So, that was 2015.
There was no shortage of albums to get excited about, and the signs have been there for many months that 2016 will also be an excellent year for albums. While there have been those who have tried to write albums off as having no place in the era of streaming, it’s clear that many people still value the whole sum of a work of art, rather than just being happy with a handful of tracks from an artist.
The following is meant to whet appetites, and as is the nature of these things, release dates may change, albums may not appear – or the big releases of the year may not end up being the ones anticipated.
With that in mind, here’s looking ahead at what we know so far about album releases in 2016.
Over the last few years, it has become far more common for January to see big releases, as opposed to the release desert it once was. It’s fair to say that the most anticipated release of January is the release of David Bowie‘s latest studio album, Blackstar, which is released on January 8, his 69th birthday. The same day will also see the release of Hinds‘ debut album Leave Me Alone, and Villagers‘ Where Have You Been All My Life. The following week, January 15, it is time for Temperance Movement‘s White Bear, Yorkston/Thorne/Khan Everything Sacred, Mystery Jets‘ Curve Of The Earth, Panic! At The Disco‘ Death Of A Bachelor, Daughter and Skunk Anansie‘ Anarchytecture.
On January 22 Suede will release their hugely anticipated second comeback album Night Thoughts, and the same day will also see the emergence of Savages‘ Adore Life, Ty Segall‘ Emotional Mugger, Tortoise‘ The Catastrophist, De Rosa‘ Weem, Megadeth‘ Dystopia, Fat White Family‘ Songs For Our Mothers, Lucinda Williams‘ The Ghosts Of Highway 20, Eleanor Friedberger‘ New View, Tindersticks‘ The Waiting Room and Shearwater‘ Jet Plane And Oxbow. And so this incredibly impressive album month ends with January 29 releases from Bloc Party, Sia, Emma Pollock, Avantasia and Turin Brakes.
Into February, and the fifth of the month sees new releases from The Cult Hidden City, Foxes All I Need, Diiv Is The Is Are, Gogo Penguin Man Made Object, and Field Music Commontime. February 12 meanwhile ushers in Lissie My Wild West, Yoko Ono Yes I’m A Witch Too and School Of Seven Bells final album SVIIB. BBC Critics’ Choice winner Jack Garratt releases his debut album, Phase on February 19, as do Animal Collective Painting With, Matmos Ultimate Care II, Wolfmother Victorious and Cave Singers Banshee. February 26 will herald the arrival of two albums for metallers, Anthrax For All Kings and Magnum Sacred Love, Divine Lies, the same day that 1975 unleash their sophomore set, the snappily titled I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet Unaware Of It.
March 4 will see The Coral unveil Distance Inbetween, their first album for several years, and the return of Santigold with 99c. There’s more musical surprises in the pipeline from the Jeff Buckley vaults with the March 11 release of You And I, and a promising March 18, which sees three stalwarts return: Primal Scream‘ Chaosmosis, James‘ Girl At The End Of The World and Underworld‘s intriguingly titled Barbara Barbara We Face A Shining Future.
As ever, there are a number of artists who have been in the studio for a long time, and from whom rumours persist of a new album. There’s been plenty of speculation about the timing of Rihanna‘s the long-awaited Anti. Metallica, Kanye West and Red Hot Chili Peppers had been expected to release new albums in 2015, which are still yet to see the light of day, and Black Sabbath appeared to be less sure about releasing a final studio album as the year progressed. The Cure have been indicating that they will release a companion album or follow-up to 2008’s 4:13 Dream which has yet to appear, although it may not be coincidence that a North American and European tour is planned for much of 2016.
The list of artists who have been spotted in various stages of writing and recording is a long and varied one, but amongst the list of those to catch the eye of your humble scribe are as follows: Anohni, Blondie, Action Bronson, Beck, Chairlift, Ray Davies, Mark Eitzel, Fleetwood Mac, Gorillaz, Steve Gunn, Elton John, Whiz Kalifa, Last Shadow Puppets, Loretta Lynn, Massive Attack, MGMT, Parquet Courts, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Gruff Rhys, Rolling Stones, Scritti Politti, Sam Smith, Ronnie Spector, Bruce Springsteen, Gwen Stefani, Swans, Ben Watt, Wedding Present, Jack White and T Bone Burnett, White Denim, Wilco, XX…
Which albums are you looking forward to hearing in 2016?!