upcoming rock albums 2021
[Photos by: Evanescence/P.R. Brown, blink-182/Apple, Meet Me @ The Altar/Lindsey Byrnes, Every Time I Die/Ryan Bakerink, Maggie Lindemann/Provided]

This year’s biggest lesson for most of us has been to expect the unexpected. While that mainly went for life itself, it certainly also applied to music. But still, there’s a lot to look forward to in the most anticipated albums of 2021

2020 saw plenty of surprise drops and album release-date pushbacks. So, really, it’s hard to tell exactly what we can expect from some of our favorite artists in 2021. Still, we’ve compiled a list of albums that artists have either teased, promised with a release date or pushed back from their initial scheduled releases this year. Hopefully nothing gets in the way of hearing these ones in the next 12 months. Check out some of the most anticipated upcoming albums of 2021 below.  

Read more: The 50 best albums of 2020

3OH!3

EXPECT IT: TBD via Photo Finish

3OH!3 are coming back to save 2020 and hopefully start 2021 off on a good note with their forthcoming album. The duo of Nathaniel Motte and Sean Foreman gave fans a taste of the upcoming record by releasing their first music in four years, “LONELY MACHINES” featuring 100 gecs. For the follow up to 2016’s NIGHT SPORTS, they’re turning back to their WANT era (and label, Photo Finish Records) but with a whole new twist.—Alex Darus

24kGoldn – El Dorado

EXPECT IT: TBD via Columbia

Nobody in popular music had a brighter breakout in 2020 than 20-year-old Golden Landis von Jones. 24kGoldn monopolized an otherwise dreary year with blissful breakout singles “CITY OF ANGELS” and “Mood,” the second of which secured him multiple back-and-forth No. 1 placements on Billboard’s Hot 100. But his pop-radio appeal doesn’t mean the young star is easy to characterize. His ability to fuse alt vocal flourishes with chipper hip-hop production is the key ingredient in his appeal, mainstream and beyond. In return, fans are waiting patiently to see where the genre-bender’s sound propels him next in 2021. And we’re even more excited to see what he can do with a full arsenal of tracks under his belt with his debut LP, El Dorado.—Brenton Blanchet

’68 – Give One, Take One

EXPECT IT: Spring via Cooking Vinyl

The third album from ’68 was a casualty of the coronavirus pandemic. But we promise that staying on the back burner of the great rock ’n’ roll stove for a year hasn’t tempered the heat emanating from Josh Scogin and Nikko Yamada. Indeed, Nick Raskulinecz’s production has made the band more linear and fearless—sometimes simultaneously (“Nickels And Diamonds”). ’68 have both confounded and enraptured generations of hardcore types, alt-rock snobs and passionate fans on the fringes of both camps. With Give One, Take One, the duo are coming after your complacency. Turn it up because resistance is futile.Jason Pettigrew

Against Me! 

EXPECT IT: TBD via Total Treble

Against Me! founder Laura Jane Grace chronicled her locked-down 2020 on social media and on the stripped-down and out solo LP, Stay Alive. While her declarations of self (solo and as a member of the Devouring Mothers) continue to transfix listeners, anticipation for new Against Me! music continues to loom large. Will the follow-up to 2016’s Shape Shift With Me become a reality in 2021? Both COVID-19 lockdowns and geography have kept the band members from reconvening in 2020. Listeners of a certain age swear that AM! deliver the same kind of passion the Clash did in the ’80s. When there’s a thrill, there’s a way, so we’re hoping the stars and hearts align to make this release a reality. [JP]  

Angels & Airwaves

EXPECT IT: TBD via Rise

Without releasing an album, Angels & Airwaves made serious noise over the past two years. “Rebel Girl” and “Kiss & Tell” turned out to be two of their biggest tracks. The band fired up the tour bus for the first time in seven years and joined forces with ILLENIUM to drop “Paper Thin.” How about an actual album, boys? Just before the pandemic, Tom DeLonge revealed the band were recording new music. He’s confirmed multiple times that a new record is on its way. With the singles released so far, it’s clear fans have plenty more to expect from the wildly creative genre giant.—Ryan Piers

