Music

The Most Anticipated Albums Of 2020

While December is always about looking back in the music world, the turning of the calendar brings a whole new attitude. Now that 2020 has arrived, it’s time to start looking forward to the great music coming this year. The following 65 albums are just the tip of the iceberg, with many more surely to be announced that we’re not even expecting. Likewise, some of these are likely to be wishful thinking, as delays can always be counted on in the world of musicians. Either way, it’s sure to be a memorable kickoff to the decade, with some of the best in hip-hop, indie, and pop showing up for the party.

65. Andy Shauf — The Neon Skyline (January 24)

Spoiler alert: I haven’t heard a lot of 2020 music yet, but this might be my favorite out of the gate. The Canadian songwriter evokes Paul Simon to me in the exact opposite way that Vampire Weekend did in the past, less about the warm melodies and global influences and more about the wry delivery and laid-back tunefulness.–Philip Cosores

64. Monsta X — All About Luv (February 14)

One of the leaders of the K-Pop wave is Monsta X, and they’ve achieved all the international success that they have while performing only in Korean and Japanese. On Valentine’s Day this year, they’re set to make their biggest and most direct appeal yet to English-speaking audiences with All About Luv, their first album in English.–Derrick Rossignol

63. Smino

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Smino’s Noir was one of the highlights of 2018. We know the St. Louis rapper is working on a Ghetto Sage project with Noname and Saba, but it seems plausible that he may have another solo offering in the stash. His fans are surely anticipating another project full of deft, melodic lyricism on lush soundscapes.–Andre Gee

62. Drive-By Truckers — The Unravelling (January 31)

Drive-By Truckers, one of the most preeminent alt-country/southern rock bands of this millennium, is gearing up to release The Unraveling, their twelfth album since 1998. It wouldn’t be surprising to see it become their fifth consecutive top-10 album on the US rock chart, and their seventh consecutive on the US indie chart.–D.R.

61. NLE Choppa — Top Shotta (January)

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Choppa made his official debut since becoming one of hip-hop’s hottest rising stars just before the new year began with his Cottonwood EP, but the 17-year-old Memphis rapper is already planning something bigger in 2020. He has a distribution deal for his No Love Entertainment through Warner Records, so he completely controls his own release schedule — meaning he could very well make his debut this year to capitalize on the success of his viral single, “Shotta Flow.”–Aaron Williams

60. Angel Olsen

Philip Cosores

Yeah, Angel Olsen just released her excellent All Mirrors a few months back, so ordinarily it would be strange to expect a new album so soon. But with the release of that record, it was revealed that a stripped-down version of the album was also set to be unveiled. Whether the acoustic All Mirrors will feature new songs or just rearrangements is yet to be seen, but for anyone that was a big fan of Olsen’s early work, it’s hard not to be excited by this return to her roots.–P.C.

59. Lauren Jauregui

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Since her Fifth Harmony cohort began to splinter into pieces, Lauren Jauregui has been steadily releasing singles that set her apart as a powerhouse vocalist with her own distinct personality. Though Camila has become the biggest solo star so far, and Normani isn’t far behind, Jauregui is the dark horse for 2020, promising her fans that even more new music is imminent. With her smoky, magnetic voice and emotional lyrics, Lauren straddles the line between pop and R&B in a way that positions her perfectly for success in the current landscape. Expect big things from this star-in-the-making, and never forget that a smolder sometimes burns longer than an immediate flare up.—Caitlin White

58. Destroyer — Have We Met (January 31)

January will see Dan Bejar return with Have We Met, his first new Destroyer album in three years. Press materials reference Bjork, Massive Attack, and Air, but Destroyer is more loved for Bejar’s quirkiness and lyrical inventiveness, so those aspects will surely stand out.–P.C.

57. Migos — Culture III

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Migos took the advice of many and took their foot off the pedal in 2019. Quavo previously announced that they were set to drop at the top of 2019, but Offset curtly tweeted last March that they would be releasing a new project “next year.” Every member of the trio went on to release solo projects, but now it’s time for the trap icons to get back to the winning formula. There’s not much known about the project, except that it will feature a track with late rapper Juice WRLD.–A.G.

56. Ratboys — Printer’s Devil (February 28)

Chicago’s Ratboys proved themselves more than capable of busting out catchy hooks on their 2017 album GN. On “Alien With A Sleep Mask On,” the lead single from their upcoming album Painter’s Devil, they’ve lost nary a step.–D.R.

