Best albums to be released in 2021, including from Taylor Swift, Lorde, Duran Duran, Natalie Imbruglia and more
Tropical F — Storm, Deep state (TFS records): Just when you thought it might be safe to lift your head, the fierce Melbourne quartet are back with the debut single Give an F — Fatigue of their third long player. One thing is for sure, when we can all get back to sweaty and loud live music with our pals, this is the band you want to blow the many long months of spider webs away. Released on August 20.
Lorde, Solar energy (Universal Music): Teased with his scintillating debut single last month, this is surely one of the most anticipated albums of the year. First eruption in 2013 with the first album Pure heroine, the global fascination with Lorde shows no signs of abating and Solar energy is sure to make an almighty splash when it lands. Released on August 20.
Shannon and the clams, Year of the Spider (Easy Eye Sound): Returning to the classic ’60s doo-wop sound with a psychedelic twist, this Oakland, California quartet has released five albums since 2009. Led by Shannon Shaw, it’s heartfelt, joyful pop’ n ‘roll that could easily be fit into the soundtrack of the coming summer. Released on August 20.
Gretta Ray, Start looking around (EMI): After two EPs, Melbourne’s Gretta Ray is delivering her debut album and 2016 Triple J Unearthed High winner couldn’t be more ready. Here and now, her 2018 EP, was further proof of why she landed supporting shows with Mumford and Sons and Gang of Youths. In 2021, it’s Gretta Ray’s turn to shine. Released on August 27.
Chvrches, Screen violence (Liberating music): How not to drown, starring a guest of Robert Smith from The Cure, is just one reason to wrap your ears around Chvrches’ fourth album. The Scottish trio have become festival favorites over the past decade, but without a show since the start of last year, Screen violence will be warmly received by fans. Released on August 27.
Imagine Dragons, Mercury – Act 1 (Interscope): This Las Vegas-based pop / rock group has claimed streaming gold with their tracks Believer and thunder a few years ago, every song exceeded one billion streams. If recent single Cut throat (produced by Rick Rubin) is one indication the band took some unexpected twists and turns with their sound. Released on September 3.
Amyl and the sniffers, Comfort for me (B2B registrations): Landing an ARIA award for best rock album under their belt was more than justified after years of hard work for Amyl and the Sniffers. Now they’re back to prove it wasn’t a fluke and the growing fanbase can barely wait. First taste Guided by the angels was served last week. Released September 10.
Various, The Metallica Blacklist (Universal Music): Thirty years since Metallica turned that around with their self-titled album, widely known as The black album, a who’s who of the music world covered some of the band’s most popular songs. Sunshine Coast trio The Chats even scored a spot on Holier than you, while other guests include Weezer, Miley Cyrus and Elton John. Released September 10.
Diane Ross, Thank you (Decca): Fifteen years since his last studio album I love you and five decades after her eponymous debut, the former Supremes star is back with her 25th solo album. The Motown star has enjoyed a string of massive successes during his famous career. Thank you has on board award-winning producer Jack Antonoff, who has worked with Taylor Swift, St Vincent and Lorde. Released September 10.
Nathalie Imbruglia, Bird of Fire (BMG): The list of songwriting collaborators includes Stroke’s Ed Sheeran and Albert Hammond Jr., among others, but six years after her previous album, Natalie Imbruglia says she has found her voice on Bird of Fire, with the first single Build it better. Released September 24.
The the, The return special (Ear music): Songwriter and singer Matt Johnson may be the only constant member, but The The has been “active in various forms since 1979,” according to Wikipedia. Its title sounds like Johnson borrowed it from Elvis Presley’s 1968 TV gig, but it’s unlikely to have the same scope. Released on October 1st.
Shore of oaks, In Paradise (Trente Tigres / Cooking Vinyl Australia): Timothy Showalter’s mix of rock and folk sets him apart from the pack. His fusion of styles and eclectic influences has been found on a constant stream of albums since 2009 and fans will happily rub their hands with the new music on the way. Released on October 1st.
Ladyhawke, Time passes (BMG): Burst onto the music scene in 2008 with his debut album and hit song My trip, Pip Brown was not an overnight success. A former member of Two Lane Blacktop in New Zealand, she has also toured extensively and released two other Ladyhawke albums before Time passes, with co-writer Nick Littlemore (Empire of the Sun). Released on October 8.
Sam Teskey, Cycles (Ivy League): âI really want to leave the experience to the listener,â Sam Teskey says of his first foray away from award-winning Melbourne band The Teskey Brothers. Drawing more inspiration from the psychedelic bands of the ’60s and’ 70s than his familiar soul guitar style, Cycles was recorded last year during the Teskey brothers’ downtime. Released on October 8.
Duran Duran, Future Past (Modern Band): Will he get somewhere near the dizzying heights of their new romantic heyday, when Hungry like a wolf, Girls at the cinema and Earth were in fashion? Who knows, but we’ll see if Simon, Nick, John and Roger can still put out a decent track when they release their 16th album. Released on October 22.
Courtney Barnett, Things take time, take time (Milk! Records): Not so long ago, CB and his band released Tell me how you really feel. It was May 2018, and a lot has happened since then, or a lot of nothing, depending on how you see much of the past three years. First single from the new album, Rae Street, was released last week. Released on November 12.
Damon Albarn, Closer to the fountain, the purer the stream flows (Transgressive): Best known for directing Blur and Gorillaz, Albarn also released a solo album about six years ago. His second solo album began as an Icelandic-inspired orchestral work, but its direction changed during a period of lockdown, when Albarn injected some pop into the project. Released on November 12.
Taylor Swift, Red (Taylor version) (Republic): The second of six albums Swift plans to re-record, it will be a redesign of her 2012 crossover album. red. “This will be the first time you hear the 30 songs that were to continue red, she said last month. The original red was a critically acclaimed top of the charts, but Taylor’s version could even reshape the musical landscape for artists who wish to regain control of their work. Released on November 19.
Artists who are also expected to have new music in 2021 but have yet to announce a release date include Ed Sheeran, the Killers, FKA Twigs, Drake, The Cure, Travis Scott, Weyes Blood, and Lana Del Rey.