All music lovers know the agonizing feeling when their favorite artist hasn't released a new album in a while. You're stuck listening to the same songs you know by heart, with Google Alerts on, just waiting for news about a new single, studio time, producer collaborations, ANY hint or announcement that new music is on the way. It's treacherous.
Most times, though, the wait is worthwhile. Your artist comes out with a carefully crafted album, just as good (if not better) than the ones that preceded it. And then you realize that the time between albums was painful, but paid off. Each song was considered; each take had to be perfect. It's hard to remember this when you're in a music drought, however. All you can think of is when your ears will get to hear the next release, and that's totally understandable. So, we'll give these artists the benefit of the doubt that they're working really hard on something for us. (While we also put a little pressure on them to hurry things up!)
In 2015, Carly Rae gave us the pop masterpiece, EMOTION. Though not a chart-topper, the album was on many best-of lists, praising Carly Rae for its ‘80s pop inspiration and catchy melodies. (Turn on “I Didn’t Just Come Here to Dance” and see what I mean.) We’re going on three years since EMOTION’s release and Carly Rae has been promising new music soon. Hell, we even got a new single – “Cut to the Feeling” – this year. Doesn’t that mean an album is coming? While EMOTION Side B was a pleasant surprise in 2016, it’s not doing enough to hold over the fans.
This year was Cardi B’s year. The former reality TV star took on the pop charts with her quotable, No. 1 single, “Bodak Yellow.” Since then, she’s had two other singles top the Billboard top 10, making her the first female rapper to land her first three chartings in the top 10. She’s drummed up the hype, so when will her first studio album be released? She’s hinted at an early 2018 date but has also admitted to the pressures of matching the success of “Bodak Yellow” with the album’s supporting tracks.
Stop playing with us, Sky. You’ve already announced your next album’s title, and the release date you teased has come and gone. Night Time, My Time was a wonderful, indie-pop surprise and fans have been wanting more since the album’s 2013 release. This year, we got a gritty, warbl-y cover of The Commodores’ “Easy” for the Baby Driver soundtrack, which may hint to an upcoming release. In July, Sky clarified the album’s delay in an Instagram post and pointed toward label conflicts. Right now, the album’s future is uncertain.
It’s been two years since Desiigner released his single “Panda” on SoundCloud. The song gained momentum, got a re-release in February 2016 and shot to No. 1 on the Billboard top 100 by April that year. He also appeared on two tracks on Kanye West’s 2016 album, Life of Pablo. Still, despite signing with Kanye’s GOOD Music, we have yet to see a full-length, studio release from the rapper. While he released a mixtape in 2016, his debut studio album is still TBA.
JT decided to take his sweet-ass time releasing his third solo album, so it’s no surprise we’re waiting just a teeny bit for his fourth. This time’s not too bad since we’ve gotten one-off songs from Justin, including last summer’s hit, “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” We also have confirmation that he’s been in the studio with Timbaland and Pharrell, which are two great collaborators to have on any pop album. With his upcoming Super Bowl Halftime Show performance, JT has to be cooking up something.
Fall Out Boy has played with our emotions for too long. By this point, we should have been listening to Mania for MONTHS. The album was supposed to release in September and the band even went on a fall tour to support the album that was still in the works. The album currently has an official release date of Jan. 18, 2018, but it also had an official release date in April SO WHO’S TO KNOW!? This time around, the band has released the album’s tracklist, so that’s more promising than what we had before.
Fans have gotten used to waiting with Fiona. Album releases are getting further and further away from each other, leading fans to continuously wonder if her latest release will be her last. Her most recent album was 2012’s The Idler Wheel… and there have been no signs of new studio music since.
Although there hasn’t been any new-album news yet, we’ve gotten little Fiona clips through media appearances and surprise recordings like her anti-Trump song, “Tiny Hands,” so we can’t be too fussy. It’s more Fiona than we got between Extraordinary Machine and The Idler Wheel… so we’ll take what we can get.
The Biebs surprised us all in 2015 with the incredibly mature, well-crafted album, Purpose. Coming off of bad headline after bad headline, Justin wasn’t in the public’s favor before he released Purpose. It’s no secret that his lead single was titled "Sorry” for marketing reasons. For a good year, he hadn’t had the best track record and needed to win over his fans again. As we all found out, Purpose delivered and put The Biebs back in our good favor. So now that a couple of years have passed and J.Biebs has kept a low profile, we’re waiting for his next great pop album. In 2017 he'd been featured on some certified bops, so let's just hope he's got a new album cooking, too.
