26 Albums To Get Excited About This Fall

The next few months are going to be insane for new music. Drake, Lorde, Haim, Gaga, Katy, JT…and that’s just the beginning.


Release date: Sept. 17

If you were hoping that MGMT would keep getting weirder instead of going back to the glossy sound of their debut, you’ll find a lot to like in their extremely psychedelic third album.

2. Elvis Costello and The Roots, Wise Up Ghost

Release date: Sept. 17

A new Elvis Costello album isn’t much of an event – he puts out a new record every few years – but this collaboration with The Roots puts a fresh spin on his familiar sound. Wise Up Ghost has the familiar sound of old school Costello, but Questlove and his crew add a jolt of energy and rhythm. It’s a shame about that cover art, though.

3. Drake, Nothing Was the Same

Release date: Sept. 24

Drake has been slowly releasing singles from his third album for months, so at the very least we know that there are at least three excellent tracks on it going in. This may turn out to be his best record yet.

4. Chvrches, The Bones of What You Believe

Release date: Sept. 24

This Scottish synthpop duo have been hyped up in indie circles for nearly a year now, but are primed to break through to a bigger audience once their album is finally out in September. This is highly recommended for anyone who loves classic ’80s acts like Human League, Depeche Mode, Missing Persons, Pet Shop Boys, and Erasure.

5. Mazzy Star, Seasons of Your Day

Release date: Sept. 24

Mazzy Star have been gone for a loooooooong time – this is their first album since 1996 – but they sound like they’re just picking up where they left off. Seasons of Your Day is as slow, sad, hazy, and gorgeous as you’d hope, but with a bit more folk and blues in the mix.

6. Au Revoir Simone, Move In Spectrums

Release date: Sept. 24

Au Revoir Simone have built their reputation on wispy, keyboard-centric indie pop, but their third full-length album moves a bit outside their comfort zone, with a wider variety of instrumentation, some live drums, and more assertive pop hooks.

7. Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience, Part 2

Release date: Sept. 30

The first half of The 20/20 Experience is, by far, the best-selling album of 2013, so it’s a safe bet that the second half of JT’s two-part epic will do pretty well too. Unlike the previous set, which was exclusively produced by Timbaland, this one will also feature collaborations with Pharrell Williams.

8. Haim, Days Are Gone

Release date: Sept. 30

Haim’s debut album is a glossy, modern take on classic ’70s pop along the lines of Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, and The Eagles. The first proper single, “The Wire,” is one of the year’s best rock singles, but there are plenty of amazing deep cuts, like the gorgeously harmonized “Honey & I.”

9. Lorde, Pure Heroine

Release date: Sept. 30

Lorde is one of the year’s big word-of-mouth successes, but she’s primed to full cross over to the big time with the release of her proper debut album, Pure Heroine. The days of her being your special secret are almost over, but that’s actually a good thing.

10. Danny Brown, Old

Release date: Sept. 30

Danny Brown has spent the past couple years killing it on guest spots, but now it’s time for him to shine all on his own. This may be Brown’s shot at the big time, but hey, no pressure.

11. Sleigh Bells, Bitter Rivals

Release date: Oct. 8

Sleigh Bells’ third album will almost certainly deliver plenty of bombastic riffs that you’ll be hearing in movie trailers for the rest of your life, but going on the first single “Bitter Rivals,” it’s also a bit more aggressively pop with less over-the-top noise, and more clean, foregrounded vocals from Alexis Krauss.

12. Miley Cyrus, Bangerz

Release date: Oct. 8

Miley seems unavoidable now, but she’s going to be even more omnipresent once Bangerz comes out in October. She may be provocative and a little obnoxious, but she’s got chops – just listen to her performance on her new ballad “Wrecking Ball.”

13. Of Montreal, Lousy With Sylvianbriar

Release date: Oct. 8

Lousy With Sylvianbriar is a turning point for Of Montreal, with them shifting away from the electronic funk that dominated their last four albums in favor of returning to the ’60s psychedelic rock sound of their earlier work.

14. Pusha T, My Name Is My Name

Release date: Oct. 8

Clipse rapper Pusha T’s solo debut features collaborations with some of the best producers in hip-hop — Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Hit-Boy, Bangladesh, No I.D., and Hudson Mohawke, just to name a few. Expect something grim, and, like, a billion references to cocaine.

15. Pearl Jam, Lightning Bolt

Release date: Oct. 15

Pearl Jam’s 10th studio album has been a long time in the works — the band has been slowly writing and recording it for the past few years, and their last album came out in 2009. The first single, “Mind Your Manners,” is particularly fast and punky, so don’t expect anything quite as soft as Eddie Vedder’s recent album of ukulele tunes.

16. Paul McCartney, New

Release date: Oct. 15

Paul McCartney’s last record was a set of stuffy standards, but New is classic Paul: jaunty, meticulously arranged, and effortlessly catchy. He’s not breaking new ground for himself, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with one of the best songwriters of all time working in his comfort zone.

17. The Avett Brothers, Magpie and the Dandelion

Release date: Oct. 15

Magpie and the Dandelion comes only a year after the Avett Brothers’ last album, but according to the band, they were so inspired when they finished The Carpenter that they just kept on writing and recording with producer Rick Rubin. The first single, “Another Is Waiting,” adds a bit of punch to their usual folky sound.

18. The Dismemberment Plan, Uncanney Valley


Release date: Oct. 15

The Dismemberment Plan’s first new album since reuniting in 2011 isn’t a far cry from where they left off with 2001’s Change: They’re still bouncy and groovy and clever, but this time around singer Travis Morrison’s lyrics are informed by a decade of living a relatively unglamorous life as a computer programmer for The Huffington Post.

20. Cults, Static

Release date: Oct. 15

Cults haven’t strayed too far from the sound of their debut on “High Road,” the first single from their second album Static. If anything, they’ve gone further with it — more groovy, more spooky, and more catchy.

21. The Head and the Heart, Let’s Be Still

Release date: Oct. 15

These Seattle folkies could hit the big time with their second album — their 2011 debut was a sleeper hit, and the massive popularity of Mumford & Sons has opened up a huge audience who are likely to adore songs like their new single, “Shake.”

22. Katy Perry, Prism

Release date: Oct. 22

Katy Perry has said that her third album is a bit darker than her hugely popular Teenage Dream record, but that doesn’t mean it will be less pop. It’s a safe bet that at least two other songs from this record will be a megahit like the first single, “Roar.”

23. Arcade Fire, Reflektor

Release date: Oct. 29

Arcade Fire teamed up with LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy producing to create their fourth album Reflektor. According to band leader Win Butler, the new album will be a double album on vinyl, and features several epic dance-influenced tunes along the lines of the brilliant title track.

24. Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP 2

Release date: Nov. 5

It’s pretty gutsy for Eminem to make his eighth album a sequel to his 2000 blockbuster The Marshall Mathers LP if just because that’s a pretty high bar to clear. But the record’s first single, “Berzerk,” is as brash and bold as his music from that era, so maybe it’s appropriate.

25. M.I.A., Matangi

Release date: Nov. 5

M.I.A.’s fourth album has been held up by her label for a looooong time, but the record is finally set to come out in November. She’s described her new tunes as being like “Paul Simon on acid,” and that the record was delayed because it was “too positive.” So this should be pretty interesting.

26. Lady Gaga, ARTPOP

Release date: Nov. 11

Lady Gaga has been hyping up ARTPOP as an incredibly over-the-top and elaborate multimedia art project, and of course it will be, because she’s Lady Gaga. But it’s also almost certainly going to be an album full of catchy dance pop because she’s Lady Gaga. Win-win.

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