As good as 2012 was for new album the next year already looks tantalizing. There are way too many discs we’re excited about to make our Most Anticipated Albums of 2013 list even close to comprehensive, but we tried our best to narrow it down to a manageable clutch of entries, all the while picking from a wide swath of styles in a good-faith attempt to cover all our bases.
- Depeche Mode, March [TBA] – Nearly four years after 2009’s surprisingly strong “Sounds of the Universe,” Depeche Mode will release a new studio album in March, the pioneering synth-rock band announced last Tuesday. The disc, whose title has not been released, is to be Depeche Mode’s first for Columbia Records and arrives shortly before the group launches a world tour on May 7 in Tel Aviv. In November, Depeche Mode (which also includes keyboardist Andy Fletcher) posted a montage of in-studio footage to YouTube; it’s loaded with shots of knobs and dials and Gahan bent seriously over a notepad, presumably scrawling doom-laden lyrics about sex and submission.
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Spring [TBA] – Last week, the Yeah Yeah yeahs confirmed via Instagram that a new album is due out Spring 2013. Since releasing their last full-length album It’s Blitz! in 2009, the band have been off the radar for quite a while, making a modest return earlier this fall when they played new material to a room of 70 people in New York’s Union Pool. Other than a couple of dates in Australia and Southeast Asia, tour plans are still majorly unknown. James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem quickly dispelled the rumor that he was producing the new album, but supposedly still graces a couple of tracks.
- The Knife, Shaking the Habitual, April – “Music can be so meaningless. We had to find lust. We asked our friends and lovers to help us.” That’s the text that accompanied a video message that announced the release of Shaking the Habitual. Shannon Funchess of Light Asylum will make an appearance on the duo’s first release in over six years, but little more has been revealed. A European tour has been confirmed, but no news of a stateside visit just yet. Following Silent Shout seems almost impossible, but the hiatus seems to have been for the best if the band’s confidence in music has been restored.
- Atoms for Peace, Amok, February 25 – Thom Yorke announced earlier this month that the debut album of his side project with bassist Flea would see a late February release. Doing exactly what you’d expect of him, Yorke hid a secret track called “What the Eyeballs Did” in the band’s website. And of course, the band had their album artwork painted on XL Recordings’ building, and the ever-changing illustrations are creeping people out.
- Yo La Tengo, Fade, January 15 – Earlier this fall, we heard Yo La Tengo’s first track since 2009, “Stupid Things.” This track will finally have a home as part of the 10-song track list of Fade. The early 2013 release callback to 1997’s I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One and 2000’s And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out, and has been preemptively labelled as the “most direct, personal and cohesive album of Yo La Tengo’s career.” Fade is already available for preorder, and as always, the band is throwing a bunch of goodies your way: the vinyl version’s digital download code includes an exclusive 11-minute jam, and the deluxe edition includes two covers– “I Saw The Light” and “Move To California.”
- The Joy Formidable, Wolf’s Law, January 22 – With three tracks already released (“This Ladder is Ours,” “Cholla,” and “Wolf’s Law“), waiting for the followup to The Big Roar has been surprisingly bearable. Extensive touring and a couple of extended plays have filled the gaps, and at their last DC show, Ritzy confirmed that they’d be back in the U.S. in March. Wolf’s Law is available for preorder in too many formats and bundles to count.
- Earl Sweatshirt, Doris [TBA] – When asked about following up 2010’s EARL, The youngest OFWGKTA member said, “I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that you can hear the progression.” The first single “Chum” is certainly headed in that direction with simple piano structures. Confirmed features include Tyler, The Creator, Casey Veggies, Frank Ocean and the Neptunes, and confirmed production ranges from BADBADNOTGOOD to Samiyam to Pharrell Williams. For more speculation and endlessly entertaining trash talk, check the OF forums.
- Hurts, Exile, March 11 – The duo have been relatively silent about their second album until the release of this teaser video featuring the track “The Road” last week. Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson made a name for themselves with their debut Happiness, but it seems like they’re only just getting started. We certainly hope so.
