Most Anticipated Albums of 2020

We’re already almost a month into 2020, and some of our favorite artists aren’t waiting around to release new music (see: Beach Slang and Pinegrove). But while we’re a little late to previewing the year in music, there are still 11 months left for new tunes to please our ears. Whether we’ve been waiting around for a while (yes, we’re talking about The Strokes) or the time has come for another stellar album cycle, we couldn’t be more excited for what this year has in store for us musically. From Angels & Airwaves to The 1975, take a gander at the 30 records we’re anticipating the most.

Angels & Airwaves

Angels & Airwaves is springing back into action, and it began with the release of two singles and announcement of new tour dates for the first time in seven years. While Blink-182 has released two albums in the time since Tom DeLonge’s project put out The Dream Walker, we’re excited: DeLonge said the record will probably “be the best of my life.” Will it be a concept album about aliens? –Tim Dodderidge

Beach Slang

Things got weird the last time we heard from Beach Slang. After breaking up on stage in 2016 (but not really breaking up at all), not a peep came from the punks about new music — that was, after they efficiently released albums in back-to-back years. But The Deadbeat Bang of Heartbreak City is the most Beach Slang of Beach Slang album titles, and it’s going to rock. –Tim Dodderidge

Car Seat Headrest

Will Toledo took Car Seat Headrest a long way in the 2010s. The band from a definitive lo-fi project of the Internet age into a pseudo-messenger for a certain brand of delayed adolescent anxiety. His third original (and fourth overall) studio record on Matador will inevitably continue this ascent, it’s just a matter of how. –Adit Ahmed

A Day to Remember

A Day to Remember’s seventh full-length, You’re Welcome, was originally slated to come out in November, before they delayed it to spring of this year (a mere week before we expected it to drop). We’ve heard one pop-punk jam (“Degenerates”), one post-hardcore bop (“Resentment”), but we’ll see what’s in store when the outfit’s first release on Fueled by Ramen finally comes out. –Tim Dodderidge

Every Time I Die

Never in Every Time I Die’s career have they left fans waiting this long for a new record. The four years in between Low Teens and their next LP could partly be due to the members settling down and Keith Buckley’s pure rock side project The Damned Things making a return. The Buffalo gang has been a lesson in consistency, though, so we’re expecting another hardcore onslaught as always. –Tim Dodderidge

Fleet Foxes

The return of Fleet Foxes with 2017’s Crack-Up defined that year of indie rock. Bridging the classic indie folk they best exemplified with a healthy dose of psychedelia and experimentation served the band well, and they seem well-tracked to continue that pursuit in the new decade. –Adit Ahmed

Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean ended the decade with an exponential rise in stature, with the acclaim from fans and publications placing him as the face of 2010s R&B. His one-off tracks since Blonde have seen him embrace both the hip-hop forebearers who crafted his rise and his insular sense of self that made it all stick. Perhaps we’ll see him back with a full-length in 2020, and both pursuits would have the potential to leave our Frank fix satisfied. –Adit Ahmed

The Ghost Inside

The Ghost Inside was on track to becoming one of the hardcore scene’s most widely loved acts of all-time until a deadly 2015 bus accident completely altered their career — and the members’ lives. The road to recovery was long and hard, but it hasn’t stopped the Los Angeles natives. Following a sold-out homecoming show last year, a new album is coming this year — with production from Jeremy McKinnon and Will Putney. –Tim Dodderidge

Hayley Williams

After Laughter showcased Paramore’s Hayley Williams at her loosest and most self-fulfilled. The record capped off a decade where Williams took the band on her shoulders and helped carry it to its highest heights. Now, it seems likely that this proneness will carry itself to her solo career as Paramore quiets down for a moment. –Adit Ahmed

The Hotelier

The middle of the 2010s saw two capstones of emo revival from The Hotelier, defining the genre as much as the bands that inspired them. If the band’s growth from pop-punk unknowns with a properly spelt name to emo icons under a new name is any indication, then their newest record has the potential to launch the band to greater heights than before. –Adit Ahmed


Idles’ Joy as an Act of Resistance brought a spark of uniquity to the modern punk sound, with an upbeat yet highly political approach to the genre. It was quite the breakthrough (leading to several awards of this namesake), but the band has been anything but complacent in the few years since. Their recently released live album should hold us over until new music hits the market in 2020. –Tim Dodderidge

Julien Baker

Initially surging from her debut studio LP, Sprained Ankle, and known as a member of the Boygenius project trio, indie folk-rocker Julien Baker is expected to release her third record this year. After making her first two albums in less than a week, Baker said she planned to take her time on this one, allowing herself to “accrue songs in a very organic way.” –Jessica Heim-Brouwer

Kendrick Lamar

Pulitzer Kenny rendered himself as one of the GOATS over the course of five years, and has already cemented a story for himself that will be forever difficult to undermine. None of Kendrick Lamar’s records have felt stale in comparison to the others, and his transition from quietly innovating the studio before bursting out the seams will be a definitive moment in 2020, no doubt. –Adit Ahmed


The triumph we saw from Kesha in 2017 intersected at the peak of overcoming evil male mistreatment and the emergence of our contemporary sense of pop-tism. Kesha’s triumphant victory with Rainbow seems like it’ll only be the beginning, with her newest record bound to excite us to even greater heights in 2020. –Adit Ahmed

