52 Reasons 2015 Will Be The Best Year For Music Since Ever

Adele! Kanye! Rihanna! Frank Ocean! Sufjan! Seriously, we’re freaking out.

originally posted on Buzzfeed

1. Adele, TBA

Adele, TBA

XL Recordings

Thanks to a single, winking tweet from Adele, many fans expected the follow-up to her world-conquering sophomore album last year. However, 2014 came and went without so much as a song title and the project remains shrouded in mystery. In a recent interview, long-time collaborator Paul Epworth refused to comment on the sound or status of the album, saying only that it “will come when it’s ready.” Will she pull a Beyoncé? Collaborate with Pharrell? Make good on her promise to go country? Only time will tell because her people aren’t talking.

2. Kanye West, TBA

Kanye West, TBA

Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images for (RED)

Appreciators of G.O.O.D. music are starved for new ‘Ye after a 2014 in which a much-anticipated follow-up to Yeezus was teased repeatedly but never produced. One track allegedly leaked, while another made a brief and tantalizing appearance in a World Cup Adidas commercial. On New Year’s Eve, Kanye threw fans for another loop by premiering the first official taste of his next project — an emotionally devastating ballad written from the perspective of his late mother and featuring Paul McCartney. Dubbed “Only One,” the piano-driven tearjerker is about as far from the queasy pyrotechnics of Yeezus as you can get. And with several more McCartney collaborations promised in a press release, the only thing we know is that everything we thought we knew about Yeezus II is wrong. New day, new ‘Ye.

3. Rihanna, TBA

Rihanna, TBA

Def Jam

It’s been two years since Rihanna’s last album and expectations are at an all-time high. Once known for releasing a new album every year, pop’s hardest working hit-maker decided to take some time off in 2013. While she continued to listen to demos and “phuck round” in the studio, it wasn’t until October 2014 that she really buckled down and got to work. According to insiders, her eighth album — dubbed #R8 by fans — will be a mix of ballads and edgier, Hudson Mohawke-esque bangers. She’s also reportedly recordeda song titled “Burritos,” so, yeah, it sounds like this album will be worth the wait.

4. Kendrick Lamar, TBA

Kendrick Lamar, TBA

Interscope

What we know: 1) “i” and the untitled track he performed as the last musical guest ever on Colbert both slay. 2) His last album Good Kid M.A.A.D City was a rare kind of insta-classic revelation that floored just about everyone exposed to it. 3) Kendrick himself is a rare music artist, unafraid to take risks, confound fans, and say what’s on his mind in this era where nearly everyone is content to play it safe. All that adds up to next-level anticipation for whatever it is King Kendrick has planned, and we’re told from a label rep who has heard the album that our expectations aren’t misplaced. “I can’t tell you anything about the album,” he told us. “Except it’s going to blow you away.” Of course, label reps are paid to make hyperbole sound natural, but we are completely inclined to agree here.

5. Troye Sivan, TBA

Troye Sivan, TBA

EMI

If you don’t know the name Troye Sivan yet, you will soon. Thanks to a startlingly self-assured EP and an enormously dedicated fanbase, the Australian YouTuber-turned-singer is poised for IRL stardom. His five-song debut, TRXYE, cracked the top five of theBillboard 200 with almost no press and just three days of sales. More than just a stylish collection of synth-pop, TRXYE established Sivan as an artist with things to say and a voice worth listening to; mixed in with the songs about love and lust are critiques of prescription pill culture and thoughts on toxic masculinity. His forthcoming debut album for Capitol is to likely solidify his standing as one of pop’s most exciting newcomers.

6. Frank Ocean, TBA

Frank Ocean, TBA

Def Jam

Little to nothing is known about the hotly anticipated follow-up to Frank Ocean’s Grammy-winning modern classic Channel Orange. Will it feature “Memrise,” the warm whisper of a demo posted to his Tumblr last November? Will it feature members of Odd Future, the Cali collective with whom Ocean has seemed increasingly distant? Did his sessions with producer Danger Mouse, revealed in early 2013, make the record? The reclusive crooner has left few clues. But we do know he’s been working — last year, he left Odd Future managers 4 Strikes for Roc Nation subsidiary Three Six Zero, and video director and Ocean-collaborator Nabil told BuzzFeed News that Ocean’s new album would “blow the sophomore album myth out of the water.” Good things come to those who wait.

