Get excited for 2018.

2017 was a brilliantly diverse year for albums, in which many of our most beloved artists and new-found favorite acts fought back against the shittiness to wow us with new music. How can we top a year that brought us full-length dazzlers from Ryuichi Sakamoto, Migos, Kelela, Equiknoxx and Nídia?

Well, you may just be surprised. 2018 is set to feature albums that could make this a vintage year for hip-hop, electronic music, pop and beyond. From Cardi B’s long-awaited debut to new records from Eartheater and Lorenzo Senni, not to mention anticipated releases from Kanye, Rihanna, Rae Sremmurd and Frank Ocean, things can only get better. Trust us.


Camila Cabello
Camila
(Epic/Sony)
Due: January 12

Mainstream pop is crying out for a powerful new female voice and Camila Cabello is the former Fifth Harmony member primed for the job. She’s already proved her star quality with the Young Thug collab ‘Havana’, ‘Crying in the Club’ (one of our top 50 tracks of 2017) and the epic ballad ‘Never Be The Same’, and her debut solo effort promises more of the same. Cabello told Rolling Stone that the release will reflect her Cuban-American heritage, “taking a classic part of Latin culture and combining it with something new and modern.” We can’t wait to see where that takes her. ACW


Cardi B
TBC
(Atlantic)
Due: January

It can’t be easy following up one of the biggest tracks of 2017, but ‘Bodak Yellow’ superstar Cardi hasn’t sounded too daunted lately when discussing her debut album proper, which is tentatively slated to arrive sometime this month. “I have songs stashed up,” she tweeted recently, explaining that she’d rather “take my time till it’s right” than rush out a release that aims to cash in on the massive success of the first solo female US number one single since Lauryn Hill. Whenever it drops, expect fire: latest track ‘Bartier Cardi’ and recent Migos collab ‘MotorSport’ may not have hit quite the same heights as ‘Bodak’, but they certainly confirmed for those who slept on her mixtapes that there’s more to B than her breakout track. AH


Eartheater
TBC
(PAN)
Due: TBC

Alex Drewchin delivered a powerful one-two punch in 2015 with two of the best psychedelic albums in recent memory. Her first, Metalepsis, was our single favorite Bandcamp release of that year, and its even-better follow-up RIP Chrysalis landed in our top 10 albums. Drewchin has taken her time crafting album number three, but having recently signed to PAN, it seems like she’s finally ready to reveal what comes next. MB


FKA twigs
TBC
(XL Recordings)
Due: TBC

FKA twigs has somewhat slipped off the radar in recent years, musically speaking – there’s been plenty of fashion and documentary work and an “Instagram zine” keeping her in the public eye, but little in the way of a follow-up to her M3LL155X EP, released all the way back in 2015. Here’s hoping 2018 is the year we finally get to hear her highly anticipated LP2. Having broken up with fiancé Robert Pattinson in 2017, it might even be the Björk heir-apparent’s very own VulnicuraMB


Flying Lotus
TBC
(Warp)
Due: TBC

Flying Lotus, who’s been busy making controversy-baiting horror films and inflammatory statements since the release of his last full-length You’re Dead in 2014, looks set to give fans a new album this year. The LA producer confirmed last year he was at work on a follow-up and this week unveiled a new track, ‘Quarantine’, in a Brainfeeder mix, starting the year as he (hopefully) means to go on. ACW


Frank Ocean
TBC
(TBC)
Due: TBC

In 2012, Frank Ocean promised “5 albums before 30” in a tweet. Five years later, in November last year, not long after a lavish 30th birthday party, came this Tumblr post: “I made the album before 30. I just aint put that bitch out!” Add to this his recent photo essay for i-D, in which he teased that “if you liked two thousand and seventeen then you’ll love two thousand and eighteen,” and fans are convinced a new album from the elusive R&B star is imminent. It’d make sense: Ocean seems on a prolific streak at the minute, having spent 2017 dropping loosies and chart-busting collaborations as well as launching a radio station on Grand Theft Auto V. Don’t let us down, Frank. AH


G.O.O.D Music
Cruel Winter
(G.O.O.D Music)
Due: TBC

G.O.O.D Music has been teasing its Cruel Winter compilation since the ice age but it looks like the Cruel Summer follow-up could finally be about to rear its head. The Kanye West-founded label dropped collaborative single ‘Champions’ in 2017 featuring Gucci Mane, Desiigner, Quavo, Travis Scott, Big Sean, 2 Chainz and Yo Gotti, and we know that Travis Scott is on board to executive produce the project. What’s more, there’s been some countdown activity on the G.O.O.D Music website and what appears to be a new SoundCloud page has popped up. That’s all we’ve been given for now, but it’s more than enough to get us excited. ACW


