Stereogum's 50 Most Anticipated Albums Of 2011

To tackle the cliché head-on, if you’re a big music fan, every year is a good year for music. People (and their Droids) seem more cynical than ever, but only a true curmudgeon could make it through any given 12 months without liking anything (well, the mid ’90s had a couple grim moments). That said, 2011 appears to have more than enough to keep even the angriest amongst you smiling amid the steady unemployment, nostalgia-act reunions, oil spills and explosions, celebrity sickness/divorce/death, chillwave, and even Glee.

Kanye West and his Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy owned the latter part of 2010 — with the news of his five-song 2011 Watch The Throne collaboration with Jay-Z, he may very well own a chunk of next year, too. Speaking of owning: 2010 — also known as the year post-Merriweather Post Pavilion — was a somewhat quiet one for Animal Collective outside of ODDSAC and Avey Tare’s Down There. The next one brings us the next best thing to a new AC collection, Tomboy, Panda Bear’s much anticipated followup to 2007′s Person Pitch. We’ll also have the first proper Aphex Twin full-length since 2001′s Drukqs. In the time after Richard D. James paused, guitars have definitely taken a bit of a backseat in many corners of underground music and for the general listener — think chillwave, witch house, death disco, homemade GarageBand mashes, the sampled guitar-rock of Girl Talk, etc. With this landscape as his backdrop, it’ll be interesting to see how much further James, a popular electronic musician even non-electronic music fans have always liked, can spread his reach. (He’s said he’s recorded six albums worth of material since we last heard from him, so it’ll also be interesting to see how much these outside shifts have influenced his own output.) As far as other long waits, it seems Strokes IV will see the light of day in 2011, or at least that’s what the @band says. All in all, the old guard is well represented in the following list: The Cars, Beastie Boys, U2, Foo Fighters, etc. (What year is this again?)

Speaking of our list: We chose the 50 most important or enticing. And while it’s limited primarily to releases that have been confirmed, we have made a few assumptions (e.g., that the Wrens and Avalanches will finish their Chinese Democracies).

Click on an artist name for recent news, and in some cases MP3s, from these forthcoming LPs.

HONORABLE MENTIONS & SPECULATIONS:

