The 25 Most Anticipated Albums of Fall 2014

Music to make the jack o' lanterns smile.


Blame it on Halloween, but the fall season is typically aligned with death and/or dying. Leaves tumble off their branches, the sun fades away earlier and earlier, and there’s an unshakable sense of finality wafting through the air. (That, and pumpkin spice lattes.) Though, the season isn’t all doom and gloom. Autumn celebrates life as much as any other season — after all, All Hallow’s Eve has its roots in the Pagan rituals of rebirth — and that’s especially the case for new music. In the past, artists have released their best work in the fall, and this year appears to uphold that tradition. So, as you brew some homemade cider and piece together your zombie costume in the coming weeks, take a hiatus from the haunted house CDs and put on something fresh and new. Here are 25 bold suggestions.


fucked up glass boysAlt-J – This Is All Yours

Release date: September 23rd via Atlantic/Infectious

After Alt-J’s debut album, An Awesome Wave, seemingly came out of nowhere to win a Mercury Prize, the British band, now a three-piece, looks to further deliver on the buzz with This Is All Yours. In the lead-up to the release, they certainly aren’t playing it safe. First single “Hunger of the Pine” features an equal parts fitting and baffling Miley Cyrus sample while the second preview, “Left Hand Free”, was made out of a “joke” riff. At their label’s request to make a more palatable hit, Alt-J made a single that appeals to “American truckers with ‘Good Riddance to Bin Laden’ stickers.” That said, their fans still like it. –Josh Terry

Listen:  “Left Hand Free”

Buy: Amazon

fucked up glass boysAphex Twin – Syro

Release date: September 23rd via Warp

Last month, Richard D. James, aka Aphex Twin, announced his first new album in over 13 years by linking fans to a .onion Deep Web domain. Upon accessing the site, a text document revealed the album’s title, SYRO, in addition to a 12-song tracklist. The included artwork also featured Aphex Twin’s trademark logo, the same one that was imprinted on a blimp flying over London the weekend prior. “I’d stockpiled up so much stuff and you can kind of have to draw a line under it somewhere,” he explained to The FADER. “By banging something out it, it’s like the end of the chapter. It properly draws a line under it and allows you to move on.” Fans should be stoked to know this isn’t a one-off, but the start of a new series of releases. Perhaps you’ll wanna celebrate with that insanely limited edition vinyl box set? Go nuts. –Michael Roffman

Listen:  “mini pops 67 (source field mix)”

Buy: Amazon


fucked up glass boysJulian Casablancas + The Voidz – Tyranny

Release date: September 23rd via Cult

Know this: Tyranny is hands down the most eccentric collection of music from Julian Casablancas yet. We’ve been listening to the album over the past couple of weeks and can safely attest to that ludicrous statement. But it’s true, and if the band’s 11-minute single, “Human Sadness”, isn’t an indication, then perhaps their erratic promotional campaign throughout the year can offer more insight. Between oddball video collages to polarizing festival performances, The Voidz hasn’t exactly been an easy project to grasp. Admittedly, the album won’t offer too many answers, but that should appease Casablancas’ longtime fans, who are partial to a little mystery. If anything, Tyranny proves this season’s most adventurous listen. –Michael Roffman

Listen:  “Human Sadness”

Buy: Cult Records

fucked up glass boysLeonard Cohen – Popular Problems

Release date: September 23rd via Columbia

On September 21st, Leonard Cohen will celebrate his 80th birthday. Two days later, he’ll drop his 13th studio album, Popular Problems. While I’d normally dismiss new material from an octogenarian as (at best) irrelevant or (most likely) a threat to his legacy, this is Leonard Cohen we’re talking about; the man defies convention. Brooding, ominous single “Almost Like the Blues” has Cohen sounding raspy and raw, as if every utterance is a portent of unimaginable atrocities. Unable to cope with the death and destruction polluting his mind and soul, Cohen can only drop his head and grieve. Oozing pain and anguish, he grumbles: “I couldn’t meet their glances/ I was staring at my shoes/ It was acid, it was tragic/ It was almost like the blues.” –Henry Hauser

Listen:  “Almost Like the Blues”

