Most Anticipated Albums Of 2016 (Part 2)

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

This year’s list was so big we needed a part 2! Check out part 1 here!


You’ve probably seen me banging on about Industrial music here or on twitter A LOT. I love it. The grinding anger. The furious mechanical harshness. The brutalism with subtleties. The almost comically bad names and artwork. It’s the best but it’s been watery and weak and pathetic for years. Until very recently. 3TEETH give me hope for industrial. Bringing back those heinous over produced drums that sounds like they’re being played by a Ford factory and shouting just sheer nihilism into my stupid skull. Their new album is slated for this year so expect vines of me doing donuts in car parks and giving post boxes the middle finger. – Findlay

Against Me!

Writer’s bias alert: I can’t speak highly enough about this band. The Gainesville punk outfit’s last effort, (2014’s Transgender Dysphoria Blues – arguably one of music’s most pivotal releases to tackle themes of gender identity and dysphoria in the history of ever) effectively catapulted frontwoman Laura Jane Grace into full-blown mainstream rockstardom, setting up their follow-up with an unprecedented platform. Expect the record to include a solid radio hit or two, peppered with the unapologetic, anthemic treatment that’s made AM! a mainstay in the hearts of punks for nearly two decades. – Tommy


Head in the Clouds, Hands in the Dirt was an impressive debut album by all accounts. Released in 2014 on No Sleep Records, I was honestly surprised Aviator didn’t blow up with their tasteful blend of melodic and post hardcore that’s perfect for fans of Touché Amoré or La Dispute. Maybe 2016 is their year? The band is in the studio as of last week tracking a new full-length and something tells me it’s going to put Aviator prominently on the metaphoric map. – Dylan


Even if it’s not cool to admit, who isn’t honestly excited for a new Blink-182 album truly unlike any before it? With the departure of Tom Delonge in favor of Alkaline Trio frontman Matt Skiba, current fan dialogue suggests nobody really knows what to expect from a re-energized, relaxed and excited Blink. Whereas think pieces dropping half-baked buzzphrases like “tainted legacy” seem bound to inundate social media upon release, 2016 just might be the year that everyone gets to enjoy Blink-182 again with nary a hair-trigger breakup in sight. – Tommy

Brand New

What is there to say about putting Brand New on a most anticipated albums list? The band has gotten better consistently with each release, and besides one new song in 2015, the band has not released music in 7 years. Hopefully this is the year. – Alex (Editor’s Note: Jesse Lacey named his newborn Bowie, what an honor.)


After releasing one EP in 2014 that all of 2015 moving up the ranks from Philly local labels to Broken World Media, Clique has taken their brand of moderate tempo emo songs to Topshelf for their debut full length which is sure to be a sleeper hit of 2016. – Alex


I had never heard of Departures when they put out Teenage Haze four years ago, but what a freakin’ album it turned out to be. These Brits have masterfully blended post-hardcore and emo and I really can’t wait to see what they have in store with a new full-length. Their 2013 split with label mates Moose Blood was an intriguing appetizer, but it seemed more like leftover songs from the full-length and I’m expecting the 3 years in between releases will allow for some growth in their new tunes. – Dylan

Diarrhea Planet

While fans will still clamor for the goofy “Ghost With a Boner” and lose their shit to opening riff(and rightfully so), Diarrhea Planet have shown that they are more than capable of writing songs that are more than just silly garage-punk jams.  Songs like “Kids” off of I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams and “Spooners”  from the Aliens in the Outfield EP prove that this Nashville sextet can easily pump out fuller, more complete-sounding songs without sacrificing much, if any, of the four-guitar shredding for which they are known. After catching one of their shows at the tail-end of 2015 and hearing some new material, it is safe to say that they will maintain their impressive balance, as multiple members perform vocal duties and the shredding is still present.  While I can’t remember the exact ttiles or lyrics of the new songs, they also seemed to have maintained some fun lyrics.  Despite the anticipation for recorded music, it wouldn’t be a DP post without praising their live shows, which are still must-see. Both live and on record, they find great ways to blend garage/punk/blues/Southern/hard rock that is more than worth your attention. – Dan


With the LP Mediumship in 2014 and the EP Ledge in 2015, Dikembe has made it onto my top albums list in some capacity two years straight. Here’s to hoping for three in a row. The Gainesville natives do the seemingly impossible and put out a better album with every single release, most recently moving away from emo-punk in the direction of alternative, circa Brand New. They recently announced that they’re working on a new LP, so obviously I’m rather excited. – Dylan

Dillinger Four

They do everything on their own terms, and unlike some other beloved bands, the fans largely seem to be okay with that.  Will they reconvene to put out their first new release since 2008?  Probably not, but you never know.  Personal pipe dream for 2016. – Dan

Direct Hit!

