At first, we thought 2020 would be a lost year for the music industry. Without the ability to tour, promote new albums, and connect with fans, some musicians have taken a step back from the grind. But other musicians have fast-tracked their production, utilizing this dead time to make more new music than they would’ve in a normal year. Just look at Dua Lipa, who dropped two new records within a span of a few months. Or Taylor Swift, who shook us with her devastating, surprise album Folklore.

So, instead of shelving our desires until 2021, we are going to express them. We know better than to expect all of these artists to rollout new albums before the new year, we think it’s okay to get excited about these prospective projects. Based on internet speculation, release records, and word from the musicians themselves, here are 11 Albums We Want To Hear This Winter.

Cardi B

It’s been two years since Cardi’s debut Invasion of Privacy, her reckoning with the rap industry, a statement critics and fans and rap icons will never forget. With singles such as “I Like It,” “Drip,” and “Bartier Cardi,” Invasion of Privacy was rewarded the Best Rap Album, making Cardi the only woman to have won that award from a solo project.

Then, “WAP” arrived, Cardi’s Megan Thee Stallion featured single that shook fans upon arrival. From the arc of exotic animals to Megan Thee Stallion’s outright dominant verse, to the strange and somewhat disarming appearance of Kylie Jenner, “WAP” was no short of being a sensation. And just what we needed from Cardi, who has already delayed the arrival of her sophomore album a number of times.

When will Cardi B Release a New Album? Considering covid, and being in the throes of co-parenting and a divorce from Offset, we will probably have to wait until December for more Cardi B singles and an album release date. But we think, among the other storms this Winter, Cardi B will be generating at least a few.

Adele

Back in February, the before time, Adele said her new album would arrive in September. Though we weren’t surprised to see September come and go without any new album from Adele, we are a little surprised by the lack of a single.

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Unfortunately, Adele has curtly informed fans that she has no idea when her highly anticipated fourth studio album will arrive. You can read more about the ongoing speculation, here. In the mean time, we are going to continue to hope that the award-winning singer brings us into her world soon, and drops a single to let us know where she’s been.

Shawn Mendes

This one we don’t have to hope for, we only need to wait. Shawn Mendes has confirmed that his fourth studio album will be out December 4th, 2020. Earlier this month, Mendes released the lead single and title track, “Wonder,” along with a music video.

Along with the single and video, Mendes wrote a letter to fans about Wonder, a project that’s been with him for quite awhile.

“It really feels like a piece of me has been written down on paper and recorded into song,” his post reads. “I tried to be as real and as honest as I’ve ever been. It’s a world and a journey and a dream and an album I’ve been wanting to make for a really long time.”

J. Cole

Back in July, following the somewhat controversial release of his Noname-aimed track “Snow On The Bluff,” J. Cole kept fans at bay by saying he’s taking his time with his new album. Rumored to be titled The Fall Off, the forthcoming J. Cole project has been preceded by a two-track EP, Lewis Street, featuring “The Climb Back” and “Lion King On Ice.”

Though little has been said about The Fall Off and which tracks it might contain, J. Cole’s alter ego “kILL Edward” has opened up on social media to confirm that he will release new music before the end of 2020. “Damn been off for awhile but ima make sure we end 2020 something special,” he wrote on kiLL Edward’s Instagram Story. “Stay tuned hope y’all ready.” 

Rihanna

Okay, but really this time. We know we’ve been speculating over when Rihanna would release her ninth studio album for almost three years now. But finally, in an interview with The Associated Press, Rihanna confirmed that her next music project is very much on the way. It’s been four years since ANTI, perhaps Rihanna’s most influential album beneath her belt. Since, the artist has been grappling with how to make another new statement, a true expression of who she is.

“You do pop, you did this genre, you do that, you do radio, but now it’s just like, what makes me happy? I just want to have fun with music,” she said to The Associated Press. “Everything is so heavy. The world that we live in is a lot. It’s overwhelming every single day. And with the music, I’m using that as my outlet.”

Though covid has eviscerated our hopes for a full-scale Rihanna world tour in 2021, the artist assured The Associated Press that the visual aspect of the album hasn’t been forsaken and fans can expect to see Rihanna live out, and dance out, her work.

