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The 22 Most Anticipated Albums of 2020

There’s nothing that makes a music fan anticipate anything more than promise of a new record, so join us as we take a look at some of the biggest albums on the horizon.

With 2020 well underway, some of the world's biggest musicians have indicated that this will be a big year for new music.

Neil Krug/Supplied; Koury Angelo for Rolling Stone; Eli Russell Linnetz/Supplied

Years ago, albums were released with little fanfare; allowing the public to experience and consume these records in their own time. As music became a much more lucrative business and artists curated devoted followings, albums found themselves prone to days, weeks, months, and even years of hype leading up to them. While this helps to raise some buzz around the album, it often sees the music-loving public looking ahead to this new release with excitement rarely seen elsewhere. With the new year well and truly in full effect, and numerous artists having either hinted towards, or set the release date of, new music, we’re taking a quick look at some of the biggest releases planned or alluded to for 2020.

Peter Yang for Rolling Stone


Run The Jewels

Album: Run the Jewels 4
Release Date: Early 2020

Throughout the initial years of Run the Jewels, the hip-hop supergroup of Atlanta’s Killer Mike and New York City native El-P proved themselves as one of the most prolific new acts on the scene, sharing new records each from 2013 to 2016. Since the release of Run the Jewels 3 however, only their contribution to the Venom soundtrack has surfaced, with reports they’ve teamed up with iconic producer Rick Rubin helping to satiate a desire for new material.

In late 2019 though, fans received their biggest update in regards to the new album so far, with El-P revealing that while touring, married life, and scoring responsibilities had left both he and Killer Mike unable to deliver Run the Jewels 4 as expected, their efforts would see a “hard as fuck” new record arriving “earlyish” in 2020. An exact date is yet to be released, though even El’s ballpark figure is enough to keep fans satisfied until it drops.

Image of Canadian musician Grimes

Eli Russell Linnetz/Supplied



Album: Miss Anthropocene
Release Date: February 21

With Grimes’ Art Angels serving as her critical and creative peak up to that point, expectations were high for a swift turnaround for the next release. Despite revealing new music was on the way, a disagreement with her label derailed these plans, and questions remained about a potential timeline. Since then, we’ve witnessed a highly-publicised relationship with Elon Musk, her recent pregnancy announcement, and reports of the artist changing her professional moniker to c preceded the release of “We Appreciate Power” in November of 2018.

Though Miss Anthropocene was eventually announced in March of 2019, the release date was pushed back due to the death of Grimes’ former manager, Lauren Valencia, eventually resulting in a new street date of February 21. While previous singles have provided fans with an idea of what to expect, the musical chameleon that is Grimes proves that the contents of the final product will be anyone’s guess.

The Strokes perform at Lollapalooza in Chicago

Sacha Lecca for Rolling Stone


The Strokes

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA

On New Year’s Eve, The Strokes’ charismatic frontman, Julian Casablancas, admitted to a hometown crowd that the band had taken most of the previous decade off. While only two studio albums arrived over the last decade before an EP followed in 2016, the last few years have been something of a guessing game for their dedicated followers. Though 2019 was described as the start of their “global comeback“, indicating big things were on the horizon, the results weren’t as groundbreaking as many thought they would be.

So far, while a number of global tour dates have taken place, fans have seen new material by way of “The Adults Are Talking” and “Ode to the Mets” receiving a live debut. When the latter was premiered at the close of 2019, Casablancas claimed the band were finally “unfrozen” and that a new album was set to follow in 2020. Fans are still waiting for specifics, though a confirmation of all the rumours that have been flying looks to finally end a seven-year wait.

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Frank Ocean

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA

When it comes to new music from Frank Ocean, it’s anyone’s guess as to what might actually arrive, if at all. Famously, Ocean shared Endless in 2016, putting an end to a four-year hiatus that kept fans wondering when new music would arrive. As it turned out, this album apparently served as a way to fulfil his contractual obligations so that he could in fact release his “real” second album – Blonde – on his own label.

Since then, we’ve seen Frank Ocean share a number of new singles, collaborate with other artists, and sporadically appear on his Blonded Radio program, yet he’s managed to maintain a rather low profile in the meantime. However, with his output ramping up considerably over the last few months, and the fact he’s managed to nab a headlining spot on the Coachella lineup, it appears as though 2020 might be the year fans witness a fully-fledged return from Frank Ocean.

Mark Seliger for Rolling Stone


Kendrick Lamar

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Given his prolific status as one of the most respected hip-hop artists in the world, it’s hardly surprising that Kendrick Lamar took most of 2019 off. With only a handful of live appearances, and no music being released since the Black Panther soundtrack in 2018, speculation has quickly turned to the question of what will Kendrick return with, and when? In late 2018, the artist revealed via a profile in the Los Angeles Times that he had “been writing long-form” between spending time in the studio, though he neglected to mention just what form this would take.

January, however, saw unconfirmed rumours from former Billboard Editorial Director Bill Werde, who revealed sources told him not only was Kendrick heading in more of a rock-based direction for his new album, but it was nearing completion. At this stage, Kendrick hasn’t revealed any information to his fans, and there’s no word as to whether these rumours are true. However, we’re sure he’s gearing up to make this a very memorable release.

Charles Dennington/EMI Music


The Avalanches

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA

There’s a dangerous precedent in place when it comes to describing a forthcoming record from The Avalanches. Though the follow-up to Since I Left You took 16 years to eventuate, the Melbourne outfit revealed just ten months after the release of their personal Chinese Democracy that they were already looking to the future.

Since then, the group has provided numerous updates, revealing they’ve worked with the likes of Leon Bridges, Wayne Coyne, and more, before claiming their new record was almost finished in a November socials post. Although it remains to be seen when the record will indeed arrive, everything seems to be moving at the desired speed, indicating we likely won’t be waiting until 2032 for album number three.

Tame Impala Coachella in Indio, CA, USA on April 13, 2019

Koury Angelo for Rolling Stone


Tame Impala

Album: The Slow Rush
Release Date: February 14

When Tame Impala took to the stage at Western Australia’s Wave Rock Weekender in 2008, their recently-released debut EP was enough to attract an audience of a few-dozen curious onlookers, with likely none of them aware that they were witnessing the beginnings of a band who would, in just over a decade, be gearing up to release one of the most anticipated records in the world.

Though 2015’s Currents served as their latest record, comments made by frontman Kevin Parker hinted that he’d “be really disappointed” if a new album wasn’t out by mid-2019. Now, a number of singles have served as a taster for The Slow Rush, which arrives on February 14. With the group’s profile growing exponentially since 2015 – including a headlining appearance on Coachella and a spot on Saturday Night Live – one can only begin to imagine the reception that album number four will receive.