So far, 2020 has treated us kindly in terms of music. And it is not over – there are several promising full-length albums sparking anticipation with confirmed dates for the rest of the year. The relatively close expected releases for each album and the excitement I experienced while realizing it are the main reasons for this blog post.

It is dedicated to the five albums I am eagerly waiting to hear before the year ends (and one, which is coming in early 2021). Artists are not done blessing 2020, and if things go well, 2021 will be the most epic live show year we have seen in a long time. Let’s hope this is the case and in the meantime, enjoy some great studio-recordings.

New music announcements always make me feel good and give me something to look forward to. Diving into the next step of an artist’s development, the new inspirations they explored, the current themes taking a central part in their lives, the art they have been preparing to share with the world – what is there not to be excited about?

Going back to my year summary post of 2019, I can confirm that last year was generous for the music world. Great new music was unleashed in the open and we saw a splendid run for festivals and live shows. Back then, I thought 2019 would be hard to top. However, 2020 quickly proved that it could take on the challenge.

One of my 2019 favourites. You can check my list of the best 2019 albums here.

January was enough to indicate the awesomeness that was awaiting. Starting with Mac Miller’s first posthumous Circles – the conclusion we deserved to get, and Poppy’s thundering liberation from creative constraints the year was off to a good start.

At the end of September, the number of great albums we had the pleasure of hearing seems unreal. What is even better is that there are much more to come for those three remaining months.

2020 had the best possible start in terms of music. You can read my Circles review here.

I sincerely hope that the overflow of new music now means an overflow of live shows coming next year. It is undeniable that there is a lot of pent up energy for concerts currently waiting to discharge. With releases from that many exceptional artists a year of tours and festivals will be an incredible experience.

While we are waiting for a confirmation of the moment we will be able to let this energy loose, here is the list of the next studio recordings I think we are going to enjoy from home.

Yungblud – Weird! (November 13th)

One of the most relevant figures in modern music announced the date of his second full-length a few days ago. Yungblud’s Weird will be out on November 13th. Apart from the date for the highly anticipated release, we were also treated with a full package of “goodies”.

First of all, the release date was accompanied by another single. God Save Me, But Don’t Drown Me Out was added as the fourth song from the album tracklist we are lucky to hear early.

The album title track is part of the first three official singles

Title track Weird! already displayed the typical for the artist empowering messages making listeners feel less alone and more understood. Strawberry Lipstick, on the other hand, dug deeper into a toxic relationship leading to the destruction of confidence and self-worth but highlighted the part of the growth that comes after. Ice Cream Man dissected depression and made more encouraging remarks based on personal experience while performed live several times during the previous two tours.

The latest track is another unifying anthem for the misfits and the struggling which strongly reminds of the emo-infused Hope For The Underrated Youth in a more optimistic direction.

It seems like the album will have a strong focus on the most important messages the unstoppable artist is trying to push through – accepting every bit of yourself, giving room to different emotions, being proud of your identity without feeling the need to hide it or alter it for anyone.

The typical for Yungblud vibe and emotional outpour is sure to go hand in hand with each track judging by the released material. Also, the artist has stated the album will feature a variety of sound influences (listing Joy Division, The Cure, and Depeche Mode as few examples) as well as explored themes.

Since the beginning of time, humans have been so complex and like 15 different personalities at once – but we’re the first generation to accept it and know that it’s alright to be who you are.

Yungblud during an interview with NME

This is also clearly indicated by the cover displaying the artist in different disguises symbolizing different moods and personalities.

It is certainly a record to look forward to, most likely another giant step forward for the career of who is now the symbol of his generation’s hope and strength.

Album tracklist

Machine Gun Kelly – Tickets To My Downfall (September 25th)

It has been a wild year for Machine Gun Kelly. Hard-hitting quarantine covers, active action at BLM protests, work on a full-fledged pop-punk album following the undeniable success of his third full-length Hotel Diablo, and a sold-out world tour. It seems like the artist is riding a massive wave of inspiration and despite hardly having time to breathe, he looks like he finally found a good state of mind.

This and some other quarantine covers are supposed to appear as bonus tracks on the Target edition of the album

The culmination of the artist’s year has almost arrived – after several delays, Tickets To My Downfall is set to see the world on the 25th of September. Based on what we know so far, which is a lot, there are solid reasons to be very excited about this release.

