Spring Music Preview: Upcoming Albums That Have Us On Our Toes

Beach House, Travis Scott, Lana Del Rey, and Depeche Mode are among artists with highly anticipated new tracks set to drop in 2023


ast year was a windfall for music fanatics, who saw the release of Kendrick Lamar’s Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, Beyonce’s Renaissance, Black Midi’s Hellfire, and Black Country, New Road’s Ants From Up There—to name a few of the year’s big releases that hit hard. 

This year looks to be no different, with our ears eagerly awaiting to hear new music from Beach House, Travis Scott, Lana Del Rey, Depeche Mode, and more. Once again, the quality of new albums on the horizon is shaping up to match—or surpass—those that have preceded them.

If you’re as enthralled by music as we are, then that’s good. Here are the releases we’re looking forward to the most in 2023.

(Art by Anton Corbijn)

Depeche Mode: Momento Mori
March 24, Columbia, Mute

This will be the 15th studio album from this ever-evolving industrial synth-pop band, and the first album to be released after the death of co-founder and keyboardist Andy Fletcher. The two songs that have been released already, “My Cosmos is Mine” and “Ghosts Again,” emanate dark, industrial energy. Haunting, yet sweet, these songs represent a solemn album that still pulsates with the band’s characteristic synth pop sound. This album is also receiving its own tour, beginning in North America and then moving on to Europe.

City Morgue’s SosMula

City Morgue, My Bloody America
March 24, Hikari-ULTRA, Republic

The release of this (purported) final album from hip-hop/nu metal-hybrid duo City Morgue coincides with a tour. Though the group claimed its 2022 tour to be the last, it’s almost certain that ZillaKami and SosMula are finally parting ways to pursue their own careers following the release of their new album and tour. The two New Yorkers have developed their unique style of gritty metal rap since the band’s conception in 2016, meshing rough vocals with hard-hitting beats. If the duo’s previous collabs, including with artists like Denzel Curry and Pouya, are any indication of their new music, listeners can expect some more exciting features. This album promises more hardcore extremism than ever before. A true rockstar death for City Morgue.

(Art by Neil Krug)

Lana Del Rey: Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd
March 24, Interscope, Polydor

Since her 2010 debut, Lana Del Rey’s impact on the music industry has been undeniable and in her songs, L.A. often takes the spotlight; an affinity for Southern California is her music’s major motif. In addition to being a frequent lyrical topic, a SoCal reference has been promoted t0 album title with her latest. While addressing issues of love and loss, which she wraps in nostalgia and/or her sardonic perspective, Lana captures the melancholic beauty of Los Angeles. Her ride-or-die fans and now-won-over critics alike are eagerly awaiting the album’s March 24 release, as it’s her first full-length release since 2019.


6LACK: Since I Have a Lover
March 24, LVRN, Interscope Records

Having not released an album in five years, the R&B artist 6lack (pronounced “black”) is set to release his latest this month. Since I Have a Lover features a song of the same name about healthy love. In it, 6lack describes love as “an exhale; it’s relief, it’s trust, it’s happiness, it’s surreal.” A dreamy video released ahead of the album is rich in animation, and shows 6lack floating through Atlanta and backed by a lighthearted and hopeful beat. 6lack’s typical sound is one of slow indulgence and musing, so this upbeat album is an unexpected twist in his career. With the video gaining a million views after just a week on YouTube, it’s safe to say R&B fans are eagerly awaiting the debut of 6lack in love.

Melanie Martinez: Portals

Melanie Martinez: Portals
March 31, Atlantic Records

American singer, songwriter, and visual artist Melanie Martinez rose to fame after appearing as a contestant on the competition singing show The Voice. Her dark pop style features a blend of electronic and acoustic elements. Martinez’s upcoming album release on March 31 is long-awaited by fans, as it marks her return after a four-year hiatus. The album should be a continuation of her previous works, exploring themes of life and death while maintaining her signature haunting sound.

Daniel Caesar: Never Enough

Daniel Caesar: Never Enough
April 7, LVRN, Republic Records

After recently signing with Republic records, the soulful crooner is hoping to follow up the success of last year’s Please Do Not Lean on which he teamed up with fellow Canadian artist BADBADNOTGOOD, with his newest and third studio album Never Enough. The singer recently released 30 second preview clip, teasing the contents of the album with images of  himself hanging upside down in a tree, a woman in a field, and a match being blown out. Most likely, listeners can expect more gospel style music, gently framed by hip-hop. The clip also highlights the titles of two recent singles, “Do You Like Me?” and “Let Me Go,” which are both written in a broody, electric blue front. Never Enough’s cover is unlike any of Caesar’s previous albums, and we’re loving the new signature color.

Ellie Goulding. Higher Than Heaven

Ellie Goulding: Higher than Heaven
April 7, Polydor Records

English singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding will release her fifth studio album, Higher than Heaven, less than three years after her last project, Brightest Blue, which charted in the Top 40 in the U.S. and other countries. Singles from the upcoming album include “All By Myself,” “Let it Die,” and “Like a Savior,” as well as “Easy Lover” featuring the rapper Big Sean. These singles present a shift toward dance and electronica. It hasn’t been the smoothest landing for Goulding’s self-described “dance thing from outer space,” which was delayed from its original Feb 3 release date. 

(Art by David Turner)

Metallica: 72 Seasons
April 14, Blackened Records

Metallica had a big year last year. Back in July 2022, the band was featured in an episode of Netflix’s hit series Stranger Things “Season 4 Volume 2” and witnessed a pivotal resurgence—at least among younger listeners.

Metallica has been pouring out quality thrash metal music since the ‘80s, but it’s been two years since they released The Metallica Blacklist, which was met with mixed reviews, despite recruiting the likes of Weezer, Phoebe Bridgers, and Moses Sumney. Though that may have been more of a tribute project, the album Hardwired…to Self-Destruct also hasn’t fared too well in the seven years since its release. This time around, 72 Seasons is Metallica’s chance to launch the band back into the spotlight and build on the younger fanbase it recently acquired.

Black Thought and El Michels Affair: Glorious Game
April 14, Big Crown

Last year, Black Thought released an album that proved to be quite a departure from his Streams of Thought musical series; three albums stretched across two years. He collaborated with another veteran artist, Danger Mouse, to put out Cheat Codes; a dozen tracks of pure enjoyment squished into a very digestible 38 minutes. Now, The Roots rapper has teamed back up with the “cinematic soul” group El Michels Affair for their latest album Glorious Game. Three tracks on the album—”Grateful,” “That Girl,” and the title track, “Glorious Game”—in particular uphold Black Thought’s reputation for consistently delivering hits. Needless to say, if Glorious Game continues in this vein, it’s worth marking your calendars for its release.

Shygirl, Nymph-o

Shygirl: Nymph-o
April 14, Nuxxe/Because Music

A rising star in the rap and electronic music scene, Shygirl is known for her unapologetic style and distinctive sound: bold lyrics, avant-garde rhythms, and captivating imagery. She is often linked to the U.K.’s underground club scene, which gives her a unique edge. The April 14 release of this deluxe album, which is a continuation of her previous album, Nymph, is notable because it sustains the entry of a new generation of female rappers into the historically male-dominated scene.

The Smashing Pumpkins: Atum: A Rock Opera in Three Acts

The Smashing Pumpkins: Atum: A Rock Opera in Three Acts
April 21, Martha’s Music, Thirty Tigers

The third installment of The Smashing Pumpkins’ Atum: A Rock Opera in Three Acts follows the first two acts, which received mixed reviews. It also comes off the heels of the band’s previous releases, 2020’s Cyr and 2018’s Shiny and Oh So Bright, which also failed to launch with fans and critics. If you ask us, the problem with The Smashing Pumpkins—since their very inception—has been their focus on breadth rather than depth. Even the band’s supposed “holy grail” of albums, Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness, suffers from the same issue; mushing forgettable tracks between rock staples. Atum already suffers from the same problem. Even without the third installment, the album’s length stretches close to an hour and a half. However, Billy Corgan may still have some creativity left in him yet, so it’s worth seeing what Atum’s last act has in store.

Beach House, Become

Beach House, Become
April 22, Sub Pop/Bella Union

Indie mainstay Beach House is known for their dreamy, ethereal sound which mixes elements of indie rock and dream pop. Their popular track, “Space Song,” may have caught your ear when it became an overnight TikTok sensation—and for good reason. Their music stands out for its haunting melodies, lush instrumentation, and ethereal vocals that create a hypnotic and otherworldly atmosphere. Become, which is scheduled for release on April 22, is certain to be another enthralling batch of tracks showcasing Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally’s unique musical textures and philosophy; this band just can’t miss. 

Ed Sheeran, Subtract

Ed Sheeran, Subtract
May 5, Atlantic Records

– (“Subtract”) marks the final installment of Ed Sheeran’s series of math-inspired albums, beginning with his debut album, + (“Plus”), in 2011. Since the English singer-songwriter’s fourth studio album, = (“Equals”), and its lead single, “Bad Habits,” which peaked at numbers one and two on American charts, respectively, Sheeran has explored different styles of music. From experimenting with rap and pop on “2step” featuring Lil Baby; to testing the waters with a metal version of “Bad Habit” in collaboration with British rock band Bring Me The Horizon. While Sheeran has yet to release a single for , he has said listeners can expect “a trapdoor into my soul” inspired by the artist’s recent struggles.

Jonas Brothers, The Album

Jonas Brothers, The Album

May 12, Republic Records

The Jonas Brothers’ comeback continues with their sixth studio album, The Album, having reunited after a long hiatus to release Happiness Begins in 2019. The announcement was made on Jan 30, when the group received their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Expectations are high after the success of their previous album, whose lead single, “Sucker,” debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100—a first for the band. Happiness Begins peaked at number one on the Billboard 200. The Album’s lively, upbeat lead single, “Wings,” is out now.

Portugal. The Man: Chris Black Changed My Life
June 23, Atlantic Records

American alt-rock band Portugal. The Man’s upcoming ninth studio album is deeply personal for everyone involved. Chris Black Changed My Life is a tribute to the band’s friend and honorary member, Chris Black, who died in 2019. This album is the band’s first since their 2017 hit Woodstock, whose single, “Feel it Still,” won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. The lead single for Chris Black Changed My Life, “Dummy,” is available now.

Travis Scott, Utopia

Travis Scott: Utopia
June 2023, Epic, Cactus Jack

Let’s be honest: Travis Scott hasn’t lived up to the potential he showed after the release of Rodeo in 2015. And while it’s also likely that he won’t release anything close—quality-wise—to Rodeo or 2014’s Days Before Rodeo this time round, we can still hold out hope. It’s been an entire five years since Scott released ASTROWORLD; an album that showed glimpses of quality but tripped over its incessant attempts to produce pop hits *cough, cough, “SICKO MODE”*. This time around, he’s married, had two kids, and 1825 days of potential studio time to figure out how Utopia could bring back the excitement that Rodeo elicited. With no singles released ahead of the next album, we can only keep our fingers crossed.

Ian Taylor contributed to this article.

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