2012 Fall Music Preview: 40 Key Releases

  • Publish Date: September 11, 2012
  • Comments: ↓ 2 user comments

Sounds of the fall

Below, we look at 40 notable releases expected to be released between now and the end of 2012. As always, for an even more thorough (and frequently updated) list of upcoming release dates, visit our Album Release Calendar.

A$AP Rocky
LongLiveA$AP | October 31

After impressing with his LiveLoveA$AP mixtape last year, the New York rapper is expected to release his official debut album this fall, though frequent delays (with the latest pushing the album from September 11 to a Halloween release date) suggest that nothing is set in stone. The A$AP Mob member will produce some of the tracks himself, with other production help possibly coming from the likes of Diplo, Clams Casino, A$AP Ty Beats, Hit-Boy, Soufein3000, and Joey Fat Beats.

Previous album: LiveLoveA$AP 83 (2011)

Music From Another Dimension | November 6

After years of false starts and a near-dissolution in 2009, Aerosmith return this fall with their first album of new songs in over a decade (their 2004 release was a covers album). Music From Another Dimension, the band's 15th album, includes material recently recorded with producer Jack Douglas, who previously worked with the band on many of their 1970s classics. (Tracks recorded several years ago with Brendan O'Brien did not make the final cut.) The new album's first single, "Legendary Child," failed to make much of an impression when it was released earlier this year; now the band must hope there's still an audience for their music when the full album hits in November.

Previous album: Honkin' On Bobo 69 (2004)

ImageBand of Horses
Mirage Rock | September 18

Legendary producer Glyn Johns is behind the boards for this fourth album for the Charleston-by-way-of-Seattle rockers. After two solid roots rock releases, Band of Horses underwhelmed on the pretty but bland Infinite Arms (naturally, the band's biggest hit, and a Grammy nominee), but perhaps the arrival of Johns will inject some life into Mirage Rock, though an early review doesn't entirely reassure us. Album tracks include lead single "Knock Knock" and "Slow Cruel Hands of Time", but why stop there—you can stream the entire album now at Soundcloud.

Previous album: Infinite Arms 69 (2010)

ImageBat for Lashes
The Haunted Man | October 23

After earning raves, award nominations—and an invitation to open for Coldplay—for her first two albums, English singer-songwriter Natasha Khan returns next month with her third album. While her previous release spawned the hit Kate Bush-esque single "Daniel," the only official taste we've heard from The Haunted Man so far is the far less peppy piano-driven ballad "Laura", which suggests—dare we say it—a more stripped-down sound. Other tracks on the new album will include recent live staples like "Oh Yeah" and "A Wall".

Previous album: Two Suns 76 (2009)

ImageBen Folds Five
The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind | September 18

After releasing four solo studio albums, Ben Folds has reconvened his alt-rock trio Ben Folds Five to record their first album in over a dozen years. The group had a chance to get reacquainted last year when they recorded a handful of new BF5 songs for Folds' box set The Best Imitation of Myself. Apparently those sessions went well, because The Sound of the Life of the Mind contains 10 brand-new tracks, including lead single "Erase Me" and "Sky High". The title cut features lyrics by novelist Nick Hornby, who previously collaborated with Folds on Lonely Avenue 63.

Previous album: The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner n/a (1999)

Big Boi
Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors | November 13

There's still no sign of a new OutKast album, so fans will have to settle for a solo album from one half of the Grammy-winning rap duo this fall. Given that Big Boi's previous solo release earned a 90, it's not all that difficult to accept Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors (originally to be titled Daddy Fat Sax: Soul Funk Crusader) as a consolation prize. While there's still plenty of time to fiddle with the final tracklisting—apparently, close to 30 tracks were recorded, and will be cut down to a dozen or so for the final release—it is looking increasingly likely that the new album will have no problem blurring genre classifications, as it will include collaborations with Little Dragon, Phantogram (whose Sarah Barthel sings on multiple tracks), Big K.R.I.T., A$AP Rocky, and Kid Cudi. Previous OutKast collaborator Chris Carmouche serves as producer on much of the album.

