2015’s shaping up to be an epic year for new music. From Björk’s rush-release to new albums from Chvrches, The Libertines and Kendrick Lamar, here’s 50 of the most exciting to come. Read more in this week’s NME and stand by for part two next week.
The Vaccines (Title: 'English Graffiti'. Release date: Spring). Following on from 2012's ‘Come Of Age’ LP, The Vaccines have turned to two very differing producers – Dave Fridmann and Cole M Greif-Neill – for album number three. "We wanted to make a genre-defining record rather than something that would fit in and just be another rock record,” says frontman Justin Young.
Palma Violets (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC). Moving out from their south London pad, Studio 180, where they lived, recorded and hosted riotous early gigs, the band decamped to rural Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, Wales for ‘180’’s follow up. It’s where The Stone Roses recorded much of ‘Second Coming’.
Mini Mansions (Title: 'The Great Pretenders'. Release date: March). Mini Mansions' debut ropes in some big-name friends. Frontman Michael Shuman is the bassist in Queens Of The Stone Age, and has enlisted Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner to guest on standout track ‘Vertigo’. They also have pop royalty on board – Beach Boys’ frontman Brian Wilson provides backing vocals on ‘Any Emotions’.
Bjork (Title: 'Vulnicura'. Release date: January 20) 2011’s ‘Biophilia’ spawned educational initiatives, a documentary with David Attenborough and a remix album called ‘Bastards’. So what will the supreme innovator come back with this year? You can hear it now! The release was brought forward to last night (January 20) and it features Arca, the Haxan Cloak and a heady dose of heart-break.
Suede (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC). When they reformed for 2013’s comeback ‘Bloodsports’, Suede had something to prove: that they were still relevant, still good. Now the pressure’s on again. So far, details for the new album are scant although ‘I Don’t Know How To Reach You’, a five-minute romp with a skuzzy guitar, and the slow, soft ‘Tightrope’ have already surfaced online.
Kendrick Lamar (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC). With the spectacularly well-received 'Good Kid, mAAd City’, Kendrick Lamar took an elevator ride to hip-hop's top floor. With LP three he's got it all to live up to. The early indicators sound thrilling: ‘I’, The Isley Brothers-sampling pro-positivity radio smash, and the far grittier ‘Untitled’ are signs that Kendrick's stepped up again.
Peace (Title: 'Happy People'. Release date: February 9). The Birmingham band's follow-up to 2013's 'In Love' was produced by Jim Abbiss. Written and recorded across the globe as the band toured, frontman Harry Koisser calls opening track ‘O You’ their “statement of intent”. “It’s about the human world interrupting the natural world and forcing a state of decline,” he declares.
Lucy Rose (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC). Singer-songwriter Rose will follow up 2012’s debut album ‘Like I Used To’ with a record “written about pretty personal things”, she says. There’ll be less acoustic guitar and more piano this time round, and the sound is “generally bigger and slightly electronic”. Expect guest vocals from Rae Morris and Sam Brookes.
Hinds (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC). The Madrid quartet spent last year tearing around Europe wrecking stages with The Libertines and Black Lips with the rattling garage-pop of songs like ‘Bamboo’ and ‘Between Cans’. Deers’ motto is “our shit, our rules” and if they stick to that, 2015 will be even better.
Shamir (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC). Working with Godmode Records mainman Nick Sylvester in his New York studio, the Las Vegas newcomer has so far cut 16 tracks, with Shamir giving Sylvester “free range” over the music, as long as his lyrics and melody are kept intact. The same process worked wonders for Shamir’s 2014 EP ‘Northtown’, so if it ain’t broke…
Chance The Rapper (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC). Since his ‘Acid Rap’ mixtape in April 2013, Chance has put out ‘Surf’, which had trumpet player Donnie Trumpet’s name on the sleeve, appeared on Skrillex and Justin Bieber tunes and put out a handful of his own tracks, like the recent ‘No Better Blues’. Will there be a full album of his songs this year? There’s a strong chance…
Belle And Sebastian (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC). The band’s ninth album is their most eclectic offering to date and was tecorded in Atlanta, Georgia with Animal Collective and Gnarls Barkley collaborator Ben H Allen. Says leader Stuart Murdoch: "We wanted to go where Ben was used to working. If there’s magic there, you don’t want to mess with that."
