I’m going to be honest with you here: I’m not entirely comfortable typing the words 2019 yet, but here we are, just days after celebrating the new year, and I’m already looking ahead to the best music coming out in 2019. Sure, none of us are ready for 2019 yet, but we’re always ready for new music. So here are the 10 most anticipated albums expected in 2019.
Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell
Release date: Early 2019After trickling out a number of memorable tracks throughout 2018, Lana Del Rey is finally ready to release her new album Norman Fucking Rockwell. She announced Instagram on New Year’s Day that her album had been completed and would start releasing more new singles as early as January 9.
Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow
Release date: January 18In early October, Sharon Van Etten released the first song off her first album in nearly five years. The track, “Comeback Kid,” is a fuzzy, rumbling rock statement that debuted a new sound for a songwriter typically known for folk-adjacent music. That single promises exciting new things to come when Remind Me Tomorrow is due out in January.
Ariana Grande – thank u, next
Release date: TBAAriana Grande had a wild 2018 full of extreme highs and extreme lows. From the massive success of her excellent album Sweetener, to her tabloid-fodder relationship with Pete Davidson, and the death of her ex Mac Miller, it would make sense for the star to slow down in 2019. But at the end of a trying 2018, Grande announced that she’s close to finishing her next album, titled thank u, next—named after the title of her hit break-up single. It’s described in a Billboard cover as an album of “deep, bass-driven bangers with trap beats alternating with airy, sad ballads.”
The 1975 – Notes On a Conditional Form
Release date: TBAThe 1975 aren’t taking a break after the phenomenal success of A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, which landed on most critic year end lists, including our own. The band had originally planned on releasing two albums in 2018. But, in late October, the band’s manager confirmed on Twitter that the second album would likely be out in 2019, telling one fan that they were aiming for a June 1 release but still have a lot to do. The first single is expected sometime in February.
Cardi B (Title TBA)
Release date: AprilOn New Year’s Day, Cardi B confirmed in a live video that she’ll definitely have a new album out this year. “Of course, it’s going to be an album in 2019. Hopefully, I can get my album done around the same time that Invasion of Privacy came out,” she told fans. “I don’t know how possible that’s going to be because I feel like I’m going to be extremely, extremely busy.” Her record-breaking and critically acclaimed debut album came out in April, which means that’s the date she’s aiming for with her follow-up.
Chance the Rapper (Title TBA)
Release date: TBABetween his work as a community activist in Chicago, as an actor, and even a media mogul, Chance the Rapper was busy in the studio throughout 2018. He released a handful of scattered singles, and was even rumored to be dropping an album with his embattled mentor Kanye West. On the eve of that release, Chance squashed the rumors saying, “Sorry no album this week, def been in the stu tho.” We do know that Chance and Ye were seen in Wyoming working on music with Mike Dean and Rick Rubin. Meanwhile, he was also working on a collaborative project with Childish Gambino. “We’ve got six songs that are all fire, but I think the album is going to be more than 14 songs,” he said of the collaboration. At this point, it’s unclear exactly what his 2019 will look like, but we know there’s a lot of music in the works.
Solange (Title TBA,)
Release date: TBAIn October of 2018, Solange promised that she’d be releasing a follow-up to 2016’s brilliant A Seat at the Table very soon. Solange said in an interview with New York Times Magazine that it will “likely arrive into the world fully formed at some mysterious and unexpected moment. “There is a lot of jazz at the core,” she said of the album. “But with electronic and hip-hop drum and bass because I want it to bang and make your trunk rattle.” Though fans expected it to be out last fall, 2018 ended with no new release. That means 2019 will hold the mysterious and unexpected moment we’ve been waiting for.
Vampire Weekend (Title TBA)
Release date: TBAAt this point, it feels like Vampire Weekend’s new album has been done forever. Five years after the fantastic Modern Vampires of the City, Ezra Koenig announced that the album was done. But that was back in September of 2018, and they still haven’t released a damn thing. What we do know is that it’ll be the first VW album after the departure of Rostam (although the musician is still contributing to the new music), and this release will be produced by Ariel Rechtshaid, who also worked on Modern Vampires.
Grimes (Title TBA)
Release date: TBANear the end of a year that was mostly occupied by tabloid coverage of her relationship with Elon Musk, Grimes released her first track since 2015’s Art Angels. “We Appreciate Power” is a fascinating industrial anthem that promises more experimental art-pop from Grimes. While the album doesn’t have a name or official release date, she originally said on Twitter that it would be out by fall of 2018, though after what seems to be some friction with the label, the album has been pushed back into this year.
Tame Impala (Title TBA)
Release date: TBAKevin Parker—the mind behind Tame Impala—has not been quiet since his genre-shattering 2015 album, Currents. In fact, he’s become one of the most in-demand producers and collaborators, working with everyone from Mark Ronson to A$AP Rocky, SZA and Travis Scott. But along with all of that, he’s also finishing up his next Tame Impala album, which he hopes will be ready by Summer 2019. Although, unlike many bands who test out new material on the road, Parker told Beats 1’s Matt Wilkinson that the first time we hear his latest tracks will be recorded. “I like that the first time people hear it is the kind of the recorded glory … like the premeditated thing that I’ve spent two years on, rather than being half drunk bashing it out on stage, hitting clanger notes,” he said.