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63 Most Anticipated Albums of 2017

Drake, Tool, U2 and more of this year’s upcoming releases

Album Preview 2017

U2, Drake and Tool may all release music this year.

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From arena titans to critical darlings, there’s no shortage of albums to look forward to in the new year.

Beck

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Beck

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
You wouldn't know it by hearing it, but Beck's lush, Grammy-winning 2014 album Morning Phase was a rush job, released quickly so he'd have new material to play on the road. Months before, the singer began work on another project that he says is both more ambitious and more pop-wise. For that album, he even brought in Greg Kurstin, who played in Beck's backup band more than a decade ago and has gone on to produce huge hits like Sia's "Chandelier" and Adele's "Hello." As Beck told Rolling Stone last July, the new music is inspired by the "communal, celebratory" mood he experienced on the festival circuit. "I wanted to take that into the studio, a kind of energy or joy," he said. "The thing that wakes you up a little bit." 

Nine Inch Nails

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Nine Inch Nails

Album(s): TBA
Release Date(s): TBA
Trent Reznor made good on his promise to release new Nine Inch Nails music in 2016 by the skin of his teeth, putting out the fuzzy-sounding five-song EP, Not the Actual Events on December 23rd. He's been busy – he also worked on soundtracks for the climate-change doc Before the Flood and Boston-bombing movie Patriots Day – but it was only after the EP release that he revealed just how busy he and partner Atticus Ross have been. They revealed that they'd revamped The Fragile, remastered Nine Inch Nails' catalogue for vinyl and began formulating more new releases. "I'm teeing up the next quote I'll have to live up to, but the idea has been to do two new major [Nine Inch Nails] works come out [in 2017]," Reznor said in an interview with Zane Lowe. He also said he and Ross had been discussing a Nine Inch Nails tour. When Rolling Stone asked about new music in a recent interview, Reznor gave a vague answer: "That will be part of the reveal," he said. "I don't want to spoil it. If I'm interested in a film, I prefer not to watch the trailer. We live in overstimulated times."  

Chuck Berry

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Chuck Berry

Album: Chuck
Release Date: TBA
Rock & roll legend Chuck Berry stunned fans on his 90th birthday when he announced his first new album in 38 years. "This record is dedicated to my beloved Toddy," Berry said in a statement last October, referring to his wife of 68 years, Themetta. "My darlin', I'm growing old! I've worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!" He's backed by "the Blueberry band," the same players he's performed with for two decades at his Blueberry Club in St. Louis: his children Charles Berry Jr. on guitar and Ingrid Berry on harmonica, along with pianist Robert Lohr, drummer Keith Robinson and bassist Jimmy Marsala, who's played with Berry for 40 years. According to Berry's son Charles, "These songs cover the spectrum from hard-driving rockers to soulful, thought-provoking time capsules of a life's work."

Shania Twain

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Shania Twain

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
The pop-country superstar's last album, Up!, was in 2002. Since then, Shania's kicked back for a spell, performed a two-year Vegas residency, and, maybe most crucially, split with husband and producer Robert "Mutt" Lange. For her comeback album, Twain wrangled a crew of production pros who've worked with the likes of Ed Sheeran and Bruce Springsteen, but she came to them with demos she's been recording over the years using GarageBand and Pro Tools. "I did so many of my backing vocal arrangements – just being able to have all these multi-tracks and moving them around and experimenting that way," Twain told Entertainment Weekly. "By the time I got into the studio, I was already quite familiar with what I wanted to do."

The Killers

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The Killers

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
The Las Vegas glam-pop kings began writing their fifth album in late 2015, a process that's involved collaborators ranging from pop tunesmith Ryan Tedder to U2 producer Jacknife Lee. In an interview with Noisey, drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. said that listening to the 2006 album Sam's Town, which received the deluxe-reissue treatment last year, may have helped nudge the band's writing process a bit: "There are lots of ideas and theories from Sam's Town that I can see finding their way back in," Vannucci said. "We're going to subconsciously soak in some of that old way we used to do it. The old vibe." In November, Flowers told KROQ that his band would "definitely have a record in 2017." 

