It's been a weird year for music, with many artists' careers being thrown into disarray and planned albums being binned and delayed.
Others, of course, have risen to the challenge and come up trumps with some excellent releases and musical projects.
So, as the year draws to a close, let's take a look at the big albums that are left on the release schedule to get excited about...
SAM SMITH – 'Love Goes' [October 30th]
Originally titled 'To Die For', the Londoner's third album was scheduled for release in May but was pushed back (and renamed) due to the you-know-what. This time around, Smith has worked with acts like Labrinth and Nigerian star Burna Boy and is said to be less focused on the soulful pop ballads of his previous work, and more on tunes for dancefloor. Nowt wrong with that.
KYLIE MINOGUE – 'Disco' [November 6th]
Who doesn't love a bit of Kylie? (If you've answered 'me' to that rhetorical question, sorry – you're a terrible person and we could never be friends.) The Aussie pop queen is back with her 15th studio album, much of which was recorded at home, thanks to lockdown scuppering its production. As the title suggests, it's influenced by disco and dance music from the past five decades – that's quite a 180-turn from her last country-oriented album, 'Golden'. If anyone can do it, Kylie can.
EELS – 'Earth to Dora' [October 30th]
A new Eels album is always something to celebrate – mostly because you never know what you're going to get. Mark Oliver Everett has kept his fanbase guessing over the last 25 years, moving from heartache-infused pop ballads to orchestral manouevres and righteous indie-rock. His latest album sounds perfect for the times we live in, with him explaining: “These songs came about just before the pandemic hit and changed everything... I’m hoping they can be, maybe kind of soothing or something. To hear songs dealing with things we are dreaming about getting back to.” Amen.
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – 'Letter to You' [October 23rd]
It's only been a year or so since 'Western Stars' was released, but The Boss, now 71, is back with his landmark 20th studio album. It's also the first album he's recorded with The E Street Band since 2014's 'High Hopes' and features three songs that were written before his 1973 debut. Sounds like the whole thing is conspiring as an album-shaped comfort blanket to wrap ourselves in before we head into the winter.
THE CRIBS – 'Night Network' [November 13th]
Legal issues have plagued the hugely-respected Yorkshire band in recent years, meaning that there's been no new Cribs music since 2017's '24-7 Rock Star Shit'. Having shaken off their troubles, however, the Jarman brothers are back with their 8th album in November. Recent singles 'Running Into You' and 'I Don't Know Who I Am' (featuring Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo, no less) are very different songs, but bode very well for what should hopefully be another example of the eclectic indie-rock that The Cribs excel at.