11 Artists Who Are Due for New Albums in 2018
Luckily, we’ve only just begun; there are plenty of huge projects on the horizon — some of which artists have already begun to tease — and before we know it, we’ll possess more new music than we know what to do with.
But for now, let’s fill these musical doldrums with news and updates from 11 soon-to-be-released (we hope) albums and figure out who’s on deck to blow our minds. We won’t give up on you just yet, 2018!
Last album: Revival, released Oct. 9, 2015
What she’s been doing since: The corresponding Revival world tour was a huge hit, but Selena Gomez’s most public project in between albums was her position as executive producer of the polarizing Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, which was the must-watch show of Spring 2017. Most recently she’s been riding the wave of her latest radio darling single “Wolves,” featuring Marshmello.
What we know about the new album: We have a promise from Gomez, via interview with BBC in December, that “there will be an album” in 2018. Hooray, confirmation! “I can successfully say that my inspiration for this next album is in full motion and it will be very soon," Gomez said, and she posted a photo Dec. 10 on Instagram of her in the studio with the caption “Currently. Until the next year, here’s where I’ll be.” I’d expect at least a new single fairly soon from Selena.
Last album: Dangerous Woman, released May 20, 2016
What she’s been doing since: The Dangerous Woman World Tour was a pleasant surprise and huge step up from Ariana Grande's previous roadshow — her choreography, moreover her live singing while dancing has gotten to be a real strength for her. Though tragedy struck the pop star’s tour May 22, 2017 in Manchester, England when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive after the show and killed 23 people. She teamed up with John Legend on the Beauty And The Beast theme in 2017, and she released a compilation called The Best in Japan last year.
What we know about the new album: Grande hasn’t said very much about #AG4, but we know she’s collaborating with Pharrell Williams, who assures MTV it’s “amazing,” and told Los Angeles Times: “The things that [Ariana] has to say on this album, it's pretty next-level.” And Grande teased some studio pics on Instagram back in December — on New Year’s Eve, she posted a video to IG of a new track being laid down in the studio with the caption “see you next year.” For what it’s worth, the lead singles to Dangerous Woman and My Everything were both released in springtime.
Last album: Sounds Good Feels Good, released Oct. 23, 2015
What the band has been doing since: A whole lot of touring; 5SOS embarked on a four-continent world tour in support of Sounds, raking in around $40 million for the Aussie dudes. They were also featured in a song from the Japanese band One Ok Rock, but it seems like Luke, Calum, Michael and Ashton have taken some time off to regroup for the band’s next phase.
What we know about the new album: The pop-rock foursome dropped its first new single in three years on February 23, a catchy, more-pop-less-rock track called “Want You Back” that’s definitely more mature and glossy than the guys’ last album. The band also announced a small spring tour to reignite the hype machine and get fans psyched for the new record, which bassist Michael Clifford told Billboard in December: "I think when all the new stuff comes out, it's like a departure of our old sound but it still keeps elements of all of the things we liked about it. It was just time for us to change.” The band’s third LP was originally slated for a late 2017 release so expect it earlier than later this year.
Last album: I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, released Feb. 26, 2016
What the band has been doing since: The 1975 released their first live album, called DH00278, in December. Otherwise, they’ve just played a bunch of shows and been maddeningly cryptic on what’s next for the popular four-piece.
What we know about the new album: We actually know a decent amount about this one! First, the band’s third LP will be called Music For Cars, after an eponymous EP released in 2013. We know three tracks are titled “Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America," "It's Not Living (If It's Not with You)," "I Always Wanna Die, Sometimes." And frontman Matty Healy is talking the talk about how big this record needs to be: "If you look at third albums, 'OK Computer' or 'The Queen Is Dead', that's what we need to do,” Healy told NME in March 2017. “I want people to look back and think our records were the most important pop records that a band put out in this decade." A tweet from Healy last year led to speculation that the album could be released June 1, 2018, but that remains unconfirmed.
Last album: Pageant Material, released June 23, 2015
What she’s been doing since: If you’re one for holiday tunes, then you already know how awesomely twangy and warm Kacey Musgraves’s A Very Kacey Christmas was in 2016. The country star also appeared on the mega-medley “Forever Country,” featuring 30 different artists to celebrate 50 years of Country Music Association Awards. Technically, this was Musgraves’ first No. 1 single.
What we know about the new album: Musgraves’ third LP is called Golden Hour, ostensibly for her hometown of Golden, Texas. It will be released March 30 and the lead single, a fuzzy and smart track called “Space Cowboy,” dropped last Friday. It’s a 13-track record with Musgraves herself as the lead songwriter for each tune. “I have a lot more love songs this time around, and I’ve never been one to write a love song and really feel it,” Musgraves told Entertainment Weekly in December, referring to Golden Hour as “trippy.”