Architects – For Those That Wish To Exist

EXPECT IT: Feb. 26 via Epitaph

Ever since 2014’s Lost Forever // Lost Together, Architects have been at the forefront of mainstream metalcore and paved the way for the genre’s cinematic atmospheric turn. This year marks their longest break between records and their ninth full-length venture, For Those That Wish To Exist. Unleashing a scathing attack on humanity’s destruction of nature and the world we populate, this follow-up to 2018’s Holy Hell promises a deeply disturbing, eye-opening reflection on mankind’s failures not too dissimilar to that of LF // LT’s “Colony Collapse.” After a traumatic year, Architects head back to the top of their game to remind us of all the disasters from which 2020 distracted us.—Ali Cooper

Ashnikko – DEMIDEVIL

EXPECT IT: Feb. 19 via Warner

If the dreamy track “Daisy” sounds familiar but you can’t quite place it, you may know Ashnikko’s chart-topping hit single from going viral (again) on TikTok. After gaining lots of new fans, it’s fair to say that many people are excited to see what else the character-driven rapper/singer has in store. We got a taste of the forthcoming 10-track album DEMIDEVIL when she released “Cry” featuring Grimes, which was a unique combo of Ashnikko’s melodic vocals, punchy raps and Grimes’ celestial voice. Ashnikko’s full debut record was slated for release in November 2020 (with Princess Nokia also confirmed to be featured), but we know it’s well worth the wait. Frankly, we’re excited as the last song is called “Clitoris! The Musical.” An innovative artist who shares sex positivity, messages of female empowerment and overall badassery—it can’t get better than that.—Maria Serra 

Badflower

EXPECT IT: TBD

Since the release of singer Josh Katz’s birthday anthem “30,” Badflower fans have been anxiously awaiting news of more music. Following the release of their debut album, OK, I’M SICK, in 2019, the band released a studio version of “Move Me” and an acoustic version of “Promise Me.” Over the course of 2020, Katz has tweeted several times over the band account about different writing sessions. Early in the year he gave an update on the album, saying that the “emo level is infinite” for the new tracks. Seeing as 2020 was such a rough year, we wouldn’t expect anything less.—Alyssa Quiles

Beartooth

 

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A post shared by Caleb Shomo (@calebshomo)

EXPECT IT: TBD

Having started writing on the road at the beginning of 2020, Beartooth’s Caleb Shomo shared snippets of their upcoming fourth LP back in March and June. The singer posted another video of a heavy breakdown that leaves you eager for more just ahead of confirming they finished recording in late November. When asked what their first studio output since 2018’s Disease would sound like, Shomo said “if Disease was AC/DC, this record is Black Sabbath” but will still include the sonic elements the band are known for. [AQ]

Billie Eilish

EXPECT IT: TBD

Billie Eilish has given us a few glimpses this year at her forthcoming sophomore album, which she’s been working on during the pandemic, with introspective tracks such as “my future” and “Therefore I Am.” It might be a while until we finally get to hear it, as the singer has no plans to release the album during the pandemic and will unveil it when the timing is right. However, Eilish did reveal that she has 16 songs written in her annual Vanity Fair interview in October. Fans globally are eager to see how the 18-year-old artist will follow up her record-breaking debut, WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? [AD]

Black Veil Brides – The Phantom Tomorrow

EXPECT IT: Spring via Sumerian Records

Black Veil Brides announced the release date of their next studio effort, The Phantom Tomorrow, with the promise of a new concept album. The last time the group dropped a concept LP was in 2013 with Wretched And Divine. They first began teasing the new era in late October with a scavenger hunt and cryptic tweets. With the release of “Scarlet Cross” in November, BVB gave fans a first look. In the track’s music video, we’re introduced to the album’s antihero The Blackbird and a group of outcasts known as The Phantom Tomorrow. Produced by Jake Pitts, the album will explore the band’s other creative outlets such as comic book design. [AQ]

blink-182

EXPECT IT: TBD

Just before blink-182 put out their surprise “Quarantine” single in August, drummer Travis Barker revealed that the band were planning on releasing a full EP later that summer. Obviously that never happened, but apparently the EP is still coming out, just next year. Spoiler alert: It may be as a full album, and the songs sonically reference 1999’s Enema Of The State and 2001’s Take Off Your Pants And Jacket. If so, we give 2021 a fucking 10 already. Until the release actually happens, listen to their other EP Dogs Eating Dogs on repeat for good luck!—Scott Waldman

Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!