King Krule

Following his recent single — which was featured in his short film, Hey World! — Archy Marshall of King Krule is set to release Man Alive! On February 21. The jazz-electronic artist was highly praised for his 2017 record, The OOZ, and its impressive fusion of genres. Given how much new music has evolved even since then, we’re ready for some fresh King Krule tunes. –Jessica Heim-Brouwer

Lana Del Rey

In 2019, Lana Del Rey gifted us with Norman Fucking Rockwell! (our #1 album of the year), and there’s more to come in 2020. Her new spoken word album derives from her poetry book, Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass, coming later this year. Lana announced in an Instagram post that the album will cost “around a dollar,” with half of the proceeds going to various Native American organizations across North America. –Katie Rich

Mac Miller

The world was shaken to its core when rapper Mac Miller passed away in 2018. The posthumous release of Circles, his “companion album” to Swimming, came in January of this year. Jon Brion, the producer who worked on Swimming and was working with Miller on Circles, finished producing the album, dedicating himself to the pursuit based on his time and conversations with the late artist. –Katie Rich

Perfume Genius

Acclaimed pop artist Perfume Genius (a.k.a. Mike Hadreas) tweeted at the end of last year that the new album is done. There’s no confirmed date yet, but his fifth full-length studio record is anticipated in 2020. On top of that, he’ll also be joining Tame Impala in his upcoming North American tour. –Jessica Heim-Brouwer

Phoebe Bridgers

It hasn’t been long since we’ve heard Phoebe Bridgers, as she’s kept pretty busy on side projects since her full-length debut. While she has maintained a presence in the scene, her sophomore record will be a solid chance to see how her work with contemporary protégés in Boygenius and genre forebearer Conor Oberst will inform the next phase of her career. –Adit Ahmed


With their third record in five years, Pinegrove is hitting their strides as one of the emo scene’s most dedicated and decorated acts (just ask Kristen Stewart, who has a tattoo of their logo). But it’s not all hype and symbols, as the band packs substance too. More of this has already come early this year, with the more acoustic-driven Marigold adding to their collection of laidback emo offerings. –Tim Dodderidge

Post Animal

Formerly boasting Stranger Things star and founding member Joe Keery, Post Animal has announced Forward Motion Godyssey — its follow-up to When I Think of You in a Castle — which is dropping February 14. According to the band, the record is going to be as “poppy” and “over-the-top” as they’ve ever been, while preserving their riff-heavy, psych-rock features. –Jessica Heim-Brouwer


PVRIS exploded like few bands in the alternative music scene (except perhaps Twenty One Pilots) this decade, and they gave their fans a little “thank you” for helping catapult them to the mainstream with last year’s Hallucinations EP. Now the Lynn Gunn-led trio is about to get back into their regular album cycle, with full-length number three expected at some point in 2020. –Tim Dodderidge

Run the Jewels

The most recent phase of Killer Mike and El-P’s career have given us some of the most important hip-hop records of this generation. The duo have bridged the underground and mainstream in a way that mirrors their respective career tracks, and their newest will inevitably mix guests, top notch production and new ideas to continue to do the same. –Adit Ahmed

Soccer Mommy

America’s favorite soccer mom is flooring it down the road to even greater success with a follow-up to her 2018 record, Clean. Sophie Allison’s new project, color theory, will arrive in February and has so far released three singles — her sound reminiscent of early 2000s pop stars like Avril Lavigne (whom Allison has noted as a major musical influence). –Jessica Heim-Brouwer

Spanish Love Songs

Spanish Love Songs’ incendiary punk LP Schmaltz brought them comparisons to The Menzingers (it helps that they’re touring together this winter). But with a more rugged and Midwest emo-inspired sound, the group is looking to continue carving their own trail. It starts with a new full-length album, due out in early February in the middle of their European run. –Tim Dodderidge

The Strokes

With a new decade will come an LP from The Strokes for the first time since 2013. According to frontman Julian Casablancas at a New Year’s Eve performance, the band is now “unfrozen” and will be putting out an album “soon.” Considering Casablancas’s involvement in more experimental-slanted side projects in the interim, it’ll be interesting to see whether The Strokes will lean more in that direction or back toward their rock roots. –Jessica Heim-Brouwer

Tame Impala

Valentine’s Day is the official release date of Tame Impala’s greatly anticipated fourth LP, The Slow Rush. It will comprise 12 tracks and — as usual — is recorded, produced, and mixed all by Kevin Parker himself. Comeback single “Patience” won’t be featured on the record, but all singles released since then will be. –Jessica Heim-Brouwer


It took Turnstile three years between their first and second albums, and there’s a good chance that won’t happen again. Two years since Time & Space, Daniel Fang and Pat McCrory look to be putting more energy into their most successful musical output (they’re also members of Angel Du$t) as their popularity continues to snowball. Hopefully that means new music sometime in 2020. –Tim Dodderidge

We Came As Romans

The passing of Kyle Pavone was a tragic loss for We Came As Romans and the metalcore scene at large. The last we had seen of the band, they made a triumphant revival with Cold Like War. Now, they’re pressing on with Dave Stephens taking over vocal duties completely. Two singles (both tributes to Pavone) in “Carry the Weight” and “From the First Note” give a hint of what could come in another hard-hitting album in 2020. –Tim Dodderidge

The 1975

The beloved British band is looking at an April release of Notes on a Conditional Form, which singer Matt Healy has suggested will be “sort of” emo. We got a sample of this sound with the release of one single back in August 2019 titled “People,” a punchy, political punk-rock track that delivered a refreshing perspective into what The 1975 used to be and where they might go. –Jessica Heim-Brouwer

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