Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Kevin Parker of Tame Impala (Photo: Scott Legato/Getty Images), Grimes (Photo: Geoff Robins/AFP via Getty Images), and Jungkook of BTS (Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
Graphic: Natalie Peeples

Many of the albums we’re most anticipating this month also made our 2020 preview: Tame Impala, Moses Sumney, Soccer Mommy, Grimes, Kvelertak. But as more releases get announced, we’ve got even more to look forward to over the coming weeks, which promise new work from Tennis, Envy, Kamaiyah, Katie Gately, Best Coast, and King Krule, among many others. Here are 25 albums we can’t wait to hear in February.


February 7

Beatrice Dillon, Workaround

Finally, we’re getting a full-length dose of solo Beatrice Dillon, the U.K. DJ and producer who has quietly been making a name for herself with globally inspired, hyper-rhythmic productions over the last six years. Her debut album, Workaround, will host a range of exciting collaborators, from Laurel Halo, to U.K. Bhangra pioneer Kuljit Bhamra on tabla, to Jonny Lam (Sinkane, Pharaoh Sanders) on pedal steel. Lam features brilliantly on first single “Workaround 2,” whose strength alone suggests Workaround will be one of the year’s earliest highlights in experimental dance music. [Kelsey J. Waite]

Envy, The Fallen Crimson

The Fallen Crimson is the sound of a rejuvenated and reunified Envy. After nearly 30 years together, in 2016, the band briefly fell apart when vocalist Tetsuya Fukagawa left, only to be followed by drummer Dairoku Seki and guitarist Masahiro Tobita. But, out of the blue, Fukagawa rejoined and a new lineup of Envy solidified. With The Fallen Crimson, the band proves just how powerful it remains. It’s a testament to Envy’s endless creative spirit and the fact that, nearly three decades in, it’s still better at making this kind of ambitious post-hardcore than almost anyone else. [David Anthony]


February 14

Beach Bunny, Honeymoon

You might mutter a tender “Oh, honey” after listening to Beach Bunny, but only because the Chicago four-piece’s fizzy, heartsick pop-rock is so utterly relatable. Obsessed with the crushes and insecurities of teenhood, the band came of age with bouncy earworms like “Prom Queen” and “Boys,” and Honeymoon is no different. “I’ll be under your window in the moonlight,” Lili Trifilio belts on lead single “Dream Boy,” her rich, penetrating vocals the audial manifestation of the heart eyes emoji. [Randall Colburn]

Ensnared, Inimicus Generis Humani

What made Ensnared’s debut album, Dysangelium, so compelling was the Swedish band’s ability to write punishing, creative death metal while also making regular, equally potent detours away from the genre. Though Inimicus Generis Humani features fewer interludes than its predecessor, they are still just as effective, as Ensnared never rely on spooky Halloween sounds but instead pen fully formed instrumental pieces that strengthen the focus of the songs they surround. [David Anthony]

Katie Gately, Loom

It’s still not a club anyone would join voluntarily, but profound grief can produce equally profound art. Experimental musician Katie Gately joins this reluctant coterie with her new album, Loom, inspired by the sudden death of her mother from cancer in 2018. Out of that sad experience comes a dense, dynamic set of compositions centered around “Bracer,” the lone track to make the transition from an entirely different album Gately scrapped around the time of her mother’s diagnosis. “Bracer” careens from ambient dissonance to vertigo-inducing synths with the ghastly flair of a haunted-house ride, accentuated by Gately’s signature samples—an unexpected variety of sounds that include the screaming of peacocks, a closing coffin, shovels, wolves, pill bottles, and field recordings of an earthquake. [Katie Rife]

Kvelertak, Splid

Kvelertak threw a party in the pit with its self-titled debut, a genuinely fun speedball of punk, metal, and cock rock. Ten years later, these genre mixologists are still bringing goofy ’80s excess to extreme music (or maybe vice versa), and winning over news fans like Dave Grohl in the process. Splid (that’s Norwegian for “discord”) is the band’s first album since parting ways with co-founding member Erlend Hjelvik, who’s passed frontman duties to one-time guest vocalist Ivar Nikolaisen. But the spirit of the enterprise hasn’t changed: It’s all pleasure all the time, just with somehow even bigger riffs and even a few songs in English, including “Crack Of Doom,” featuring Mastodon’s Troy Sanders. [A.A. Dowd]

Monsta X, All About Luv 

If there’s ever a time for large-scale declarations, it’s Valentine’s Day. South Korean pop act Monsta X isn’t just taking a walloping romantic swing: The group’s upcoming collection of love songs, All About Luv, will be entirely in English, a first for any K-pop group. As a blend of indulgent R&B harmonies and snappy pop synths, Monsta X’s latest foray into crossover certainty simultaneously takes risks and highlights some of its greatest strengths—specifically, music that is both sentimental and party-ready. Like its 2019 collaboration with rapper French Montana, “Who Do U Luv?,” Monsta X’s next studio album boasts a steadily maturing sound that is sure to push the group forward. [Shannon Miller]