One of the confirmed singles features frequent collaborator Blackbear

The fourth album by The Gunner is an exploration of different territory. MGK has always been versatile when it comes to music creation – he has tapped into many genres and inspirations to revolutionize the hip-hop world and leave his mark for generations to come.

However, Tickets To My Downfall is the first album purely focused on a different style. With exclusive producer Travis Barker, the new record is out on a mission to revive pop-punk and allow The Gunner to display his varied abilities with guitars, drums, and singing freely.

The artist has already spoken about the record to several media revealing that it allowed him to feel liberated from his dark thoughts and express himself without any concerns for opinions of others.

Similarly to Hotel Diablo, the new album is supposed to be 100% Machine Gun Kelly with a lot of honesty, vulnerability, true stories, and badass energy.

Photo by Jonathan Weiner for Kerrang! Read the Kerrang Cover Story with Machine Gun Kelly on Tickets To My Downfall

The revealing of the tracklist also points the attention towards some promising collaborations including Halsey, Trippie Redd, Blackbear, and Iann Dior. The artist also confirmed he has recorded several tracks with British punk-rock typhoon Yungblud, but they don’t seem to appear on this particular release.

The closing track of Hotel Diablo seems to be the perfect transition towards the punk-infused new record

In any case, there is a lot to look forward to with this album. Topic-wise and sound-wise it will be an interesting journey to dive into – I am personally very excited to see how far MGK pushed his creative limits this time.

Nothing But Thieves – Moral Panic (October 23rd)

The British alt-rock sensation Nothing But Thieves have been quiet since 2018’s What Did You Think When You Made Me This Way EP but the time for their return has finally been set.

Moral Panic – their third full-length will be out on October 23rd (hopefully) followed by an EU/UK tour in 2021. The long-missed trademark electrifying rock sound and opera-like vocals typical for the band are officially back to warm hearts up, bring up thought-provoking questions to mind, and inspire all kinds of strong emotions.

Four singles from Moral Panic have been revealed so far with different topics taking the spotlight. The opener of the album – Unperson is one of the latest singles, hitting strongly on-point in regards to today’s society. It reflects reality supported by many references to George Orwell’s novel 1984. Manipulation, loss of identity and values are exposed under the beloved rock instrumentals and passionate vocals.

Is Everybody Going Crazy has a similar vibe and also takes a look at the current state of the world – particularly over-obsession with technology.

Real Love Song and Impossible – the two other singles we heard are inspired by a curious remark during a Kuala Lumpur interview. At Real Love Song, the band reflects on the double-sided nature of love (focusing on the painful aspect) while Impossible shifts the focus towards the intoxicating and inspirational elements of the feeling.

Nothing But Thieves is an extremely charming band with a colourful discography and solid stance in the contemporary rock scene. Their silence so far has hopefully recharged them with untamed energy for more great music and unforgettable live shows.

Moral Panic is already off to a promising start and, based on the few things the band revealed, it will easily turn into another one of 2020’s best.

This album is about the tension in the air. It’s about people. It’s about you.

Conor Mason

Tracklist reveal via Instagram

Lana Del Rey – Chemtrails Over The Country Club (Unknown date)

Lana Del Rey is one of the artists that never fails to excite me with an announcement for a new album (or single or a poetry book). She has an everlasting charisma and unique presence that you simply cannot fail to identify.

You cannot mistake this voice and vibe. Ever.

Lana Del Rey has managed to create a unique persona with the development of her music career. The character she personifies when performing is so well-developed and portrayed that it often becomes a subject of controversial discussions.

The artist recently addressed criticism regarding her music glorifying abusive relationships. She pointed out that her songs are about “feeling embodied, feeling beautiful by being in love, even if the relationship is not perfect“ amongst other real life-inspired or purely fictional stories. She also made an on-point remark towards modern pop and the things that artists like Cardi B and Niki Minaj are exalting.

The whole idea of telling an artist how to express their ideas is just mind-blowing for me.

Lana’s discography feels like turning the pages of a thrilling novel under the most appealing and fitting soundtrack possible. Her latest record Norman F*cking Norwell proved her excellency in this aspect. It displayed her ability to stick to her trademark sound but make it feel like a completely new thing breathing live to diverse emotional stories. 

The tile of her next record is confirmed as Chemtrails Over The Country Club. It was supposed to come out as a surprise album on September 5th but the date got pushed back and the secret is out in the open.