7. Florence + The Machine, TBA

Florence + The Machine, TBA

Island Records

A lot’s happened since Florence Welch, one of Britain’s most powerful and inimitable voices, last released an album. Justin Timberlake came back. Beyoncé became a verb. Vine was created. But this year Welch is not only back, she’s everywhere — Coachella, Governor’s Ball, Bonnaroo — suggesting that ambitions for her third, still untitled album are as formidable as her vocal range. Of course, Adele is also mounting an album campaign this year, putting these two friendly rivals from across the pond at the front of pop’s British invasion: 2015 edition. Move over Sam Smith, the girls are back in town.

8. Drake, View From The 6

Drake, View From The 6

Cash Money Records

If there’s anything we learned about Drake in 2014 it’s that he’s omnipresent, able to dominate radio and occupy the cultural conversation without relying on mere mortal conventions such as “singles” and “albums.” Hell, “0 to 100 / The Catchup,” a 4.5 minute twofer he uploaded unceremoniously to Soundcloud, was even nominated for a Grammy. But whether or not Drake needs to make albums, he’s still pretty great at them. Having grown from an unlikely upstart to rap’s center of gravity with his first three, each new Drizzy project is duly greeted as an ~event~ by the ~youths~ who have tracked his come up. Rest easy in 2015: The 6 God is with us.

9. The xx, TBA

The xx, TBA

Young Turks

They’re from London, dress in all black, and are much cooler than you. The music they make switches seamlessly between tracks that’ll make you move your feet (“Islands”) or make you wish it was raining and dreary outside (“Infinity”). We’re fans of both the band’s speeds, and the Eurhythmics, Joy Division, and Siouxsie strain that runs through most of their work. After hitting the festival circuit hard in 2013 they’ve been holed up working on new music, and — if their previous releases hold any clues — we won’t be disappointed.

10. Shura, TBA

Shura, TBA

Shura

Shura’s output to date may be meager — just three songs uploaded to Soundcloud — but they suggest an ambition that’s anything but. Armed with a straightforward intimacy and the pillowy croon of ‘90s Madonna and Janet Jackson, fans of sincere pop music won’t want to miss her forthcoming full-length debut from Polydor.

11. Lil Wayne, Tha Carter V

Kevin Winter / Getty Images                                      Cash Money Records

There was a time — though it now seems long ago — when Lil Wayne’s unimpeachable lyricism put him among hip-hop’s heavyweights. People used to wage Jay Z vs. Wayne debates and pick sides in the deeply entrenched battle to determine The Greatest Living Rapper, and Wayne always found himself in the mix. Then, almost as suddenly, he fell well behind in that race and out of favor — too many similes about cunnilingus, perhaps. Now, as witty guest spots on songs like Nicki Minaj’s “Truffle Butter” begin to amass at a steady clip, the old, inventive, possibly not human Lil Wayne is back, spitting wild fire and winning over a new bastion of true believers with his verbal acrobatics. His Tha Carter V has been hung up in a well-publicized label war, but it will see the light of day sometime this year, and we can’t wait to believe in Wayne again.

12. The Weeknd, TBA

The Weeknd, TBA

Republic

We were going to say it’s hard to believe a guy who sings almost exclusively about sex and drugs can become as popular as The Weeknd has, but we do realize those two topics dominate a large portion of modern music. That said, The Weeknd does it better than everyone — you’ll find more melancholy and real world pathos here than celebration — and he’s made the transition from bedroom recording Lothario to collabing with Ariana Grande and penning tracks for major motion pictures (his “Earned It” for 50 Shades of Grey threatens to be sexier than the movie it closes out). His voice is reminiscent of great R&B artists of the past with a little Maxwell and — we’re going here — Tracy Chapman mixed in. We expect nothing short of a masterpiece from this mastermind.

13. Marina and the Diamonds, Froot

Atlantic

You’d think, in 2015, no one would dare put out a song called “Happy,” and especially one as lilting and haunted as this, but then Marina and the Diamonds continue to surprise. The voice of Marina Diamandis has always been the secret weapon of the group — she can hit notes other singers could only hope to, and you get the impression no producer has ever used the words “We’ll fix it in post” while working with her. We just got her fantastic new album Froot, which sees an official release on April 6, here at BuzzFeed Music HQ, and it has been in constant rotation since.