Previous album: Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty 90 (2010)

ImageDavid Byrne & St. Vincent
Love This Giant | September 11

Over two years in the making, this album co-written and co-performed by the former Talking Heads frontman and indie singer-songwriter Annie Clark comes after the pair collaborated on a track for Byrne's Imelda Marcos musical Here Lies Love. Love This Giant is notable for its incorporation of a brass band—a sound Byrne utilized nearly three decades ago for his opera soundtrack Music for "The Knee Plays"—which blends perfectly with each artist's distinctive yet compatible vocals on the lead single "Who". Early reviews suggest that the pairing is a success.

Previous albums: Strange Mercy 85 (2011) by St. Vincent
Here Lies Love 64 (2010) by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim

Crystal Castles
tbd | tbd

It doesn't have a name yet, but, then again, Crystal Castles albums rarely do. The band recorded their third album in Warsaw with their own Ethan Kath producing, and hope to release it as soon as this month. Lead single "Plague" only confirms what the group told NME about the new album: "There's no departure. We like how we sound. We don't wanna change," though the band informed Pitchfork that they do have new keyboards and pedals this time around.

Previous album: Crystal Castles [II] 77 (2010)

Jiaolong | October 16

You might not know Daphni, but you may know its sole member: Dan Snaith, the math PhD (really) who usually records under the name Caribou (or, before that, Manitoba). But while Caribou's detailed tracks are meticulously composed, the minimal techno sound of Daphni is aimed straight for the dancefloor. After a few 12-inch singles released last year (including one split with Four Tet), Daphni's full-length debut Jiaolong arrives next month on Merge, a label not normally known for this type of music. Hear the previously released "Ye Ye" for an idea of Daphni's club-oriented sound.

Previous album: Swim 83 (2010) by Caribou

ImageDave Matthews Band
Away From the World | September 11

Five artists have had five straight albums debut at #1 on Billboard's album chart; no one has made it six in a row ... yet. Dave Matthews Band will be aiming to break the record they currently share when they release their eighth studio album, Away From the World, this week. For the first time since the group's first three albums, Steve Lillywhite is on board as producer. The album includes the lead single "Mercy".

Previous album: Big Whiskey And The GrooGrux King 67 (2009)

ImageDinosaur Jr.
I Bet on Sky | September 18

Seven years in, the Dinosaur Jr. reunion shows no sign of abating—which is simultaneously shocking and wonderful. I Bet on Sky is the third release for the guitar-loving indie-rock trio of J Mascis, Lou Barlow, and Murph since their 2005 reformation, and the band's 10th studio album overall. The album is streaming in its entirety this week at NPR, and don't forget to watch the great Funny or Die video for album track "Watch the Corners".

Previous album: Farm 76 (2009)

ImageBob Dylan
Tempest | September 11

Bob Dylan's 35th album arrives 50 years after his first, and while his voice may have changed in the ensuing years, his influences haven't. Naturally, mortality is a major theme on Tempest, though early buzz has focused on the title track, a 14-minute, chorus-free, epic retelling of the sinking of the Titanic (which has already been topped by Tim Heidecker's 15-minute version). Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter provides the words for lead single "Duquesne Whistle", but the other nine tracks are written by Dylan and performed with his current band, with the addition of David Hidalgo (Los Lobos).

Previous album: Christmas In The Heart 62 (2009)

The Flaming Lips
tbd | tbd

The Flaming Lips haven't exactly been silent in the years following the release of Embryonic 81 in 2009—among other things, the band recorded a 24-hour song—but 2012 is shaping up to be one of their busiest years yet. After releasing their Heady Fwends LP earlier this year (which found them collaborating with artists ranging from Lightning Bolt to Ke$ha), the Lips are set to return late this year with another new album, a spontaneously recorded LP that may be titled The Terror. Frontman Wayne Coyne told Rolling Stone this summer that the album, which the band finished in July, is the best record his band has ever made.

Previous album: The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends 72 (2012)

ImageFlying Lotus
Until the Quiet Comes | October 2

Los Angeles-based electronica producer Steven Ellison (aka Flying Lotus) returns with his third album for Warp Records this fall, following a pair of critically acclaimed releases. The new set includes contributions from Erykah Badu and Thom Yorke (who also guested on FlyLo's previous LP), though a planned collaboration with Beck is not included (it'll come later as a single). It's not quite your standard music video, but a short film released last week features music from the new album.