  • …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Tao Of The Dead Part I: Tao Of the Dead (2/4 via Richter Scale)
  • Akron/Family – S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT (2/8 via Dead Oceans)
  • Damon Albarn/Flea/Tony Allen Project – TBA
  • Asobi Seksu – Fluoresence (2/15 via Polyvinyl)
  • Banjo Or Freakout – TBA (via Rare Book Room)
  • Battles – TBA
  • Beady Eye – TBA
  • Beck – TBA
  • Black Lips – TBA
  • Bon Iver – TBA
  • BRAIDS – Native Speaker (1/18 via Kanine Records)
  • Bright Eyes – The People’s Key (2/15 via Saddle Creek)
  • British Sea Power – Valhalla Dancehall (via Rough Trade)
  • Burial – TBA
  • Cake – Showroom Of Compassion (1/11 via Upbeat)
  • Coldplay – TBA
  • Cornershop – Cornershop & The Double ’O’ Groove Of
  • Crystal Stilts – TBA
  • Danielson – Best of Gloucester County (2/22 via Sounds Familyre)
  • The Death Set – Michel Poiccard (via Ninjatune)
  • Deerhoof – Deerhoof Vs. Evil (1/25 via Polyvinyl)
  • DeVotchKa – 100 Lovers (2/15 via ANTI-)
  • Drive-By Truckers – Go-Go Boots (2/15 via ATO)
  • Ducktails – Ductails III: Arcade Dynamics (1/10 via Woodsist)
  • East River Pipe – We Live In Rented Rooms (2/15 via Merge)
  • Eleventh Dream Day – Riot Now! (3/22 via Thrill Jockey)
  • Esben & The Witch – Violet Cries (2/8 via Matador)
  • Explosions In The Sky – TBA
  • Matthew Friedberger – Solos (Jan, March, May, July, Sept, Nov via Thrill Jockey)
  • The Feelies – TBA (Spring via Bar/None)
  • Lupe Fiasco – Lasers (2/14 via Atlantic)
  • The Forms – Derealization (2/15 via Threespheres/Ernest Jenning)
  • Fujiya & Miyagi – Ventriloquizzing (1/25 via Yep Roc)
  • Peter Gabriel – New Blood
  • The Get Up Kids – There Are Rules (via Quality Hill Records)
  • The Good, The Bad, & The Queen – TBA
  • Gorillaz – TBA
  • The Human League – Credo
  • Islands – TBA
  • Jane’s Addiction – TBA
  • Keren Ann – TBA
  • The Kills – TBA
  • Talib Kweli – Gutter Rainbows (1/25 via Talibra)
  • Avril Lavigne – Goodbye Lullabye (3/8 via RCA)
  • Jens Lekman – TBA
  • Low – TBA
  • The Luyas – Too Beautiful To Work (2/22 via Dead Oceans)
  • MEN – Talk About Body (2/1 via IAMSOUND)
  • Mister Heavenly – TBA
  • Neon Indian – TBA
  • Noah & The Whale – TBA (via Lost Club/Mercury Records)
  • Okkervil River – TBA
  • Beth Orton – TBA
  • Portishead – TBA
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers – TBA
  • Rick Rizzo & Tara Key – Double Star
  • Sic Alps – Napa Asylum (1/25 via Drag City)
  • The Skull Defekts – Peer Amid
  • Britney Spears – TBA
  • Tape Deck Mountain – Secret Serf EP
  • Telekinesis! – 12 Desperate Straight Lines (2/15 via Merge)
  • John Vanderslice – White Wilderness (1/25 via Dead Oceans)
  • VEGA – TBA
  • White Lies – Ritual (1/18 via Fiction)
  • Wild Flag – TBA
  • Lucinda Williams – Blessed (3/1 via Lost Highway)
  • Win Win – Win Win (Vice
  • Patrick Wolf – TBA (via Hideout)
  • Wye Oak – Civilian (3/8 via Merge)
  • Yuck – Yuck (2/15 via Fat Possum)

DID WE MISS ANY? Shout out in the comments and we’ll add to the master list.

 
Comments (220)
  1. Holy shit. Are the Beastie Boys and Radiohead albums legitimatley coming out next year or is this just what people are anticipating on. I need Adam Yauch and Thom Yorke updates!!! lol

  2. I’m sorry, but any year where PJ Harvey releases an album called “Let England Shake” is going to be a great year.

    • I’m pretty sure any year PJ Harvey releases an album is going to be a great year. ; )

      That being said, the title track is pretty bizarre, though I’ll wait until I hear the album version to cast judgment, especially considering I was pretty apathetic about the White Chalk songs I’d heard until I heard the album.

  3. no mention of bright eyes?

  4. Coldplay’s worth mentioning.

    Also, haha at The Avalanches. They were on this list last year. And probably many before.

  5. Burial, Outkast (and Andre 3000 solo), Body Talk Pts. 4-6?

    Please.

  6. The Forms’ new album comes out in January, I think.

  7. Battles should be dropping an album. Worth mentioning.
    I think Hella’s gonna drop the bomb as well…2-piece style!

  8. David Bazan is working on one, and you can help him make it, get your name in the liner notes. http://goo.gl/vMBUE

  9. City & Colour

  10. The Streets album is called Computers And Blues – there’s already a track by track preview on nme.com giving a 7th February UK date.

    Low are recording an album Alan says will be called C’mon (http://www.thevine.com.au/music/interviews/low-_-interview20101013.aspx). Wild Beasts claimed at the end of October that they were about to go into the studio.

  11. I’m excited for the Givers LP whenever it comes out.

  12. Horray for Earth album early next year. . . Come on, now!

  13. Thanks for the suggestions everybody! Will update the list w them.

  14. I know most people don’t consider them to be “cool”, but They Might Be Giants should have a new album out next year.

  15. I sincerely hope putting Lady Gaga on this list is a joke

  16. Boards of Canada are long overdue. Burial as well. Also looking forward to (hopefully) a real Daft Punk album.

    • Oh yeah, and Tycho… on Ghostly International… he’s been mentioned working on his new album a few times on his ISO50 blog. Coastal Brake was great… can’t wait to hear his new stuff.

