Music fans have been thoroughly spoiled this year. Lorde broke her four–year silence since her last critically acclaimed album, Melodrama, which inflated our excitement with fast–paced tracks like “Green Light” and brought us crashing down to earth with piercing ballads like “Liability.” Her latest album Solar Power, released in August 2021, took a different approach from her past repertoire—and while not all Lorde fans enjoyed the shift, many indulged in the excitement of new releases.
Other notable releases from 2021 have included Kacey Musgraves’ star–crossed, Olivia Rodrigo’s highly anticipated debut album SOUR, and Japanese Breakfast’s Jubilee. We’ve already listened to some hits and a lot of misses, but the music industry isn’t slowing down yet. Here are some upcoming releases to (hopefully) end the year on a great note.
Adele, “Easy on Me”
Mysterious billboards with blazing ‘30’s appeared in cities like New York, London, and Paris, leading fans to speculate that Adele might be returning after five years with a new album. Adele then confirmed the rumors, uploading a clip of a decidedly Adele–esque piano intro on Twitter. Her lead single “Easy on Me” is dropping on Oct. 15 and will set the tone for her upcoming album 30. Adele, biographed by her previous albums 19, 21, and 25, has never been shy about love and all of the barbs that come along with it. Following her divorce, listeners can be sure to feel the emotional weight of her experiences after more maturation in 30. After lots of speculation, it was confirmed that the album will be released on Nov. 19.
Remi Wolf, Juno
Impossibly fun artist Remi Wolf dropped her debut album, Juno, Oct. 5. After a string of funky EPs featuring groovy songs like “Disco Man,” Wolf released “Anthony Kiedis” and “Front Tooth” as the lead singles to her upcoming album. Wolf has already compiled a 15–track remix album in 2021 featuring “Photo ID (with Dominic Fike),” so she’s been keeping busy. If her colorful and chaotic album covers aren’t enough proof, her singles have set the tone for her latest drop. Full of spunk and life, Wolf’s discography is bursting with refreshing beats and personality—it’ll be a surprise if Juno doesn’t follow suit.
Holly Humberstone, The Walls Are Way Too Thin
Indie artist Holly Humberstone is set to release her second EP on Nov. 5. The young British rising star received widespread acclaim for her debut EP, Falling Asleep at the Wheel, with high praise for her versatility covering heavy topics like toxic relationships and mental health issues. An emblem of true vulnerability, Falling Asleep at the Wheel garnered attention from outlets like The New York Times and landed her an opportunity to perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live. For the fledgling artist, a successful second EP could cement her as one of the biggest newcomers on the indie scene. After being named a top five artist for BBC Music Sound of 2021 and partnering with Apple Music’s Up Next program for elevating rising talent, expectations are high for Humberstone.
If Adele’s five–year break from music felt long, try not to think about ABBA’s 40–year break. Even though the iconic Swedish band split up back in 1982, they’re reuniting to release Voyage on Nov. 5, before putting on a virtual tour. Not many artists can say they’ve had multiple movies created around their discography, so expectations are sky high for the group. They’ve already released two singles, the loving ballad, “I Still Have Faith in You,” and dramatic mini saga, “Don’t Shut Me Down,” but ABBA fans across the world are excited (and a little worried) to see whether or not the group will still impress, forty years later.
Taylor Swift, Red (Taylor’s Version)
In true Taylor Swift fashion, the pop star sent fans into a tailspin after a surprise announcement that she’d be releasing her rerecording of her 2012 album Red a week early. Now coming out Nov. 12, Swift is including some new tracks she labels as “from the vault,” including a whopping ten–minute long version of a classic sad girl anthem, “All Too Well.” The hype surrounding her second installment of re–recorded albums has fans excited to pick apart the differences and hear her new take on old tracks (plus, who wouldn’t get excited for more Jake Gyllenhaal memes?).
We'll only know if these new albums meet their expectations when they come out, but meanwhile, music lovers everywhere can share their excitement while waiting in anticipation.