by Seiler Smith —
To all the music lovers and casual music listeners out there, I ask you one question: are you ready for 2015? In only the first month of the year, we have seen several albums drop that have put people in the spotlight such as the group Rae Sremmurd, or funk-inspired artist Mark Ronson. We have also seen bands we used to know and love get back on track and put great music out again, such as Fall Out Boy and Marilyn Manson. This year has already been exciting for nearly all genres (sorry classical fans, but per usual, we are stuck listening to our old favorites) and it seems that the next 11 months will continue the pattern of exceptional new music.
Country seems to be a little on the thin side as far as early 2015 goes. No big names have announced new albums. Indie, however, will be growing even bigger this year, after a huge leap in interest over the last five-plus years.
There are several genres not represented here. Electronic dance music, rock and folk are neglected. Here are some other albums to keep an eye on: Slayer, working through all the hardships they have endured the past few years, plan to release a new album this year with new members Gary Holt on guitar and Paul Bostaph on drums. Fleetwood Mac is releasing their first album in 12 years, with Christine McVie returning, and it seems like they have the magic to push out one final album. Rising EDM star Madeon will release his debut album “Adventure” on Mar. 31, although he claims it will be more than just EDM.
“Rebel Heart” -Madonna
Madonna’s “Rebel Heart.” It will be her 13th studio album, set to release Mar. 8. The guest lineup features Kanye West, Avicii, DJ Diplo and more. This is her first album since 2012, and Madonna says she will play on two of her regular themes: rebellion and romance. It seems that Madonna will have hit another home run with yet another album.
The album has been dubbed “R8” by Rihanna, for Rihanna’s eighth album. The album has not made any headlines yet, as everything seems to be hush-hush for right now. The release date is not even certain, as only a small snippet of a song has been released, but fans around the world seem to be certain that this album will be one of her best.
“Reflection” -Fifth Harmony
The third album, and my prediction to be the pop sensation of 2015, is Fifth Harmony’s “Reflection.” The group is made up of five women who say they and their music have matured since their 2013 album. If all their songs are as catchy as their single “Sledgehammer,” then the album will go straight to number one.
“Smoke + Mirrors” -Imagine Dragons
This year, Imagine Dragons is coming out with “Smoke + Mirrors” on Feb. 17. It’s easy to forget this group only has one other album in their repetoire, because that album had so many hits in 2012 and 2013. Their upcoming album is slated to be just as impressive.
“Strangers to Ourselves” -Modest Mouse
Modest Mouse comes out with “Strangers to Ourselves” on Mar. 3. Fans are excited because this is their first album in eight years, and based off of the two singles they have released, it just sounds like another solid Modest Mouse album. Their unique style remains the same, and is certain to please old fans and create new ones.
“New Glow” -Matt and Kim
Matt and Kim are coming out with their fifth album “New Glow” on Apr. 7 via Harvest records. “New Glow” will have the same great Matt and Kim vibe to it, but with a lot more diversity. This is the fifth album from the Brooklyn, New York duo.
“Thot Breaker” -Chief Keef
Chief Keef comes out with his mixtape Thot Breaker, and is potentially going to come out with “Bang 3,” an album that was supposed to release in 2014, but was stalled after Interscope Records dropped him. This is one of Keef’s most anticipated albums, especially now since he has risen to a certain level of infamy.
“The Powers That B” -Death Grips
Part one of “The Powers That B” came out as a free digital download June 8 of last year. The second part, “Jenny Death,” will come out on Mar. 31. This seems to be another crazy, chaotic and ridiculously divisive album, just like their others.
“Man on the Moon III” -Kid Cudi
Kid Cudi is said to be releasing “Man on The Moon III” sometime in 2015. It will conclude the Man on The Moon trilogy. This has been a long time coming, seeing as he promised the trilogy would be completed by 2013. His side-project WZRD and complications with Republic Records forced him to postpone the final installation until this year. So, don’t expect a new Cudi, but another solid album by him.
“Happy Prisoner” -Robert Earl Keen
Robert Earl Keen will drop “Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions” on Feb. 10. He says it is inspired by the music he grew up listening to. He covers artists such as Flatt & Scruggs, The Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers and Richard Thompson.
“Holding All the Roses” -Blackberry Smoke
Blackberry Smoke will be producing their first album since being on Zac Brown Band’s Southern Ground Label. Their album, entitled “Holding All the Roses” will be released Feb. 10, but the first single, “Too High” is available already. If you’re a fan of the Avett Brothers’ exquisite facial hair (and just their hair, in general) you’ll like their style.
Finally, The Deslondes as-yet-untitled debut album is due for June 9. They have already released singles, “The Real Deal” and “Fought the Blues and Won.” This young, all-male quintet looks to be the next big country band, and they may succeed with their talent to sound like an old-school country band, while bringing the bass and melodies up to current standards. They take their listeners back to the bayou and the blues with their old-school tones.