TIDAL Staff’s Most-Anticipated Albums of 2019

TIDAL Staff’s Most-Anticipated Albums of 2019

As the seconds tick closer to the new year, TIDAL employees are looking forward to a 2019 full of new music. From Grimes to Maggie Rogers to Bad Bunny, 2019 is already looking to be a packed year. Read on for our personal picks.

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Rick Ross, Port Of Miami 2
TBA
Rap

The biggest boss of the rap game sprinkled a few singles (the Kodak Black and T-Pain-featured “Florida Boy” and the Future-laced “Green Gucci Suit”) in 2018, but ultimately pulled back on releasing the full-length sequel to his 2006 debut, Port Of Miami. Don’t worry, though. As Rozay assured LeBron James on Twitter, “Fatboy” got some signature slick talk that will soothe us when the time is right. – Elliott Wilson

Kanye West, Yandhi
TBA
Rap

After helming five straight G.O.O.D. Music releases (two of which featured him as main artist: Ye and the Kid Cudi-collab, Kids See Ghosts), Mr. West promised a third project on September 29, 2018 right after his Saturday Night Live appearance. That didn’t happen, and, on the following Monday, October 1, Kim Kardashian West set the new date for Black Friday, November 23, 2018. That didn’t happen either. The current status is TBA, but interest remains high as evidenced by the success of his top 10 hit, the Lil Pump-assisted “I Love It.” – Elliott Wilson

Future, TBA
TBA
Rap

You would think that after curating a soundtrack (Superfly), reuniting with ATL producer Zaytoven for a mixtape sequel (Beast Mode 2), and pairing up with young upstart, Juice WRLD (WRLD On Drugs), we’d have our fill of Future music. No sir. We need an official album. Whether he’ll drop two back-to-back triumphs like he did 2017 (Future & Hndrxx) is anybody’s guess, but we’re all anxious to see what the Wizard has up his sleeve. – Elliott Wilson

ScHoolBoy Q
TBA
Rap

2018 was a huge year for West Coast hip-hop. TDE sustained their position at the top of the heap anchored by the Kendrick Lamar-crafted Black Panther soundtrack, but surprisingly SchoolBoy Q’s contributions were scarce. After much speculation, Q made it clear during a live show that the passing of Mac Miller was a key component in the album’s delay. Mourning the loss of his friend, Q’s next full-length promises to be his most personal to date. – Elliott Wilson

Nas
TBA
Rap

After a strong mixed reaction to his Kanye West executive produced Nasir, Mr. Jones connected with another legendary producer, Swizz Beatz, and silenced the critics. The dynamic duo even flew to Tokyo, Japan, to film a video to the lyrical exercise “Echo,” which finds the Queensbridge living legend spitting some of his most potent bars in recent memory. Let’s hope his next masterwork lives up to the anticipation he reignited. – Elliott Wilson

Deerhunter, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?
January 18
Rock & Indie

Deerhunter’s upcoming eighth LP takes an appropriately grim look at the future — at least according to a release from the band: “Why make this album in an era when attention spans have been reduced to next to nothing? … Why wake up in the morning? Why hasn’t everything already disappeared?” Still, the gorgeously jaunty first single, “Death in Midsummer,” implies that we have a lot to look forward to — at least where Bradford Cox’s discography is concerned. – Brenna Ehrlich

Grimes, TBA
TBA
Indie & Pop

We’re not exactly sure when we’re getting Grimes’ follow-up to 2015 masterpiece Art Angels, but her newest single, “We Appreciate Power” (out November 29 via 4AD), assures us that Claire Boucher is still deeply entrenched in that cyber-punk, electro-pop sound. The punchy modern-day battle hymn is about the “AI Girl Group Propaganda machine,” according to Boucher, and was inspired Kim Jong-un’s favorite band, Moranbong. Since we’re already living in some kind of Black Mirror-esque hellscape (at least according to Twitter), 2019 seems primed for more of Grimes’ dystopian dance music. – Brenna Ehrlich