When artists attempt to make a concept album, the word “ambitious” often gets thrown around.  In 2013, Direct Hit! managed to completely blow expectations out of the water with the release of Brainless God, a concept album following a few suburban characters in the final moments leading to the end of the world via nuclear explosion. The album provided a collection of intertwined narratives that thrived on not being overly-complicated or repetitive,  while still undoubtedly being  catchy, aggressive, punk rock songs that could easily stand on their own outside of the context of the album.  Direct Hit! managed to take on such an endeavor without sacrificing their bite, as there is not a dull moment on the entire record. No attempts at ballads or anything, just a freight train of punk rock excellence that is arguably one of the best overall punk rock releases in recent memory. The excitement for this record should be very high since they have displayed they can write songs about anything  that sound like they could come straight from a comic book, to songs questioning religion, to a punk masterpiece of a concept album. While the subject matters for the upcoming album are unknown at the current time, just know that it will come with a shot of adrenaline or a punch to the face. The band’s recently-posted teaser declares that the record is “a message to young people” while making quick mentions guns and handcuffs, but ultimately concluding with their brash “FUCK YOU. GET PUMPED.”   Well fuck you, I am pumped. – Dan


Newly formed New Jersey rock band Dryjacket came to the forefront last year with their ambitious EP Lights, Locks & Faucets. Collectively, the songs have a feeling of curiosity behind them, as they successfully manufactured lasting and worthwhile tracks that portray emotion without being over exuberant or ridiculous. Consequently, it comes off as a mature EP that shows progression over the course of just five songs. Combining the “mathy” and buzzing guitars of emo, with the synergistic and aggressive qualities of modern day alternative music, Dryjacket have created a unique sound. If the last handful of years has shown us anything, it’s that the scene is in need of a greater number of bands pushing emo forward and will reward those who do so (You Blew It, Into It Over It, Marietta – just to name a few). Look for Dryjacket to add their name to the list of acts that have generated interest beyond scene doors with their debut full-length. – Colin


Ernie (formerly known as Aggrocragg) write some of the most entrancing music coming out right now. Hypnotizing catchy bass lines with fun but poetic lyrics, this music is SMART. Sometimes I just sit and listen to a single track, or even a single verse, over and over and over and pick up new things each time. They’ve been working on some new material for their debut LP, and I feel like it is going to take the next step and push this band farrrrr. – Henderson

From Indian Lakes

To be fair, we’ve already gotten new music in the form of the amazing EP Wanderer, but even the band has suggested it’s only to hold us over “until the next full length is finished”. From Indian Lakes is a band that is constantly evolving and experimenting with new sounds, and the mostly-acoustic EP is a prime example of their fluidity between styles. Three new songs makes for a great start to the year, but I’m really hoping to see the next full-length out before the year is up. – Dylan

Hesitation Wounds

What started as a short 5-hour get together between Jeremy Bolm (Touche Amore), Jay Weinberg (Slipknot, ex-Against Me!), Neeraj Kane (Suicide File, The Hope Conspiracy), and Stephen LaCour (ex-Trap Them, True Cross), resulted in an impressive, heavy, self-titled 7”  back in 2013.  With elements and aggression taken from all of the members’ current/previous bands, as well as Jeremy Bolm somehow producing vocals that are even more aggressive than they are in TA material, they were able to write and record a stellar 7” of hardcore in such a limited period of time.  The band members’ personal social media accounts had been posting pictures and videos claiming to have been working on a full length, so hopefully it will be ready to roll in 2016.  Now that they have actually met and known each other for over 3-4 years, and have taken more time than just 5 hours to write, there is more than enough potential for a phenomenal full length.  Their 7” can be found on the Secret Voice bandcamp page, so don’t get it confused with the other Hesitation Wounds’ bandcamp page. – Dan


