26 of the most anticipated albums of 2020: ZEDD, Mac Miller, Skrillex, and more09 Zedd Colors Studio 2016 Billboard 1548 1

26 of the most anticipated albums of 2020: ZEDD, Mac Miller, Skrillex, and more

The return of the LP is upon us—full-length album plans have positioned themselves to dominate the conversation this year. From our binoculars, delays not withstanding, everyone is releasing a record this year. Many of these projects have been in the works for so long they’ve acquired mythical properties. So as 2020 begins to unfold, we compiled a list of some of the most anticipated electronic, hip-hop, and pop projects of the year. It’s also worth bearing in mind that as a new decade opens, some of the projects turned in this year might come to define the next 10. With that, Dancing Astronaut is waiting with perked ears for this year’s album agenda. Presented, in no particular order, see our list of the 25 most anticipated albums of the year below.


For a star of Whethan’s scope and experience, it’s almost hard to believe that the young producer has not yet released his debut album, though 2020 will change that. Following his widely-celebrated 2018 debut EP, Life of a Wallflower Vol. 1, his impending first full-length LP, FANTASY is pegged for later this year, accompanied by a limited four-show run to introduce the album. Having brought his carefree dance-floor-and-beyond sensibility to massive festival stages while continuously molding his musical identity, the 20-year-old artist is expected to deliver his most exciting project to date in early 2020. —Jessica Mao

Charli XCX

Charli XCX is forging a new pop star archetype. Following last year’s Charli, the British vocalist’s self-titled third studio LP, which featured Lizzo, Big Freedia, HAIM, Troye Sivan, and more across 15 tracks, Charli XCX is ready to come out swinging in 2020. Riding a wave of inspiration from last year, the “Boom Clap” singer has ambitious plans to record two full-length albums in 2020, though she concedes that releasing them both might be a bit more than she can chew. For now, it’s safe to assume that we might have a fourth studio album from Charli XCX sometime this year. —David Klemow


While the electric bass virtuoso hadn’t announced any details regarding a new album outside of an apt three tweets, “album,” “coming,” and “just thought I’d let y’all know,” Thundercat did previously announce a North American tour, and that’s more than enough to get us excited about a 2020 release. Now, he’s officially announced It Is What It Is, produced by Flying Lotus, landing April 3 via his longtime home label, Brainfeeder. At it’s release, Thundercat’s third studio LP Drunk stood out as an album with consistently clever melodies and a strong cohesion, and it’s certainly withstood the test of time. If Thundercat can capture any of the magic of Drunk in 2020, It Is What It Is will be an album well worth your attention. —Mitch Rose

Mac Miller

Mac Miller‘s final offering, the posthumous Circles, should prove to be one of the more emotionally charged releases of the year. Written to be a companion piece to 2018’s Swimming which was being recorded at the time of Miller’s death, Circles will undoubtedly capture the musical macrocosm’s attention. Sadly, Swimming was received in the wake of Miller’s passing as some of his most creative work to date, so the upcoming Jon Brion-produced edition should follow suit, and thus cement Miller’s legacy as a brilliant emcee that had a lot more to prove but just didn’t have the time. Circles lands in full on January 17. —David Klemow


Even though the title of Caribou‘s new album, Suddenly, is the antithesis of the manner in which it has been shared with public ears, the amorous reception attached to the two exquisite indie-dance singles from the album so far, “Home” and “You and I,” proves those ears were content with the wait. In traditional fashion, Caribou has announced more than 30 tour dates across the globe in the first quarter of 2020 including at slot at this year’s iteration of Coachella. After a five-year hiatus Caribou is surely primed and ready to get you dancing with Dan Snaith’s electronic-tinged acoustic grooves. Suddenly lands in full on February 28. —Harry Levin

Boris Brejcha

Boris Brejcha had his breakout year in 2019, signing his upcoming LP Space Diver to Ultra Records, and touring a hefty international schedule, topped off with a main stage set at dance music’s crème de la crème, Tomorrowland. For many, Brejcha’s explosion came spontaneously, but the truth is, he’s a veteran of the game with a half-dozen full-length albums under his belt. What sets his 2020 effort apart though, is that within the past year and a half, the German-born producer has found his sound, dextrously inside a frenetic combination of several genres. The result is as familiar as it is refreshing, disregarding what’s trending today and simply focusing on what works. Listen to Space Diver in its entirety on January 24. —Josh Stewart