Cass McCombs, Tip of the Sphere
February 8
Rock & Indie

Cass McCombs is one of the best lyricists in modern indie rock; his 2016 album, Mangy Love, was glorious, dark — a hundred novels bundled into one record. Tip of the Sphere, out in early 2019, is heralded by similarly stunning first single, “Sleeping Volcanoes.” On a micro-level, the song touches on “people passing each other on the sidewalk unaware of the emotional volatility they are brushing past, like a sleeping volcano that could erupt at any moment,” according to McCombs. On a macro, it’s a kind of rebirth by fire, a call to wash the streets clean by way of destruction: “Help me Armageddon/Help me to be calm,” he sings, echoing Jeff Tweedy’s similarly themed call for end times, “Let’s Go Rain” (off 2018’s WARM). Out with the old and in with the new. – Brenna Ehrlich

Sky Ferreira, TBA
TBA
Indie & Pop

We don’t know much — or anything at all — about what new music Sky Ferreira has on tap, but we do know that something is coming in 2019 (probably), six years after her Lynchian debut, Night Time, My Time. Her upcoming second album was said to be called Masochism when it was first reported a few years back, but, at this point, who knows what the future holds? A record, hopefully. Signs point to “maybe.” – Brenna Ehrlich

Lana Del Rey, Norman Fucking Rockwell
TBA
Indie & Pop

Lana Del Rey has been teasing us this year with cuts from her upcoming sixth studio album, Norman Fucking Rockwell: “Venice Bitch” and “Mariners Apartment Complex,” the former of which clocks in at nearly 10 minutes long. Del Rey’s managers bristled at the length of the track, according to a recent interview with the singer, but Lana countered: “End of summer, some people just wanna drive around for 10 minutes get lost in some electric guitar.” Hopefully, we won’t have to wait until that time next year to hear more. – Brenna Ehrlich

Roddy Ricch, TBA
TBA
Rising Rap

2019 is destined to be a big year for the “Faces” rapper. His Feed Tha Streets II release drove home his ability to write earworm melodies and honest, journal-esque lyrics. His rise was cemented by his hit, “Die Young,” an earnest trap song about trying to avoid the same fate that has killed many before him. With a Marshmello collaboration seemingly on the way, Ricch is ready to take his voice to a whole new audience in 2019. – Nick Coyne

Barrie, TBA
TBA
Rising Indie

2018 saw Barrie’s name quickly spread in the press due to their heavily textured dream pop style and distinctly refined rhythms. With a sonic palette as eclectic as the band’s hometowns (Sao Paulo, London, Baltimore, Boston and upstate New York), Barrie has set expectations high for their debut album. – Nick Coyne

Cautious Clay, TBA
TBA
Rising R&B

TIDAL Rising began featuring R&B singer-songwriter Cautious Clay’s debut single, “Cold War,” upon release in late 2017. From there, it has been a steady climb for the Ohio-born, Brooklyn-based artist. With a strong placement in the Season 3 premiere of HBO’s Insecure, an opening spot for Alina Baraz on her most recent tour, a performance at TIDAL X Brooklyn and the support of industry stars like John Mayer, R&B’s next innovator is starting to catch the ear of the world. – Nick Coyne

Jade Bird, TBA
TBA
Rising Rock & Indie

When Jade Bird’s debut EP Something American arrived in 2017, fans were blown away by the storytelling talents and rock energy of the then 19-year-old. Her vibrant personality and steadily growing and devout fan base translated into chart success in 2018 for Bird. Her singles, “Lottery,” “Uh Huh,” “Love Has All Been Done Before” and “Furious,” have made for a remarkable rise in 2018, leaving a captive audience for her debut album in 2019. – Nick Coyne

