MOST are definitely happening, some are strong and exciting rumours.
SFTW presents the compelling reasons why 2019 promises to be a great year for big music acts returning with new albums.
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
LAST autumn, Cave’s wife Susie Bick revealed her husband was back in the recording studio.
“He is in LA making a new record,” she said.
“Some of his songs reveal themselves at night in his fever-dreams. They are his fever-songs.”
They will form the basis of the Bad Seeds’ 17th studio album, follow-up to the moving Skeleton Tree.
HOT on the heels of last year’s mega-selling Sweetener is the R&B superstar’s album No5, Thank U, Next.
The title track is Grande’s first US No1 single.
Despite the drug-related death of ex-boyfriend, rapper Mac Miller, and talk of a break, she’s has been busy on the 13-track record with confirmed songs including Imagine, Needy, Fake Smile and 7 Rings.
THE alt-country maverick names Texas singers Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark – both no longer with us – as his mentors.
So, ten years after his Townes covers album comes Guy, complete with versions of Clark’s signature songs LA Freeway and Desperados Waiting For A Train.
“With a catalogue like Guy’s, you know each one is going to be strong,” says Earle.
JACK WHITE hasn’t lost his work ethic.
A gap in his solo and The Dead Weather commitments leaves room for a welcome reboot of The Raconteurs, the Steady As She Goes band he formed with Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler.
New tracks Sunday Driver and Now That You’re Gone dropped before Christmas and their third album is due soon.
IT’S ten years since founder members Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and Horace Panter reformed the iconic ska revivalists for exhilarating live shows.
But now the big news – the line-up’s first new songs since 1981’s smash Ghost Town.
Put them together for a suitably titled ten-track album called Encore and, in the words of Horace, “something remarkable” happened.
She’ll probably never scale those heights again but she’s back with a strong fifth album in March, Still On My Mind.
Recorded with producer brother Rollo, it will explore her “love of hip-hop and her folk roots”.
Singles already available: Hurricanes and Friends.
STRONGLY tipped is the “bright and sunny” vibe of album No4 from New York’s indie darlings.
At Lollapalooza last year, frontman Ezra Koenig said their first effort since Modern Vampires Of The City and the departure of founder member Rostam Batmanglij was in the can.
Columbia Records is making the bold claim it will be “your favourite record” of 2019.
We know her fourth studio effort, the follow-up to A Seat At The Table, is complete after sessions in New Orleans, Jamaica and Topanga Canyon.
She explains: “There is a lot of jazz at the core but with drum ’n’ bass because I want it to bang and make your trunk rattle.”
NEARLY eight years after second studio effort Pala, the St Albans electro-rock outfit are readying their comeback album.
Two new songs have already appeared – Love Like Waves and the Disclosure co-produced Heaven Let Me In.
The latter, according to lead singer Ed Macfarlane, is all “about being comfortable in your own skin”.
JUST when cultural polymath Donald Glover achieves success under his Childish Gambino moniker, he hints his new album could be his last.
“I like endings. I think they’re important to progress,” he said after his Grammy for traditional R&B performance on Redbone.
Whatever happens, he is voicing Simba in a live-action remake of The Lion King.
“SOMETIMES life throws you a massive curve ball,” muses singer Louise Wener.
In this case it’s the unexpected reunion of the Britpop-era band who release their first album in 21 years, The Modern Age.
Sleeper’s 2019 reboot retains “classic pop sensibilities with a shiny, new, contemporary feel”.
Single Look At You Now acts as a telling protest song for a Britain divided by Brexit.
HIT for six by the death of close associate Prince and a subsequent addiction battle, Hello Happiness is the comeback album by the US soul/funk icon.
It features her first new material since 2007’s Funk This and combines a modern sheen with nods to the vibrant late- Seventies New York disco scene.
Single Like Sugar is a collaboration with Major Lazer’s Switch.
Lana Del Rey
Two years after Lust For Life comes Norman F***ing Rockwell with epic Venice Bitch and a ballad with a very long title: Hope Is A Dangerous Thing For A Woman Like Me To Have – But I Have It.