The Libertines (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC). After last summer’s mega gigs, Pete flew out to Bangkok to undergo rehab sessions in Thailand, and Carl followed him to start writing for a third Libs album. It’ll probably feature some old and unfinished songs (‘Albion’ and ‘Bound Together’ are tipped for inclusion).
Speedy Ortiz (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC). Speedy Ortiz’ Sadie Dupuis tweeted in September she’d fallen for “babymetal”. Whatever direction they take, we won’t have to wait long to find out: the as-yet-untitled album, the follow-up to 2013 breakout album ‘Major Arcana’, is in the process of being mixed.
Joanna Gruesome (Title: 'Peanut Butter'. Release date: April). Due in April, the follow-up to their debut was recorded with Hookworms’ MJ, striking the same balance between sweetness and ferocity as ‘Weird Sister’ while incorporating some new sounds – “British hardcore, Stereolab and Broadcast-style organs, the pop punk Salinas Records-style stuff coming out recently,” they say.
Miles Kane (Title: TBC. Release date: Spring) We’re in blind guesswork mode when it comes to Miles Kane’s third solo album, but there’s one due in 2015, and we're hoping a certain mate by the name of A Turner might well make an appearance. "We're both enjoying our own things, but we're still working together," Kane says of his Last Shadow Puppets bandmate.
Mumford & Sons (Title: TBC. Release date: Summer). "I need a break from the banjo... I fucking hate the banjo,” joked Mumford & Sons' Winston Marshall in 2014. The band have since been spotted in a studio with producer James Ford, so a style departure seems possible. For now, Marcus Mumford is busy working on a New Basement Tapes album with Elvis Costello and My Morning Jacket's Jim James.
Sleater-Kinney (Title: 'No Cities To Love'. Release date: January 19). After going on hiatus in 2006, the Portland trio announced a boxset of their first seven records last autumn and their reunion and eighth album, ‘No Cities To Love’. “There’s almost a telepathy that Corin [Tucker, fellow singer/guitarist] and I have,” says Carrie Brownstein of writing together again.
Wolf Alice (Title: TBC. Release date: Spring). “It’s 100 per cent not a grunge record,” says Wolf Alice singer Ellie Rowsell of their long-awaited debut album, “it’s a much braver record than that.” Hence the inclusion of violins, banjo and a cinematic bent to tracks such as ‘Silk’, ‘A Giant Peach’ ‘Swallow Tale’ and ‘Lisbon’.
Only Real (Title: 'Jerk At The End Of The Line'. Release date: March 30). New songs include ‘Yesterdays’, ‘Petals’ and ‘Daisychained’ alongside early singles ‘Cadillac Girl’ and ‘Backseat Kissers’. The tropical rhythms, gritty raps and swooshes of psychedelic guitar promise a musical cocktail nearly as tasty as the shirts favoured by Niall Galvin.
Hot Chip (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC). If band member Joe Goddard is to be believed, Hot Chip's sixth album won't be the one where the dance-funk jokers get serious: he jokingly claims the working title is 'Hypodeemic Nerdles'. The album was recorded at Kilburn’s Club Ralph in London.
Sky Ferreira (Title: TBC. Release date: Autumn). The build up to Sky’s debut, ‘Night Time, My Time’, dragged on for two years. Its follow up should have a smoother ride. The singer has revealed that she’s working with Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie and Andrew Innes while Ariel Rechtshaid (Haim), Gesaffelstein (Kanye West) and previous collaborator Justin Raisen are also involved.
Frank Turner (Title: TBC. Release date: Summer). On the as-yet-untitled new album, there are sombre dedications to Josh Burdette, the security guard at Washington punk hangout the 9:30 Club who committed suicide in 2013 (‘Song For Josh’) and Christa McAuliffe, the school teacher who died in the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster (‘Silent Key’).
