Records impresario Richard Russell, a 21-second black-and-white teaser trailer was released on YouTube last year.
Details: TBC, March 2014.
What to expect: Zachary Cole Smith says his arrest on drug charges last September will influence his second album. “It’s definitely going to be a darker record based on how my life has been personally,” he says.
Who: Django Django
Details: TBC, Summer 2014.
What to expect: It’s evolution rather than revolution for the Scottish band on the follow-up to their self-titled debut, with drummer Dave Maclean claiming: “We can’t seem to escape our sound.” No bad thing, we reckon…
Who: Dum Dum Girls
Details: ‘Too True’, TBC.
What to expect: Singer Dee Dee says that the band’s third album is their most human and honest record yet, with Suede, Madonna and punk poets Patti Smith and Lou Reed all cited as influences.
Details: ‘Carry Her Carry Me’, March 3
What to expect: Elbow’s sixth studio album – and their first since their 2011 effort ‘Build A Rocket Boys!’ – is inspired by frontman Guy Garvey’s travels around New York.
Details: ‘The Future’s Void’, Spring.
What to expect: The success of 2011 debut ‘Past Life Martyred Saints’ took its toll on Erika M Anderson, who was startled by her newfound status as cult internet darling and burnt out from touring. The follow-up is set to be more “aggressive” and, she says, was inspired by Nine Inch Nails demos.
Who: Everything Everything
What to expect: Second album ‘Arc’ only came out last year, but Everything Everything are already working on new material. “Nearly all the new songs are just drums and vocals,” says Jonathan Higgs. “I want to sound like someone who’s angry and in control of their destiny, instead of whiny and miserable.”
Who: The Family Rain
Details: ‘Under The Volcano’, February 3.
What to expect: “There are some insane sounds on there – spaghetti western trip-hop songs, Phil Spector walls of sound,” says Ollie Walter of his band’s debut. “We really wanted to make a bold statement.”
Who: FKA Twigs
What to expect: Following the release of last year’s ‘EP2’, singer Tahliah Barnett is planning a full-length record of her dreamy, ethereal R&B magic.
Who: Foo Fighters
What To Expect: Dave Grohl has said the follow-up to 2011’s ‘Wasting Light’, will “not be a conventional record”.
Who: Foster the People
Details: ‘Supermodel’, March 24.
What To Expect: Foster promises Nile Rodgers disco, ’90s guitar pop and hard rock grit in tracks including ‘Best Friends’, ‘Coming Of Age’ and ‘Beginner’s Guide To Destroying The Moon’.
What To Expect: “We don’t really intend on making these ‘San Francisco’ pretty Kinks songs,” says multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Rado. “Because that was just one album we did, a series of albums we made, since we were little fuckin’ kids. It’s a lot of strange stress to have people identify your band as one thing.”
Who: Frank Ocean
What To Expect: The soul singer road tested new tracks ‘Anything For You’ and ‘Feel California’ last summer.
Who: Friendly Fires
What To Expect: We described 2011’s ‘Pala’ as “bounteous of hook and packed with more senseless beauty than an acre of rainforest”. We’re hoping for more of the same in 2014.
Who: Fucked Up
What To Expect: “It’s going to be a little bit out there, but I think this album will be more concise than the last one too,” says guitarist Mike Haliechuk. “It’ll be comparable to ‘The Chemistry Of Common Life’, but with shorter songs.”
Who: Future Islands
Details: ‘Singles’, March 25
What to expect: The follow up 2011’s ‘On the Water’ has been produced by Chris Coady (Beach House, Grizzly Bear, Yeah Yeah Yeahs).
Who: Gerard Way
What To Expect: The former My Chemical Romance man is set to go solo this year.
What To Expect: “I’m really trying to have it sound professional,” says Grimes. “Not necessarily pop music, but maybe in the sense that Nine Inch Nails is professional quality.”
What To Expect: Bassist John Famiglietti says the new album has EDM influences: “There’s a lot of stuff we wanted to reflect in the new music, like how our taste in music has changed and how music has changed. There’s a lot of electronic sub bass on the new album!”
Details: TBC, summer.
What To Expect: The Leeds band wrote as a group, aiming for the crackling energy of Detroit garage rock, the Stooges, The MC5 and The Modern Lovers. The results? “I guess this time they’re more rock-orientated than the last and a lot of the new record’s got a lot more synths on it,” says MJ.
Details: TBC, April.
What To Expect: “We’ve moved in a more electronic direction from ‘Skying’,” says bassist Rhys Webb. ‘It’s heavier, weirder, wilder and perhaps more beautiful than anything we’ve ever done before.”
Details: ‘World Of Joy’, spring.
What To Expect: Early reports described tracks inspired by poet Walt Whitman and a new, soft rock sound. That, says frontman Jordan Gatesmith, proved a dead end: they’re now opting for something sardonic and Thin Lizzy-inspired.
Who: Hudson Mohawke
What To Expect: The follow-up to his 2009 debut ‘Butter’, is “much more song-based”. Hudson says: “The new album is a lot more emotional. It’s also less complex. There’s nothing there that isn’t needed. Basically, I want people to see me as more than just a beat maker.”
What To Expect: Talking about the album’s tacks, guitarist Daniel Kessler says: “a few of them maybe sound a little more beat-up than the last record, but you know, it sounds like us. It sounds like an Interpol record.”
Who: Jack White
What To Expect: White’s recently revealed he was “producing two albums this month, and finishing them. One of them is mine.”
Who: Jamie T
What To Expect: Former Tribes man Johnny Lloyd let slip he’d been working with the AWOL Mr T last summer, describing the album as “great, it’s really slow, angry punk”.
Who: Jessie Ware
What To Expect: “I definitely want groove stuff on the album, so I’m going to work with [Julio] Bashmore again,” says Jessie. “I love dance music, so always kind of want to be in that, whether it’s remixes or my own stuff.”
Who: Jimi Goodwin
Details: ‘Odludek’, due March 24.
What To Expect: The Doves frontman goes solo inspired by a desire to “mess shit up”.
Who: Joey Bada$$
Details: ‘B4.Da.$$’, February 10.
What To Expect: Joey Bada$$ drew inspiration from his global travels for his debut album. Inspired by Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis, the resulting album has signature jazzy, boom-bap sounds and focusses on instrumentation over sampling.