Ten Albums to Watch For in 2019

Album announcements and release dates are rarely concrete in the music industry, but 2019 is shaping up to be a strong end to one of popular music’s most stylistically dynamic and boundary-pushing decades. Here are 10 albums I’m most excited to hear this year.

“American Football [LP3]”- American Football

March 22, 2019

The third album from Midwest emo icons, American Football, is only a few months away, and it looks like the band is heading in a new direction. The album’s two singles, “Silhouettes” and “Uncomfortably Numb,” featured more dream pop and post-rock influences than the group’s past music. Hopefully, this will result in a more satisfying LP than the band’s underwhelming last release, which was also self-titled. Another deviation from previous projects is the addition of vocals from female artists other than lead singer Mike Kinsella. It’ll be interesting to see what these features will add to the album’s narrative, and hopefully help American Football deliver a better project.  

“Thank U, Next”- Ariana Grande

Feb. 8, 2019

Grande had quite a rollercoaster year in 2018: she dropped her surprisingly consistent and catchy fourth album “Sweetener” in August, her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller died in September, she got engaged to and broke up with Pete Davidson and, to finish the year off, she broke the YouTube record for the most watched music video within 24 hours of release with her single “Thank U, Next.” Needless to say, there’s a lot of anticipation for her new album of the same name. Given her status as one of the biggest names in the industry, Grande’s album will likely be a massive commercial success. Whether it will be on par with the quality of “Sweetener” remains to be seen.

Untitled – Chance The Rapper

TBD

It’s quite impressive that Chance, despite releasing few projects and not a single full-length studio album this decade, is one of the biggest names in the rap game. His 2013 mixtape “Acid Rap” took the world by storm and his follow-up 2016 project, “Coloring Book,” was equally impressive. Although he teased his new album in July of last year, we have yet to hear anything concrete about its release. Hopefully, Chance pulls through and finally puts out his official debut album this year.

“Yandhi”- Kanye West

TBD

The ever-elusive “Yandhi” was originally supposed to drop in September 2018 as a sequel to West’s 2013 album “Yeezus.” However, after its initial release date of Sept. 29 passed, West announced that he was pushing the album back to a November 2018 release. Once November rolled around, West tweeted again that the album wasn’t finished, and refused to give any new release date for it; no news of the album has come up since. Some are still expecting a 2019 release, but given West’s erratic behavior, it’s impossible to know if the album will come out this year or if it will even still be called “Yandhi.” Either way, it remains a highly anticipated project; West’s releases are always creative, even if his music has been pretty hit-or-miss lately.

Untitled – My Bloody Valentine

TBD

My Bloody Valentine has never been the type of band to push out music. The pioneering shoegaze and dream pop group has only released three studio albums over the last 31 years. However, frontman Kevin Shields recently announced that the band has been working on two full-length LPs, at least one of which fans expect to drop in 2019. Considering we haven’t heard new music from them since 2013’s “m b v,” it’s exciting news for fans of the highly influential Irish band.  

“Run The Jewels 4”- Run The Jewels

Summer 2019

Hip-hop duo Killer Mike and El-P’s trilogy of “Run The Jewels” albums is one of the best series of consecutive releases this decade, so “RTJ4” has a lot to live up to. If they maintain the quality that was present on their previous albums, we can expect heavy-hitting and creative beats, clever lyrics and blistering flows from both MCs. All we know about the album so far is the title and that it’s slated to be released sometime this summer, but hopefully fans will get more information in the coming months.

Untitled – Sleater-Kinney

TBD

The currently nameless ninth album from the legendary all-female indie rock band, Sleater-Kinney, has already garnered a lot of hype online since the band revealed that fellow indie eccentric, St. Vincent, would be handling the production. It’s their second release since the band got back together in 2014 following an eight-year hiatus, releasing the widely acclaimed “No Cities To Love” in 2015. The band has been one of the leading female voices in indie rock for decades.

Untitled – Solange

TBD

For a long time, Solange Knowles lived in the shadow of her sister, Beyonce. She performed as a backup dancer for Destiny’s Child and never reached the same level of commercial success as her sister in her solo career. This changed in 2016 with the release of her third LP, “A Seat At The Table,” which topped the Billboard 200 albums chart and was ranked highly on various year-end best albums lists. She originally planned to drop her fourth album last fall, but it never came to fruition. Given that she’s co-headlining Coachella alongside Tame Impala this year, however, it seems likely that she’ll release her album sometime before then.

Untitled – Tame Impala

TBD

The massively successful psychedelic rock band has been teasing a new album since last summer, but no title or release information has been given other than frontman Kevin Parker insisting that the album will be out by this summer. It’ll be interesting to see if the band continues heading in a more pop-oriented and radio-friendly direction as they did with “Currents,” or if they choose to return to the noisy and psychedelic sound that defined their first album, “Innerspeaker.” Either way, it’s bound to be one of the year’s biggest rock albums. The group will also be having an enormous year touring, headlining Coachella in April and Shaky Knees in May, along with other festivals.

“Father of the Bride”- Vampire Weekend

Spring 2019

After six years with no new material from the band as a collective, fans of the New York-based indie rock band have been itching to hear from Vampire Weekend since they began exploring new avenues in 2014. Luckily the group delivered, dropping the album’s ornate lead single “Harmony Hall,” as well as its instrumental B-side “2021,” on Jan. 24 and announcing that their new LP would be out sometime this spring. The band came out with their self-titled debut album in 2008 after graduating from Columbia University (N.Y.), and have released two critically-acclaimed and commercially successful albums since: 2010’s “Contra” and 2013’s “Modern Vampires of the City.”