Spring 2019 Music Preview: 45 Key Albums


Confirmed releases coming this spring

Below, our editors select some of the key albums due for release between now and mid-May, listed in alphabetical order by artist.

Album coverAmerican Football

American Football (LP3)
March 22 (Polyvinyl) iTunes Prime Video

After exiting the “bands that only ever released one album” club by unexpectedly returning after 17 years to release their second LP in 2016, emo band American Football seem to have become an actual ongoing project. Rachel Goswell (Slowdive) and Hayley Williams (Paramore) are among the guests on their third album, which has a familiar title, font, and producer (Jason Cupp).

Album coverBad Religion

Age of Unreason


May 3 (Epitaph)
iTunes Prime Video

The L.A. punk band may be close to celebrating their 40th anniversary, but they aren’t done yet. This 15-song set is their 17th overall and first in six years. It finds the band addressing current events and politics and working with a new producer (Carlos de La Garza). It’s also their first album to feature new-ish members Mike Dimkich and Jamie Miller on guitars and drums, respectively.

Album coverBibio

Ribbons
April 12 (Warp) iTunes Prime Video

After a well-received detour into ambient music on 2017’s Phantom Brickworks, English musician Stephen Wilkinson returns to slightly more conventional songwriting on his 10th album, which is influenced by recent time spent in the British countryside.

Album coverBig Thief

U.F.O.F.


May 3 (4AD)
iTunes Prime Video

The indie rock outfit’s third album finds them moving from Saddle Creek to 4AD. It follows 2017’s Capacity and a recent solo album from frontwoman Adrianne Lenker, Abysskiss—both the recipients of excellent reviews.

Album coverAndrew Bird

My Finest Work Yet


March 22 (Loma Vista)
iTunes Prime Video

We don’t know yet if it lives up to its title, but this will certainly be the singer-songwriter’s most recent work yet, and first LP in three years (following 2016’s Are You Serious).

Album coverCage the Elephant

Social Cues


April 19 (RCA)
iTunes Prime Video

The Kentucky alt-rock band’s fifth album features a collaboration with Beck on the track “Night Running.” In fact, the band will mount a co-headlining tour with Beck this summer, with many dates also featuring Spoon.

Album coverCharly Bliss

Young Enough


May 10 (Barsuk)
iTunes Prime Video

Joe Chiccarelli produces this second album from the Brooklyn power-pop group, who wowed critics on their 2017 debut Guppy.

Album coverThe Chemical Brothers

No Geography


April 12 (Astralwerks)
iTunes Prime Video

The veteran English electronica duo’s follow-up to 2015’s Born In The Echoes is a bit of a throwback to their earlier work—from the equipment used to a tracklist that is relatively light on guest features (only Nene and Aurora appear). What hasn’t changed is the group’s appreciation for the music video format, as the new album has already resulted in several instant classics.

Album coverClinic

Wheeltappers And Shunters


May 10 (Domino)
iTunes Prime Video

The Liverpool garage rockers emerge from a seven-year hiatus with their first studio album since 2012’s Free Reign. The album’s title is a reference to a ’70s-era ITV variety show.

Album coverThe Cranberries

In the End


April 26 (BMG)
iTunes Prime Video

The 2018 death of Cranberries frontwoman Dolores O’Riordan saddened pop fans everywhere. Though the Irish band will not attempt to continue in her absence—her distinctive voice would be nearly impossible to replicate, for one thing—O’Riordan and her bandmates were in the process of recording a new album at the time of her death. The results of those sessions are collected here in an 11-song set produced by Stephen Street.

Album coverMac DeMarco

Here Comes the Cowboy


May 10 (Mac’s Record Label)
iTunes Prime Video

DeMarco’s follow-up to 2017’s This Old Dog will be the debut release on his new record label, Mac’s Record Label. Billed as his “cowboy record,” the 13-song set was recorded in Los Angeles at the beginning of 2019.

Album coverBillie Eilish

When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?


