In 2016, music will be more than mere entertainment. It’ll have to be. Between the squawking and squabbling of presidential candidates and the bad news filtering in from all corners of the planet, the noise of modern life will be damn near deafening. Fortunately, there are dozens of promising albums scheduled to drop in the next 12 months. (One of them might even be Rihanna's long-delayed Anti, unless it drops before the Times Square ball does.) What follows are the records we’re most excited for -- the ones that stand the best chance of keeping us happy and sane in these crazy times. Let the music play.
Drake, 'Views From the 6' (TBD)
Rumored to be arriving on Jan. 6, Drake’s fourth proper studio LP follows his Future collabo What a Time to Be Alive and the mixtape If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late, both of which topped the Billboard 200 in 2015. This time out, the meme-generating Canadian rapper is repping for his home city of Toronto and once again working with longtime producer Noah “40” Shebib. Odds are this most emo of MCs will once again break our hearts -- and the Internet.
David Bowie, 'Blackstar' (Jan. 8)
Due to drop on Bowie’s 69th birthday, Blackstar has been described as “completely bonkers” by a source close to the rock legend. Early singles “Lazarus” and “Blackstar” boast a cool art-jazz feel, proving this ever-stylish chameleon hasn’t lost his mojo.
Panic! at the Disco, 'Death of a Bachelor' (Jan. 15)
And then there was one. With the departure last April of founding drummer Spencer Smith, PATD singer and multi-instrumentalist Brendan Urie found himself all alone at the helm of this long-running Vegas emo-pop outfit. "In the past I was writing most of everything, but this time it was actually all me and I got to record every instrument on this album, except for the horns, which was a huge deal for me," Urie told Billboardabout Death of a Bachelor. "I did drums, background vocals and the background vocals I was playing different characters, I was doing operatic Queen stuff for songs like 'Victorious' and 'Emperor’s New Clothes.' That was just a lot of fun."
Steve Angello, 'Wild Youth' (Jan. 22)
The solo debut from this former Swedish House Mafia member isn’t your typical EDM album. “It’s dance music and it has vocals, but they aren't pop vocals and it's not formulaic,” Angello told Billboard. Indeed, early singles “Remember” and “Children of the Wild” are smart, anthemic thumpers perfect for the club and beyond.
Megadeath, 'Dystopia' (Jan. 22)
According to Dave Mustaine, there’s a “Chopin-meets-Megadeth” part on “Poisonous Shadows,” an adventurous piano-accented tune found on this metal institution’s 15th studio album. But purist fans need not fret. “I knew from the start that I wanted to go back to my roots, and I wanted to make a thrash record,” Mustaine told Revolver.
Ty Segall, 'Emotional Mugger' (Jan. 22)
Hyper-prolific Cali garage-rock titan Ty Segall announced this latest project by mailing out dubbed VHS tapes pairing his latest batch of songs with movies like My Life and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Despite the novel marketing, Segall drops one of his usual first-rate fuzz-bombs in the form of “Candy Sam,” the first tune previewed on the goofy Emotional Mugger website.
Tortoise, 'The Catastrophist' (Jan. 22)
It all started in 2010, when the cty of Chicago asked hometown instrumental rockers Tortoise to compose some music celebrating local music history. Drummer John McEntire and instrumentalists Dan Bitney, John Herndon, Doug McCombs and Jeff Parker eventually cobbled some of these pieces into Tortoise jams, and the result was this, their first album since 2009. Largely instrumental, the disc does feature two singers: Yo La Tengo’s Georgia Hubley and Todd Rittman of U.S. Maple, who helps out on a cover of the 1973 David Essex hit “Rock On.”
Sia, 'This Is Acting' (Jan. 29)
Believe it or not, major artists interested in landing songs on top 40 radio actually turn down Sia songs. On her seventh album, the in-demand Aussie songwriter (and reluctant pop star in her own right) resurrects some of these rejects, putting her own spin on tunes originally intended for biggies like Rihanna and Adele. It’s a chance for the enigmatic hitmaker to show her versatility and consistency -- and make a few superstars question their song-selection criteria.
Bloc Party, 'Hymns' (Jan. 29)
Inspired in part by devotional music, the latest from these dance-prone London indie rockers finds a brand-new rhythm section backing founder and frontman Kele Okereke. Whether Hymns brings spiritual renewal, the foursome has notched a helluva single with “The Love Within,” a disco-punk banger that nourishes the soul.