Brad Paisley

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Brad Paisley

Album: Love and War
Release Date: TBA
For his 11th full-length album, Brad Paisley appears to be shifting back toward a more adventurous, pop-conscious approach after the relatively traditional sounds of Moonshine in the Trunk. There's no official track listing available for Love and War yet, but Paisley – who co-produced the album with Luke Wooten – partnered with pop star Demi Lovato on the playful, sultry first single "Without a Fight," and then urged us all to experience living in the moment on his uplifting new "Today." Back in May, he teased possible album collaborations with rock icons Mick Jagger – with whom he'd shared the stage during the Stones' 2013 and 2015 tours – and John Fogerty, as well as hip-hop and R&B maestro Timbaland. What ends up on the final mix remains to be seen. 

My Morning Jacket

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My Morning Jacket

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
My Morning Jacket's follow-up to 2015's The Waterfall was interrupted by frontman Jim James's second solo album, Eternally Even. The Waterfall sessions produced 24 tracks, enough for two albums, but James has promised that more new material will be recorded for its successor. MMJ released "Magic Bullet" as a violence-awareness statement last July, and "The First Time" ended up on Cameron Crowe's canceled Showtime series Roadies. But as with any MMJ project, what ends up coming through your speakers may have no connection to what the musicians planned before entering the studio. "As I know from past records," James told Rolling Stone, "you'll walk in with these rock & roll songs, and you'll walk out with a record of the saddest, dreamiest ballads."                                    

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Dan Auerbach

Album: TBA
Release Date: Spring 2017
Black Keys leader Dan Auerbach is prepping his second solo album, a star-studded affair that features legends like guitar icon Duane Eddy, Johnny Cash bassist Dave Roe, Mark Knopfler and Elvis Presley session men Gene Chrisman and Bobby Wood. Co-writers on the record include John Prine and David "Fergie" Ferguson, who engineered Cash's acclaimed American Recordings albums. "It's reflective of the stuff I've listened to my whole life," Auerbach tells Rolling Stone. "It's equal parts Working Man's Dead, Beatles, Lovin' Spoonful. It feels like all that music to me, in a way. Without sounding retro, and it jumps around a little bit. It's acoustic, and high rhythm section horns."

John Mayer

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John Mayer

Album: The Search for Everything
Release Date: TBA
Timepiece collector John Mayer carved out time away from guitar duties with Grateful Dead spinoff Dead & Company (which he will rejoin on tour later this year) to record The Search for Everything, describing the project as "sort of like a mixtape of all the music that inspires me and all the styles that I've made." Mayer accompanied his November announcement with the release of an upbeat pop tune, "Love on the Weekend," which equates romance with "serotonin overflow." "Weekend" and three other tracks – "Moving On and Getting Over," "Changing" and "You're Gonna Live Forever in Me" – will comprise the first "wave" of tracks Mayer will release monthly, beginning January 20th.

Arcade Fire

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Arcade Fire

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
This year looks to be a busy one for the Canadian rock ensemble. On January 27th, they'll release a documentary of their 2014 Reflektor tour and Tim Kingsbury is preparing his solo album as Sam Patch for the following month. Then there's the matter of the Arcade Fire's fifth solo album. Win Butler and Co.'s latest is currently untitled, and reportedly includes material like "I Gave You Power," which Butler and multi-instrumentalist Régine Chassagne debuted during a surprise set at the Louvre in Paris last May. In a June Reddit AMA for his Friday Night album, Butler said that the next Arcade Fire disc would arrive "probably in the spring." He added that Owen Pallett – his collaborator on the Oscar-nominated soundtrack for Her – would "most likely be involved."