Post Animal, Forward Motion Godyssey

Following the 2018 debut When I Think Of You In A Castle (which followed a few EPs), Chicago outfit Post Animal continues its arduous attempt to drag ’70s prog/psych/pop rock into the 21st century with second album Forward Motion Godyssey. Some of the first tracks released unfortunately indicate the band’s tendency to get bogged down in circuitous noodling and repetitive riffs (“Safe Or Not,” “Fitness”). But “Schedule” is a hopeful sign, an unabashed pop concoction with teen-idol vocals brightly heading toward a synth-fueled crescendo. [Gwen Ihnat]

Tame Impala, The Slow Rush

On the follow-up to 2015’s Currents, Kevin Parker has time on his mind: “It Might Be Time,” “Posthumous Forgiveness,” and “Lost In Yesterday” are three of four singles so far previewing The Slow Rush. Its songs promise to conjure “the feeling of a lifetime in a lightning bolt, of major milestones whizzing by while you’re looking at your phone, it’s a paean to creation and destruction and the unending cycle of life.” It’s easy to imagine how Parker’s immersive production might soundtrack those surreal experiences. [Kelsey J. Waite]

Tennis, Swimmer

A Valentine’s release seems like a no-brainer from a husband-and-wife act, but romance isn’t all that’s running beneath the surface of Tennis’ Swimmer. Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley’s latest set of breezy throwback pop has a somber backstory, one of hospital rooms and ailing parents, difficult phone calls and ashes spread at sea. (So when Moore launches a glittering chorus by calling out “Gonna take a miracle,” you know where she’s coming from.) Swimmer was forged in the type of fires that can only bring two people closer together—emotionally as well as musically, as heard in the locked-in tightness of “Need Your Love.” [Erik Adams]


February 20

Guided By Voices, Surrender Your Poppy Field

Despite a New Year’s Eve 100-song set that pushed even the stalwart Robert Pollard to his limit, the GBV rock ’n’ roll express is only picking up speed as it chugs into 2020. Cheekily billed as the band’s “first album of the decade,” Surrender Your Poppy Field takes its title from a list of fake band names Pollard used in the liner notes for a 2013 EP, and continues the band’s fuzzed-out voyages to the ragged edge of indie-rock aesthetics, particularly on the dynamic, guitar-driven single “Man Called Blunder.” [Katie Rife]


February 21

Best Coast, Always Tomorrow

It’s been five long years since California Nights, Best Coast’s last album, but any fears that the band has undergone some radical reinvention in its sound can be put aside (the title of first single “Everything Has Changed” notwithstanding). It’s immediately clear from the sunny, Weezer-meets-Gos-Gos riffing and melodies that Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno have crafted another record full of catchy pop rock. The guitars may ring with a slightly dirtier fuzz, but the group’s signature effervescence remains crystal clear. [Alex McLevy]

BTS, Map Of The Soul: 7

Map Of The Soul: Persona hinted toward an evolution in K-pop juggernaut BTS’ sound: Previously somewhat beholden to a solidly hip-hop tone, the group’s sixth EP bounced from electro-pop to sultry R&B. Follow-up 7, which was announced by surprise last month, will be an opportunity to further explore the band’s known range. While BTS’ work over the past year has radiated waves of color and positivity, recent teases of what’s to come already speak of a group that is ready to delve a little deeper. [Shannon Miller]

Greg Dulli, Random Desire

Following Afghan Whigs’ fine return to form on 2017’s In Spades (and the subsequent tragic death of the band’s guitarist, Dave Rosser), singer Greg Dulli decided it was time to make one of those DIY solo albums, writing and performing nearly every instrument and part on the record. The result, Random Desire, looks to be the best snapshot yet of the musician’s dark, soulful style, filled with minor-key grooves and stirring torch-song anthems driven by his whiskey-on-honey voice. [Alex McLevy]

Grimes, Miss Anthropocene

Yes, Grimes is pregnant with Elon Musk’s child and posting NSFW tweets about it. So what. If Miss Anthropocene’s lead singles are any indication, this LP—labored over for years—is going to rule. Her vocals pulsing beneath avalanches of Inception bass, songs like “My Name Is Dark” and “4ÆM” are immersive and atmospheric, perfectly melding the artist’s blend of mystical pop, club beats, and shadowy ambience. [Randall Colburn]

Kamaiyah, Got It Made

After the release of her acclaimed 2016 mixtape, A Good Night In The Ghetto, Kamaiyah seemed poised to break out in a big way, with a major-label deal and a ton of buzz around her fresh take on West Coast hip-hop. But issues with sample clearance have kept her Interscope debut from ever seeing the light of day. To keep fans satiated, Kamaiyah has been self-releasing singles and mixtapes like 2017’s Before I Wake. Got It Made will be another interim release before her proper debut drops, but don’t mistake it for a half measure: She and Trina trade blistering bars on first single “Set It Up.” [Kelsey J. Waite]

King Krule, Man Alive!

