2020 Album Preview: 70 Most Anticipated Releases - Rolling Stone
Home Music Music Lists

70 Most Anticipated Albums of 2020

Bruce Springsteen, Drake, Lana Del Rey, Adele, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga are among the artists we’re looking forward to hearing from this year

most anticipated albums

Greg Allen/Invision/AP/Shutterstock, Daniel Knighton/Getty Images, Prince Williams/Wireimage/Getty Images

Which stars are releasing new albums this year? It might be easier to answer the question of who isn’t. There’s reason to believe we’ll have new full-lengths to enjoy from A-list acts including Bruce Springsteen, Drake, Justin Bieber, Lana Del Rey, Adele, Rihanna and more in the coming months — plus dozens of other artists of all kinds. Read on for more about the records we’re looking forward to in 2020, from the officially announced to the hotly rumored.

Ashley McBryde

John Williams/Shutterstock

Ashley McBryde

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Ashley McBryde’s 2018 debut album, Girl Going Nowhere, brought together disparate types of fans through its mix of intricate storytelling, rock & roll attitude, and McBryde’s singular voice. The title track and “A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega” were uplifting numbers about perseverance even in the lowest of moments, while “American Scandal” hinted at a bolder, edgier perspective around matters of the heart. “One Night Standards,” McBryde’s first release from her new album, continues in this direction and puts a new spin on the country cheating song trope by laying out some dispassionate, clearly defined boundaries before the encounter goes down. “Can’t you just use me like I’m using you?” she implores, gritty and sweetly sad all at once.

Phoebe Bridgers

Greg Chow/Shutterstock

Phoebe Bridgers

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
The last time Bridgers released a solo album, it was 2017 and she was feeling the effects of emotional motion sickness. Three years later, the 25-year-old phenom has become one of the most dominating forces in indie rock, forming two excellent supergroups: boygenius with Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker and Better Oblivion Community Center with Conor Oberst. This spring, she’ll release a proper follow-up to Stranger in the Alps. The new LP was recorded at the famed Sound City Studios in Van Nuys and mixed by Mike Mogis in Omaha, who previously worked with Bridgers on Alps. A single has yet to be released, but we can expect to hear more introspective, heart-wrenching lyrics over crushing guitar riffs.

Ozzy Osbourne

Amy Harris/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Ozzy Osbourne

Album: Ordinary Man
Release Date: Early 2020
The Prince of Darkness spent most of last year in excruciating pain as he recovered from a nasty fall. After Post Malone asked him to guest on “Take What You Want,” the former Black Sabbath leader decided he felt like making a new album and worked with Post’s producer, Andrew Watt, and members of Guns N’ Roses and the Red Hot Chili Peppers on what will be his first solo record in a decade. The lead single, “Under the Graveyard,” is a gothic headbanger that recalls his early solo classic “Diary of a Madman” but with poppier hooks, and “Straight to Hell” is a galloping rocker with a solo by Slash and Ozzy doing his best demon laugh. If his health continues to improve, he’ll be singing some of these songs on new legs of his ongoing No More Tours 2 trek. “This is quite possibly the most important album I have done in a very long time,” Osbourne said in a statement.

Kvelertak

Paul Bergen/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Kvelertak

Album: Splid
Release Date: February 14th
Metal birthed all kinds of wild hybrids in the 2010s, from Deafheaven’s blastbeat-powered shoegaze to Babymetal’s bubblegummy shred pop. Of all these, maybe the most fun came courtesy of Kvelertak, a Norwegian band that mashed up aggro black metal with big, beery riff rock and slyly sophisticated hooks. Their upcoming fourth LP is their first without co-founding frontman Erlend Hjelvik, whose unhinged yowl was a key element of their sound, and their first to feature English lyrics on some songs. New screamer Ivar Nikolaisen has a scrappier, punkier delivery, but the band’s basic M.O. — and their trademark beefy sound, realized with help from longtime producer Kurt Ballou — is unchanged. New songs like “Crack of Doom,” which features guest vocals from Mastodon’s Troy Sanders, still gleefully trample the boundaries separating various metal subscenes. “Splid (‘discord’ in English) is a deep dive into Western gluttony, our own stupidity, and the abyss of the earth,” the band said in a press release.

Carly Pearce

Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images

Carly Pearce

Album: Carly Pearce
Release Date: February 14th
Carly Pearce swam upstream in a tough radio environment to earn a Number One song for her 2017 single, the heartbroken ballad “Every Little Thing,” but didn’t see the same result for its funkier follow-up, “Hide the Wine.” Pearce regrouped and released the sleek, romantic “Closer to You” as a preview of her self-titled second album as well as the gentle, live-in-the-moment anthem “It Won’t Always Be Like This.” She also appears to have another bona fide hit on her hands with “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” a wrenching duet with Lee Brice that was co-written by newly minted superstar Luke Combs. In addition to featuring contributions from Hillary Lindsey, Shane McAnally, and Laura Veltz, Pearce’s new album includes a duet with her country-singing husband, Michael Ray: the appropriately titled “Finish Your Sentences.”

Green Day

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Green Day

Album: Father of All…
Release Date: February 7th
After the back-to-basics approach of 2016’s Revolution Radio, Green Day decided to go in a drastically different direction for their upcoming LP. “I’d always loved British mod music from the Sixties,” said Billie Joe Armstrong, “but I wanted to go to where the source was and see if I could put [soul] through the Green Day filter.” The result is a bold experiment that incorporates dance grooves, New Wave, and vintage R&B. And while “Meet Me on the Roof” and “Junkies on a High” may have somewhat of a classic Green Day flavor, the others are way out there. “Billie was pushing himself to get to a newer place,” said bassist Mike Dirnt. “We had to chase that down. Which is par for the course, because nobody digs deeper than Billie.”