14. Grimes, TBA

Grimes, TBA

Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images

Electronic wunderkind and DIY icon Grimes was all set to release her sophomore album last year, a follow-up to 2012’s celebratedVisions, when she abruptly pulled the plug — apparently dissatisfied with a project that was nearly complete. Still, fans were given a taste of Claire Boucher’s evolving ambitions via the single “Go,” an epic, EDM-influenced pop song originally intended for Rihanna. No longer an obscure indie curio but somewhere short of a mainstream pop star, Boucher’s next act seems sure to be one of this year’s most interesting.

15. Radiohead, TBA

Radiohead, TBA

Jim Dyson / Getty Images

If Kid A, OK Computer, or any of the albums in Radiohead’s impressive discog tell us anything it’s that you never know what you’re going to get with these guys. They live to keep fans on their toes, and — like true artists — follow whatever path their muse leads them down, perceptions be damned. Whatever they have planned for us this year, their first album since 2007’s In Rainbows, we’re interested, and not just because it means it’s likely to bring along with it more of Thom Yorke’s dancing.

16. Death Cab For Cutie, Kintsugi

Atlantic

 After the recent departure of founding member and guitarist Chris Walla, Death Cab for Cutie will return on March 31 with Kintsugi. An overt reference to Walla’s departure, the album is named after “a Japanese style of art where they take fractured, broken ceramics and put them back together with very obvious, real gold,” as member Nick Harmer explained. Kintsugi will attempt to regain some fans they lost with their experimental sound on Codes and Keys. “If that record turned anybody off, I feel pretty strongly that this one could win them back,” frontman Ben Gibbard said in an interview with Stereogum.

17. Gwen Stefani, TBA

Gwen Stefani, TBA

Interscope

Gwen Stefani has done so much over these last years — boss-ass coach on The Voice, CEO of LAMB, being the coolest mother ever to her three adorable sons — it’s almost easy to forget it was her music that first made us fall so deeply in love with her. With No Doubt she ticked off hits like it wasn’t no thang, and only shot further into the stratosphere of stardom when she cut the boys loose and teamed up with Pharrell on hits like “Hollaback Girl.” We’ve been given no clues what new Gwen Stefani will sound like, but rest assured that shit will be bananas. (B-A-N-A-N-A-S!)

18. Chance The Rapper and The Social Experiment, Surf

Chance The Rapper and The Social Experiment, Surf

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Chance’s Acid Rap came out of seemingly nowhere and blew wigs clean back. A heady mix of trippy, well, acid rap, it came as billed, and — like Kendrick’s Good Kid M.A.A.D. City or Wu Tang’s 36 Chambers — was a wholly new animal that couldn’t be ignored. Since it dropped in 2013 Chance has been busy wowing crowds from festival stages and collaborating with other like-minded (read: very smart) artists like Childish Gambino, which has helped up his profile and ramped the anticipation for Surf, his first album backed by his live band The Social Experiment. Chance has ideas. And, as he told Billboard, his new live show is heavily inspired by the Broadway production of The Lion King. Whatever this kid is on, we want some.

19. Modest Mouse, Strangers To Ourselves

Kevin Winter / Getty Images                                      Epic Records

Forget the breezy, fun “Float On.” Modest Mouse is coming back with a stronger sound. “Lampshades On Fire” has been a live show fixture since 2011, but it now has an official release in time for Modest Mouse’s 2015 album, their first in nearly eight years. Strangers to Ourselves will be released on March 3.

20. Kelly Clarkson, Piece By Piece

Kelly Clarkson, Piece By Piece

RCA

After roughly 6,000 seasons we know American Idol is capital b Bad at producing stars who have consistent staying power. Proof? Quick, name three AI winners who are still relevant. We can think of only two offhand: There’s (maker of incredible quizzes) Carrie Underwood, of course, and then there’s Queen KC, the OG of this American Idol shit, Kelly Clarkson, whose ability over the years to hammer us with sweet sweet danceable tracks, heartfelt ballads, and gold standard cover choices is unmatched. Sure, the first taste we’ve been given off of Piece By Piece sounds an awful lot like a Jimmy Eat World song, but we’re not complaining. Clarkson can do no wrong in our eyes and we can’t wait for the new one.