Will Butler (Title: 'Policy'. Release date: March 10). Citing a list of inspirations including John Lennon, Ghostface Killah and The Breeders, the Arcade Fire member’s first solo album, ‘Policy’, was made in Jimi Hendrix’s old living room at Electric Lady Studios in New York. This is the same place David Bowie recorded his ‘Reflektor’ cameo.
LUH (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC). LUH, Ellery Roberts’ first project since the his group Wu Lyf split in 2012, stands for Lost Under Heaven and is primarily the project of Roberts and Dutch artist Ebony Hoorn. While debut track ‘Unites’ didn’t stray too far from Roberts’ old band’s, the rest of the album is apparently far more abstract.
Foals (Title: TBC. Release date: Autumn). Back in April 2014, the quintet returned to their “stink-box” home studio in Oxford where Yannis Philippakis explained, “Everything sounds awful [there], so if it sounds alright you know you’ve got a good idea.” After the success of 2013’s ‘Holy Fire’ it’s got a lot to live up to.
Robyn (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC) Aside from her work with Röyksopp on last year’s joint ‘Do It Again’ mini-album, Robyn hasn’t released a record since ‘Body Talk’ parts One and Two in 2010. She’ll make up for lost time in 2015 with her sixth studio LP, plus an EP with keyboardist Markus Jagerstedt.
Public Access TV (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC). Public Access TV frontman John Eatherly has written 35 nuggets of dirty, groove-heavy garage, including singles ‘Monaco’ and ‘In The Mirror’. Expect their debut in the spring.
Spector (Title: TBC. Release date: Spring). Spector decamped to Dev Hynes’ New York studio early in 2014 – and later to London’s Strongroom with producer Duncan Mills – to allow their second album to gestate. “There’s a real sense of pathos in the lyrics,” says frontman Fred MacPherson’s. “But that’s what love – in all its forms – can do to you.”
Enter Shikari (Title: 'The Mindsweep'. Release date: January 19). “The 'mindsweep' is basically the withholding or discrediting of new ideas,” says Enter Shikari frontman Rou Reynolds, explaining the meaning behind the title of the St Albans’ band’s fourth album. Among the new tracks is ‘Anaesthetist’, premiered at Reading & Leeds last year.
Brandon Flowers (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC). The Killers singer has declared an intent to be taken out of his comfort zone for solo album number two, and has recruited producer Ariel Rechtshaid – the man behind works by Haim, Major Lazer, Sky Ferreira and Vampire Weekend – to guide him off-map. “Change is good,” he told NME.
Circa Waves (Title: 'Young Chasers'. Release date: March 30). The group recorded their debut album – due in March – in May and June 2014, using some superstar equipment: a microphone used on classic Radiohead albums, and a ’60s bass used by Queen's John Deacon.
Paul Weller (Title: 'Saturn's Pattern'. Release date: April/May). Weller references The Stooges, Betty Davis, space rock and ponderous funk in talking about his 2015 LP, and ‘In The Car’, ‘Where I Should Be’ and title track ‘Saturn’s Pattern’ are abstract, multi-movement tunes that show the current crop how the old guard innovate.
Drake (Title: 'View From The 6'. Release date: TBC). Drake announced his fourth album would be called ‘View From The 6’ before he’d even begun recording it, 'The 6' being his nickname for his native Toronto.
Pins (Title: TBC. Release date: Summer). The Manchester band headed to Josh Homme’s famed Rancho De La Luna studio last October to record their debut album, due on Bella Union mid-2015. “It was like no place or time anywhere else,” says guitarist Lois Macdonald.
Waxahatchee (Title: 'Ivy Tripp'. Release date: April 6). Like twin sister Allison’s recent EP, 'Lean Into It', the third album by Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield takes a slight electronic turn. The follow-up to 2013's breakout 'Cerulean Salt' is bookended by two lonely, vocal-led spirituals: 'Breathless' and 'Bonfire'.
