Below, we preview some of the most noteworthy albums scheduled for release from September through the end of 2014. As always, check our ongoing Album Release Calendar for a thorough (and frequently updated) list of upcoming album release dates.
Notable scheduled releases
September 9 (Blue Note) iTunes Amazon
This self-titled, self-produced effort is Adams' first LP since 2011's Ashes & Fire—a rare multi-year break from the one-time ultra-prolific artist. (Not that he hasn't been working; the "time off" has seen Adams working as a producer for other artists, as well as forming a new punk band, Pornography.)
|LISTEN:||"My Wrecking Ball"|
|WATCH:||"Gimme Something Good"|
All eyes are on the English indie-rock band as they return with their first album since their Mercury Music Prize-winning debut, An Awesome Wave. The new album sees Alt-J reduced to a trio, following the departure of multi-instrumentalist Gwil Sainsbury at the beginning of their studio sessions. Early tastes of This Is All Yours aren't very helpful indicators of what the album has in store; "Hunger of the Pine" samples Miley Cyrus, the bizarre "Every Other Freckle" mashes up slow-build electronics with a peppy flute sample, and "Left Hand Free" is a classic rock-sounding affair that was written to spite the band's record label (and was, naturally, selected as the first official single). Conor Oberst and Lianne La Havas also guest on the album.
|LISTEN:||"Every Other Freckle"|
|LISTEN:||"Hunger of the Pine"|
|WATCH:||"Left Hand Free"|
September 30 (Nonesuch) iTunes Amazon
The Vermont-based folk singer-songwriter follows 2013's Bright Sunny South with this second album for label Nonesuch. Valgeir Sigurðsson (Björk, Feist) serves as producer for Lily-O, which was recorded in Iceland and also features contributions from jazz guitarist Bill Frisell.
...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead
November 11 (Superball Music)
Announced last week with a cryptic statement, IX is the appropriately titled ninth studio album from the Austin, Texas alt-rock outfit. It'll be their first release since 2012's Lost Songs, which was perhaps the band's best album in a decade.
September 23 (Warp) iTunes Bleep
Will this be the year that Richard James, who has reportedly had at least six full albums in the can for years, finally ends his 13-year hiatus? After a week-long cryptic viral marketing campaign that began with an Aphex Twin-branded blimp flying over London (printed with the year "2014"), the artist's logo spotted in New York, and a mysterious posting on the Deep Web of what appeared to be a track listing for an album called SYRO, we can now answer that question with a firm "yes!". SYRO is indeed the title of a new Aphex Twin full-length studio album arriving in just a month via Warp Records, and it's filled with catchy song titles like "fz pseudotimestretch+e+3 [138.85]" and "s950tx16wasr10 [163.97][earth portal mix]." (Please, don't read our explanation when you can read the hilarious press release instead.) It'll be the first official Aphex Twin album since 2001's Drukqs, though fans did get a chance to hear the "lost" (as in never released to the public) album Caustic Window earlier this year via YouTube.
On seemingly every new-artist-to-watch list heading into 2014, 26-year-old L.A.-born, London-based artist Jillian Banks will finally release her full-length debut next month, following a pair of EPs released in 2013. Banks has toured with fellow modern R&B artist The Weeknd, and has also drawn comparisons to Lana Del Rey and Frank Ocean, while she cites Fiona Apple as a major influence.
|WATCH:||"Beggin for Thread"|
|WATCH:||"Goddess" (lyric video)|
September 2 (Kobalt) iTunes Amazon
Entering their third decade, veteran alt-rock trio Blonde Redhead are set to release their ninth studio album and first in four years. Will Barragán continue the more accessible approach of recent albums like Penny Sparkle and the critically acclaimed 23? Tracks released so far don't definitively answer that question; they range from the the Little Dragon-esque "Dripping" to the strange chamber pop of "The One I Love."
|LISTEN:||"No More Honey"|
|LISTEN:||"The One I Love"|
October 7 (DiCristina) Amazon
English folk singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan took a full 35 years to follow her debut album, 1970's Just Another Diamond Day, with a second, 2005's Lookaftering. So consider this a comparatively brisk pace for the 68-year-old artist, returning with a third album a mere nine years later. Heartleap, which finds Bunyan handling most of the writing, producing, and arranging duties herself, with some help from Devendra Banhart and Vetiver, will likely be her final record.
|LISTEN:||"Across the Water"|
A year later than originally expected, Dan Snaith finally returns to his main Caribou project this fall, following a solo detour in 2012 with techno side project Daphni. The new Our Love, Caribou's first album since 2010's Swim, features contributions from Owen Pallett and Jessy Lanza. Expect some (or even a heaping portion) of Daphni's dance-oriented sensibility to sneak into Caribou's warmer, more psychedelic sound this time around.
|LISTEN:||"Can't Do Without You" (extended mix)|
Julian Casablancas + The Voidz
September 23 (Cult Records)
Self-released on his own label, The Strokes frontman's second solo album (following 2009's Phrazes For The Young) finds him teaming up with a new backing band, The Voidz. Early snippets from the album suggest a wildly diverse blend of genres, all available for the low, low price of $3.87. And, no, the solo outing doesn't mean that The Strokes are done; Casablancas hopes to record with his bandmates in the near future.
