2014 is almost upon us, and so, it’s only fitting to get excited about the new music that’s coming in the new year. Before I reveal my top 20 albums of 2013 on Thursday and Friday, I thought it would be cool to give you a list of some of the acts I’m definitely looking forward to hearing from next year. Now, there are endless options when it comes to forthcoming albums in the works by pop divas like Gwen Stefani and Lea Michele, groups like Karmin and One Direction, newcomers like Betty Who and Sam Smith, etc. However, as far as my pop/rock tastes go, these are who I am craving…
Some close calls to start…
15. Olly Murs – TBA (Summer)
14. Colbie Caillat – TBA (Spring)
13. American Authors – TBA (March)
12. Christina Perri – Head Or Heart (March)
11. Sheppard – TBA (Spring)
…and now, on with the countdown.
10. Lily Allen – TBA (unknown)
Can you believe it’s been nearly five years since the release of It’s Not Me, It’s You? After a feature on Pink‘s single “True Love” earlier this year, Allen hit the studio once again, and is preparing a new album under Warner Bros. Records, her first with them. Lead single “Hard Out Here” recently went top ten in the United Kingdom. She’s just as saucy and biting as ever.
9. U2 – 10 Reasons To Exist (April)
If you’re planning to watch the Super Bowl, you want to watch out for an advertisement from these guys promoting their new material. This will be the band’s first album since 2009’s No Line On The Horizon, which debuted at #1 but didn’t have much longevity. Only one single, “Magnificent” entered my top 40. Three decades after their debut, they are still rocking it.
8. Taylor Swift – TBA (unknown)
After the tremendous success of her album Red and corresponding tour, Swift’s been back in the studio and was quoted as saying her next album is “way ahead of schedule”, according to publication Rolling Stone. It may end up as another fall release given her past Q4 experiences. The poppy Red polarized her country audience to an extent; will this do the same?
7. The Fray – Helios (February 25)
Their popularity was waning with me over the past few years; however, the first single from this, “Love Don’t Die”, got me interested in the guys once again. Originally due to be released on January 14, it’s been pushed back to work on a CHR radio run for the single, which is at #11 on Hot AC. While the entire album won’t be full of Mumford-lite songs, it should be solid.
6. Andy Grammer – TBA (unknown)
Beginning in the fall of 2010, Grammer and his playful lyrics landed him hits like “Fine By Me” and “Keep Your Head Up”. Over the summer, he released a new EP. It’s unclear whether this will be issued on S-Curve, like his debut, or ThinkSay, a label run by Brad Davidson (S-Curve’s EVP of Promotion) and Ben Singer (his manager.) Regardless, it’ll be great, and if you read my interview with producer and writer Matt Rad, he’s once again teamed with him. We’ll see what makes it on.
5. Ed Sheeran – TBA (Fall)
2013’s been another great year for Sheeran, with U.S. hits in “Lego House” and a duet with Taylor Swift, “Everything Has Changed”. He’s also up for Best New Artist at this year’s GRAMMY Awards, which he could very well win despite being a peculiar choice on the panel’s part. (He was nominated for Song Of The Year last year for “The A Team”.) Collaborating with superstar producer Rick Rubin, this will be huge. Given the release date, look out for a first single to come in January.
4. A Great Big World – Is There Anybody Out There? (January 14)
Just a year ago, Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino were prepping for “This Is The New Year” to be featured on Glee. Now, they’re all over the place thanks a duet version of their song “Say Something” with Christina Aguilera. The duo’s album is one of the first big releases of the year and should be a big deal for Epic, especially in a slow sales period. If “Say” could rank as the top digital song in the U.S., who says their album can’t? Their pop/rock sound will make for an awesome set.
3. Adele – TBA (Summer)
The girl who saved the music biz with just her voice and, oh yeah, a Diamond-certified album in the U.S. will be returning to the throne in 2014 with her third studio release. Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic is confirmed to be involved with it, and we’ll likely see Paul Epworth return for the project. Coming off a monumental album in 21, there’s an immense amount of pressure for this to do well. If everything goes as planned, we may be witnessing the biggest first week sales in some time.
2. Passenger – TBA (April/May)
Arguably the biggest act to hit my chart in some time, the 29-year-old singer and songwriter from Brighton, England managed three consecutive #1’s on my survey in 2013, totaling 19 weeks at the top. His album All The Little Lights was a favorite of mine this year, and I’ll have much more to say about the guy during the revelation of my year-end chart. Needless to say, I’m very excited to hear his next studio album on Nettwerk, due to be released in April or May. Will we see studio versions of some live favorites like “Riding To New York” or “Scare Away The Dark”? We’ll find out in a few months.
1. Graffiti6 – TBA (unknown) + Jamie Scott & The Town – TBA (unknown)
This one isn’t a surprise, but man, I am waiting on these two albums. 2014 will hopefully see the release of the duo’s next album (all mastered, but has yet to see a release on Capitol) but there will also be another effort by lead singer Scott and his old band. You may remember that they released Park Bench Theories in the U.K. in 2007. Overall, it’s going to be a big year full of some BiGLuV, or at least I hope it is. They didn’t get a chance to pull a repeat on my year-end chart, where “Free” was my #1 song last year, so keep checking on the status of these two projects; nothing means nothing at all without your love.
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