EXPECT IT: TBD via Fearless

In May, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! revealed that new music was in the works. Like everything else, it appears the pandemic tripped up the process. That’s the bad news. The good news is our favorite post-hardcore Frenchmen are poised to drop a new album in the coming year. Singer Bertrand Poncet is producing it, like he did for their popular 2010 record, Something For Nothing. It’ll be the band’s first release since “Blame It On This Song” in 2016. We’re blaming the pandemic for the delay, adding to our excitement for CNCC’s next chapter. [RP]

Circa Survive and Saosin

EXPECT IT: TBD

2021 might have much Greener pastures than its extremely brown predecessor, as both Circa Survive and Saosin may release two separate new full-lengths. It will be a lucky seventh from Circa (we’re the fortunate ones) and LP No. 4 (Anthony Green’s second full-length with the band) from Saosin. Now all we need is for the Sound Of Animals Fighting to get back in the saddle and for Green to make another solo acoustic record. It’s not easy being Green, who said the timing for both was “very challenging” at the end of 2019, but it sure is listening to his sweet unique voice. Our ears should have much, much more AG material in 2021. [SW] 

A Day To Remember – You’re Welcome

EXPECT IT: March 5 via Fueled By Ramen

A steady trickle of singles with “Degenerates,” “Resentment” and “Mindreader” likely did little to satisfy A Day To Remember’s ravenous fanbase, eager for the band’s first album in nearly five years. The wait is almost over. Originally expected to release in late 2019, the band recently dropped latest single “Brick Wall” and announced You’re Welcome will officially drop in March, making it one of the first major releases of 2021. The band’s attention to detail may have caused the delay, as frontman Jeremy McKinnon said “they made sure every element is perfect.” Few bands go above and beyond for their music like ADTR. [RP]

The Dirty Nil – Fuck Art

EXPECT IT: Jan. 1 via Dine Alone

Are the Dirty Nil the second coming of Nirvana playing a treasure trove of unreleased Paul Westerberg demos? Or are they just glorious fuck-up savants capable of stirring our souls? Probably the latter, but who cares? Fuck Art reinforces their skill at cooking up killer riffs and shouty vocals like nobody else. It helps that the trio all live in the same house and were part of their own lockdown bubble, so they were able to complete their record in a marathon session. Producer John Goodmanson actually supervised mixes via Zoom, thereby making sure Fuck Art made deadlines in the era of corona. From fear of commitment (“Blunt Force Concussion”) to the last (potential) thoughts racing through Elvis Presley’s head during his death (“Elvis ’77”), the Dirty Nil are the smartest, tough-rockin’ jackasses in the room. Damn right, we’re gonna pay attention… [JP]

Electric Century – Electric Century

 

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A post shared by Mikey Way (@mikeyway)

EXPECT IT: Mid-February

Mikey Way and Dave Debiak—known to your devices as Electric Century—are bringing it large on the follow-up to their 2018 debut, For The Night To Control. Produced by Ray Toro and mixed by Patrick DiCenso (the Shades), the eponymous release looks like Way and Debiak’s most realized effort yet. Says one insider close to the project, “The songs feel like they were written for an album and not a playlist.” We’re equally stoked for the graphic novel of the same name, written by Way and Shaun Simon and illustrated by Toby Cypress. The only thing we’re definitely sure of is that the record and book exist autonomously of each other and that they merely share a title. We suspect that the same anthemic qualities that permeated their previous album will be as bright as the marquee lights on the packaging. [JP]

ERRA

EXPECT IT: TBD via UNFD

While riding out the crest of the wave that’s taken them to new career heights in the wake of 2018’s Neon, ERRA join UNFD to produce another aural onslaught hell-bent on leaving our melted faces on the sidewalk. It’ll explore new angles on clean vocals that deliver their trademark devastating narratives and a Tool-esque instrumental vibe bubbling to the surface. If the refreshing electronic flair of August’s rousing single “Snowblood” and the mind-bending “House Of Glass” are anything to go by, the outfit’s fifth incarnation is sure to dominate prog metalcore in 2021. [AC]

Evanescence – The Bitter Truth

EXPECT IT: March 26 via BMG Rights Management

Over the course of three full-lengths since their debut, Fallen, Evanescence have been steadfastly uncompromising and unapologetic—which is exactly what we’re most anticipating on their fifth record, The Bitter Truth. Originally expected in 2020, Amy Lee and co. have already delivered four massive singles from the album, each pushing the group beyond their previous limitations. After forming on the foundation of escapism, it’s clear that Evanescence have built a platform of empowerment, and they’re determined to spread that to their fanbase.—Paige Owens

