2022 was a year of incredible music, which my colleagues Andrew R. Chow, Cady Lang, and I wrote about in our lists of the 10 best songs and 10 best albums of the year. Highlights included Rosalía’s unforgettable third studio album, MOTOMAMI, in which she blends influences from genres across the musical landscape to create a beautifully-constructed work, and memorable contributions like GloRilla’s inescapable hit “F.N.F (Let’s Go),” the alt-R&B stylings of 070 Shake’s You Can’t Kill Me, “Part of the Band” by the 1975, and many more.
As we look ahead to 2023, many of the world’s biggest artists have already announced upcoming albums. Others have hinted at bigger projects to come with singles here and there without offering up concrete news about album release dates. Rumors are swirling about new projects from the likes of Ed Sheeran, Kelly Clarkson, the Killers, and Kylie Minogue. Here are some of the most anticipated music projects that have been announced for 2023, as well as a number of albums we believe there’s a high likelihood of hitting our ears in the next year.
Strays, Margo Price (Jan. 13)
The country singer-songwriter will release her fourth studio album at the top of the year, featuring guest appearances by Lucius,Sharon van Etten, and Mike Campbell, among others, and led by the single “Change of Heart.” In a statement released with the announcement of the new album, Price said, “I feel more mature in the way that I write now, I’m on more than just a search for large crowds and accolades. I’m trying to find what my soul needs.”
Gloria, Sam Smith (Jan. 27)
After releasing the record-breaking hit “Unholy” featuring Kim Petras in September, Sam Smith announced they would be releasing their fourth studio album, titled Gloria, early next year. During an interview on a podcast, Smith explained that the album is named after the voice in their head. “There’s a fighter voice in all of us, and you’ve just got to look after that,” they said. “I’ve called it Gloria because I’ve called that voice inside me Gloria. It’s like a voice in my head that just says, ‘You can do it.’”
RAVEN, Kelela (Feb. 10)
Kelela was gone for so long between projects that her fans joked about her hiatus on social media as if she had outright disappeared. When she announced her return, she used those tweets to poke fun, finally acknowledging her break. The R&B star became one of the most interesting artists to watch in 2017 with the release of her celestial masterpiece Take Me Apart, which helped her gain a loyal following. In September, after announcing her comeback, Kelela released her first single in five years, titled “Washed Away,” and on Nov. 15, she announced her latest album, RAVEN, would be released early next year, describing it as “a 15-track deep-dive into facets of dance music that have always excited me.”
This is Why, Paramore (Feb. 10)
2017’s After Laughter was Paramore’s last album before its own five-year-long hiatus. The group has done a lot of growing since then—Zac Farro returned as the official drummer for the band in 2017 after leaving in 2010, and in 2018, they announced that they would no longer be playing a fan-favorite, the 2007 song “Misery Business,” because one of the lines in the song is deemed to be misogynistic. For their lead single, “This is Why,” Paramore captured the familiar pandemic-lockdown feeling of barely wanting to leave the house, and they channeled the feeling of despair that accompanies the never-ending news cycle into “The News.” After they officially made their comeback, the band announced their sixth studio album, which shares its name with the lead single.
Desire, I Want to Turn Into You, Caroline Polachek (Feb. 14)
Caroline had a big year in 2021 with her single, “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings,” taking off on TikTok and spawning a viral dance craze. The alt-pop singer’s “Bunny is a Rider” also made many publications’ “Best Songs” lists in 2021. She’s gearing up for her second studio album, Desire, I Want to Turn Into You, which is slated to be released on Valentine’s Day. Fans got the first single off the album, “Welcome to My Island,” on Dec. 5 along with the music video.
Cracker Island, Gorillaz (Feb. 24)
The virtual band has announced that they will be releasing their eighth studio album in February. They also shared the tracklist, which includes collaborations with Stevie Nicks, Thundercat, Bad Bunny, Beck, and more. In August, they shared their dancefloor-ready collaboration with Tame Impala and Bootie Brown, titled “New Gold.”
10,000 gecs, 100 gecs (Mar. 17)
100 gecs is a duo that is often credited with helping to usher the hyperpop genre into the mainstream along with producers like A.G. Cook and SOPHIE. On Instagram, the duo posted the album cover with a caption revealing that the new album is expected to be released on March 17. They’ve collaborated with the aforementioned Cook, rapper Rico Nasty, pop star Charli XCX, and nostalgic pop-electronic punk band 3OH!3.
72 Seasons, Metallica (April 14)
The iconic heavy metal band has announced their first full album of new material since 2016. After a Gen Z boost with an appearance on the soundtrack to Stranger Things earlier this year, they released lead single “Lux Æterna,” which Consequence of Sound described as a “compact thrash metal song” possessing a “pop-punk bounciness.”