Last album: Nine Track Mind, released Jan. 29, 2016
What he’s been doing since: No album, no problem. Charlie Puth has maintained his status as a radio darling, notching another Top 5 smash with “Attention” and a minor hit with “How Long” (currently No. 21 on Billboard’s Hot 100). On Jan. 4, he dropped a promotional single called “If You Leave Me Now,” featuring Boyz II Men. The New Jersey-bred pop star is also set to headline amphitheaters across the country this summer — the largest tour of his young career by far.
What we know about the new album: Puth’s sophomore LP Voicenotes was bumped to a May 11 release (it was originally due out this winter), and will feature “Attention” and “How Long.” Puth described the album as being “Like walking down a dirt road and listening to New Edition in 1989 -- and being heartbroken, of course.”
Last album: The Pinkprint, released Dec. 15, 2014
What she’s been doing since: Even though it feels like forever since Nicki Minaj’s last album, she has enjoyed a very successful last few years. She starred in the critically acclaimed comedy Barbershop: The Next Cut, she broke Aretha Franklin’s record for most entries for a female artist on the Billboard Hot 100, and she’s collaborated with virtually everyone, most notably Drake and Lil Wayne on the Remy Ma-burying single “No Frauds,” Katy Perry on “Swish Swish,” and Migos on “MotorSport.” Nicki hasn’t dropped in album in more than three years and she’s still the undoubted queen of modern hip-hop (not yet, Cardi B).
What we know about the new album: There have been a handful of false starts, rumors and trolls from Nicki herself over this fourth album, but she has also spoken earnestly about it: "(It’s) a billion times more epic than anything ‘Anaconda’ could have delivered,” she told Dazed last fall. “I think this era will definitely be the most memorable and the most impactful of my career yet.” There are no concrete details as to the timing; a new single — or the whole album — could be coming any day now.
Last album: N/A
What he’s been doing since: While ex-One Direction bandmates Harry Styles, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan have all released their debut LPs, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson have both taken their time rolling out their first albums. Payne scored a big hit last year with the “Justified” era Timberlake-style jam “Strip That Down” and he’s climbing the charts again this winter with “For You,” a bumping track off the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack, featuring Rita Ora.
What we know about the new album: In October, Payne said his debut would be out in January — tick tock, Liam — and that he’s worked with Ed Sheeran, Zedd and Charlie Puth on the project. "I didn't really want to nail myself down so there's some dark pop on there, some super urban tracks and a lot of trap music," Payne told Planet Radio. If we make it to summer without this album dropping, I’ll be shocked.
Last album: Blue Neighbourhood, Dec. 4, 2015
What he’s been doing since: Let’s stick to 2018 here, since the blooming Aussie pop star has been plenty busy the last two months. Troye Sivan, 22, has so far released two very good singles in the dance track “My, My, My!” and the melty ballad “The Good Side,” and performed both on Saturday Night Live in January. Before all that, he was busy touring and making his name as one of the most exciting next-generation pop focal points.
What we know about the new album: Sivan confirmed just last week that Ariana Grande will appear on his sophomore LP, for which he has yet to provide a title or release date. But whenever this record drops, we’ll be there — Blue Neighbourhood was good far beyond Sivan’s years and with a new heap of confidence, we're psyched to see what comes next.
Last album: Views, released April 29, 2016 (The sprawling mixtape, More Life, was released in 2017)
What he’s been doing since: Besides counting his money, you mean? Drake's Views was the best-selling rap album of 2016 — it was No. 1 for 13 weeks in an era when no one buys music anymore — and his Summer Sixteen tour raked in a could $85 million. He continued in 2017 with the smooth-albeit-overstuffed mixtape More Life and two more Top 10 hits in “Passionfruit” and “Fake Love.” Oh, and he kinda dated Jennifer Lopez last year, no big deal.
What we know about the new album: So, there’s no real news yet on a new Drake LP. He’s riding the success of his new single “God’s Plan,” the No. 1 song in America right now. But Drizzy hasn’t gone a year without a major release of some sort since 2014 and he’s unquestionably the most commercially white-hot rapper on Earth in 2018 (sorry, Kendrick). I refuse to believe he won’t strike again before the year is out — where there’s (free) smoke, there’s fire.
Last album: ANTI, released Jan. 26, 2016
What she’s been doing since: Beyond basking in the critical and commercial success of ANTI, Rihanna’s remained in the public eye, singing the hook for Calvin Harris’s EDM crossover smash “This Is What You Came For” in 2016 and injecting her innate tropical flare into DJ Khaled’s huge hit “Wild Thoughts” in late 2017. She also received a humanitarian award from Harvard, score the 2016 VMAs’ Video Vanguard Award and appeared in the Dane DeHaan space-opera flop Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets (what, you didn’t see it?)
What we know about the new album: Beyond a handful of song titles being registered on ASCAP last year, we don’t really know anything about #R9. But up until the three-year break before ANTI, Rihanna was known to release an album just about every single year. With her new trap-and-trop style in place and all the hype in the world behind her, we don’t believe the Barbadian pop queen will stay quiet in ‘18.