2015 is poised to be another year of fantastic new music, thanks to releases from some major heavy hitters and the return of some beloved songwriters. This list is merely the tip of the iceberg for what the next 12 months are slated to offer, but here are the final nine of 18 hand-picked albums we can’t wait to hear!
10. Hawk Nelson, Diamonds (Fair Trade Services) – March 17
I think it’s safe to say MADE surprised everyone with its maturity and AC-pop sensibilities. The album marked a reinvention for Hawk Nelson, now a trio following lead singer Jason Dunn’s departure. Look for Diamonds to be a continuation in that same direction as the re-made (pun intended), refocused band hones its new sound and fresh vision. We’re looking forward to seeing the band at the top of the AC charts again this year.
11. Britt Nicole, Title TBD (Sparrow/Capitol)
Gold catapulted Britt into mainstream pop territory. While she didn’t blow up à la Katy Perry style (and we’re actually grateful she didn’t), she did release an album that showcased the full spectrum of her talent. She’s got a dual deal with Sparrow and mainstream counterpart Capitol, and she’s been recording in L.A., so we expect the new project will be even more accessible to mainstream radio. Incidentally, not only is Britt releasing a new album this year, but this working mom will also be giving birth to her second child.
12. TobyMac, Title TBD (ForeFront)
This guy continues to stay at the top of his game. The first single, “Beyond Me,” was recently released, but beyond that, his forthcoming project remains shrouded in mystery. A self-proclaimed perfectionist, Mac takes his sweet time in the studio, so this album will likely release in the latter part of 2015, despite speculation of a late spring street date. However, Toby rarely disappoints, so whenever it comes out, we know it will be well worth the wait.
13. Hillsong UNITED, Title TBD (Hillsong/Sparrow)
With the tsunami of popularity that was “Oceans” in 2014, the pressure’s on for Hillsong UNITED to create something nothing short of spectacular for their next album. UNITED has always crafted incredible music, but it wasn’t until “Oceans” that the entire world took notice. Now that they have people’s attention, their next offering has the potential to be an out-of-the-gate success. All eyes are on you, Joel Houston.
14. Joy Williams, Title TBD (Sensibility Music)
The Civil Wars may be tearfully over for good, but if nothing else, the duo prepped Joy Williams for greatness. Her voice is undeniably other-worldly, and her songwriting continues to melt the hardest of hearts. So, does she have what it takes to stand on her own apart from John Paul White? We think so, but don’t expect the spunky Joy Williams of Christian music past. The new Joy will likely embark on a darker, more emo journey; but it will sound oh so lovely.
15. Jon Foreman, Sunlight, Shadows, Darkness & Dawn (lowercase people)
Switchfoot’s lead singer hasn’t released solo music since his critically-acclaimed set of EPs in 2007 and 2008. Graciously, he recently announced via Twitter that he planned to treat fans to 24 new solo songs via four different EPs throughout 2015. Like his previous solo offerings, these new batches of tunes will follow a theme of Sunlight, Shadows, Darkness and Dawn. The new songs will likely be stripped down, yet Foreman has the tendency to surprise, so who knows what direction he’ll take. No matter what, all 24 songs are sure to provoke thought and mend hearts.
16. Meredith Andrews, Title TBD (Word)
Worship leader Meredith Andrews gained some significant traction at radio with her last effort (“Not for a Moment,” “Open Up the Heavens”). New music is on the horizon for the mother of three, and it will undoubtedly continue Meredith’s legacy of pure worship. She’s far underrated as both a lyricist and a vocalist. Here’s hoping this next musical chapter will throw open wide the doors of opportunity that were pushed on in 2014.
17. Jason Crabb, Title TBD (Reunion)
2015 will usher in a completely new era for Jason Crabb. The longtime Southern Gospel hero announced his surprising signing with Provident Music Group last year. His PLG debut is expected later this year, and all signs point to a worship album. Crabb has been hard at work, trying his hand at writing for the first time and co-writing with some of Christian music’s pop goldmines. Will Crabb be able to chart his own path at AC radio? We’re not sure, but we know this: Jason is the nicest guy in the biz, and he sure can sang.
18. Nichole Nordeman, Title TBD (Sparrow)
We saved the best for last. Although she’s been (mostly) on hiatus from recording and touring for just shy of a decade to raise her two children, Nichole has continued to write and co-write, most notably lending her songwriting talents to The Story project. No official release date has been announced for the beloved singer/songwriter’s return; however, we know she’s hard at work on her first studio album since 2005’s Brave. Whenever it drops, we will be waiting to welcome her back with open arms.
**All release dates and album titles are subject to change.