The Rolling Stones
SINCE the release of 2016’s acclaimed blues covers album, Blue & Lonesome, I’ve had the privilege of speaking to two Stones – Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood – who both confirmed they were working on a new album of original material.
Even though the mammoth No Filter tour hits the States in April, let’s hope studio album No24 sees the light of day.
A YEAR ago, the Queen Of Pop took to Instagram to announce she had started working on her 14th studio album.
She has hinted that her new songs are infused with Portuguese “fado” music – rhythmic, structured, mournful, traditional and inspired by her time living in a Lisbon mansion with her adopted children.
The release will be her first since 2015’s Rebel Heart.
Zach Condon recaptures the spirit of his breakthrough album Gulag Orkestar with Gallipoli, out on February 1.
Filled with glorious horns and gorgeous keyboards, it serves as a stunning return to form.
AFTER some “bad stuff” in his life, Ronson promises an album of “sad bangers” which, in other words, attempt to mix deep emotion with dance floor grooves.
Certain to include his hit collaboration with Miley Cyrus, Nothing Breaks Like A Heart, it also captures the vocal talents of Swedish mover and shaker Lykke Li and up-and-coming American singer/songwriter Yebba.
IT’S nearly 20 years since the Canadian songstress first revealed her prodigious talent.
Still only 34, the last few years have seen her battling Lyme disease but now she’s back with her sixth studio effort, the suitably titled Head Above Water.
She has described it as “personal, dear, intimate, dramatic, raw, powerful, strong and unexpected.
“This record is a true emotional journey”.
GREAT to hear that the Manchester band (Wilmslow to be precise) comprising Jimi Goodwin and the Williams brothers Jez and Andy have been listening to their fans.
Thanks to an online petition, they’re back together and rumoured to be releasing their first album since 2009’s Kingdom Of Rust.
Also slated are a set at the Royal Albert Hall for Teenage Cancer Trust and a support slot to Noel Gallagher at Heaton Park.
A BIG year for the Oxford rockers who return with album No5 and, all the evidence suggests, No6 soon after.
All being well, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, Part 1 will be quickly followed by Part 2.
And does the amicable departure of founding bassist Walter Gervers mean a further sonic shift for an act that has steadily grown in popularity since 2005’s debut album?
Only yesterday, the Mercury Prize winner announced the release of his fourth album, Assume Form, next Friday.
It is described as his “most direct, eclectic and pure artistic statement to date”.
PARKA-WEARING “our kid” finally cracked his quest for post-Oasis success with debut solo album As You Were.
Fired up by the acclaim and support he received, Liam’s been back to Los Angeles to record part two with, among others, Greg Kurstin and Andrew Wyatt.
He reported on Twitter that “magic” has been happening and that fans will go “ape s**t” for the new material.
ESSENTIALLY, this is the compelling vehicle for the psychedelic grooves of the Aussie multi- instrumentalist Kevin Parker, who feels he is always “channelling Supertramp”.
Last July, Parker said he would be “very disappointed” if studio album No4 didn’t appear by this summer and has already released a single, Only You, featuring the rapper Theophilus London.
Not content with delivering SFTW’s 2018 Album Of The Year, Britain’s hottest band have made their next one.
Notes On A Conditional Form, out in May, completes a songcycle known as Music For Cars.
SHE’S determined, she’s single-minded and she’s Norway’s hottest pop property.
Sigrid releases debut album Sucker Punch in March following success at Glastonbury, winning the BBC Sound Of 2018 and releasing songs that have seeped into our consciousness – Don’t Kill My Vibe, Strangers and High Five.
Expect even bigger exposure when she supports man of the moment George Ezra on his massive arena tour.
ANY release by much-loved Ellie is worthy of attention and she has been recording her fourth album, successor to 2015’s Delirium.
She has described her efforts as “back to basics” and said she’s done much of the writing on her own without her usual collaborators.
Asked if “EG4” was imminent, she replied on Twitter with two winking emojis. Watch this space.
The Boss is taking a breather after his Broadway shows but he’s planning a return to recording a solo album.
He said on brucespringsteen.net that he’d be consumed by “various recording projects”.
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