2020 has taught us that music is more valuable than ever in getting us through trying times and whilst the year started with many artists delaying upcoming albums, things gradually returned to normal on the music release front with numerous high profile artists dropping LPs throughout the year. We hope that these artists, all of whom are rumoured to be cooking up new material, aren’t dissuaded from releasing in 2021. We should also note that the term comeback is used very loosely – as some of these artists haven’t ever really been away.
Remember, our lists are not definitive lists of every artist releasing in 2021, just who we are excited about.
Janet’s Unbreakable was her first studio album in seven years – released back in 2015 – we thought that may have been the longest she would leave us waiting for a new studio collection. Whilst her already-announced Black Diamond album hasn’t quite had us waiting seven years, she is nearing it with six. The singer hasn’t unveiled much about the LP yet, other than noting “Black Diamonds are the toughest of all the diamonds, the hardest to cut, I see that as the hardest to hurt or destroy. There is a lot that I have endured. I see myself as a Black Diamond in its purest form. I’m a rock, I have ruff edges but I keep moving forward. I want to show you my strength as well as give you strength.”
The Australian pop goddess last gave us a studio album in the form of 2015 cover album Male, yet hasn’t released an original collection since 2009’s Come to Life. Natalie has partnered with BMG for her upcoming 2021 album which was originally scheduled for 2020. Tim Norbury head of BMG noted: “Natalie’s record has been moved into next year but, rather than stop the recording process, she has set up a studio at home and she’s working over technology and successfully making the record.”
The Swedish pop hunk has had a productive 2020 with bops such as Shampoo and The Dirt, however, he gained much success with native language releases through Swedish TV show Så Mycket Bättre 2020 – Tolkningarna – even topping the charts with Långsamt farväl. Benjamin is due to release a Swedish language album on January 15th, whilst he has teased two English albums – a disco-influenced album and an urban album – ready to go which could potentially come in the form of a Double LP.
The country music hunk got his fifth studio album campaign off to a solid start with presumed lead single What’s Your Country Song. The track reached #18 in the US Hot Country Songs chart and opts for a more traditional country sound, differing from Thomas’s more recent lead singles such as Look What God Gave Her and Craving You which have a more more pop-centric sound.
Lana Del Rey
Lana gave us the first cut from upcoming studio album Chemtrails over the Country Club – Let Me Love You Like a Woman, however, the singer is scheduled to unveil the album details and title track on January 11th. The Jack Antonoff produced set is thought to be joined by a covers album originally due for release in 2020. Lana gave us the first taste of the set with You’ll Never Walk Alone and shared that the album would be coming for Christmas, however, this hasn’t materialised.
This one leans a little closer to rumoured but we have been anticipating Eric Saade’s return to English language music for some time. This edges closer with his Melodifestivalen return with track Every Minute. Could this be leading to a whole new English language collection from Eric? We certainly hope son.
Zayn’s rush-released 2018 sophomore collection Icarus Falls (which we suspect the singer had little involvement in its release) was not the follow-up his brilliant debut Mind of Mine deserved. We have higher hopes for Zayn’s third studio album which was kickstarted with lead single Better – a lush romantic anthem.
Will 2021 be the year that the mythical Dear Tommy arrives? Most likely not, but the anticipation sure is fun. The Johnny Jewel band surprised released their most recent studio album Closer to Grey back in 2019 – so we wouldn’t be shocked if a similar strategy was employed for the originally scheduled 2018 album.
Veteran British goth rockers The Cure are scheduled to make their return with their fourteenth studio album and first since 2008. The Robert Smith fronted band noted: “The songs are like 10 minutes, 12 minutes long. We recorded 19 songs. So I have no idea what to do now… We’ll finish it before we start in the summer, and it’ll be mixed through the summer. And then so release date, I don’t know, October? Halloween! Come on!” It is thought that these tracks will be emerging at some point in 2021.
The country goddess returned with a bang with her fifth studio album NOW in 2017 and has been vocal about its follow-up for some time. Noting that she’d written a ‘mountain of new songs’ in quarantine and adding she has enough material for ‘three albums’. She stated: “I hope that I can most likely get new music out in the spring of next year. That is my goal.” Life is definitely about to get good!
The Swiss pop hunk dropped the wonderful Dancing Without You in 2020, a track which is thought to be the first taste of his upcoming sixth studio album. Bastian’s 2018 self-titled LP was an absolute delight brimming with pop-rock anthems so if its follow-up has half the quality of that then we will be delighted.
Cher teased her follow-up to ABBA cover album Dancing Queen throughout 2018, but word on the project seems to have gone quiet. The star did however drop a Spanish language version of Chiquitita in aid of UNICEF back in May 2020. The singer revealed the tracklist but the full album is yet to materialise. Could 2021 be the year where Cher brings some glitz, glamour, and Swedish pop bangers to us again?
