Get the Lowdown on 2016's Most Anticipated Rock Albums: Radiohead, Weezer, Avett Brothers & More

Thom yorke radiohead 2016
Peter Wafzig/Redferns via Getty Images

Thom Yorke of Radiohead performs on stage at the Lanxess-Arena on Oct. 15, 2012 in Cologne, Germany. 

The first few months of a new year are often slow ones for record releases, but the rock and alternative world has already seen its share of successful high profile albums. So far, the 1975, Panic! at the Disco and (shockingly) David Bowie all earned their first No. 1s on the Billboard 200. Of course, there’s a lot more in store as we head toward festival season, and later, the holiday season. 

Below is a roundup of big name rock and alternative albums coming down the pike. Some of them have confirmed release dates, but as you’ll see, many of biggest potential releases remain mysterious. Here is what we do know: 

April 1
Weezer: Weezer  (aka "White Album")

This is no April Fools' Day joke -- Weezer is back with a new album, the latest in its long-running tradition of self-titled efforts informally named after the color of their artwork. The band that got famous with its “Blue Album” and followed with green and red is here with its own “White Album.” It’s the band’s first album released through Crush Music and Atlantic Records, but their time-tested sugary pop-rock formula holds steady -- check out “Thank God For Girls” below.

April 8
M83: Junk 

M83 gained a big boost in popularity behind its 2011 double-album Hurry Up, We're Dreaming. “Midnight City” became an alternative smash and “Wait” was used in one of the most climactic scenes of hit teen flick The Fault In Our Stars. The long-running project of French musician Anthony Gonzalez returns with this playful collection of nostalgic jams featuring new single “Do It, Try It.” Listen to it below and be on the lookout for an interview with Gonzalez on soon.

June 3
Tegan and Sara: Love You to Death 

The beloved sister duo dove headfirst into pop music with its 2013 album Heartthrob, and on their eighth studio album, they’re once again working with famed producer Greg Kurstin. Will we get another synthpop smash like “Closer”? Tegan and Sara promise to share new music on April 8.  

June 10
Garbage: Strange Little Birds 

Last year, the alt-rockers toured behind the 20th anniversary of their self-titled 1995 debut. This year, they’re following up 2012’s Not Your Kind of People with a self-produced album coming through their own label, STUNVOLUME. In the meantime, check out Billboard’s recent interviews with drummer Butch Vig and frontwoman Shirley Manson

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June 24
The Avett Brothers: True Sadness

The festival favorites return with their ninth album this summer. It will feature the studio version of forthcoming single “Ain’t No Man,” which the Avetts have been testing out live. 

Albums We Hope Might Come in 2016 (Dates TBA)
LCD Soundsystem, Title TBA

In Jan. 2016, James Murphy confirmed LCD Soundsystem was reuniting for a string of live dates. On top of that, the bandleader made a promise: “We’re not just having some reunion tour. We’re releasing a record.” Murphy went on to clarify that he and his bandmates were still working on it, but were hoping to release it some time in 2016. LCD Soundsystem’s last album was 2010’s This Is Happening

Watch Metallica Preview New Music in the Studio


Metallica, Title TBA

Metallica has not released a new studio album since 2008’s Death Magnetic, but they’ve certainly kept busy. The 2016 Record Store Day ambassadors recently redesigned their website and have been giving fans updates of what they’ve been up to in the studio. We don’t have anything concrete (like an album title or release date), but there’s reason to expect more developments in the coming months. 

Radiohead, Title TBA

We don’t know much about the new Radiohead album, but we do have some clues. On March 19, longtime collaborator Stanley Donwood reported he had heard the album, that it was “a work of art,” and that it was not quite done. In Jan. 2016, a press release from the Spanish fest Primavera Sound said its June 1-5 running would feature “the presentation of the new album by the British band Radiohead." Make of that what you will, but the band itself has offered little hints, like saying the new Radiohead LP would include a track that originated during its Bends/OK Computer era. As for the 2016 era, stay tuned. 

Lollapalooza 2016 Lineup: Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, LCD Soundsystem & More

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Title TBA

We know the Red Hot Chili Peppers are headlining Lollapalooza in July; will they have new music to share? We at least know a new Chili Peppers project is in the works. Earlier this week, drummer Chad Smith announced that frequent Radiohead collaborator Nigel Godrich was mixing their new music. Previously, they confirmed that Danger Mouse was producing. Again, stay tuned. 

Vampire Weekend, Title TBA

On Jan. 26, founding Vampire Weekend member Rostam Batmanglij announced he was leaving the band. Frontman Ezra Koenig quickly confirmed the band wasn’t breaking up, but was actually ramping up work on its fourth studio album. Batmanglij stated in his goodbye note that he will continue to collaborate on future Vampire Weekend songs, so perhaps the new LP won’t be too different from old times. There is no confirmation of when it will arrive, though Koenig did tweet this, which leaves the door open for a 2016 release: