'Top 5 most anticipated albums of 2015' they (I) said. 'Keep it short & sweet' they (I) said. To be honest, it's both good and bad news that I underestimated this year’s releases. The bad news is that it's taken me far longer to type this up, but the good news is that I'm now very excited for the year ahead.
First things first, there's no better place to start than with Skepta & JME, and news that both of the Adenuga brothers are releasing solo albums this year. Skepta's Konnichiwa has been slated a March 1st release, while JME's album has been confirmed, but the title and release date remains a mystery. All I know is that the two grime bastions aren't just up there with my favourite grime MCs, they're up there with my most respected artists, and their work rate cannot be faulted.
After 8 long years Modest Mouse are back with Strangers To Ourselves. As excited as I am, I’m remain a bit hurt after they cancelled their 2013 UK tour to focus on the album, and it still took almost 2 years to come. Hopefully it’ll be worth the wait.
May 2015 be the year that Despot finally releases his debut album? I’ve got no reason to believe it will, but I still find myself living in hope. Fellow New York rapper Heems has confirmed his debut solo album EAT PRAY THUG however, so that should keep me going.
I’m praying that Jamie xx finally blesses us with an album after consistently putting out great singles like ‘Sleep Sound’, ‘Far Nearer’ and ‘All Under One Roof Raving’. Hopefully his work on the new album with The xx doesn’t distract him too much, and finds time for both.
The National finally finished their Trouble Will Find Me tour cycle at The O2 in November, and mentioned that 2015 will be a quieter year for the band. Is it wishful thinking that they might have something new out by the end of the year?
Title Fight’s Hyperview is out in February, and they've been working with Will Yip which is always good news. Citizen have also been in Studio 4 working on their sophomore LP, so hopefully the Neve board works it’s magic once more.
Chance The Rapper has promised a free album Surf in 2015, but it’ll be interesting to see exactly what form the project takes, and how much the record focuses on his band The Social Experiement and trumpet player Donnie Trumpet.
Father John Misty has already teased us with ‘Bored In The USA’ and the brilliantly named I Love You, Honeybear is set to follow on 10th February. He featured on Kid Cudi’s 2013 track ‘Young Lady’, and with any luck, we may finally see the release of the long anticipated Man On The Moon III from Cudi this year.
Frank Ocean has been working on the follow up to the critically acclaimed Channel Orange and so far we know he’s been working with Lil B and a string of producers, but not much else. I predict a him pulling a Beyonce at some stage and releasing it with no prior warning.
Kanye West’s song ‘Only One’ with Paul McCartney, which was released on New Year’s eve, is stated to be the first of a number of collaborations between the two, and they may well see the light of day on West’s next album. Pusha T, who joined Kanye on 2010’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, is also back with King Push, but no release date has yet been announced. Kendrick Lamar, who subsequently collaborated with Pusha T on the standout track ‘Nosetalgia’ , is also back in 2015, and drove the internet into a frenzy following his performance of an as of yet untitled track on the final episode of The Colbert Report. The world expects big things to follow on from good kid, m.A.A.d city, and I’m sure he won’t disappoint.
BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah both refuse to rest on their laurels despite releasing III & 36 Seasons respectively in 2014, and have been working together on Sour Soul. Big news coming from the album is that the track ‘Ray Gun’ features MF Doom, and reunites the DOOMSTARKS duo, prompting further rumours that the long awaited album may see the light of day this year.
Jai Paul is speculated to be working on his debut album (we’ll leave the 2013 leak alone for now), and that’s great news for everybody. Without official confirmation though, I’ll just keep playing ‘BTSTU’ and ‘Jasmine’ which somehow still sound great.
An album which may have started as a joke, but has become very serious is Meow The Jewels, the Run the Jewels remix album that uses nothing but cat noises for music. It went on to raise $65K on kickstarter, and I was one of the pledgers. With a raft of producers onboard, including Dan The Automator, Boots, Alchemist and Skywlkr amongst others, it may sound stupid, but it could be great. Also, Run The Jewels 3 has been confirmed, which may just be slightly more important that it’s feline related sibling. If Killer Mike & El-P continue to release yearly RTJ albums, they may well become more celebrated than Christmas.
Until The Ribbon Breaks have announced their debut album, and the Cardiff band have been of interest to me since I first heard ‘Job Well Done’ from the first RTJ album.
Big Noble, a new instrumental project from Interpol's Daniel Kessler, have an album coming out, as does Lieutenant, aka Foo Fighter’s bassist Nate Mendel. It will be interesting to see what results from members of some of my favourite bands. On that topic, Explosions In The Sky have promised to release a new studio album, which is fantastic news. Having recently focuses on soundtracks for the films Prince Avalanche, Lone Survivor and Manglehorn, I cannot wait for the follow up to Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, as I feel they best tell their own stories with their music, as opposed to orchestrating the events of somebody else.
Doomtree, the Minneapolis hip hop collective, are releasing a new album. Their last group cut, No Kings was well received, and to know that P.O.S is making music again after health concerns over the past few years is great news.
I almost forget to mention that The Libertines are rumoured to record new music once again, now that Pete Doherty has completed a stint in rehab. We’ll wait and see about this one, the band has a remarkably turbulent history so only time will tell.
Earl Sweatshirt has completed his next album, Purity Ring are set to follow up to Shrines, Jose Gonzalez is back with his first solo album since 2007, and Radiohead are alleged to be working on new music. Faith No More and Tool are also both set to release new music after many years silent. Liam Frost, one of my favourite troubadours, said to on twitter yesterday that he too hopes to have an album out this calender year.
Also on the cards: The Dead Weather, The Strokes, Giorgio Moroder, Mount Eerie, School of Seven Bells, A Place To Bury Strangers, Tame Impala/Pond, Will Butler from Arcade Fire, and The Prodigy.
So just a few albums then…