Now that 2013 is in the rearview mirror, we're headed into the new year with sky-high expectations for an amazing run of releases by some of our favorite artists. While 2014 is sure to deliver some tremendous surprises and developments still under wraps, we're already amped as hell for what's on the release calendar. From Jack White to Foo Fighters, Beck to Mastodon and beyond, check out our run of 20 Rock Albums to Look Forward To in 2014!
Band of Horses
Acoustic at the Ryman, recorded over a two-night run in April of 2013, arrives Feb. 11th and captures the spirit of the legendary Nashville venue and filters it through the band’s captivating live show.
Keep an ear out for the added strength of “Slow Cruel Hands of Time” and “The Funeral”.
Beck has signed to Capitol Records, with his first album of new material in nearly six years scheduled for release in February 2014. The album, titled Morning Phase, is described as a spiritual successor to Sea Change, Beck's eighth album. This is a serious blow to fans looking for a more upbeat return, rather than the heartbreak doldrums of Sea Change.
We’ll be seeing two albums in 2014 from the man, so we’re still holding out hope.
The Black Keys
After the unbelievable success of El Camino, Dan Auerbach reassured fans that they would be able to make their next album in just "two weeks."
That was nearly two years ago, and we’re still waiting for the band's eighth studio album. Maybe they’re just going the extra mile to make sure it doesn’t sound anything like Jack White.
Psychedelically-tinted indie rock project Broken Bells returns with a second album, After the Disco, which arrives Jan. 14. Brian Burton (better known as Danger Mouse) teams up again with The Shins’ James Mercer, and we can’t wait to hear what comes next.
Live band includes Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band sidemen Nate Walcott and Nik Freitas, and Jonathan Hischke and Dan Elkan, both ex-members of Hella.
Out Among The Stars, recorded by Cash and Billy Sherrill between 1981 and 1984, was never released by the country singer’s label Columbia Records, and is finally seeing the light of day following an agreement with the late legend’s estate. On March 24th, the world will hear the songs for the first time.
Out Among The Stars was recorded during the rise of pop-country, and the 12 songs didn’t mess with current popular trends. Sherrill, who was Columbia Records' head of artist development at the time, recalls the experience as something of an experiment. He produced the sessions, which included a duet between Cash and his wife, June Carter, and one with Waylon Jennings.
Learn more about the album here.
The band are working on the follow-up to this year’s tremendous The Bones Of What You Believe, which ranked among CraveOnline's Top 20 Albums of 2013. We STILL can't get "The Mother We Share" out of our heads... and that's not a complaint.
Florece and The Machine
It’s been more than two years since Ceremonials gave girls a soundtrack to leaving their shitty boyfriends in slightly less psychotic ways than Fiona Apple. Now it’s time for Florence to step up and keep the momentum going.
Foo Fighters centerpiece Dave Grohl revealed back in August that the band’s next album has already been mostly written. We have been in our studio writing," Grohl told XFM's Sunta Templeton, "and in the past few weeks, we've written an album and we are going to make this album in a way that no one's ever done before, and we're pretty excited about it." “It's a little way off – it's not ready to happen right now, but I think next year is going to be a really big year for the Foo Fighters without question. It's going to be great, I can't wait,“ Grohl gushed.
In June, drummer Taylor Hawkins told Billboard that Grohl was “working overtime” on a specific concept for the record. And that’s been confirmed by guitarist Chris Shiflett, who said Grohl is onto something exciting.
“I can’t go into too much detail," he teased, "but I’m excited about it. Dave’s got a bunch of new songs and the way that we’re gonna make the new record – like, the approach for it – is gonna be pretty fucking fun. And different. I feel like Dave’s always looking for ways – when we go to make records and we tour – to keep things exciting and keep things inspired and fun. I think he’s got some good ideas for this next one.”
Learn more about the new album here.
Guns N Roses
Technically speaking, this album shouldn't be anywhere near this list. After the 14 year wait for Chinese Democracy, let’s not get our hopes up. But GNR have reportedly spent much of 2013 in the studio, and guitarist Richard Fortus has confirmed that the band were aiming for a 2014 release. We’ll see.
After a brief hiatus following their 2010 release, the band is currently working on new material. August was a "breeding ground" for productivity for the band.
