A new year means new experiences, new goals and lots of new music. 2018 brought us many memorable music moments with the releases of fantastic albums. We gained the soft, sparkly tunes of Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour, Vance Joy’s raw vocals on his second album, Nation of Two, the spicy, soaring anthems from Camila Cabello’s debut album, Camila, and the long-awaited return of Arctic Monkeys with Tranquility Base Hotel, to name a few. We’ve taken time to reflect on the musical highlights of 2018, and are ready for another year filled with new songs to obsess over. Check out the top six albums we can’t wait to come out this year.
Betty – Betty Who
If you hear the name Betty Who and think who? put your earbuds in and listen to her right now. The Australian beauty not only has a pleasant edge to her voice, but her music is relatable and dance-party-worthy. You can’t listen to one of her glitzy bops without tapping your feet. Betty gained popularity with her 2012 single “Somebody Loves You”, and has since released two studio albums. Her third, Betty, is set to hit shelves February 15. Fitting, since much of her music is centered around love and relationships. Either listen to the full album with your valentine, or jam out with your gal-entines, relishing in your girl power.
Five singles are available on streaming platforms now. The dangerously sexy “Taste” will have you shamelessly screeching to hit the high notes of “the worse they are, the better they taste”. We’ve already decided that the sweet and sultry “Between You & Me” will never get old. It describes the common struggle of wondering if someone feels the same connection that you do. Chances are, after this album, no one will be asking “Betty who?”
Wasteland, Baby! – Hozier
It’s been five years since we were gifted with a full-length album from Irish musician Hozier. The wait is finally almost over. With a release date of March 1, we’re less than a month away from 14 new tunes to belt out alone in our cars. Lucky for us, Hozier has already released four singles from Wasteland, Baby!, and they’ve only made us slide further onto the edge of our seats in anticipation of the full album.
“Nina Cried Power” is a haunting anthem that feels reminiscent of Hozier’s first major hit “Take Me to Church”. The powerhouse tip-toes towards a more pop vibe in the sensual tune “Movement”, and we’re totally into it. “Almost (Sweet Music)” is a groovy track that showcases the quirks of Hozier’s voice. Finally, “Shrike” is a soft, contemplative tune that allows Hozier’s pipes to take center stage above an acoustic backdrop, feeling similar to the classic, “Cherry Wine”. If the rest of Wasteland, Baby! is anything like these four singles, we’re in for a real treat.
Sucker Punch – Sigrid
Norwegian singer-songwriter Sigrid doesn’t shy away from anything. The 22-year-old released her debut EP Don’t Kill My Vibe in 2017, followed by Raw in 2018, and her first full-length studio album will be available everywhere on March 8. Although she’s relatively new to the scene, the songstress is already locked in to open for Maroon 5 on their European tour this summer. Five ambitious singles are out now and include intimate lyrics above synth beats. Sigrid shows off her chops in acoustic versions of songs like “Raw” and “Dynamite”, making you fall in love with her vulnerability. We can’t wait to keep getting to know this rising star.
Norman Fucking Rockwell – Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey is her own breed of artist. Her sultry songs are carried by an undeniably beautiful voice full of character that transports the listener to another time and place. On March 29, we’ll be blessed with another album by the New York native. Rey has released two singles that will appear on Norman Fucking Rockwell – “Venice Bitch”, a nearly ten-minute-long epic journey through Rey’s rose-tinted love life, and “Mariners Apartment Complex”, which strays from her usual trippy tunes with an acoustic guitar, piano and violin swaying behind her husky vocal. Although it’s only been two years since her last album, Lust for Life, Lana Del Rey always leaves us wanting more. And more is almost here.
Social Cues – Cage the Elephant
Four years have gone by since Kentucky rock band Cage the Elephant released their fourth – and most successful – studio album, Tell Me I’m Pretty. During those four years, the band struggled as frontman Matt Shultz went through a divorce, which inspired much of Cage’s new album, Social Cues, out April 19. The first single, “Ready to Let Go” is one of those songs that alludes to Shultz divorce, as he grapples with moving on from his seven-year marriage. The haunting music video begins with Shultz standing nearly naked at an eerie altar with two tears of blood streaking his cheeks – and it only gets stranger from there. The single is classic Cage the Elephant – clever lyrics above a trippy yet rocking melody. Social Cues boasts 13 tracks, including one that features fellow rockstar Beck. We’re counting down the days until this release.
Notes on a Conditional Form – The 1975
There’s something irresistible about The 1975. Whether it’s their juicy lyrics, the mix of dance-pop and tender moments, or lead singer Matty Healy’s killer pipes, the British quartet is special. Although they released their third studio album, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships less than a year ago, Notes on a Conditional Form will be available May 31. We haven’t snuck a taste with any singles yet, but there’s no doubt that this album will only catapult the band’s desirability even further. Bring it on.