October 21 (Neon Gold/Atlantic) iTunes Amazon
It seems almost too soon for a new Charli XCX album. Her debut LP, True Romance, dropped just last year, and Iggy Azalea's recent single "Fancy"—which Charli co-wrote and performs on—is still ubiquitous, as is Charli's own hit single "Boom Clap" (from The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack). But album #2 is headed to stores in October. Though Sucker isn't the "punk" album she was originally working on (that one could still surface in the future), the new pop LP does borrow some collaborators from the alt-rock world, including Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij and Weezer's Rivers Cuomo.
|LISTEN:||"Break the Rules"|
The Big Revival
September 23 (Columbia Nashville) iTunes Amazon
The massively successful country star returns with his third album in three years. His 17th studio album altogether, The Big Revival features collaborations with Alison Krauss and Grace Potter, and is the result of an atypically lengthy recording process that saw Chesney scrap a full record's worth of songs at one point.
September 23 (Columbia) iTunes Amazon
We're guessing one thing you won't be doing on your 80th birthday is releasing a new album, but then again, you're not Leonard Cohen. Just two days after his 80th, the legendary singer-songwriter will release his 13th studio album and follow-up to 2012's well-received Old Ideas. As he did on that previous album, Patrick Leonard (Madonna) produces the new nine-song set.
|LISTEN:||"Almost Like the Blues"|
Death From Above 1979
The Physical World
September 9 (Last Gang/WB) iTunes Amazon
A decade ago, Canadian dance-punk duo Death From Above 1979 released its first album, the well-reviewed You're A Woman, I'm A Machine. It was also the band's final album ... until now. After reuniting a few years ago to perform live, DFA1979 have returned to the studio with Oasis/LCD Soundsystem producer Dave Sardy to record their sophomore LP, The Physical World.
La Isla Bonita
November 4 (Polyvinyl)
The San Francisco weirdo-punk band returns with a follow-up to 2012's Breakup Song and their 12th album overall. The band claims that the Nick Sylvester-produced La Isla Bonita was influenced by The Roots, Sonic Youth, Lou Reed, David Byrne, Radiohead, Beck, David Bowie, Ric Ocasek, and The Flaming Lips ... though not, as one might have guessed, Madonna.
Despite a semi-split after recording their sophomore LP Portamento, Brooklyn indie band The Drums are back together for a third album, though without guitarist Connor Harwick. The remaining duo of founding members Jonny Pierce and Jacob Graham promise a very different-sounding Drums for Encyclopedia, aiming for something a bit more "interesting and bizarre."
|LISTEN:||"I Can't Pretend"|
Newly signed to Secretly Canadian, the not-so-secretly Canadian electro-pop duo Electric Youth are best known (to the extent they are known at all) for their memorable Drive soundtrack contribution "A Real Hero," a collaboration with College. That track will join 11 other new and old songs—many with that same cinematic sweep—on their SC debut Innerworld, which was recorded in both Toronto and Los Angeles.
|LISTEN:||"The Best Thing"|
|LISTEN:||"A Real Hero" (with College)|
Already out (and receiving good reviews) in the UK, the fourth album from the British shoegaze band features a drastically retooled lineup. Multi-instrumentalist Mark Peters, the band's sole remaining founder, assumes vocal duties for the first time in lieu of the departed Simon Phipps; he's joined by keyboardist/producer Ulrich Schnauss and drummer Matthew Linley.
|LISTEN:||Full album stream|
It's getting hard to be a Mary Timony completist. In addition to an ongoing solo career, the indie rocker has been a key part of the bands Helium, Autoclave, and Wild Flag. Timony's latest band is named after one of her solo albums, and their Mitch Easter-produced debut album was recorded in just two weeks.
|LISTEN:||"Don't Wanna Lose"|
|WATCH:||"Hot and Cold"|
Give My Love to London
September 29 (Dramatico)
Though Faithfull has been in the press in recent weeks for announcing that her ex-boyfriend "killed" Jim Morrison, the veteran performer is also making news for her upcoming collaboration-heavy album. Give My Love to London features Faithfull lyrics paired to music written by the likes of Roger Waters, Nick Cave, Steve Earle, and Anna Calvi, and the album also features performances by Brian Eno, Portishead's Adrian Utley, Ed Harcourt, and members of the Bad Seeds.
|LISTEN:||"Sparrows Will Sing"|
October 7 (Partisan) iTunes Amazon
The experimental folk band earned strong reviews for their self-titled 2012 debut album, thanks in no small part to the songwriting skills of band leader Christopher Porterfield who was formerly a member of DeYarmond Edison along with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon. And the advanced buzz is already strong for follow-up Marigolden, even as it sees the group downsizing from 7 to 4 members.
|LISTEN:||"Home (Leave The Lights On)"|
The Flaming Lips
With a Little Help From My Fwends
October 28 (Warner Bros.) iTunes Amazon
This, my fwends, is a track-for-track cover of The Beatles' 1967 classic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, performed by The Flaming Lips with a few guests. And by "a few guests," we really mean, oh, Miley Cyrus, Moby, Grace Potter, Phantogram, MGMT, Foxygen, My Morning Jacket, J Mascis, Juliana Barwick, Dr. Dog, and Maynard James Keenan, to name a few.
|LISTEN:||"Fixing a Hole" by Electric Würms|
|LISTEN:||"Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" by The Flaming Lips, Moby, and Miley Cyrus|
Florida Georgia Line
October 14 (Big Machine) Amazon
The country duo follow their successful 2012 debut Here's to the Good Times with a second LP that's once again produced by Joey Moi.