55. Moses Sumney — Grae (February / May 15)

Moses Sumney made a splash with his 2017 debut album Aromanticism, and new songs like “Polly” show that he’s continuing his evolution as an intimate and impactful songwriter and performer. It’s also worth noting that if Sumney was at all inspired by working with Bon Iver and the collaborators who also joined him on i,i, that certainly can’t hurt.–D.R.

54. Idles

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The UK group has been active since releasing their debut album in 2017, having put out a new record in each subsequent year (if you count their live album from 2019, that is). Idles offered a tantalizing update for their third studio LP about a year ago now, when they declared that they were “writing like we have never done it before.”–D.R.

53. JID

Philip Cosores

JID just wrapped up a pair of 2019 tours — his own Catch Me If You Can Tour and Logic’s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind Tour — and was one of the standouts on Dreamville’s Revenge Of The Dreamers III compilation, so if there was ever a time the iron was hot enough to strike, it’s now. JID’s 2018 album DiCaprio 2 broke him out as a star, so a follow-up is not only warranted, it could make him one of hip-hop’s top-billing mainstream acts.–A.W.

52. Japanese Breakfast

Japanese Breakfast’s synth-forward ballads on Soft Sounds From An Another Planet make for energetic live performances, and 2020 should be the year the band will add to their catalog. Evoking slow ‘80s synth-pop, J Brekkie recently released the single “Essentially” alongside the Tears for Fears cover “Head Over Heels.” Vocalist Michelle Zauner also revealed she was writing a book and a new record at the same time. “The last two records were about grief and I want to make a record that’s tackling a new subject, even though grief is something I will live forever.” Zauner’s book Crying In H-Mart is yet to be released, meaning a third Japanese Breakfast record is also on its way.–Carolyn Droke

51. City Girls

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JT’s Free! Yung Miami did a solid job (for the most part) of holding the crew down while JT was incarcerated. And now the crew is back at full force, likely crafting a followup to their star-making Girl Code. In October, Quality Control CEO Pee has said that the girls are locked in studio mode, and the album should be done in “90 days,” making it possibly the first album on the list to be released. You never know.–A.G.

50. Dixie Chicks — Gaslighter

Reunion albums come and reunion albums go, but the Dixie Chicks are forever. After an outspoken political comment — one that’s aged beautifully, by the way — all but tanked their career as country artists vying in a deeply Conservative genre, this wildly talented trio has been resting on their laurels. Oh, aside from appearing alongside internationally acclaimed stars like Beyonce and Taylor Swift. While they’re 2006 record Taking The Long Way Home wasn’t exactly a flop (it’s sold around 2.5 million copies), the fourteen-year gap between that release and this year’s Gaslighter has left room for the story of these women to have a different ending than anyone would’ve predicted back in the early aughts. If that album title didn’t let you know Natalie Maines, Emily Robison, and Martie Maguire are about to burn it all down, then maybe last year’s selfie with producer savant Jack Antonoff will. This record is absolutely not to be missed, I don’t give a f*ck if you don’t normally listen to country.—C.W.

49. Isaiah Rashad

It’s been a minute since Isaiah dropped his crowd-pleasing sophomore album The Sun’s Tirade and like most of his TDE cohort, he’s laid low between albums, letting Jay Rock, Schoolboy Q, and Zacari handle the spotlight while he cooks up. However, after at the inaugural Day N Vegas festival, it seems likely he’ll pop back up sometime this year.–A.W.

48. Pearl Jam

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Getting older is wild. Years start flying by at a rapid pace, and suddenly it has been seven years since the last Pearl Jam album. But with Backspacer a distant memory, 2020 looks certain to bring a new entry into the Seattle legend’s catalogue, their 11th career record. It’s apparently finished and Eddie Vedder is already playing it for friends.–P.C.

47. Green Day — Father of All… (February 7)

Green Day have been with us for over three decades now, but they’re not ready to slow down. They’re not ready to calm down yet, either, based on the title of their upcoming thirteenth record, Father Of All Motherf*ckers.–D.R.

46. Saweetie

Saweetie’s “My Type” single was one of the most fun records of 2019. The Oakland rhymer is looking to build on the success of her platinum record with a new album in 2020. There isn’t much known about a new project, but it’s likely that she will continue to deliver unapologetic bangers for her ever-empowered fanbase.–A.G.

45. The Strokes

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The Strokes last released a new album in 2013, and leader Julian Casablancas seems happiest when he’s making music as The Voidz. That said, Strokes fans should get a new record from the indie legends this year, and hopefully the wait will be worth it.–P.C.

44. Troye Sivan

Philip Cosores

If you’ve seen Troye Sivan live, then you know that he has that “it” factor that so many aspiring songwriters and performers hope they’ll find in themselves. Aside from writing the kind of song that can break your heart, get stuck in your head, and turn your tears into joy, Sivan is an electrifying live performer, belting out his hits with pitch-perfect clarity, and keeping the crowd’s attention focused like a laser. He’s also an openly queer pop star who writes songs that speak directly to his audience’s experience, and even in an era where a queer star like Frank Ocean is headlining Coachella, that kind of representation matters. However he chooses to follow up his second studio album, the breakout record Bloom, Sivan’s voice is a necessary, welcome balm in an already tumultuous year like 2020.—C.W.

43. Eminem

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Despite releasing two albums in as many years, Eminem is supposedly already hard at work on another new album according to 50 Cent. After a year spent popping up on his proteges’ projects and guesting with Logic, Ed Sheeran, and Meek Mill, it seems he’ll be focusing on getting out his own project this year, which should appease his fans — so long as he avoids any more embarrassing leaks.–A.W.

42. Hayley Williams

Paramore’s fearless leader announced that her band wasn’t working on new music during the course of 2019, making people fear that Williams wouldn’t be following up 2017’s After Laughter in the near future. Turns out that was sort of misdirection, as she is making new music, just not with Paramore. There’s no word on the direction of the material, but 2020 should be busy for Williams regardless.–P.C.

41. The Killers — Imploding The Mirage

Las Vegas rock titans The Killers only released two albums in the 2010s, but the latter of those, 2017’s Wonderful Wonderful, was their best since their earliest offerings. It feels soon for the band to deliver a new offering, but they have promised Imploding The Mirage for spring of this year, complete with a partial tracklist. The band is at their best when embracing their Nevada roots, so that album title is promising as heck.–P.C.

40. Sky Ferreira

Who else but Sky Ferreria can maintain a sense of anticipation about new music for five whole years? Many thought 2019 was the year for Ferreria’s release of her much-delayed effort Masochism. The singer previously promised “more poppy” songs on the record, as well as a shift towards the “abstract.” “It’s very big, but also very violent,” she revealed to Pitchfork in March. But after only one single and a collaboration with Charli XCX, it turns out fans have to wait to hear Masochism.–C.D.

39. Haim

Haim’s sophomore album, 2017’s Something To Tell You, didn’t quite have the impact of its predecessor, but that hasn’t really deterred the band’s forward momentum. The second half of 2018 has featured the Los Angeles sister trio dropping a series of loosies, which should result in a full length at some point. Based on their 2020 Euro fest tour schedule and an interview with NME, it would be surprising if an album didn’t appear soon.–P.C.

38. Earl Sweatshirt

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Earl Sweatshirt isn’t bogged down by anyone’s expectations on what he should be, and he’s in a zone. The gifted lyricist dropped the seven-track Feet Of Clay at the end of last year, his debut project on Warner Bros. He hasn’t yet announced a new album, but his fans will likely be anticipating a new batch of incisive lyrics sooner than later.–A.G.

37. Julien Baker

Philip Cosores

Julien Baker spent most of 2019 being relatively quiet on the music front, after two very busy years supporting her own 2017 album, Turn Out The Lights, and 2018’s Boygenius collab record (in fairness, she also recently posted a pic of a college graduation ceremony, so big congrats there). In an interview with us last year, she revealed that she was working on her next record, with the hope of being finished around the start of 2020.–P.C.

36. Big Sean

Big Sean popped out of hibernation with “Overtime” and “Single Again” last summer, and looked primed to drop his Don Life album shortly thereafter. Almost half a year later, there’s no album and no word on what abruptly halted what had all the appearances of an album push. He has since dropped “Berserk,” but there’s been no timetable announced for the star-studded project with features such as Post Malone, A$AP Ferg, Hit-Boy, A$AP Rocky, Meek Mill, Diddy, Ty Dolla $ign, and MadeInTYO., and of course his ex(?) Jhené Aiko.–A.G.