21. A$AP Rocky, TBA

A$AP Rocky, TBA

RCA

Largely silent in 2014 — save for a few choice guest features for up-and-comers like Tinashe, Shy Glizzy, and Sam Smith — can A$AP Rocky reclaim his spot as one of hip-hop’s most promising new superstars? In the over two years since his well-received debutLong.Live.A$AP, peers Kendrick Lamar and Drake have generated more heat, while understudy A$AP Ferg has emerged as an arguably more interesting character. Like Snow White’s evil queen gazing jealously over the landscape, expect this Pretty Motherfucker to come back with a vengeance in 2015.

22. Joey Bada$$, B4.Da.$$

Relentless Records

See: Malia Obama.

23. Raury, TBA

Raury, TBA

Faisal Mohammed

Following his 2014 viral success and inclusion on the Lorde-curated Mockingjay soundtrack, 18-year-old singer-songwriter Raury aims to cement his name in music history. “I definitely plan to release the best album of the year 2015,” Raury confidently proclaimed in a recent interview. His breezy approach to folk and hip-hop has drawn comparisons to both Andre 3000 and Bon Iver, but Raury aims to make a name for himself in 2015.

24. Ashley Monroe, TBA

Ashley Monroe, TBA

Warner Bros.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Ashley Monroe’s 2013 album, Like A Rose, became a critical darling thanks to its confessional lyrics and staunchly traditional production, overseen by country legend Vince Gill. It’s a formula she intends to repeat for her highly anticipated follow-up, due out later this year. While she’s remained tight-lipped about details, Monroe has confirmed that there’s a song co-written by buddy Miranda Lambert and Gill’s teenage daughter contributes backing vocals on a poetically titled track called “I Buried Your Love Alive.”

25. Fifth Harmony, Reflection

Epic

After a series of unfortunate delays and apologies to Harmonizers, Fifth Harmony’s first full-length album is finally coming out in February. Featuring cuts from famed producers Dr. Luke and Stargate, and lead singles “Bo$$” and the Meghan Trainor-penned “Sledgehammer,” the young ladies of Fifth Harmony aim to dominate the charts with a “more mature” sound. The quintet’s Reflectionis slated for release on Feb. 3.

26. JoJo, TBA

JoJo, TBA

JoJo

Thanks to a series of protracted legal battles, it’s been almost a decade since JoJo’s last album. The singer’s last big hit, “Too Little, Too Late,” came out back when George W. Bush was president and all the cool kids were carrying RAZR phones. Fortunately, the singer has changed just as much as the times. Instead of allowing herself to be stuck in limbo while lawyers tried to extract her from a deadbeat label, the pop&b singer independently released three well-received mixtapes, an excellent remix of “Marvin’s Room,” and one of the great, underrated singles of 2012. Newly signed to Atlantic, her currently untitled third album could make her this year’s comeback kid.

27. Björk, Vulnicura

Björk, Vulnicura

One Little Indian

Reigning queen of eccentricity Björk returns this year with Vulnicura in March, coinciding with the Museum of Modern Art’s Björk visual exhibition and 3D film chronicling her colorful career. With song titles like “Stonemilker” and “Notget” and sounds provided by Kanye West and FKA Twigs producer Arca, Björk plans to remain on the cutting edge of music.

28. Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell

Asthmatic Kitty Records

On 2010’s The Age of Adz, Sufjan Stevens moved away from his true-blue Americana folk sound into a realm warped by machines. On his upcoming album Carrie & Lowell, Sufjan picks up his banjo once again and returns to the themes of his 2005 album Illinois: uniquely American landscapes. Carrie & Lowell comes out on March 31, but to tide everyone over until then, there’s a grainy home video-esque trailer for the album set to the titular track.

29. Shamir, TBA

Shamir, TBA

XL Recordings

Shamir’s brand of infectious funk-pop and his countertenor voice have landed his music on best-of lists and Chanel runways. His influences range from Tyga to The B-52’s, and he refuses to limit himself to the idea of a genre. The self-identified musician, comedian, and twerker (along with a multitude of other titles) will release an album via XL Records in “spring 2015.”