Toro y Moi, Outer Peace
January 10
Indie & Pop

Slated for a January 2019 release, Outer Peace will mark Toro Y Moi’s sixth studio album. In 2018, Toro — a.k.a. Chaz Bear — left us with small delights like Toro Y Rome, a five-track EP with rapper Rome Fortune, and singles “Freelance” and “Ordinary Pleasure.” True to form, the tracks ranged from far-left experimental to soft, sweet and funk-tinged — something reminiscent of a summer’s day. Outside of its guests, Wet, Instupendo and Awful Records’ Abra, our expectations are open for Outer Peace. Regardless, the forthcoming LP, which follows 2017’s Boo Boo, will surely be as singular and endearing as the artist behind it. – Paley Martin

Rorystonelove and Samory I, TBA
TBA
Reggae

In July 2017, Jamaica’s legendary sound system selector Rorystonelove teamed up with rising reggae star Samory I on Black Gold. Fusing Samory’s glowing vocals and Rory’s production, the two sculpted an LP that would go on to land in the top 5 on both iTunes and Billboard charts. Standouts like “Rasta Nuh Gangsta” and “Is It Because I’m Black,” a rendition of Syl Johnson’s poignant 1968 classic, cemented the power and, by no stretch, spiritual capabilities of this dynamic collaboration. In 2018, the two released “Feeling,” a groove-inducing love song and warm prelude to what’s to come. Lucky for fans, Rory and Samory are rumored to release some more musical goodness in the coming year. No matter how it sounds or what’s being said, one thing is for sure: together, these two are golden. – Paley Martin

Maluma, F.A.M.E. 2
Winter 2019
Latin

If F.A.M.E. solidified Maluma as one of the pop pillars of present-day Latinx music, then his performance at the 2018 MTV VMAs (with Madonna co-sign/adoration in tow) bolted him to American pop idol status. His follow-up, F.A.M.E. 2 will surely secure more non-Spanish speaking fans. Let the magazine covers and Buzzfeed-esque “10 Reasons We Heart Maluma” continue to roll in. It’s pure Fe Alma Música y Esencia. – Jesús Triviño Alarcón

Farruko, Gangalee
Winter 2019
Latin

Farru!!! The Puerto Rican reggaeton/trap maestro is turning his attention to the root of Caribbean music: reggae. After helping usher in the Latin Trap movement, Farruko has fully indulged in the reggae lifestyle — growing dreads, rocking Rastafarian garb and inviting his fellow Puerto Rock (Don Omar) to jump on a ragga beat. Expect collaborations with Bad Bunny, Ñengo Flow, Lary Over, Darell, Kafu Banton and Ky-Mani Marley. Chances are Farru is on that wave way before his contemporaries — and surely, the rest will follow. – Jesús Triviño Alarcón

Pitbull, TBA
January 2019
Latin

Pitbull went from killer cypher Miami MC to Mr. 305 to Mr. Worldwide to Mr. I’m About My Business and Owning My Music. Yet, beyond his business acumen, Pitbull is one of the first Latinx artists to not only conquer the Billboard charts but also do it while screaming “Chico!” at the top of his lungs. If the R&B-tinged “Quiero Saber” is any indication, then Pit will continue his Latin pop domination and also be able to reap the benefits of being one of the pioneers of this here Latinx music game. – Jesús Triviño Alarcón

Bad Bunny, La Nueva Religion
TBA
Latin & Rap

Bad Bunny has made a bonafide career out of singles and features. Since his foray into urban Latin (and then popular culture with songs like “MIA” featuring Drake), the Puerto Rican rapper has been a subject of speculation: will Bad Bunny ever issue a proper full-length, debut album? Does he even need one?  El Conejo Malo says “yes.” In a cover story for FADER’s fall fashion issue, the 24-year-old confirmed La Nueva Religion – “an album he hopes will broaden his renown as well as his stylistic range” – will drop in the new year. Alas, Bunny’s going to keep us guessing, as he offered no official release date. – Marjua Estevez