Elton John, 'Wonderful Crazy Night' (Feb. 5)
Recorded in just 17 days with producer T Bone Burnett, the latest from Elton John is no holiday album, Motown revue, or spin through the American songbook. It’s 10 songs co-penned by John’s longtime lyricist, Bernie Taupin, and recorded in the studio with little preparation. "I wanted to do something joyous because I was so happy with my children and my husband,” John told the BBC. “Happy with everything.”
Junior Boys, 'Big Black Coat' (Feb. 5)
Back after a five-hear hiatus, Junior Boys again blend soulful pop and minimalist techno on their buzz-generating fourth album. Singer Jeremy Greenspan likens the sound of the title track to “fabric swishing” -- an apt descriptor of this Canadian duo’s debonair electronic sounds. “With this album, a lot of people will be hearing us for the first time,” Greenspan said in a press release. “There’s a freedom that comes from that."
Joey + Rory, 'Hymns That Are Important to Us' (Feb. 14)
When Joey Feek was diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer, she didn’t stop doing the things she loves. She’s continued caring for her young daughter, Indiana, and she’s kept on making music with her husband, Rory. The Grammy-nominated country duo returns Valentine’s Day with an inspirational album comprising the hymns Joey grew up with. “This record means so much to her,” Rory wrote on his blog. “It is the songs that are the most important to her.”
Animal Collective, 'Painting With' (Feb. 19)
Velvet Underground founder John Cale and Arcade Fire sax man Colin Stetson guest on this, the tenth studio album from Baltimore’s finest psychedelic art-rockers. As Brian “Geologist” Weitz tells Rolling Stone, Painting With could be the group’s poppiest LP yet. “No long buildups to get to it, no long outros,” he said. “We talked about, like, our Ramones record."
The 1975, 'I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It' (Feb. 26)
The title sounds a tad pretentious, but it doesn’t take a PhD to dig lead single “Love Me.” The funky INXS-style pop-rock jam suggests these U.K. alt-rockers are taking a dancefloor detour on the follow-up to their acclaimed 2013 self-titled debut. “We were trying to make a record as big and ambitious as we can handle,” singer Matt Healy told Rolling Stone.
Loretta Lynn, 'Full Circle' (March 4)
As the title suggests, Lynn’s first album since 2004’s Jack White team-up Van Lear Rose is all about looking back. The disc opens with a new version of “Whispering Sea,” the very first song this country legend ever wrote. Rounding out the tracklist are old Appalachian folk songs and reworked versions of past hits. Special bonus: Willie Nelson and Elvis Costello guest on the final two songs.
Miike Snow, 'III' (March 4)
The brassy, beat-heavy single “Heart Is Full” signaled another reinvention for this Swedish indie-pop trio. One thing hasn’t changed, though: the group’s way with hooks. Super-catchy second single “Genghis Khan” is undeniable proof that Miike Snow members Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, aka Bloodshy & Avant, are still infected with whatever melody bug led them to write Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” one of their many pop triumphs.
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Violent Femmes, 'We Can Do Anything' (March 4)
Active on the tour circuit in recent years, the Femmes haven’t released a proper full-length since 2000. Earlier this year, they dropped a cool track called “Love Love Love Love Love,” and in March, the Milwaukee alt-rock pioneers return with the ninth album of their storied career. The disc mostly features new versions of old demos, and since it ends with a track called “I’m Not Done,” it seems this comeback won’t be a swan song.
Lady Gaga, TBD (TBD)
In November, Lily Allen let it slip that Gaga is working with Mark Ronson on the follow-up to 2013’s ARTPOP -- an album some saw as a disappointment, even though it debuted at No. 1. Gaga’s fifth LP also follows Cheek to Cheek, her duets disc with Tony Bennett, so the trick here will be re-hoisting her freak flag and reaffirming her relevance in a constantly changing pop landscape.
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images for the Starkey Hearing Foundation
Katy Perry, TBD (TBD)
Now that Katy Perry is done touring the globe behind 2013’s Prism -- a record that spawned two No. 1 hits -- she can get down to business on album No. 4. Her manager confirmed earlier this year that Perry “plans to release her next album in 2016,” and with Britney, Rihanna, and Gaga doing likewise, she’ll need to bring her A-game goofy-sexy-inspirational charm.
