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Now that the cheap champagne has dried up and the hangover subsided, we can finally start to think about 2015 in earnest.

Music continues to be in a state of flux, a push and pull between advocates of physical releases and those who just want their music released quickly and with the least amount of hassle possible. Sadly in the last few years – thanks to manufacturers being overwhelmed with product – releasing physical records has become a slower and slower process, so release schedules are more unpredictable than ever. Who thought we’d be enjoying a D’Angelo album last December?

That said, most artists and labels still plan pretty far ahead, and if you keep your ear to the ground then you often know what’s coming. We could have easily filled 100 pages with lower tier hip-hop picks, house snoozers, comeback albums that will just sound like comeback albums (we’d love that new Moroder to be good, but you know…) and the same Jai Paul album that will probably fill these lists until 2018, but we’d rather focus on the stuff that we know is coming, and that we’re pretty sure will be good. Here are 20 albums that should make 2015 a much better place.

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Anthony Naples
Body Pill
(Text Records)

The Miami-via-New York producer’s debut arrives on Four Tet’s Text Records on February 17 and promises to be that rare thing: a really great house full-length. The man behind 2012 club stunner ‘Mad Disrespect’ has described it in enjoyably cryptic fashion as “solid and simple, like a brick or those weird fluorescent light tubes in the subway.”

Release date: February 17


Beat Spacek
Modern Streets
Ninja Tune

Veteran space funk explorer Steve Spacek releases his first solo album since 2007 later in January. Modern Streets takes its cue from London’s melting pot of musical influences, from post-punk to Ghanaian highlife, and was made David Hockney-style using iPad and iPhone apps.

Release date: January 26


(Label TBA)

Bjork’s latest album is already sounding like her Yeezus, with the Icelandic icon picking contributors from the cream of the underground. Arca, Haxan Cloak and potentially Total Freedom are on board – we expect more to be confirmed in the build-up to release.

Release date: TBA


Dear Tommy
(Italians Do It Better)

Johnny Jewel’s cult following continues undimmed and the follow-up to 2012’s Kill For Love is set to come out just before Valentine’s Day – perfect timing for the synth romantic. He’s also working on two albums with his side projects – Glass Candy’s Body Work and Symmetry’s Still Life – that should appear in 2015.

Release date: February


Captain of None
(Thrill Jockey)

Cecile Schott’s gorgeous (and still underrated) The Weighing of the Heart was one of our favorite albums of 2013, so you can probably imagine how excited we are for its follow-up Captain of None, which sees Schott decamp to the Thrill Jockey imprint. We’re expecting another bizarre melange of disparate influences and and experiments with (cough) real song structure, and we can’t wait to hear what she comes up with.

Release date: April 7


Views From the 6
(October’s Very Own)

The most consistent man in hip-hop is on schedule to drop his fourth studio album this year, and we’re betting it uses ‘0 to 100 / The Catch Up’ as a template, splitting the difference between deserved bluster (he did score a Grammy nod off a Soundcloud freebie) and James Blake-assisted feelings rap.

Release date: Spring


Future Brown
Future Brown

The long-awaited full-length from the underground’s favorite Voltron is finally coming out next month, and we remain curious to see how the Fade to Mind / Lit City Trax axis interacts with some of the most exciting talent from the worlds of Chicago rap, London grime and beyond.

Release date: February 24


Hudson Mohawke

There was talk of the Scottish producer’s second album for Warp emerging last year, but 2015 will almost definitely see it surface. We imagine a certain Mr. West has been holding things up here on two fronts – first, Hud Mo’s been busy working on the follow-up to Yeezus, and second, you’ve gotta imagine he’s angling for a feature from the big man here.

Release date: TBA


Jam City
(Night Slugs)

Jam City’s blend of Jersey drum patterns and high-gloss hydraulics made debut album Classical Curves a real point of influence for the club music underground. More of the same? Hardly: on album number two he flips the script entirely with queasy bedroom funk, indebted to DIY indie and suffocated by the world around it.

Release date: TBA


Jefre Cantu-Ledesma
A Year With 13 Moons
(Mexican Summer)

There’s a surprisingly organic buzz around Root Strata boss Jefre Cantu-Ledesma’s new collection of frazzled shoegaze vignettes. Following up ’08’s quietly influential Love is a Stream, he again dives into a world of noisy harmony, coming across like a blistering head-to-head between The Cocteau Twins and Wolf Eyes. We most definitely approve.

Release date: February 9


Late Nights: The Album
(Def Jam)

The album we’ve been waiting for since Late Nights With Jeremih changed the game seemed to be within our grasp last year, but has since fallen further down the TBA death-spiral. We remain hopeful that Jeremih and company can get their acts together while ‘Don’t Tell ‘Em’ is still on the radio.

Release date: TBA


John Carpenter
Lost Themes
(Sacred Bones)

It’s a set of lost themes from the self-appointed “master of horror” John Carpenter, do we need to say any more? The fact that NY’s Sacred Bones imprint is handling the release just makes us even happier, and we’re still almost a year from Halloween.

Release date: February 3



Joker’s debut album The Vision didn’t quite do it for us, but the Bristol native has been steadily releasing a series of excellent singles since, and self-released follow-up The Mainframe will hopefully see his combination of grime, dubstep and funk shine without the pressure of it being a debut album on a big label.

Release date: February 16


Kanye West
(G.O.O.D. Music)

Rumors about Kanye’s next album started bubbling up soon after Yeezus dropped. Will his next “minimalist” opus see Kanye in husband-father mode, a la ‘Only One’? If his last three albums have taught us anything, it’s that he never does the same thing twice.

Release date: TBA



Her debut mixtape provided a necessary voice for the Night Slugs / Fade to Mind axis, with Bok Bok, Kingdom and more providing production. With the majors and big indies circling Kelela ever since, it’ll be almost as interesting to see where her debut album – due, apparently in summer – as what it sounds like.

Release date: TBA


Scar Sighted
(Profound Lore)

With his ugly court case behind him (and its resulting mess of an album True Traitor, True Whore), SF black metal misanthropist Jef Whitehead returns after a four-year hiatus with another slab of grim, noisy, isolationist black metal. It won’t be a record for the faint of heart, and if it’s anything as powerful as ’08’s incredible Massive Conspiracy Against All Life then we’re in for a treat.

Release date: February 17


PJ Harvey

The enduring PJ Harvey MBE switches up her workflow once again on her ninth album, which she plans to record in full view of the paying public, like an exotic captive in an Edwardian side show, in the grand milieu of London’s Somerset House.

Release date: TBA


Boy Better Know

He rolled back the years on our #1 track of 2014, and now the Boy Better Know co-founder is preparing to slap even more Gucci belts out of the high street with latest album Konnichiwa. With newfound buddy J-Cush presumably hipping Skepta to the latest producers making waves in the underground, it could be his most interesting full-length yet.

Release date: March 1


No Cities To Love
Sub Pop

Sleater-Kinney don’t make bad records, so the prospect of a reunion album (usually a massive misstep – we see you Pixies) is actually pretty damned exciting. Even if it’s only half as good as their last full-length – 2005’s stunning The Woods – it’ll still no doubt be one of the finest indie-rock records of the year.

Release date: January 20



We’ve been cautiously optimistic about his involvement with Tink’s proper debut, but enough is enough, Timbaland: stop previewing tracks on Hang w/ and get to work. Tink is too talented to be given the Nyemiah Supreme / Ms. Jade treatment.

Release date: TBA

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