Spanish heartthrob Álvaro Soler has been splitting his time between filming for The Voice Germany and recording his latest collection which will follow his 2018 album Mar De Colores. The singer has been updating his recording progress on his Instagram throughout the year, with an update in October noting: “I have been locked up in the studio for a few weeks with my friends and geniuses @alizuckowski @nonhitwonder It’s such a good feeling to see how all of the songs are evolving at their own speed. Some are finished and some still need to grow. Even in dark times like the ones we are going thru, music will prevail as it has done for millions of years.”
The iconic Ms Ross was rumoured to be dropping a new studio album in 2020, yet this was undoubtedly another casualty of the pandemic. Thankfully we did get a wonderful remix collection, yet the Mark Ronson produced comeback album that Diana has teased last year didn’t materialise yet. We can only hope that the singer will be dropping it at the same time as her hopefully-rescheduled Glastonbury set.
The latest update regarding ABBA’s long-anticipated new tracks was that the Swedish pop icons had five songs ready to go for 2021. Obviously these tracks have been rumoured since 2018, but we are hopeful that they will eventually emerge. The number has jumped from two – Don’t Shut Me Down and I Still Have Faith – to five, so we are hopefully given the delays that potentially a full album of material could be on the horizon.
Perhaps a fruitless activity including an icon such as Grace Jones who does not believe in the construct of time on this list. Yet Grace has been working on her Ivor Guest-produced follow-up to 2008’s Hurricane for some time, with her most recent update on the project being back in September 2019. The singer shared a photo from the studio with the caption “Something wicked this way comes!” – hopefully in 2021!
After 2020’s career spanning Sade box set, the English band fronted by Sade Adu is thought to be hard at work on their follow-up to 2010’s Soldier of Love album. GQ reported that the band have been hard at work in the studio during lockdown and have noted “This Far alludes to a point in the road, not the end of it,” teasing some new anthems from the Smooth Operator geniuses.
The calm and serene tones of Irish new age favourite Enya is the sort of delightfully peaceful joy that 2021 needs. It is thought that Enya has been recording since the release of 2015’s Dark Sky Island which hit #4 in the UK album charts, could a follow-up be on the way? Well Enya tends to have a 5-7 year gap between albums these days, so we are on track.
Pop music’s favourite brothers (sorry Bros) were due to get their latest album campaign into full swing with the release of What a Man Gotta Do back in early 2020, even going so far as to have a pre-order available on their official store (albeit with no other details other than ‘2020 Album’), however, this was cut short. They did push through and release tracks Five More Minutes and X in 2020 also, which are thought to feature on the upcoming album.
The country favourite may be fresh from her collaboration with Troye Sivan on Easy, but she has teased some bops of her own in an exchange with a fan on Twitter. Kacey was meant with glorious praise for her 2018 album Golden, so we can’t wait to hear what she has been cooking up.
The Shirley Manson fronted rockers noted that their upcoming studio album was being mixed back in August 2020. Manson told Rolling Stone: “We have a new record being mixed as we speak that’s going to come out next year. We’ve got three more songs to go and then we’re done. And then we’ll concentrate on the artwork and start planning for next year.”
HRH Samantha Fox or The Foxy One to us mere mortals currently has a big pop album and a rock cover album waiting to be released, however, is currently just waiting on the support of a label to get them to fans. Come on BMG! Sam hasn’t released an album since 2005’s Angel with an Attitude so the thought of two new albums from the glamorous pop talent is too much to handle.
Courtney Love is using the pandemic productively by recording a number of new tracks, telling NME “It’s early days and I’ve recorded several new songs whilst I’ve been in London.” Courtney’s last solo and thus so far, only studio album is 2004’s America’s Sweetheart, so a follow-up is long overdue.
Denise Van Outen
The British entertainment favourite reconnected with her love of music after taking on the role of The Fox on The Masked Singer UK. The singer teased the upcoming set on Instagram: “I’ve been tucked away in a studio recording an album with the fabulous @mrsteveanderson.” Working with Steve Anderson, famed for his collaborations with Kylie, ensures that Denise will be delivering some bops!
Sophie Ellis Bextor
The singer who has recently been unmasked as The Masked Singer UK’s Alien is also fresh from releasing her Songs from the Kitchen Disco compilation – AND is hard at work on her newest studio album. Don’t expect dancefloor bangers, however, Sophie shared with The Sun: “What we’re doing is sort of quite proggy pop. I do love dance music but I want my albums to reflect where I am at and I’ve done enough of singing about fancying people in clubs. It’s just not really how I live my life any more, as people can tell from my kitchen discos.” The collection will be Sophie’s first original LP since 2016’s Familia.