October 7 (Warp) iTunes Amazon Bleep
Originally beginning life as a jazz album before morphing into a grab-bag of styles united by a loose theme of mortality, FlyLo's 5th studio album will consist of 19 tracks and a number of guest collaborators, including Herbie Hancock, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, and Angel Deradoorian (formerly of Dirty Projectors). Also "guesting" is FlyLo's rapping alter-ego Captain Murphy, who now has his own animated origin story (even if Murphy's own upcoming album has been delayed while Kendrick Lamar completes some work on that one, too). A tour will follow the album's release.
November 10 (Roswell/RCA) Amazon
After dropping tantalizing hints for the past year, Foo Fighters are about to make their eighth studio album a reality. Produced by Butch Vig in analog, Sonic Highways is the result of an ambitious recording process that saw the band head to a different city to record each of the album's eight tracks. (Eight songs may seem short, but Highways is reportedly the band's longest album to date.) That journey and recording process were also documented on film by band leader (and occasional director) Dave Grohl, with the result airing on HBO this fall as a new weekly series, Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways. The album, meanwhile, will feature an array of guest artists (representing the cities where the songs were recorded) that is expected to include Joe Walsh, Gary Clark Jr., Carrie Underwood, Chuck D, Zac Brown, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and members of Cheap Trick.
The indie rock duo scored a pair of 80s for their first two albums, though the past year saw canceled live dates (due to injuries to frontman Sam France) and a possible near-breakup (the result of reported, though later denied, tension between France and the band's other founder, Jonathan Rado, who put out his own solo album last year). Nevertheless, they've returned to the studio to record another full-length (that nearly shares a title with a planned solo album from France), which will feature 24 tracks (running 82 minutes) and a still-unnamed "gaggle of guest stars."
|WATCH:||"Cannibal Holocaust" (Live on KEXP)|
|WATCH:||"Hang" (Live on KEXP)|
|WATCH:||"How Can You Really"|
A World Lit Only By Fire
October 7 (Avalanche Recordings)
The English industrial band dates back to the 1980s, but has been inactive for much of the current century, disbanding in 2002 and reforming for some live performances in recent years. The band has also returned to the studio, recently releasing an EP (Decline and Fall). October's A World Lit Only By Fire will be their first new full-length album in 13 years, and it aims to reproduce the more minimalist sound of Godflesh's earliest albums.
|LISTEN:||"New Dark Ages"|
The latest studio album from acclaimed "drone-folk" artist Liz Harris, aka Grouper, once again consists of older recordings. Ruins is culled from material Harris recorded in Portugal in 2011, as well as a 10-year-old song that she recorded at her mother's house.
September 2 (Joyful Noise) iTunes Amazon
Dating back to the 1970s, the Jad Fair-led, off-kilter, lo-fi, alt-rock project Half Japanese haven't released an album since 2001's Hello. Surprisingly, that changes this fall with the arrival of Overjoyed, a new 12-track set produced by Deerhoof's John Dieterich. Early tracks suggest a slightly more aggressive—but accessible and even cheerful—approach may be in store.
|LISTEN:||"In Its Pull"|
It has been a case of declining returns for New York's Interpol, whose 2002 debut Turn On The Bright Lights shone brightly, indeed—but so much so that the band has spent the ensuing years trying to escape its shadow. But this year brings a chance for rebirth. For their upcoming fifth album (their first release in four years), Interpol is down to a trio; the highly visible Carlos Dengler has departed the group, and lead singer Paul Banks has assumed Dengler's bass duties as well. The self-produced El Pintor (Spanish for "the painter") will also feature contributions from Brandon Curtis of The Secret Machines, while veteran producer Alan Moulder handles the mixing. Interpol will perform at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 2nd to celebrate the album's release.
The Atlanta rapper (formerly known as Young Jeezy, until he aged) returns with his fifth album in just a few weeks. Seen It All (or, possibly, Seen It All: The Autobiography) features Jay Z on the title track, while other contributions come from The Game, Rick Ross, T.I., Future, Lil' Boosie, and—on the deluxe edition's bonus tracks—Akon and Kelly Rowland.
|LISTEN:||"Beautiful" (feat. The Game and Rick Ross)|
|LISTEN:||"Seen It All" (feat. Jay Z)|
The Juan MacLean
In A Dream
September 16 (DFA) iTunes Amazon
DFA act The Juan MacLean was originally a solo dance music/synth-pop project for the similarly named John MacLean (former guitarist for Six Finger Satellite). But LCD Soundsystem's Nancy Whang became a full-time member of MacLean's project with 2009's The Future Will Come, and has become the central focus on The Juan MacLean's upcoming follow-up In a Dream (among other things, that's her on the album cover). And, based on the two tracks released so far, they've never sounded better.
|LISTEN:||"A Simple Design"|
|WATCH:||"A Place Called Space"|
While Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O has dabbled with soundtrack work on the side (including an Oscar-nominated track for last year's Her as well as Where the Wild Things Are), September's Crush Songs will mark her first full-length album as a solo artist. The new album actually dates back to 2006 and 2007, and has a lo-fi, home-recorded feel. The singer is promoting the album over the coming weeks with an unconventional tour schedule that features live performances at small venues and album listening parties at private homes.