Ekali has been steadily gaining traction since his emergence, though 2020 sees the producer poised to take his presence to the next level. Following years of successful catalog building and his own headlining tour in 2019, Ekali is primed to not only turn in his debut full length LP, A World Away, but he’s also promised to launch a side project in 2020 as well, hinting at two full-length albums in a single year. The Canadian producer has proven his sound cannot be put into a box, and it is expected his album will only cement this sentiment by keeping listeners guessing from front to back. With the bar already set quite high, Ekali is looking to outdo himself in 2020, officially planting his flag with an LP that promises to be an engaging listen. A World Away lands via Big Beat/Atlantic Records on January 24. —Farrell Sweeney


Behind the critical success of his debut album, Irene, Medasin planted his flag as one of electronic music’s brightest new torch carriers, earning his designation as Dancing Astronaut‘s Breakout Artist of 2018. Medasin’s first full-length LP was a deeply personal inside look at the producer’s complexion, born in the struggles he faced as a teen. Now, he’s primed to offer his follow-up, RIPPLS, which will likely continue to give listeners a firsthand perspective on what makes Medasin tick. The Texas-native’s sophomore LP promises 14 tracks in total, slated for the first quarter of 2020. —David Klemow


Lido just keeps getting better and better. It’s been nearly four years since his last full length album, Everything, but he hasn’t slowed down since then a bit. His Spacesuit, IOU1  EPs proved Lido has the musical chops to back up his ambitious ideas yet again. On his upcoming full length project Peder, which has been teased since summer of 2019, Lido will tell the story of a child raised on a spaceship, and the ever-improving producer’s concept should come to life in an extraordinary way. Watch the video for the record’s lead single “How To Do Nothing” for an inside look at the upcoming album. —Mitch Rose


Initially hinting at his sixth studio album on KOD‘s final track in 2018, J. Cole officially confirmed that his next album The Fall Off was set to drop in 2020. The Dreamville boss teased the upcoming album briefly at his headlining Day N Vegas performance with a faux political campaign-like slogan. Despite no word on release date, singles, or features (if any), with his repeated track record of critically-acclaimed projects like KOD4 Your Eyez Only, 2014’s unforgettable Forest Hills Drive, and most recently, his Dreamville compilation album Revenge of the Dreamers III, J.Cole may very well be poised to grab his seventh consecutive number-one album in the country with The Fall Off later this year. —Jessica Mao

Calvin Harris

Electronic chameleon Calvin Harris has changed colors many times over the course of his career. Harris’ title as one of the most versatile producers in all of electronic music is not just incontrovertible—it’s also well earned. With a broad catalog of collaborations that includes Frank Ocean, Migos, Rihanna, Gwen Stefani, and Katy Perry, Harris’ inventive work has enabled him to sonically rub shoulders with no shortage of pop and dance music’s most esteemed artists. Last year, news of major Sony releases leaked, bearing Harris’ name next to Tyler, The Creator, Mark Ronson, BTS, and more. 2019 came and went without a release from the Fly Eye helmer, though, ahead of his Coachella 2020 performance, Harris has promised new material is underway. Poised to make his first long-form outing since 2017’s Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1, Harris is positioned to reclaim his dance dominance, but then again, he’s never really lost it, has he? —Rachel Narozniak


It feels like yesterday that Justin Blau, known to the masses as 3LAU, delivered his ultra ear-catching Ultraviolet LP. Fans who have gravitated to the producer’s feel-good brand of electro over the better part of a decade are in for a treat as 3LAU has promised another album due sometime in 2020. With another album underway, fans can likely expect another headlining tour with state-of-the-art production catered to the album. On top of a full-length project, 3LAU has also promised an EP on the way as well, and while neither has an official release date as of yet, something tells us we won’t be going deep in 2020 without new music from the “Down For Life” producer. —Farrell Sweeney


