A new year means new music, and 2020, so far, boasts a nice variety of album releases in the country and Americana music worlds. The following is a list of the biggest upcoming releases for next year, though keep in mind this is not a complete list; these are just the albums I’m aware of. There could be plenty more, which is why it’s great that there’s a handy-dandy comment section below to leave those suggestions.
(Albums presented in order of release date)
Ronnie Dunn, Re-Dunn (Jan. 10)
Ronnie Dunn, of the popular country music duo Brooks & Dunn, is readying a tribute to his musical heroes with Re-Dunn. At 24 tracks, the album features covers of country and rock songs by George Strait, Tom Petty and more. According to Dunn, “This is a passion project for me. If you put together a group of songs that define the soundtrack of my life, this is what it would look like.”
Little Big Town, Nightfall (Jan. 17)
Little Big Town’s ninth studio album, Nightfall, features “The Daughters,” current single “Over Drinking” and “Sugar Coat.” Unlike recent studio albums, produced by Jay Joyce, Nightfall is a self-produced effort. The album boasts a slew of writing credits from some of the genre’s most critically acclaimed songwriters, including the Love Junkies (Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Liz Rose), Sean McConnell and the band themselves.
Aubrie Sellers, Far From Home (Feb. 7)
With Far From Home, Aubrie Sellers releases her first taste of new music since 2016’s New City Blues. As for what’s changed, Far From Home is described as a journey of introspective vulnerability. As for what hasn’t changed, Sellers has once again teamed up with Frank Liddell for production duties, and the album is sure to expand Sellers’ country-meets-garage-rock sound. Far From Home was recorded at Sonic Ranch outside of El Paso, Texas. Singles “Drag You Down,” “My Love Will Not Change (feat. Steve Earle),” “Worried Mind” and the title track have already been released.
John Moreland, LP5 (Feb. 7)
If 2017’s Big Bad Luv was the beginning of a sonic expansion for John Moreland, LP5 looks to continue it. The album marks the first time Moreland has worked with an outside producer (Matt Pence), and according to Moreland, for LP5, he wanted to “expand on production ideas that he wasn’t able to execute alone. A long-time fan of Pence’s drumming, engineering and production, Moreland felt he would be the perfect person to collaborate with.” The album features many personal songs, including “In Times Between,” a tribute to songwriter Chris Porter, a friend of Moreland’s who was tragically killed in a van accident in 2016. The new album also marks John Moreland’s return to Thirty Tigers after releasing his last record through 4AD.
Tami Neilson, Chickaboom! (Feb. 14)
Like the album cover says, “the hot rockin’ lady of country, rockabilly & soul songs” is back. With a voice rich in tone and emotional nuance, Neilson is, hands down, one of the most powerful singers to ever emerge. On Chickaboom!, Neilson says, “I wanted to write an album of punchy little songs, popping firecrackers that, when stripped back to nothing but a guitar, percussion and two voices, would still go boom!” Family is also an important part of the creation of the album. Brother Jay flew to Auckland, New Zealand from Toronto to record a selection of new songs, and Neilson has a history of performing with the Neilson Family Band in her youth. “The artists I would spend time with backstage at festivals, the ones I gravitated to the most and followed on social media … artists like the Secret Sisters, Shovels & Rope, Kasey Chambers, Brandi Carlile … they all have family performing with them. When you tour away from loved ones, it makes a world of difference to have part of your village with you on the road. Not to mention, nothing can come close to that special blend of blood harmonies and silent communication that only comes from being onstage with a person for over 30 years. Family has always been a huge part my music-writing, recording and creating with me, but I wanted family on this project and on the road with me again.”