March 29 (Interscope)
iTunes Prime Video

Just 17 years old, L.A. singer Billie Eilish is already a rising star, thanks to a hit 2017 EP (Don’t Smile at Me) and plenty of hype. This month, she makes here full-length debut with a 14-song set that she co-wrote and co-produced with her brother, the actor/performer Finneas (O’Connell).

Album coverEx Hex

It’s Real
March 22 (Merge) iTunes Prime Video

Indie rocker Mary Timony’s newest project returns with a follow-up to their excellent 2014 debut, Rips. Producer Jonah Takagi returns from that album. Ex Hex will tour in April in support of the new record.

Album coverFennesz

Agora


March 29 (Touch)
iTunes Prime Video

Austrian composer/guitarist Christian Fennesz hasn’t released a studio album since 2014’s excellent Bécs. He breaks his silence with a stripped-down set—spanning just four tracks—recorded in his bedroom.

Album coverFilthy Friends

Emerald Valley


May 3 (Kill Rock Stars)
iTunes Prime Video

Led by R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker, this supergroup of sorts has one previous album (2017’s Invitation) to its name. That total doubles with the arrival of Emerald Valley in May, which will be followed by a tour.

Album coverFoxygen

Seeing Other People


April 26 (Jagjaguwar)
iTunes

After a rare disappointing outing in 2014, Foxygen rebounded in 2017 with the solid Hang. Next month, the indie rock duo returns with album number six, a nine-song set self-produced by the band.

Album coverThe Get Up Kids

Problems


May 10 (Polyvinyl)
iTunes Prime Video

The influential Kansas City emo rockers last released an album back in the first month of 2011 (There Are Rules), which itself represented a comeback after an earlier dissolution. Years of inactivity followed, though the band did put out some new material on an EP last summer. This year, they have a full-length follow-up, produced by Peter Katis (who previously worked with the Kids for 2002’s On A Wire).

Album coverGuided by Voices

Warp and Woof


April 26 (GBV)
iTunes Prime Video

It’s pretty much a given that there will be another Guided by Voices album coming out at some point in the near future. In this case, the “near future” means April 26th specifically, which brings a 24-song set (which includes material previously released on December’s 100 Dougs and Wine Cork Stonehenge EPs). It follows a mere two months after Robert Pollard’s previous GBV album, the 36-song Zeppelin Over China. So, how many new tracks have you released this year?

Album coverTim Hecker

Anoyo


May 10 (Kranky)
iTunes Prime Video

Last fall’s Konoyo was merely another excellent album from the Canadian electronic music artist. The quick turn-around and similar title should clue you in that the upcoming Anoyo is a companion album to the prior set, recorded during the very same sessions and similarly influenced by the Asian classical music form known as gagaku, though taking a more minimalist approach.

Album coverHolly Herndon

PROTO
May 10 (4AD) iTunes

The experimental artist/composer’s first album since 2015’s Platform features a number of guest vocalists as well as input from an A.I. program (developed by Herndon) named Spawn, who was “trained” in part during live sessions in Berlin. The album includes her previously released collaboration with Jlin, “Godmother.”

Album coverDamien Jurado

In the Shape of a Storm


April 12 (Mama Bird)
iTunes Prime Video

Seattle singer-songwriter Damien Jurado has been writing and recording music for about 25 years now—so long that he could probably churn out an album’s worth of songs in his sleep if he wanted to. Storm isn’t that album, but it’s close: Jurado spent just two hours recording the 10-song set.

Album coverKaren O & Danger Mouse

Lux Prima


March 15 (BMG)
iTunes Prime Video

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman teams with super producer Danger Mouse for an album-length collaboration spanning nine tracks.

Album coverL7

Scatter the Rats


May 3 (Blackheart)

Yes, it is indeed a new album from Los Angeles grunge band L7—their first in 20 years. The crowd-funded, 11-song set was produced by Norm Block and Nick Launay and is out in May on Joan Jett’s record label, Blackheart.

Album coverLambchop

This (is what I wanted to tell you)
March 22 (City Slang/Merge) iTunes Prime Video

The Kurt Wagner-led alt-country outfit enlists Bon Iver drummer Matthew McCaughan for their 13th studio album (which they are billing as their 14th for triskaidekaphobic reasons). It’s their first LP since 2016’s excellent FLOTUS.