Every Time I Die

EXPECT IT: TBD via Epitaph

A few years removed from releasing their widely acclaimed eighth album, Low Teens, Every Time I Die have made bold claims that they believe their upcoming record is their greatest yet. The band just gave the first proper preview of what they have in store with “A Colossal Wreck” and “Desperate Pleasures.” If those two tracks match up to the remainder of the album, they’ll have far exceeded expectations that have been building for over a year now. The longstanding hardcore act have stepped their game up with each release and are set to do so yet again.—Joe Smith-Engelhardt

Foo Fighters – Medicine At Midnight

EXPECT IT: Feb. 5 via RCA

It’s hard to believe that Foo Fighters have been consistently releasing albums since 1995. They aren’t stopping anytime soon, as the band’s 10th effort, Medicine At Midnight, has an official release date of Feb. 5. If the Foos’ SNL performance of the record’s first single “Shame Shame” is any indication of the overall sound of the record, then the album vibe is more funky chill than their prior releases, and the melodies are tinged with a different blend of whiskey soul. We’re ready to hear the other eight tracks. Hopefully drummer/Dave Grohl superfan Nandi Bushell makes a cameo on the record. [SW]

Frank Iero And The Future Violents — Heaven Is A Place, This Is A Place EP

EXPECT IT: Jan. 15 via UNFD

This four-song EP of a spirited performance of Frank Iero And The Future Violents would’ve looked good under whatever religious totem you have in your home this time of year. Instead, it’s around to give you hope that 2021 will be a better year. Three tracks were leftover from the Electrical Audio sessions that yielded Iero’s ambitious Barriers LP (including the recently released “Sewerwolf”). Multi-instrumentalist Kayleigh Goldsworthy brings her sense of the appropriate to a cover of R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion,” recorded at the BBC Studios. Prepare yourself for the epic six-and-a-half-minute “Record Ender,” the post-rock track with strands of Explosions In The Sky, Dinosaur Jr. and Mineral in its DNA. This Barriers companion piece is as necessary to your collection as oxygen is to your pets. [JP]

Ghost

EXPECT IT: TBD

The burning question for 2021: Can Ghost possibly top Prequelle? After three years of satanic panic since their last blockbusting effort, the iconic metal outfit are giving it their best shot after entering the studio during lockdown with plans to release their next album mid-year. With the bar set astoundingly high in the wake of “Rats”’ plague-ridden contagion and “Dance Macabre“’s sinister floor-filler, their next effort is bound to be packed to the rafters with singalongs and sneaky religious denunciations. With their next era fronted by the mysterious newly elected incarnation of vocalist Tobias Forge’s alter ego Cardinal Copia, now known as Papa Emeritus IV, what crypt-kicking antics Ghost have in store for album No. 4 is anybody’s guess. [AC]

Halestorm

EXPECT IT: TBD

The catastrophe known as 2020 hasn’t stalled rock stalwarts Halestorm’s productivity in the slightest. Hot on the heels of their Reimagined EP that took their most memorable tracks and revitalized them with acoustic vigor, 2021 heralds the arrival of their fifth album and hotly anticipated follow-up to 2018’s Vicious. While we know the band are considering a “double record” with more than 60 demos in the works, very little else is known about the style and content of the beloved rockers’ new incarnation. However, we can already guarantee it’ll be packed with lung-busting singalongs fronted by the captivating chops of Lzzy Hale and jams that will make us all wish we’d kept up guitar lessons. [AC]

Ice Nine Kills

EXPECT IT: TBD via Fearless

Spencer Charnashorror love is writ large (in blood) all over Ice Nine Kills’ lyrics and this very website. The Massachusetts metalcore band treat songs like chapters in tomes of terror tropes. Literature takes the lead on Every Trick In The Book, while The Silver Scream finds filmic inspiration. The latter catapulted the partially masked crew to new heights, matching their grandiose, appropriately cinematic sound. With a tease of new music in the works in March, where do they go after covering the classics? (It, Scream, The Crow, Saw, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday The 13th and Halloween have all met their cleaver.) Might we suggest delving into Charnas’ cult favorites? Or perhaps keep it more modern; an It Follows song could feature guest screams from actor and metal vocalist Keir Gilchrist.—Bradley Zorgdrager