Melii, Phases
Early 2019
Latin & Rap

Some would call Melii an overnight sensation. After all, she’s arguably the most exciting thing out of New York City this past summer. Truth is, though, the twentysomething recording artist is hardly today’s prepackaged-for-mainstream rapper. Melii’s musical ascent is the result of a catalogue of viral video hits, including her rousing cover of Cardi B’s 2017 summer darling “Bodak Yellow,” which garnered more than two million YouTube views. Melii’s “Balling” cut served as a precursor to her breakout hit “Icey,” now at more than 1.6 million in views. After gaining co-signs from the likes of Meek Mill (and featuring on his well-received Champions album), Melii is readying her debut project, Phases, which she promises descends at the start of the new year: “In 2019, my supporters can expect what they are musically missing.” – Marjua Estevez

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Tides
January 11
Ambient

Over the past few years, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith has steadily asserted herself as one of electronic music’s most ethereal ambient producers. Tides, the latest release off her own Touchtheplants label, sees Smith revisit pieces she produced and recorded in 2013 as an accompanying soundtrack for her mother’s yoga practice. Smith’s signature Buchla synth intermingles with field recordings to create an uplifting and transformative listening experience with an undeniable meditative affect throughout. This promising release looks to be Smith’s most personal work to date. – Charlie Bird

Leon Vynehall, DJ-Kicks
February 1
Genre N/A

Brighton-based artist Leon Vynehall had a standout 2018 with the release of his critically acclaimed debut album, Nothing Is Still. Not one to rest on the laurels of success, Vynehall recently announced he’s been tapped by the legendary !K7 label to oversee the latest installment in their long-running DJ-Kicks series. The 67th installment features a whopping 26 tracks from a variety of established and rising artists. Tracks from heavyweights such as AFX, Haruomi Hosono and Genesis P. Orridge coexist beside offerings from rising acts including Peach, Ploy and Pavilion. This broad array of artists is bolstered by Vynehall’s diverse mixing capabilities – the album promises to touch on genres such as EBM, jungle, street soul, dancehall, and, of course, house. – Charlie Bird

Dua Lipa, TBA
Early 2019
Pop

Dua Lipa has kept the airwaves buzzing this year. From her self-titled debut album to her collaborations with Calvin Harris, Diplo and Mark Ronson (Silk City), and South Korean pop group BLACKPINK, she has made herself known. Add that to her Grammy nomination, a possible track with Ariana Grande, and we can guarantee that there will be more dance crying in 2019. – Blue Bookhard

Mark Ronson, Late Night Feelings
TBA
Funk & Soul & Dance

Not much  has been confirmed about mega-hit producer Mark Ronson’s new album — except its title and that his single with Miley Cyrus will be on the tracklist. Riding the high of his nomination for a Golden Globe and two Grammys (one for “Shallow” from A Star Is Born, and the other “Electricity,” with Dua Lipa and Diplo), Ronson will likely be the artist we can’t stop hearing in 2019. Tie the existing singles with a new album of disco-pop jams, and it’s all over. Want more things to anticipate? Ronson is also rumored to be planning a tour in the end of 2019. – Blue Bookhard

Maggie Rogers, Heard It in a Past Life
January 18
Indie Pop & Alternative Rock

Coming off of her rave review from Pharrell, Maggie Rogers gave us her 2017 EP, Now That the Light is Fading. In 2018, Rogers delivered heartwarming singles like “Fallingwater,” “Give A Little” and “Light On.” These complicated, rhythmic and sonically intricate singles showed Rogers’ mastery of her craft. Tie these three singles with her tour with Mumford and Sons and she has set the stage to knock us down. – Blue Bookhard

Kendrick Lamar, TBA
TBA
Rap

Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy Award-winning album DAMN. was released on April 14, 2017. Each Kendrick Lamar album has been an amazing body of work; his albums push the envelope with socially conscious lyrics and captivating, timely subject matter. I follow TDE in-house Grammy Award winning producer “Sounwave” on Instagram, and he tends to post videos of him working on music production. This to me is an indicator that Kendrick Lamar is working on music as well. Let’s hope I’m right. – Jamaal Meeks

Drake, TBA
TBA
Rap 

In a time where artists are increasingly taking less time between albums, Drake is no exception. At the end of his Aubrey tour, he announced that he is going back in the studio to work on some new music. Each album exemplifies his growth as an artist and trendsetter. 2019 should another great year for Drake. – Jamaal Meeks

Nicole Bus, TBA
TBA
R&B

Roc Nation recording artist Nicole Bus is setting up to take the music industry by storm. The single “You” is a soulful R&B record that features a sample of the Wu-Tang Clan classic, “C.R.E.A.M.” on his Instagram page, Grammy Award-winning producer “Needlz” mentioned that he “can’t wait till this @nicolebus album drops,” noting that it “sonically pays homage to all of [his] hip-hop heroes!” – Jamaal Meeks

Mandolin Orange, Tides of a Teardrop
February 1
Folk & Country

Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz have graced us with wonderful music as Mandolin Orange for almost a decade now, and the North Carolina duo has built a steadily growing following for each album. They might reach for the sky, but Mandolin Orange is grounded in deep American soil; old-time folk, bluegrass, gospel and country are all crucial elements in their sound, as is the beauty in their trademark vocal harmonies and hushed melodies. No Depression named them “one of the most talented acts making music today,” and praised their most recent album, Blindfaller (2016), as “another incarnation of pure brilliance, beauty and brunt force that will hit you like a ton of bricks.” - Bjørn Hammershaug

Mercury Rev, Bobbie Gentry’s The Delta Sweete Revisited
February 8
Folk & Country

Mercury Rev is not your average folk or country band, but this project by the psych-visionaries will most likely cross most genre boundaries. Bobbie Gentry’s The Delta Sweete Revisited is an adventurous rendition of Bobby Gentry’s astonishing and sadly overlooked 1968 album, featuring an impressive cast list of guest vocalists: Lucinda Williams, Margo Price, Beth Orton, Norah Jones, Vashti Bunyan, Hope Sandoval, Marissa Nadler, Rachel Goswel, Phoebe Bridgers and more. Recorded in the Catskills by founding core members of Jonathan Donahue and Grasshopper with Jesse Chandler (Midlake), Bobbie Gentry’s The Delta Sweete Revisited honors Bobbie Gentry’s creative triumph with spacious invention and hallucinatory flair. - Bjørn Hammershaug

Robert Ellis, Texas Piano Man
February 15
Folk & Country

Robert Ellis has dressed up in a white tuxedo and taken the role as THE Texas troubadour for his forthcoming album, fully embracing the character with grandiose ambitions and in the musical veins of Elton John, Leon Russell and Gram Parsons. “With Texas, people expect a certain thing and they want a certain thing, and I fought that for a long time,” Ellis has stated about the album. “I’ve realized though that Texas shouldn’t be made a category. I want to redefine what it means to be Texan a little bit.” - Bjørn Hammershaug

Ryan Bingham, American Love Song
February 15
Folk & Country

Southwestern storyteller Ryan Bingham will release his sixth album American Love Song on February 15th. Bingham rose to international fame and landed an Academy Award, a Grammy and a Golden Globe for his breakthrough hit “The Weary Kind” in 2009 (the theme song from Crazy Heart starring Jeff Bridges). His forthcoming album is co-produced by legendary Austin musician Charlie Sexton, and is Bingham’s first in four years. - Bjørn Hammershaug

Hayes Carll, What It Is
February 15
Folk & Country

Texas singer-songwriter Hayes Carll is about to return with his sixth album, What It Is, on February 15. With a career already packed with critical acclaim and accomplishments, he shows no signs of slowing down and playing it safe. “Repeating myself creatively would ultimately leave me empty,” Carll says. “Covering new ground, exploring, and taking chances gives me juice and keeps me interested.” For his new album, he returned to producer Brad Jones (Trouble in Mind (2008) and KMAG YOYO (2011)) and Alex the Great Studio in Nashville and recruited fellow singer-songwriter and fiancée Allison Moorer as co-producer. The production is adventurous while keeping the focus on the singer and his songs — and providing a path for him to go where he wants to go. Where that is is forward. - Bjørn Hammershaug

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