35. Perfume Genius

Following 2017’s No Shape, Mike Hadreas has been focusing his efforts on a dance and music performance, The Sun Still Burns Here, in which he stars and for which he wrote new music. It’s not clear if the direction of the production indicates what his upcoming album will sound like, but he released two songs from the show as singles, and they’re both a step in a fascinating and more experimental new direction.–D.R.

34. Lil Baby

Philip Cosores

It’s official: The streets need a follow-up to Lil Baby’s debut album Harder Than Ever, especially with “Out The Mud” and “Woah” currently making the rounds. Baby was one of 2019’s breakout stars (many of whom were incidentally also named “Baby” — even the one that technically wasn’t) and fans have been looking forward to the follow-up ever since. Quality Control Music has handled their artists’ releases pretty well so far, so it’s almost certain they won’t let too much time go by without giving the people what they want.–A.W.

33. Noname

Chicago rapper Noname’s claim to fame is her elegant flow and hot takes on Twitter. Her sophomore record, Room 25, dropped in 2018 and fans have been anxious for its follow-up ever since. Noname teased her third record, Factory Baby, by releasing two singles throughout 2019, but the rapper put a hold on a full-length project to instead focus her energy on an internet book club. Finally, the rapper gave insight into Factory Baby, announcing in a tweet that she’s “dropping an album in 2020 if anybody’s interested.” Though she hasn’t specified an exact date, the record seems likely to see a release alongside her upcoming Coachella set.–C.D.

32. Halsey — Manic (January 17)

While many artists’ 2020 releases are speculative, Halsey’s third full-length record is a guarantee. Manic is slated for release on January 17, and her 2019 efforts proved she’s a force to be reckoned with. Not only did the singer debut a range of singles off Manic, but she showcased her multitude of talents in the arts. If her SNL performances are any indication, the singer pours all of herself in each project, so her 2020 release is sure to be memorable.–C.D.

31. Megan Thee Stallion

Philip Cosores

Megan Thee Stallion had one of the best 2019s of any artist — and that was all off of the strength of a mixtape. Meg’s Fever followup may make an even bigger splash. The Houston rhymer offered insight into her creative process by telling NPR that “I felt like my mixtapes were me flirting with my fans,” but “now, I’m ready to settle down with an album.” The new album will introduce an alter-ego named Suga, who is “besties with Tina Snow.” She also joked on Twitter that, “I’m supposed to be recording songs that’s more gentle but I keep winding up sh*tting on you b*tches,” hinting at a new creative direction for the typically braggadocious MC.–A.G.

30. Tierra Whack

Tierra Whack is basically universally respected in the rap game because of her ingenious Whack World album. She dropped freestyles and full-length songs like “Unemployed” at a breakneck pace in 2019. Her fans may already be imagining what the genre-bender’s first full-length may sound like, but Tierra told NPR that “I really don’t even think about it,” and that “I’m not gonna drive myself crazy. I’m having fun creating what I’m creating.” And fans are having fun listening to whatever she offers.–A.G.

29. Soccer Mommy

Since her 2018 breakout Clean, Soccer Mommy has matured — both in age and in songwriting. Vocalist Sophie Allison’s evolution is clear with her two 2019 singles. “Yellow Is The Color Of Her Eyes” continues Allison’s relatable coming-of-age lyricism, but adding a certain resonance with buoyant synths and scaling guitar riffs. Allison agrees, saying the track showcases her ability to compose affecting instrumentation. And after months of touring, the band will take all they’ve learned to the studio for a 2020 release.–C.D.

28. Normani

After the disbandment of pop group Fifth Harmony, Normani is making way for a burgeoning solo career. Co-written by Ariana Grande, her 2019 breakout arrived in the form of the upbeat “Motivation.” And Normani’s not done. The singer recently revealed in an interview with The Fader that her debut full-length release will arrive in the first half of the new year. “I want to make the wait worthwhile, especially for my fans, because they deserve the absolute best — but also, for myself,” she said. “I’m never going to get the opportunity to drop my first album again.”–C.D.

27. Ghetto Sage

Noname, Saba, and Smino first announced their collaborative album at the end of 2018, and took most of 2019 to even name the project and put out its first single “Haagen Daazs,” but that hasn’t cooled anticipation for the album one bit. We now not only know their group’s official title, but also that it may very well be one of Noname’s final musical projects before she quits the rap game entirely. It’ll be bittersweet, but at least we’ll know to cherish it whenever it drops.–A.W.