Buy: Amazon


fucked up glass boysPerfume Genius – Too Bright

Release date: September 23rd via Matador

The cover of Perfume Genius’ third album, Too Bright, is the first where Mike Hadreas’ image doesn’t appear in some way mutilated. Dressed in gold sequins with his hair slicked back, the singer looks almost inhumanly polished, like a mannequin or a RealDoll. The lead single from his new record, “Queen”, turns up the sheen in sound as well. It’s the first Perfume Genius song that can truly be described as a “banger”, and not in the Miley way — this is an anthem for the fucked-up, forgotten, and misunderstood who have learned how to strut about it. If “Queen” is any indication, Too Bright will be an off-kilter pop record about finding the gleam in your brokenness, a queer record for the history books. –Sasha Geffen

Listen:  “Queen”

Buy: Amazon

fucked up glass boysSBTRKT – Wonder Where We Land

Release date: October 7th via Young Turks

UK producer SBTRKT has an eclectic pallet for both beats and features. The forthcoming album due out September 23rd via Young Turks is no exception to this rule. From the indie pop vernacular of Ezra Koening to Young Turk kin Sampha to trap lord ASAP Ferg, many envision Wonder Where We Land as Aaron Jerome’s most diverse release to date. If the two stunning singles thus far released are any indicator, we have much to look forward to.  –Kevin McMahon

Listen:  “New Dorp. New York” feat. Ezra Koenig

Buy: Amazon

fucked up glass boysPrince – Art Official Age & Plectrumelectrum

Release date: September 26th via Warner Bros.

It’s been a banner year for his Purpleness: a cameo on the popular New Girl, a 30th anniversary for Purple Rain, a landmark return to Warner Bros. Records with announced re-releases, and now not one, but two new albums coming on September 30th. When it purple rains, it pours. Art Official Age (a solo LP) and Plectrumelectrum (a collaboration with his new band, 3rdEyeGirl) are Prince’s first efforts since 2010 (20Ten, to spell it more Prince-like). Funky, sexy, super slow, and swanky singles “Whitecaps” and “U Know” have already dropped online. –Blake Goble

Listen:  “U Know” and “Whitecaps”

Buy: Amazon


fucked up glass boysCaribou – Our Love

Release date: October 7th via Merge

Though he released an LP in 2012 under his dance floor-ready moniker Daphni, it’s been four years since Dan Snaith has put out an album as Caribou. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the first two samples of the upcoming Our Love sound a lot closer to the electronic grooves of Daphni and 2010’s Swim than the more eccentric stuff that came before it — and Snaith couldn’t sound happier. Both “Our Love” and the sublime “Can’t Do Without You” suggest that this’ll be a record perfect for your blissful, lovestruck needs. A press release that notes that this will be his “most soulful record to date, chock-full of heartfelt lyrics” and track names like “All I Ever Need” and “Your Love Will Set You Free” make that an even safer assumption. Get ready to dance your heart out. –Adam Kivel

Listen:  “Can’t Do Without You”

Buy: Amazon


fucked up glass boysFlying Lotus – You’re Dead!

Release date: October 7th via Warp

Los Angeles, CA, producer and musician Flying Lotus is undeniably talented. His trip-hop-infused electronic beats and funk-laced rhythms are all swept around with a smooth finish that seems to come from the soul, although maybe that’s because he’s related to John Coltrane amongst numerous other jazz legends. As a result, his fifth album, You’re Dead!, is undergoing some jazz treatment with legend Herbie Hancock shaking things up and Thundercat laying down his thick bass lines. After reading the list of collaborators, there’s no way it will let us down. –Nina Corcoran

Listen:  “Never Catch Me” feat. Kendrick Lamar

Buy: Amazon

fucked up glass boysFoxygen – …And Star Power

Release date: October 14th via Jagjaguwar

In July 2013, just six months removed from the release of their breakthrough album, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic, San Francisco’s Foxygen appeared ready to implode. However, following canceled tour dates, substance abuse issues, and a broken foot, Sam France and Jonathan Rado miraculously re-booted the project, launching an entirely new band for album No. 4, …And Star Power. Ahead of its release, the pair has promised a 24-track double album teeming with a “gaggle of guest stars,” all of whom helped forge what they’re calling a “svelte 82 minutes” of “psych-ward folk, cartoon fantasia, soft-rock indulgences, D&D doomrock and paranoid bathroom stompers. A cinematic auditory adventure for speedy freaks, skull krunchers, abductees and misfits.” Sometimes you’ve got to break apart in order to truly come together. –Chris Coplan

Listen:  “How Can You Really”

