This week's new releases
Each title listed below will go on sale beginning Tuesday, September 18 unless otherwise indicated. Click on any LISTEN link to listen to a free, streaming version of the entire album (typically, available only during the week of release); streaming links go to AOL Music unless otherwise indicated. The week's most noteworthy releases are starred.
- The Album Leaf Forward/Return EP
- Allah-Las Allah-Las
- Alt-J An Awesome Wave
- US release; album was just shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize
- Band of Horses
Mirage Rock LISTEN (Soundcloud)
- 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 69 (naturally, the band's biggest hit, and a Grammy nominee), but perhaps the arrival of Johns will inject some life into Mirage Rock. Then again, early reviews suggest otherwise.
- Ben Folds Five
The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind LISTEN
- 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 the title cut, which features lyrics by novelist Nick Hornby, who previously collaborated with Folds on Lonely Avenue 63.
- Big & Rich Hillbilly Jedi
- Ryan Bingham Tomorrowland
- Black Prairie A Tear In The Eye Is A Wound In The Heart
- Brother Ali Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color
- Easton Corbin All Over the Road
- Dinosaur Jr.
I Bet on Sky LISTEN (3voor12)
- 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. Reviews suggest it's not one of their best outings, though it's far from bad.
- Down Down IV Part I - The Purple EP LISTEN
- Earlimart System Preferences
- First album in four years for the indie rockers [Digital only today; CD out 10/16]
- Fear & The Nervous System Fear & The Nervous System
- Fourplay Espirit De Four
- Fur Coat Mind Over Matter
- Nelly Furtado
The Spirit Indestructible
- 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 71, 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.
- Gallows Gallows LISTEN (3voor12)
- The Gaslamp Killer Breakthrough LISTEN (3voor12)
- Grateful Dead Spring 1990, So Glad You Made It 2xCD
- Grizzly Bear
Shields LISTEN (3voor12)
- 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. Early reviews are very favorable.
- Keith Harkin Keith Harkin
- Homeboy Sandman First of a Living Breed
- How to Dress Well Total Loss LISTEN (3voor12)
- James Iha Look to the Sky LISTEN
- New solo outing for the former Smashing Pumpkins member includes contributions from Tom Verlaine, Karen O and Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Sara Quin (Tegan and Sara)
- Catherine Irwin Little Heater
- Michael Jackson
Bad: 25th Anniversary Edition 3xCD+DVD LISTEN
- This deluxe 25th anniversary edition of Jackson's massively successful 1987 album includes not only a remastered version of the original LP but also a CD and DVD of Jackson's July 16, 1988 concert at London's Wembley Stadium as well as a disc of demos and non-album tracks. The DVD (Michael Jackson Live At Wembley 7.16.1988) will also be sold separately if you're not in the market for the full box set.
- Carly Rae Jepsen Kiss
- American debut for the Canadian pop star includes her duet with Owl City ("Good Time") and another with Justin Bieber; yes, the ubiquitous "Call Me Maybe" is on it, too
- The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Meat and Bone LISTEN (Rolling Stone)
- First album in 8 years
- Rickie Lee Jones The Devil You Know LISTEN
- Covers album produced by Ben Harper
- Kid Koala 12 Bit Blues LISTEN (3voor12)
- Comes with tools to build your own hand-powered turntable
- The Killers
Battle Born LISTEN (3voor12)
- 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's Day & Age 69. 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.
Somethin' 'Bout Kreay LISTEN
- 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 digitally this 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?
- L'Altra Telepathic LISTEN
- LV Sebenza
- Aimee Mann
Charmer LISTEN (3voor12)
- A favorite in the worlds of indie music and comedy (you can see her in the previous season of Portlandia, among other places), singer-songwriter Aimee Mann returns next week after an atypically long four-year gap with her eighth solo album. The agreeably peppy and accessible Charmer—the former 'Til Tuesday frontwoman's most polished and pop output in many years—includes a duet with The Shins' James Mercer on "Living a Lie," while lead single "Charmer" is just that; watch the Laura Linney-starring video for it here.