Sam Hunt

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Sam Hunt

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Sam Hunt's 2014 debut Montevallo is a testament to the enduring power of a good breakup album. Spawning five hit singles, the collection became one of the biggest – and most polarizing – country debuts in recent memory with its winning combination of personal, detail-rich songwriting, boundary-pushing production and hints of modern R&B filtered through Drake's sensitivity and self-loathing. More than two years later, the highly-anticipated follow-up is still mostly a mystery, though Hunt did say the writing process was going a little more slowly since hitting the big time. "I really find my true sense of purpose in a room writing a song," he told Rolling Stone in late 2015. "That's something I have missed, because I haven't figured out how to write on the road. I realized after writing songs for years how important it is. Whether it provides a living for me or not, that creative outlet is something I need." On January 1st, 2017, Hunt released the first taste. Titled "Drinkin' Too Much," the track probably won't quiet purists with its murky, electro-tinged production and sung/spoken lyrical delivery.

Nile Rodgers, Chic

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Chic

Title: It's About Time
Date: TBA
It's About Time will be the first Chic album since Chic-ism a full quarter-century ago.
 Guitarist Nile Rodgers says he'd just completed the legendary disco band's new album when he heard the news of Prince's death, which spurred him to delay its release. "I couldn't release an album about the joy of life in A Year of So Many Deaths," he wrote in a blog post at the time. It also occurred to Rodgers that 2017 was an auspicious date: This year marks the 40th anniversary of Chic's founding. "No matter what bad stuff goes on in the world, it's just like your birthday, you still can celebrate and pay tribute to these anniversaries," he told Rolling Stone in December. 

Big Sean

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Big Sean

Album: I Decided.
Release Date: February 3rd
Big Sean has said that fourth album I Decided. is inspired by the concept of rebirth. As he told Entertainment Weekly: "I [told my friend], 'Sometimes I feel like I was an old man and didn't succeed in life and asked for a second chance, and this is my second chance.' He was like, 'Make that the album,'" Of course, the Kanye West-approved Detroit native has been making life-affirming anthems since he scored with "My Last" in 2011. An early single from I Decided., "Bounce Back," has become his 11th Billboard Top 40 hit. Guests reportedly include Jeremih, Chance the Rapper, Pharrell Williams and more.

The Offspring

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The Offspring

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Early in 2015, when these pop-punk veterans released "Coming for You," their first new song in three years, it whetted an appetite for an 11th album that the band has thus far been slow in satisfying. "We want to do a record, that's the plan," guitarist Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman told the Aspen Times in July 2015. "But it's taking forever. … We released this song because we felt good about it immediately. It was one of the first one or two songs we finished, so we were like, 'If we wait on this it might be another year, year-and-a-half. Why don't we just put it out and see what happens?" Frontman Dexter Holland offered a simple explanation to Loudwire for the project's long, slow gestation: "We're just lazy. Every other time we've done a record, we hunker down and go into the studio for a year or however long it takes. We just decided not to do it that way this time."

Gorillaz

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Gorillaz

Album: TBA

Release Date: TBA
Jamie Hewlitt, the artist for cartoon band Gorillaz, shared Instagram videos of himself with Damon Albarn in the studio back in April – but the 2016 release date for new music he'd promised earlier was not to be. To tide fans over, there was a 10-chapter multimedia story "The Book of Noodle," about the band's fictional guitarist, along with two Soundcloud mixes indicating the music that had influenced the upcoming album. "We actually sat down with Damon two weeks ago and he played us some of the new Gorillaz album, and it sounds amazing," Posdnous of De La Soul told the Guardian in August. "He played us a track that he wants us to get off on his album, so we got to get in the studio and put that down." In that same interview, Pos revealed another of the album's guests: Snoop Dogg.