Jeff Buckley, 'You & I' (March 11)
Mostly recorded in 1993 -- four years before the beloved singer-songwriter drowned at the age of 30 -- this collection of early studio sessions isn’t exactly the “lost Jeff Buckley album” fans might be hoping for. But with covers of Bob Dylan, The Smiths, and Sly Stone classics, as well as an early version of “Grace” and one unheard original, “Dream Of You and I,” this posthumous set ought to be something special.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Lincoln Center
Christina Aguilera, TBD (TBD)
Expect a mellower Christina Aguilera when the feisty R&B belter returns with her first album since 2012’s Lotus. “Taking a love for yoga and breathing ... not looking at it as an exercise, but just feeling more one with the Earth and everyone being connected, it’ll definitely have a reflection on the new record,” the singer and The Voice coach told the Associated Press.
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Keith Urban, 'Ripcord' (TBD)
There’s a rule in pop music: Everything is better with Nile Rodgers. The producer and Chic guitarist has helped everyone from Madonna and Duran Duran to Daft Punk craft some of their finest, funkiest records, and he’s on board for the ninth LP from this country-pop titan. "I've always just liked his guitar playing and it felt like we would click musically,” Urban told Rolling Stone Country.
Soundgarden, TBD (TBD)
Chris Cornell doesn’t feel any pressure to finish up the next Soundgarden album -- the seventh of their career and second since reforming in 2012 -- and that’s just the way he likes it. “That was how Soundgarden started -- we didn't consider what we did a job and we didn't think of it in terms of business,” he told The Pulse of Radio, explaining that the Seattle art-grunge stalwarts would finish up the record after he wrapped his solo tour. “So it felt a lot like that again."
Randee St Nicholas
Britney Spears, TBD (TBD)
Back in October, Brit used the hashtag #B9 in a tweet about a new song she can’t wait to share. That means Spears is either really into vitamins -- B9 helps the body produce energy -- or she’s making good progress on album No. 9, the follow-up to 2013’s Britney Jean. There’s no title or release date, but when the record drops, Spears won’t have to travel far to promote it: In September, she extended her Vegas residency by two years.
Gwen Stefani, TBD (TBD)
No surprise here: Gwen’s forthcoming third studio album is “a breakup record.” The No Doubt frontwoman and star of The Voice has been saying so in interviews, and that means a whole LP of songs inspired by her recent divorce from Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale. Given that one of Gwen’s finest albums, No Doubt’s 1995 ska-pop opus Tragic Kingdom, was also inspired by a breakup, fans best believe Stefani will turn heartache to pop gold. Unless this whole Blake Shelton romance leads her to make a country record.
Scott Legato/Getty Images
TLC, TBD (TBD)
This Kickstarter-funded reunion record was supposed to surface in 2015, but surviving members T-Boz and Chilli opted to move the album back and give themselves more time. While it remains to be seen whether the once-massive girl group can recapture the magic without Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who died in 2002, they’ve got veteran A&R man Ron Fair (Christina Aguilera, Fergie, Vanessa Carlton) at the controls and loads of ‘90s nostalgia fueling demand.
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Pearl Jam, TBD (TBD)
As of Dec. 11, zero work had been done on the follow-up to Pearl Jam’s 2013’s album Lightning Bolt. That was according to bassist Jeff Ament, who joined manager Kelly Curtis in a Twitter chat with fans. While Ament’s non-progress report doesn’t bode well for a new record, Curtis said the Seattle grunge lifers are “always in and out of the studio and constantly writing,” and with the band is getting ready to celebrate its 25th anniversary, now’s a great time to capitalize on the attention and drop something new.
Maarten de Boer/Getty Images Portrait
Jennifer Nettles, TBD (TBD)
Jennifer Nettles has a message for anyone wishing she and Sugarland bandmate Kristian Bush would reconvene and make another record. “Go out and see both,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “Twice as nice, baby!” So far, Nettles has previewed her sophomore set by releasing a video for sticky-sweet “Sugar” and performing the somber ballad “Unlove You” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Paul R. Giunta/WireImage
The Strokes, TBD (TBD)
Chatting with Noisey earlier this year, Julian Casablancas revealed that he and his fellow Strokes had begun writing their sixth album. “I still think we could do cool things,” he added. While that may be news to guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr., who told the BBC in June he was unsure of the band’s future, it seems likely these increasingly funky and ‘80s-leaning NYC rockers will dig out their leather jackets and ride again.
