50 Most Anticipated Albums

A whole lot of music happened in 2011. Like a whole lot. Virtually every artist on our collective radar seemed to release and album or a mixtape or five mixtapes or a cassette-only EP that, if you wanted it, you had to rob somebody at knifepoint outside Other Music. Music in general could be excused for taking a breather in 2012, especially with the Mayan apocalypse looming and all. But no, that’s not happening. Already, we’re excited to hear a whole ton of music that’s slated to arrive over the next 12 months.

The year ahead of us raises a whole ton of questions. Can James Mercer’s reconstituted Shins recapture their once-dominant indie majesty? Do Sleigh Bells have anywhere left to go after their face-rupturing first album? Can the xx possibly follow up that first album? Is Nicki Minaj, a certified pop star at this point, really going back to her jackhammer demon-rap roots? What are Best Coast and Jon Brion cooking up together? Will the return of Leonard Cohen leave a smoking hole at the center of all of our hearts? And will Lana Del Rey still be worth arguing about a couple of months from now? We don’t know, and we can’t wait to find out, but the period of speculation is, in its way, just as fun.

Below, you’ll find our alphabetical list of fiftysomething albums that we can’t wait to hear. We’ve limited our scope to albums that are definitely (or, at the very least, almost definitely) coming out during the next calendar year, which means the Detoxes and Aphex Twin comebacks will have to find spots on someone else’s list. (For real though, can those please come out finally?) And even without the hypotheticals, we’re left with a deeply interesting list of new records. And if the world does crumble next December, at least we’ll have fun batting these records around between now and then.

So that’s our list. But what are we missing? What are you guys looking forward to hearing next year? Let’s keep this conversation going in the comments section, and we’ll update as we get more confirmations…

Comments (348)
  1. Also, with the EP as a teaser I think whatever Gary Clark Jr. does next will be massive!
    @WeepingElvis1…follow us!

  2. There’s going to be a new Soundgarden album? Can we just all admit that Chris Cornell has turned into everyone’s lesbian aunt and let it all go? We’ll always have Badmotorfinger.

  3. atoms for peace? thought they were releasing an album in 2012? no?

  4. Tyler the Creator?

  5. Air is Stereogum’s most anticipated album of next year???!!!!1! More than Animal Collective, Beach House and Grizzly Bear? Good grief…

    Between this and the lack of ANY traditional Celtic folk music on the Best of 2011 list, I’m about done with this site.

  6. In an interview on NPR yesterday Trent Reznor sure left the door open for more NIN…you never know when that will come from him.

  7. Marc Broussard has asked to be released from his Atlantic contract so his next album will be self-released…look for something much more like Carencro….his BEST!

    Also, watch out for the two Irish guys now settled in BKLYN… The Guggenheim Grotto to hit w/ another album of stellar songs.

  8. I think Pinback may have an album coming out, maybe?

  9. GOOD Music Collaboration Album
    Kanye’s Sixth Album

  10. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  11. I’m stoked for Evan Voytas.

  12. Dr. Dog
    Good Old War (3/6)

    Philly in the house!

  13. Passion Pit and Local Natives for sure need to be here.

  14. hopefully a new Converge album.

  15. Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors, Grizzly Bear, The XX, it’s like it’s 2009 all over again (in a good way).

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  17. also, new Jodis album!

  18. Vampire Weekend and the Morning Benders are most definitely recording music right now for release in 2012. They’ve been tweeting about it!

  19. Fleetwood Mac still exists?

  20. No Pumpkins after that great interview lol? I normally hate how people treat Pitchfork like it’s the all knowing, but the bands that recorded Pitchfork’s top 3 albums of 09 are all releasing records in 2012 (Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors, and The XX in case you didn’t know). So I am pretty excited about that. Also, Santogold and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs should be releasing new music.

