From Polyphonic Spree alums to rap superstars, here are five Texas albums we’re looking forward to in 2021.
Polyphia, Title TBA
Plano’s Polyphia is the kind of band you probably dreamt of starting when you were toiling away on Guitar Hero: a bunch of talented friends kicking back and letting their guitars do the talking. Rumor has it the band will release a follow-up to 2018’s New Levels New Devils, which contained the funky, face-melting, riff-tastic “G.O.A.T.” Chances are good the group’s new album will leave you rockin’ on the air guitar for days on end.
Willie Nelson, That’s Life
The last time Willie released an album of Sinatra covers, he won his 13th Grammy. Feb. 26, the beloved country crooner will release another record of “Ol’ Blue Eyes” favorites, including “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.” The singer’s gravelly voice is the perfect foil for the smooth Sinatra sound, and as is the case with most Willie covers, he’s bound to put his own distinct spin on each record.
Travis Scott, Utopia
The Houston rapper’s 2018 release Astroworld was a nostalgia-rich medley of fantastic features (The Weeknd’s “Wake Up” is a highlight) and instant hits like “Sicko Mode.” Since then, Scott’s critical star has only risen thanks to a revered collab with the industry’s other favorite Scott: Kid Cudi, aka Scott Mescudi. Little is known about Utopia, but the singles “Highest in the Room” and “Franchise” showcase Scott’s ability to craft potent lyrics and curate stellar features.
Spoon, Title TBA
COVID-19 delayed the production and release of Spoon’s 10th studio album, which frontman Britt Daniel has hinted is inspired by The Doors and their rock brethren from the 1960s and 1970s.
“What I like about that era is the limitations of the recording,” Daniel told Rolling Stone, “and what kind of sound that created.” The singer also revisited film classics like Taxi Driver and 2001: A Space Odyssey while writing songs in his Austin home. As of September 2020, Spoon had roughly 30 songs on hand, meaning there’s plenty of good news ahead for fans of these rockers from Killeen.
St. Vincent, Title TBA
In late 2020, St. Vincent sated fans’ appetites with The Tweet Heard ‘Round the Music Blogs: “The rumors are true. New record 'locked and loaded' for 2021. Can’t wait for you to hear it.” The artist has described the forthcoming record as a “tectonic shift,” and like Spoon, she is looking to the 1970s for inspiration.
“I felt I had gone as far as I could possibly go with angularity,” she told the British music mag MOJO. “I was interested in going back to the music I’ve listened to more than any other — Stevie Wonder records from the early ’70s, Sly and the Family Stone. I studied at the feet of those masters.”
Also like Daniel, St. Vincent is drawing inspiration from movies like Taxi Driver and the oeuvre of director John Cassavetes.
“I just wanted to capture the colors, the film stock,” she says, “and tell these stories of being down and out, down on your luck.”