Hodera released their debut album, United By Birdcalls, this past summer on my record label, All Sounds, but they were gaining steam in NJ long before then. These guys write some excellent songs. Their tracks touch upon important emotions and feelings and do it in a way that is accessible and importantly sounds great. Tight rock instrumentals and vocals reminiscent of the Front Bottoms mixed with The Gaslight Anthem; they have the whole package. United By Birdcalls was received very well and allowed Hodera to chart on Spotify, tour almost the entirety of the US, and even make it out to tour the UK. They’re now working on new material that I believe will be even more exceptional. I am more than excited for what’s coming for these guys. – Henderson

Holy Pinto

Holy Pinto are a UK 2 piece that have recently been building a following in the US, playing shows over here pretty frequently (which is awesome). They write indie rock tracks that are fun and intelligent, with a definite British flair. Music aside, both them just seem to have a ton of fun writing and performing music together, which is crucial for 2 pieces. They’ve built an upbeat indie rock style over their past releases that I think they’ll continue to expand upon in this new material, making even more fans on both sides of the Atlantic. – Henderson

Hot Hot Heat

Toronto experimental pop rock group Hot Hot Heat surprised fans late last year when they made an announcement via Facebook that they would be releasing an album in 2016. Future Breeds, the band’s fourth full-length came out in 2010 to a disappointing reception by both fans and critics, ending a long streak of successful releases. The majority of songs were flat and the album lacked direction. It was as if the band exchanged creativity and catchy hooks for an experimental and weird sound “just because”. After a well-deserved break, one of the best bands in pop rock are ready to put out more music. Based on what the band has said, I would be stunned if the album was anything but a feel good record that returned to their roots. If the track listing can produce anything close to “Middle of Nowhere” “Bandages” or “Let Me In” I expect many longtime fans to be won back over. – Colin

I Can Dream

Hardcore music can take many forms but I Can Dream exemplify the raw energy of the genre perfectly. Their debut EP For What It’s Worth was one of my favorites of 2015 and with a voice as natural and vicious as Peter Bruno, I cannot wait to see where they go in 2016. (thanks Brandon for the photo) – Sean


JANK shocked the world with their amazing debut album. Silly songs about getting high, buying hats, sounding like Title Fight, and other nonsense over stunning instrumentals. 99 times out of 100 this wouldn’t work at all, but these guys bring the perfect combination of talent and wacky fun to their music, somewhat in a similar way to Rozwell Kid. Can they recreate the magic with a release in 2016 now that all eyes are on them? I say yes. JANK are the real deal banana peel. PS weed is tight. – Henderson 

A Lot Like Birds

I have said it before and I will continue saying it the rest of my life; Michael Franzino is one of the best modern composers around. Whether or not you are into post-hardcore, listening to the songs he creates are a vivid journey in themselves. His songs carry musical motifs so well you mindlessly get put into a trance. Expect the birds to write one of the most sonically soothing albums of the year, albeit with vicious screams and compelling cleans and one hell of a rhythm section. On their last album there was one track that featured a 4/4 bass part with a 6/8 snare part. Talk about INSANE dynamics, this band is full of them. These are also some of the coolest guys around and will chat with you at their shows for hours on end. – Sean


LKFFCT (pronounced “lake effect”) are ultimate NJ basement vets. A lot of you may not have heard of them yet, but in northern NJ they are revered for their punk talent and DIY ethos. Former members of Washington Square Park formed LKFFCT to approach songwriting in a different, perhaps more mature way. However, they brought with them their excitingly creative energy and off the walls live performances. They write slacker punk rock, that varies between lo-fi hazy tunes and rock tracks with some major riffage. The lyrics hit home, discussing varied topics including the staleness of suburban living and hatred for our corrupt governor. As they have grown into this new project, songwriters Keith and Max (who both also have a variety of incredible side projects) have gotten better and better at writing catchy yet thoughtful material, and they have taken a major step on this new album which should be released in early 2016. I am confident in the talent and honesty of this band and know things are only going to go up for them in the future. – Henderson

Lust For Youth

People have been quite sheepish about calling Danish trio Lust For Youth “goth”. But they are. Make no mistake. Sure the songs are very electro-synth with broad strokes of New Order but there’s alot of influence I can hear from bands like The Mission and Fields of Nephilim, it’s just a shade more subtle. The song “Better Looking Brother” from forthcoming album Compassion is an amazing, glistening tease at an album that sounds like it’s going to be fucking STUNNING. – Findlay