26. Dua Lipa — Future Nostalgia

After snagging the coveted Best New Artist Grammy at the top of last year, Dua Lipa has showed no signs of slowing down, following up massive hits like “New Rules” and “IDGAF” with a pair of equally addictive bangers, “Future Nostalgia” and “Don’t Start Now.” While these new hits are more disco and groove-centric than her bright pop breakouts, they show another side of the Albanian star, and promise that her second album, which will also be called Future Nostalgia, will be a huge step forward for one of pop’s most exciting new voices. Given she self-identifies as a “female alpha” in the title track, it’s a safe bet that her sophomore record will be just as swaggering as her debut — thank God.—C.W.

25. The xx

It’s hard to call a band that headlines festivals and arenas underrated, but that’s just what I’m going to do. The xx are underrated! With three albums to date, including a 2017 effort in I See You that ranks among the best of the decade (and a solo Jamie xx album that’s even better), the trio have been one of the most consistently exciting artists of the last ten years. Recent news that new music is coming is certainly exciting.–P.C.

24. Vince Staples

Philip Cosores

What exactly is the Vince Staples Show? Is it an actual show, as it purports itself to be? Is it a compilation of musical “episodes” debuting not only Vince’s new singles as standalone vignettes, but also the Long Beach wisecrackers hilarious, burgeoning acting chops? Is he really releasing his own streaming service, as he wittily teased with the “Hell Bound” infomercial? All we know is, Vince is flying as high as he ever has in the wake of FM! — whatever he winds up doing, he’ll have all eyes glued to the tube.–A.W.

23. Run The Jewels — RTJ4

El-P deleted all his tweets recently, and while that was a false alarm in terms of that action indicating the arrival of a new Run The Jewels album, one is on the way soon. El has been pretty transparent about when we can expect Run The Jewels 4, too: He estimated it will be out “earlish” this year, and informed fans, “the good news is it’s hard as f*ck.”–D.R.

22. Childish Gambino

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Donald Glover is a man of many talents, which may be part of why he’s looking to put the Childish Gambino project to bed with his final album. The followup to Awaken, My Love has been anticipated for a while, especially after the polarizing “This Is America” shook the culture in 2018. Who knows what to expect from the artist who aspires to be “punk” with all his creative machinations, but it’s a safe bet that he will put his best foot forward on what may be his final music project.–A.G.

21. Grimes — Miss Anthropocene (February 21)

Though lots of fans were vibing to the technocractic disco pop of early single “We Appreciate Power,” plans for a 2019 Grimes record seem to have evaporated. Between a tumultuous and ill-received romance with tech mogul Elon Musk, and a lot of fatalistic commentary about this next release being her last, Miss_Anthropocene has already had a wild ride and it isn’t even out of the gate yet. Still, the Canadian wunderkind insists the album is already done, just waiting on slow vinyl production. Expect her next — and potentially final — record to be a rousing success when it does arrive, winning over hearts with unexpected left turns and plenty of insanely original production. I go back and forth on power, but I always appreciate Grimes.—C.W.

20. Meek Mill

Meek may have missed his self-imposed deadline of 2019’s end, but if the extra months mean higher quality raps and more material — potentially even a few bars about fatherhood — then fans will probably give him all the time he needs. Now that he’s reunited with his Maybach Music cohorts Rick Ross and Wale and living a more sober lifestyle — mostly — it wouldn’t be surprising if his next project is his most focused yet.–A.W.

19. Black Star

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Black Star’s first album, Mos Def And Talib Kweli Are… came out more than 20 years ago, but its effects are still reverberating throughout hip-hop. After influencing nearly every major top-tier artist for two decades — both directly and indirectly — the two Brooklyn veteran rappers announced their reunion in 2018, but took the time to make sure they get it right. They’ve been polishing their chemistry with performances all over the world in 2019, so when they do return, you can bet, it’ll feel like the homecoming they deserve.–A.W.

