Belfast Telegraph

Albums coming in 2019 - from Dido to Childish Gambino

It’s time to get excited about which artists are going to be releasing albums in 2019. Lucy Mapstone takes a forward glance at the next 12 months and at the albums that you should definitely set a calendar reminder for.

Dido

Has it really been five years since Dido released music? It really has, but somehow it feels longer. The singer, who had her breakthrough with debut No Angel nearly 20 years ago, is back with her fifth album, Still On My Mind, in March. The record follows her 2013 effort Girl Who Got Away, which peaked at number five in the charts. Fans will no doubt be hoping for the calibre of songs from her earlier days, such as White Flag, Thank You and Here With Me.

Dido recorded the album in the UK and it is a continuation of her long-standing professional career with her brother and Faithless founder Rollo. She recently said of their partnership: “It was simple, I only wanted to make another album if it was with him. It was made in such an easy way, all the vocals recorded on the sofa, a lot of it recorded at home.” Expect some serious laid-back chill and classic ballads, then. Later this year she will also embark on her first tour in 15 years across the UK and Ireland.

Avril Lavigne

Another beloved early-noughties music icon is also marking her return to music this year: Avril Lavigne is dropping her sixth record Head Above Water in February. The Canadian superstar has long moved on from her Sk8er Boi days, and in its place is a new, grown-up version of this punk-pop vocalist.

She has promised an open and honest collection in this, her first album in half a decade following her self-titled 2013 release. Lavigne, who has battled Lyme disease in recent years, said: “I feel like I’ve really opened up on this record more than I ever have before.” One of the tracks on the album, an anthemic rock ballad called Tell Me It’s Over, has already been released, with Lavigne explaining that it’s about “putting your foot down and closing the door on a relationship,” giving another hint at Lavigne’s current headspace.

Childish Gambino

Music fans have waited almost too long for a new album from Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, who confirmed back in January 2018 that he was working on his fourth and final record under his musical pseudonym. The US actor, rapper, record producer and comedian has been teasing fans with a follow-up to his 2016 record Awaken, My Love! with a number of singles and EP releases, notably hit political track This Is America in May and the Summer Pack EP in July.

While there has been no official mention of a release date or even an album title from the busy star, known for appearing in Star Wars spin-off Solo and who will voice Simba in Disney’s upcoming live action Lion King remake next year among many other things, the record is easily one of the most highly anticipated among hip-hop fans in 2019.

The Specials

Don’t adjust your eyes, you are reading this correctly: The Specials are returning in 2019 with their first new music in nearly 40 years. That’s right, the two-tone and ska revival band — who have been described as among the most influential in British pop culture history — is to release Encore in February.

Comprised of 10 new tracks, the album was produced by Specials founding members Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and Horace Panter, alongside Danish producer Torp Larsen. It marks the first time the original trio have recorded new material together since the band’s 1981 classic Ghost Town. The new album also helps to mark the 40th anniversary of the formation of the group and their Two-Tone label in Coventry in 1979, as well as celebrating 10 years since they reformed in a touring and performing capacity.

Madonna

The Queen of Pop is set to make an epic comeback at some point this year with her 14th studio album, which will reportedly be inspired by Portuguese fado music. The new record will be Madonna’s first in four years, following 2015’s Rebel Heart.

In October, Madonna told WWD: “I’m finishing my record, which I’m going to release next year. Yep, in between rose mist spray and serums, I’m actually making music. Can’t quit my day job.” Fans of the superstar have suggested the record might be called Magic, as she’s been using #magic on her social media posts for several months and, in a recent newsletter to subscribers advertising her 2019 calendar, she promised the year would be “a #magic one for us all”. The Material Girl is working with long-standing collaborator, French record producer Mirwais on her new stuff, after working with him on a number of albums, including Music, American Life and Confessions On A Dance Floor.

Watch this space, folks: the Queen is back. Soon.

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