Label: Tan Cressida, Columbia

The difficult one is out of the way. After Odd Future’s rapid ascent a few years ago—thanks in large part to the video “Earl,” the mixtape Earl, and campaign to “Free Earl”—Earl Sweatshirt was one of the most buzzed-about young talents around. Between the mystique and the praise, he was fighting a relatively unwinnable battle with expectations on this past August’s Doris, yet managed to come out with much acclaim. This time around, that level of pressure is off, the uncertainty is erased, and the now 19-year-old can continue to evolve as an artist without the microscopic eye of critics bearing down on his back. We don’t yet know much about the details of Gnossos, but expect something gnarly. —Adam Fleischer