Previous album: Cosmogramma 86 (2010)

ImageNelly Furtado
The Spirit Indestructible | September 18

Nelly Furtado's fifth album is her first English-language release since 2006's Loose 71, a six-year absence that's an eternity in the pop music world (though her Spanish-language debut in the interim, Mi Plan, did win a Latin Grammy). On The Spirit Indestructible, she returns to the eclectic blend of pop styles found on her early releases. While Salaam Remi produces a few tracks, much of the production comes from Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, including on the lead single "Big Hoops (Bigger the Better)". A deluxe edition adds six tracks.

Previous album: Mi Plan 71 (2009)

ImageBenjamin Gibbard
Former Lives | October 16

Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard has been known to take a break from his main band to work on side projects (most notably, The Postal Service) from time to time, but next month's Barsuk release Former Lives will mark his first ever solo LP. The 12 songs here—which demonstrate a stylistic diversity (including, on one song, a mariachi band) not usually present on Death Cab albums—were written and recorded at various times during Gibbard's career, and while he's performed a few of them live, none have been released previously. (Grab a copy of lead single "Teardrop Windows" over at Stereogum.) Gibbard's Death Cab bandmate Chris Walla is also working on a solo album, though that won't surface until 2013 at the earliest.

Previous album: Codes and Keys 71 (2011) by Death Cab for Cutie

ImageGreen Day
¡Uno! | September 25

Talk about making up for lost time. After going three years without delivering a new studio album, Green Day are set to release three of them over the next four months. The first, ¡Uno!, arrives September 25th, followed by ¡Dos! on November 13th and concluding with ¡Tres! on January 15th. (The band will be on the road for much of that time as well.) Rob Cavallo serves as producer for the trilogy, and you can expect a slightly more stripped down, power-pop sound on the first album, which is preceded by singles "Oh Love" and "Kill the DJ", the latter sounding like it was ripped from a Franz Ferdinand album. November's ¡Dos!, meanwhile, is rumored to be more garage-y.

Previous album: 21st Century Breakdown 70 (2009)

ImageGrizzly Bear
Shields | September 18

How did Grizzly Bear follow their 2009 breakthrough hit Veckatimest? By taking a little time off. But the Brooklyn indie rockers finally returned to live performances a few weeks ago, with a new album due next week. Preceded by single "Sleeping Ute", fourth album Shields once again showcases the band's production mastery, experimental leanings, and vocal harmonies. The full album is streaming until its release at NPR.

Previous album: Veckatimest 85 (2009)

ImageThe Killers
Battle Born | September 18

After a multi-year break during which frontman Brandon Flowers released his first solo album (Flamingo 59), The Killers are set to return next week with their fourth studio album, their first release since 2008. Preceded by the single "Runaways", Battle Born features tracks produced by veterans Steve Lillywhite, Stuart Price, Daniel Lanois, and Brendan O"Brien and is the culmination of nearly a year and a half of recording sessions.

Previous album: Day & Age 69 (2008)

Somethin' 'Bout Kreay | September 18

Just over a year ago, Bay Area hip hop artist Kreayshawn released a video for her track "Gucci Gucci", which almost instantly became an internet sensation—it now has over 37 million views—and led to her scoring a major label deal with Columbia Records. After a bit of a delay, the first product of that contract arrives next week in the form of her official debut album Somethin' 'Bout Kreay. While it's not going to win any awards for album cover design, the LP includes production work from the likes of Diplo and Jean Baptiste, and features from Kid Cudi and 2 Chainz, though the latter's track, the meal-oriented single "Breakfast (Syrup)", failed to make an impression on the charts when it dropped this summer. Might one thing 'bout Kreay be that she's a one-hit wonder?

Previous album: n/a

On the next page ...

Continue reading for another 40+ albums arriving this fall, from artists including Muse, No Doubt, The xx, and more.

Comments (2)

  • RickFlairbombed  

    The new Grizzly Bear album is excellent. Kind of like what Mumford & Sons would song like it, if Mumford & Sons knew how to write more than the same song 20 slightly different ways.

  • pkindieboy  

    for shame no mention of the sea and cake. lookin forward to that lips release though.

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