18. Super Slimey 2

Philip Cosores

I’ll admit: I tried to get Future to talk about this project when we spoke in December, but he and his manager put the clamps on post haste. That’s why all we have for now is the crew’s confirmation that it’s coming in a tweet that has since been deleted. Future and Young Thug showed tremendous chemistry on their first joint outing and adding Lil Baby and Gunna, who have demonstrated their own powerful yin-and-yang energy, has only intensified the anticipation from fans who can’t get enough of trap music’s unofficial first family.–A.W.

17. Phoebe Bridgers

2017: Stranger In The Alps. 2018: Boygenius. 2019: Better Oblivion Community Center. 2020: World Domination? I kid, but Los Angeles’ Phoebe Bridgers is on an all-time great run (which included our indie album of the decade), and her next project has our highest hopes.–P.C.

16. The 1975 — Notes On A Conditional Form (February 21)

When The 1975 offered up A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships in late 2018, it was with the understanding that another new album would be hot on its heels. Well, that didn’t quite pan out, but Notes Of A Conditional Form looks to be ready for release in February, after the band canceled some tour dates to finish it.–P.C.

15. Lil Uzi Vert

After returning from a self-imposed retirement and signing to Roc Nation management, it seemed like the long-awaited release of Eternal Atake was imminent. He even announced last June that the project would be out in “two weeks,” but it never came. He told Narduwar that he didn’t know when it was coming out, even though DJ Drama of Generation Now has repeatedly said he’s free to drop the album whenever. Hopefully the December release of “Futsal Shuffle” means that the project will come sometime in 2020.–A.G.

14. Selena Gomez — Rare (January 10, 2019)

While it seems crazy that Selena Gomez had never previously had a No. 1 hit, it’s only fitting that her first would be a kiss off to an old flame, and an official entrance into her post-Bieber era. Some of us have annoying ex-boyfriends who post about their new boo on the ‘gram — Selena has to deal with entire music videos and magazine covers devoted to Justin and his new wife, Hailey. But all that over-the-top publicity meant the subject was fair game, and “Lose You To Love Me” (co-produced by Billie Eilish’s brother, Finneas) made Selena’s stance on everything crystal clear. The follow-up to her all-grown-up 2016 pop album Revival is called Rare and drops in less than a week. With guest features from Kid Cudi and 6lack, and co-writes with the likes of Bebe Rexha, it’s guaranteed to make a splash. Bring on more No.1 hits Selena.—C.W.

13. The Weeknd

Like his Canadian compatriot Drake, Abel was seen shooting his video for “Heartless” just weeks before it was released and tweeted about being in album mode before dropping “Heartless” and its follow-up, “Blinding Lights.” His return with Chapter VI certainly appears imminent, and his new releases promise an exciting evolution of his melancholy sound.–A.W

12. Justin Bieber

It’s been five years since we got a new Justin Bieber album, so we’re due. Fortunately, it appears that one is on the way: In addition to his upcoming documentary series and tour dates, Bieber also kicked off his new era with a fresh, R&B-influenced single, “Yummy.”–D.R.

11. SZA

While Solana Rowe and the rest of the TDE squad have never been the kind of artists to take a super active role on social media, the SZA Twitter account definitely ramps up when she’s getting close to album release time. SZA’s activity has increased to the point that’s recently hinted at the release date her and label boss Punch have discussed for her second full-length album, the follow up to her massive 2017 breakout Ctrl. She went from festival undercard to mainstream headliner almost solely on the strength of that album, so who knows what heights her second release will catapult her to. If the follow-up to Ctrl has the same passion, pain, and pathos that made that record a hit, it’ll be right up there with the year’s best. Bring it on Solana.—C.W.

10. Travis Scott

Philip Cosores

Highest In The Room” may have delivered Travis his latest No. 1 hit, but the single never got attached to a project, meaning that there could absolutely a follow-up to 2018’s Astroworld on the way this year. Of course, Travis also put out the singles from Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight about a year before he released the album, so this one is a toss-up. Jackboys and “Gatti” may have to tide fans over for a while.–A.W.

9. Cardi B

Without a doubt, Cardi B’s upcoming album will showcase her raunchy and uninhibited bars. The rapper recently revealed her sophomore record is all that’s on her mind. “It’s practically all I’m focusing on,” she said. Admitting that she’s teetering between keeping with the rhythm of her hits or pivoting to new territory, Cardi is gearing up for a big release in the new year. And it could be titled Tiger Woods. As of now, Cardi has her 2020 plans laid out: first, her album will be complete, then she’s rehearsing for a tour, and finally, she hopes to have a second child.–C.D.