30. Tink, TBA

Tink, TBA

Epic

Genre-crosser doesn’t begin to describe Chicago rapper and singer Tink; she’s collaborated with everyone from Sleigh Bells to Timbaland. Though her well of features presumably won’t dry up anytime soon with her recent feature on Future Brown’s Room 302, Tink is solidifying her own sound alongside Timbaland for her first official major-label release, which will see the light of day sometime this year. Until then, give her mixtapes a listen and discover her blend of vocals and well-crafted rap.

31. Laura Marling, Short Movie

Ribbon Music

Laura Marling has been steadily moving away from her English folk roots for a while now but that doesn’t make her plugged-in new single any less jarring. Bold and expansive, “Short Movie” is the surest proof yet that Marling wants to add “rock star” to her long list of accomplishments. Inspired by her time in America, the singer-songwriter’s fifth album Short Movie will be released by Ribbon Music on March 24.

32. Solange, TBA

Solange, TBA

Terrible Records

Solange’s follow-up to her True EP was originally slated as an “early fall” 2014 release. But with her late 2014 wedding to music video producer Alan Ferguson and collaboration with Puma, it seems the release was put on hold for her other endeavors. Solange hasn’t made a peep about a 2015 album release, but that hasn’t stopped gossip rags from speculating. Whatever the case may be, we hope to hear some of those 25 self-written joints sometime soon.

33. Britney Spears, TBA

Britney Spears, TBA

RCA

Few details are known about the pop star’s ninth studio album. Here’s what we do know as of this moment: the lead single will most likely be a collaboration with Iggy Azealea, who featured on a number of hits throughout 2014 and may be what Brit needs to reemerge on top of the charts. And the album won’t shy away from divulging details on her personal life; “I’m gonna have a lot of ‘I hate men’ songs and then a lot of ‘I love men’ songs,” Spears said in an interview with On Demand Entertainment, referencing her recent breakup with David Lucado.

34. Soko, My Dreams Dictate My Reality

Because Music

Soko is one of our 2015 Artists To Watch and this album is a big reason why. We’ve been bumping My Dreams Dictate My Reality ever since we were sent a super secret stream of it, and it wows from first track “I Come In Peace” on. We’d say standout tracks on the album include the steady bopping and unquestionably cool “Ocean of Tears” and the unapologetically Echo and the Bunnymen- and The Cure-esque guitar sounds of the title track, but really, they all stand out (save, perhaps, for the one featuring Ariel Pink because UGH, that guy). We can’t get enough of Soko, and can’t wait for My Dreams to see its official release in March.

35. Ryn Weaver, TBA

Ryn Weaver, TBA

Interscope

With an all-star team of producers on her tracks (Charli XCX, Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos, Cashmere Cat), up-and-comer Ryn Weaver has received a fair amount of criticism and suspicion. “People were saying, ‘Well, with all these collaborators, it might technically not be her,’” Weaver said in a recent interview. But she refuses to let the detractors keep her from working with her friends; she’s putting the finishing touches on her debut LP alongside Angelakos, which will be released via producer Benny Blanco’s Friends Keep Secrets label.

36. Justin Bieber, TBA

Justin Bieber, TBA

Jerod Harris / Getty Images

It’s easy to forget — what with him egging houses, pissing in mop buckets, and generally being a Grade A-Asshole — that Justin Bieber first made news by being an unquestionably talented kid from Canada. Remember: He’s a multi-instrumentalist with an ear for melody and a squeaky clean voice that won him millions of fans before Usher and music executive Scooter Braun hitched their wagons to his rocket ship. His “Baby” and “Boyfriend” are legitimate hits that only the most truly dedicated haters still bother poo-pooing. We can’t wait to hear the album The Biebs has made now that he has something to prove again.

37. Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear

Sub Pop Records

After rising from the ashes of Fleet Foxes like a handsomely mustachioed phoenix in 2012, Josh Tillman’s second album as Father John Misty is the one that will cement his status as a monster of folk in his own right. Thanks to extensive touring of his charismatic live show and an aloof but satisfyingly acerbic public persona, FJM fans have become legion, eagerly awaiting his next absurdist fiction or biting socio-political commentary like bread from heaven. If strange and beautiful lead single “Bored In The U.S.A.” is any indication, they won’t be disappointed.