The View (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC). The Tayside band have enlisted Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr to co-produce the as-yet untitled album, recorded in Hamburg. “On the first day, I tried to get him to do a Scottish accent – but he wouldn’t,” says drummer Steven Morrison.
Slaves (Title: TBC. Release date: Spring). Working with producer Jolyon Thomas in east London, the group have added synths and electronic beats to give more texture to their sound. "We want to give people an insight into what goes on in our minds,” says frontman Isaac Holman.
Django Django (Title: TBC. Release date: Spring). Three years after their debut, the four-piece are getting ready to unleash "part two, in a way,” in the words of drummer Dave Maclean. “Not a huge leap from the last one, but trying to push it,” he says. Expect everything from Chicago house to Aussie indie label Library Records, jazz and rockabilly funnelling into the record.
Chvrches (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC). It’s been a busy year and a half since debut ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’ for Chvrches but they’ve already got a collection of demos together for the new album and they know how they’ll sound: "I think we'll use fewer instruments but ultimately try and do more with them," Martin Doherty says.
Dutch Uncles (Title: 'O Shudder'. Release date: February 23). Dutch Uncles’ fourth album will be their first since touring with emo heroes Paramore in summer 2013. It’s the follow-up to ‘Out Of Touch In The Wild’.
Tame Impala (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC). After the success of 2012’s ‘Lonerism’, speculation about its follow-up has been rife. Frontman, songwriter and producer Kevin Parker has been in hiding recording their third album, although he has collaborated on three songs on Mark Ronson’s new album, ‘Uptown Special’, most notably the track ‘Daffodils’.
Charli XCX (Title: 'Sucker'. Release date: January 26). Delayed from October 2014 to January 26 this year, ‘Sucker’ promises to be a bit punkier than Charli’s smash collaboration with Iggy Azalea, 'Fancy', and her own 'Boom Clap'. “I write pop music, but 'Sucker' definitely has this Bow Wow Wow, Ramones-esque edge," she says.
Cancer Bats (Title: 'Searching For Zero'. Release date: March 9). The mantra shaping their new album, according to frontman Liam Cormier, is “no more bullshit”. Production from Ross Robinson (Glassjaw, At The Drive-In) should ensure it packs a punch.
The Bohicas (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC). Currently under construction between tours, The Bohicas soon-to-come debut album is said to straddle early-’60s Merseybeat, blues rock, krautrock and Velvets fuzz-fuckery while throwing in manic modernist electro twists.
Best Coast (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC). “It’s coming, I promise,” Bethany Cosentino assured a fan enquiring about a new album last November. The singer hasn’t ventured far from the public eye since the Cali group’s last release, 2013 EP ‘Fade Away’, and recently guested on Weezer’s new album. Brace yourself for a full return this year.
Guy Garvey (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC). While Elbow prepare their seventh album, singer Garvey will slip out his first solo LP, one made in an intense two-week burst with old pals from I Am Kloot and The Whip. There's also a duet with Texan singer-songwriter Jolie Holland.
Ghostpoet (Title: 'Shedding Skin'. Release date: March 2). ‘Some Say I So I Say Light’ in 2013 made Obaro Ejimiwe a critically acclaimed cult star. January 2015 will see him scale back to more intimate venues, however, as he roadtests new material he claims he’s “nervous, excited and buzzing” for fans to hear.
Zack De La Rocha (Title: TBC. Release date: TBC). Following his guest spot on ‘Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)’ on Run The Jewels’ ‘RTJ2’ album, the former Rage Against the Machine frontman was persuaded to go back in the studio by MC El-P. The RTJ man did, however, later warn on Twitter that it’s “not at all 100%” that what they create will ever be released.
New Order, Title TBC
Their forthcoming album will be their 10th, but their first without bassist Peter Hook and finds the five-piece collaborating with Chemical Brother Tom Rowlands on three tracks. “It's an electronic-sounding album,” says singer Bernard Sumner. Confirmed titles include 'Restless', 'Singularity', 'Unlearn This Hatred' and 'Tutti Frutti’.