Earlier this week, we posted our guide to up-and-comers who're all set to blow up next year. We'd now like to turn our attention to 10 bands and artists who've been around the block, maybe smashing a pop chart or co-creating a genre (disco, post-punk) along the way. We cannot wait to get our hands on the albums they're putting out in 2015.
Sleater-Kinney: No Cities to Love
Jan 20, Sub Pop
The entire indie-rock universe breathed a collective "No fucking way" back in October, when the Olympia-bred punk trio Sleater-Kinney, who'd disbanded in 2006, announced a new album hot on the heels of a box set of their seven previous LPs. Yes fucking way: Sleater-Kinney was -- is! -- one of those rare bands that has it all: chemistry, raw passion, conviction and, perhaps most important, (rock n' roll) fun. Judging by the two new songs they've shared, Sleater-Kinney 8.0 involves anthems about the urgency of friendship, plus trippy guitar pedals.
Jan 26, Castle Face
If you think live albums are the exclusive domain of Generation Foghat, consider that Ty Segall is 27, and that the forthcoming Live in San Francisco is his second full-length live album. Or forget all that and let the album melt your face clean off; the songs and the sound reproduction (handled in part by Thee Oh Sees' John Dwyer) are equally ropy and full of joyful belligerence.
LOOK. We can't help it if "Uptown Funk" has been on an office-wide loop here for the last month. The criminally funky song, fronted by Bruno Mars and a gang of chanting bros, still makes us grin like idiots and shout "Julio! Get the stretch" at the elevator. The only other taste of the album is "Feel Right," in which Mystikal shreds his larynx all over a jacked-up JB-style track. We are entranced. We are dancing like nobody's watching. And we are not going to be surprised if Uptown Special is the Random Access Memories of 2015.
February 24, Don Giovanni
The clarity and muscular tightness of "Empty Head" and "Ripe," two early releases from the Screaming Females' sixth album, suggest that Rose Mountain will spawn a whole new stratum of SF fans. Imagine Rated R-era Queens of the Stone Age fronted by PJ Harvey at her steeliest, although we know from previous releases that singer-guitarist (and PAPER Original Gangster) Marissa Paternoster bucks just about any comparison you can throw at her. It's unthinkable that the Screamales would ever abandon the New Brunswick basement-show scene they came up in -- but no harm in shaking some considerably loftier rafters elsewhere, right?
February 24, Metropolis
Just last week, a packed crowd at the newly rebooted Don Hill's watched the Hedwig and the Angry Inch house band rip through the 1979 song "Natural's Not In It," reminding everyone in attendance that Gang of Four, with its gift for layering stabby guitars and jittery vocals over dance beats, was at least 25 years ahead of its time. The fact that guitarist Andy Gill is the only founding member currently involved doesn't diminish the wallop of "Broken Talk," featuring guest vocalist Alison Mosshart of the Kills and the Dead Weather. Expect other cameos, and lots more Yorkshire snarl, on What Happens Next.
March 17, Warner Bros.
2015 will be an excellent year for making out. Ever since his 2010 debut, Forget, Twin Shadow mastermind George Lewis Jr. has been crafting achingly romantic melodies and waterbeds of synthy goodness -- some of his songs sound like dark variations on Top Gun power ballad "Take My Breath Away." The two available tracks from Eclipse hint at an album that could be epic ("To the Top") or restrained ("Turn Me Up") or, most likely, a richly shaded combination of the two. Either way, it's safe to say that many, many people will soon be getting to first base via this album.
When Daft Punk names a song after you, it's time to go big -- and that's just what disco pioneer and analog mad scientist Giorgio Moroder is doing. 74 Is the New 24, his first solo album since the Reagan years, will feature a pantheon of pop vocalists, from Sia to Britney. The lead single, also called "74 is the New 24," is like a joyride in a DeLorean equipped with a Vocodor and, crucially, some subsonic bass drops for the 24-year-olds. Love to love you, Giorgi.
April 6 (expected), Atlantic
The title track of Marina Diamandis' third album is over five minutes long, and while it's insanely hooky, it doesn't hammer away at an ear-worm chorus. It's more like a seamless collage of forgotten '70s and '80s club gems. Ever since her 2010 debut album, The Family Jewels, Diamandis has bristled against the pop star treatment that others would kill for; hence the line, "'Oh my god! You look just like Shakira / No no! You're Catherine Zeta' / Actually, my name's Marina" from her song "Hollywood." With the new album, Diamandis might have figured out how to simultaneously embrace and throttle that diva projection.
Release date unknown, Wicked Awesome
One of the most ambitious releases in the queue, the next Kid Cudi album is the last installment of a trilogy that began with 2009's Man On the Moon: The End of Day. That year, he was among our 25th Anniversary cover stars; in his feature, he told us that he'd "always had an album mindset" and that his "brain [was] very much in the indie music scene." Those leanings have served him well, his dense, melodic hip-hop experiments winning him collaborations with everyone from Kanye to MGMT. We'll follow him anywhere.
Release date unknown, XL
World financial markets shuddered this past October, when XL Recordings announced that Adele's third album, 25, would not come out in 2014 as promised. If this results in music retailers receiving trillion-dollar bailouts and hordes of Adele fans setting up Occupy Notting Hill encampments, so be it. The millennial superstar has shared so much of her heart-melting charm and earth-shaking chops in the last six years (gracing our 2011 Beautiful People issue along the way), we'll happily wait till she's good and ready.