Jinjer

EXPECT IT: TBD

Djent noise-makers Jinjer massively impressed the metal world with their 2019 record, Macro, and are sure to improve and leave a mark once again with their next release. They’ve been constantly stepping their game up with each subsequent album and earning their place within the industry through rigorous touring and proficiency in crafting elegant, technical and heavy music. They went into 2020 hungry to show what they’re capable of, writing the beginning stages of their next album, and now they’re finally positioned to prove what they’re worth. [JS]

Job For A Cowboy

EXPECT IT: TBD

Job For A Cowboy vocalist Jonny Davy recently reflected on their deathcore classic Doom EP for its 15th anniversary in an interview with Alternative Press. Don’t think nostalgia is creeping in, though. The one-time pig squealer proclaimed, “My perception of it now is that it doesn’t hold up very well.” Musically, the band’s first album in seven years will continue their constant evolution. Despite the fact that Davy doesn’t “think [they’ll] ever release the same record twice,” their last LP stands as a harbinger. The progressive, technical death-metal sound on 2014’s Sun Eater gives us plenty to be excited about. The fact that it’s lyrically a sequel? Even more so. [BZ]

Juliet Simms

EXPECT IT: TBD via Sumerian

Juliet Simms has kept her fans on the edge of their seats since the release of “Bad Love” in 2019. Her tenacious vocals are paired with bold music that are showcased with an empowering visual. Accompanied by slithering snakes and carelessly placed roses, Simms embraces the simplicity of being fearless. She’s continued this mindset throughout 2020, with the release of tracks such as “All American,” where she softens her voice while still driving in her own edge. The two other tracks on her latest Descent EP, “You’re Gonna Lose The Best Thing In Your Life” and “Real Bad Things,” carry out the same daring atmosphere. All the while, fans still have her appearance in Paradise City to look forward to. Simms celebrates her individuality and hopefully carries it into 2021 for her fanbase to hear it.—Tabitha Timms

Julien Baker – Little Oblivions

EXPECT IT: Feb. 26 via Matador

Recorded in her hometown of Memphis, Little Oblivions sees Julien Baker returning for her third studio album. This time around, Baker opted for a fuller sound (bass, drums, keyboards, banjo and mandolin) to expand her universe beyond stripped-back piano and guitar arrangements. What’s more, she plays most of these instruments herself as well as boasts a producer cred. All this is apparent on lead single “Faith Healer,” a metaphor about the power of vices and how they intersect with our lives. Across three minutes, Baker personifies the highs and lows of addiction by building up and tearing down cathartic swells of sound that threaten to swallow her whole but never succeed in catching her.—Neville Hardman

Machine Gun Kelly

EXPECT IT: TBD via Bad Boy/Interscope Records

Machine Gun Kelly surprised fans in 2020 with his decision to give pop punk a try. However, the risky genre switch clearly worked out for him. His latest album, Tickets To My Downfall, went on to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the first in his career. Shortly after the LP’s debut, MGK revealed that he plans to release another record sometime in 2021. Machine Gun Kelly hasn’t shared whether or not he’s returning to his rap roots or continuing down his successful pop-punk path for this next album. However, he and Travis Barker have been collaborating on even more music in the studio this fall, hinting that we could hear more of that Tickets To My Downfall sound sometime in 2021.—Rachael Dowd

Maggie Lindemann

EXPECT IT: Jan. 22 via  Caroline Records/swixxz audio

You can start your year off with a bang as 22-year-old musician and entrepreneur Maggie Lindemann is releasing her debut EP, PARANOIA, in January. In a short span of time, she’s already impressed mainstream pop as well as alternative fans with her fusion of bright, warm vocals paired with crunchy guitar riffs, such as in “Knife Under My Pillow” and “Scissorhands.” She even caught the attention of hardcore listeners when she teamed up with Siiickbrain, who offered screams on “GASLIGHT!,” a track about finding power after manipulation. Time and time again, she’s proved she can go from pop to punk to rock in the blink of an eye. We can’t wait to see Lindemann defy the constraints of modern-day pop music and add her own rock flair on the EP released on her own label swixxz audio. [MS]