Jack White / The Raconteurs
When Jack goes quiet, you know there’s a storm coming. In between his extensive production and reissue plans for his Third Man Records imprint, White has been at work with his Dead Weather and Raconteurs comrades - and while new music from the latter has been promised for 2015, this year may once again see the rise of Jack, Brendan, LJ and Dean in the Raconteurs. Or, we could see a follow-up to White’s magnificent solo debut Blunderbuss in 2014. Time will tell…
Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince have confirmed they're working on a new album, the duo's fifth, for a 2014 release. After the excellence of 2011’s Blood Pressures, the two have their work cut out for them.
Promising a continuation of where they left off with The Hunter, the metal beasts of Mastodon are busy recording as we speak. We’ll keep our metal horns sharp for this inevitable juggernaut.
Death Magnetic came out five years ago, and the boys in Metallica have been on a relentless promotional trek since then. Between their 3D movie Metallica Through The Never and touring, somehow the band have written “tons of material” for their next release.
As for timelines, Hetfield said in a recent interview: “We go full-throttle into something and multitasking is not what we're after. So the next record will hopefully start some time in the spring.” Trujillo told Classic Rock: “In 2014 it’ll be all about getting new music – without any interruptions, hopefully.”
Radiohead is already underway on the follow-up to The King of Limbs, now that Thom Yorke has returned from an immensely popular run with Atoms for Peace – his side project with Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea, longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, and others. Last summer, the band recorded at least one new track at Jack White's Nashville studio on their way to Bonnaroo.
"I love it," White told Rolling Stone. "So I hope that's gonna come out soon. It's up to Radiohead. I don't know where they're at with it." Neither do we, but our hopes are very high.
If they can get their drummer situation in check (here are ten replacement suggestions for Joey), Slipknot is expected to begin work on album number five in 2014, their first since the death of bassist Paul Gray.
“We’re just getting demos together right now, and [we're] hoping to get into the studio in the summer next year,” said Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor during the Bass Player LIVE! Concert and Awards Show.
He promised that the material is “very heavy,” continuing, “I mean, just based on the stuff that I’ve been demoing and the stuff that I’ve been working with Joey (Jordison, former Slipknot drummer) on, honestly, it’s like Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) meets Iowa. It’s really dark, but there’s some really good esoteric stuff to it, a lot of good melody without taking away from the heaviness. It’s gonna be pretty rad.”
With Tom Morello on the six-string, Bruce Springsteen returns January 14 with High Hopes, a collection of covers, and reworked unreleased material.
We’ll hear some tracks recorded earlier this year while The Boss was on tour in Australia, with Morello filling in for Steven Van Zandt. Morello is reportedly playing on eight of the album’s twelve tracks, which also feature late E Street Band members Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons.
When a new Tool record approaches, the entire music world stops to pay attention. Unfortunately, the waiting never seems to end. The band has been writing since 2011, but with enigmatic frontman Maynard James Keenan’s focus shifting to winemaking, Puscifer and A Perfect Circle, there hasn’t been a front-burner rush to get a follow-up out to 2007’s unbelievably awesome 10,000 Days.
However, in a visit to Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, Maynard got everyone’s jimmies rustled and chakras a-jumble by dropping the following news regarding actual progress on a new album: “I’m gonna stop by the rehearsal space today, in theory, having beaten them up going, “please give me music, please give me music, please give me music, please give me music, please give me music.” In theory they have a CD for me today, to listen to some jams, so we can get this thing going.”
The band had planned to wrap recording on their hotly anticipated next studio album before Christmas. “We're in the studio. We're trying to get these 12 songs absolutely right and get them finished by the end of November, and then we can kind of enjoy Christmas,” bassist Adam Clayton said on 98 FM’s Dermot and Dave show.
The release will be the follow-up to 2009's No Line on the Horizon, which was met with lukewarm enthusiasm. Producers Danger Mouse, Will.i.am and David Guetta have all reportedly recorded tracks with the band, and “Ordinary Love" from the Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom soundtrack is a promising sign of what’s to come.
St. Vincent will return with her fourth album on February 25th. The self-titled release will be Annie Clark's first release on Loma Vista after leaving 4AD.
Written with Dap-Kings drummer Homer Steinweiss and Midlake percussionist McKenzie Smith, the vibes were central to the motivation on this one "I knew the groove needed to be paramount," Clark said in a press release. "I wanted to make a party record you could play at a funeral." John Congleton (the Mountain Goats, Modest Mouse) returns as producer.
Photo: Johnny Firecloud