Few names have been as prevalent in the electronic scene as long as drill n’ bassist Squarepusher, which is part of why his return to analog equipment for the upcoming Be Up A Hello is so damn alluring. With the album’s first two singles oozing the adrenaline-soaked Squarepusher appeal that fans fell in love with back in the 90’s, it’s clear that the UK-based indie dance pioneer hasn’t missed a beat in his five year hiatus. Be Up A Hello drops on January 31 before Squarepusher embarks on a stateside tour this spring. —Josh Stewart

The xx

Masters of minimalism, The xx know better than anyone that silence can be violent. The trio’s maintained a low profile since the resounding success of their 2017 album I See You, while Jamie xx has maintained a successful solo DJ career and Romy Madley Croft has lended writing credits to a variety of other artists. Little is known about their fourth studio album except that the group is currently at work, and that they officially extended their contract with Universal Music Publishing Group (UMG). On New Year’s Eve, the group took to Instagram to confirm the new project was indeed underway. —Bella Bagshaw


Since 2017, rumors of Rihanna’s mysterious ninth album have kept the world incessantly on its toes, journeying from whispers of a reggae project back to the unknown, with Skrillex, Diplo, Pharrell, and Calvin Harris rumored to be tied to the elusive project. While the pop icon has expanded her empire in other pursuits including Fenty Beauty, Savage x Fenty, and more, the dearth of her music activity has only exponentially built up the anticipation for her long-awaited Anti-follow up. Even Rih herself recently teased up the never-ending wait for R9 in an instagram post which she captioned: “me listening to R9 by myself and refusing to release it.” Something tells us that won’t be the case this year though. —Jessica Mao

The Red Hot Chili Peppers

There is no band that has clung to relevance with the same tenacious vigor as The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Over 30 years past their initial formation they still have an eager fanbase awaiting the next drop of news surrounding the defining Los Angeles rock band—whether it be yet another shift in their lineup or the promise of a new album on the way. In 2020 it’s both, as John Frusciante, the band’s most notable guitarist, is rejoining for the third time and contributing his impeccable guitar prowess and vocal work to The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ impending twelfth studio album. —Harry Levin

The Weeknd

The Weeknd‘s new album, Chapter Six, may reside behind a surreptitious veil of speculation, but one thing’s for certain: Abel Tesfaye is still violently at war with himself. Pop/R&B’s most delectable, self-demonized figurehead has thus far shared two vastly contrasting fragments from the upcoming LP. The first, “Blinding Lights,” is a glitzy ’80s-inspired anthem wherein the singer can croon freely about his half-whole benevolent heart. But Dr. Jekyl makes his surrender in “Heartless,” and the Party Monster rears his head. Listeners can continue to expect much of this thematic tug and pull from the Starboy singer. —Bella Bagshaw


It’s been nearly a decade since Caleb Cornett, better known as Amtrac, delivered his debut album—the memorable and summery Came Along. Capping at 13 tracks deep, many of which feature Amtrac’s own vocals, the indie-electronic introduction highlighted the producer’s artistic nature as well as his heaping ambition. With his sophomore album Oddyssey on deck, fans can expect Cornett to return to his artistic approach for another full length, but now through the lens of a more refined, mature producer. Oddyssey is out in the early part of 2020, with singles “Between the Lines” and “Radical.” —Josh Stewart

Justin Bieber

Jack Ü‘s inescapable, Justin Bieber-assisted “Where Are Ü Now” was a massive turning point in the Canadian pop star’s career, ushering in his fourth studio album in late 2015. Then, after the smash-hit Purpose, Justin Bieber went silent on the album front. After cancelling dates from the tour in support of the album, Bieber pressed pause on the long-form format as he took a hiatus from production to focus on his health and life offstage. Gradually, Bieber began to lend his voice to series of high-profile releases. As Bieber ramped up his feature game, year by year, gracing Post Malone, Billie Eilish, and Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee originals, it was possible that the vocalist might have only consigned his voice to fellow artists’ efforts. Not so, however, and with the confirmation that his next studio album will arrive in 2020 in tandem with a multi-city tour, the “Sorry” vocalist engaged his “Bieber Fever”-stricken following with a newly launched YouTube series, and an upcoming record that’s expected to chronicle Bieber’s growth over the years. —Rachel Narozniak


