With 2018 over, 2019 is here with blazing glory and brand new music that could shake us to the core. Whether they’re artists making their highly-anticipated debut or returning after a dreadfully long hiatus, we’ve picked a handful of musicians we can’t wait to hear from in this hopeful new year.
1. Rihanna (TBD)
Fans have been hounding Rihanna for a new album. After her revolutionary LP ‘ANTI’ in 2016, the stakes are huge. As one of the most high profile artists in music today, Rihanna has delved into other areas of her expertise. She created Fenty Beauty, a diverse makeup line, and Savage X Fenty, a lingerie line for different shapes and sizes. It seemed like the megastar was doing everything BUT creating music, making fans restless. But recently she’s been posting snippets of her in the studio, possibly putting the finishing touches on her next full-length album. It’s put our minds at ease knowing that sometime very soon we’ll be hearing her perfectly crafted project.
2. Ariana Grande, ‘thank u, next’ (TBD)
2018 was the year of Ariana Grande. With ‘thank u, next‘ as her first No. 1 single and ‘Sweetener’ earning her another chart-topping album, she was unstoppable. Despite her career-winning accomplishments, the popstar endured many hardships as well. The tragic passing of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller in September, her called-off engagement from SNL comedian Pete Davidson, and her constant battle with anxiety following the Manchester bombing all stacked against Grande during a time in her profession where she was at her most successful. But surprisingly, she’s still powerfully treading through the toughest situations. Her next album is bound to be an ode about self-love, discovery, and empowerment. The two lead singles ‘thank u, next’ and ‘imagine’ showcase a more personal Grande, one that’s truly found her voice through an undeniably tumultuous storm.
3. Maggie Rogers, ‘Heard It in a Past Life’ (Jan. 18)
Maggie Rogers creates songs that embody the scariness of change. The new year calls for resolutions—we want to shift our lifestyles to become better versions of ourselves. Rogers supports that but doesn’t shy away from the uncertainty of the future. Everything leading up to the 24-year-old’s success is extraordinary—she hit viral fame after a video of Pharrell Williams giving her high praise for her track ‘Alaska’ during a class at her alma mater NYU surfaced online. Ever since then, Rogers gained a steady and loyal fanbase that ultimately catapulted her to achievements breakout musicians could only dream of so early in their career. In 2018, she made her SNL debut and landed her first Billboard No. 1, cementing herself a spot alongside some of pop music’s most popular acts. Now she’s gearing up for a debut LP that’s cathartic and soul-baring—it’s the emotionally healing experience we need to prepare us for a thrilling 2019.
4. Lana Del Rey, ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell’ (TBD)
Ever since ‘Born to Die,’ Lana Del Rey has been our go-to when it comes to selecting the ideal sad summer track. Her last album ‘Lust for Life’ was a complex, Grammy-nominated piece of work and a testament to the artist she was evolving into. Now she’s back and working alongside pop machine hitmaker Jack Antonoff. As the producer behind some of pop music’s most notorious artists like Taylor Swift, Lorde, Carly Rae Jepsen, Pink, and St. Vincent, Antonoff’s credit on Del Rey’s next LP could potentially be a game-changer. Over the course of the year, the artist has released a string of songs, all emanating the signature hazy sound Del Rey is known for. A whole album full of love, longing, and hopeful dreaming is what we’re inevitably bound to get with her new era.
5. Marina (TBD)
Marina and the Diamonds goes by just Marina now, a monumental change for an artist that found immense success under a stage name that became her signature. Perhaps it’s the beginning of a brand new era and prospering Marina Diamandis. It’s been years since her album ‘Froot’ in 2015 burst through the door with technicolor and self-realization. She’s been very mum since then, in the music world and on social media. After a much-needed break, the singer is finally hinting at new tunes. Recently she released collaborative track ‘Baby’ with Clean Bandit and Luis Fonsi that allowed us to hear the 33-year-old’s angelic vocals after a highly-deprived four years. Diamandis is set to perform at a string of music festivals later this year with the promise of new songs to dance to and hopefully, that means an album is on the horizon.
6. Carly Rae Jepsen (TBD)
‘Call Me Maybe’ might go down as one of the biggest pop hits of the decade. What we weren’t prepared for was the magical pop princess behind it all. Carly Rae Jepsen blossomed into a star that delivered time after time and now it’s that moment again—we need new catchy hits to get us through the dreariest of days. After her 2015 album ‘Emotion’ unveiled a dynamic project that was layered with dramatic synths and 80s dancefloor beats, we can only imagine what the artist will attempt next. She’s been in and out of the music scene—collabs alongside Charli XCX and her latest tracks ‘Cut to the Feeling’ and ‘Party for One’ remind us why we’ve declared Jepsen as one of the juggernauts of pop music legends. There’s no doubt she’s due for another full-length album that we’ll blast from our stereos.
