52 Reasons 2015 Will Be The Best Year For Music Since Ever
Adele! Kanye! Rihanna! Frank Ocean! Sufjan! Seriously, we're freaking out.
1. Adele, TBA
2. Kanye West, TBA
3. Rihanna, TBA
4. Kendrick Lamar, TBA
5. Troye Sivan, TBA
6. Frank Ocean, TBA
7. Florence + The Machine, TBA
8. Drake, View From The 6
9. The xx, TBA
10. Shura, TBA
11. Lil Wayne, Tha Carter V
There was a time — though it now seems long ago — when Lil Wayne’s unimpeachable lyricism put him among hip-hop’s heavyweights. People used to wage Jay Z vs. Wayne debates and pick sides in the deeply entrenched battle to determine The Greatest Living Rapper, and Wayne always found himself in the mix. Then, almost as suddenly, he fell well behind in that race and out of favor — too many similes about cunnilingus, perhaps. Now, as witty guest spots on songs like Nicki Minaj’s “Truffle Butter” begin to amass at a steady clip, the old, inventive, possibly not human Lil Wayne is back, spitting wild fire and winning over a new bastion of true believers with his verbal acrobatics. His Tha Carter V has been hung up in a well-publicized label war, but it will see the light of day sometime this year, and we can’t wait to believe in Wayne again.
12. The Weeknd, TBA
13. Marina and the Diamonds, Froot
You’d think, in 2015, no one would dare put out a song called “Happy,” and especially one as lilting and haunted as this, but then Marina and the Diamonds continue to surprise. The voice of Marina Diamandis has always been the secret weapon of the group — she can hit notes other singers could only hope to, and you get the impression no producer has ever used the words “We’ll fix it in post” while working with her. We just got her fantastic new album Froot, which sees an official release on April 6, here at BuzzFeed Music HQ, and it has been in constant rotation since.
14. Grimes, TBA
15. Radiohead, TBA
16. Death Cab For Cutie, Kintsugi
After the recent departure of founding member and guitarist Chris Walla, Death Cab for Cutie will return on March 31 with Kintsugi. An overt reference to Walla's departure, the album is named after “a Japanese style of art where they take fractured, broken ceramics and put them back together with very obvious, real gold,” as member Nick Harmer explained. Kintsugi will attempt to regain some fans they lost with their experimental sound on Codes and Keys. “If that record turned anybody off, I feel pretty strongly that this one could win them back,” frontman Ben Gibbard said in an interview with Stereogum.
17. Gwen Stefani, TBA
18. Chance The Rapper and The Social Experiment, Surf
19. Modest Mouse, Strangers To Ourselves
Forget the breezy, fun “Float On.” Modest Mouse is coming back with a stronger sound. “Lampshades On Fire” has been a live show fixture since 2011, but it now has an official release in time for Modest Mouse’s 2015 album, their first in nearly eight years. Strangers to Ourselves will be released on March 3.
20. Kelly Clarkson, Piece By Piece
21. A$AP Rocky, TBA
23. Raury, TBA
24. Ashley Monroe, TBA
25. Fifth Harmony, Reflection
After a series of unfortunate delays and apologies to Harmonizers, Fifth Harmony’s first full-length album is finally coming out in February. Featuring cuts from famed producers Dr. Luke and Stargate, and lead singles “Bo$$” and the Meghan Trainor-penned “Sledgehammer,” the young ladies of Fifth Harmony aim to dominate the charts with a “more mature” sound. The quintet’s Reflection is slated for release on Feb. 3.
26. JoJo, TBA
27. Björk, Vulnicura
28. Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell
On 2010’s The Age of Adz, Sufjan Stevens moved away from his true-blue Americana folk sound into a realm warped by machines. On his upcoming album Carrie & Lowell, Sufjan picks up his banjo once again and returns to the themes of his 2005 album Illinois: uniquely American landscapes. Carrie & Lowell comes out on March 31, but to tide everyone over until then, there’s a grainy home video-esque trailer for the album set to the titular track.
29. Shamir, TBA
30. Tink, TBA
31. Laura Marling, Short Movie
Laura Marling has been steadily moving away from her English folk roots for a while now but that doesn't make her plugged-in new single any less jarring. Bold and expansive, "Short Movie" is the surest proof yet that Marling wants to add "rock star" to her long list of accomplishments. Inspired by her time in America, the singer-songwriter's fifth album Short Movie will be released by Ribbon Music on March 24.
