Music

15 New Music Releases That’ll Make Your Playlists More Exciting in 2020

Another year has come and gone, and yet we still don’t have a new Rihanna album. But while we let BadGal RiRi build her fashion empire, work on a new documentary, and live her life in further fabulous ways, we have plenty of other new music to look forward to—especially in the first leg of 2020. Here are the albums we can’t wait to listen to this year.

Selena Gomez, Rare January 10

A lot has happened in the past few years, especially in the wake of her 2015 album, Revival, but Selena Gomez is still standing. After a few singles here and a couple collaborations there, the singer marked her official return last fall with releases “Lose You to Love Me” and “Look at Her Now,” with telling themes of resilience, transformation, and new beginnings.

Halsey, Manic January 17

What do Suga of K-pop sensation BTS, up-and-comer Dominic Fike, and Alanis Morissette have in common? They all have interludes on Halsey’s upcoming third album. The track list also includes the pop star’s radio hit, “Without Me,” but it seems the 16-song project will have more to show for it than its earworm-y hits.

070 Shake, Modus Vivendi — January 17

After gaining traction from her 2018 EP, Glitter, and appearances on Kanye West’s Ye album, New Jersey–bred rapper and singer 070 Shake is starting the new decade with a new LP of her own. “I just really go with how I feel in the moment, and then that’s where the writing comes from,” she said of the upcoming release in a statement. “It’s like an ongoing disperse of words when I feel something.”

Tame Impala, The Slow Rush February 14

In an age of streaming, social media, and surprise releases, musicians hardly ever announce new projects far in advance anymore, but Kevin Parker gave us something worth waiting for when he publicized plans for Tame Impala’s fourth studio album months ahead of time. Arriving five years after his last release, Currents, the album comes with a lot of pressure to either keep up with or beat its widely acclaimed predecessor. But with the three singles Parker has dropped so far—“Posthumous Forgiveness,” “It Might Be Time,” and “Borderline”—the LP may be on the right track.

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Niia, II: La Bella Vita — February 14

Whereas her previous album, I, was about falling in love, the follow-up, II, is about falling out of it. The songs delve into “The cold reality of ‘Where did the love go? Why did it fall apart?’ Going through emotions like anger, bitterness, sadness, and how you move through the stages of grief and recovery to keep going,” Niia said in a statement. Considering the subject matter paired with the singer’s soft, intimate delivery and production from Rhye’s Robin Hannibal, we can already expect this project to be devastating.

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Moses Sumney, Grae — February and May

Oh, you thought Moses Sumney was going to stick to a traditional release format? The ever-artistic musician is dropping a double album this year, with the first half arriving in February and the second half following three months later. So far, we’ve already gotten a taste through tracks like “Polly” and “Virile,” which boast the artist’s signature transcendent sound.

Alanis Morissette, Such Pretty Forks in the Road — May 1

This is a big year for Alanis Morissette. Her iconic album, Jagged Little Pill, turns 25; she’ll be embarking on a 25th anniversary tour to celebrate it; and there’s a new Broadway production based on its songs. But in addition to honoring the past, the singer-songwriter also moves forward with the release of a new album, her first in eight years. She already has a new single, “Reasons I Drink,” to show for it.

Dua Lipa, Future Nostalgia

Dua Lipa’s dance-inspired single “Don’t Start Now” is a mere preview of her more electronic-leaning forthcoming album. The pop star notes influences from Madonna, Gwen Stefani, Outkast, Blondie, and Moloko for the upcoming project. Even her time touring on the road moved her to “have a lot more of a live element, but mixed together with modern electronic production” in her next LP, she said in a statement. Lipa also announced she’ll embark on a Future Nostalgia European tour starting April 26, so it’s likely she’ll release her album before then.

Justin Bieber

We couldn’t have ignored that 2020 would be the year of Bieber even if we tried. He’ll be releasing his fifth studio album (previewed by his single, “Yummy,” which dropped on the first weekend of the year), a new documentary series through YouTube, and a North American tour starting on May 14. Five years after his last album, Purpose, a new era for the pop star awaits.

Teyana Taylor, The Album

Also arriving in early 2020 is Teyana Taylor’s follow-up to 2018’s K.T.S.E. Although her booming latest single, “We Got Love,” was supposed to appear on that last LP, the forthcoming project will include steamy collaborations from earlier in 2019 like “How You Want It?” with King Combs and “Morning” with Kehlani.

Jessie Reyez

On the heels of her first-time Grammy nomination for her Being Human in Public EP, singer-songwriter Jessie Reyez isn’t slowing down her roll into the new year. In early 2020, she’s set to release an album featuring her already-familiar singles such as “Imported” with 6lack and “Far Away.” She’s already gained attention for he starkly raw and relatable songwriting; expect no less from her debut album.

Princess Nokia

There’s no official title or release date yet, but the boundary-pushing rapper is already teasing her upcoming project in interviews. While speaking to DIY, Princess Nokia said she wants her LP, which is inspired by Lauryn Hill, Hurricane G, and Tracy Chapman, to be a “coming of age album for young women.” She also teased that it’s her best music yet, and from listening to “Balenciaga” and “S.H.I.T.,” we believe her.

SZA

We’ve been on the edge of our seats for more music ever since SZA’s Ctrl stole our hearts in 2017. And although she’s graced us with a few collaborations and singles, she recently confirmed on Twitter that we’ll finally get a full album from her this year. She just won’t reveal the exact date, because that would “build unnecessary pressure.” (Understood.) Though she hasn’t shared anymore details about the project, she has separately confirmed songs with Sam Smith and Megan Thee Stallion.

Kamaiyah

Bay Area rapper Kamaiyah wowed with her 2016 project, A Good Night in the Ghetto, and 2017 follow-up, Before I Wake. In her latest single, “Still I Am,” she declares, “I been that bitch and I still am,” setting the tone for her upcoming, still-untitled release, expected to arrive early this year.

The Midnight Hour

In November, A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge announced they would have new music on the way in “early 2020.” They also dropped a smooth and gentle single called “Harmony,” featuring frequent collaborator Loren Oden. The jazz duo last dropped a project in 2018, which included the CeeLo Green collab “Questions,” which Kendrick Lamar fans heard on the rapper’s Untitled Unmastered album as the track behind “Untitled 6.”


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