Tons of big artists have plans to release new music, and some of my favorites (who aren’t quite so huge) do, too.
Let’s take a look and a listen. Many of them already have new singles out.
The Lumineers, “III” — The Lumineers will be back with foot-stomping folk, and this time there’s a concept surrounding the whole thing. It should be interesting. Listen to this: “Left For Denver”
Charli XCX, “Charli” — For her third album, the pop singer has teamed up with Lizzo, Troye Sivan, Sky Ferreira, Haim and others. It’s full of head-bobbing jams. Listen to this: “Blame It On Your Love” (feat. Lizzo)
Brittany Howard, “Jaime” — For years, I’ve loved watching Howard front the blues-rock band Alabama Shakes. Now she’s doing her own thing, taking complete control over her first solo album. Listen to this: “He Loves Me”
Sturgill Simpson, “Sound & Fury” — You wouldn’t expect the country star to stick to the formula, would you? Simpson’s always done his own thing, and his new album, more of a steamy rock record than a traditional country thing, is more of the same. (Or not, I guess.) Anyway, it’s coming out with an associated anime film, of all things, on Netflix. This one will be wild, and I already love what I’ve heard. Listen to this: “Sing Along”
The New Pornographers, “In the Morse Code of Brake Lights” — As indie rock supergroups go, The New Pornographers are fantastic. A.C. Newman, Neko Case, John Collins, Blaine Thurier, Todd Fancey, Kathryn Calder, Joe Selders and Simi Stone are back at it with another classic pop-inflected rock record full of densely layered music and gorgeous harmonies. More please. Listen to this: “The Surprise Knock”
Tegan and Sara, “Hey, I’m Just Like You” — This time around, the indie-pop singing sisters are reaching way back for their new material. A new memoir, “High School,” traces the beginnings of their musical career when they started writing songs in Calgary, and the new album is full of those songs from their teens. Listen to this: “I’ll Be Back Someday”
Wilco, “Ode to Joy” — For the first time in a while, Wilco is turning pretty hard back to its roots as an alt-country outfit. “Ode to Joy” is very much a big, folky record, and I really love the first single. Listen to this: “Love Is Everywhere (Beware)”
The Avett Brothers, “Closer Than Together” — I never thought I’d be tapping my feet to a synthesizer-filled pop song from the Avetts, but here we are. Of course, the same song also has fiddle and the boys’ distinct harmonies. It’s something new and something classic all at once. Listen to this: “High Steppin’ ”
Big Thief, “Two Hands” — The indie rock band has jumped Saddle Creek for 4AD, but I’m no less excited about Adrienne Lenker’s songs. It follows only a few months after the band’s last record, but that’s what happens when you’re inspired. Listen to this: “Not”
Kim Gordon, “No Home Record” — Formerly of Sonic Youth, Gordon’s coming with her first solo record. The blistering first single, “Sketch Artist,” is a hard-hitting, pitted landscape of buzzing bass sounds. Listen to this: “Sketch Artist”
Neil Young & Crazy Horse, “Colorado” — Young and his long-running band will release their first new music in years with this record. The current lineup — Young, Nils Lofgren, Ralph Molina and Billy Talbot — made the album in Colorado. Listen to this: “Milky Way”
Hootie and the Blowfish, “Imperfect Circle” — Back at one time, Hootie and the Blowfish was one of the most popular acts around. “Cracked Rear View” is one of the most popular albums ever. Anyway, they’ve been on hiatus for a decade while Darius Rucker had a killer solo career. (Just, y’know, six No. 1 country songs and 10 total top 10s. Not bad.) Now they’re back with new music for the first time in nearly 15 years. They haven’t released any songs yet, but it should be a big deal when they do.