I get this next sentiment negates the entire point of “music journalism”, but does ANYONE really need to justify why a new Menzingers record would/will obliterate the music landscape? Sure, a ton of people out there still don’t know, but many of them missed the boat by forgetting to get tickets to that one Rise Against/A Day To Remember/Menzingers tour a few years back. Their loss.The ‘Zingers’ monumental last effort ‘Rented World’ was released back in 2014, and while this photo confirms that they’ve only just started writing LP5, fans are in for arguably their most gratifying record yet. Years of relentless touring behind anthems like “I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore” showcased a strain of punk both familiar and new – igniting countless new bands like newborns each November. A new slew of blistering, heartfelt missives couldn’t be more welcome, though all good things take time, patience, and in this band’s case – a whole lotta booze. If you told me that Chipotle made guac free, Morrissey was actually playing Smiths shows again, Trump was deemed ineligible to run for President, a Kenan & Kel reboot got greenlit, my rent was paid for a month AND a new fully-fledged Star Wars movie just ghost dropped, all simultaneously, I’d still be more excited for this record. Only by a little though. That’s a lot of cool shit. – Tommy


Between signing to SideOneDummy, releasing a record, and touring with The Wonder Years, Microwave is sure to have a hot 2016. And not the kind that’s hot on the edges but still cold-to-lukewarm on the inside because the kitchen reheating appliance wasn’t strong enough. This pop-punk band that channels a lot of Andy Hull’s vocal leanings sure has a lot to look forward to, and this record will undoubtedly capture the band many new fans. – Alex

Modern Baseball

The Philadelphia, PA Say Anything meets the Front Bottoms emo troupe released an EP last year (that was on my end of the year list) that shows how well the band is growing. Produced by Joe Reinhart, the band hopes to evolve on this record and will surely be swinging for the fences. – Alex

Moose Blood

The UK band’s brand of cheeseball pop punk has become a hit throughout 2015 after the release of 2014’s I’ll Keep You In Mind From Time To Time. After embarking on their first US tour (Warped Tour no less), the band is gearing up to release their second full length, no doubt with more plans to tour the states this year. – Alex

Moving Mountains

I know, I know. They just put out an awesome split with Prawn, but I’m greedy and I want more. When one of a man’s favorite bands is taken away and then suddenly reappears, he starts to believe in miracles; work with me! After a few amazing reunion shows, it feels as though it would be silly for Moving Mountains not to work on new music, even if there isn’t tour support for new material. Their self-titled album was monumental and the split is downright epic so it seems logical that they would continue on this upward trend. – Dylan

Muncie Girls

Another debut from a UK band, Muncie Girls’ From Caplan To Belsize will be 10 songs of pure pop punk/indie rock bliss. Based on the strength of the two songs released so far, ‘Gone With The Wind’ and ‘Gas Mark 4’, From Caplan To Belsize threatens to overshadow everything they’ve done before as it catapults them into uncharted territory. Released through Specialist Subject Records (another incredible UK label) on March 4th, this will be the soundtrack to your summer. – Conor

Night Verses

Yet another post-hardcore band to add into the comeback year of the genre. This group is heavily underrated, possessing one of the best drummers I have ever heard in Aric Improta. Expect for this band’s sonically crushing sound to be one of the loudest ones in the scene this year. – Sean 

Now, Now

I’ve been dying for more Now, Now tunes since I first heard Threads, which is now four years old. The band has provided evidence of their writing process steadily over the last year through frequent Instagram posts from front-woman Cacie Dalager, but in December they finally confirmed that the band was in the studio via Facebook. It will be interesting to hear what growth the band exhibits in their new songs, especially considering guitarist Jess Abbot’s personal development through her work in Tancred. No word on when specifically we can expect the album, but I’m sure it will be worth the wait. – Dylan


How does one of rock’s most exciting acts of the last two decades top their most well-received offering to date? A “triumphant” Fall tour effectively closed Paramore’s Self-Titled era last Fall, suggesting that a new album could arrive as early as Fall 2016, but with the brisk, recent departure of bassist Jeremy Davis, a RIOT 10th anniversary tour in some form seems like a far safer bet for the year ahead (shoutout nostalgia culture for never failing to steal those pesky millennial dollars one reunion at a time). Anyone’s guess is as good as mine, so here’s to hoping that the next incarnation of Paramore continues to break ground over breaking hearts. – Tommy