Grimes
TBC
(4AD)
Due: TBC

Claire Boucher teased a follow-up to 2015 album Art Angels full of “unexplored sonic landscapes” in August 2017. At that point, she described needing “another month or 2 of pure unadulterated creativity at which point i will begin finishing tracks.” A further update followed in December: “just played label new music they rly dig it so hopefully smthn soon,” she tweeted a fan. All of which suggests we can expect Grimes’ fifth studio album any moment now. But brace yourself for a change in direction: “I feel like my work has always been fast paced, kinetic and manic and I feel like for me the hardest thing I can do is make something that’s slow and heavy,” she said back in summer 2016 when work first began. Sign us up. AH


IAMDDB
TBC
(Union IV Recordings)
Due: TBC

You haven’t heard jazz-inspired trap till you’ve heard IAMDDB do her thing. After breaking out with her Hood Rich Vol 3 mixtape last year, the Manchester rapper and singer has been tipped for success in 2018, earning herself a slot on the BBC’s Sound Of long list, among other accolades. If Diana de Brito’s as-yet-unannounced debut album lives up to the hype, it could just catapult her into stratospheric heights of stardom. ACW


J Hus
TBC
(Black Butter Records)
Due: TBC

He’s already gifted us one of 2017’s finest albums with his debut Common Sense, but can he do it all again in 2018? We look forward to finding out later on this year when J Hus drops another record that at the very least will prove he’s one of the hardest working in UK rap. ACW


Kanye West
TBC
(Def Jam)
Due: TBC

2017 was another tough year for Kanye. Having been hospitalized, then heavily criticized for posing for pictures with Donald Trump at the end of 2016, the next 12 months saw the rapper endure a reported legal spat with his own streaming service over unpaid royalties, a reported legal spat over his cancelled 2017 tour and a SWAT team invading his LA home thanks to online trolls. With any luck, 2018 will see Ye back on his feet: according to reports that surfaced in summer last year, a new tour is planned for spring and new music, recorded on top of a mountain in Wyoming no less, is also slated for release. Whether or not it will be released as a video game-inspired album titled TURBO GRAFX 16, announced to be the title of his next LP in February 2016, is at this time unknown. Like so much else with Kanye, then. AH


Lorenzo Senni
TBC
(Warp)
Due: TBC

Trance-loving Italian producer Lorenzo Senni signed to Warp in 2016, but he’s only released an EP and a 12″ single in that time. We’re expecting 2018 to be the year he finally releases a full-length through the UK electronic stable, and if it’s anything as good as those previous records, it should be something to be very excited about. We wouldn’t put it past him to throw a few unexpected genre curveballs among the trance bangers too. SW


My Bloody Valentine
TBC
(TBC)
Due: TBC

We weren’t expecting another My Bloody Valentine album for at least 20 years or more, so we’re bowled over by the prospect of a new one in 2018. Apparently the band’s forthcoming release sounds like “somebody took [MBV] and dropped some acid on it or created a dimensional clash or something,” according to Kevin Shields in an interview about the follow-up to 2013’s mbv. It’s also supposedly “all over the place,” but we’ll be the judge of that when it lands sometime this year. ACW


Nicki Minaj
MYOB
(Republic Records)
Due: TBC

It’s been three long years since Nicki Minaj gave us The Pinkprint, but we’ve seen her influence reign supreme across rap and pop throughout that time. Her recent union with Cardi B and Migos on ‘MotorSport’ was a perfect encapsulation of that synthesis and we’d bet money that she’s only getting started with us. In a since-deleted tweet last year, Minaj revealed that the initials of her next album are “MYOB” – which fans have speculated stands for “Mind Your Own Business”. MB


Rae Sremmurd
TBC
(Interscope)
Due: January

“There’s going to be bangers on that motherfucker, you know?” Swae Lee teased in December after announcing SremmLife 3 will drop at the start of 2018 (“January for a fact”). He wasn’t giving anything else away at that point – “I can’t ruin the surprises,” he added – but given that the duo’s last record gave the world the all-conquering ‘Black Beatles’, you can bet their third full-length will be even more ambitious, elevating Swae and Slim Jxmmi to proper pop star status. AH


