: Quite possibly the most anticipated album for all critics in 2015 is the comeback from Sleater-Kinney. They're one of those bands that disappears for a few years and then comes back bigger than ever. Their reunion tour pretty much sold out instantly,with them playing larger venues than before. "Bury Our Friends" is the only song I've heard so far, but it's pretty safe to say that this will be great.
Lady Lamb the Beekeeper - After: As excited as I am for this album, part of me is a little hesitant. I loved Ripely Pine so much and gushed about it so heavily, can a second album live up to that for me? But, even if After is merely half as good as her first, it will still be one of the best of the year. Plus, "Billions of Eyes" is a rambling jaunt that sounds like Dylan fronting Neutral Milk Hotel, so it can't be anything short of great.
The Juliana Hatfield Three - Whatever, My Love: I mean, have you heard "If I Could" yet? It's a song that's been kicking around since at least 2004, and it's finally found a home on this new album. There's something purely magical when Juliana gets together with Dean Fisher and Todd Philips. Based on this song alone, she was right to hold back for a decade.
And the Kids - TBD: I've seen the name And the Kids kicking around for a while, but I didn't really know much about them. I had always thought they were pretty generic and dull, based on pretty much nothing. Then I saw them open for Sallie Ford a little while ago, and was blown away by the two songs I saw. They land more on the more danceable side of Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, and are pretty fantastic. I bought the EP that night, and I can't wait to see what they do with a full length.
Faith No More - TBD: I'm not really a traditional metal/hard rock guy, but Faith No More aren't a traditional metal/hard rock band. "Motherfucker" is a weird, weird choice for a first single for their first album in 15 years, but it's Faith No More, so of course it is. I'm most hesitant about this one, since I've been burnt by big reunions before. We shall see...
Other upcoming albums I'm excited for:
Suz Slezak - When the Nighttime Comes (The only reason it's not in my top 5 is I've already heard it, and it's great.)
David Wax Museum - TBA
Justin Townes Earle - Absent Fathers
Frank Turner - TBA
Modest Mouse - Strangers to Ourselves