Pet Symmetry

Pet Symmetry is a super group with… super music! (oof). The band includes Evan Weiss (of Into It Over It and 27 other bands) and members of Dowsing, so obviously they’re chock full of talented songwriting. Their 2015 album, Pets Hounds took a somewhat poppier approach to emo/indie rock and it worked excellently. Weiss’s vocals and lyrics hook you, and the instrumentals are nearly flawless in their execution. No single track is boring. Can they take it to the next level in 2016? Will the new tunes have the same upbeat vibe to them? Who knows, but I’m excited to find out. – Henderson


Pipedream’s debut, Secret Beach, comes out on Brighton’s Dog Knights Productions on April 1st and this Cardiff-based band are set to blow everyone away. With jangly guitars intertwining with Tom Sander’s unique vocals, whilst Josh Brunt-Torjussen and Harry Jowett’s understated but perfect rhythm section keep things tight at the back, this indie masterpiece will stay on rotation throughout the year. – Conor


Pope are like the fuzzier, lo-fi, half-brother of Donovan Wolfington. The group is made up of members from Don Wolf, and the talent and songwriting is still there, but the style is completely different. Instead of the screaming intensity of Don Wolf, there is chill, dark fuzzy energy exuding from Pope tracks. I know these dudes are talented. I know I like Pope’s music. I know I want more of it ASAP. – Henderson


Australian fuzz-rockers Postblue aren’t super well-known yet, but their debut LP I Hope They’re Praying For Me was a criminally overlooked array of unhinged grungy rock gems. However, in 2015, the band dropped a single called “Glow Like Crazy,” which was a sunny, post-punk inspired track that suggests a new direction for the talented young band. Wherever they’re headed, i’ll be listening and you should be, too. – Riley


Prawn is one of New Jersey’s best acts and I’m glad they’re finally getting the exposure they deserve (they played to a packed crowd in one of two headlining venues at this year’s Fest). Riding off the momentum of 2014’s Kingfisher and Settled, the band put out an incredible split with Moving Mountains in November that showcased a slightly more delicate tone, which I can totally get behind. Based off the intense work ethic they’ve displayed thus far, there’s a good likelihood we’ll see a new Prawn release before the year is up. – Dylan


PUP’s sophomore record has a lot to live up to. Since storming on to the scene in 2014, PUP have travelled the world winning over crowds in every major city and anticipation couldn’t be higher for their follow up. If they manage to even half match the intensity of their live performance, then this record will send them to even greater heights. This band is going to continue to dominate not just the underground scene, but they’re also turning mainstream heads all over the place. – Conor

Pusha T

Pusha has been teasing King Push since BEFORE his excellent 2013 debut solo LP, My Name is My Name. Since then, he’s released the prelude, Darkest Before Dawn; his second effort is a cohesive collection of dark hip-hop numbers from one of rap’s most captivating emcees – and it’s supposedly thematically separate from King Push. Push demands attention, and if this project as big as he claims it is, we are in for a real treat. – Riley


I am pretty sure you would be lying directly to me if you said that you didn’t find White Noise catchy in SOME fashion. While some tracks were over simple or a little too synth mushy, most of the album (DEBUT mind you) was met with great praise. Lynn Gunn and company have quite the bar to rise over, but I have no doubt in my mind whatever they release next will be amazing. I bet it will take the world by storm again. – Sean


When Radiohead drummer Philip Selway told NME that the band was back in the studio this September, I presumptuously assumed there was even a shred of a chance that the album would be out before the end of 2015. Alas, here we are in 2016 and I am still eagerly awaiting the bands follow up to The King of Limbs, released a full five years ago in 2011, but I am happy to be waiting. To appease the masses they released “Spectre” in December. The song was written as a potential theme song for a new James Bond movie and is wonderful even without the film context, but I crave more. I suppose you can’t rush creative genius and the lads in Radiohead have proven themselves to be textbook exemplars of the term time and time again, but I’ve got my fingers crossed. – Dylan

Rozwell Kid

Rozwell Kid have already released 3 front to back awesome LPs, not to mention a very solid EP that came out this past year. Word is that they are now working on a new album for 2016? If true, I absolutely can’t wait to listen. Everyone compares them to Weezer but that’s because it’s a good comparison. Thing is, ever since I first heard Rozwell Kid I have never felt the need to hear Weezer ever again. These guys have some of the absolute best riffs in modern music (somehow that is not an exaggeration), and they write songs about fun silly things. There’s already been a song about hummus, growing sideburns, and my favorite, a track about aspiring to be Ace Ventura. I can’t wait to find out what topics they will tackle next.  – Henderson