Album coverMary Lattimore & Mac McCaughan

New Rain Duets


March 22 (Three Lobed Recordings)
iTunes Prime Video

Harpist Mary Lattimore and Superchunk/Portastatic frontman Mac McCaughan unite for a collaborative instrumental work that was recorded in 2016 and is divided into four movements.

Album coverJenny Lewis

On the Line


March 22 (Warner Bros.)
iTunes Prime Video

The singer-songwriter (and former Rilo Kiley frontwoman) returns with her first solo set since 2014’s The Voyager. Lewis enlisted an all-star lineup of guests that includes Ringo Starr, Beck, Ryan Adams, Don Was, and Benmont Tench, and the first two tracks released so far may sound familiar to anyone who has seen her on tour over the past few years.

Album coverLizzo

Cuz I Love You
April 19 (Nice Life/Atlantic) iTunes Prime Video

The Minnesota rapper and flautist finally has a follow-up to 2015’s Big GRRRL Small World, and it also marks her major-label debut. The new set includes her recent hit single “Juice,” which established the artist as a star whose moment seems to have arrived. Lizzo will follow a pair of Coachella performances next month with a full tour.

Album coverLocal Natives

Violet Street


April 26 (Loma Vista)
iTunes Prime Video

The indie rockers’ first album since 2016’s Sunlit Youth (and fourth overall) features production from Shawn Everett, who worked on Kacey Musgraves’ recent hit Golden Hour.

Album coverStephen Malkmus

Groove Denied


March 15 (Matador)
iTunes Prime Video

After releasing perhaps his best post-Pavement LP to date last year in the form of Sparkle Hard, Stephen Malkmus is trying something a bit different. A true solo record (i.e., without his band The Jicks), Groove Denied is an album of electronic, synth-based music made with vintage gear—think something like Human League and Pete Shelley’s solo work—a departure so radical for Malkmus that his label reportedly rejected the album in the past. His Pavement bandmate Spiral Stairs also has a solo album due this spring. Out March 22nd, We Wanna Be Hyp-No-Tized features the quasi-title track and “The Fool”.

Album coverMatmos

Plastic Anniversary
March 15 (Thrill Jockey) iTunes Prime Video

Many albums from the experimental electronic duo of Martin Schmidt and Drew Daniel have a central theme, or a common source of instrumentation (be it a washing machine or samples of surgical procedures). Plastic Anniversary has both, celebrating the pair’s actual anniversary as a couple, and utilizing “sounds derived from plastic objects” (ranging from breast implants to poker chips to plastic marching band instruments).

Album coverKevin Morby

Oh My God


April 26 (Dead Oceans)
iTunes Prime Video

A bit of a concept album about religion and spirituality, the fifth solo album from the singer-songwriter (and former Woods member) follows 2017’s City Music, one of three straight Morby albums to score 80 or higher.

Album coverThe Mountain Goats

In League With Dragons


April 26 (Merge)
iTunes Prime Video

On his last Mountain Goats album, John Darnielle turned to the goth music scene as his inspiration. For album number 17, the band is inventing a new genre from scratch: “dragon noir,” with about half of the album’s tracks originally intended for a rock opera about a realm called Riversend ruled by a wizard. A tour follows the album’s release.

Album coverThe National

I Am Easy to Find


May 17 (4AD)
iTunes Prime Video

The eighth studio album from the indie rock superstars includes contributions from Sharon Van Etten, Lisa Hannigan, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and David Bowie backing singer Gail Ann Dorsey. A 24-minute film (also titled I Am Easy to Find) will arrive with the album. It’s directed by Mike Mills and stars Alicia Vikander.

Anderson .Paak

Ventura


April 12 (Aftermath)

The artist and producer continues to move north up the California coast with his Dr. Dre-produced fourth album, which was recorded at the same time as last year’s Oxnard and follows his previous releases Malibu and Venice. (At this rate, he should be in Santa Barbara by next year.) Find Paak on tour with Thundercat and Earl Sweatshirt in May.