September 30 (Capitol Nashville) Amazon
Country trio Lady Antebellum has won seven Grammy awards in the past five years, though their most recent album, Golden, failed to receive any nominations and showed declining sales compared to past releases. That album, though, was one of the group's best-reviewed releases to date, and they hope to combine both commercial and critical success with album #5 this fall. Described by the band as more urgent and energetic than past releases, 747 was co-produced by Nathan Chapman, working with the band for the first time.
Mark Lanegan Band
October 14 (Vagrant)
The former Screaming Trees member and frequent Queens of the Stone Age contributor follows 2012's Blues Funeral with a not-dissimlar album (continuing the prior record's newfound electronics emphasis), again produced by Alain Johannes. The album follows this summer's release of a five-song EP, No Bells On Sunday, which will be included with deluxe CD versions of the new album.
|WATCH:||"I Am the Wolf" (Live on KEXP)|
|WATCH:||"Judgement Time" (Live on KEXP)|
Tha Carter V
October 28 (Young Money/Republic)
It might be Lil Wayne's final album, or at least his final "Carter" album. At this rate, fans are just happy to have an actual release date: October 28th, per an announcement made on SportsCenter (naturally!) last week. Nicki Minaj and Drake guest on the new album, with the latter featured on the album's newest single, "Grindin."
|LISTEN:||"Believe Me" feat. Drake|
|LISTEN:||"Grindin" feat. Drake|
Though Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine might be busy these days on NBC's The Voice, he hasn't left his day job behind. He and his fellow Grammy winners will release their fifth album (and first for Interscope) next month as a follow-up to 2012's lackluster (but still commercially successful) Overexposed. The new set sees keyboardist Jesse Carmichael returning to the fold (after wisely sitting out the recording of the previous record), and once again features production from Max Martin, Ryan Tedder, Benny Blanco, Shellback, and Sam Martin.
|LISTEN:||"It Was Always You"|
October 7 (New Voodoo) iTunes Amazon
While Morrissey continues to fight with his record label over whether or not he's been dropped from his contract, his former Smiths bandmate Johnny Marr has quietly been building up his own solo career, even if the guitarist's less-cantankerous approach means that he doesn't get quite the same amount of press. October's Playland will be Marr's second solo album, following last year's decent The Messenger, and the new set won't sound all that different, though it may be a touch "more rowdy."
Sundown Heaven Town
September 16 (Big Machine) iTunes Amazon
Don't expect much of a departure from standard Tim McGraw formula on his 13th studio album, which once again finds the country star working with producer Byron Gallimore. Faith Hill (who also happens to be McGraw's wife) guests on one track, while Kid Rock appears on another (though on the deluxe edition only).
|WATCH:||"Lookin' For That Girl"|
|WATCH:||"Meanwhile Back At Mama's" (feat. Faith Hill)|
The Best Day
October 21 (Matador) iTunes Amazon
Since putting Sonic Youth on hold, Thurston Moore has released an album with his new group Chelsea Light Moving while also recording with the metal group Twilight. And Moore is certainly staying busy. His newest project is a solo-ish album with a backing band that features My Bloody Valentine bassist Debbie Googe, Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, and English guitarist James Sedwards. They have also scheduled a tour for this fall in support of the new album.
|LISTEN:||"The Best Day"|
24 Karat Gold
October 7 (Warner Bros.) iTunes Amazon
One of the reasons that Stevie Nicks has been absent from recent recording sessions for a newly reunited Fleetwood Mac is that she had her own solo project to work on. 24 Karat Gold features songs that Nicks wrote between 1969 and 1995, but never got around to properly recording until recent studio sessions in Nashville and Los Angeles with producers Dave Stewart and Waddy Wachtel. Nicks will rejoin her Fleetwood Mac bandmates (including Christine McVie) for a tour this fall.
|LISTEN:||"The Dealer" (lyric video)|
A New Testament
September 30 (Turnstile) iTunes Amazon
Former Girls frontman Christopher Owens returns with a second solo album, which follows 2013's Lysandre. A New Testament actually features some of his former Girls bandmates, including John Anderson, Darren Weiss, and Danny Eisenberg. The Doug Boehm-produced set sounds (so far) like a major step up from the previous album, while Owens has revealed that it is "inspired by the fundamentals of American music — Gospel, Country, R&B."
|LISTEN:||"It Comes Back to You"|
|WATCH:||"Nothing More Than Everything to Me"|
October 7 (Weird World) iTunes
Husband-and-wife duo Peaking Lights follow two well-received albums with a third LP this fall. The self-produced Cosmic Logic strips away some of the "psychedelic sprawl" of past efforts (one major exception: that album cover) for a more streamlined and focused modern pop approach.
September 23 (Matador) iTunes Amazon
Seattle-based solo artist Mike Hadreas (aka Perfume Genius) attempts to extend his perfect streak of 81+ albums when he releases LP #3, Too Bright, this September. The new set, however, represents a major change in approach, ditching the spare, fragile style of previous releases for something much bolder, bigger, and angrier. Recorded with Portishead's Adrian Utley, the album also features contributions from John Parish.
The Endless River
October tbd (Columbia)
Yes, that is indeed a new Pink Floyd album, of sorts. Coming 20 years after the band's "final" album (The Division Bell), The Endless River actually stems from those very same recording sessions, and thus features the band's then-lineup of David Gilmour, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright (who died six years ago). The new music—some originally intended for aborted album The Big Spliff—is mainly instrumental (and even ambient), though it has been rapidly gaining vocals as the band has continued to tinker with it over the past year with producers Phil Manzanera and Youth. Pink Floyd has confirmed an October release, though additional details will be revealed in the near future.
Lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar
September 9 (Nonesuch) iTunes Amazon
While Led Zeppelin's reissue campaign got off to a strong start earlier this year (and continues this fall; see below), the band's members aren't merely stuck in the past. Singer Robert Plant will release his 10th solo album (and first for new label Nonesuch) next month. Lullaby finds Plant backed by The Sensational Space Shifters (some of whom played on Plant's 2005 effort Mighty Rearranger), and the singer describes the new record, intriguingly, as "a celebratory record, but it's very crunchy and gritty, very West African and very Massive Attack-y."
Run the Jewels
October 28 (Mass Appeal Records)
Recording of Run the Jewels, the acclaimed debut LP from the hip-hop duo of El-P and Killer Mike, went so smoothly that the pair headed back to the studio to record a sequel, which will be released this fall on the new indie label launched by Nas, Mass Appeal Records. Including the El-P produced Killer Mike album R.A.P. Music, it'll be the third album-length collaboration for the pair, and they haven't had a dud yet. The new album includes collaborations with Travis Barker (Blink-182) and Zack de la Rocha (Rage Against the Machine), and is said to be "darker" than the first one.
|LISTEN:||"Blockbuster Night Part 1"|
London-based electronica/dubstep artist Aaron Jerome returns with just his second SBTRKT full-length next month. Wonder Where We Land features vocals from Jerome's longtime collaborator Sampha on four tracks, while other guests include Jessie Ware, A$AP Ferg, Raury, Warpaint's Emily Kokal, Chairlift's Caroline Polachek, and Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig.
|LISTEN:||"NEW DORP. NEW YORK" (feat. Ezra Koenig)|
|LISTEN:||"Temporary View" (feat. Sampha)|
October 7 (Bella Union) iTunes Amazon
While you'll have to wait until 2015 (at least) for a new Radiohead album—the band is planning to begin recording tracks for a new album next month—there are a few side projects to make the wait more manageable. One comes from Radiohead drummer Phil Selway, who will release his second solo album (after 2010's Familial) in October. Weatherhouse is more of a collaborative effort, with Selway (who handles lead vocals) joined by Quinta (aka Katherine Mann, who has also performed with Bat for Lashes) and Fridge's Adem Ilhan. Selway's Radiohead colleague Jonny Greenwood, meanwhile, is once again teaming up with director Paul Thomas Anderson by providing the score to Anderson's upcoming film Inherent Vice, which opens in December.
|WATCH:||"Coming Up For Air"|
She & Him
Fall tbd (Columbia)
After four albums (including a holiday album) on indie label Merge, the duo of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward are moving to a major label for the release of their fifth LP. Classics, arriving on a yet-to-be-specified date this fall, finds the pair tackling 13 "timeless standards" with the backing of a 20-piece orchestra.
|WATCH:||Album teaser video|
Steve Albini isn't just that guy who produced and/or engineered nearly every indie/alt-rock album that has come out over the past few decades. He's also a member of several bands, most notably the post-hardcore trio Shellac. Lately, Shellac has been on a once-every-7-years release schedule, which means it's about time for a follow-up to 2007's Excellent Italian Greyhound. And next month, right on cue, it arrives. The 32-minute, nine-song Dude Incredible was recorded "sporadically" over the past few year's at Albini's Chicago studio, and will be followed by even more sporadic live performances.
Bringing Back the Sunshine
September 30 (Warner Bros.) Amazon
One of several judges from The Voice releasing new albums this fall, country star Blake Shelton returns next month with his ninth album and first since last year's Based on a True Story.... The new set finds him working once again with longtime producer Scott Hendricks.
Simian Mobile Disco
September 9 (Anti-) iTunes Amazon
In their decade since leaving the band Simian, the duo of James Ford and Jas Shaw have shuffled through various electronic dance music genres, recently (on 2012's Unpatterns) leaving their vocal-oriented earlier tracks behind to focus on more minimalist techno music. They continue that minimalist bent on their latest, Whorl, but with an added level of difficulty: the entire album was recorded live, in real time, in the California desert community of Joshua Tree, in a computer-free performance that saw each member limited to a synth and a sequencer.
The first album in over four years (following The Five Ghosts) for the Canadian indie-pop band is "comparatively chipper" compared to past efforts, writes NPR. A tour follows the album's release in November.
|LISTEN:||"From the Night"|
October 27 (Big Machine) iTunes Amazon
Taylor Swift is already shaking off the haters as she gets ready to release her fifth studio album—anticipating, perhaps, the response from longtime fans who may be disappointed by the country star's new, unabashedly pop direction. (Others are simply turned off by her new video.) Yes, Swift has long added pop and rock stylings to her music, most notably on her massively successful 2012 hit Red, but 1989 looks likely to leave all traces of country music behind in favor of a 1980s-influenced pop music sound.
|WATCH:||"Shake It Off"|
TV on the Radio
TV on the Radio began work on their fifth studio album late last year, which will be their first full-length release since the death of bassist Gerard Smith in 2011. The album will also be the band's first since leaving Interscope, where they released their three most recent LPs. Nothing is known about the new set, save for its title and the fact that it will be out this fall.