Run The Jewels

We are all aware of the Run The Jewels takeover, right? Perfect, then I will keep this short. Simply knowing this dynamic duo is making more rap anthems is music to my ears. Expect yet another honest and crushing album full of pulverizing beats and witty lyrics. – Sean


I should say straight out that I am interested in the forthcoming Saosin record based solely on the band’s debut EP – I have no interest in the safe and mediocre albums that followed. Translating The Name stands apart from the group’s otherwise offensively inoffensive discography for its unleashed metal and hardcore influences and the presence of the enigmatic, ferocious, and genuine vocalist Anthony Green. Following a brief reunion tour, the band has entered the studio with Green, hopefully in order to give fans a follow-up to the record that started it all. Here’s hoping Saosin are able to recapture the magic of that brief and incendiary moment in their history that launched a thousand teenaged circle pits. – Nick

Say Anything

Many people are still looking for Say Anything to deliver another …Is A Real Boy, so much so that they sleep on their newer work. While 2012’s Anarchy My Dear was a bit of a disappointment; 2014’s Hebrews, despite the lack of guitars, managed to recapture everything that makes a Say Anything album. It was sarcastic, bitter, biting, funny, ironic, and introspective. It truly felt like personal album from songwriter Max Bemis. I’m hoping this continues on with this new album slated for 2016. Anarchy My Dear’s issue was that it felt so disconnected and forced. Hebrews the angst felt pure and natural which is what we all want from Say Anything. So far we have no details other than it’s coming, but based on Hebrews that’s enough for me. – Tom

Secret Space

This dynamic Toledo three-piece are responsible for some of 2015’s best rock songs, and their forthcoming Will Yip-produced debut LP shatters even the loftiest expectations. The band stretched themselves for this record, and the result is perhaps the scene’s most diverse record in quite some time. The group’s thumping space-rock slow-burners are accentuated by their catchiest hooks and most intense material to-date. It is due out sometime later this year on Equal Vision Records. – Riley

Sinai Vessel

Admittedly, I’ve known about North Carolina’s Sinai Vessel for the last couple of years but they weren’t on my radar until they debuted their fantastic single “I Quit the Choir” through Count Your Lucky Stars’ split series in June of 2015. Given the band’s lack of releases it’s difficult to predict what their debut album will sound like. And although not much is known about the album yet, just head to the band’s Facebook or Twitter page and you’ll come across multiple posts addressing what’s to come: “Rounding out 2015 as a band not many more people care about than they did in 2014. We’re putting out something to care about next year (2016).” If you don’t believe in yourself no one else will, and if the band was able to capture the rambunctious nature of “I Quit the Choir” throughout an entire album during their studio time last year, there is no doubt that they could be Tiny Engines next big break out artist. Ultimately, the group’s reassured confidence makes me believe that have crafted something special for us in 2016. – Colin


Moderately paced alternative rock music is an exceedingly challenging sound to perfect. Bands classified as such operate in the general sphere of pop punk, but do not write albums so overbearingly fast that the songs feel as if they are being pushed down your throat without the chance to comprehend what is being played. A quick scan of the greater music community will lead you to conclude that only a small number of records in the past few years have accomplished the “mid paced but catchy sound”: The Early November’s In Currents, Seahaven’s Ghost EP, Transit’s Listen and Forgive, Joyce Manor’s Never Hungover Again, and Better Off’s Milk. But another album is poised to make this list, First Day Back by Somos. With two songs released from their upcoming LP, it’s evident that the band is moving away from a more traditional style of song writing and production. Instead, the group has chosen an exceedingly innovative and cohesive style that may not hit as hard as their debut, but is more refined and less dependent on choruses and hooks. Expect this album to serve as a barometer for this pace of music over the next few years. – Colin


The infamous Rappa Ternt Sanga’s signature stylings and soulful crooning paved the path for every hip-hop artist of the last decade to effectively, as the kids say, “get theirs”. His upcoming album Stoicville: The Phoenix was originally announced in 2013, officially making it his most prolonged release yet (though nowhere near Frank Ocean territory in the hearts of fans, despite a technically longer wait). If last year’s viral NPR Tiny Desk concert and recent single “Make That Shit Work” are any indication, T-Pain’s upcoming effort promises to deliver a balanced breakfast of certified bangers. – Tommy

