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Hits on the horizon: Most anticipated albums of early 2021
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Hits on the horizon: Most anticipated albums of early 2021

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Among the highlights of 2020 were surprise album releases from Taylor Swift, Eminem and Childish Gambino.

We can’t predict those, but we can say what’s scheduled for the first quarter of 2021, and that slate includes new material from major stars like Foo Fighters, Florida Georgia Line and Sia, as well as such indie faves as Cloud Nothings, The Hold Steady and Julien Baker.

Last year, release dates were bumped all over the place as artists tried to navigate the pandemic. This year should be a little less volatile.

Here’s the first look. Keep an eye out for releases from Adele, Cardi B, Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Lorde, Rihanna, St. Vincent, Travis Scott and more.

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Ani DiFranco, “Revolutionary Love”: The 22nd album from the indie-folk icon was inspired by Valarie Kaur’s book “See No Stranger.”Langhorne Slim, “Strawberry Mansion”: The Americana rocker from Nashville, via Langhorne, Pennsylvania, addresses his struggles with debilitating anxiety and depression on his seventh album.Lucero, “When You Found Me”: The veteran alt-country band from Memphis reunited with Grammy-winning producer Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price, Drive-by Truckers) on this 10th album.The Notwist, “Vertigo Days”: The first album in seven years from the German post-rock band plays as “one long, flowing suite” with collaborations with Saya (Japanese pop duo Tenniscoats), Ben LaMar Gay, jazz clarinetist Angel Bat Dawid and Argentinian electronic artist Juana Molina.The Besnard Lakes, “The Besnard Lakes Are the Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings”: Sixth album from the Montreal psych band is a double LP themed around the death of co-founder Jace Lasek’s father.Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, “Macca to Mecca”: A 13-song love letter to the Beatles recorded at The Roundhouse in London in November 2017 with a special appearance by Paul McCartney.

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Evanescence, “The Bitter Truth”: The follow-up to 2017’s “Synthesis,” which featured orchestral arrangements of previous songs, is the gothic metal band’s first album of original material since the 2011 self-titled album. Here's one of the tracks, "Use My Voice":

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Florida Georgia Line, “Life Rolls On”: The fifth album from the pop-country duo of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, co-produced with Corey Crowder, features the hits “Long Live” and “I Love My Country.”Sia, “Music — Songs from and Inspired by the Motion Picture”: The Australian pop star wrote all of the songs on this 14-track accompaniment to her directorial debut. An original cast soundtrack will also be released.The Pretty Reckless, “Death By Rock And Roll”: The fourth album from the New York City alt-rock band led by Taylor Momson features a title track that spent multiple weeks at the top of the rock charts.Pentatonix, “The Lucky Ones”: The a cappella group follows “We Need a Little Christmas” with their first full-length album of original material since 2015.

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Steve Hackett, “Under A Mediterranean Sky”: The new acoustic album from the former Genesis guitarist was inspired by his recent travels in the Mediterranean.Bill Champlin, “Livin’ for Love”: A new album from the former Chicago singer-guitarist-keyboardist who sang lead on the hit “Hard Habit to Break.”TRZTN, “Royal Dagger Ballet”: The latest from the Paris-based musician, composer and producer features collaborations with Interpol’s Paul Banks and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O.

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Greta Van Fleet, “The Battle At Garden’s Gate”: The young Grammy-winning band’s follow-up to its 2018 debut was recorded in LA with Greg Kurstin (Foo Fighters, Paul McCartney) producing.

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