Kesha

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Kesha

Album: TK
Release Date: TK
In the years following the release of her sophomore album, 2012's Warrior, Kesha has been entangled in a vicious legal battle against producer/label executive Dr. Luke. Her music career has been largely put on hold as she has attempted to exit her contract with Sony, but after a court denied her injunction, the singer-songwriter has begun focusing her energy on relaunching her music career. Little has been known about what she's been working on, but live covers of Bob Dylan and Iggy Pop as well as a "dirty rock & roll" tour with her band the Creepies – reimagining her dance-pop hits as country and rockabilly ditties – indicates a return to her Nashville roots. Plus, she's teased A-List collaborators on social media, noting that she's been working with a Grammy winner that many have assumed is Taylor Swift.

Charli XCX

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Charli XCX

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
The UK's punkiest pop export is ready for a revamp with her forthcoming, as-yet-untitled third album. Following up her early 2016 EP Vroom Vroom — which featured collaborations with PC Music affiliates Sophie and Hannah Diamond — XCX has revealed to Rolling Stone that she has not only continued to work with PC to redirect her sound but also create a party-ready club album inspired by Britney Spears' 2007 electropop romp Blackout. Lead single "After the Afterparty" featuring Lil Yachty, previews a bubbly side of a turn-up. She's also reached out to Diddy and R&B singer Abra about contributing as well. "It's a champagne shower of badass pop," she teases.

Major Lazer

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Major Lazer

Album: Music Is the Weapon
Release Date: TBA
Much like past Major Lazer efforts, Diplo, Jillionaire and Walshy Fire's homage to post-millennial global pop will be a dancehall-and-electronic-tinged all-star affair. Its first single, the Justin Bieber and Mø showcase "Cold Water," was one of the biggest hits of 2016. Other guests mentioned so far: the Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Partynextdoor, Sia, Travis Scott and Konshens. "The record has a lot of moving parts," Diplo told Zane Lowe's Beats 1 show last July. "It's like a big family, we do it all together."

LCD Soundsystem

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LCD Soundsystem

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Last year, LCD Soundsystem reunited less than five years after they famously disassembled at Madison Square Garden, playing a series of well-received festival performances. The Brooklyn unit was supposed to drop their comeback album in 2016, their first since 2010's This is Happening. The band reportedly canceled a tour of Asia and Australia in order to work on the as-yet-untitled project.

Little Big Town

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Little Big Town

Album: The Breaker
Release Date: February 24th
The Grammy-winning vocal group expertly married pop production (via producer Jay Joyce) with country tradition on 2014's Pain Killer and their stellar Number One "Girl Crush." Following a disco detour with Pharrell Williams on last year's Wanderlust, Little Big Town reunite with Joyce for The Breaker. Led by first single "Better Man," a breakup ballad written especially for the group by Taylor Swift, the album furthers the progressive sound and spirit of Pain Killer, according to LBT's Phillip Sweet. It's also intended to be a complete album, not a set of radio-ready singles. "It's such a playlist society," Sweet told Rolling Stone, "and it feels like no one gives a shit about making albums anymore."

Chris Stapleton

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Chris Stapleton

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Stapleton has debuted a handful of new songs on his never-ending tour in support of his breakout debut Traveller. "Hard Living" is a honky-tonk rave-up that showcases the powerhouse vocalist's gritty wail. "Broken Halos," premiered during Dolly Parton's East Tennessee wildfires benefit, is more soulful and touching. Both could end up on his upcoming second album, rumored to see the light of day in early spring. "We've been working on other things, experimenting," Stapleton told Rolling Stone last year, offering that he and his loyal band often use soundcheck to try out new material. A new single is expected to be released soon.

Depeche Mode

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Depeche Mode

Album: Spirit
Release Date: Spring 2017
The goth-pop stalwarts' follow-up to 2013's Delta Machine will be assisted by new blood. "We're working on the album with a new team: It's produced by James Ford [of Simian Mobile Disco], and he's helped us to make what we feel is a very incredible sounding record," Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan told Rolling Stone in October. "He was able to really guide us." Depeche Mode's European tour in support of the album begins May 5th in Stockholm, and all proceeds will support the clean-drinking-water-focused nonprofit Charity:Water.

