2016 Preview: Here Are the Albums We Can’t Wait to Hear

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2016 promises to be a year full of stellar music from old favorites and newcomers we’ve discovered in SoundCloud digging sessions. Up-and-coming artists are ready to make big statements, while other, more experienced acts are settling into their style and/or taking risks to show us what they are made of. From what we have heard so far, 2016 will be filled with nothing short of amazing beats, catchy hooks, and fresh noises and textures.

In that spirit, we have put together a little list of some of the most noteworthy releases to keep an eye on this spring. Of course, release dates are subject to change; artists might surprise drop new material at any moment or push a release back without warning. Check back here as we update releases in the coming months.

Mark your calendar for these especially notable releases: On January 29, guitar noise terrorists Triángulo de Amor Bizarro will release Salve Discordia. On February 19, J Alvarez will drop a live album compiled from recordings made across Puerto Rico, and sometime in April, Dengue Dengue Dengue will give us their Siete Raíces LP. Also worth keeping in mind are the debut full-lengths by The Parrots and John Grvy.

Get the intel on our top 10 picks below, and scroll down for the full list of releases. –Marcos Hassan

Alex Anwandter / 'Amiga' / Nacional Records

Release Date: March 25

Chile’s pop wunderkind will be making his highly anticipated return to music this March with the release of his newest LP, Amiga. Not much is known about the project, since Anwandter is a secretive master at work, but expectations are high considering the instant-classic status of Rebeldes, his previous offering. Alex stayed busy in 2015 with sporadic performances throughout the Americas and the production of his first feature film, Nunca Vas a Estar Solo, based on the events surrounding the death of gay Chilean teen Daniel Zamudio. Recorded in Santiago and mixed in LA, it’s safe to expect an album packed with cinematic influences and political overtones that will spawn a thousand conversations and even more singalongs. –Richard Villegas

Audri Nix / 'El Nuevo Orden Vol. 1'

Release Date: TBA

Audri Nix, a 20-year-old Puerto Rican MC, was one of our breakout artists of 2015, hitting us with fire tracks like “Veneno” and her remix of 18+’s “Crow,” which have done more than whet our appetite for a full release. Our wish might be coming true sooner rather than later, with Nix’s debut EP El Nuevo Orden Vol. 1 expected to come out some time in January or February. The release date remains tentative, as the Boricua rapper finalizes mixing, guaranteeing a hot-off-the-presses shot of Latin hip-hop to kickstart 2016. –Richard Villegas

Él Mató A Un Policía Motorizado / 'Violencia' EP / Scatter Records & Nacional Records

Release Date: February 19

The Argentine band hasn’t had a moment to rest ever since they started, releasing albums and performing incessantly. They have been so active we can’t think of a time when they weren’t about to put something out or play a big event somewhere in Latin America, earning fans left and right. The trend will definitely continue with Violencia, which will be released in the U.S. through Nacional Records. Expect more post-punk rhythms and melodic vocals from the band, with finer details in songwriting. –Marcos Hassan

Lizz / 'Imperio'

Release Date: TBA

Up-and-coming Chilean producer Lizz spent her 2015 building anticipation for her debut EP by DJing at parties, producing live mixes, and even curating her stunningly out-there personal style. Last December, we exclusively shared her latest mix, called REHAB666, which she created to preview the inspiration for IMPERIO. By the sound of it, we can expect deep trap beats and a futuristic mood, infused with R&B and old-school rap. IMPERIO is an EP we’ll definitely keep on our radar; all signs point to fire. –Cheky

Bairoa / 'Barlovento' EP

Release Date: Spring 2016

When Bairoa – Boricua artist and member of Buscabulla’s live band – released “Sumersión” late last year, we were beyond impressed with the way he seamlessly and peculiarly marries psychedelia and Afro-Latin rhythms. That’s why expectations are running high for his debut EP, tentatively titled Barlovento, which is set for a spring release. Our bodies are ready for more of his fuzzed-out guitars, swirling synths, and flavorful percussion. It’s very likely the EP will count on Buscabulla’s Luis Alfredo Del Valle for mixing duties, as with “Sumersión,” and its release will definitely mark Luis Valentin’s time to shine. –Cheky

Fuego / 'Fireboy Forever 2' and Untitled LP

Release Date: January 13

After lighting up 2015 with a series of well-received Spanish remixes (particularly “Cuando El Suena Bling,” his take on Drake’s “Hotline Bling”), Fuego is ready to hit the ground running with original material in 2016. The release of electro-merengue jam “Mambo Pa Bailar” and a remix featuring Arcangel are building anticipation for an as-yet-untitled full-length LP dropping later this year. In the meantime, Fuego is also planning to release his Fireboy Forever 2 mixtape this spring, which will highlight his diversification efforts into the realms of hip-hop and R&B, and features the killer trapchata joint “Se Me Nota,” produced by Sango. While the Spanish remixes may have kept his profile high in 2015, we’re predicting an even more exciting output of original jams that will take his career to new heights this year. –John Calderon

