Even in today's download culture, bands are measured by the albums they release.
And no matter what panic buttons the music industry is hitting, there are plenty lined up for 2013. The masses will flock to new albums from Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, The Wanted, Jessie J, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus, while rockers head for AC/DC, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath (with Ozzy), and the cool kids check out Daft Punk, Wilco and The National. However, here are 13 for 2013 that we think will be worth lending an ear to, even if some don't yet have titles or definite dates.
The folky, power-pop trio – made up of Californian sisters Danielle, Este and Alana Haim - topped the BBC's Sound Of 2013 poll last week and, following a sell-out European tour, are currently recording their as-yet-untitled debut album. They've released only a handful of songs to date but a single, Falling In March, will precede.
Out: late spring
Biffy Clyro: Opposites (14th Floor)
It's been three years since the Ayrshire trio's last album, Revolutions, but in their defence they have been pretty busy in the studio, where they have recorded two new albums. Both have now been united as one double album: Opposites, a sprawling, conceptual 20-song set.
Out: January 28
Frightened Rabbit: Pedestrian Verse (Atlantic)
Having swapped indie label FatCat for Atlantic (once home to Led Zeppelin), the stakes have been upped dramatically for the band from the Borders whose fourth studio album is produced by Leo Abrahams.
Out: February 5
Azealia Banks: Broke With Expensive Taste (Interscope)
Banks has often used free downloads to distribute her songs and mixtapes, such as the sexually explicit 212 from her 1991 EP. Now signed to Interscope, "the coolest girl on the planet" (NME) straddles the underground and, with collaborations on the forthcoming Lady Gaga and Kanye West albums, pop and rap.
Out: February 12
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds: Push The Sky Away (Bad Seed Ltd)
Produced by Nick Launay, the man responsible for the last three albums, this 15th studio album from the veteran gloom-rockers is inspired by the internet and in particular "exotic Wikipedia entries". However, a track on the album, Higgs Boson Blues, lends credence to the claim.
Out: February 18
Atoms For Peace: Amok (XL Recordings)
A collaboration with some stellar friends: Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Red Hot Chilli Peppers bassist Flea and Beck collaborator Joey Waronker. They've doubled as Yorke's backing band for his solo performances in the past, and next month release their first album proper.
Out: February 25
Kid Canaveral: Now That You Are A Dancer (Fence Records)
Now firmly established on the Fife micro-label, the Edinburgh quartet's second album looks set to propel them even further into the national consciousness. A single is out now as a split 7in with The Pictish Trail on the reverse, and the album is launched with a gig at Glasgow's Glad Cafe on March 1.
Out: March 4
Lady Gaga: ARTPOP (Interscope)
Not content with merely announcing the name of her third album, Gaga has had it tattooed on her arm. It's also going to be an interactive app for tablet and smartphone. Further details are still under wraps, though co-producer RedOne has said he and Gaga aim "to make history".
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: TBC (Interscope)
The art-punk trio from New York have won Grammy nominations for each of their previous three albums, beginning with 2003's Fever To Tell. A decade on, they're gearing up for the release of their fourth, having spent most of last year writing and recording.
Out: late spring
AlunaGeorge: TBC (Island)
Vocalist Aluna Francis and production maestro George Reid won plaudits in 2012 and found themselves just behind Haim on the Sound Of 2013 poll. The duo sit at the poppier end of the dubstep/electronica spectrum and have so far released three singles from an as-yet-untitled debut album, due for release in the summer.
Arcade Fire: TBC (Mercury Records)
Members of the Montreal band performed with LCD Soundsystem at the New York's band's farewell gig. Given that mutual appreciation, it comes as no surprise that LCD main man James Murphy is producing the Canadians' as-yet-untitled fourth album. They're in the studio together now, but beyond that details are sketchy.
Out: late 2013
Savages: TBC (Pop Noire/RoughTrade)
"Our intention is to create a sound, indestructible and musically solid, written for the stage," says a typical mission statement on the London band's website. True to their word, the all-female quartet recently released a live EP showcasing their raw, post-punk sound and a debut album is expected in 2013. The band announced in November that studio work had begun, so if you like PJ Harvey and early Siouxsie And The Banshees, keep your ears open and your eyes peeled.
A Glasgow trio making noirish electro-pop, Chvrches are another new band who found themselves on the BBC's Sound of 2013 poll, finishing fifth. Fronted by Lauren Mayberry, and backed by Iain Cook (of Aerogramme/The Unwinding Hours) and sometime member of The Twilight Sad Martin Doherty, they already have two singles under their belt. They have their first headline tour in the offing, and recently remixed a track by Ultraista, another side project of Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich's – will he return the compliment when it comes to their debut album?