  21. Sorry for repeating Simon Chapman lol

  22. Mark Stewart – The Politics of Envy (March 26th on Future Noise Music)

    Featuring: Richard Hell, Keith Levene, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry + members of the Slits, Primal Scream, the Raincoats, Massive Attack, the Jesus and Mary Chain…it’s going to be truly epic.

  23. What about Die Antwoord?

  24. Marina and the Diamonds – Electra Heart
    Saint Saviour’s debut album
    and I hope Paloma Faith finds her new producer….

  25. What you really forgot was Shearwater….
    And the Wrens….

  26. Can I make one final plea for Sharon VanEtten (2/7 via Jagjaguwar)? It’s produced by Aaron Dessner! Everyone loves her (the National, Bon Iver, the Antlers, stereogum readers)!

  27. howsabout tennis’ new album? 2/14 i believe?

  28. Allo Darlin, Tennis!!, Vampire Weekend

  29. The Smashing Pumpkins “Oceania” is earmarked for a March release. That certainly should have been on there. This album might put them on the map after a decade of mediocrity. Hope you add them.

  30. The Walkmen sucked. Saw them in Tulsa opening for Fleet Foxes. At the start they were all like “Were only here passing through on our way to SXSW” basically like a big fuck you to the whole crowd, playing a 6 song set, with neither of their biggest songs on their new album and then fucked off.

    When Fleet Foxes came out, they basically dissed The Walkmen for playing such a shitty set and proceeded to play a 24 song 3 hour set that teared down the house.

  31. Éamonn Shannon  |   Posted on Dec 22nd, 2011 0

    Maniac – Sons of Summer
    Vampire Weekend

  32. WOAH WOAH WOAH, hold your horses everybody. This list is missing the following albums:

    Stars – TBA
    Metric – TBA
    Oren Lavie – TBA
    Regina Spektor – What We Saw From The Cheap Seats
    Our Broken Garden (Efterklang side project) – TBA
    White Hinterland – TBA
    Eight And A Half – TBA
    Gang Colours – The Keychain Collection
    The Good Natured – TBA
    Modest Mouse – TBA
    If These Trees Could Talk – TBA
    The Darcys (x2) – TBA/TBA
    Sea Wolf – TBA
    Great Northern – TBA
    Chilly Gonzales – Solo Piano II

    …and with that, here’s to one ace year in music. :)

  33. Looking forward to another album from The Soft Pack

  34. Albums that I didn’t see on your initial list: Sharon Van Etten- Tramp 2/7
    Fanfarlo- Rooms Filled with Light 2/27
    Besides those 2, off your list I would be most excited for Rufus Wainwright, Janelle Monae, No Doubt, and I’ll admit I’m at least curious in the Lana Del Rey album, although she was oversaturated this year, “Videogames” is still great so we’ll see if she’s worth the hype…

  35. The Morning Benders

  36. Titus Andronicus LP #3!

  37. Questlove said D’Angelo’s new record is almost done. But who knows if that’ll be out before 2013. But, if that is coming, shouldn’t that really be #1? I mean, he left us with Voodoo, and it’s been ELEVEN years since that slice of genius.

  38. SIGUR ROS!!! Also, the name of the Rick Ross album…

  39. - Evan Voytas
    - Purity Ring
    - The Shins

  40. Scott Walker is at work recording his new album now (source: http://4ad.com/artists/scottwalker). Which, to me, is clearly the most exciting thing that could potentially come out next year, because Scott Walker.

  41. This will never happen, but I’d bust a joy-cap in all my friend’s asses if Fugazi surprised us by going back into the studio together.

  42. Stone Roses !!!!!

  43. The albums that I am exicted for are by Janelle monae and The xx , i loved their last albums

  44. what about the tennis? “origins” kicks my ear’s butt.

  45. I can’t believe Sigur Ros isn’t on this list. This list is dead to me without them

  46. Sharon Van Etten and Fanfarlo! I hope Girls releases an EP or something too!! Cant wait for 2012.

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