J Balvin / 'Ninja' / Universal Music Latin

Release Date: TBA

J Balvin had a banner year in 2015, with his hit single “Ginza” taking over airwaves in Latin America and the U.S. (it hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart in October). Its accompanying video quickly broke the record for most YouTube views for a Latin video in a 24-hour period – two million, to be precise, with the total now approaching 350 million. Then, the Colombiano received the ultimate American radio cosign when he was tapped to feature on the remix of Justin Bieber’s “Sorry.” As “Ginza” continues to scorch the charts, J Balvin is prepping the release of Ninja, the album it appears on. In addition to his already burgeoning crossover success, he’s said to be working with genre-bending A&R wonder Spiff TV, which no doubt will make for a lit multicultural listening experience. –John Calderon

Teen Flirt / TBA

Release Date: TBA

2015 found Teen Flirt taking over Mexican cities during Finesse Records’ nationwide tour, and further exploring his personal take on club music through his numerous remixes and a strong single titled “Empire.” So there was no way in hell David Oranday was slowing down this year; he’s already preparing the release of a brand new collection of tracks slated for the first half of 2016. Little is known about the release, but we anticipate it will boast his brand of romantic, dancefloor-oriented future R&B, which continues to earn him more followers from across the globe. –Cheky

Füete Billëte / 'Papelón City' / N.A.A.F.I.

Release Date: TBA

Although they haven’t released any new music since March of 2015, Füete have been very active onstage, inciting a turn up wherever they set foot. Now they are set to release Papelón City, a brand new album available through the venerable Mexican club label N.A.A.F.I. The trio has already shared the first single off the release – “Buena Vida,” a trap joint that had us salivating for more. If it’s any indication of where Papelón City is headed, it will surely establish Füete as ambassadors of gritty and debaucherous hip-hop, from Puerto Rico to the world. –Marcos Hassan

Hawaiian Gremlins / TBA

Release Date: TBA

The Mexico City outfit had a stellar 2015, playing everywhere from Mexico’s biggest festivals to memorable underground shows for enthusiastic fans. In the transition to the next album, their feel-good jams have taken a turn to the dark side, as their recent singles “Kevin” and “Away” recall shades of The Cure-like post-punk goth, rather than their fast-paced singalong fare. Judging by their recent output, we can conclude that this is a step in the right direction, as they sound better than ever. Their as-yet untitled album will herald a new era for the Gremlins, both musically and artistically, as they will surely be playing for bigger crowds. –Marcos Hassan

More Releases

January 2016

Belako / Hamen / Mushroom Pillow
Mercedes Nasta / Basalto
Odio París / Cenizas y flores / Mushroom Pillow
Sethler / Negociación / Mushroom Pillow
Triángulo de Amor Bizarro / Salve Discordia / Mushroom Pillow

February 2016

Algodón Egipcio / La Confianza Ciega / Ponk
AWWZ / TBA / Egyptian Maraccas Records
El Guincho / HiperAsia / Canada Editorial & Nacional Records
Extraperlo / Chill Aquí / Canada Editorial
Felicia Morales / TBA / Quemasucabeza
Haciendo El Mal / La Revolución En Tus Ojos
La Santa Cecilia / Buenaventura / Universal Music Latin
Los Viejos / Sociedad del Miedo
Mon Laferte / Mon Laferte Vol. 1 (Edición de Lujo) / Discos Valiente
Rebel Cats / Afortunado en el Juego, Desafortunado en el amor / Discos Valiente
She’s A Tease / II

March 2016

Adrianigual / Rap y Amor
beGun / TBA/ Foehn Records
Big Big Love / Friendships
Congelador / TBA / Quemasucabeza
Dengue Dengue Dengue / Siete Raíces / Enchufada
Erik Urano & Zar1 / L.E.D.S. / Gamberros Pro
Hola Todo El Mundo / Away / Mushroom Pillow
Joe Volume / Scars To Prove
Lacosta y Abelo Valis / TBA / Banana Bahia Music
Lost Tapes / Let’s Get Lost / Mushroom Pillow
Mexrrissey / No Manchester / Nacional Records
Nicotina es primavera / Nicotina es primavera / BUH Records
Vyctoria / TBA
Systema Solar / Systema Solar / Nacional Records


Acidandali / Acidolandia
Ases Falsos / TBA / Quemasucabeza
Belafonte Sensacional / Gabinete Maravilla
Camille Mandoki / TBA / Static Discos
Chico Unicornio / Toma Chicha y Baila
Coiffeur / TBA / Quemasucabeza
El Ultimo Vecino / TBA / Canada Editorial
Entre Desiertos / TBA / Static Discos
Excursiones Polares / Ya No Habrá Más Veranos / Concepto Cero
Grenda / Untouchable Skin / Static Discos
Kaixo / Mallory / Banana Bahia Music
María y José / Eternity
Sociedades Primitivas / Cora / BUH Records
Sol Del Rio / Resonancia / Concepto Cero
Quiero Club / Somos