- Brad Mehldau Trio Where Do You Start
- Menomena Moms
- Fifth album for the indie band that is now down to the duo of Justin Harris and Danny Seim
- Oneohtrix Point Never / Rene Hell Music for Reliquary House / In 1980 I Was a Blue Square
- Split LP
- Nathan Pacheco Nathan Pacheco
The Truth About Love
- The pop singer's first studio album in four years includes collaborations with Eminem, fun., and Lily Allen (who now calls herself Lily Rose Cooper, of course), with production coming from the likes of Max Martin, Greg Kurstin, and Butch Walker. The album includes the hit single "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" and the just-released "Try".
- Robert Pollard Jack Sells the Cow
- We're not positive, but we think it's the 2,384th album released by the Guided by Voices frontman this year
- The Sea and Cake Runner LISTEN (3voor12)
- Sean Paul Tomahawk Technique
- U.S. release
- Sic Alps Sic Alps
- Paul Simon Live in New York City 2CD+DVDLISTEN
- Audio and video recordings of a concert from his recent So Beautiful or So What tour; also available as a stand-alone Blu-ray release
- Matthias Tanzmann Fabric65
- Devin Townsend Project Epicloud
- Corin Tucker Band
Kill My Blues
- While her former Sleater-Kinney bandmate Carrie Brownstein has been busy lampooning Portland and starting terrific new supergroups since the hiatus of their earlier band, Corin Tucker has been working on a solo career of her own, releasing one album two years ago, with a second arriving next week. If previous outing 1,000 Years 76 was indeed a "middle-aged mom record," as Tucker herself described it, the new Kill My Blues finds her reverting back to riot grrrl form, delivering a much more forceful and focused attack that should please longtime followers. The album was written collaboratively by Tucker with her full band, which includes Mike Clark of The Jicks and Sara Lund of Unwound.
- Ufomammut Oro: Opus Alter
- Various Borderlands 2 OST
Cruel Summer LISTEN (3voor12)
- It might not seem much like summer anymore, but Kanye West's long-anticipated GOOD Music compilation is finally arriving this week after a series of delays, and while another year goes by without a proper Kanye West album, this could be the next best thing. Kanye shows up on many of the album's tracks, including singles "Mercy" (with Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz), "New God Flow" (with Pusha T again), and "Clique" (with Jay-Z and Big Sean), all of which are streaming now at Kanye's official site. The roster of talent appearing on the 12-song Cruel Summer also includes John Legend, Kid Cudi, Raekwon, Common, R. Kelly, The-Dream, and Ghostface Killah.
- Various For a Good Time, Call OST
- Various The Perks of Being a Wallflower OST
- Wax Tailor Dusty Rainbow From the Dark LISTEN
- The Whigs Enjoy the Company LISTEN
- Woods Bend Beyond LISTEN (Spin)
- Dwight Yoakam 3 Pears
- First studio album in seven years includes a pair of songs co-produced by Beck
- Marcelo Zarvos The Words OST
More streaming and downloadable new music
- Bat for Lashes
- TRACK "Marilyn" streaming at YouTube (audio only).
- TRACK "Michelangelo Antonioni" (Caetano Veloso cover) streaming at Soundcloud.
- Danny Brown
- TRACK "Change" streaming at Soundcloud.
- Sera Cahoone
- ALBUM Deer Creek Canyon streaming until its 9/25 release date at NPR.
- ALBUM Piramida streaming until its 9/25 release date at NPR.
- Donald Fagen
- TRACK "I'm Not the Same Without You" streaming at Rolling Stone.
- Matthew Friedberger
- TRACK "Ladies-in-Waiting – Waiting Forever I.The Neighbors" downloadable from Stereogum.
- TRACK "Decoy" downloadable from Pitchfork.
TRACK "Wasabi" (feat. Juicy J) downloadable from Stereogum.
- Melody's Echo Chamber
- ALBUM Melody's Echo Chamber streaming until its 9/25 release date at NPR.
- Of Montreal
- TRACK "Our Love Is Senile" streaming at Stereogum.
- The Soft Moon
- TRACK "Insides" downloadable from Stereogum.
- Taken by Trees
- TRACK "Large" streaming at YouTube (audio only).
- Teen Daze
- TRACK "Union" (feat. Frankie Rose) streaming at Soundcloud.