Album coverPriests

The Seduction of Kansas
April 5 (Sister Polygon) iTunes Prime Video

The D.C. post-punkers impressed critics with their 2017 debut Nothing Feels Natural. Their highly anticipated follow-up features 11 new tracks produced by John Congleton.

Album coverPUP

Morbid Stuff


April 5 (Little Dipper/Rise)
iTunes Prime Video

The Toronto pop-punk band follows a pair of terrific albums (including a 2014 self-titled debut and 2016’s The Dream Is Over) with a third LP next month. Dave Schiffman produced the 11-song set.

Album coverQuelle Chris

Guns


March 29 (Mello)
iTunes Prime Video

After collaborating with Jean Grae on 2018’s Everything’s Fine, the Detroit-born rapper returns with his sixth solo studio album. Grae is among the guests.

Album coverJosh Ritter

Fever Breaks


April 26 (Pytheas Recordings/Thirty Tigers)
iTunes Prime Video

The Americana artist enlisted the like-minded singer-songwriter Jason Isbell as the producer for his tenth studio album, with Isbell’s band the 400 Unit also contributing to the recording.

Album coverSon Volt

Union


March 29 ((Transmit Sound/Thirty Tigers)
iTunes Prime Video

The Jay Farrar-led alt-country outfit follows 2017’s Notes of Blue with a political, current events-influenced 13-song set recorded at the Woody Guthrie Center.

Album coverStrand of Oaks

Eraserland


March 22 (Dead Oceans)
iTunes Prime Video

The Timothy Showalter-led indie-folk project followed 2014’s excellent Heal with a somewhat disappointing 2017 set Hard Love. Will this sixth album be a return to form? He certainly has a lot of support: Eraserland finds him backed throughout by most of My Morning Jacket, while Jason Isbell and Emma Ruth Rundle guest.

Sunn O)))

Life Metal


April 13/April 19 (Southern Lord)

The Seattle drone metal specialists last gave us an album (Kannon) in 2015. But they have two new LPs planned for 2019. Up first is the four-song Life Metal, produced (like its fall follow-up Pyroclasts) by Steve Albini. While the official release date is April 19th, indie shops participating in the annual Record Store Day event on April 13th will have advance copies for sale.

Album coverAvey Tare

Cows on Hourglass Pond
March 22 (Domino) iTunes Prime Video

It looks like 2019 will be a year of solo releases for the members of Animal Collective. Following Panda Bear’s February release Buoys comes bandmate Avey Tare’s third solo set, his first since 2017’s Eucalyptus.

Album coverThese New Puritans

Inside the Rose
March 22 (Infectious) iTunes Prime Video

The English art-rock band has been quiet since the release of Field of Reeds back in 2013, but they have a new album due in a few weeks and a tour to follow in April. David Tibet of Current 93 guests.

Album coverVampire Weekend

Father of the Bride
May 3 (Columbia) iTunes Prime Video

Vampire Weekend’s third album, Modern Vampires of the City, was also released back in 2013. It’s finally getting a follow-up. The band’s long-delayed fourth album, their first since the departure of Rostam Batmanglij, spans 18 tracks and features appearances by Dirty Projectors’ Dave Longstreth, The Internet’s Steve Lacy, and Jenny Lewis. Batmanglij does produce some of the album, as does Ariel Rechtshaid and VW frontman Ezra Koenig. The band will tour behind the album in May.

Album coverJohn Vanderslice

The Cedars
April 5 (Native Cat)

The prolific indie rock producer (and solo artist) is back with his first album of original songs since 2013’s Dagger Beach. The 12-song set includes contributions from Tortoise’s John McEntire.

Album coverWeyes Blood

Titanic Rising
April 5 (Sub Pop) iTunes Prime Video

Natalie Mering moves to Sub Pop for her fourth LP as Weyes Blood (and first since 2016’s Front Row Seat to Earth). Mering co-produced the album (titled, presumably, after the fake Titanic sequel from Homecoming) with Jonathan Rado of Foxygen.

What are you looking forward to?

Which albums are you looking forward to this spring? Let us know in the comments section below, and visit our Album Release Calendar for even more upcoming music release dates.

 



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