“I want to go on tour but I can’t, so I’m stuck with music that I love, and now I’m trying to figure out how I can even create visuals to that,” she explained. “That’s a challenge as well. But I love challenges so, you know, I’m gonna get it done.”

Ella Mai

Two years ago, British singer and songwriter Ella Mai released her debut self-titled album. After immediately throwing herself into touring and promoting the album, covid and the consequent quarantine gave Ella Mai the final push she needed to sequester herself, to catch up on T.V, to play with her dog, and get started on her sophomore album.

Earlier this month, Ella Mai gave us the first taste her new record with the single “Not Another Love Song.” Already, Rihanna snagged the single for her most recent recent Savage x Fenty show.

According to Teen Vogue, Ella Mai says of the record: “[it’s] about falling in love but not wanting to admit it, so it’s quite vulnerable.” Considering the success of her debut, we anticipate Ella Mai’s sophomore record to be star-studded, passionate, and laden with those stunning vocals we fell in love with two years ago.

Miley Cyrus

She’s already dropped one of the most-streamed song of 2020. She’s already spent six weeks at No. 1 on The Official Big Top 40 this year, more than any other new release. Miley Cyrus is getting ready to release a new album this year, her early “Midnight Sky” success all the juice she needs to drop another massive LP.

In a recent interview with Nashville’s 107.5 The River, Miley said her album is “pretty much written and ready to go.” Then, Miley went into what fans can expect from the forthcoming record.

“I actually listened to a bunch of it in my car today and everything is so sounding so wicked. And one of the things I love about it is the diversity of sound that it does have, just like “Backyard Sessions” I’m going to do with the covers. It really just tells a story and I feel like the [album] is sonically me. If it could take a physical form, it would paint a picture of myself. So, the influences range from Dolly [Parton] to Stevie [Nicks], to Joan [Jett], to [Chris] Cornell.”

Noname

It’s been two years since the Chicago MC Noname dropped her sophomore project, Room 25. Since, we’ve only seen one track, the short meandering madlib “Song 33.” We thought “Song 33” would be followed by more “madlibs,” but so far the artist has been silent on the music front. That was, until, Noname wrote a banging verse to a Jay Electronica’s “Rough Love.”

According to another social media post from Noname, Jay lectronica re-posting her verse was all the fuel she needed to finally push her forthcoming album, Factory Baby, into the light. Will Noname follow through and drop her third studio album in 2020? We think, at the very least, we’ll have some new Noname to listen to this Winter.

SZA

It’s been three years since SZA dropped her stunning debut, CTRL. In that time, SZA fans have been through the ringer. With news of vocal cord damage cutting her contribution to the TDE “Championship” Tour short, SZA fans feared, for months and months, if CTRL would be the first and the last LP.

Then came “Hit Different” feat. Ty Dolla $ign, the first beacon of new music since SZA contributed to the Black Panther Soundtrack. Though we still don’t have an album release date or title for her new project, we think a single arriving this year means we can finally get our hopes up again. And with such a strong first single and guest, we are readying ourselves for a massive release from SZA. Check out more of the SZA speculation, here.

Demi Lovato

With each new release, we become more and more excited with the album Demi Lovato is gearing up to deliver. Back in September, Lovato broke out “OK Not to Be OK” featuring Marshmello. Then, just two weeks later, Lovato delivered “Still Have Me,” an emotive piano ballad that fans linked to her recent break-up with fiancé Max Ehrich.

Then came “Commander in Chief,” her most recent sword, a signal to fans and critics that Lovato really, really doesn’t give a f*ck about who she angers. Demi Lovato has forged a commitment to honesty, to who she is. And her 2020 singles reflect that.

When Will Demi Lovato drop her new album? We’re not sure, as the artist herself doesn’t know when the album will roll out. But we do know this is just the beginning.

Ariana Grande

And finally, the best news yet. Not only is Ariana Grande releasing a new album in 2020. Ariana Grande is releasing a new album this month.

Ariana Grande released her fifth studio album, thank u, next, in February 2019. This year, Grande’s vocals and accompaniment were found on Lady Gaga’s “Rain on Me” and with Justin Bieber on “Stuck With U.” We wouldn’t be surprised if either or both of these artists will be found on Ari’s forthcoming album. With Ariana Grande, we can safely anticipate the best.

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