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50 Most Anticipated Albums of 2020

on January 06, 2020, 3:00pm
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Kesha – High Road

kesha album high road artwork cover 50 Most Anticipated Albums of 2020

Release Date: January 10th

Why We’re Excited: After releasing the more reflective Rainbow in the wake of her burdensome and distressing legal battle with Dr. Luke, Kesha is back to her glittery, grab-life-by-the-horns self on High Road. On early singles “My Own Dance” and “Raising Hell”, she combines feminist underpinnings with the youthful irreverence that once inspired whiskey tooth brushings and P. Diddy feels. Featuring Brian Wilson, Sturgill Simpson, and, uh, Kesha, High Road promises to be an early 2020 highlight. –Christopher Thiessen

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Selena Gomez – Rare

Selena Gomez Rare artwork

Release Date: January 10th

Why We’re Excited: Everyone knows who Selena Gomez is, but she’s still somewhat of a pop underdog, which doesn’t mean she lacks the material. 2015’s “Hands to Myself” was a languid, gorgeous hit, and 2017’s Talking Heads-sampling “Bad Liar” even won her critical acclaim. Rare’s first taste, “Lose You to Love Me”, is a winning, spare ballad co-written by Billie Eilish’s brother, Finneas, and it was Gomez’s first No. 1 single. Her best may very well be yet to come. –Dan Weiss

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070 Shake – Modus Vivendi

070 shake MODUS VIVENDI album cover artwork

Release Date: January 17th

Why We’re Excited: In 2018, as the ceaseless swirl of Kanye discourse ensued following the release of ye, there was one question that rose above the rest, one that was asked with a fervent desire for an answer: Who was the feature on “Ghost Town”? The answer: 070 Shake. There was something serendipitous about her moment on the track, her haunting rasp crooning on a song about pain, numbness, and death. It was all-consuming. Considering how much buzz she received after that one moment almost two years ago, it’s safe to assume that there is a steady stream of excitement around her imminent debut album. –Lucy Shanker

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Pinegrove – Marigold

pinegrove marigold album artwork cover 50 Most Anticipated Albums of 2020

Release Date: January 17th

Why We’re Excited: Call your parents and never forget your first love. Pinegrove is ready to take you down another path of lost memories in the middle of the summer, with cars you jump-start in the rain while blasting Cardinal (2016) or Skylight (2018). With Marigold on the incredibly close horizon, late January can’t cover us in sunlight fast enough. –Meggie Gates

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Wolf Parade – Thin Mind

wolf parade thin mind album artwork cover 50 Most Anticipated Albums of 2020

Release Date: January 24th

Why We’re Excited: Blog rock weirdos, rejoice: your king has really, truly returned. After awakening from a seven-year hiatus with 2017’s quietly excellent Cry Cry Cry, Spencer Krug and Wolf Parade seem poised to regain their ’00 indie prominence with Thin Mind. Though early press suggests Krug was inspired by a desire to comment on our over-technologized culture (a path that usually reduces even the deftest lyricists to platitudes), advance singles like “Forest Green” are light on clangers and heavy on urgent arrangements that land with more body-shaking immediacy than we’ve seen since “Grounds for Divorce”. –Tyler Clark

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Destroyer – Have We Met

destroyer have we met album artwork 50 Most Anticipated Albums of 2020

Release Date: January 31st

Why We’re Excited: Kaputt was one of our top 100 albums of the last decade, but it was only the first in Destroyer’s blemish-free run of records in the ’10s. Dan Bejar hasn’t released a lackluster album since 2008’s rain-soaked Trouble in Dreams, so why would he start now? Judging by the mannered bon mots and nocturnal synth grooves of early singles “Crimson Tide” and “It Just Doesn’t Happen”, the answer is “he wouldn’t, hasn’t, and maybe never will again.” –Tyler Clark

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Frances Quinlan – Likewise

Likewise by Frances Quinlan solo album artwork

Release Date: January 31st

Why We’re Excited: Hop Along have been favorites of indie music listeners for the better part of a decade. At the center of the project has always been Frances Quinlan, who actually first used the moniker for her solo work. Likewise sees her returning to solo status, now a fully developed songwriter with a powerfully unique voice. Early previews suggest a record Hop Along fans will find familiar yet fresh, a sure way to solidify Quinlan as a sleeper indie force. –Ben Kaye

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Torres – Silver Tongue

Torres Silver Tongue

Release Date: January 31st

Why We’re Excited: Mackenzie Scott, also known as Torres, adds layers of electronic grooves and understated guitars to a basic background of indie folk until you’re left with a sprawling canvas of invoked doom, devotion, and certainty. The couple of singles we got late in 2019, led by “Good Scare”, seem like a good indication that Silver Tongue, her fourth album, will continue showcasing softly elaborate rhymes and melodies that work on their own terms, guided by drama-fueled vocals and industrial backdrops. –Laura Dzubay

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La Roux – Supervision

la roux supervision album cover artwork 50 Most Anticipated Albums of 2020

Release Date: February 7th

Why We’re Excited: British synthpop musician La Roux has only released two albums during the more than a decade she has spent in the music industry, but they’ve each been showcases for pristine songwriting and joyful ’80s influences. Her biggest single, 2009’s “Bulletproof”, sounds as fresh as it did 10 years ago. The two new singles from her upcoming record are gentler and grander — “Gullible Fool” is seven minutes long — but still outrageously hooky, suggesting a path of musical growth that will yield something beautiful. –Kayleigh Hughes

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Beach Bunny – Honeymoon

Beach Bunny Honeymoon album artwork cover debut

Release Date: February 14th

Why We’re Excited: On the backs of four self-released EPs, Beach Bunny built up a ton of buzz out in Chicago over the last half-decade. After popping up on festival bills all over the place, they eventually landed a deal with Mom+Pop. Youthfully earnest and irresistibly catchy, the quartet’s indie pop has the unfussy joy of a band making music because it’s just fun and cathartic to do so. Lead single “Dream Boy” was one of our favorite tracks of 2019, so of course we’re looking forward to the full effort. –Ben Kaye

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