38. Years & Years, TBA

Years & Years, TBA

Polydor

As the winners of BBC’s Sound Of 2015 award, dance pop act Years and Years have huge shoes to fill; previous winners include Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, and Adele. With the ink dried on their Polydor contract, members Olly Alexander, Mikey Goldsworthy, and Emre Turkmen are ready to transition from young, fledgling act to music trendsetters. Expect their debut LP early this year.

39. Jeremih, Late Nights

Jeremih, Late Nights

Def Jam

We’ll say it: “Birthday Sex” is one of the most important songs of all time — so important it was also recorded in French. But true as that might be, it also sold Jeremih short, because he’s so much more than just another sex-obsessed, get-it-and-quit-it R&B artist. Thankfully, his “Don’t Tell Em,” featuring YG, gives a broader insight into his songwriting talent, a point made abundantly clear when Lorde covered the track on the BBC last year. We can’t wait to stay up late nights with Late Nights.

40. MisterWives, Our Own House

Republic

We’ve been fans of MisterWives for a while now. The band’s cheery, ’80s-inspired Reflections EP and crowd-pleasing live performances earned them a spot on our Artists To Watch list but even we didn’t anticipate their excellent new single, “Our Own House” — a disco-pop party worthy of the replay button. We hope their album of the same name, out Feb. 24, is full of equally pleasant surprises.

41. Sky Ferreira, TBA

Sky Ferreira, TBA

Capitol

After years of a false start, Sky Ferreira finally released her full-length debut, Night Time, My Time, in October 2013. The album married pop gloss and lo-fi fuzziness, announcing Ferreira as a singular pop voice. While Night Time, My Time sold less than 50,000 copies, it helped repair relations with her record label and landed the singer a spot on fellow bad girl Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz Tour. In between dates, Ferreira has been working with a slew of producers for her sophomore album, including Ariel Rechtshaid, Justin Raisen, and Bobby Gillespie from Primal Scream. The result? A commanding first single that’s unlike anything she’s recorded before. Soaring and self-assured, “Guardian” represents a fearless new Ferreira. If this is the direction she’s headed in, her sophomore effort is sure to be anything but embarrassing.

42. Future Brown, Future Brown

Future Brown                                                             Warp Records

The four-piece collective of Future Brown (Fatima Al Qadiri, Asma Maroof and Daniel Pineda of Nguzunguzu, and DJ J-Cush of Lit City Trax) utilizes technology in their future-minded sounds and in cultivating their expansive roster of guests vocalists—they got Tink on their latest cut Room 302 thanks to Twitter. Expect a range of global influences: New York-based Al Qadiri was raised in Kuwait, and her 2014 release Asiatisch was a “virtual road trip through ‘imagined China.’” On their debut LP, Future Brown plans to make the most of their varied influences and featured vocalists, from Kelela to Maluca, to rising Chicago rapper Tink. Future Brown comes out on Feb. 24.

43. Dej Loaf, TBA

Dej Loaf, TBA

Dej Loaf

Like many an obscure rapper before her, Dej Loaf first rose to prominence thanks to a co-sign from Drake, who posted lyrics to her sweet and vicious debut single “Try Me” on Instagram. But don’t let the overnight attention fool you — Loaf, born Deja Trimble in Detroit, Michigan, 23, is more than just a flash in the pan. Her breakthrough mixtape, last year’s Sell Sole, matched promethazine-fueled bluster with pointed introspection, not unlike much of the work of Aubrey Graham himself. Her debut album for Columbia is an odds-on favorite for breakout rap record of the year.

44. Purity Ring, Another Eternity

4AD

Singer Megan James and producer Corin Roddick all but disappeared after the release of their 2012 debut Shrines. After wowing music lovers with their eclectic electro-pop sound, they went silent, only resurfacing briefly as featured artists on tracks from Danny Brown and Jon Hopkins. In Decemeber, however, they released “push pull,” the first single from their sophomore album Another Eternity. Bigger and brighter than anything on Shrines, “push pull” and second single “begin again” let James’ sweet clear vocals float above a sea of cascading synths. The album, out March 3, is one of the most exciting pop releases of the year.