Thalia, TBD (TBD)
When the Queen of Latin Pop hit the studio earlier this year to begin work on her 13th album, she didn't roll solo. Thalia had her kids, Grammy-winning producer Sergio George, and her cockatoo Pickachu by her side. "Perfect time to begin recording my new album," Instagrammed the Mexican singer, actress, author and fashion designer. The yet-untitled disc follows 2014's Amore Mio, which topped Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart.
Frank Ocean, 'Boys Don't Cry' (TBD)
Right up there with Kanye’s Swish on the list of disappointing 2015 no-shows was Boys Don’t Cry, an album that’s been in the works since early 2013. In April 2015, Ocean announced plans for a July release, but five months later, the taboo-busting R&B sensation has yet to drop the follow-up to his brilliant 2012 debut, Channel Orange. Whether he’s building mystique or battling writer’s block, dude needs to hurry up already. Adele’s getting impatient.
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Radiohead, TBD (TBD)
Earlier this month, Thom Yorke aired two new tunes during an acoustic performance linked to the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris. “This is Jonny’s bit,” he said during “Silent Spring,” referencing Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood and adding more fuel (green and renewable, of course) to the fire of fans speculating that a new record is imminent. Alas, the English art-rockers have given few details about the follow-up to 2011’s The King of Limbs. Perhaps now that the nations of the world have committed to curbing carbon emissions, Yorke and co. can focus on finishing this thing.
Red Hot Chili Peppers, TBD (TBD)
The 11th Chili Peppers album will be the band’s first in 25 years without producer Rick Rubin at the helm. This time out, Anthony Kiedis, Flea, newish guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, and drummer/Will Ferrell doppelgänger Chad Smith are working with Danger Mouse -- a guy with a track record for helping veteran rockers reboot their sounds. "He's very good about coming up with super-modern ideas,” Kiedis told Rolling Stone, “but he'll also touch on the acoustic guitar in the control room and strip the song down to its acoustic essentials, which is a beautiful place to be.”
M.I.A., 'Matahdatah' (TBD)
The concept behind M.I.A.’s fifth studio album is “broader than a border” -- an especially relevant idea given the Syrian refugee crisis and the various political issues intertwined with that humanitarian crisis. Not that M.I.A. is jumping on some bandwagon; the singer/rapper/rabble-rouser has been breaking us off with tunes like lead single “Borders” from the very beginning. “This world needs a brand-new ‘re’dom,” she sings in the intro, equating “rhythm” and “freedom” like real rebel rockers do.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, TBD (TBD)
Since winning a best rap album Grammy for their 2012 debut The Heist, this Seattle duo hasn’t dropped much in the way of new product. August finally brought “Growing Up (Sloane’s Song)” and “Downtown,” the first snippets of a record Macklemore has been promising since January 2015, while November saw the release of “Kevin,” all about the ravages of addiction. Macklemore himself relapsed into drug abuse following his sudden rise to fame, but now that he’s sober again and enjoying life as a new dad, he should be ready to grab the mic and get back to business. As for Lewis, he reportedly used his fat recording budget to create textured sounds inspired by The Beatles, Queen, and Pink Floyd. One man’s oldie is another man’s come-up.
Gomillion & Leupold
Jennifer Lopez, TBD (TBD)
Between her upcoming Las Vegas residency and new NBC series Shades of Blue -- not to mention the final season of American Idol -- Jennifer Lopez has plenty to keep her busy in 2016. And yet rumors are swirling that she’s started work on her ninth album. “She’s got security on the doors to ensure no one hears a whisper,” a source told MediaMass.
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AlunaGeorge, TBD (TBD)
If the three new songs AlunaGeorge previewed for Spin recently are any indication, the sophomore set from this British electro duo will apparently be “darker,” “harder,” and “thrumming with even more muscle-tightening electricity” than 2013’s excellent Body Music. And hey, if it’s merely as good as the last one, that’ll be OK, too.
Major Lazer, 'Music Is the Weapon' (TBD)
After scoring big with their third album Peace Is the Mission, featuring the international hit “Lean On,” the trio of Diplo, Jillionaire, and Walshy Fire are rocketing back with another long-playing set of reggae-inflected electro-bangers. “It’ll have a few more club songs, a few more festival songs,” Fire told inthemix, “but it’ll be in the same spectrum, just super-well-written songs with really great production that the entire world can understand.”
Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images
Soda Stereo, TBD (TBD)
This March, the high-flying artistes behind Cirque du Soleil will follow their Elvis, Beatles, and Michael Jackson musical spectaculars with a new show based around the legendary Argentinian rock band Soda Stereo. The corresponding soundtrack album will feature remixes of the trio’s early material and previously unreleased music. “We want all of the emotion that we generated to be reflected in the show,” bassist Zeta Bosio told a Buenos Aires newspaper earlier this year.
Iggy Azalea, 'Digital Distortion' (TBD)
After soundtracking the summer of 2014 with her Charli XCX collabo “Fancy,” Iggy took a breather in 2015. She canceled a tour and stepped away from social media, but now, the Aussie rapper roars back with her hotly tipped sophomore set. So will Miss “I’m the Realest” get super personal on this latest set and address recent controversies? “I think all my shit is personal all the time so i might not be a good judge on that,” Azalea tweeted. “lol.”
Beck, TBD (TBD)
How does Beck follow Morning Phase, the somber 2014 set that earned him a Grammy for album of the year? By doing what he always does: flipping the script entirely. On “Dreams,” the lead single from his tenth official studio LP, the compulsive genre-hopper kicks some funky alt-rock reminiscent of early MGMT. Even Kanye might be alright with this one.
Courtesy of Empire Productions
Luis Coronel, TBD (TBD)
Whatever this 19-year-old Mexican-American sensation does with his eagerly awaited third album, it’ll be a party. Coronel told Billboard he’s moving beyond romantic ballads and incorporating “more instruments and more up-tempo sounds so that people can feel good and dance.” The world could use a bit of that right now.
Puff Daddy, 'No Way Out 2' (TBD)
Sean Combs rebooted the Puff Daddy name and returned earlier this year with MMM, a free mixtape prefacing the proper studio album he says will be his last. Whether the hip-hop mogul makes good on that promise, he’ll enjoy plenty of goodwill from nostalgic ‘90s kids and younger fans curious to see whether the superstar producer (and passable rapper) can still bring the goods.
Fifth Harmony, TBD (TBD)
Hitmakers Stargate and Max Martin are among the producers helping the ladies of 5H go big on their sophomore set. The group has described its new music as lyrically more mature than last year’s Reflection and musically influenced by Destiny’s Child. “We've recorded some dope songs already, some really sick tracks with crazy horns all over the place,’ Lauren Jauregui told Billboard.
Gente de Zona, TBD (TBD)
Having signed to “La Gozadera” collaborator Marc Anthony’s new Magnus Media entertainment company, this Cuban reggaeton duo is looking to prove it can score hits without help from A-listers like Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias, two of the artists they’ve worked with over the years. Mixing reggaeton with son, guaracha, and timba rhythms native to their home country, GDZ arrive with a hot sound at a time with U.S.-Cuban relations are finally beginning to thaw. They’ve got time and talent on their side.
Gorillaz, TBD (TBD)
When Blur frontman Damon Albarn and visual artist Jamie Hewlett created this “virtual band” back in the early ‘00s, it seemed like a one-album novelty at best. Thing is, Gorillaz make terrific music -- hip-hop-flavored alt-pop featuring loads of cool guest stars -- and their forthcoming fifth album feels like a genuine reunion, even if the group members aren’t real. Albarn told Rolling Stone the new record is “really fast, and it’s got quite a lot of energy,” but even if he reprised the laid-back tone of 2010’s iPad quickie The Fall, it’d probably be worth a listen.
J Balvin, TBD (TBD)
The Colombian singer and rapper many credit with reigniting the reggaeton flame returns this spring with his fourth studio album. Expect the new disc to include the smash "Ginza," which topped the Hot Latin and Latin Pop Songs charts and even snuck into the Hot 100, peaking at No. 84. “He breaks every rule of what people think reggaeton is," Balvin's manager told The Fader last year, "and they love him for that."
Courtesy of Republic Records
Ariana Grande, 'Moonlight' (TBD)
With “Focus,” the first taste of her make-or-break third album, Grande stands tall in the wake of July’s Donutgate and asks fans to pay attention to her artistry and personality -- not her public persona. With its sturdy Max Martin hook, the song suggests this former Nickelodeon star has the strength, poise, and powerhouse voice to stick around a while.