Marilyn Manson

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Marilyn Manson

Album: Say10
Release Date: He's claimed the LP would come out on Valentine's Day, but has yet to make a formal announcement.
Last year, Marilyn Manson returned to Louisiana, where he'd worked on 1996's Antichrist Superstar, to film the witchy, since-canceled TV show Salem, and something creative clicked inside him. "I found the supernatural element of the show to be very authentic when I lived in New Orleans: the hoodoo, voodoo, all the Santeria, it was all very much a part of my surroundings when I was making the music I made down there," he told Rolling Stone. "Maybe that kickstarted my mojo into making a new album." It will be a departure from the sleek goth-rock of his last album, 2015's The Pale Emperor, to make for a sound he has likened to the gnarliness of Superstar. "It's pretty violent in its nature for some reason," he said. "And it's not emotional in the same way. It's got a chip on its shoulder."

The Flaming Lips

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The Flaming Lips

Album: Oczy Mlody
Release Date: January 13th
"Syd Barrett meets A$AP Rocky and they get trapped in a fairy tale from the future" is how freaky frontman Wayne Coyne characterized the Flaming Lips' 15th album in a statement. The title, which may suggest an addictive prescription for musical pain relief, is actually Polish for "eyes of the young." It all takes place in a world where "Oczy Mlody is the current cool powerful party drug of choice and sleeping is the ultimate cure for everything." Oczy Mlody's sexy psychedelia has already been introduced in videos for "How??" and "The Castle," which feature fireworks, furries and a girl with rainbow teeth. Miley Cyrus reprises her 2015 Lips collaboration with a guest appearance on the final track, "We a Famly." 

Haim

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Haim

Album: TBA
Release Date: Summer 2017
In 2016, Haim toured North America, rebooted their merch store and showed up in a slew of Taylor Swift's Instagram photos – but the long-awaited follow-up to 2013's Days Are Gone remained M.I.A. "We write everything, we play everything and we help produce everything," Danielle Haim told Entertainment Weekly. "These things take time, and we refuse to put out anything we're not 100 percent in love with." The trio began work on their new album, which is still untitled, in the family living room. Bassist Este Haim told EW that she plays a fretless five-string bass ("I haven't played a fretless five-string since I was a 12-year-old listening to Korn," she said); and pop savant Rostam Batmanglij and Days Are Gone producer Ariel Rechtshaid lent a hand in the studio. 

Migos

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Migos

Album: Culture
Release Date: January 27th
A little over a year ago, when Migos' retail debut Yung Rich Nation landed with a thud, fans of the Atlanta trio's sticky trap anthems wondered if they'd ever break into the mainstream. But the overwhelming success of "Bad and Boujee," their single with Lil Uzi Vert with the instantly memorable "rain drop, drop top" hook, has definitely answered that question. Migos' biggest hit to date has soared to Number One on Billboard's Hot 100. Smartly, the crew is striking while the iron is hot with Culture, which includes cameos from DJ Khaled, 2 Chainz and Travis Scott. "If you like the single," boasted the crew's Quality Control management, "the album will blow your mind."

Mastodon

Travis Shinn

Mastodon

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Mastodon will grapple with the big C on their seventh album, according to drummer-lyricist Brann Dailor. "It's about going through cancer, going through chemotherapy and all the things associated with that," Dailor told Rolling Stone. "I didn't want to be literal about it. But it's all in there." Crack the Skye producer Brendan O'Brien worked with the Atlanta quartet at the Quarry in Kennesaw, Georgia, where the heavy rockers applied their raw riffage and progressive tendencies to songs about a character whose death sentence is imposed by "a desertlike version of the Grim Reaper." Tracks such as "Show Yourself," "Your Own Blood," "Steambreather" and "Precious Stones" will chart the protagonist's struggle with time and mortality until "the person simultaneously dies and is saved," says Dailor.

Kelly Clarkson

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Kelly Clarkson

Album: TBA
Release Date: June (tentative)
Newly signed to Atlantic after a decade-plus with RCA, Kelly Clarkson's followup to 2015's Piece by Piece will allow the singer to pursue one of the genres she handled with aplomb during her run-up to being the inaugural American Idol: R&B. "Everybody's been asking me to make a soulful record for years and while we've always had soulful influences on my record, we've never actually made a soulful record," Clarkson said during a June Facebook Live chat. "I've wanted to make this since I was a kid. My mom has wanted this for years – this is for my mom, too." According to People, Clarkson will release the first single from the project in April, and the album will follow two months later. "I think it's very much what people expected from me off of watching me on Idol," Clarkson told the magazine. "I sang all these Aretha [Franklin] things, I love Tina [Turner], I love Mariah [Carey], I love Whitney [Houston]. I think it's very much what people expected in the first place. I love all my stuff that I've done, but this is the record that has been in me since junior high."

Japandroids

Leigh Righton

Japandroids

Album: Near to the Wild Heart of Life
Release Date: January 27th
It's been five years since this Vancouver duo released their second album, the aptly titled Celebration Rock. But the title track to their new disc, "Near to the Wild Heart of Life," shows they haven't lost the ability to craft an indie-rock anthem that swells as much as it snarls. They've put a lot of thought into how album three flows. The first four songs and the second three "each follow their own loose narrative," the band states on their site. "Taken together as one, they form an even looser narrative, with the final song … acting as an epilogue." Even the number of tracks isn't arbitrary: "Eight songs is the standard template for a great rock n roll album," they write, supporting their thesis with multiple examples, including the Stooges' Raw Power and Talking Heads' Remain in Light

Modest Mouse

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Modest Mouse

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
When Strangers to Ourselves was released in 2015, there was a lot of speculation about why the first Modest Mouse full-length since 2007 didn't include the track that the indie rock veterans had reportedly recorded with Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic. No worries – that cut had been saved for later, not scrapped, along with enough songs for a second album. "We basically made two records at the same time," frontman Isaac Brock told Hot Press in March 2015. "Which, if people look at it that way, cuts down the amount of time it took us to make this record in half, man!" In that same interview, Brock promised a 2016 release, so it's likely we'll see something soon. As for the Novoselic track, Brock exclaimed, "It sounds like a bunch of boulders falling down a mountain!"

Run the Jewels

Timothy Saccenti

Run the Jewels

Album: Run the Jewels 3
Release Date: January 13th
On Christmas Eve, Run the Jewels jumped their own January 13th release date and gave away RTJ3 as a download and on streaming services, resulting in a wellspring of critical praise and a number 35 placement on Billboard's album charts. "To recap: jumped the street date by three weeks, gave the record away for free, no physical yet, still sold 22k copies in week one. Fully indie," wrote El-P on Twitter. El and Killer Mike's latest agit-rap treatise includes guests like Danny Brown, Tunde Adebimpe from TV on the Radio, comeback rapper of the year Trina, Kamasi Washington and Zach de la Rocha.

The xx

Alasdair McLellan

The xx

Album: I See You
Release Date: January 13th
If you want to know what the atmospheric London trio's first album in five years will sound like, take a listen to beatmaker Jamie XX's 2015 solo album In Colour, which he says offers a hint at where the band is going. Lyrically, according to guitarist/vocalist Romy Madley-Croft, their third album is reunion-themed. "Our friendship was a really big part of the album process and we all felt quite distant from each other at one point, but then, you know, we came back together again and we worked on our relationship as friends," she told Rolling Stone. "And when someone see you, you feel understood and you don't feel as alone. It's comforting. And so, we picked the title because we thought it was the simplest way of saying, 'I see you, it's OK.'"