- Eels, Wonderful, Glorious, February 5 – Eels’ tenth studio album brings us thirteen new tracks to follow 2013’s Trilogy EP. As always, the band are eager to share their latest victory with their dedicated fan base The first single “Peach Blossoms” is already streaming, and US tour dates have been set. In our 2011 interview with Mark Oliver Everett, E anticipated that he would tire of his current project and switch gears. In Eels’ case, we’ve come to learn that different is almost always better.
- Cloud Nothings, TBA – “I want to do one thing each year or else I’ll feel like I’m lazy,” said Dylan Baladi when he announced a new release for 2013. The follow up to the Steve Albini-produced Attack On Memory, already gracing many best of 2012 lists, is supposedly “noisier and less melodic,” and gently inspired by Wire.
- Wavves, TBA, March 26 – Last week, Nathan Williams revealed that the next Wavves album is near completion, and, and emphasized the presence of more hip hop beats. No surprise here, a Williams is featured on the new Big Boi track “Shoes for Running.” Combine that with the presence of cello and glockenspiel on more tracks, we’re guessing that Williams will be successful in his endeavor to make every Wavves album sound different than the last. Listen to “Sail To The Sun” and decide for yourself.
- Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Push The Sky Away, February 18 – Nick Cave has been generous this month– tour dates, album art, a lyric video for the single “We No Who U R,” and a Push the Sky Away trailer. The collective freakout leaves us not-so-patiently waiting to be blown away.
- Queens of the Stone Age, TBA – QOTSA lead singer Josh Homme recently spoke about the difficulty the band has had in getting their new album to completion. Though a firm title or release date has yet to be announced, it’s expected that the next Queens of the Stone Age album will arrive in the first half of 2013. Queens of the Stone Age have been in the studio for a good part of 2012 with Foo Fighters leader Dave Grohl coming on board to play drums for the full record and both former Queens of the Stone Age bassist Nick Oliveri and Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor lending a hand as well during sessions.
- Azealia Banks, Broke With Expensive Taste, February 12 – pushed back from a September 2012 release date without explanation, Azealia Banks’ debut album supposedly calls back to pre-Fantasea sounds echoing “212,” creating an especially bright outlook. The overarching theme is that of “a girl trying to get it.” We’re pulling for this young Brooklyn rapper to make a name for herself based on her talent, and not her twitter beefs or seapunk aesthetic videos.
May Or May Not Happen; Fingers Crossed
- Beyonce- No release dates have been confirmed but it looks like the singer is gearing up to launch her 5th studio album. With a performance at the Super Bowl halftime show in February, followed by the debut of her HBO documentary, mid 2013 looks to be a fair estimate for a record release. Kayne West and RnB singer, Miguel are linked to the project and no doubt other heavy hitters will be involved. Prepare for some Beyonce heavy summer anthems.
- My Bloody Valentine – Yes, we’re still keeping our fingers crossed, because MBV have been giving us the runaround on this one for quite some time. As exciting as it is to imagine a world where something as great as 1991s Loveless (two remasterings released earlier this summer) could be followed up by something better, we’re not sure if we completely believe bassist Debbie Googe when she says that the new album is “pretty much finished.” With spring tour dates announced in Japan, Australia and the UK, we’re really hoping that MBV don’t change their minds about the album last minute and hold onto it for any longer.
- Black Sabbath, 2013 - Since the band formally reunited last year, Ozzy recently confirmed that Black Sabbath have written 15 new songs for an album that will be titled 2013. The premise of the album is picking up where they last left off and trying to understand where the band would be musically if they had never broken up. You’d think that naming the album 2013 would ensure a 2013 release, but let’s not forget who we’re dealing with here– especially considering health issues and already formulating feuds within the newly reunited group. So we’ll keep our fingers crossed.
- Arcade Fire – He’res another instance of James Murphy insisting that he’s not producing, but rather hanging out with friends. The band says they’re aiming for a late 2013 release, but they’ve got a lot to live up to after the indisputable success of The Suburbs. They’ve been performing the unreleased track “Crucified Again” at small shows since then. One of two things could happen here: we’ll be extremely disappointed, or we’ll be amazed that they pull off something even better. It’s a bit nerve-wracking.