The Maine

EXPECT IT: TBD

The Maine have been working every possible second of 2020 to bring us a new record in 2021, which is crazy considering frontman John O’Callaghan got married and drummer Pat Kirch became a husband and father this year. While in quarantine, the band performed livestreams to say goodbye to their 2019 record, You Are OK, play through Forever Halloween for the first time ever and record a cover and music video for Harry Styles’ “Watermelon Sugar.” The band want to give the album the proper release it deserves, but it’s true we don’t know when we will arrive back to “normal.” In an exclusive interview with O’Callaghan, Alternative Press learned we won’t be getting any one-minute filler songs, but we may see the quintet’s poppier side. “It’ll be a concise record in that it’s exactly what we wanted people to hear. And I’m just really excited to finish the damn thing,” he says. In other exciting news, John The Ghost, the solo project of O’Callaghan, is in the works to arrive in the new year as well. We got a peek as to what we can expect when he released “Rolled Down Window” in April, an indie-rock track with folk flair. Fans of the Maine and all things 8123 have a lot to be excited for in 2021. [MS]

Meet Me @ The Altar

EXPECT IT: TBD via Fueled By Ramen

Meet Me @ The Altar have had quite a breakout year, hitting a million Spotify streams despite only releasing two singles. The group really started to catch more attention this past summer when they were backed by Halsey’s Black Creators Fund. Since then, they’ve been racking up milestones, including signing to Fueled By Ramen. Hell, they even got a shoutout from Wendy’s (which, let’s be honest, is some of the highest praise for any pop-punk outfit). We can only imagine that the upward trajectory is going to continue into 2021 and beyond. While they have yet to announce any forthcoming releases, the band tweeted a video from the studio in December. Here’s hoping for that debut full-length we’ve all been dying for.—Elena Wills

MOD SUN

EXPECT IT: Early 2021 via Big Noise

MOD SUN has been putting out a unique brand of vibe-filled hip-hop for about a decade now. Previously focusing on blending his flow with electronic and alternative sounds, the musician is taking it in a new direction for his upcoming full-length. Teaming up with John Feldmann to produce, MOD released his first pop-punk-fueled single “Karma,” which had the musician channeling his days of drumming for Four Letter Lie and Scary Kids Scaring Kids as he returned to the seat behind the kit. The track will join a second emotionally charged single “Bones” on his first release via Feldmann’s Big Noise, due out in early 2021.—Rachel Campbell

Miss May I

EXPECT IT: TBD

A lot can happen in four years. A president can come and go, a pandemic can spread and indiscriminately change society and its functions. Plus, Miss May I can finally get back in the studio. The metalcore monarchs’ follow-up to 2017’s Shadows Inside has been a long time coming, but this extended length of anticipation only leads us to believe that we’re definitely not prepared for what comes next. Enclosing what screamer-in-chief Levi Benton proclaims as “the best riff” they’ve ever written, the return of Miss May I for their seventh studio venture is one of our few positive hopes for 2021. [AC]

NOFX 

EXPECT IT: Late winter via Fat Wreck Chords

California’s schism-punk kings are going to raise all the eyebrows and drop all the jaws on the follow-up to 2016’s First Ditch Effort. (Yes, it’s great, but we’re not counting this year’s split LP with affable jovial squire Frank Turner.) Here, the band are ramping up their modus operandi of bright-sounding songs with deeply depressing lyrics in a large way. Fat Mike’s subjects this time include the death of friends and relationships, regrets through your children’s eyes and the desperate desire to take the first exit off the road to self-destruction (“Birmingham”). And they still play tighter than a rich relative at Christmas (three words: Erik fucking Sandin). NOFX still have more in the tank than most of their colleagues. Which is why they remain both adored and reviled. [JP]

nothing,nowhere. – Trauma Factory 

EXPECT IT: Feb. 19 via Fueled By Ramen

Even with a chunk of the record already on streaming services, it’s hard to tell exactly what we’ll be getting from nothing,nowhere.’s fourth studio album, Trauma Factory. January’s “nightmare” soon became our club anthem during a (mostly) clubless year. September’s “pretend” got us screaming its monstrous chorus at the top of our lungs in a fit of musical rage. And recent single “fake friend” is already proving to be an angsty getaway. Joe Mulherin has attended to all of our pop-punk and emo-rap needs leading up to his next release. So, if there’s anything we do know, it’s that the full project is sure to do the same at the top of the year. [BB]

Pale Waves – Who Am I?