Carly Pearce, Carly Pearce (Feb. 14)
Carly Pearce’s self-titled record is a tribute to producer Michael James Ryan – known professionally as busbee – who died Sept. 29. Pearce says, “It’s the last full record he made and one that I am so very proud of—thank you for bringing these songs to life. I can’t wait to honor you and hear/see how people connect to what we created.” While lead single “Closer To You” veered more toward pop than country, Pearce says of her upcoming album and current single “I Hope You’re Happy Now (feat. Lee Brice), “I really wanna be a purist. I really wanna be a country artist. I wanted to make sure that the next song I came out with was really a reflection of what’s to come for me, and just really put me in that spot of, you know, ‘I am here to sing country music.'”
The Secret Sisters, Saturn Return (Feb. 28)
Saturn Return will mark the first time the Secret Sisters (Laura and Lydia Rogers) sing individually, something producer Brandi Carlile challenged them to do. Named after the astrological occurrence that takes place approximately every 29 ½ years, the album also marks a new era for the real-life sisters — both of whom experienced extreme change and transformation during the making of the record. Grappling with the grief of losing both grandmothers, while also both becoming first-time mothers, the sisters reflect on their world view, relationships and own mortality through the album’s ten songs. Lead single “Cabin” is available ahead of the release.
Brandy Clark, Your Life Is A Record (Mar. 6)
Thus far, details on Brandy Clark’s third studio album are light, though she did preview the new record during a recent promotional event at Nashville’s Station Inn. The title of the record comes from the opening track, “I’ll Be The Sad Song,” and Clark has also been playing a new song live called “Who You Thought I Was.” Your Life Is A Record is slated to be more personal than either of Clark’s previous two projects. Jay Joyce will once again handle production duties.
Caitlyn Smith, Supernova (Mar. 13)
Talented singer/songwriter and dynamite vocalist Caitlyn Smith has apparently “upped the ante” with new album Supernova, delivering a set of songs “bigger, bolder, and more powerful sonically and lyrically” than 2018’s Starfire. Smith, who’s written songs for Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks and Meghan Trainor, is looking to expand upon her debut album by truly stepping out into the spotlight as her own artist. Two singles, “Put Me Back Together” and “Damn You For Breaking My Heart,” are available now.
Other confirmed album releases:
- Marcus King, El Dorado (Jan. 17)
- Dustin Lynch, Tullahoma (Jan. 17)
- Della Mae, Headlights (Jan. 17)
- Kree Harrison, Chosen Family Tree (Jan. 24)
- Possessed by Paul James, As We Go Wandering (Jan. 31)
- Steve Moakler, Blue Jeans (January TBA)
- Currently being released in “pockets,” with the full project coming sometime in January.
- The Lone Bellow, Half Moon Light (Feb. 7)
- The Cadillac Three, Country Fuzz (Feb. 7)
- The SteelDrivers, Bad For You (Feb. 7)
- Sierra Hull, 25 Trips (Feb. 28)
- Sadler Vaden, Anybody Out There? (Mar. 6)
- Swamp Dogg, Sorry You Couldn’t Make It (Mar. 6)
- Yes, you read that right – the soul legend is readying a country album.
- Dave Simonett, Red Tail (Mar. 13)
- Delta Rae, The Light (Mar. 20)
- Ingrid Andress’ debut album is expected sometime in March.
- Gabe Lee, hot off the heels of farmland, has already completed his next album, slated for release in March.
- American Aqaurium, Lamentations (April TBA)
- Features production credits from Shooter Jennings and vocal contributions from Jamie Lin Wilson.
- Reckless Kelly, TBA (May TBA)
- The only thing known, so far, is that this will be a double album with a total of 20 songs.
- Dixie Chicks, Gaslighter (TBA)
- We’d be here forever if we waded into the rumor mill, but it’s worth noting that Jason Isbell recently posted on Instagram that his newest album is finished, once again recorded with his band, the 400 Unit, and produced by Dave Cobb.
Again, if there’s any more releases you’re aware of, be sure to comment down below. Further updates will be made here.
- John Deery has a new album slated for either February or March.
- Hailey Whitters, The Dreamer (TBA)
- The War And Treaty (album title and release date TBA)
- Gretchen Peters (May, title TBA)