As far as new music goes, 2020 needed no warming up to get release cycles rolling. One month in and we've already seen a fair mix of releases, including a surprise drop from Eminem, Louis Tomlinson of One Direction's solo album debut, and Squarepusher's resurrection of analogue synths on his first album in five years.
As releases keep coming, we're keeping track of the many discoveries and scrobbling opportunities in store. Listed below are fifteen albums on our radar this year, from the latest and loved, to the ones to look forward to. Let's make 2020 count!
Albums Last.fm loved from January and (early) February
Destroyer, Have We Met
On his 13th album, Dan Bejar once again stuns with his euphoric arrangements and poetically offbeat way with words. Have We Met floats in lush synth-pop melodies, but twists and bends with Bejar's peculiar flow. The album received a lot of love from Last.fm users when it released at the end of January, and track “It Just Doesn't Happen" trended globally.
Green Day, Father Of All...
In the name of punk, Green Day has always voiced for doing what you want and going against what's expected. The Oakland trio keeps those values close on their latest release, but not in the form of a political statement. Instead, they're messing around and having fun with their sound, embracing elements of glam rock, lo-fi garage fuzz, and soul. The album's 8 February release had the band trending globally on Last.fm, with “Meet Me On The Roof" taking the lead in popular tracks.
Mac Miller, Circles
The posthumous release from Mac Miller was meant to be a companion album to 2018's Swimming. It captures the rapper's life at the time, both personally through his lyrics, and professionally through his curiosity for genres from trip-hop to funk. Circles is more than just a counterpart album, but a heartfelt send-off to Miller's career and artistic growth. Circles trended globally on Last.fm when it was released on 17 January.
Poppy, I Disagree
On her third studio album, Poppy breaks her mysterious Internet persona to start a sonic riot. She pairs bubblegum pop with nu-metal and dubstep, delivering gutsy anthems of both rage and empowerment. It's still in tune with Poppy's unexpected nature, just more outspoken and free. Lead single, “Concrete," trended globally when it was released last August. Meanwhile, fans on Last.fm gave the album lots of love after its release in early January.
Selena Gomez, Rare
On 10 January, Selena Gomez returned with her first studio album in five years. The record shimmers with pure pop melodies, as Gomez moves forward from heartbreak and focuses on her personal strengths. Following the footsteps of lead single “Lose You To Love Me," the tracks on Rare trended globally on Last.fm on release day.
Albums to look out for February and onward
The 1975, Notes on a Conditional Form
Release date: 24 April
The 1975's fourth studio album is set to be stacked with 22 tracks total. So far, we've heard four singles that quickly go from ambient listening to punk to romcom-esque dream pop.
The Airborne Toxic Event, Hollywood Park
Release date: 8 May
In late 2019, four years since their last album, The Airborne Toxic Event announced a tour, a new album, and a new book. The Southern Californian rock band was famously described by The LA Times as “poetry you can dance to," so here's to hoping for that same energy in 2020.
Anna Burch, If You're Dreaming
Release date: 3 April
Anna Burch will be releasing her sophomore album this April. While the dream pop artist's last release soaks in melancholy, If You're Dreaming's lead single, “Not So Bad," glimmers with optimism. Meant to balance the mood, the rest of the album is said to delve into the singer-songwriter's reflective nature.
BTS, Map of the Soul: 7
Release date: 21 February
In January, the K-pop sensations teased their new album with a comeback trailer, a new single called “Black Swan," and an accompanying short film. The second comeback trailer was released in early February, which features J-Hope's upbeat solo cut, “Outro: Ego."
Code Orange, UNDERNEATH
Release date: 13 March
To announce their upcoming album, Code Orange dropped the title track, “Underneath," back in January. The Pennsylvania harcore outfit is diving straight into the fury for its new era, releasing music videos that are just as chaotic and frenzied as the album singles so far.
Hayley Williams, PETALS FOR ARMOR
Release date: 8 May
Paramore's Hayley Williams recently released the first half of her solo debut album, PETALS FOR ARMOR. So far, the tracks keep up with her distinct fiery flair, while simultaneously climbing into more abstract territory.
Moses Sumney, græ Part 1 and 2
Release date: 21 February and 15 May
Moses Sumney has a double album in the works, with the first part releasing in late February and the second in May. Sumney captivates with his soaring vocals and blend of electro and soul; græ has been said to achieve that on a much more conceptual level.
Silverstein, A Beautiful Place to Drown
Release date: 6 March
The screamo icons are celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band with this next album. Lead single “Bad Habits" takes off with searing energy as it leans inward to fight inner demons, setting the tone for the rest of A Beautiful Place to Drown.
Stephen Malkmus, Traditional Techniques
Release date: 6 March
This will be the third solo album from Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus. It's the counterpart to his last record, Groove Denied. While Malkmus gave his indie rock sound the electronic treatment (i.e. synths and drum machines) on his previous album, Traditional Techniques lives up to its name and features Malkmus on a range of acoustic instruments, from a 12-string acoustic guitar to a flute.
Tame Impala, The Slow Rush
Release date: 14 February
Following a five-year gap, Tame Impala is soon returning with a fourth studio album. As of now, four singles lead up to The Slow Rush, each of them solidifying Kevin Parker's stunning psych-rock vision.
For even more upcoming releases, check out our New Releases page!