M83 “Junk” - April 8
M83’s “Midnight City” was THE song of 2011, appearing in more movies, TV shows and commercials than Kevin Hart. Producer/mastermind Anthony Gonzalez is back with “Junk,” the follow-up to the French act’s breakout “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming” masterpiece. Judging from the first single, “Do It, Try It” you can strap yourself in for more epic, space-orchestral songs with sweeping vocals from dreamy vocalists. You can catch the show live as M83 will be stopping at a music festival near you, including Coachella.
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes “PersonA” - April 15
It’s only fitting that singer-frontman Alex Ebert looks like a cult leader because fans will follow his band’s indie folk song adventures anywhere. The band's fourth studio album, “PersonA” was recorded in New Orleans and is their first new music since the departure of singer Jade Castrinos last summer. The bearded and barefoot shall not worry, judging from the first single “Hot Coals” which features the 10-piece’s trademark upbeat, clap-along songs that are the personification of “road trip” music.
Drake “Views From the 6” - TBD
Drake is the this generation’s James Brown. The new hardest working man in show business is everywhere, from guest appearances on every other song on the radio, to dry humping Rhianna on-stage to announcing the starting line-up for his beloved hometown Toronto Raptors. The long-awaited “official” follow-up to 2013’s chart topper “Nothing Was the Same” (remember, “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” was technically a mixtape) promises to deliver the Canadian showman’s trademark hip-hop infused R&B, while hopefully finally putting to bed the “Hotbling Bling” memes. Or maybe not.
Radiohead “as-yet-untitled” - TBD
Rumors of a new Radiohead album flooded the rock blogosphere after the English alt-rock gods announced a world tour. Although they haven’t released an album since 2011’s “King of Limbs,” singer Thom Yorke has been busy with a solo album and his all-star side project Atoms for Peace (with Flea), while guitarist Johnny Greenwood has become filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson’s go-to soundtrack composer. Not much is known about the group’s ninth release other than a sneak peak of a very Radiohead (read: somber) album cover that will sure to cheer up their worshipping fans.
Frank Ocean, Boy’s Don’t Cry - TBD
One of 2016’s most anticipated albums was actually one of 2015’s and we aren’t talking about Kanye West’s “Life of Pablo” even though HE STILL IS! The enigma that is idiosyncratic Frank Ocean has been teasing his thirsty fan-base on social media for over a year now with hints of an album with a wry title that touches on his big, bold reveal. So far, there’s been no new music, but it’s only a matter of time. Wait, didn’t we say that last year?
James Blake “Radio Silence” - TBD
The British electro crooner will end his “Radio Silence” with an appropriately-titled third album this spring. And, if the first single, “Modern Soul,” is hint of things to come, blue-eyed, electro soul fans will be treated to more bittersweet piano, heavy dub and somber vocals that waft in the air like a cloud of vape smoke. The singer-songwriter has been mum about an actual release date, but did drop nuggets that Kanye West and Bon Iver would be making cameos on it.
Blood Orange - TBD
Dev Hynes is a musical genius who follows in the path of legends like Prince and Jimi Hendrix. Known inside music circles as the black leather hatted man behind hits from FKA Twigs, Solange Knowles and the Chemical Brothers, his Blood Orange project put Hynes in the much-deserved spotlight with multi-layered take on modern R&B. Hynes gave us a scorching preview with the first single "Sandra’s Smile,” a powerful protest song that sheds his usual love-lorn topics for a more political one.