EXPECT IT: Feb. 12 via Dirty Hit

Armed with the angst of Avril Lavigne’s early discography and a passion for speaking their truth on wax, Pale Waves are putting something introspective together with Who Am I? Vocalist Heather Baron-Gracie is entering 2021 stronger than ever after a year of discovery, which she says is all laid out on their upcoming sophomore effort. And if their word isn’t enough to convince you that they’ve ditched their scythe-pop past, that’s fine. Listening to their massive ’00s-derivative lead single “Change” a few times over should do the trick. [BB]

Panic! At The Disco

EXPECT IT: TBD

Brendon Urie’s been quiet this year, prompting speculation on the production of Panic! At The Disco’s seventh studio album. While it may sound like a stretch, Urie confirmed that he was “working on some ideas” last May. “I can’t help myself,” he explained at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards. “I don’t think it’ll be too long before another Panic! record.” Of course, that phrasing proved to be subjective. Now over 18 months out, we’re still anxiously waiting with high hopes for 2021. It’s worth noting that the band have historically followed a consistent two- to three-year release cycle. With Pray For The Wicked celebrating its third birthday next summer (crazy, right?), it seems likely that something new is coming. [EW]

Paramore

EXPECT IT: TBD

It’s been almost four years since Paramore released their last full-length, After Laughter. However, the band’s hiatus has clearly been doing them well. Zac Farro debuted new music through his project HalfNoise in 2019 and even put out his solo EP Zafari this year. Meanwhile, Taylor York has been busy writing and producing for various projects, including Hayley Williams history-making debut solo LP, Petals For Armor. Although Williams’ solo tour plans have been rescheduled for 2021, there’s still time for Paramore to hit the studio next year. Back in May, Williams revealed that the trio are already discussing their next album and who they want to produce it. Additionally, they’re revisiting their old material to get some inspiration for where they want to take their sound next, and the band may have just confirmed we’ll hear some new music soon. Paramore’s last three albums were all put out four years apart. So, if history does truly repeat itself, 2021 might be the year we finally hear new music from Paramore. [RD]

The Pretty Reckless – Death By Rock And Roll

EXPECT IT: Feb. 12 via Fearless Records

Despite release delays for their upcoming LP, the Pretty Reckless will be dropping Death By Rock And Roll early next year. This is the band’s first full-length release in over four years following 2016’s Who You Selling For. Since the release of the title track in May, the group recently shared “25” and “Broomsticks,” which will also be on the album. Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron will join for a feature in “Only Love Can Save Me Now,” as well as Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello for “And So It Went.” [AQ]

Rob Zombie – The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy

EXPECT IT: March 12 via Nuclear Blast

It’s been nearly five years since the last full-length from shock-rock mastermind Rob Zombie, but the wait is coming to an end. Zombie dropped “The Triumph Of King Freak (A Crypt Of Preservation And Superstition)” at the tail end of October, and the track’s tone is promising for fans who want another classic from the multifaceted artist. Fans can expect a whole lot of bluesy, industrial groove metal mashed with weird sound samples. Hopefully it’s another classic that the spooky crew of musicians pull off to slide into their discography. [JS]

Senses Fail

EXPECT IT: TBD

Buddy Nielsen could fill this list. However, we’re not talking about hardcore-leaning Bayonet, his Finch collaboration or the Postal Service-esque Sweater Weather. It’s not about remixes, acoustic re-recordings, covers EPs (Christmas, Misfits or otherwise) or even “secret projects.” Nay, we’re talking about the two LPs Senses Fail have been crafting. One made with Saosin’s Beau Burchell has a mouthful of a title (What The Thunder Said, Hell Is In Your Head). However, we’re having a harder time saying it’s “much better” than Still Searching. Speaking those words feels sacrilegious against a post-hardcore bible, whose story will be wrapped here. [BZ]

Slipknot

EXPECT IT: TBD

Although Slipknot have typically taken a few years between albums, they’ve been discussing releasing a new record next year. If it does materialize and is anywhere near the quality of We Are Not Your Kind, it’s sure to be an instant classic as that album showed a return to form for the iconic metal band. Fans will have to keep their eyes peeled to see if they pull through with more music since nothing is concretely set. If it does come to fruition, we’re surely in for another round of standout metal. [JS]

Tigers Jaw – I Won’t Care How You Remember Me

EXPECT IT: March 5 via Hopeless

2021 is shaping up to be a big year for the community of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Native Joe Biden will be sworn in as president in January, only to be outdone by Scranton indie-punks Tigers Jaw when they drop their new album, I Won’t Care How You Remember Me, in March. Somehow, it’s already album No. 6 for Tigers Jaw, an encore to 2017’s spin. “Cat’s Cradle,” the first single, came out in October, reflecting continued devotion to heartful lyrics and a knack for connecting with their audience on a deeply personal level. [RP]

