The most anticipated new albums of 2021

8 July 2021, 12:04 | Updated: 13 August 2021, 15:01

Sam Fender is one of the artists releasing a new album in 2021
Sam Fender is one of the artists releasing a new album in 2021. Picture: Jack Whitefield/Press

Radio X looks at the artists that will be coming back with new material this year...

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, there were still a number of great albums released in 2020. But what of 2021? Lockdown life has meant no touring for artists, so they've headed back to the drawing board written more material! Potentially, then, 2021 could be a golden year for albums.

Here's what's definitely on the album release schedule for 2021 - and who we think could be dropping an album at some point in the next twelve months...

  1. The Killers - Pressure Machine

    • Released 13 August 2021
    • Hot on the heels of last year's Imploding The Mirage, comes Brandon Flowers and co's lockdown album.
    • Brandon noted that the new tunes have "weirdly Nineties vibrations and ruminations on being a teenager in a town where I felt hopeless".
    • "It's different," says guitarist Dave Keuning.
  2. Jungle - Loving In Stereo

    • The third album from the British production duo is released on 13 August 2021.
    • It's their first release since 2018's For Ever and the band will be touring in September.
    • New track Talk About It dropped at the beginning of June,
  3. Jake Bugg - Saturday Night, Sunday Morning

    • Released on 20 August 2021.
    • Long-awaited fifth album from the Nottingham singer-songwriter.
    • Includes the recent hit All I Need, as performed for Radio X recently.
  4. Shaun Ryder - Visits from Future Technology

    • The Happy Mondays frontman will release his second solo album on 20 August 2021.
    • It's the follow-up to 2003's Amateur Night In The Big Top, while Happy Mondays continue to play live.
  5. Manic Street Preachers - The Ultra Vivid Lament

    • The 14th studio album from the Welsh trio arrives on 3 September 2021.
    • The first single is titled Orwellian, which is about "the battle to claim meaning, the erasing of context within debate, the overriding sense of factional conflict driven by digital platforms leading to a perpetual state of culture war."
  6. Imagine Dragons - Mercury: Act 1

    • The fifth album from the Las Vegas indie pop band will be released on 3 September
    • It's the follow-up to 2018's Origins
    • The latest teaser from the album is the track Wrecked
  7. The Vaccines - Back In Love City

    • The long-awaited fifth album from the British indie rock band is released on 10 September
    • It's the follow-up to 2018's Combat Sports
    • Take a listen to the title track here
  8. Sam Fender - Seventeen Going Under

    • The second album from the North Shields singer-songwriter
    • It's the follow-up to 2019's acclaimed Hypersonic Missiles
    • Seventeen Going Under will be released on 8 October and the title track is out now
  9. Ladyhawke - Time Flies

    • The fourth album from New Zealander Pip Brown will be released on 8 October 2021.
    • It follows 2016's Wild Things and there's a teaser in the shape of Mixed Emotions.
  10. The Charlatans - A Head Full Of Ideas

    • A 30 year retrospective of the British band's career
    • A double album set released on 15 October 2021
    • There will be an accompanying tour kicking off in November
  11. Damon Albarn - The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows

    • The Blur and Gorillaz man's latest solo album will arrive on 12 November
    • The new material is inspired by the landscapes of Iceland and Damon will tour the work with an orchestra in 2022
    • It follows the release of Everyday Robots in 2014
  12. Lana Del Rey - Blue Bannisters

    • The eighth studio album from the American singer-songwriter was due to be released on 4 July, but is currently listed as "later..." by the musician.
    • Originally titled Rock Candy Sweet, she says of the album: "I'm writing my own story. And no one can tell it but me."
    • Three tracks have already been issued: the title track, Text Book and Wildflower Wildfire.
  13. Blink-182 - TBA

    Travis Barker confirmed in an Instagram post in January that new Blink material was due "this year".

  14. Red Hot Chili Peppers - TBA

    Anthony Kiedis performing with Red Hot Chili Peppers back in 2017
    Anthony Kiedis performing with Red Hot Chili Peppers back in 2017. Picture: Jim Spellman/WireImage/Getty Images
    • This will be one of the most keenly-awaited albums of recent times - the return of guitarist John Frusciante to the Chili Peppers family. However, the pandemic has caused havoc with the band's schedule, as he explained to the ABC: "
    • We were rehearsing for a couple of months, then the quarantine started and then we stopped rehearsing for a couple of months. Then we went back to rehearsing."
    • Their 2021 festival appearances have been postponed and Chad Smith reckons the Chilis won't tour until next year now.
  15. Arcade Fire - TBA

    Win Butler on stage with Arcade Fire on 14 February 2020
    Win Butler on stage with Arcade Fire on 14 February 2020. Picture: Erika Goldring/Getty Images
    • Win Butler told producer Rick Rubin on his podcast that he'd already written a stack of songs before the COVID-19 pandemic hit - and since then he's been even busier.
    • He claimed that the band went into the studio in Texas during the run-up to the US election in November, so we could see something concrete in 2021.
  16. The Cure - TBA

    Robert Smith onstage with The Cure in October 2019
    Robert Smith onstage with The Cure in October 2019. Picture: Rick Kern/WireImage/Getty Images
    • Robert Smith has been working on the follow-up to 2008's 4:13 Dream since 2019 and claims to have recorded a full set of tunes for an album that has the working title of Live From The Moon, recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales, where Queen gave birth to Bohemian Rhapsody.
    • Speaking about a collaboration with the Scottish band CHVRCHES on 2 June, Smith claimed it would be about "six weeks" until he could reveal news about The Cure's future plans.
  17. Adele - TBA

    • "Peace out til next year" was how Adele signed off an Instagram post on 28 October, after she hosted Saturday Night Live in the US.
    • It's been over five years since the release of 25, and session drummer Matt Chamberlain revealed last month that he'd been recording with the star.