45. Travi$ Scott, Rodeo

Travi$ Scott, Rodeo

Bryan Bedder / Getty Images

Having dropped one of the best mixtapes of 2014, and having served as a fixture on artist-to-watch lists since 2012, Travi$ Scott’s time has finally come. The 22-year-old Houston native rose to prominence as Kanye West’s understudy and id, but now rules his own fiefdom as a dark prince of gothic hip-hop and progressive trap. A perfectionist like his mentor, Rodeo is likely to offer plenty of both, refined and raw in equal measure. Buck the haters.

46. Tame Impala, TBA

Tame Impala, TBA

Modular Recordings

One of the breakout acts of 2012 with psychedelic hits “Elephant” and “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards,” Australia’s Tame Impala cultivated a large and impassioned fan base with an extensive touring schedule in subsequent years. Singer/songwriter/producer/guitarist Kevin Parker has promised that the band’s third album, due this year, will reflect a new, more refined sound: “Instead of a supreme pizza, where you just throw everything on, it’s kind of just gonna be like a margherita,” he saidin an interview on Australian radio. Great, now we’re hungry.

47. Striking Matches, Nothing But The Silence

Striking Matches                                                            IRS Nashville

After spending the last three years writing songs for the ABC show Nashville, Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis are finally ready to break out on their own. Unlike the characters that sing their songs, the Striking Matches have a hard-to-categorize sound that could only loosely be called country. Their latest single, “Missing You Tonight,” is a sexy bit of blues-rock and their album, Nothing But The Silence (March 24), will likely be more of the same.

48. Lana Del Rey, Honeymoon

Lana Del Rey, Honeymoon

Interscope

Less than a year after the release of her album Ultraviolence, pop’s preeminent sad girl is already talking about her next project. Tentatively titled Honeymoon, Lana Del Rey’s third album is expected late summer and will feature production from fellow nostalgic Mark Ronson. While she promises more of the cinematic imagery and lush orchestration, she warns fans of her sophomore album thatHoneymoon will be close in spirit to Born To Die. It doesn’t matter to us as long as we get a new soundtrack for our summertime sadness.

49. Wet, TBA

Wet, TBA

Wet

Brooklynites Wet made a splash with their self-titled debut EP, packed to the brim with breakup songs. Their four official songs have racked up nearly 4 million plays on Soundcloud alone. Wet members Joe Valle, Marty Sulkow, and Kelly Zutrau have been practicing and recording tirelessly, preparing for gigs and a future (possibly full-length) release. “It’s exhausting,” said member Joe Valle in an interview with Billboard, “and so much fun at the same time.”

50. Cam’ron and A-Trak, Federal Reserve

Fernanda Calfat / Getty Images                               Fool’s Gold

One of last year’s most uncontroversially joyous moments in hip-hop was the triumphant (if ultimately ephemeral) reunion of Cam’ron, one-time Dipset ally Juelz Santana, Just Blaze, and Dame Dash on “Dipshits,” the second track from Cam’s highly anticipated collaborative EP with A-Trak — Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s favorite hip-hop and electronic music impresario. With Dash executive producing, Federal Reserve promises to be a return-to-form for one of hip-hop’s most vexing and undeniably brilliant icons — if his old industry suits ever let it see the light of day. East Coast hip-hop purists are ready and waiting.

51. Macklemore, TBA

Macklemore, TBA

Macklemore

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis disappeared in 2014 for a reason: “We vanished purposefully. Been in the studio,” Macklemore said in a Hot 97 interview. The duo have been crafting the follow-up to their 2012 Grammy Award-winning album The Heist, and with the praise The Heist received, the duo have a tough act to follow. Look out for their follow-up album in the second half of 2015.

52. Giorgio Moroder, 74 Is The New 24

RCA

Disco legend Giorgio Moroder spent his career behind the boards, helping craft the signature, synth swing of Donna Summer classics like “I Feel Love” and “Hot Stuff” in the ‘70s. But after his high-profile appearance on Daft Punk’s Grammy Album-of-the-Year-winningRandom Access Memories in 2013, he finally became a marquee artist in his own right, touring and DJing for the first time in his 30-plus-year career. At 74, Moroder’s first album in over 20 years will feature appearances from Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue, Charli XCX, Sia, and more. Disco ain’t dead.

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