Lana confirmed it will debut later this year and shared teasers from the set of the video shoot for the title track coming out “very soon”. She also promised another single – Let Me Love You Like A Woman before the full record comes out.

With an exceptional storyteller, performer, artist, and musician like Lana anticipation for new releases is a given. Will the new record stick to the tested and verified Lana Del Rey sound or will the artist push herself to unite the trademark sound with new inspiration?

Whatever the final result is, it will without a doubt be worth a proper look, especially considering it will continue the narrative started in the 2019 predecessor.

Charlotte Carine – Unknown title and date

Another artist I am very excited about recently came out with a new single. This was complimented by a confirmation for an album by the end of the year.

Step forward for the music of Charlotte Cardin, no doubt about that!

Charlotte Cardin is a true delight with her incredible vocals and organic jazz presentation. When I first discovered her, I was literally obsessed with her music and kept it on replay for quite a while before being able to devote myself to another artist.

I covered most of her discography in a dedicated blog post.

Cardin’s music is natural, emotional, and hard-hitting. Inspired by her own life and “other people’s stories” her discography features some impressive tracks already.

There is not much that is known about the new album yet. Nevertheless, the first single Passive Aggressive is a very good sign of what is to come. It has an empowering feel and takes inspiration from the common need to liberate oneself from the constraints of other people who make you feel bad or miserable. Cardin elevates the familiar sound she thrived in during Main Girl and Big Boy EPs with different inspirations, modern takes on beats and instrumentals, and bolder vocal execution.

Read more about the upcoming album in the Nuvo magzine interview. Image belongs to Nuvo.

From the few things the artist revealed about the upcoming release we know it is going to be a more personal and intimate record with stronger focus on her personal stories – “an up-to-date portrait of who Charlotte Cardin is and who she wants to be” as Cardin puts it.

Still Corners – The Last Exit (January 22nd 2021)

Still Corners is one of the most magical bands I had the chance of exploring (and seeing perform live). Their music truly feels like it is out of this world, coming from inspiration found somewhere far away in the galaxy.

The blend of nonchalant but highly emotional vocals and “cruising guitars”, futuristic electronics, soothing beats, and the overall atmosphere of curiosity, exploration, and hope is one-of-a-kind.

Check for youself – the first chapter in the Road Trilogy

Playing Still Corners means you will most certainly embark on a journey which will take you to a different place every time depending on your current mood and thoughts. The band takes your hand gently and leads you to an exploration of the wonders of the world, hiding within the “normality” of everyday life. It is inspirational and empowering.

The duo recently released a surprise single which turned out to be the title track from an upcoming record. The Last Exit takes listeners on another mind-opening journey with mesmerizing storytelling and even more appealing instrumental support.

The track represents the final chapter of the Road Trilogy. As explained by the band on Instagram:

The Last Exit’ is the final chapter of the Still Corners Road Trilogy. What began with ‘The Trip’ and was followed by ‘The Message’ concludes with ‘The Last Exit’. The video, inspired by the 1975 film Picnic at Hanging Rock, finds Tessa pulled into the mysterious rocks of Joshua Tree. Tessa explains –

“In a world where everyone thinks all the corners of the map are filled in we like to suggest there’s something beyond that, something eternal in the landscape and in our psyche. Maybe you don’t see it every day but it’s there and that’s what we are trying to connect to.”

The Last Exit, as well as the majority of the band’s releases, certainly manages to transmit the idea of “something eternal in the landscape and in our psyche” – the concept takes form quickly with the indescribable atmosphere surrounding the music.

Still Corners are masters of what they do and I still find it peculiar how small their popularity is compared to the wonders they do with their art. I am looking forward to seeing where their new album is going to take us.

Just so you have the complete trilogy, it is worth listening in order trust me!

The music world seems to be awake and alive at the moment. So many good stuff to look forward to – which upcoming album are you most excited about?

Apart from the list above, there is news about Yonaka, Rammstein, and Grandson (who just confirmed his debut full-lenght Death Of An Optimist is coming out December 4th) being hard at work at their studios with new material set to come out soon. This adds up to the overall avalanche of wonderful music releases to be excited about.

Mike Shinoda recently set free the third instalment of his quarantine EP series created with the help of fans via Twitch streams

Artists are hard at work. It won’t be long before we get the chance to have a taste of what they have been cooking. I’m sure many more announcements are on the way – just the thought of it gives me goosebumps.

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