20.06.2019

Albums to cross your fingers for in the second half of 2019

Tame Impala
Photo: Matt Sav
Words by Kate Streader

Some have been confirmed. Others are an educated guess.

We’re only halfway through 2019 and already we’ve been treated to a massive slab of stellar albums. So far, we’ve seen releases from the likes of Julia Jacklin, Amyl and The Sniffers, Aldous Harding, Big Thief, Lizzo, Solange, The National, Cage The Elephant and Sharon Van Etten. While we would happily spin those records for the rest of the year, there are still loads in store to drop over the next six months. Here are some of the titles we’re holding out for.

Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell

Lana Del Rey has hardly been coy about her forthcoming album, Norman Fucking Rockwell. The singer-songwriter has spent the past few months dropping hints and snippets all over Instagram and Twitter, as well as drip-feeding fans a steady stream of singles including ‘Mariners Apartment Complex’, ‘Venice Bitch’, ‘hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it’ and a cover of Sublime’s 1996 track ‘Doin Time’.

Del Rey has also hinted at the tone of the album, a result of collaborating with producer Jack Antonoff. She told Zane Lowe: “Working with Jack [Antonoff], I was in a little bit of a lighter mood because he was so funny. So the title track is called ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell’ and it’s kind of about this guy who is such a genius artist but he thinks he’s the shit and he knows it and he, like, won’t shut up talking about it.” There is no release date for Norman Fucking Rockwell as yet.

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Title track #normanfuckingrockwell @jackantonoff

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Tame Impala – TBA

Just under a year ago, Kevin Parker told Beats 1 he’d “be really disappointed if there wasn’t something out by then” when asked if we could expect to see new music from Tame Impala by mid-2019. So far, we’ve seen two Tame Impala singles this year, with ‘Patience’ dropping in March followed by ‘Borderline’ in April, each showcasing stylistic experimentation for the producer. It’s been four years since Currents hit the shelves, but with the new singles and Kevin Parker headlining slots at Coachella and Splendour in the Grass, it seems the wheels are turning. There’s no release date for the next Tame Impala album at this stage.

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New track. 1 hour. Speakers/headphones ready people

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The Cure – TBA

The Cure’s last record 4:13 Dream dropped over a decade ago, though the band have been far from quiet since then. Not only have the English outfit spent the past few years touring incessantly, but they’ve also been working on their 14th studio album which is reportedly due for release this year. The Cure frontman Robert Smith and keyboardist Roger O’Donnell have each publicly said this will most likely be The Cure’s final album, though it’s set to leave its mark. O’Donnell told SiriusXM: “I said to Robert a couple of years ago, ‘We have to make one more record, and it has to be the saddest record that’s ever been made and the most dramatic’. And I think it will be.” There is no release date for The Cure’s next album at this stage.

Pixies – Beneath the Eyrie

Three years after the release of their most recent album Head Carrier, Pixies will return with their 17th LP Beneath the Eyrie. The band gave a taste of what’s to come with the single ‘On Graveyard Hill’ earlier this month. The band have also revealed plans to document the recording process through a 12-episode podcast titled It’s a Pixies Podcast, set to premiere on June 27. While it’s not quite the same Pixies without Kim Deal, her replacement Paz Lenchantin has been around since Deal quit the band to focus on The Breeders in 2014. And if Indie Cindy and Head Carrier are anything to go by, the band can still hold their own, even with a Deal shaped hole in the lineup. Beneath the Eyrie drops on September 13 via Infectious Music.

Q-Tip – The Last Zulu

Rapper and A Tribe Called Quest MC Q-Tip has been hinting at his next solo record for the past ten years. There’s no promise we’ll see it this year, though Q-Tip did recently tell Elton John during a conversation on his Beats 1 program Rocket Hour Radio that he’s “working on solo records – plural”. The rapper also piqued anticipation for his next album last year when he tweeted that the album, titled The Last Zulu, would be coming soon. Fingers crossed we won’t have to wait much longer.

Sleater-Kinney – The Center Won’t Hold

Four years after the release of No Cities to Love in 2015, Sleater-Kinney are set to return with The Center Won’t Hold. Produced by St Vincent, the trio have already revealed glimpses at the new record with singles ‘Hurry On Home’ and ‘The Future Is Here’. As pioneers of the riot grrrl movement, it’s no surprise that Trump’s reign was hugely influential on the album, though one-third of the trio Carrie Brownstein has stated the impact of the political climate isn’t entirely brazen.

“We’re always mixing the personal and the political but on this record, despite obviously thinking so much about politics, we were really thinking about the person — ourselves or versions of ourselves or iterations of depression or loneliness — in the middle of the chaos.”

The Center Won’t Hold is set for release on August 16 via Mom + Pop Music.

Alex Cameron – Miami Memory

Two years on from his last album Forced Witness, Aussie musician Alex Cameron has announced his third LP, Miami Memory. The ever-enigmatic Cameron wields an impenetrable persona, though he suggests otherwise for his forthcoming record.

“When you listen to these songs, and you’re waiting for the twist, or the joke, or any kind of discomfort, I can assure you none of those things were there when I wrote them,” Cameron said in a statement.

“These are true stories, of actual events. Specific but never esoteric. And graphic but never offensive.”

Miami Memory is set for release on September 13 via Secretly Canadian.

The Black Keys – “Let’s Rock”

After a four-year hiatus, The Black Keys are set to return with their ninth studio album, “Let’s Rock”. While titling an album “Let’s Rock” may seem like an on-the-nose choice for a rock band, the title is actually a reference to the last words of a man executed in Tennessee the day the pair were recording the album. The album’s cover also hints at the sinister coincidence, comprising an image of an electric chair. “A homage to electric guitar”, according to one-half of the duo, Patrick Carney, “Let’s Rock” features no keys and was recorded live in Nashville. The record is due for release on Friday June 28 via Easy Eye Sound & Nonesuch Records.

Missy Elliot – TBA

It’s been a big year for Missy Elliot. Not only did she become the first female rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and receive an Honorary Doctorate at Berklee for her contribution to music, but she also recently revealed she “has just finished a big project”. In a tweet, the rapper said “it has been a very intense no sleep five weeks working on this since last year”, furthering intrigue with an Instagram post about the project. It’s been almost 15 years since the rapper’s last LP The Cookbook dropped, though she recently collaborated with Lizzo for the track ‘Tempo’, off Lizzo’s new album Cuz I Love You. There’s no word yet when we can expect to see this new project, or whether it is, in fact, a new album, but here’s hoping.