St. Vincent

Renata Raksha

St. Vincent

Album: TBA
Release Date: Spring 2017
In a December interview with Guitar World, shredder-songwriter Annie Clark said that the follow-up to her self-titled 2014 album would show off "a real sea change" in her sound. The politically charged offering, which doesn't have a title yet, will be released in the spring. "I think it'll be the deepest, boldest work I've ever done," Clark said. "I feel the playing field is really open for creative people to do whatever you want, and that risk will be rewarded – especially now that we have such high stakes from a political and geopolitical standpoint."

Sky Ferreira

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Sky Ferreira

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Whether or not Ferreira's follow-up to 2013's Night Time, My Time will still be called Masochism, as she once told Dazed, is up in the air, but one thing is for sure: Its songs will be true to its singer's intentions. "I refuse to put out something that isn't honest," Ferreira wrote on Instagram a year ago. "It's not something that I can force out. If I was to do it any sooner I either would have been compromising myself & anyone listening." And it's still very much in the works: "These anticipated album list things are cool & stuff because I'm actually really excited for the songs I've made so far," Ferreira Tweeted this week, a wording that hints at more songs in wait.

Kehlani

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Kehlani

Album: SweetSexySavage
Release Date: January 27th
Since emerging in 2014 with her Cloud 19 mixtape, Kehlani has gathered over 2.7 million Instagram followers while scoring Hot 100 hits like "Crzy" and "Gangsta" (from last year's Suicide Squad soundtrack). She's drawn praise from industry figures like Puff Daddy, who claim that her iconoclastic, tattooed image and honest, confessional lyrics have "redefined and saved R&B." As a result, SweetSexySavage is one of the most anticipated R&B debuts of 2017. "This one, I really took my time like, 'Every song, I not only have to write really intensely, but I have to make sure that I push myself to get the sonics correctly,'" she said in an interview last year.    

The Shins

Nikki Fenix

The Shins

Album: Heartworms
Release Date: March 10th
The Shins' follow-up to 2012's Port of Morrow is also the first time since 2001 and Oh, Inverted World, that bandleader James Mercer produced a full album himself. (Well, almost a full album – former bandmate Richard Swift is behind the boards on one track). "I made a concerted effort on certain songs … to use the palette that I've used historically for the band." Mercer told Portland radio station KBOO 90.7 last August. "And then on other songs, I really jumped off. … I was able to do some stuff that is a bit more synth-oriented." You can hear what Mercer means on two advance tracks: "Name for You," inspired by and addressed to Mercer's daughters, and "Dead Alive," which first surfaced with a Halloween-themed video last year.

SZA

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SZA

Album: A
Release Date: TBA
Besides racking up songwriting credits for Rihanna and Beyoncé, Solána Rowe has been hard at work on her own highly-anticipated full-length, A, the third release in a series that may be her last. In 2013, the same year she signed to Top Dawg Entertainment, the 26-year-old neo-soul singer released S, a glitter-trap opus fit for an ice princess. Her 2014 EP, Z treaded murkier waters, with TDE labelmate Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper at her side on tracks like "Babylon" and "Child's Play." Yet in October 2016, all bets seemed off for A after SZA fired an acerbic tweet aimed at Top Dawg Entertainment co-president Terrence "Punch" Henderson. "I actually quit," she said. "@iamstillpunch can release my album if he ever feels like it. Y'all be blessed." Fans panicked: Was she quitting her label? Or music as a whole? The singer later told Complex there was no beef to be had with her label, and that ample time she spent with Rick Rubin and Frank Ocean would inform her ongoing work. "I'm definitely committed to completing this," she says, "And. … We'll take it from there."

Bell Biv Devoe

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Bell Biv Devoe

Album: Three Stripes =
Release Date: January 27th
Right after The New Edition Story, the three-night BET miniseries about the vocal group that brought Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell and Ronnie DeVoe stardom, the trio will release their first album as Bell Biv DeVoe since 2001's BBD. First single "Run" came out in September, and it's a slinky number that puts the sexually charged group's harmonies front and center. 