Chance the Rapper has had quite the career so far. His 2016 release, Coloring Book, is the first streaming-only album to win a Grammy award, and Chance picked up three of them. He’s appeared on a number of hip-hop tracks and just this past year, donated one million dollars to Chicago Public Schools. So, it’s understandable if he’s been a little busy to work on new music. But, as one of the hottest rappers out there, it’s come time to release a new collection for the fans.
One of indie’s most sought-after crooners, Lykke Li released her debut album, Youth Novels, in 2008. She had steady follow-ups with Wounded Rhymes in 2011 and I Never Learn in 2014. So by 2017, you’d think we’d see a new Lykke Li album on the horizon. The only new music we’ve gotten a glimpse of is her band, LIV, a supergroup that includes members of Peter, Bjorn and John and Miike Snow. The band started releasing singles in 2016 and so far have four, but no album release date. As for Lykke Li, there has been no news of a fourth solo album. Whether it’s LIV or a solo release, we’ll take it.
In 2015, Grimes released her indie-pop perfection album, Art Angels, which was a breath of fresh air after the musician scrapped her original album plans and started fresh on this one. The result was a step away from her synth-driven previous albums. She wanted to include more instruments in her arrangements, without losing her ethereal, poppy sound. The new direction worked, with Art Angels becoming her highest charting album yet. This is why we can’t wait to see what else Grimes has ready for us.
It seems like we’ve been hearing Ellie Goulding’s voice for decades. For a solid five years, she’s been part of radio rotation, whether it’s her original singles or a guest appearance on a DJ track. The past year has been pretty quiet on the Ellie front, though. We haven’t heard much from her since she released Delirium in 2015, other than a Kygo collaboration this past year. In April, she admitted that a fourth album was “coming along slowly,” but we haven’t had a new-music update since then.
After all these years, it’s just expected that Daft Punk will make us wait (and wait, and wait) in between albums. The electronic duo’s last album, Random Access Memories, was a critical and commercial success, winning album of the year at the Grammy awards and its single, “Get Lucky,” became the summer song of 2013. It’s now been more than four years and we haven’t heard an update from the notoriously private French musicians. There were rumors of a 2017 tour and even a successful collaboration with The Weeknd, but that’s about it.
In 2014, FKA Twigs was one of the most buzzed-about artists, winding up at the top of the year’s best-of lists. She released her debut studio album, LP1, that year and had also released three EPs before and after LP1’s debut. Her musical style wasn’t the only thing that captivated audiences, though. FKA Twigs also has a dance background and incorporates visual arts into her music frequently. Since 2016, however, FKA Twigs has laid low on the new music front. Her last release was the single, “Good to Love” and she had a stage show, but no word on a follow up to LP1.
Despite being literally everywhere, Nicki Minaj has not released a full-length album since 2014’s The Pinkprint. In between then and now, she’s appeared in two films: The Other Woman and Barbershop: The Next Cut. She’s also been a featured artist on dozens of tracks, including “Swish Swish,” “Rake It Up” and “MotorSport” just this year. So, we’re still able to get our Nicki fix, but sometimes we like our Nicki solo, OK?? She’s hinted at new music, released promising collaborations that could go into a new album and even released singles. That all points to a new album, right? Right???
Sharon Van Etten’s last full-length album was 2014’s riveting Are We There. The following year, the singer/songwriter released an EP full of songs that didn’t make the cut on Are We There, and we are still waiting for more. In November, she reissued her debut album, Because I Was in Love, with a few bonus tracks. Other than her reissue, there hasn’t been much talk of a full-length follow-up to Are We There.
Selena Gomez has teased us with new music, but no set release date for her follow-up to 2015’s Revival. She’s had three solid hits this year, a collaboration with Kygo on “It Ain’t Me,” as well as a Marshmellow collaboration with the October release, “Wolves.” Plus — "Fetish"? A BOP.
Granted, the singer has spent much-needed time focusing on her health. She’s been open with fans about her lupus diagnosis and in fall 2017, she revealed she received a kidney transplant from her best friend. So, we’re OK waiting for this artist. If it means her health and happiness, we’re good with new music being put on hold. That said, she's said 2018 is the year. We hope it's true!
We’ve been on a rollercoaster ride waiting for updates on Zayn’s second solo album. The former One Direction member left the band and released his first solo debut in 2016. Since early 2017, he’s been talking about his sophomore album, with no set release date. He’s had two singles so far: “Still Got Time,” released in March and “Dusk Till Dawn,” released in September. Two singles usually means there’s an album on the way, no?
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