Caroline Rose

RMV/Shutterstock

Caroline Rose

Album: Superstar
Release Date: March 6th
The rootsy singer-songwriter turned electro-pop auteur doubles down on the slacker-synth storytelling on her 2018 breakthrough Loner. Rose recorded and produced the bulk of the record, which she wrote during her past two years of relentless touring, in her home studio. “I realized at some point that I’m not going to fit into any one box, and maybe that’s a good thing,” Rose said of her upcoming record. “This new record is me embracing feeling like an outsider making my own path.”

Hayley Williams

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Hayley Williams

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Paramore’s Hayley Williams marked the end of a decade (and her 31st birthday) by announcing that she’s preparing to release her debut solo album in 2020. Previously, the singer had been unsure what would be next for Paramore following the release of 2017’s After Laughter. “The guys [Taylor York, Zak Farro] and I just had dinner the other night at my house, and I think we’re just really enjoying being friends and adult human beings at home by ourselves, without music,” she told ET earlier this year. Williams’ solo music could come as early as January.

Little Big Town - Jimi Westbrook, Kimberly Schlapman, Karen Fairchild and Phillip SweetCMT Music Awards, Show, Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, USA - 05 Jun 2019

Andrew H. Walker/Shutterstock

Little Big Town

Album: Nightfall
Release Date: January 17th
For Nightfall, the follow-up to 2017’s The Breaker, the Grammy-winning country vocal group took the reins and self-produced their new 13-song project. The hushed ballad “The Daughters,” the cinematic “Sugar Coat,” and their trad-country single “Over Drinking” reflect a Little Big Town that’s embracing its sonic diversity — no song on Nightfall sounds much like any other. All four members of the band wrote on the album, too, especially Karen Fairchild, who teamed with Kacey Musgraves collaborators Ian Fitchuk and Daniel Tashian to pen “River of Stars” and “Bluebird.” The group will preview the album in grand fashion: they’re playing it at Carnegie Hall in New York the night before its release.

Perfume Genius

Amy Harris/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Perfume Genius

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Tame Impala recently announced that Perfume Genius will be joining them on their summer tour this year — which means we’re on the lookout for new Perfume Genius. Mike Hadreas last released music in 2017, with his gorgeous fourth album, No Shape, which Rolling Stone’s Will Hermes called “startlingly optimistic, with pop and rock tropes queered into dreamlike scenarios.” We say it’s high time for Hadreas to churn out some more beauty.

Elizabeth Cook

Erika Goldring/Getty Images

Elizabeth Cook

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Word on the street is that Elizabeth Cook has made one hell of a rock record with a hook-minded, big-name producer. She’s already been performing guitar-forward new tracks like “Bones ” and “Thick Georgia Woman” in concert, flanked by her electric-guitar foil Andrew Leahey, a member of Cook’s ferocious live band (and occasional Rolling Stone contributor) who she has said plays all over the album. The follow-up to 2016’s Exodus of Venus, the as-yet-untitled LP is poised to introduce Cook to some new fans and give the frequent Grand Ole Opry guest performer (and host of a new fishing-and-interview series) a long-overdue moment outside of the Americana universe.

Destroyer - Dan Bejar

Rmv/Shutterstock

Destroyer

Album: Have We Met
Release Date: January 31st
As 2020 marches toward a landmark election, we could all use a dose of Destroyer’s “watch the world burn” (and warm your hands by the fire) energy. The Canadian band, fronted by Dan Bejar, has always made its bones by finding the beauty in the dark side, and their upcoming album, Have We Met, promises to be gloriously dark. Singles “Crimson Tide” and “It Just Doesn’t Happen” are wonderfully claustrophobic (Bejar recorded all vocals at his kitchen table) and laden with doomy touchstones: Satan and vultures in “Crimson Tide,” unbearable silence and poisonous looks in “It Just Doesn’t Happen.” What’s more, the album is set to arrive just in time for the dead of winter — or, as we know it, Destroyer season.

Hamilton Leithauser

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Hamilton Leithauser

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Following his 2016 collaboration with Rostam, I Had a Dream That You Were Mine, former Walkman frontman Hamilton Leithauser told Vogue that his next album would be a fully solo endeavor (save for some samples provided by his old Walkman bandmate Paul Maroon). “I play everything — even drums — and I’m going to record it and mix it myself,” he said. “I just like the process better.” Leithuaser spent much of last year touring, while he also teamed with Maroon for a new song, “The One That Got Away,” and Angel Olsen for another, “Heartstruck (Wild Hunger).”

Lydia Slagel and Laura Rogers of The Secret Sisters

Carrie Davenport/Redferns/Getty Images

Secret Sisters

Album: Saturn Return
Release Date: February 28th
For their first record since 2017’s overlooked You Don’t Own Me Anymore, Laura Rogers and Lydia Slagle headed to Brandi Carlile’s Washington state studio, teaming up with the singer-producer for an intense collection about grief and love. The Alabama duo’s single, “Cabin,” is a piercing statement on restlessness inspired in part by the 2018 Brett Kavanaugh hearings. “To be a harbinger for their honesty in these songs…was one of the greatest gifts of my career,” Carlile has said. “Those are two very powerful people in a very interesting point in their lives.”

Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.