Archy Marshall, the genre-hopping artist behind King Krule (and a half a dozen other monikers), dropped one of 2017’s most acclaimed LPs in The Ooz. Now, he returns with Man Alive!, an album he announced with a 16-minute short film showcasing a handful of spare, skeletal tunes that, in their solitude, exude a wistful melancholy that’s more approachable than some of his jazzier punk anthems. [Randall Colburn]

Sam Sparro, Boombox Eternal 

Sam Sparro’s electro-pop hit “Black And Gold” was a disco-esque outlier when it exploded in 2008, though perhaps a foreshadowing of the dance-funk wave to come. Now the Aussie is back with a third album, Boombox Eternal. At once appropriate for the dance floor and a lazy Sunday morning, Sparro’s sound is still retro, but he’s flashed forward a couple of decades with a lead single—“Everything”—that sounds more like a 2020 take on Bobby Brown than Studio 54. [Patrick Gomez]

Sightless Pit, Grave Of A Dog

A collaborative record between members of Lingua Ignota, Full Of Hell, and The Body has been teased for some time, and with Grave Of A Dog, all that chatter has finally become reality. The album uses the noise-indebted parts that fans would expect from each artist, but they twist them in ways that wouldn’t fit so cleanly into their main acts. The result is a record that feels less like some rushed, supergroup-style effort and more like a project with its own vitality and utility. [David Anthony]


February 28

Caribou, Suddenly

Dan Snaith tells us what to expect from his fifth LP as Caribou right there in its title. Suddenly’s emotive, playful songs shift without warning, as Snaith reflects on “family and the changes we go through as those relationships evolve.” Lead single “Home” is characteristically overflowing with ideas: Snaith builds an R&B groove around samples of ’70s horns and Gloria Barnes’ soulful rasp, then warps it with harp, acoustic guitar, and his own tender falsetto. [Kelsey J. Waite]

Ratboys, Printer’s Devil

Anyone who last checked in with Ratboys on GN, their 2017 sophomore full-length, may be surprised by their evolution on follow-up Printer’s Devil: The Chicago group’s rootsy Americana has grown into anthemic rock ’n’ roll—still grounded in its alt-country beginnings, but now fiercely populist in its arena-ready pounding, alternating freely with gentler numbers. Printer’s Devil should document this shift with bracing immediacy. [Alex McLevy]

Shell Of A Shell, Away Team

While Shell Of A Shell was initially brought to life as a solo project for Chappy Hull of Pile and Gnarwhal, slowly, it became a fully realized band. On its debut full-length, Shell Of A Shell works its way through 10 tracks that sound like if ’90s Dischord Records bands all had a subtle country influence undercutting them. “Knock” perfectly encapsulates the band’s charms, proving that classic influences can still be twisted in exciting new ways. [David Anthony]

Soccer Mommy, Color Theory

Sophie Allison, a.k.a. Soccer Mommy, may not have cornered the market on downbeat rock that moves from languid to explosive with ethereal grace, but she makes a good case for being the primary shareholder. Color Theory finds her delving even deeper into the possibilities of understated and funereal rhythms and melodies, while exploring more cathartic moments of noise and release in the admixture, always delivering those cutting lyrics with her lovely, plainspoken drawl. [Alex McLevy]

Wajatta, Don’t Let Get You Down 

Reggie Watts is best known for blending comedy and music, but even his purely musical pursuits will put a smile on your face. Wajatta—a portmanteau of its members’ names—sees Watts teaming up with L.A. dance music legend John Tejada, for an uplifting blend of electronic beats and jazzy vocal improvisation that lives by one simple edict: “We make music so you can dance to it.” Wajatta’s second LP, Don’t Let Get You Down, reportedly draws from techno, house, funk, and hip-hop, so make sure your dancing shoes are laced up tight before putting it on. [Katie Rife]


TBD

Moses Sumney, grae (part one)

Moses Sumney follows up 2017’s Aromanticism and 2018 EP Black In Deep Red, 2014, with the sprawling double LP grae. The album will expand on those earlier efforts’ themes while strongly resisting easy categorization, both emotionally and sonically. In an inspired, high-drama pairing, standout third single “Me In 20 Years” features Daniel Lopatin, a.k.a. Oneohtrix Point Never, as co-producer. Grae’s first half will be released sometime this month, with the second to follow May 15. [Kelsey J. Waite]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter