By Doug Poe

Music enthusiasts enjoyed some unforeseen releases in 2015, and this year will hopefully provide some more. Several big name artists have already scheduled new material for release, but there are also surprises in store again.

Last year saw Adele set sales records for her November release, simply titled 25. Taylor Swift made news again, this time through another artist. Folk-rock star Ryan Adams did a cover of Swift’s entire 1985 album, opening up her music to a whole new audience and a different genre.

Several veteran bands, such as Belle and Sebastian and Death Cab for Cutie, issued excellent new albums in 2015. Other bands were represented by individual members, who used 2015 to record solo albums. Among the best of those discs was Albert Hammond, Jr. of the Strokes, whose Momentary Masters proved to be one of the best albums of the year.

The new year opens with several other members of bands planning to release solo albums, while at least two huge artists are also scheduled to issue new material.

Here are ten albums to look forward to in 2016.

David Bowie, Blackstar


The male diva’s follow up to The Next Day will appear in stores on January 8th, and one single (the title track) has already been airing on both the radio and on music video programs.

Beck, untitled


The alt-rocker’s follow up to his Grammy winning Morning Phase should be a gem, if the single is indicative of the rest of it. The smooth “Dreams” has already been released since June 16 of last year.

Gotye, untitled


Four years after he struck gold with “Somebody that I Used to Know,” Gotye finally seems poised to bring out some new material. Fans can only hope that it will be worthy of the Making Mirrors album.

Olly Murs, untitled


The new release has him working with Nick Hodgson, do-founder of the Kaiser Chiefs. That collaboration, which the artists said will be “a bit more mature and cooler,” should make for a great follow up to 2012’s Right Place Right Time.

Modest Mouse, Whabever

modest mouse

After making one of the best records of 2015 with Strangers to Ourselves, the alt rockers recruited Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic to play on this disc tentatively slotted for a March release.

The Shins, untitled

the shins

James Mercer several times has regarded the Shins as dead, but thankfully he keeps reviving them in between stints with Broken Bells. The new album will serve as the follow up to 2012’s Port of Morrow.

Weezer, untitled


This follow up to Everything Will Be Alright in the End, already has a single released. The tune, available since December, is called “Do You Wanna Get High?”

Game Theory’s Scott Miller, I Love You All


This posthumous album will contain unreleased material recorded before Miller’s death in 2013, a feast that will surely please fans of the power pop group.

Travis Bretzer, Rose Tint (Felt So Good)


Scheduled for a February 19,2016 release, the new album promises to be just as gorgeous as last year’s Waxing Romantic.

Wesley Gonzalez from Let’s Wrestle, Untitled

wesley gonzalez

Since disbanding his alt-rock quintet Let’s Wrestle, this will mark Gonzalez’s first solo album. The single, already released, is called “Come Through and See Me.”

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