Earl SweatshirtDoris (Tan Cressida/Odd Future/Columbia)

Release Date: TBA
Guys, we did it. All those “Free Earl” chants we made at Odd Future shows worked, and now Earl, sprung from the Coral Reef Academy reform school, is gearing up for a solo album. Earl, aka Thebe Kgositsile, is only 18, but he’s already proven himself an impressive rapper with both his wry words and gruff delivery. Not surprisingly, his aggressive Odd Future material is polarizing, but on solo song “Chum,” he opens up about his absent dad, while on Frank Ocean’s “Super Rich Kids,” he shows he can make playful jabs that don’t involve anyone losing a larynx. -CW

Vampire Weekend – Title TBA (XL)

Release Date: TBA
Vampire Weekend is America’s breeziest source of controversy, a seemingly sprite, witty band that often finds itself in the middle of contentious conversations about cultural appropriation, colonialism, class and cover art lawsuits. Will 2013 be the year music critics and the public stop worrying and learn to love this clever pop band for what it is? Yeah, you’re right. Probably not. -DJ

JunipJunip (Mute)

Release Date: April 23
Junip, José González’s full-band venture with Elias Araya and Tobias Winterkorn, returns this year with its first release since 2010′s Fields. The group expands on that intimate, nylon-stringed sound for which González is best known, filling it with keys, heartier drums and a more pressing sense of urgency. The first track from the upcoming self-titled release, “Line Of Fire,” is a building, melodic, folk-rock swirl of a song. Sure, it keeps within Junip’s comfort zone, but it’s a zone you want to be in. -CW

The KnifeShaking The Habitual (Mute)

Release Date: April 9
With only a vague and appropriately cryptic video teaser, it’s unclear what to expect from Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer’s latest album as the Knife. Originally breaking down guitar-based indie rock doors with a meticulous brand of arty weirdo-pop, the duo’s last album was the soundtrack to an avant garde opera, and Andersson has been hard at work on her groundbreaking solo act, Fever Ray. So what to expect this go-round? We can only guess that it will make us both wow and whoa. -LH

GhostInfestissumam (Loma Vista)

Release Date: TBA
The Swedish doom metal sorcerers of Ghost don’t do subtlety. Perhaps best known for the robes and skull masks its band members wear in concert, Ghost melds Black Sabbath stomp with Blue Oyster Cult precision, concocting a thunderous, epic strand of metal that’s equal parts pomp and blacklight. After 2010′s Opus Eponymous, it’s hard not to follow this group down whatever dark hole it crawls. -DJ