U2 is expected to release a new album in 2014. That album is not on this list. Nor are records from Chickenfoot, Tony Bennett with Lady Gaga, or Limp Bizkit. I’m sure there’s someone out there who’s excited for Stampede of the Disco Elephants (Fred Durst is as good at naming his albums as Puddle of Mudd’s Wes Scantlin is at not hitting his wife), but may God have mercy on his red Yankee-hat-wearing soul. Here are 10 albums due out sometime in 2014 that will make you forget Stampede of the Disco Elephants is a real thing.
1. Frank Ocean — TBA
Searching for “frank ocean summer 2014″ on Google brings up over 37 million results. Most of the speculation is based on an interaction Ocean had with a fan last year: the Odd Future member was asked, “When can we expect some new music dude?” He responded, “when summer comes round again.” So, that either means when Summer Roberts drops by Ocean’s crib, or expect a follow-up to channel ORANGE around Independence Day.
2. The Foo Fighters — TBA
Here’s what we know about the first Foo Fighters album since 2011′s Wasting Light: it’s going to be loud and…that’s about it. Dave Grohl said a few months back that they’re “going to make this album in a way that no one’s ever done before, and we’re pretty excited about it,” which can only mean one thing: DOG PRODUCER.
3. Wye Oak — TBA
Even if you’ve never heard Wye Oak, you’ve heard Wye Oak. That’s because their songs have been featured on The Walking Dead, and everyone in the world watches that damn show. But the Baltimore indie-rock duo is worth checking out: Civilian is a great album, and the title track is one of the more effectively haunting songs I’ve heard in years. Wye Oak’s next album doesn’t “include a lick of guitar,” but is “much happier sounding,” so Rick and CORAL will bash in zombie skulls with a smile on their faces. The family that Oaks together, stays together.
4. Kendrick Lamar — TBA
In late December, Top Dawg Entertainment CEO Anthony Tiffith tweeted, “WE RAN 2013 WITH OUT DROPPING 1 ALBUM. I WONDER WUTS GONE HAPPEN IN 2014 WHEN I DROP 6.. THEY NOT READY 4 THIS #TDE #HiiiPoWeR TAKE OVER.” Guess whose part of the Top Dawg family? Kendrick Lamar. He already owned 2012, when good kid, m.A.A.d city came out, and his “Control” verse was arguably the most-discussed singular music moment on the Internet in 2013 — why not own 2014, too?
5. Cloud Nothings — TBA
Cleveland’s finest hoarse-throat punks Cloud Nothings are currently in the studio working on the bastard child to Attack on Memory. On their Facebook page, the band posted, “Proof that we haven’t just been sitting at home for the past few months,” with a 43-second video showing their progress. IT’S NOT SOON ENOUGH.
6. St. Vincent — St. Vincent (February 25)
Unlike every record on this list so far, St. Vincent’s new album has an honest-to-God release date: February 25. We’ve even heard songs from it! And they sound like future-funk with sharp edge! Annie Clarke promises a “a party record you could play at a funeral,” at least partially inspired by her time spent touring and recording with Talking Heads’ David Byrne. As long as Clarke shreds at least once, it’ll be excellent.
7. ScHoolboy Q — Oxymoron (February 25)
Another release date! Oxymoron was actually supposed to come out last year, but it was pushed back, because ScHoolboy had some trouble getting the rights to certain samples. But everything’s been settled, and Oxymoron will be out shortly after Valentine’s Day, with help from Kendrick Lamar, ASAP Rocky, Raekwon, and more.
8. Beck — Morning Phase (February)
It’s been a long time since Beck’s last non-songbook album. Six years, specifically, and it’s been even longer since his last classic, 2002′s Sea Change. (Sorry, Guero.) So he’ll kill two birds with one ironic stone this year with Morning Phase, which brings back much of the team behind Sea Change. It’s heavily indebted to the Byrds’ “California music” and includes a cameo from Jack White, who’s also working on new music for 2014.
9. Titus Andronicus/F*cked Up — TBA
I’m cheating here and including two different albums from two different long-form punk bands, but F*cked Up and Titus Andronicus toured together in 2012, and they’re both awesome, so if you’ve got a problem with that, you’re f*cked up. Details are scarce for both records, other than Titus is working on something resembling a rock opera and that F*cked Up’s follow-up to the epic David Comes to Life is “about living in this weird fantasy world,” but so long as both of these bands continue to make new music, they’ll be welcomed with sweaty arms.
10. Kanye West — TBA
During a much-discussed radio station interview last year, Kanye West said that he’s already working on the next Yeezus. He expects the album to come out during the summer, and that he’s “just collecting beats, I’m just constantly working. I’d like to put out more product.” It may contain only eight songs, it may be produced by Q-Tip and Rick Rubin, it may include a guest verse from Kim Kardashian. Who knows. Point is, we’re going to get SOMETHING new from Kanye West, and we’re going to love it a lot more than we want to.
All photos via Getty Image
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