Jay-Z – Magna Carta Holy Grail (July 4)
Oddly, Shawn Knowles-Carter’s twelfth studio album won’t be preceded by any singles, but we have heard its bonus track, ‘Open Letter’. We also know that it will feature, in one form or another (deep breath): Kanye West, Mike Will Made It, Rick Rubin, Swizz Beatz, Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, Frank Ocean and Justin Timberlake. Jay has said of Magna Carta Holy Grail: “The album is about, like this duality of how do you navigate through this whole thing, through success, through failures, through all this and remain yourself.”
AlunaGeorge – Body Music (July 29)
The hotly-tipped English electro duo made up of Aluna Francis’s childlike vocals and George Reid’s sparse production are due to release their debut album this summer. Their collaboration with Disclosure on the hook-heavy ‘White Noise’ helped to raise their profile, along with a Baauer remix of their single ‘Attracting Flies’.
Sky Ferreira – I Will (tba; summer)
LA native Sky Ferreira is only 20, but the release of her debut album will be the culmination of years’ worth of label struggles, rewrites and delays. However, it should be worth the wait – her excellent EP Ghost, released last year, showed a maturation of her sound and a range of genres, from the grungey ‘Red Lips’ to the sleek, Dev Hynes-produced ‘Everything is Embarrassing’.
M.I.A. – Mathangi (any moment now)
When M.I.A.‘s fourth album will actually appear is anyone’s guess. Two release dates in January and April this year have already been and gone, but earlier this week she released a video for the album’s first official single ‘Bring the Noize’. M.I.A. claims the delay is due to battles with her label, Interscope. In an interview in January she said: “I finished it and then I handed the record in, like a couple of months ago. At the moment, I’ve been told it’s too positive. So we’re having a bit of an issue at the label. They’re like, ‘You need to darken it up a bit.’ I don’t know what it is but as soon as I work that out… I’m taking my time to decide what they mean.”
Arctic Monkeys – AM (September 9)
Sheffield’s second most famous musical outfit (the first being the Human League, obviously) will release their fifth studio album in September. It features guest appearances from Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, Bill Ryder-Jones from the Coral, and Pete Thomas, who drummed for Elvis Costello. Newly-released single ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ picks up where their last album, Suck It and See, left off, with a downtempo groove and clear influences from their time with desert-sludge-rock mastermind Josh Homme.