- John Tejada
- ALBUM The Predicting Machine streaming until its 9/25 release date at KCRW.
- Ricardo Villalobos
- ALBUM Dependent And Happy streaming until its 9/25 release date at NPR.
On TV this week (new episodes only)
- Monday: Kreayshawn (Kimmel), Nancy & Beth (Conan), Of Gentlemen & Cowards (Letterman), Rascal Flatts (Leno)
- Tuesday: Ryan Bingham (Leno), Nelly Furtado (Fallon), The Killers (Werner Herzog-directed concert streaming live on YouTube at 7p ET)
- Wednesday: The Afghan Whigs (Kimmel), The Avett Brothers (Fallon), Big & Rich (Leno), Delta Rae (Conan), The Killers (Letterman), Pink (The Daily Show)
- Thursday: Band of Horses (Letterman), Bonnie Raitt (Leno)
- Friday: Bobby Womack ft. Damon Albarn and Richard Russell (Fallon), ZZ Top (Leno)
- Saturday: Mumford & Sons (Saturday Night Live)
- Sunday: Ne-Yo (VH1's Behind the Music)
Recent artist and industry news
- The rather underwhelming list of nominees for this year's Mercury Music Prize includes Alt-J, Plan B, Richard Hawley, Django Django, Field Music, Jessie Ware, and more; get the full shortlist at the official site.
- Did you miss Led Zeppelin's 2007 reunion concert in London? That performance will screen in theaters around the world on the night of October 17, 2012 before getting a DVD/Blu-ray release in November.
- Metal label Hydra Head Records is shutting down after 17 years.
The latest music videos
Mission of Burma, "Semi-Pseudo-Sort-of Plan":
Green Day, "Nuclear Family":
Sigur Rós, "Seraph" [combining "Rembihnútur" and "Ekki Múkk"]:
The Raveonettes, "The Enemy":
Cat Power, "Cherokee":
Ben Folds Five, "Do It Anyway" [starring the "cast" of Fraggle Rock]:
Laetitia Sadier, "Find Me The Pulse of the Universe":
Bonnie "Prince" Billy, "Time to Be Clear":
Hospitality, "Eighth Avenue":
A Place to Bury Strangers, "Leaving Tomorrow":
Lianne La Havas, "Age":
Tom Tom Club, "Downtown Rockers":
In the studio / coming soon
- The Weeknd has semi-signed (it's complicated) with major label Universal Republic, which will release Trilogy on November 13; the set includes The Weekend's first three mixtapes (House of Balloons, Thursday and Echoes of Silence) along with three brand new tracks. - MTV, Pitchfork
- The second Neil Young & Crazy Horse album of 2012 will be called Psychedelic Pill, and you can find it in stores on October 30. - Rolling Stone
- Ghostface Killah returns with Twelve Reasons To Die on November 20. - Billboard
- A new Vitalic album, Rave Age, will be out on November 5th, rather than the previously announced October 22nd date. - Pitchfork
- Christina Aguilera's next album, Lotus, will be out November 13th. - Pop & Hiss
- Early 2013 will bring Adam Ant's first album of new material in 18 years, though the title is a mouthful: Adam Ant is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner's Daughter. - Billboard
- A new Madness album? Oui, Oui, Si, Si, Ja, Ja, Da, Da will be out October 29th. - NME
- Originally set to drop in November, Major Lazer's upcoming album Free the Universe has been delayed until February 19th.
- The reunited Suede have been in the studio recording a new album; The Quietus has a few details.
Visit Metacritic's Album Release Calendar for a full listing of upcoming release dates, updated daily.
Tours and festivals
- Next year's Bonnaroo festival will be held June 13th-16th.
- Sum 41 will hit the road to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Does This Look Infected?. - Punknews
- The Killers have a world tour set for the fall and winter; North American dates will find them supported by Tegan and Sara. - Consequence of Sound
- Interpol frontman Paul Banks has revealed the first dates in a planned fall/winter tour in support of his upcoming solo album. - Matador
- Mount Kimbie have scheduled a few North American dates beginning in late October. - Pitchfork
- Get dates for A Place to Bury Strangers at the Dead Oceans site.
- Pollstar has dates for folkie Dar Williams.