32. Solange, TBA
33. Britney Spears, TBA
34. Soko, My Dreams Dictate My Reality
Soko is one of our 2015 Artists To Watch and this album is a big reason why. We’ve been bumping My Dreams Dictate My Reality ever since we were sent a super secret stream of it, and it wows from first track “I Come In Peace” on. We’d say standout tracks on the album include the steady bopping and unquestionably cool “Ocean of Tears” and the unapologetically Echo and the Bunnymen- and The Cure-esque guitar sounds of the title track, but really, they all stand out (save, perhaps, for the one featuring Ariel Pink because UGH, that guy). We can’t get enough of Soko, and can’t wait for My Dreams to see its official release in March.
35. Ryn Weaver, TBA
36. Justin Bieber, TBA
37. Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear
After rising from the ashes of Fleet Foxes like a handsomely mustachioed phoenix in 2012, Josh Tillman’s second album as Father John Misty is the one that will cement his status as a monster of folk in his own right. Thanks to extensive touring of his charismatic live show and an aloof but satisfyingly acerbic public persona, FJM fans have become legion, eagerly awaiting his next absurdist fiction or biting socio-political commentary like bread from heaven. If strange and beautiful lead single “Bored In The U.S.A.” is any indication, they won’t be disappointed.
38. Years & Years, TBA
39. Jeremih, Late Nights
40. MisterWives, Our Own House
We’ve been fans of MisterWives for a while now. The band’s cheery, '80s-inspired Reflections EP and crowd-pleasing live performances earned them a spot on our Artists To Watch list but even we didn’t anticipate their excellent new single, “Our Own House" — a disco-pop party worthy of the replay button. We hope their album of the same name, out Feb. 24, is full of equally pleasant surprises.
41. Sky Ferreira, TBA
42. Future Brown, Future Brown
The four-piece collective of Future Brown (Fatima Al Qadiri, Asma Maroof and Daniel Pineda of Nguzunguzu, and DJ J-Cush of Lit City Trax) utilizes technology in their future-minded sounds and in cultivating their expansive roster of guests vocalists—they got Tink on their latest cut Room 302 thanks to Twitter. Expect a range of global influences: New York-based Al Qadiri was raised in Kuwait, and her 2014 release Asiatisch was a “virtual road trip through ‘imagined China.’” On their debut LP, Future Brown plans to make the most of their varied influences and featured vocalists, from Kelela to Maluca, to rising Chicago rapper Tink. Future Brown comes out on Feb. 24.
43. Dej Loaf, TBA
44. Purity Ring, Another Eternity
Singer Megan James and producer Corin Roddick all but disappeared after the release of their 2012 debut Shrines. After wowing music lovers with their eclectic electro-pop sound, they went silent, only resurfacing briefly as featured artists on tracks from Danny Brown and Jon Hopkins. In Decemeber, however, they released “push pull,” the first single from their sophomore album Another Eternity. Bigger and brighter than anything on Shrines, “push pull” and second single “begin again” let James’ sweet clear vocals float above a sea of cascading synths. The album, out March 3, is one of the most exciting pop releases of the year.
45. Travi$ Scott, Rodeo
46. Tame Impala, TBA
47. Striking Matches, Nothing But The Silence
After spending the last three years writing songs for the ABC show Nashville, Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis are finally ready to break out on their own. Unlike the characters that sing their songs, the Striking Matches have a hard-to-categorize sound that could only loosely be called country. Their latest single, "Missing You Tonight," is a sexy bit of blues-rock and their album, Nothing But The Silence (March 24), will likely be more of the same.
48. Lana Del Rey, Honeymoon
49. Wet, TBA
50. Cam’ron and A-Trak, Federal Reserve
One of last year's most uncontroversially joyous moments in hip-hop was the triumphant (if ultimately ephemeral) reunion of Cam'ron, one-time Dipset ally Juelz Santana, Just Blaze, and Dame Dash on "Dipshits," the second track from Cam's highly anticipated collaborative EP with A-Trak — Williamsburg, Brooklyn's favorite hip-hop and electronic music impresario. With Dash executive producing, Federal Reserve promises to be a return-to-form for one of hip-hop's most vexing and undeniably brilliant icons — if his old industry suits ever let it see the light of day. East Coast hip-hop purists are ready and waiting.
51. Macklemore, TBA
52. Giorgio Moroder, 74 Is The New 24
Disco legend Giorgio Moroder spent his career behind the boards, helping craft the signature, synth swing of Donna Summer classics like “I Feel Love” and “Hot Stuff” in the ‘70s. But after his high-profile appearance on Daft Punk’s Grammy Album-of-the-Year-winning Random Access Memories in 2013, he finally became a marquee artist in his own right, touring and DJing for the first time in his 30-plus-year career. At 74, Moroder’s first album in over 20 years will feature appearances from Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue, Charli XCX, Sia, and more. Disco ain’t dead.