90+ albums to look forward to in 2015

by Kara Murphy on January 9, 2015

Is it too early to call it? Sleater-Kinney's latest may be 2015's best.

Is it too early to call it? Sleater-Kinney’s latest may be 2015’s best.

Don’t call it a comeback. It’s just worth acknowledging that years have passed since the forecast for upcoming releases has been this bright. Here’s hoping it doesn’t amount to an audio equivalent of the anticipation and subsequent let down one might experience on New Year’s Eve. Giorgio Moroder (who really made Daft Punk’s latest album a worthwhile listen), The Juliana Hatfield Three, and Sleater-Kinney are just a few of the sorely-missed acts making triumphant, long-awaited returns in 2015.

This list may have grown by twenty additional albums compared to last year, but that doesn’t mean every last major release was included. Sorry to inform you, in advance, that you won’t find the likes of Papa Roach, Marilyn Manson, Fall Out Boy, Fergie Ferg, or Canada’s *pride*/current Calvin Klein cover boy, Justin Bieber listed. Even Mumford & Sons will not be mentioned beyond this sentence. That’s just Spinning Platters allowing me and my subjective musical tastes to run amok. However, there is something here for every musical taste imaginable and as I mentioned at the conclusion, if there was something we must all know about that was overlooked, let it be known in the comments.

Read on, discover some new gems, and get an overview of what to expect this coming year. I’ve even included links to lead-off tracks where they’re available and, of course, my own witless banter when absolutely necessary. Happy New Year of listening.

January

January 13th

FencesLesser Oceans

GusterEvermotion 

This is their first album in 4 years. Produced by Shins keyboardist/Black Keys bassist Richard Swift, it finds them experimenting with every facet of their sound. The cover art is something else entirely; the process a must-read

You can stream Evermotion on SoundCloud right now.

Guster-Evermotion-album-art

Panda BearPanda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper

Recently the new website was unleashed and it is gorgeous, not to mention seizure-inducing. Check it out in all it’s psychedelic glory, but be warned that it might bring on this type of side effect.

Watch the video for first single, “Mr. Noah.”

panda bear

Mark RonsonUptown Special 

Ronson returns after five years with a follow up to Record Collection. Stevie Wonder, Mystikal, and Bruno Mars are guests but the coolest, most surprising collaboration here has to be with Berkeley’s own Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Michael Chabon. Amazing.

Listen to “Uptown Funk” featuring Bruno Mars here.

Meghan TrainorTitle

Admittedly, I was never all about that bass (I’ll show myself out for that one). That doesn’t matter. This one has talent and a refreshing look and feel to everything not normally celebrated in modern pop. L.A. Reid discovered her, too, and he’s rarely off the mark on discovering new talent.

Listen to Title here. Disclaimer: I hope this is actually her official SoundCloud account.

From left: new albums from The Decemberists, Lupe Fiasco, Belle & Sebastian, Mark Ronson

From left: new albums from The Decemberists, Lupe Fiasco, Belle & Sebastian, Mark Ronson

January 20th

Belle and SebastianGirls in Peacetime Want to Dance

Listen to “The Cat with the Cream” here.

The DecemberistsWhat a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World

This album title perfectly sums up the state of the planet we live on. The Decemberists never disappoint, either.

Listen to the first single, “Make You Better.”

Lupe FiascoTetsuo & Youth

In a just world this guy would be more renowned and successful than fellow Chicago rapper and collaborator, Kanye West. Could this be the year that happens?

Listen to “Adoration of the Magi” here.

Joey Bada$$B4.DA.$$

Expect this Brooklynite to be on of 2015’s breakthrough artists.

Listen to “Christ Conscious” here.

Sleater-KinneyNo Cities to Love

Fortunately, Carrie Brownstein isn’t a tease. She hinted at a Sleater-Kinney reunion before the next season of Portlandia aired and here we are. I do know a few full-grown men-turned-groupies who have already made travel plans, far in advance, to catch as much of their North American tour as possible. Also, the New York Times went ahead and declared it the first great album of 2015.

Listen to “Bury our Friends” here.

The Waterboys Modern Blues

Listen to “November Tale” here.

January 27th

The CharlatansModern Nature

Listen to “So Oh” here.

Jamie CullumInterlude

Watch the album trailer here.

