Most anticipated releases of 2021

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It's a new year, and while things like live music may still be on hold for the foreseeable future, it does mean that we have a bunch of artists releasing their next projects over the next 12 months. There's undoubtedly going to be some amazing music this year, just like there always is. 2020 proved that to us more than anything else, with artists continuing to release incredible material despite the circumstances.

 

This year we have a pretty great line-up of music that's slated to release, as well as a lot that hasn't been announced. On top of that, there's bound to be some new artists emerging during this period that until now went relatively unnoticed. But only time will tell these things. For now, here are my most anticipated releases of 2021, including some picks that have already been announced, as well as some inclusions from bands that I suspect we may be hearing from this year. 

-Latest Spin

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Frank Ocean

Title: TBA

Release Date: TBA

The cultural ripple that Frank Ocean made with his last studio album "Blonde" back in 2016 was immense. And since 2019, we've been getting small hints of the release he intends to follow it with. We've only been given four tracks, which have dropped pretty irregularly over the last fifteen months. And knowing Frank Ocean he may make us wait a hell of a lot longer before we hear the final product, but either way we should be hearing some new material from him before the year's end.

 

Whether that means we'll be getting a whole album in 2021, I don't know. But if this previous decade has anything to show for it, it's that Frank Ocean is one of the most talented artists of this generation and is absolutely one to watch out for. 

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fka twigs

Title: TBA

Release Date: TBA

It's only been two years since we were given the absolutely immaculate "MAGDELENE", but apparently FKA Twigs already has new material releasing for us in 2021. With an almost perfect track record, and making some of the most ground-breaking pop music of this generation, Tahliah Barnett has brought us two absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking albums that will both without a doubt become modern classics. And with a third record on the way this year, we could be getting a stunning three-album run from the artist. 

There's no date or title that have been released yet, but hopefully we starting hearing more news soon, since I'm absolutely desperate to hear some new material from her. Until then, I'll just have "MAGDELENE" on repeat to keep me sane before we hear something. 

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Gang of Youths

Title: TBA

Release Date: TBA

Gang of Youths have gained a huge amount of success in Australia after releasing two of the best Aussie albums of last decade with "The Positions" and "Go Farther in Lightness". And since then, they've also managed to score a bit of international fame; touring with the likes of Foo Fighters and Mumford & Sons and garnering even further attention. They've been teasing their latest album for a few months now, even making a statement recently that although they would have hoped to have released it last year, it's on its way soon. 

They're two for two at the moment, and hopefully they manage to keep that excellent streak on from "Go Farther", continuing to make some of the most uplifting and heartful music of this generation. Hopefully we won't have to wait too much longer to hear some new material (as well as an album) from these guys. 

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LCD Soundsystem

Title: TBA

Release Date: TBA

It's been four years since "American Dream" was released by LCD Soundsystem in 2017, after their return from James Murphy's self-imposed hiatus/breakup. And while many people were fairly cynical about their return less than a decade after they had created a huge amount of press over the fact that the band was ending, thankfully "American Dream" was really good. There hasn't been an official announcement of any new album this year from Murphy, but unless "American Dream" was a one-off comeback record, we will most likely be hearing something from the group pretty soon. And no matter what, new music from LCD Soundsystem is always good news.

 

Hopefully I'm right and we hear new music from Murphy this year, but if we don't, hopefully we hear some news during 2021 about an upcoming project from LCD Soundsystem, or even another project from James. 

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Kendrick lamar

Title: TBA

Release Date: TBA

It was almost a year ago that we were given news about Kendrick founding the company "pgLang", with many people believing at the time that it was in some way connected to the release of a new project from the rapper. But after nine months and no word from Lamar, it's unclear whether it really has anything to do with any upcoming new material. 

The time since "DAMN." was released in April of 2017 has been the longest period that without a Kendrick Lamar album since his debut back in 2011. And with the social/political climate in America and the rest of the world at the moment, it seems right that we could be hearing from him this year. Whether "pgLang" has anything to do with that or not, there's no doubt that a new Kendrick Lamar album would be one of the most discussed releases of the 2021.  

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Travis Scott

Title: UTOPIA

Release Date: TBA

Last year he collaborated with Kid Cudi, Kanye West, Christopher Nolan, McDonalds and Fortnite. Among many others. It was a big year for Travis Scott, and 2021 should be even bigger. This Year, he has his third studio album "UTOPIA" lined up for us, and with a bigger audience than ever, it's likely to be one of the best-selling records of the 2021. On top of that, hopefully it'll be some of his best work; with guest features from Future, Young Thug, and some rumoured appearances such as Kevin Parker of Tame Impala. 

Back in 2015 when he released Rodeo, Travis Scott was still establishing his place in the music industry. Now he's one of the biggest artists in the world, and has managed to secure the some of most successful collaborations of current years. If one thing is for sure, "UTOPIA" is going to be huge. 

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Parquet Courts

Title: TBA

Release Date: TBA

After the absolutely spectacular "Wide Awake!" in 2018, Parquet Courts have reportedly finished recording their next album, with it due to release some time during the coming months. Similarly to how that record tackled huge issues of climate change, institutional racism and violence, Parquet Courts are likely to have a word or two to say about the current state of the world at the moment. Especially considering the themes of political inaction, as well as the importance of collectivism, are more essential than ever in the time that we live in. 

 

Since they've apparently finished recording and are now in the process of mixing and mastering the album, it hopefully shouldn't be too long before we get to hear some new music from the band. And if this new project is half as vibrant, thought-provoking, and brilliant as "Wide Awake!", then we're in for one of the best albums of the year. 

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Black Country, New Road

Title: For the First Time 

Release Date: 05/02/21

The only debut release on this list; Black Country, New Road have only released two songs so far. 'Sunglasses' in 2019, and 'Science Fair' in 2020. But both songs have left such a huge impression that it's hard not to be excited for the first studio album from the group. If you're a fan of Black Midi's 2019 debut, "Schlagenheim", then keep an ear out for this one. As one of Black Midi's close collaborators, Black Country, New Road have impressed in their unique and deeply textured music. 'Science Fair' was one of my favourite singles from last year (read its short review here).

With wonderfully developing tracks, they have a genuinely interesting and idiosyncratic sound that should absolutely be on your radar if you haven't heard them yet. And I'm eagerly waiting to hear what they have in store for us in February with "For the First Time".

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Daughters

Title: TBA

Release Date: TBA

Dropping one of the most harrowing albums of last decade, "You Won't Get What You Want", Daughters proved that even after an 8 year hiatus, they were still more than capable of completely outdoing themselves. And with the news of a fifth album on the way, its difficult to even imagine what they could do after such a ground-breaking record. But if their track record shows anything, it's that the band is constantly evolving and growing, with every album shifting their sound slightly from the last. 

 

While its hard to imagine anything as absolutely destructive, brutal and terrifying as "You Won't Get What You Want", Daughters are sure to have something just as quality up their sleeves for us this year.