8. J. Cole — The Fall Off

Philip Cosores

J. Cole hinted at The Fall Off shortly after 2018’s KOD, stirring anticipation amongst his rabid fanbase. He played a short, Presidential campaign-themed teaser for the album at the inaugural Day N Vegas festival this November. There’s not much word on album specifics, but his fans will likely vote for it as one of the albums of 2020 regardless.–A.G.

7. Tame Impala — The Slow Rush (February 14)

Tame Impala never operate on a traditional release schedule. For their last album, 2015’s Currents, the band existed for many months as if the album were already out before even announcing the thing. And for their next record, it’s been almost of year of impending release, which has already seen a Coachella headline performance and SNL set. Never fear, 2020 brings a Valentine’s Day release date for the psych-rock heroes.–P.C.

6. Beyonce

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It’s been nearly four years since Beyonce’s Lemonade took the world by storm. And fans are beginning to speculate her new era is nigh. The singer released a joint album with Jay Z, but it’s been a few years since Beyonce graced the world with new solo work. The singer’s Netflix documentary Homecoming documented her iconic 2018 Coachella performance, and fans are suspecting the release was timed. Beyonce rarely gives a heads up for a new release and Lemonade just appeared across streaming platforms, which fans speculate means she’s getting ready for another Tidal-exclusive release.–C.D.

5. Drake

Drake said he was in album mode shortly after the Toronto Raptors won their NBA championship, but since then, he’s been more or less radio silent about the new music he may or may not be cooking up. He was last seen supposedly shooting a video with Future at McDonald’s of all places, which when added up with his surprise release of “War,” may just be adding up to an impending release in the very near — ahem — future.–A.W.

4. Lorde

It’s been more than three years since Lorde delivered one of the best albums of the decade in Melodrama, but the New Zealand-born songwriter is already hard at work on her follow-up. The record hit a snag, though, when she lost a beloved pet.

“I’m asking for your patience, as 2020 comes around and you start to wonder where the next record is,” she wrote. “I have lost my boy, and I need some time to see the good again, to finish making this for you. It won’t be the same work— as anyone who has felt loss can understand, there’s a door that opens that you step through, and everything is different on the other side. But when this great loss crystallises inside me, and my chest rebuilds around it, hopefully I’ll be able to finish up, and share it with you, and we’ll all grow together, as we always do..” While we all certainly feel Lorde’s pain, we’re sure she’s going to bounce back stronger than ever.–P.C.

3. Rihanna

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Is there an artist on the planet more frequently harassed by their fans for new music? Thirst for her new album — R9 has fans have affectionately, longingly been calling it — has reached such a fever pitch that when it didn’t come out by the close of 2019, as she’d verbally confirmed it would, the Navy turned their disappointment into a year-end meme. To be fair to the faithful Riri stans, it has been four years now since she dropped a full-length project, with 2016’s quarter one Anti still slowly burning up the charts, with album tracks quietly racking up numbers long after its No. 1 hit “Work” has faded away. Now that the makeup, the couture, the bras and panties, and all the rest of the Fenty empire are safely trucking along, Rihanna does finally seem poised to drop the long-awaited R9. And if it’s as reggae-inspired as she’s hinted it will be, not even four years could prepare us for what’s coming next.—C.W.

2. Kendrick Lamar

Philip Cosores

Kung-Fu Kenny pump-faked a new project in the middle of 2018, blacking out his profile pic shortly before the release of Schoolboy Q’s Crash Talk. But as with most TDE artists, it seems he’s taking his time to get the recipe exactly right. Surely being a new dad is taking up at least some of his time, but on the bright side, his adventures in diaper changing may provide some intriguing new avenues for him to mine for content.–A.W.

1. Frank Ocean

Although Frank hasn’t announced any new albums in the works, just judging from the crowd that showed up at Camp Flog Gnaw on the off chance he’d appear as the surprise headliner (only to be so disappointed when it turned out to be Drake that they booed him offstage and embarrassed Tyler The Creator), it’s probably safe to say new music from Frank will always be heavily anticipated. Frank has peppered his PrEP+ parties with new tracks inspired by Detroit techno music, so it’s not completely impossible he’ll put out a new collection of music this year. His headlining set at Coachella makes this all the more likely.–A.W.

Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

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