This is Me… Now, Jennifer Lopez (TBA)
While the album does not yet have an official release date, Jennifer Lopez announced on Instagram that she’ll be releasing a new album, This is Me… Now, on the 20th anniversary of This is Me… Then. The 2002 album was released during her previous relationship with her now-husband Ben Affleck and has a second part to the ballad she dedicated to him called “Dear Ben pt. II.” She told Zane Lowe in an interview for Apple Music that she made the original album during a time in her life when she “fell in love with the love of [her] life” and said their love and her new marriage inspire this new album.
Kali Uchis (TBA)
On Dec. 8, Kali Uchis posted a photo of herself in the studio with the caption, “officially turned in my latest contribution to this world.” There has been no word on when exactly fans can expect the album, but they are definitely eager after the release of her delightful 2020 album, Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios). Since then, she’s released one song, “NO HAY LEY,” in September, but otherwise she’s only shared small snippets of songs on her Instagram, leaving her fans hungry for more.
Normani’s solo career post-Fifth Harmony has seen her putting out one-off singles over the past couple of years as she teases her new album. Her singles “Motivation,” “Love Lies,” and “Wild Side” all have hundreds of millions of streams, a sure bet that when she finally releases a full-length project, it has the potential to do serious numbers. Her debut album has been delayed a number of times, and during an interview with Bustle, she said she’s OK with the wait. “I had a lot of growing to do. I had a lot of artist development, which I feel like people don’t take seriously.” Nothing official has been announced, but we’re hoping that 2023 will be the year she shows the music industry what she’s made of.
Pharrell Williams (TBA)
Since his last album, Pharrell Williams has been busy. He’s continued to produce music for the biggest names in music, including SZA (“Hit Different”), Omar Apollo (“Tamagotchi”), Summer Walker (“Dat Right There”), and Brent Faiyaz (“Wasting Time” featuring Drake). On top of this, he’s put together a festival called “Something in the Water,” launched a skincare line, “Humanrace,” and has now released two comeback singles. His first new releases as a solo artist since 2014 included June’s “Cash In, Cash Out,” featuring Tyler, the Creator and 21 Savage and “Down in Atlanta,” featuring Travis Scott. Williams has yet to announce plans for an album, but these two singles feel like a good bet it’s on its way.
Everyone is waiting for Rihanna to make her big musical comeback. January will mark seven years without a new album from one of the world’s biggest pop stars (not that she hasn’t been plenty busy). Her fans did get a taste of how her voice has matured over the hiatus with the release of “Lift Me Up,” her first song in six years, for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack, which also included her song “Born Again.” The new mom and business entrepreneur is slated to take the biggest stage in the world at the Super Bowl Halftime Show in February, and there are rumors that she will be embarking on a stadium world tour next year as well. Nothing has been confirmed just yet, but fans are banking on her putting out something substantial in the new year.
Don’t Be Dumb, A$AP Rocky (TBA)
A$AP Rocky has yet to confirm the name of the album himself, but he seems to have shared it during an appearance on the “Amazon Music Live” series. “Album finished. Don’t Be Dumb. Let’s go,” he can be seen saying to the camera. It’s still unclear when the album will be released, but he’s assured his fans that it is already done and told Complex that fans will “not have to wait long.” The Harlem-native rapper has already released two singles, “D.M.B.,” which features his girlfriend, Rihanna, in the music video, and the latest release, “S-ittin’ Me.”
Cardi B (TBA)
Cardi B promises her fans that music is coming, but first, she had to handle some business. Billboard recently reported that Cardi B signed with new management following the success of her 2020 single “WAP” featuring Megan Thee Stallion and the following year’s “Up,” both of which reached No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100. She joins an already stacked roster at Full Stop Management with clients like Lizzo, Harry Styles, Jon Bon Jovi, and more. The album is rumored to have been in the works for years now, and her latest release was in July 2022. It’s high time it all comes together into something fans can sink their teeth into.
Grammy-Award winning producer and artist KAYTRANADA hasn’t put out an album since 2019, but that doesn’t mean he’s not hard at work. He’s created remixes and produced tracks for talents like Kelela, Doechii, Phony Ppl, and PinkPanthress. He told Zane Lowe during an interview for Apple Music that he’s been working on his own stuff. “I started working on this album, and then there’s a lot of things that just happened that [are] not really making me complete the whole album,” he said. KAYTRANADA explained that he’s feeling inspired by artists like Beyoncé and Drake, who have put out albums heavily influenced by dance music, but he’s not sure that’s the direction he wants to go. We’ll just have to wait and see where his musical journey takes him.
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Write to Moises Mendez II at firstname.lastname@example.org