Tender Defender

There’s a lot we still don’t know about Tender Defender. When is the album coming? How full-time is this band? Why do my insides feel all jittery when I listen to them? But we do know that the band is 3/4s of legendary Long Island punks Latterman, and their first song “Hello Dirt” doesn’t miss a beat, picking up right where Latterman left off. – Alex


There has been no official confirmation of a new Tool record in 2016. Of course there hasn’t. Still another year begins, and so we renew our hope. I was still in high school screaming “who are you to wave your finger” at my math teacher when I began hoping for a follow-up to 2006’s 10,000 Days. Tool have been, for me, the most important gateway musical act in my life. They introduced me to the roots of progressive rock and changed the way I thought about heavy music. Though the gaps between releases have gone from streams to rivers to oceans, they have released consistently spellbinding music for as long as they’ve been at it. With a new tour currently ongoing, and photos like the one above showing the group in the studio together, hope doesn’t feel so much like folly. We’ll just have to continue waiting until confirmation comes, but something – even if it is only naïve, foolish hope– makes it feel like this is the year that our patience may finally be rewarded. – Nick

The house has been settling for years, so the noises from the attic aren’t new. Except the scratching. That’s new. Tiny teeth gnawing the struts. Strange zipping noises waking you up in the middle of the night. You grab a torch and pop the lid into the attic. Everything smells like hot breath and burned fur. There are chewed wires hanging down just in the back corner. A huge slate of your light just sidelighting something cowering behind the boiler. It’s pointing to a sleeping bag on the floor, roughly the exact place where you sleep in the room below. You peel back the top layer of the bag. There’s a note: “New Tool Album, 2016. fingers crossed, mate” – Findlay


TTNG (formerly This Town Needs Guns) are one of my favorite bands, and have been for a few years now. Since I first heard their album Animals I was hooked by the dazzling yet unpretentious guitar work, complex rhythms, and impassioned vocals. Though that line-up of the band changed soon after my interest was peaked, I was delighted by 2014’s, which found the band I already loved evolving while exploring some new stylistic landscapes with the addition of bassist/vocalist Henry Tremain. TTNG are poised to release an album that could end up being their most exciting work to date. Whether they marry the restlessness of their past with the brooding sensibilities of their recent work, or give us something new entirely, I’ll be waiting with bated breath for this one. – Nick

Twin Coves

Atlantic City’s Twin Coves are expected to be following up their 2015 Tight Spaces EP with a 2016 full-length.  Despite a lineup change, Christine Dixon’s warm vocals were still on display with building instrumentals on a single, “Young Blood Believers,” that they released back at the end of November.  Allowing the single to act as a preview for things to come in 2016 has this potential release on our radar. – Dan


Psychedelic folk music done right. Woods are smooth in their delivery and prolific with their writing. Every album they have created is an audible journey to a more peaceful place with clashing leads that bring back moods of the 60s and 70s. The album is due out in springtime right when the sun starts peeking out from its winter absence, making sure your windows are down and you are smiling along to joyful music meant to make the world a bit less evil. – Sean


Woozy’s Blistered that debuted last year was one of the most expansive LPs I listened to. It varied in sound and depth and all around was a pleasurable listen each time. I still find myself finding new songs to love or that hit me different upon every listen as well. They have been posting pictures in the studio and I am positive there will not be another album as diversified as whatever Woozy brings to the table. – Sean

Young And Heartless

Young and Heartless quietly put out the best “this isn’t Brand New but you wish it was because it’s that good and lives up to their discography” record in 2014. Joking comparisons aside, Brand New’s ever evolving sound has become a genre of its own featuring many bands that have aspired to add something to the niche with their own differentiated approach. Young and Heartless are unequivocally the best band this segment has ever produced. Songs off of their debut full length The Pull of Gravity such as “Haunted” “Desk Rot” and “Shelf Life” are lyrically morbid and overbearingly dark but still hit hard and contain engaging hooks. With their sophomore full-length Stay Away just announced and the single “Fevers” recently premiered, the band has pivoted in a new direction. While the lyrics are still grim, the single features a sound that is less pessimistic and more at peace. It is reminiscent of some of the tones found on early Killers’ material, but also has similarities with Prawn and Moving Mountains, as the single naturally and beautifully builds off itself coming to a resolution just moments before the song ends. 2016 is an important year for Young and Heartless, and it’s only a matter of time before they’re opening up for some of the genre’s biggest bands. – Colin