2020 for all its shortcomings was actually a great year for music. There was plenty to get excited about but it looks like 2021 is taking on the challenge of beating it. With a vaccine promising to return us to some normality, musicians are on standby, ready to drop big projects and tour again. Here are the albums we’re getting the most excited about.
Cardi B - TBA
Cardi B hasn’t dropped an album since 2018’s show-stopping Invasion Of Privacy but it looks like 2021 could be the year. She had a huge 2020 with WAP and we’re anticipating that it’s going to be part of a larger project. In December, she hinted that it’s going to be done by February so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Saweetie - Pretty B.I.T.C.H. Music
Despite 2020 bringing a lot to a halt, Saweetie pushed through and had a spectacular year. She had another chart hit with Tap In, appeared on the Birds Of Prey soundtrack and finished it up with a Jhene Aiko collab. All eyes are now on what the rapper will do with a full-length. The album is called Pretty B.I.T.C.H. Music and she told Teen Vogue, “All I can say is it will be my true artistry.”
Adele - TBA
It’s been almost six years since Adele said, “Hello,” with her album 25. At the end of last year, she hosted SNL, sparking album rumours but she announced that it wasn’t done yet. Everyone has remained tight-lipped on when to expect the album but given she’s made a return to the public sphere, there’s an expectation that an announcement is imminent. Given she’s gone through a divorce in between albums, you can expect to have your heart torn to shreds.
Kendrick Lamar - TBA
Kendrick Lamar used to be on a consistent release schedule but he hasn’t dropped a solo album since 2017’s DAMN. Damn, indeed. So what do we know about the new album? Nothing, actually. Lamar was due to headline a number of festivals including Glastonbury in 2020 but their cancellation meant he never made it to the stage. It’s likely that his return was going to coincide with those festivals, so is he holding it until he can play live again?
Lorde - TBA
Lorde’s Melodrama was a defining pop album and fans know by now that it takes time for her to construct such excellence. A 2021 Lorde album is looking highly likely now though as she’s begun to drop hints. In October, she encouraged people to vote in a New Zealand election in return for something “next year”. Well, it’s now next year and it seems she’ll keep her promise. She reportedly came up with the album title on a trip to Antarctica. As for what it will sound like, she told fans in an email last year, “The work is so fucking good, my friend.”
Lana Del Rey - Chemtrails Over The Country Club
Here’s an album that we can count on coming, maybe. Lana Del Rey has announced that Chemtrails Over The Country Club, the lead single from her album of the same name, will be released in January alongside the album pre-order. The follow-up to 2019’s Norman Fucking Rockwell, however, was originally slated for release in September but that month came and went with no album. She was also meant to release an album of American standard covers on Christmas day but that also never arrived. Expect the unexpected with LDR. You should know that by now.
SZA - TBA
SZA’s CTRL follow-up has been anticipated for years but it looks to be near. Last year, she released Hit Different and followed it up with Good Days. Now, chatter about the album has begun. She told Cosmopolitan in her cover story, “This album is going to be the shit that made me feel something in my...here and in here.” Hook it to our veins immediately.
Rihanna - TBA
We’ve just finished wiping off the clown paint from last year’s expectations of a Rihanna album but here we are again. We’ve been waiting on the follow-up 2016’s ANTI for what feels like a lifetime. She’s teased it here and there, hinting that it’s going to be a reggae record while Pharrell’s involvement also looks highly likely. For now, though, she’s back to trolling fans about its arrival. She responded to an eager fan asking for the album just days ago writing, “This comment is sooo 2019. Grow up.” Guess we’ll just sit and wait patiently then.
Charli XCX - TBA
Last year, Charli XCX made a whole album from scratch in lockdown. Had the pandemic not happened though, the year would’ve gone very differently for the popstar from the future. She was originally planning to release two albums - one highly conceptual one and another “quicker” one. We got the “quicker” one thanks to COVID-19 but we’re still waiting on the other. According to Charli, it’s inspired by Janet Jackson and she’s talked about, “big videos and me in crazy blonde hair and wigs.” “That album was probably my most polished, I’ll say, aesthetically and possibly musically, too,” she said about the paused LP in an interview with Stereogum. COVID may have given us how i’m feeling now but now we need it to GTFO so we can have the next one.
FKA twigs - TBA
Like a number of musicians, FKA twigs was busy during lockdown. In October, she announced to the Grammy Museum that she was “just finishing” the project, her first since 2019’s MAGDALENE. It was produced by El Guincho who has worked with Rosalia and J Balvin. At the end of last year, she debuted a new song with Dua Lipa during Lipa’s Studio 2054 live stream.
Drake - Certified Lover Boy
Drake ruled the charts again last year with Toosie Slide and Laugh Now Cry Later. He picked up Grammy nominations for the latter, around the time he announced Certified Lover Boy would arrive in January. There’s still no word yet on exactly what date that record will arrive but it’s likely to obliterate the charts once it does.
Billie Eilish - TBA
Billie Eilish was another busy in lockdown. Alongside her brother Finneas, they worked on new music releasing two new tracks My Future and Therefore I Am. Her world tour was brought to a halt, stopping fans from hearing WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? in the live arena. Once that tour resumes, she may have a new record out. She told fans in December, she was ready to start a new era. “I have announcements to make, I got shit to put out,” she said.