A funny thing happened on the way to Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy's first solo album. His son, Spencer, began playing drums on dad's demos, and pretty soon the solo act became a new duo, known simply as Tweedy. Their debut full-length arrives next month, and father and son will be joined by a band on the tour that follows. Yes, it seems like they've already made every track available online (see below), but don't worry: there are still 12 more you haven't heard.
|LISTEN:||"Diamond Light Pt. 1"|
|LISTEN:||"Fake Fur Coat"|
|LISTEN:||"High As Hello"|
|LISTEN:||"I'll Sing It"|
|LISTEN:||"Wait for Love"|
Produced by T Bone Burnett, Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes finds a variety of artists tackling "forgotten" lyrics penned by Bob Dylan in 1967 (when he was writing material for what would become The Basement Tapes) put never before put to music. Performers on the album include Elvis Costello, Jim James, and Marcus Mumford, though not Dylan himself. A Showtime documentary about the album's recording will debut on November 21.
|WATCH:||"Nothing To It" (performed by Jim James)|
Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell
October 21 (Yep Roc) iTunes
The latest compilation benefitting the Red Hot Organization, which raises money to fight AIDS/HIV, doubles as a tribute to the late composer/musician Arthur Russell. The rosters of artists covering Russell's work (which spans genres ranging from disco to classical to experimental rock) on this 26-track set includes Hot Chip, Robyn, Blood Orange, Sufjan Stevens, Devendra Banhart, Glen Hansard, The Autumn Defense, and Scissor Sisters.
|LISTEN:||"Go Bang" by Hot Chip|
|LISTEN:||"A Little Lost" by Sufjan Stevens|
V for Vaselines
September 29 (Rosary Music) iTunes
Though 2010's Sex with an X didn't completely blow away critics, it was still nice to have The Vaselines back. Prior to that, the Scottish indie-rock band (famously covered by Nirvana on multiple occasions) hadn't released an album since their 1989 debut Dum-Dum. Though that belated second album ended with a track called "Exit The Vaselines," the band is far from done. They've returned after a relatively quick four years this time for album #3, V for Vaselines, which arrives next month. Members of Belle & Sebastian, Teenage Fanclub, and Sons & Daughters guest on the self-produced LP.
|LISTEN:||"High Tide Low Tide"|
|LISTEN:||"One Lost Year"|
October 6 (PMR/Island)
The British R&B singer-songwriter's 2012 debut album Devotion was one of the best albums released that year, collecting praise on both sides of the Atlantic for its sophistication and earning Ware a Mercury Prize nomination. This October brings the follow-up. Tough Love finds Ware working primarily with the production duo BenZel, while also enlisting Miguel, James Ford (of Simian Mobile Disco, above), and Ed Sheeran, plus some of the producers from her debut. Note that the album likely won't arrive in the U.S. until October 21st.
|LISTEN:||"Say You Love Me"|
|LISTEN:||"Share It All"|
Ric Ocasek, who produced Weezer's first (blue) and third (green) albums, is again running the ship (well, not the ship) for album #9, though Pinkerton is another touchstone the band keeps mentioning when describing the new set. Can the band successfully return to their 1990s sound and make up for four years of silence (and several recent disappointing albums)? Should we be afraid of an album-closing medley of songs called "The Futurescope Trilogy"? We'll know next month—actually, make that October, as the album has just been delayed by a week. Former Weezer member Matt Sharp, meanwhile, will release his first Rentals album in 15 years next week (though you can stream it right now at Pitchfork).
|LISTEN:||"Back to the Shack"|
|WATCH:||Various album teasers|
Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone 2xCD
September 30 (Thirty Tigers) Amazon
The 61-year-old artist's first new album in four years (and 11th overall) is a big one, with 20 tracks (18 written solely by Williams) spread across two discs. Guests include Bill Frisell, Jakob Dylan, Ian McLagan (Faces), and Elvis Costello's rhythm section of Pete Thomas and Davey Faragaher. The album also features a track with lyrics from Williams' father, poet Miller Williams.
Since the break-up of experimental collage-folk artists The Books a few years ago, Nick Zammuto has released one album with his new project, Zammuto, and is gearing up to issue another, thanks to the magic of crowdfunding. Though there are certainly echoes of his prior group, Zammuto as an act is a bit more accessible and (slightly) less avant-garde than The Books, partially because of the added emphasis on sung vocals. In fact, their most recent reveal from the new album, "IO," sounds almost like a lost 1980s pop track (and deliberately so, suggest lyrics like "I can't wait for the eighties to be over again").
October 7 (Mute) iTunes Amazon
Known to her parents as Nika Roza Danilova, classically-trained opera singer turned singer-songwriter Zola Jesus already has three genre-bending LPs under her belt, including 2011's well-received Conatus and its orchestral follow-up Versions. Taiga, though, is an unlikely step in a completely new direction: it's a catchy, beat-driven, pop album, with Danilova's powerful voice front and center. Recent David Lynch collaborator Dean Hurley handles production.
Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett
Cheek to Cheek
September 23 (Columbia) iTunes Amazon
Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, together again. Actually, that's true: the pair recorded a version of the standard "The Lady Is a Tramp" for Bennett's 2011 album Duets II. If you liked that, you should like Cheek to Cheek, which is an entire album of jazz standards featuring both artists. Included are the pair's takes on classics like "Lush Life," "Anything Goes," "It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)," and "Sophisticated Lady." A PBS concert special is also on tap for the fall.
|LISTEN:||"I Can't Give You Anything But Love"|
Scott Walker + Sunn O)))
October 21 (4AD) iTunes Amazon
Seattle drone metal specialists Sunn O))) first approached the pop star turned avant garde singer-songwriter Scott Walker (who is now 71, by the way) to ask him to contribute to their acclaimed 2009 release Monoliths & Dimensions, though Walker declined at the time. Instead, four years later, he wrote a whole album's worth of material for them to collaborate on. The result is the five-track, 50-minute Soused. If the new trailer is indicative of the full album, expect some shouting.