- Death From Above 1979 – Here’s what we know for sure: Sebastian Grainger and Jesse F. Keeler have decided that their desire to make music together overrides their longstanding feud. In the summer of 2011, DFA1979 reunited and started off with a performance at the Williamsburg Waterfront. Since then, the duo have been writing new songs and recently finished testing them out in a brief Canadian tour. A clip of a new song “CPR” was posted to their blog two months ago, and while the mere thought of a reunion is enough to release flooding anime tears from the eyes of longtime fans, we hope that the guys can bring something new to their already limited scope. We hope it happens soon.
- The Stone Roses – Dear Stone Roses, you can’t just keep playing festivals and secret shows all over the UK and be surprised when we beg for a new album. We should be smart enough to ignore tabloid rumors, but at this point you’re just leading us on. Yes, there are a lot of purists who don’t want this album to happen because they claim they care more about your legacy than you do. Yes, we’re rolling our eyes over here too. Can you just let us know if this is for real? We’re getting really tired of sitting around and refreshing the NME homepage hoping for more details. This is a toxic relationship, seriously.
- Smashing Pumpkins – Billy Corgan has admitted that while he’d love to release the followup to Oceania in December 2013, it’s a lofty goal to write an album while on tour, something he claims he’s never been good at. We can probably forgive him. We’ve been promised a “cruel record” full of vengeance, and more importantly, one that doesn’t rely on SP’s earlier sound. Corgan claims, “overly sentimental culture as a new business model is really weak.” It’s hard not to get ahead of ourselves after news like that, but we can’t be blamed– the Pumpkins are the kind of band you’re willing to stick with through gloomy weather, especially because they make such a great soundtrack.
- Daft Punk – We actually have an ENTIRE POST dedicated to hype for this album. Here’s what we said in the original article: Late last year, it began to surface that renowned disco/funk legend, Nile Rodgers, was in the studio with Thomas and Guy working on the record. Too ridiculously awesome to be true, right? We thought so too. Fortunately, much to the elation Discovery-era enthusiasts, Rodgers confirmed the collaboration a few months ago. Involving the immensely talented Chic guitarist into their production suggests the album will not only have disco elements, but soul and R&B influences as well.
- André 3000 – If you’re anything like us, you are taking the extended absence of an André 3000 solo album personally. This year alone, he’s been featured on Frank Ocean’s “Pink Matter,” Gorillaz “DoYaThing,” Rick Ross’ “Sixteen,” T.I.’s “Sorry,” and the list from this and previous years keeps going. All the rumors flying around about Dre depicting Jimi Hendrix in a biopic aren’t helping. Everything is pointing to a new album some time soon, especially because in his extensive catalogue of features, he kills it ever. single. time. We get it, a new OutKast album isn’t happening any time soon (possibly because of “some Gillette shit“), but this solo album is honestly all we want for Christmas.
- Nine Inch Nails – It was time for Trent Reznor to take time off from Nine Inch Nails. With Teeth was a solid album, but Year Zero didn’t do much for us and the all-digital The Slip did even less. However, seven years is long enough. It’s time to hear again from one of the few musicians who has never been afraid to push his own limits and try new things. We wouldn’t be surprised if Trent gets bogged down in the full-length album release of his other side project, How To Destroy Angels, and pushes a new Nine Inch Nails album to 2014. We hope not, though.
- GOOD Music‘s Cruel Winter. Kanye West’s rumored ‘Cruel Winter’ album has been confirmed by his protege Big Sean. Rumours of a follow-up in time with the change in seasons have been rife, but have so far remained rumors Now, Sean has revealed in an interview that like “Clique,” a breakout track from Cruel Summer, he had wanted to keep it for his own forthcoming second album Hall Of Fame: Memoirs Of A Detroit Player. He said: “Oh God. Swerve. Yeah, you’re gonna get [the new album],” but added that that he has no idea when the record will be released: “I don’t know about that. You gotta wait and see man, I don’t know. It can’t be ‘Cruel Spring’. It’s gotta be in a timely fashion. I know I did something for it, for ‘Cruel Winter’, and I was like ‘Godammit, I need to cut this for my album because it’s really good.’