Ah, 2015, it was a pretty good year for music. Meek Mill and Drake fought and fought and fought. Nicki Minaj asked Miley Cyrus “What’s good?” Kanye West announced that he’s running for President in 2020. And we learned that, no matter who’s in office, it’s Adele‘s world.
And now, we’re on to 2016. From long-awaited reunion tours, to long-anticipated albums, there’s a lot to look forward to. Here’s some of the reasons we’re feeling optimistic about music in the new year.
Frank Ocean‘s new album: The Odd Future-affiliated singer has supposedly been working for his new album for a long time, and rumors have circulated since the summer that he might surprise release it. But no matter how the album arrives, fans are clamoring for the follow-up to Channel Orange.
Harry Styles‘s solo debut: With One Direction taking a break, it’s no surprise that the group’s biggest star would try recording on his own, and now we know that he’s already submitted some songs to the publisher ASCAP.
David Bowie‘s ★ (Blackstar): This is one we won’t have to wait too long for; it comes out on January 8. But here’s hoping that the reports that Bowie is never doing another show again are wrong.
U2‘s Songs of Experience: In September, Bono said that the band’s next album, the follow-up to 2014’s Songs of Innocence, will come out next year. And the title of the band’s latest tour, iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE, suggests that their tour will go on as well.
The 1975‘s I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It: If “Love Me” (which we recently spoke to frontman Matt Healy about) and “UGH!” are hints of what the new album is like, we can’t wait to hear the rest of it. And we’re excited to see the 1975 headlining arenas.
Gwen Stefani‘s next album: Remember Gwen’s last big breakup? That was with fellow No Doubt member Tony Kanal, and that informed that band’s breakthrough record Tragic Kingdom. Look for even more cathartic heartbreak songs about her recent divorce on her next album, which will likely include the devastating “Used To Love You.”
Kanye West’s SWISH: One of the disappointments from 2015 was no new Kanye record. Here’s hoping we get it this year; West has assured the world that he’s working on it.
Drake’s Views from the 6: Not that Drizzy didn’t give us enough music in 2015—what with his Future collaboration What a Time to Be Alive and his mixtape If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late. And not that he didn’t give us enough to talk about: his beef with Meek Mill seemed to excite the entire hip-hop world. But still, we’re looking forward to his next legit album.
Nine Inch Nails’ Next Album: It’ll have been nearly three years since the surprise release of Hesitation Marks. The critically acclaimed album seemingly came out of nowhere with Trent Reznor posting a message saying in part, “I’ve been less than honest about what I’ve really been up to lately. For the last year I’ve been secretly working non-stop with Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder on a new, full-length Nine Inch Nails record.” The album would go on to win Reznor a nomination for Best Alternative Music Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards. But unlike 2013, Reznor has let fans know material is actually on its way. He said of 2016, “New NIN coming” and “other stuff, too.”
Keith Urban‘s Rip Chord: Nile Rodgers told Radio.com that “When you hear he and I play together, we’re killin it! It’s like we were meant to play together,” that was all we needed to hear to be seriously looking forward to Urban’s next album.
Pearl Jam‘s next album: It’s been over two years since their last album, Lightning Bolt, which added new classics to their catalog, including “Mind Your Manners,” “Sleeping with Myself” and “Sirens.” We’re looking forward to what they come up with next. But first, bassist Jeff Ament will release his second album with his RNDM project.
Rihanna‘s ANTI: This album has been hyped forever, and has even had a series of video promos to get us excited for it. Rumor has it she can drop it at any time. We’re looking forward to finally hearing it.
Adele‘s tour: Some members of the Radio.com team were fortunate enough to get into her concert at Radio City Music Hall late last year. So we can say with authority that anyone who is lucky enough to get tickets for her tour is in for a treat.
An album from the Pistol Annies: In the wake of her divorce, expect Miranda Lambert to have a bunch of songs about heartbreak and being jilted. And who better to record them with than her pals Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley. Plus, earlier this year, Monroe told Radio.com that “We have a ton of songs written that have never been recorded…we’re constantly talking and we’re starting to miss each other–a lot–so I feel like it will come back around soon. We haven’t made any plans yet, but I feel like it’s coming up soon, I feel it in my soul.”