Travie McCoy

EXPECT IT: TBD via Hopeless Records

In case you missed it, Travie McCoy dished out all the 2000s nostalgia in December—and gave us a glimpse into the future. The vocalist appeared on Chris DeMakes A Podcast alongside host Chris DeMakes from Less Than Jake to dissect “Cupid’s Chokehold.” At the end of the episode, however, McCoy revealed that he’s got a new record in store for 2021. The album was intended to be a Gym Class Heroes release, but production was disrupted by “some Yoko Ono type situations.” Rather than dropping the project, McCoy decided to finish it as a solo release with the help of Matt McGinley. We can expect the album, Never Slept Better, to drop sometime next year via Hopeless Records. With teasers of the album name already popping up on his Twitter and Instagram bios, the first single is slated for release as early as February. [EW]

twenty one pilots

EXPECT IT: TBD via Atlantic

twenty one pilots spent 2020 sprinkling in videos and tracks to keep the Clique held over for the year. While 2018’s Trench was followed by reimagined versions of “The Hype,” “Cut My Lip” and “Chlorine” via the Location Sessions throughout 2019, the duo finally followed up with a brand new single “Level Of Concern” this past April. It was rounded out by what felt like a trilogy with “Level Of Concern (live from outside)” and “Level Of Concern (Never-Ending Music Video).” In May, Tyler Joseph told Zane Lowe that he was writing the album, which will be released “sooner than [they] were planning on releasing a record.” The band also told Alternative Press this summer that there are several directions they can go with their sound next. While we haven’t gotten many clues since then, the band did share their first original holiday song “Christmas Saves The Year” this month. [TT]

Waterparks

EXPECT IT: TBD via 300 Entertainment

Waterparks know how to deliver content with style. In September, frontman Awsten Knight leaked single “Lowkey As Hell” while cutting off his hair during a livestream. The band also released a music video for the song, featuring Knight with multicolored hair. The visual also highlights an explosion of color with flowered walls and an eye-fish camera lens, making fans feel nostalgic. This isn’t the first release from Waterparks this year, however. In January the band released 1 (A COLLECTION OF UNRELEASED HOME DEMOS, THIS IS NOT G, OR EVEN AN ALBUM, SHUT UP ENJOY) after fans were required to meet Knight’s request of retweeting him 20,000 times. As fans leap into this new era of Waterparks, the band still took time to pay homage to FANDOM with the release of Live In The U.K., a DVD of the FANDOM tour that took place in 2019. Hopefully we see more releases from the band as we make our way into 2021. [TT]

Weezer – Van Weezer

EXPECT IT: May via Atlantic 

After featuring little guitar on The Black Album, Weezer are circling back to what they do best: epic shredding. Inspired by the crowd’s reaction to Rivers Cuomo’s wild solos when playing “Beverly Hills” live, Weezer set out to create a riff-heavy record (one that reportedly features “at least 100 guitars”). With its announcement came news of a Hella Mega tour with Green Day and Fall Out Boy as well as the album’s first single, “The End Of The Game.” It’s a song that delivers on its promise full stop, opening with a blistering tapping solo from Cuomo on a Flying V. Then coronavirus hit, and the album got pushed back a year. In the interim, Weezer released “Hero,” appeared on the soundtrack for the latest Bill & Ted and dedicated its entirety to Eddie Van Halen when he passed from a stroke in October. Inevitably, Van Weezer will serve as the ultimate homage to both Van Halen and their own past when it finally drops this spring. [NH]

You Me At Six – SUCKAPUNCH

EXPECT IT: Jan. 15 via Underdog Records/AWAL

Bands often experience ebbs and flows, but few are as dramatic as You Me At Six. Stylistically, they pulled, maybe not a complete 180, but at least a 120 or 130, evolving from their pop-punk days to edgy electro in their new single, “SUCKAPUNCH.” The group even flirted with calling it quits before releasing new music. Now, they’re poised for their biggest release to date, telling NME that their seventh album will dive deep into politics, social injustice and everything you hope your uncle won’t bring up at the dinner table. But You Me At Six infuse art and advocacy so effortlessly. In the handful of singles, their passion is palpable, and the record can’t come soon enough. [RP]