The most anticipated new albums of 2021

16 January 2021, 17:00

Royal Blood, Foo Fighters and Kings Of Leon - three artists who have confirmed album releases in 2021
Royal Blood, Foo Fighters and Kings Of Leon - three artists who have confirmed album releases in 2021. Picture: David Wolff - Patrick/Kevin Mazur/Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Radio X looks at the artists that will be coming back with new material this year... and who we're expecting to hear from.

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...

Read more: The Best Albums Of 2020

  1. Foo Fighters - Medicine At Midnight

    The tenth album from the Foos is due to land on 5 February, and we've already had a taste of two tracks, Shame Shame and No Son Of Mine, which have already built up some anticipation. The band's 25th anniversary celebrations were scuppered by COVID, but the new album will be a full-on Foos experience, according to Dave Grohl. "It's gonna bring everyone's f**king hearts together", said Big Dave last year.

  2. Kings Of Leon - When You See Yourself

    "We’ve never worked harder on an album and I don’t think we’ve ever been more proud of one," bassist Jared Followill told Radio X's Johnny Vaughan and you'll be able to judge for yourself on 5 March when their eighth studio album arrives. We're currently loving one of the lead tracks, The Bandit, but there's more where that came from.

  3. Royal Blood - TBA

    The preview single Trouble's Coming has whetted our appetite for the third album from Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher. With its dancefloor feel, the duo have promised a fair bit of sonic exploration on the new one. Kerr told Radio X that the album sees the pair plundering their record collections for inspirations and now they're making music "in colour for the first time".

  4. Weezer - Van Weezer

    Rivers Cuomo and co are industrious types, but the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to their Hella Mega Tour jaunt around the world with Green Day and Fall Out Boy. Nevertheless, Cuomo has promised a rockier sound for their fourteenth album, which is named as a tribute to the legendary metal guitarist Eddie Van Halen, who died last year. It's due on 7 May 2021.

  5. 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." The Chilis are due to play Bottlerock festival in May, so let's see whether there's any new material to be heard.

  6. Arcade Fire

    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.

  7. 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. However, he also said that the record was to have been released by Christmas 2019 and that there was enough material for three albums, so we won't rest until we actually hear the thing.

  8. The Killers - TBA

    Brandon Flowers revealed that the lack of a tour to support the band's last album Imploding The Mirage sent the frontman back to the piano to work on the follow-up, so who knows if it will appear in 2021? He noted that the new tunes have "weirdly Nineties vibrations and ruminations on being a teenager in a town where I felt hopeless". Cheers.

  9. Adele

    "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.

  10. Billie Eilish

    Billie Eilish performing live in Miami in March 2020
    Billie Eilish performing live in Miami in March 2020. Picture: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation

    Billie and brother Finneas have been busy in lockdown - she told Vanity Fair in October that she has 16 songs and that there would be some form of music project in 2021. Could this be the follow-up to When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?