Led Zeppelin IV
October 28 (Atlantic) iTunes Amazon
Houses of the Holy
October 28 (Atlantic) iTunes Amazon
After a successful reissue of Led Zeppelin's first three albums earlier this year, the next two LPs will get the same deluxe treatment this fall. In addition to the original albums (newly remastered by Jimmy Page), each release will come with a bonus disc containing previously unreleased material from the vaults, consisting of demos and alternate mixes.
The Britpop band's remastered reissue series continues with the rerelease of their second, and most successful, album. Available in a variety of formats, the reissue will add B-sides, demos, and previously unheard tracks, as well as some live recordings from the same time period.
October 7 (Universal) iTunes Amazon
It isn't Underworld's first album, but it is their debut as an electronica act, and it's a gem. And now that classic album is getting a deluxe 20th anniversary reissue. Available in 2-CD, 2-LP, 5-CD, or HD Blu-ray formats, the remastered Dubnobasswithmyheadman will be supplemented with non-album singles, B-sides, remixes, and previously unreleased material—mainly alternate mixes of album tracks, but also some never-before-released songs. The 5-CD version (likely a UK-only release, though you can get it digitally in the U.S.) includes more of all of those things, plus a full live rehearsal set performed in the studio in 1993 (yes, pre-dating the album).
|LISTEN:||"Cowgirl (Alt Cowgirl C69 Mix from A1564)"|
Tentative/potential fall releases
The New York rapper and Fuck, That's Delicious host is expected to make his major-label debut this fall with his first solo studio album, Mr. Wonderful. Party Supplies, the duo who produced the rapper's two Blue Chips mixtapes, handles production on lead single "Easy Rider," though it's unknown if the new album will have other producers/collaborators as well.
Belle and Sebastian
Stuart Murdoch and co. have been staying busy; not only did Murdoch just direct his first feature film (due in U.S. theaters next month), but the band has been in the studio with producer Ben H. Allen to record a ninth studio album and first since 2010. They are currently putting the "finishing touches" on said album, though whether that translates to a late 2014 release or (more likely) a 2015 release is unknown. Either way, B&S will re-release their entire back catalogue on vinyl this fall; these "It Could Have Been a Brilliant Career" reissues are due October 7th via Matador.
The rapper/producer has suggested that his second studio album (following 2012's strong Live from the Underground) will be out this fall, though there's still no release date or track list. Still, Cadillactica is expected to include recent singles "MT. Olympus" (produced by K.R.I.T. himself) and "Pay Attention."
|LISTEN:||"Pay Attention" (feat. Rico Love)|
A new record contract with Sony Music Nashville will bring several things of interest to Garth Brooks fans, most notably the end of a 13-year-long recording hiatus. The country mega-star (who has sold over 70 million albums since emerging on the scene in 1989) is expected to release his first studio album since 2001's Scarecrow close to Thanksgiving of this year, though few solid details have been revealed. Brooks will also make his back catalog available digitally for the first time this fall, though only through his own website (rather than iTunes or other established online retailers).
4:14 Scream / 4:26 Dream
When The Cure recorded their 2008 album 4:13 Dream, they had a few leftover tracks that didn't make the final cut. Make that a lot of leftover tracks, as Dream was originally intended to be a double album, and 33 tracks were recorded in total. Fourteen of those songs are set to be included on a new album, 4:14 Scream. Another new release, the limited-edition double album 4:26 Dream, will basically present the double album as originally conceived, and include 10 previously unreleased songs (as well as some repeats from the other discs, but possibly in different mixes, though, as Robert Smith helpfully notes, a few of the songs will somehow have "words and no vocals"). Of course, there are no release dates, and those titles could change, but eventually 32 of the 33 tracks recorded in 2008 should surface in some format.
The teenage Brooklyn rapper already has a few mixtapes to his name, and could finally release his debut studio album this fall after originally hoping to finish the project last year. The encouraging news is that he just released the album's first single, the Kirk Knight-produced "Big Dusty," so progress is being made.
His stunning major-label debut Good Kid, M.A.A.D City was easily one of the top releases of 2012 (and earned seven Grammy nominations), and fans are still hoping that the L.A. rapper's follow-up will arrive before the year's up. This summer, Lamar reported that he had already written 30-40 songs for the new album, which will feature production from Dr. Dre (who kindly took time off from his busy schedule of not releasing Detox) as well as Top Dawg Entertainment's in-house crew.
