Noise Narcs’ Most Anticipated Albums of 2016

Our list of most anticipated albums of 2015 suffered from some dissapointments. Anticipated albums from PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Kanye, Run the Jewels, Beck, James Blake, and Kanye (although with each dreadful track he drops, that’s looking like a blessing) never materializing certainly hurt. But where was my head when I ranked Jamie XX at #48? Courtney Barnett at #46? But all and all, for albums in the top 20 that were actually released, I’d rank all of them in Very Good condition. And hey, at least we listed newcomers Viet Cong and Natalie Prass.

2016? Well, there are likely albums from PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Run the Jewels, LCD Soundsystem, and The xx. That top 5 seems about as bankable as you can get. And even the faintest hint of a Phosphorescent album gives me the vapors.

If I had to call some sleepers out of my ass, I’d go for Savages, Strand of Oaks, Car Seat Headrest, Lushlife, and Frankie Cosmos to take big steps into the spotlight with excellent albums.

A lot to be excited about in 2016. But me? I’m most excited to be on the vanguard of turning on Kanye, True Detective second season style. Swish is gonna jumpman that shark (groan) (but what? are we going to pretend that is less clever than the garbage on “Facts”?).

Rank Artist Album Release Date / Release Certainty Comment
1 PJ Harvey TBA TBA I’m still basking in the glory of Let England Shake. Most artists self-consciously recording their albumnin Afghanistan and Washington DC would warrant a raised eyebrow. Not Miss Polly Jean.
2 Run the Jewels ˜Run the Jewels 3 TBA Woof the Jewels 4 set for 2017?
3 Phosphorescent TBA Recording Hard to Be Humble (When Your Last Two Albums Have Been This Good)
4 Radiohead TBA Recording A little nervous about this.
5 LCD Soundsystem TBA TBA Most predictable temporary retirement since Jordan.
6 The xx TBA TBA Hype on fleek after that Jamie XX album.
7 Savages Adore Life 1/22/2016 All their snarl plus the torch-y cleaned up sound of lead single “Adore Life.” I’m *pumped*.
8 James Blake Radio Silence TBA Pretty curious to see where he’s going next.
9 Beck TBA Wishful thinking I like sad Beck better.
10 FKA (ex Viet Cong) TBA TBA Changing your name from Viet Cong over PC pressure is very silly. Their first album was very not silly.
11 Vampire Weekend TBA Rumors Reliably better than I remember.
12 David Bowie 1/8/2016 I have a strong suspicion this will be unlistenable but awesome.
13 Bon Iver TBA Rumors I think would be higher if I could finally shake the feeling that however good Bon Iver’s music is, it’s fundamentally lame.
14 Strand Of Oaks TBA Rumors HEAL has been marching up in my esteem every day since its 2014 release.
15 Car Seat Headrest Teens of Denial TBA Just missed my personal top ten. Will be very interesting to see what he does with a real studio recording.
16 Tortoise The Catastrophist˜ 1/22/2016 Lead single “Gesceap” sounds a little like the soundtrack from 90s computer game Skyroads. Which is to say: awesome.
17 Frankie Cosmos TBA TBA Her EPs have been full of lo-fi gems.
18 Bruce Springsteen TBA Rumors “More of a solo project” means “Nebraska II: Accoustic Boogaloo” right?!?
19 Lushlife / CSLSX Ritualize 2/19/2016 Friend of NN Raj album looks to be a monster. Killer Mike guesting? “Body Double” looking to be a top track of the year? Tonybee Suites?
20 Miike Snow III 3/4/2016 After numerous dud releases, I thought I’d never go back to this well. But “Genghis Khan” is stellar.
21 Japandroids TBA Rumors
22 Grizzly Bear TBA TBA
23 Grandaddy TBA TBA Reunion albums always dissapoint, except when they don’t.
24 War on Drugs TBA Wishful Thinking I really doubt this album will come out this year, but I’d be so stoked if it did.
25 Young Thug Hy!?UN35 TBA This is way too high. Unless it’s way too low.
26 M83 TBA TBA I suspect I should be more excited about this than I am.
27 Loretta Lynn Full Circle My favorite musical experience of the year as an audience member was requesting “Fist City” at a honkytonk in Nashville.
28 Drake Views From the 6 TBA
29 Midlake + Jason Liddle +Ben Bridwell + Alex Kapranos Project Vol. 1. TBA Midlake’s albums are overlooked to your own loss. I’m intrigued by this craziness.
30 Steve Gunn TBA Rumors Would be a bit higher if this album was more certain (or if he were still in Philly #localbias).
31 Chromatics Dear Tommy TBA Approaching Detox status.
32 Charles Bradley Changes˜ TBA This album won’t be as good as his live show. That’s aight.
33 Frank Ocean Boys Don’t Cry TBA I still don’t buy the hype.
34 Gorillaz TBA TBA
35 M. Ward More Rain 3/4/2016
36 MGMT TBA TBA Another album as bad as the last, and I’m done.
37 Jeff Buckley You and I˜ 3/11/2016 I should know better than to be excited about this. I don’t.
38 Elliott Smith Heaven Adores You˜OST˜ 2/5/2016 I should *really* know better than to be excited about this. I don’t.
39 A.M. Mills TBA TBA Please?
40 ANOHNI (ex-Antony, ex-Antony and the Johnsons) Hopelessness TBA Intensely political electronic album? Oh.
41 Haim TBA TBA If they react against the haters by being less like Fleetwood Mac, that would be a giant mistake. In fact, everyone on this list should sound more like FM.
42 Ty Segall Emotional Mugger 1/22/2016
43 The Strokes TBA TBA
44 Real Estate TBA Rumors Was bored by their last album but woul be significantly higher if the rumors were more credible.
45 Lorde TBA TBA
46 Santigold 99? 2/26/2016 “Can’t Get Enough of Myself” with all its Afropop glory is more than enough reason to pay attention to Santigold,
47 Porches Pool 2/5/2016
48 School of Seven Bells SVIIB 2/5/2016
49 Chairlift Moth 1/22/2016
50 Eleanor Friedberger New View 1/22/2016
51 Animal Collective Painting With˜ 2/5/2016 If the rest of the album is as bad as “FloriDada” can we start a Kickstarter to get Panda Bear out of the band.
52 DJ Shadow TBA TBA Man, 1996 was a long time ago.
53 M.I.A. Matahdatah TBA
54 Missy Elliott TBA TBA
55 Sigur R›s TBA TBA
56 Spiritualized TBA TBA
57 Swearin’ TBA TBA
58 Junior Boys Big Black Coat˜ 2/5/2016
59 Ths Shins TBA TBA
60 Blood Orange TBA TBA
61 Local Natives TBA Recording
62 Major Lazer Music Is the Weapon My prediction: two killer tracks.
63 RJD2 Dame Fortune
64 Kanye West Swish A) Listen to that Paul McCartney track again. B) Now listen to the just released “Facts” C) It is hard to imagine anything worse than the McCartney+Kanye track. “Facts” is it. The only way “Facts” is not the worst major track of 2016 is if Swish has worse tracks.
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