Tropical F— Storm, Deep State (TFS Records): Just when you thought it might be safe to pop your head up, Melbourne’s ferocious foursome are back with lead single Give a F— Fatigue from their third long player. One thing’s for sure, when we can all get back to sweaty, loud live music with our mates, this is the band you want blowing out the many long months of cobwebs. Out August 20.
Lorde, Solar Power (Universal Music): Teased with its glistening lead single last month, this is surely among the most eagerly awaited albums of the year. First erupting in 2013 with debut album Pure Heroine, the world-wide fascination with Lorde shows no signs of slowing and Solar Power is sure to make an almighty splash when it lands. Out August 20.
Shannon and the Clams, Year of the Spider (Easy Eye Sound): Harking back to the classic ’60s sound of doo-wop with a psychedelic twist, this foursome from Oakland in California has released five albums since 2009. Fronted by Shannon Shaw, this is heartfelt, joyous pop ‘n’ roll that could easily slot into the coming summer soundtrack. Out August 20.
Gretta Ray, Begin to Look Around (EMI): After two EPs, Melbourne’s Gretta Ray delivers her debut album and the 2016 Triple J Unearthed High winner couldn’t be more ready. Here and Now, her 2018 EP, was further evidence of why she landed support shows with the likes of Mumford and Sons and Gang of Youths. In 2021, it’s Gretta Ray’s time to shine. Out August 27.
Chvrches, Screen Violence (Liberator Music): How to Not Drown, featuring a guest spot from The Cure’s Robert Smith, is just one reason to wrap your ears around Chvrches’ fourth album. The Scottish trio have become festival favourites over the past decade but with no live shows since early last year, Screen Violence will be warmly welcomed by fans. Out August 27.
Imagine Dragons, Mercury – Act 1 (Interscope): This Las Vegas-based pop/rock group struck streaming gold with their tracks Believer and Thunder a few years ago, each song surpassing a billion streams. If recent single Cutthroat (produced by Rick Rubin) is any indication, the band has taken some few unexpected twists with their sound. Out September 3.
Amyl and the Sniffers, Comfort to Me (B2B Records): Tucking an ARIA award for best rock album under their belts was more than justified after years of hard slog for Amyl and the Sniffers. Now they’re back to prove it was no fluke and the growing fanbase can hardly wait. First taste Guided By Angels was served up last week. Out September 10.
Various, The Metallica Blacklist (Universal Music): Thirty years since Metallica changed the game with their self-titled record, widely known as The Black Album, a who’s who of the music world have covered some of the band’s most popular songs. Sunshine Coast trio The Chats even scored a spot on Holier Than Thou, while others guests include Weezer, Miley Cyrus and Elton John. Out September 10.
Diana Ross, Thank You (Decca): Fifteen years since her last studio album I Love You and five decades since her self-titled debut, the former Supremes star is back with her 25th solo album. The Motown star has enjoyed a string of massive hits in her celebrated career. Thank You has award-winning producer Jack Antonoff, who’s worked with Taylor Swift, St Vincent and Lorde, on board. Out September 10.
Natalie Imbruglia, Firebird (BMG): The list of songwriting collaborators includes Ed Sheeran and the Stroke’s Albert Hammond Jr., among others, but six years since her previous album Natalie Imbruglia says she’s found her voice again on Firebird, featuring first single Build It Better. Out September 24.
The The, The Comeback Special (Ear Music): Songwriter and vocalist Matt Johnson may be the only constant member but The The have been “active in various forms since 1979,” according to Wikipedia. Its title sounds like Johnson borrowed it from Elvis Presley’s 1968 televised concert but it’s unlikely to have quite the same reach. Out October 1.
Strand of Oaks, In Heaven (Thirty Tigers/Cooking Vinyl Australia): Timothy Showalter’s blend of rock and folk music sets him apart from the pack. His fusing of eclectic styles and influences can be found on a steady stream of albums since 2009 and fans will be rubbing their hands in glee with new music on the way. Out October 1.
Ladyhawke, Time Flies (BMG): Bursting onto the music scene in 2008 with her debut album and hit song My Delerium, Pip Brown was no overnight success. A former member of New Zealand’s Two Lane Blacktop, she’s also toured extensively and released another couple of Ladyhawke albums prior to Time Flies, featuring co-writer Nick Littlemore (Empire of the Sun). Out October 8.
Sam Teskey, Cycles (Ivy League): “I really want to leave the experience up to the listener,” says Sam Teskey about his first foray away from multi-award-winning Melbourne band the Teskey Brothers. Drawing more upon psychedelic bands of the ’60s and ’70s rather than his familiar soulful guitar style, Cycles was recorded last year during down time for the Teskey Brothers. Out October 8.
Duran Duran, Future Past (Tape Modern): Will it come anywhere near the dizzy heights of their New Romantic heyday, when Hungry Like the Wolf, Girls On Film and Planet Earth were all the rage? Who knows, but we’ll find out if Simon, Nick, John and Roger can still crank out a decent tune when they drop their 16th album. Out October 22.
Courtney Barnett, Things Take Time, Take Time (Milk! Records): It doesn’t seem that long ago when CB and her band released Tell Me How You Really Feel. It was May 2018, and a lot’s happened since then, or a lot of nothing, depending how you view much of the last three years. First single from the new album, Rae Street, was released last week. Out November 12.
Damon Albarn, Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows (Transgressive): Better known for fronting Blur and Gorillaz, Albarn also released a solo album about six years ago. His second solo album began as an orchestral work inspired by Iceland but its direction shifted during a period of lockdown, when Albarn injected some pop into the project. Out November 12.
Taylor Swift, Red (Taylor’s Version) (Republic): The second of six albums Swift plans to re-record, this will be a reworking of her 2012 crossover album Red. “This will be the first time you hear all 30 songs that were meant to go on Red,” she said last month. The original Red was a critically acclaimed chart topper but Taylor’s version could even reshape the musical landscape for artists who want to claim back control of their work. Out November 19.
Artists expected to also have new music in 2021 but who are yet to announce a release date include Ed Sheeran, the Killers, FKA Twigs, Drake, The Cure, Travis Scott, Weyes Blood and Lana Del Rey.