    • Haven’t heard anything from Boards Of Canada’s camp in a while. Burial’s looking likely. Added, thanks.

  17. Flotation Toy Warning is working on a new album that should be released sometime next year, hopefully the seven year wait will be worth it.

  18. New of Montreal E.P. out next year, that should be interesting as, I hear it’s being sold as a boardgame.

  19. Portishead are announcing something today. So that should hit number 1! Also – BATTLES!

  20. Akron/Family – ST II…
    That band doesn’t get enough press ever, and i’m sure this album is going to be awesome.
    http://bit.ly/hiqMBX

    Also, i know nobody likes them, but i’m looking forward to Trail of Dead’s album in the new year as well.

  21. oh god why is lil wayne on this list? i hope he doesn’t get “stereogum friendly”. i can handle kanye news, but if lil wayne news is constantly on here i might just lose my shit. but everything else is exciting.

  22. Dispatch. There’s a countdown on their website. It’s either a tour or reunion. I can’t tell

    • I mean either a tour or an album. There is clearly some sort of reunion happening. It’s the countdown to the new year but what does it mean? Apparently they booked a show at red rocks in Boulder Colorado. So it could be a one show deal like the Zimbabwe thing but there’s also rumors for them to headline bonnaroo, coachella and lollapalooza

  23. The Streets have had this fifth album in the works for what feels like forever.

  24. I’ll believe in a new Avalanches album when I see it.

  25. there’s really an aphex twin album coming out? holy shit!

  26. cymbals eat guitars possibly? idk thou… actually pretty interested in their next record

  27. Smith Westerns is called Dye It Blonde.

    Danielson is titled Best of Gloucester County.

  28. Bon Iver will have one out some time next year (per today’s Vulture J. Vernon interview) and it will feature saxophones! I’m hoping for a Ye verse or two.

  29. Millionyoung debut LP in February

  30. I should also mention that there’s a slew of metal stuff Brandon will save for another list. This list was a staff mind meld.

  31. Tegan and Sara are recording an album next year, hopefully out in 2011?

  32. Explosions in the Sky will have a new one in the spring.

  33. looking forward to new jens lekman… the new cut copy track is pretty disappointing.

  34. What about Portugal. The Man?!

  35. Spencer Krug suggested that we might hear more from his solo ‘moonface’ project soon, once WP stops touring. There was no indication of what form we`ll hear it in, but given how exciting his EP was, the thought of a full length is very enticing.

  36. Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde – January 18.

  37. Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972 (February 14)

  38. With greatest certainty I can say new music written or produced by Jack White will be released in 2011.

  39. Insane Clown Posse – The Mighty Death Pop!

  40. cannot be more excited to hear the new battles album than last time (when they swung by 3 times in quick succession) except the prospect of having it vocal-less due to the ousting of braxton!!!!

  41. What about the Kills ?

    • Good point!
      Apparently they’re about done with their new album according to Facebook, which is awesome since last I heard Jamie Hince’s laptop with all the new songs on it got drowned in a pool (granted, I think that was a while ago). : /

  42. …and what about Noah and the Whale? Now, we know the name (Last Night On Earth) and the release month (march) http://bit.ly/evHbYx

  43. I’m excited about Lady Gaga. As for The Avalanches, I agree with everyone else, I’ll believe it when I see it. Also yay for Jens Lekman, M83, The Wrens, Patrick Wolf, Deerhoof, Tennis, Burial (should have been on the other list!), The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The Go! Team, The Strokes and Radiohead.

  44. woozefa  |   Posted on Nov 24th, 2010 +3

    if you’re looking forward to lady gaga at all, there’s something intrinsically wrong with you. however, if you’re looking forward to lady gaga more than mogwai, M83, radiohead, and the twilight singers, we just cannot ever be friends. :(

  45. godspeed you black emperor!!!!!

  46. White Lies – Ritual (1/25)

  47. Ms. Lauryn Hill. Elbow. And Fiona Apple.

  48. Tennis’ ‘Cape Dory’ is actually coming out on January 18 I believe along with Smith Westerns’ new one.

  49. AMY WINEHOUSE! Hello!

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