Dengue FeverThe Deepest Lake

Listen to “No Sudden Moves” here.

The DodosIndivid

Listen to “Retriever” here.

Happy FangsCapricorn

This group has to be one of the most exciting punk acts to emerge from the Bay Area since Green Day, maybe? That’s actually a bad analogy. The point I’m trying to make is that one year ago, they added a seriously kick-ass female drummer and in the wake of their first official album release, they’re starting to get the recognition from nationwide outlets that they deserve. Expect to see/hear about them a lot more in the coming year.

Listen to “Lone Wolves” here.

The Lone BellowThen Came the Morning

Listen to title track “Then Came the Morning” here.

Ne-Yo Non-Fiction

Listen to “She Knows” here.

Punch BrothersThe Phosphorescent Blues

Listen to “Julep” here.

Ty Segall Live in San Francisco

This is the only live album mentioned on here and for good reason. The latest release in a string of live performances from Castle Face Records, it’s produced by Thee Oh Sees John Dwyer along with Eric Bauer, Chris Woodhouse, and Bob Marshall. Black and white photos shot by Brian Pritchard are also added in as a bonus.

Listen to “What’s Inside Your Heart” here.

From left: new albums from  Punch Brothers, Marina and the Diamonds, The Dodos, and A Place to Bury Strangers.

From left: new albums from Punch Brothers, Marina and the Diamonds, The Dodos, and A Place to Bury Strangers.

February

February 3rd

John CarpenterLost Themes

Want to take a trip back to your scariest, most exhilarating childhood moments? The award-winning director and composer behind Halloween, Escape From New York, They Live, Assault on Precinct 13 is releasing his debut solo album. The promotional site is something to behold too.

The ChurchFurther/Deeper

Listen to “Pride Before a Fall” here.

Bob DylanShadows in the Night

This one is a covers album, something unusual for Rob Zimmerman. He picked a bevy of pop standards made famous by Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra.

Listen to “Full Moon and Empty Arms” here.

Kid InkFull Speed

Diana KrallWallflower

Produced by David Foster, this is another covers collection of hits that have inspired Krall including “Desperado.”

Listen to the album medley here.

Two GallantsWe Are Undone

Listen to title track “We Are Undone.”

February 17th

Butch WalkerAfraid of Ghosts

Listen to title track “Afraid of Ghosts” here.

Father John Misty I Love You, Honeybear

Forget the amazing artwork for a moment: the lead off single “Bored in the USA” is enough to tell that this is a proper follow-up to the former Fleet Foxes member’s phenomenal 2012 debut, Fear Fun.

Watch the album trailer here.

Father John Misty I Love You Honeybear

A Place to Bury StrangersTransfixiation

Steve Earle & the DukesTerraplane

EstelleTrue Romance

Listen to “Something Good” here.

José GonzálezVestiges & Claws

José’s been up to a lot of good stuff. He collaborated with Ben Stiller on a film score and toured with Junip. Now he’s back with his his first solo release in seven years.

Watch the album trailer here. This is not related to Vestiges & Claws, but his recent live cover of TLC’s “Waterfalls” is everything.

The Juliana Hatfield ThreeWhatever, My Love

This is their first album in 21 years.

Listen to “If I Could” here.

Imagine DragonsSmoke + Mirrors

Watch the album trailer here.

Kate PiersonGuitars and Microphones

Yes, I may have a soft spot in my heart for “Love Shack” but I am curious/excited for the The B-52s’ lead singer’s debut solo album – especially since Sia has a hand in its production.

Listen to “Mister Sister” here.

The SubwaysBlackbirds

Listen to “I am in Love and it’s Burning My Soul” here. Pre-order the album now and get the first six tracks.

February 24th

Dan Deacon Glass Riffer

Listen to “Feel the Lightning” plus get the stems here.

Dan Deacon - Glass Riffer

Gang of FourWhat Happens Next

Listen to “Broken Talk” here.

Screaming FemalesRose Mountain

Listen to “Criminal Image” here.

TorcheRestarter

Watch the album trailer here.