Rihanna
TBC
(Roc Nation)
Due: TBC

Alright, so on paper, there isn’t exactly a tonne of evidence 2018 will bless us with new Rih. Last year saw the Anti hero shoot a Hollywood blockbuster (Ocean’s 8) and continue to build her Fenty beauty empire, leaving (theoretically) little time for the studio. There were also four long years to wait between Unapologetic and Anti, which puts us on course for a 2020 release date for the superstar’s ninth full-length. With any luck though, she’ll be busy leading the free world then having deservedly won the American election, meaning she has to bring R9 forward to this year. We can dream, right? Diplo let slip last year that he had been writing for the star, and rumors are constantly swirling of new track titles (‘Phatty’ is just one of several new songs reportedly registered to Rihanna in 2016). Plus, she’s at the top of her game: recent collabs with N.E.R.D (‘Lemon’) and DJ Khaled (‘Wild Thoughts’) prove that even when her focus is on other things, Rihanna’s never far from her next chart smash. So while we wouldn’t bet on a new release appearing in the next 12 months, we wouldn’t bet against it either. AH


Ray BLK
TBC
(TBC)
Due: TBC

Rita Ekwere aka London-raised neo-soul songwriter Ray BLK was the first unsigned artist to scoop the BBC Sound of 2017 prize and received a MOBO newcomer nomination in 2016, so her star is well and truly in the ascent. 2018 is the year that Ekwere drops her debut album and she’s promised us a “timeless” collection of songs about “female empowerment,” so it’s safe to say we’re psyched. ACW


Selena Gomez
TBC
(Interscope)
Due: TBC

Selena Gomez dropped a couple of bangers last year, including a ‘Psycho Killer’ interpolation that made it onto our 50 best tracks list, but hasn’t actually released an album since 2015’s Revival. We have no idea what to expect from the new LP, but if Selena continues to plough the weirdo vibes of ‘Bad Liar’, it might just surprise you. ACW


Remy Ma
PunisHer
(Columbia)
Due: TBC

Remy Ma’s feud with Nicki Minaj left no one looking (or sounding) good, but that doesn’t change how hyped we are to have her back. After her explosive comeback hit ‘All The Way Up’ with old pal Fat Joe, her upcoming album PunisHer pays tribute to another, the late Big Pun, with its title. Ma’s life has been a rollercoaster over the last 10 years and we’re ready to hear her weigh in on everything with this one. MB


Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto
Glass
(Noton)
Due: February 16

FACT album of 2017 winner Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto announced a new collaborative album called Glass late last year, due in February. The release is a recording of a live improvisation by Sakamoto and Noto at the architect Philip Johnson’s Glass House in Connecticut, which they rehearsed only one day before the performance and featured experiments with keyboards, mixers, singing glass bowls, crotales and the architecture of the building itself. The pair have built a formidable chemistry across their six previous releases together, not least on their soundtrack to the Oscar winning The Revenant, so brace yourself for another captivating collaboration. AH


Stefflon Don
TBC
(Polydor)
Due: TBC

We’ve been waiting for a new Stefflon Don album since 2016, when the UK rapper swept us off our feet with her Real Ting mixtape, and it sounds like it was worth the wait. Having signed a million-pound record deal last year, and with those Drake rumors flying around, the as-yet-unannounced album is already dripping with A-list quality and guaranteed to take Don to even bigger stages in 2018. ACW


The Breeders
TBC
(4AD)
Due: TBC

It’s been 10 years since The Breeders released an album, so we’re chomping at the bit for a new one. The beloved rock heroes sounded their return last year with a thrashy new single and while their grunge-pop nostalgia may not be for everyone, if there’s one band guaranteed to get you excited about guitar music again in 2018, it’s Kelly Deal and co. ACW


The Black Madonna
TBC
(We Still Believe)
Due: TBC

According to a recent interview with The New York Times, US producer and DJ The Black Madonna is working on a debut album that features some exciting guests: ‘Your Love’ vocalist Jamie Principle, Chicago hip-hop act Jyroscope and former Hercules & Love Affair vocalist Shaun J. Wright. She’s said that it’s inspired by the tension between the “utopianism” and “realism” of dance music’s core canon; expect a mix of disco in the vein of this year’s ‘He Is The Voice I Hear’ and early house music like ‘It’s A Cold World’. SW

Yves Tumor
TBC
(Warp)
Due: TBC

Newly-signed Warp artist Yves Tumor’s stunning 2017 album Experiencing The Deposit of Faith could have been an excellent debut on the esteemed label, but the mysterious artist snuck it out as a free, self-released LP a week before the signing announcement. It’s a testament to Tumor’s uncompromising vision and a promise that something even greater is in store. MB

Read next: 22 incredible albums turning 20 in 2018

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