The Philly rapper's second album follows his 2012 debut Dreams and Nightmares. Guests on the new LP include Rick Ross, Jay Z, Paloma Ford, Rita Ora, Migos, Big Sean, A$AP Ferg, and Ty Dolla Sign. Dreams was originally set to be released September 9th, but a recent parole denial means that the rapper is still behind bars, and the album is on hold.
|WATCH:||"I Don't Know"|
|WATCH:||"Off the Corner"|
The Pink Print
(Young Money/Cash Money/Republic)
First single "Pills N Potions" and the just-released, "Baby Got Back"-sampling "Anaconda" are the first tastes of what will be Minaj's third studio album, following 2012's disappointing Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. It is expected to surface before the end of the year, though a final track list and release date haven't been confirmed.
|WATCH:||"Pills N Potions"|
After dropping Channel Orange, one of the strongest debut albums in recent memory, R&B singer Frank Ocean could finally release a follow-up late this year. Reports dating back to last year suggested that Ocean was planning another concept album, possibly beach-related and influenced by the 1960s pop of The Beatles and Beach Boys. Tyler the Creator, Danger Mouse, and Pharrell may be involved, while Ocean was also seeking to collaborate with Tame Impala. No matter what form the new record takes, it'll find Ocean under new management; the singer recently fired his management team and publicist.
Noah Lennox, the Animal Collective member who also goes by the name Panda Bear, is expected to release his fourth solo album (and first since 2011's Tomboy) this fall. Possibly titled Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper, the new set is shaping up to be more sample-based like his excellent 2007 release Person Pitch.
Newly signed to Warner Bros.—the same label that released all of his albums from 1978 through the mid-1990s—Prince could have any number of releases this fall, including zero. Possibilities for a larger number include Plectrum Electrum (his long-gestating project with new backing band 3rdEyeGirl), as well as a still-untitled solo album (which will include a "menacing" rap song featuring Rita Ora), and an announced (but undated) deluxe 30th anniversary reissue of Purple Rain.
This tentatively titled from-the-vaults release will feature never-before-heard tracks with vocals from the late Freddie Mercury (including, possibly, a collaboration between Mercury and Michael Jackson), dating back to the early 1980s. The band's Brian May and producer William Orbit are helping to restore the old tracks, which mainly existed as scraps rather than full recordings.
Hell Can Wait
The 21-year-old Southern California rapper recently signed to Def Jam and is expected to release his debut studio album, Hell Can Wait, on that label sometime this fall. The LP follows two Shyne Coldchain mixtapes and appearances on various Odd Future-affiliated projects.
Though Twin Shadow recently postponed its scheduled fall tour, George Lewis Jr. (who is pretty much the band's sole member) suggested on a recent episode of the Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast that he has a new album ready for release this fall, likely in October.
U2's long-delayed 13th studio album was finally supposed to surface in 2014, only for reports to arise in the spring suggesting that it would be pushed back to 2015 to accommodate further recording sessions. Now, we seem to be back to 2014 after all. The latest rumors, courtesy of the Irish Times, suggest that the album will reach stores this fall rather than next year, with the first single arriving in September, and a new confirmation via Rolling Stone backs up that timetable. The band has recorded with multiple producers in the years since 2009's No Line On The Horizon, including (according to various reports) Danger Mouse, will.i.am, RedOne, David Guetta, and possibly Paul Epworth and Ryan Tedder, and it is unclear which sessions and tracks will survive to the final, still-untitled, product. Nor is it known if the two new songs the band has released over the past year—Oscar-nominated soundtrack cut "Ordinary Love" and this year's single "Invisible"—will be included on the new album.
The eighth album from the R&B singer, possibly titled UR, is expected this fall. The album is expected to include recent singles "Good Kisser" and "She Came To Give It To You," which features Nicki Minaj and production from Pharrell Williams, but few other details have been revealed.
|LISTEN:||"She Came To Give It To You" (feat. Nicki Minaj)|
A little over year after releasing Yeezus, an album that topped more critic top 10 lists last year than any other 2013 release, Kanye West could be back with a follow-up. His still-untitled seventh solo set was (possibly) produced by Rick Rubin and Q-Tip, and it may have just 8 songs, or maybe even 12. West has suggested that the album could arrive as soon as September, though he's also mentioned words like "October" and "November," so your guess is as good as anyone's. But a low-quality bootleg of potential new single "All Day" was enough to get Twitter excited when it leaked last week. The most recent rumors also have West in the recording studio with Paul McCartney (rapper name: P-Macca), though it is unclear whether anything from those sessions would appear on West's next album.
Brian Wilson's on-again, off-again involvement with The Beach Boys is now off again, leaving time for him to return to his solo career (which hasn't produced a new album of original songs since 2008's That Lucky Old Sun). Though he's been associated with several different projects over the past year, including a collaboration with Jeff Beck, the album most likely to surface this year is a song-oriented LP featuring a parade of guest vocalists, possibly including Lana Del Rey, Kacey Musgraves, Frank Ocean, and Zooey Deschanel.
A Better Tomorrow
Expected to arrive last year in honor of the hip-hop collective's 20th anniversary, Wu-Tang's sixth studio album (and first since 2007's 8 Diagrams) hit a few snags along the way, most famously due to a rift (since repaired) between RZA and Raekwon. But the band unveiled the album's new single a few weeks ago (on The Daily Show, of all places), suggesting that the album's release could finally be near. Also on tap for the Wu: Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, the super-limited-edition (# of copies: 1) double album that comes in an engraved sliver box. That multi-million-dollar prize will go the highest bidder after first possibly touring museums. Oh, and it also features Cher.
|LISTEN:||"Ron O'Neal" [studio version]|
|WATCH:||"Ron O'Neal" [live on The Daily Show]|
What do you think?
Which albums are you looking forward to this fall? Let us know in the comments section below, and check out our Album Release Calendar for even more upcoming albums.