Albums Of 2011 – Which Releases Are You Most Excited About?

Tomorrow’s NME magazine is my favourite issue of the year – when we take a run-through of the albums we’re most looking forward to hearing in the coming 12 months.

Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Radiohead, Wild Beasts, Elbow, The Vaccines, Girls, Surfer Blood – all these and a bulging satchel’s-worth more (60 in total, in fact) feature, with behind the scenes studio interviews and photoshoots with the most exciting.



Basically, if you’re going to be getting any albums this year, you need it. If only to see what Chris from Girls looks like with all his hair lopped off or to find out which popular three-piece UK combo La Roux have supposedly been working with (that’s called a teaser, folks).

Personally, I’m looking forward to hearing Glasvegas’ second album most. James Allan has already been talking what he got up to in Los Angeles when the band first started work on it. So far we’ve heard tales of him chatting to goldfish in hotel rooms, fighting off Beetlejuice character actors in theme parks and naming songs things like ‘I Feel Wrong (Homosexuality Part One’)’. It’s got to be awesome.

Here are a few thoughts from my esteemed NME colleagues about which albums they’re most looking forward to. Let us and everyone know which you’re salivating most about by checking out the issue then leaving a comment.

Krissi Murison, Editor

“When it came to deciding which lost modern classic to write about in NME’s ‘Greatest Albums You’ve Never Heard’ issue last month, for me it was a straight flip between Clor or Metronomy’s debuts. In the end I decided Clor could probably do with the props more, because come this spring no-one will need reminding who Joe Mount’s indie-synth trio are. They’ve said their English Riviera-inspired third sounds like “Daft Punk meets The Eagles” but from the tracks they’ve played us so far, we’d say it’s much more like The Beatles being introduced to Phoenix.”

Luke Lewis, NME.COM Deputy Editor
Elbow – ‘Build A Rocket Boys!’

“‘Lippy Kids’ is up there with their very best songs, and proves they haven’t lost their knack for elegant, sophisticated songwriting. I’m hoping the whole of ‘Build A Rocket Boys!’ will be up to that standard.”


Elbow photo: Andy Whitton

Tom Goodwyn, News Reporter
Bright Eyes – ‘The People’s Key’

“After delivering a brilliant record in 2007 with ‘Cassadaga’, Conor Oberst has spent the last three years messing about with side projects and his return and promise of a “full-on rock record” is something I’m very excited about. Add to this, every utterance he’s publicly come out with suggests this is a distillation of all the political rage he’s been toying with since he started. It all bodes very well.”

Paul Stokes, Associate Editor
The Strokes

“With Nikolai Fraiture describing it as the missing link between ‘Room On Fire’ and ‘First Impressions Of Earth’, Julian Casablancas’ solo project raising the bar after the band sort of faded away and last summer’s festival gigs whetting the appetite, I can’t wait to see what The Strokes return with. I’m not expecting them to recapture the spirit of ‘Is This It’, rather I’m looking forward to see what a wiser, more musically dexterous Strokes are capable of. They proved they still have the capacity to still turn heads and get the blood pumping and so if they get this right – and the signs are good – there’s a chance New York’s finest will change the game all over again.”

Emily Mackay, Reviews Editor
Wild Beasts

“After the breathtaking and brilliant shock that was ‘Two Dancers’, I can’t wait to see what freakishly fascinating bits they stitch together for their Frankenstein-influenced third.”


Wild Beasts photo: Andy Willsher

Alan Woodhouse, Senior Sub-Editor
REM – ‘Collapse Into Now’

“I’ve been a fan all my life, stuck with them even after the enormous disappointment of 2004’s ‘Around The Sun’, their first seriously bad album. However, 2008’s ‘Accelerate’ was a great return to form, and whispers are circulating that the new one’s a cracker. From what I’ve heard so far, it looks like the rumours could be true.”

Matt Wilkinson, News Reporter
Surfer Blood

“Three things that should make the next Surfer Blood album great: 1: They’ve moved in together, Monkeys-style. 2: They’ve signed to a major label (Warner Bros – ie. “fuck you, indies, we’re thinkin’ BIIIG!!”). 3: They’re already playing brilliant new songs like ‘I’m Not Ready’ live. Tell you what, I’m totally ready.”

Get the new issue of NME and have your say about which album you’re most looking forward to by commenting below.