Nicky Jam, TBD (TBD)
This could be the year Nicky Jam breaks big in America. Sources say the veteran reggaeton sensation will enlist some A-list collaborators (Daddy Yankee, Zion, J Balvin) and sing two songs in English on his forthcoming LP. Likely to arrive this spring, the album is "full of hits," according to Jam's manager. He may well be right, but either way, the Puerto Rican singer is happy to be back on track after past battles with drugs and alcohol. "Everything I’m doing in this moment, I’m having fun doing,” Jam told Billboard.
Guns N' Roses, TBD (TBD)
It’s all speculation at this point, but Slash and Axl have apparently made nice and dealt with all the legal issues preventing them from joining forces once again. Given the amount of money to be made, it’s hard to believe there won’t at least be a reunion tour, and that could lead to a new record -- the first from the classic lineup in more than two decades. With talk of a new LP comes hope that Slash and the gang will knock Axl out of his synth-drunk stupor and get GNR back to its sleazeball hard-rocking roots.
Haim, TBD (TBD)
The sisters Haim have been busy touring the world and hanging with Taylor Swift, but they’ve reportedly got a jump on their anticipated sophomore LP. “The oven is pre-heated and the oven door is open," the band told Zane Lowe last October. That’s good news for folks craving another helping of juicy R&B-laced SoCal pop-rock wrapped in a buttery Fleetwood Mac crust.
Maarten de Boer/Getty Images
Diego Boneta, TBD (TBD)
Mexican singer and actor Diego Boneta plans to build on his crossover success with his next EP -- a six-song collection featuring tunes in Spanish and English. Lead single “The Hurt” is a poppy rock tune with hints of bro-country twang and a sexy-funny video involving bondage play with model Denise Schaefer.
PJ Harvey, 'Recording in Progress' (Spring)
Last time out, PJ Harvey explored the horrors of war with her Mercury Prize-winning 2011 album Let England Shake. In the intervening years, she’s apparently been on a “unique artistic journey” to Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Washington, D.C. So far, all that’s officially surfaced from her ninth album is a tweeted teaser of some vocals and grungy blues guitar, but that’s plenty to get excited about.
Nick Jonas, TBD (TBD)
For solo album No. 2, the youngest JoBro is looking to go “a bit further with some more soul and R&B sounds,” as he told Entertainment Weekly. The former teen heartthrob might also throw in a little hip-hop. “I’m really just digging deep,” he said, adding that his recent single “Levels” is a sign of what’s to come.
Wiz Khalifa, 'Rolling Papers 2: The Weed Album' (TBD)
If the best hip-hop albums draw from real-life experiences, Wiz’s Weed Album could be an all-time classic. Pittsburgh’s king of laid-back rhymes has been rapping about his favorite herb for years, and here, the “Black and Yellow” hitmaker is apparently focusing on the sticky green. “I'm trying to make this album one of the best," said Khalifa in a DayToday Vlog, "I feel like if we get the right people together we can just make that shit.”
The Killers, TBD (TBD)
Although they’ve sold millions of records and emerged as heirs apparent to their heroes U2, The Killers still have something to prove. As frontman Brandon Flowers told NME earlier this year, the band’s last album, Battle Born, “wasn’t good enough.” The band is in the “early stages” of righting that wrong with album No. 5, and “in a perfect world,” Flowers says, there’ll be a new record before the end of 2016.
Cassandra Hannagan/Getty Images
Kings of Leon, TBD (TBD)
With a dearth of tour dates on the horizon, it seems the Kings are clearing their schedules to finish album No. 7, which they’re slated to begin recording in L.A. this February. The brothers (and cousin) Followill should be well rested, given that they took off much of 2015, and that could mean more post-punky Americana bombast from one of the new millennium’s most dependable rock acts.
Christopher Polk/Getty Images for iHeartMedia
Kanye West, 'Swish' (TBD)
Originally called So Help Me God and slated to drop in 2014, Kanye’s long-delayed Yeezus follow-up is the answer to a riddle: How do you keep millions of superfans and haters in suspense for nearly two years? Here’s what we know: Pusha T has heard it, and he says it’s “incredible.” Rick Rubin and Q-Tip are among the producers. Sir Paul McCartney might be on multiple tunes. 'Ye says it’s “like a sonic painting, and it gets better every week.” Great -- now he’s got justification for holding the thing until 2017.