Ryan Adams

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Ryan Adams

Album: Prisoners
Release Date: TBA
After his marriage to Mandy Moore fell apart in 2014, Adams returned from Los Angeles to New York, where he recorded 80 songs in a therapeutic frenzy. "I needed to shut everyone off for a while and completely destroy myself. I needed to become totally lost," Adams recently told Rolling Stone Australia. "I went inside and said, 'OK, Ryan Adams, who are you in this moment? Can you accurately describe your internal surroundings?" With titles like "Do You Still Love Me?" and "To Be Without You" suggesting the end of a relationship, listeners will inevitably wonder how much of the new album is autobiographical, a question that Adams has been reluctant to answer directly. "The fairest way to answer that is, as a writer, I literally work with what I have at the time," he says.

TLC

Ross Schultz/Newspix/Getty

TLC

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
In 2015, the hip-pop duo TLC announced a Kickstarter to fund their final album – and their first without Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez, who passed away during the recording of TLC's 2002 record 3D. "Our final album will stay true to the TLC sound, always confronting the real issues and life experiences that we all must face every single day, everywhere," the duo wrote in their pledge plea. "We write music that people relate to … timeless music. No matter the trends, we feel like our music is always relevant." TLC's fourth album still doesn't have a release date, but last October, two snippets from it surfaced. "Ride" is loose-limbed and reflective, with T-Boz and Chilli's harmonies taking center stage, while "Haters" is a broadside against critics backed by rapidfire beats.  

Father John Misty

Courtesy of Sub Pop Records

Father John Misty

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Father John Misty's deeply ironic sincerity has taken a political tack since late last summer, when he cut short a Camden, New Jersey concert to deliver a Kanye-esque rant about the uses and abuses of entertainment in the Trump era. Subsequent SoundCloud releases – including his cover version of Tim Heidecker's droll kamikaze tune "Trump's Pilot" and the surprisingly somber new tune "Holy Hell" – suggested that dark political themes would be emerging in his work. He debuted three new songs at a December benefit concert in Seattle and announced the completion of his third album. 

Spoon

Tom Hines

Spoon

Album: Hot Thoughts
Release Date: TBA
Since Spoon stopped touring in support of 2014's They Want My Soul, the band has been lying low. However, they've recently begun offering glimmers of new material. Last spring, frontman Britt Daniel and keyboardist-guitarist Alex Fischel played an acoustic show as a duo, debuting an angsty new number, "I Ain't the One." And the band recently played four more songs at a secret show in their hometown of Austin, Texas, showing off what sounded like some rhythm-heavy new rockers with titles like "Hot Thoughts" and "Talk You Into It." Daniel later discussed the show and announced the album title in an interview with Sirius XM. "The way our albums usually happen, we're writing the songs while we're recording them," he said. "And once the record's done, you have to figure out how to play the songs … so doing a gig like this helps us." Although they wouldn't commit to a release date, they did not shoot down the notion that it would come out in March – the same month they will be playing South by Southwest.

Old 97's

Courtesy of ATO Records

Old 97’s

Album: Graveyard Whistling
Release Date: February 24th
The alt-country quartet celebrated two decades as a band by returning to the same Tornillo, Texas, studio where they recorded their 1996 debut, Too Far to Care. "It was a beautiful feeling of completing a circle – we're the same people, but we had grown so much as bandmates and friends," says frontman Rhett Miller. "It really made me believe in the power of experience and that you do get better with time." And they didn't go in to record alone: In addition to producer Vance Powell and songwriting collaborators Nicole Atkins and Butch Walker, they teamed up with Brandi Carlisle, who duets with Miller on the nervy cowpunk rager "Good with God." She plays God. Says Miiler, "It's not bad company – her, George Burns and Morgan Freeman."

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