7. Frank Ocean (TBD)
Perhaps one of the most elusive artists in music today, Frank Ocean has an air of mystery surrounding him. We’re able to chip away little pieces of him through his music—he weaves stories about his personal experiences like discovering his sexuality, seeking love, and childhood memories. In 2016, his divine sophomore album ‘Blonde’ culminated such an otherworldly journey for listeners that the possibility of topping it is almost unbelievable. But with Ocean, nothing is impossible. Earlier in 2018, he released ‘Moon River’ which caused a stir among fans, making them believe an album was within reach but then there was silence. Now it’s 2019 and the 31-year-old has been more vocal during its first few weeks than the entirety of the past year—he recently made his Instagram public and is currently the cover star for GQ’s Music Issue. Maybe the teasing is over and Ocean is ready to open himself once more with his captivating lyrics.
8. The 1975, ‘Notes on a Conditional Form’ (TBD)
The 1975 peeled back a layer of themselves with their third album ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships.’ It was a bold move for a band that thrived off their indie/pop/still a little bit rock sound. They focused on big band instrumentals and autotune, somehow making it flow together so well that the idea they did anything else beforehand was questionable. It bravely addressed the harrowing issues of today’s turbulent social and political climates while also coming to terms with our dire need to live through modern technology. Even though they’ve burst back onto the scene this past year, they’re swiftly returning with another LP titled ‘Notes on a Conditional Form.’ Frontman Matty Healy revealed it will be released sometime in May of this year and will sound similar to their early EPs—if we’re talking songs like ‘Sex,’ ‘You,’ and ‘Undo’ then we’re 100% prepared.
9. Charli XCX (TBD)
Eccentricity is Charli XCX‘s signature—she flourishes in her unique oddity of a bubble. Following her innovative mixtape ‘Pop 2’ where she reaped the rewards of an idiosyncratic popstar, we’re eager for an album that showcases XCX’s powerful talent of pop music perfection. With new year’s resolutions flowing, the artist has made one—release an album. With her recent single ‘1999’ that featured Troye Sivan, she reminisced about the good old 90s while also curating a sound only she could mold together. XCX doesn’t steer away from the unusualness and instead, embraces it. If she’s set to create her next LP, she’ll capture it with a raging club beat and bold lyrics we’ll shout from the rooftops.
10. Hozier, ‘Wasteland, Baby!’ (Mar. 1)
Hozier resurfaced last year with his compelling EP ‘Nine Cried Power’ that included collaborations with soul icons Booker T. Jones and Mavis Staples further strengthened his place in blues-like pop. Ever since ‘Take Me To Church,’ the artist has become a household name with a differing sound that’s outside of the radio-friendly norm. Now with his recent tracks, he maintains that dark, haziness that he’s known for. He revealed that a new album will be coming soon and will embark on his U.S tour in the spring. He’s been deeply missed on the charts even though ‘Take Me To Church’ continues to blow up the radio. Despite it all, we’re raring to hear what he’s spent the last few years creating—there’s no disputing it’ll be a powerhouse of an album exploding with high-octane energy.
11. Sigrid, ‘Sucker Punch’ (Mar. 1)
Sigrid has been releasing tracks here and there over the past two years, all dignified with the high-quality pop music we fawn over. The 22-year-old has risen to great heights already—winning a handful of awards for her strong breakthrough in music like the BBC’s prestigious Music Sound of 2018. Now her debut album is finally on its way even though we felt like we’ve known her forever. The Norwegian singer’s certainty shines through in her lyrics, crooning about discovering love, and overcoming heartbreak over high-energy synth beats. She’s become the perfect dance club machine, concocting tracks that light a fire inside us to dance endlessly. 2019 will be a chart-topping year for Sigrid with a highly-anticipated debut that will leave listeners and critics in awe.
12. Khalid (TBD)
There was no shortage of Khalid in 2018—he released numerous collaborative tracks alongside artists like Billie Eilish, Shawn Mendes, and Halsey as well as an EP titled ‘Suncity.’ It launched him into a new, dream-like sound that was unlike his debut album ‘American Teen’ which was full of R&B-infused jams. He revealed that his sophomore album will most likely be hitting the airwaves before Coachella which leaves the question what can we expect? Based on ‘Suncity,’ the artist appears to be exploring a new vibe that emanates whimsical pop. There also appears to be a new collab on the horizon—Niall Horan and the singer have been dropping hints of possibly working together. That makes the idea of this new LP even more desirable.
13. The Japanese House, ‘Good at Falling’ (Mar. 1)
Amber Bain, aka The Japanese House, has reinvented what it means to be “indie-pop.” Throughout 2018 she gave us a slight glimpse into what she wanted to establish herself as—an unconventional popstar. With the support of The 1975’s George Daniels as her co-producer, she’s ultimately carved herself a sound that’s truly unique. Her music may come across as weary but it’s a fresh take on a genre that we’ve come to know as endlessly cheerful. There’s an intelligence behind her storytelling, all sung over an autotuned track that leaves us baffled—’Lilo’ and ‘Follow My Girl’ delve into the nature of past relationships and love through a distinct perspective. The 23-year-old is ready to be at the forefront with songs that speak from the soul and jar us to the point of spilling our guts to the nearest stranger.