March

March 3rd

Brandi Carlile The Firewatcher’s Daughter

Listen to “The Eye” here.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Chasing Yesterday 

This recent article is why I love Noel Gallagher. The former Oasis guitarist makes more headlines for being outspoken, and starting the occasional brawl, than for his music…which doesn’t disappoint either. Johnny Marr guests on “Battle of the Mighty I.” Also, one can’t help but think of High Flying Birds as a euphemism for how Gallagher really feels about more than just the music charts.

Listen to “High Flying Birds” here.

of montreal

Modest Mouse – Strangers to Ourselves 

If you’re wondering where they’ve been, this is their first album since 2007.

Listen to “Lampshades on Fire” here.

of MontrealAureate Gloom

Listen to “Bassem Sabry” here.

Purity Ring Another Eternity

Listen to “Begin Again” here.

From left: new albums from The Go! Team, Brandi Carlile, Modest Mouse, and  The Soft Moon Decay.

From left: new albums from The Go! Team, Brandi Carlile, Modest Mouse, and The Soft Moon Decay.

March 10th

Will Butler – Policy 

Arcade Fire’s frontman releases his debut solo album. The trailer is a bit wacky in the way of trying-to-look-like-I-don’t-take-myself-too-seriously.

DiagramsChromatics 

Listen to “Phantom Power” here.

MadonnaRebel Heart

So this album leaked and Madonna responded by releasing six finished tracks on iTunes. She also came under fire for using the likeness of Martin Luther King Jr., amongst other persecuted historical figures, in her promotional content imitating the image below. Really, just another day in the life of Madonna. She’s still my favorite pop star and I’m hoping this is a full departure from the disappointing MDNA.

Listen to “Living for Love” here.

The image that started it all.

The image that started it all.

March 17th

Allison Moorer Down to Believing

Listen to “Like it Used to Be” here.

Twin ShadowEclipse

Listen to “Turn Me Up” here.

March 24th

The Go! TeamThe Scene Between

No group does multi-layered, contextual sound like The Go! Team. Even NPR is all over this and featured the title track as the kick off jam in their All Songs Considered, A New Mix for a New Year, feature. Can’t wait to hear this one.

Listen to “The Scene Between” here.

Laura MarlingShort Movie

Listen to “Short Movie” here.

Laura Marling - Short Movie

March 31st

The Soft MoonDecay

April

Marina and the Diamonds Froot

Marina and the Diamonds – FROOT

The gorgeous chanteuse returns.

Listen to title track “Froot” here.

June

June 1st

RiFF RAFF – The Peach Panther

RiFF RAFF – The Purple Panther

What, no Pink Panther? Here’s hoping that training for the WWE (as in wrestling) doesn’t deflect from Jody Highroller’s calling in life: to amaze us with his mad lyrical skillz.

TBA

Faith No More – TBA (sometime in April, their seventh album and first release in eighteen years)

My Morning Jacket – TBA (sometime in April)

A$AP Rocky – TBA

Adele – TBA

Band of Horses – TBA

Beach House – TBA

Björk – TBA

James Blake – TBA

Chromatics – Dear Tommy (release date, TBA)

The Dead Weather – TBA

Death Cab for Cutie – TBA

Disclosure – TBA

Drake – Views from the 6

Sky Ferreira – TBA

Brandon Flowers – TBA (The Killers’ frontman releases his second solo album).

Grimes – TBA

PJ Harvey – TBA (she’s doing it live.)

Kendrick Lamar – TBA

Lil Wayne – Tha Carter V

Loretta Lynn – TBA (For her last album, she worked with Jack White of the Dead Weather – listed above. This time around, she’s collaborating with her daughter and Johnny Cash’s son.)

Metallica – TBA

Giorgio Moroder – 74 Is the new 24 (Sometime in March, the father of synth disco will return with his first release in 30 odd years. Be stoked.) Listen to “74 Is the New 24

Joanna Newsom – TBA

No Doubt (or Gwen Stefani) – TBA

Frank Ocean – TBA

Pusha T – King Push

Radiohead – TBA

Rihanna – TBA

Run the JewelsRTJ3 and Meow the Jewels (RTJ2 made our top albums of the year list, which is no easy feat. The Kickstarter for Meow the Jewels was also a resounding success for cat lovers + rap aficionados everywhere.)

The Smashing PumpkinsDay For Night

Tool – TBA

Kanye West – TBA

The Wrens – TBA

If there is anything you think is missing, let your voice be heard in the comments below.

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