by Dan Jackson, Lisa Hresko and Christine Werthman
 
2013 is already shaping up to be a pretty strange year for music. In the past month alone, we’ve seen the return of Destiny’s Child, Justin Timberlake and David Bowie, while bands like My Bloody Valentine and the Strokes have hinted at new material on the horizon. While feverish retromania threatens to reach its peak, there are also greener artists out there quietly writing new songs and waiting patiently to be declared the next best thing ever, so that they too can one day make teaser trailers for their eventual return to music. To help you navigate the coming year, we’ve picked some of the albums we’re looking forward to the most in 2013.
 
Remember: This list is just a hint of what’s to come in 2013, not a comprehensive guide. If you’re looking for something more complete, check out our new releases calendar.
 
Creating a list of “anticipated” or “must-have” records is always a crapshoot. Who knows if all the albums on this list will actually come out? Well, we can admit that we don’t know, but sometimes not knowing is part of the fun. Either way, we’ve selected 15 albums that are sure to blow your mind. Actually, some of these might turn out to be total garbage, and if they are, we’ll be disappointed. But guess what? There’s always 2014. -DJ
 


Marnie SternThe Chronicles Of Marnia (Kill Rock Stars)

Release Date: March 19
From its C.S. Lewis-goofing title to its David Foster Wallace-referencing single, Marnie Stern’s newest album is shaping up to be one of the more literary records of the year, but we’re hoping that doesn’t stop the acerbic, playful songwriter from uncorking the type of guitar theatrics she’s made her reputation on. -DJ
 


Yeah Yeah YeahsMosquito (Interscope)

Release Date: April 16
Frontwoman Karen O describes the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ follow-up to 2009′s It’s Blitz! as “raw, kind of chaotic, kind of dreamy.” But I recently saw guitarist Nick Zinner hanging out at a bar in Brooklyn with Aziz Ansari, so my guess is that this one will also be filled with jokes. Many, many jokes. -CW
 


Hilly EyeReasons To Live (Don Giovanni)

Release Date: January 22
In contrast to the angst-ridden anthems of her former band, Titus Andronicus, activist/writer/guitarist Amy Klein and Catherine Tung have a slow-build approach to rock while still incorporating the raw punk energy and the quiet-loud-quiet contrast that has made Klein both a powerhouse guitarist and a feminist icon. -LH
 


FoxygenWe Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic (Jagjaguwar)

Release Date: January 22
With its first release on Jagjaguwar and a handful of stellar CMJ shows, Foxygen had a big 2012. But 2013 will be even bigger, as the psychedelic folk-rock band prepares to release its debut full-length, produced by Richard Swift (Mynabirds, Damien Jurado). The band’s always shown a propensity toward the sounds of the 1960s, but the singles released from the album so far show Foxygen taking those vintage finds and turning them into something new. -CW
 


Charli XCX – Title TBA (IAMSOUND)

Release Date: February
Charli XCX recently released a video for her latest single, “You (Ha Ha Ha),” a cheeky dance-pop jam with a hypnotic Gold Panda sample—and immediately apologized for any misunderstanding of the intentions behind the violence-laden, lipstick-bullet, grindhouse short. She is fast becoming a regular at speaking out and at not taking any flack. Critical hardballs aside, Charli XCX has repeatedly knocked each single out of the park, and we’re eagerly awaiting her bad-babe pop debut. -LH
 

Next page: More Of CMJ’s Most Anticipated Releases Of 2013