In 2019, Flume had his foot on the pedal perhaps harder than ever before—he released his mind-bending full-length mixtape Hi, This is Flume, relaunched his live production at some of the world’s top festivals, and was nominated for yet another Grammy. Best of all, he has no intention of hitting the brakes in 2020, having recently revealed in a Billboard interview that he expects to drop another album in 2020. Although it’s too early to say which direction the Skin producer will take his next project, Flume’s artistic growth and innovative moves ensure his next album album will be nothing short of a masterwork. —Jessica Mao


When Lorde speaks, the youth listens, and when the Australian vocalist speaks on her next album, expected sometime this year, the youth will be hearing something different from her than ever before. After delivering a heartfelt ode to her late dog Pearl towards the end of 2019, the “Tennis Court” singer made it clear that her feelings of loss, melancholy, and emptiness would play a much more pronounced roll in her upcoming LP, despite being the cause of the record’s delay. While her music was certainly far from naive optimism in the past, this will be a new side of Lorde, one that will open her music to an at this point unexplored listening base. —Harry Levin

Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean‘s solo debut, Channel Orange, succeeded in introducing a new R&B star archetype, though it was his long-awaited sophomore follow-up in 2016, Blonde, which came to define the decade. Now, following a surge of new music in 2019, a series of NYC club nights, and a Beats 1 radio slot, a new project from Ocean seems imminent. Though, if Ocean’s track record tells us anything, it’s that he’ll only move when he’s ready, and we likely won’t have much notice before he does. —David Klemow


After striking sonic gold with his debut album, Clarity, in 2012, ZEDD further asserted that he would be a force to be reckoned with in electronic circles with his sophomore offering, True Colors, in 2015. All eyes were on ZEDD after Clarity, and True Colors arrived as proof that the forward-thinking concept album wasn’t a fluke, but proof of Anton Zaslavski’s unique and ingenious approach to dance production. After showing that the album format could be one of his strongest musical suits, ZEDD altered his style, favoring a one-off release pattern defined by singles such as “The Middle,” and “365.” With just about every release in the stream of singles that ZEDD began in 2016 with “Candyman,” the superstar producer expanded his style, progressively gravitating further away from his electro roots and closer to dance-pop hybrids. His embrace of different genres of music, such as house and pop, has enabled him to continuously reinvent his sound, and his third studio album, fondly referred to as “Z3” by fans, will further define his sound. With ZEDD’s 2020 album, listeners will hear who he has grown to be since he got his groundbreaking start in the early 2010s. —Rachel Narozniak

Tame Impala

Kevin Parker continues his championing of modern psychedelia in digestible fashion for the masses with the extended rollout of The Slow Rush. It’s clear Tame Impala‘s upcoming album isn’t to arrive as a drastic departure from his lysergic synth work and cornerstone bass jaunts. The wistful Currents-esque melancholy broods and bubbles through “Lost In Yesterday,” while Parker’s will-I-won’t-I lonerism walks tall along the pop-primed “Borderline.” Tame Impala’s fourth studio album is due to land on February 14 via Interscope Records. —Bella Bagshaw


March will mark six years since Skrillex delivered his seminal debut LP, Recess. At the height of the EDM boom, the album was an intergalactic thrill ride through genre-hopping collaborations, chock full of electronic instant-classics. Skrillex’s pivot into hip-hop and pop products since his sole full-length project reached shelves has proven to be a more than fruitful endeavor, though in 2020, all signs point back to a return to form for the OWSLA head honcho. Rumors of multiple projects in the works have swirled for months now, though one thing is certain—whatever Skrillex gives us this year, it’ll be reflective of a more seasoned, more creatively ambitious producer before us, and somehow, likely the same old Skrillex we’ve come to know and love at the exact same time. —David Klemow

Run The Jewels

It has been a long time coming, but the wait for RTJ4 is likely winding down now. EL-P and Killer Mike have been teasing their fourth studio endeavor for more than two years now, though the former has recently confirmed the record will land ahead of the group’s appearance at Coachella 2020. The timing couldn’t be better too—with Rage Against The Machine expected to bring a raucously politically charged headlining set to Indio this year, Run The Jewels should be primed to ride the same wave with their own new material. RTJ4 is understood to be capped at 11 tracks total, with a lean runtime of 40 minutes or so, now due to land before April 10.

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