Buy: Amazon

fucked up glass boysKindness – Otherness

Release date: October 14th via Female Energy/Mom + Pop

Kindness, the moniker of UK musician Adam Bainbridge charmed in 2012 with his debut World, You Need a Change of Mind. It was an album that fused all kinds of pop music into a cohesive, progressive whole. As an avid lover of all things pop and dance music, Bainbridge looks to capitalize on his crate-digging ways by enlisting a series of collaborators for his buzzed about new LP, Otherness. Joinging Bainbridge will be Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes, Kelela, and Robyn for what’s undoubtedly going to be another infectious chapter in the young producer’s career.  –Josh Terry

Listen:  “This Is Not About Us”

Buy: Amazon


fucked up glass boysScott Walker and Sunn O))) – Soused

Release date: October 21st via 4AD

When drone metal act Sunn O))) asked experimental singer-songwriter Scott Walker to appear on their 2009 album Monoliths & Dimensions, Walker declined. Four years later, though, he walked right back up to the band with music specifically written for a potential collaboration. Thank God they said yes. The result is Soused, a five-track, 50-minute effort that’s special enough to warrant varying tracklist arrangements for CD/digital and vinyl releases and will hit your rib cage with enough force for it to implode. Only this time it’s not just due to manic drone. We’ve got avant-garde classical to blame, too. –Nina Corcoran

Listen: Trailer

Buy: Amazon

fucked up glass boysJessie Ware – Tough Love

Release date: October 21st via PMR/Island

The follow-up to 2012’s excellent Devotion, sophomore album Tough Love looks to be Jessie Ware’s most ambitious and confident release yet. While the British singer continues to dabble in electronic music, much of her new material, such as “Say You Love Me”, also proves she’s ready to take her powerful pipes and poignant love songs into the mainstream pop world. To help Ware take her career to new heights? A star-studded cast of collaborators: production duo BenZel (Benny Blanco, Two Inch Punch), Ed Sheeran, Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes, Julio Bashmore, The Invisible’s Dave Okumu, and Kid Harpoon. –Michelle Geslani

Listen:  “Say You Love Me”

Buy: Amazon

fucked up glass boysTaylor Swift – 1989

Release date: October 27th via Big Machine Records

Say what you will about the red-lipped, cat-obsessed, and ostensibly sweet-as-pie phenom of modern music, Taylor Swift; girl knows how to brand. She sticks to a schedule — her new record, 1989, will be released in the same late October time frame as her previous two — and follows a formula already proven to hook her fanbase and sell out stadium tours in less than a minute: release an album every two years, change style to match said album (hello, short hair and crop tops!), and emphasize how “different” this outing will be in comparison to its predecessors. Described by Swift as her first “official documented pop album” and her “favorite” full-length to date, 1989 will span 13 tracks, including the single “Shake It Off”, which, true to form, instantly shot to number one on Billboard’s Hot 100. The “Shake It Off” music video, an ode to awkward white girl dancing, has over 56 million views. –Leah Pickett

Listen: “Shake It Off”

Buy: Amazon

fucked up glass boysRun the Jewels – RTJ2

Release date: October 28th via Mass Appeal

As Run the Jewels, Killer Mike and El-P’s self-titled 2013 LP was one of the finest hip-hop team-ups this side of Watch the Throne (and also last year’s 25th best record). While its follow-up won’t be winning any nods for “title of the year,” RTJ2 promises to be an even bigger affair: not only are the pair one of the first to sign with Nas’ Mass Appeal imprint, but they snagged ginormous guest stars in Rage Against the Machine’s Zack de la Rocha and Blink-182’s Travis Barker. “We can make no promises about the safety of any animals involved in the creation of this record,” El-P said in a statement. “It is the best rap group album since RTJ1!” Based on the pulverizing “Blockbuster Night”, that’s got to be more fact than mere braggery. –Chris Coplan

Listen:  “Blockbuster Night”

Buy: N/A

fucked up glass boysFoo Fighters – Sonic Highways

Release date: November 10th via Roswell Records

Blockbuster band with a blockbuster idea: Sonic Highways finds the Foo Fighters in eight different cities — Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and New York — over eight different tracks. There’s even an HBO show that’ll document the whole shebang. But, will the gimmick prove righteous? Who knows. Way back in 2011, Wasting Light shook things up by offering a straightforward rock ‘n’ roll record that restrung the band to its basic roots. Only two years later, Sound City: Real to Reel became a diamond example of why star power and nostalgia doesn’t exactly equate to intriguing music. That probably won’t be the case on Sonic Highways. Probably. Whatever happens, we’re intrigued and I’ve admittedly already pre-ordered my Chicago-edition vinyl. #Fooser4Life –Michael Roffman

Listen:  Interested in snippets of a song? Here and here.

Buy: Amazon


fucked up glass boysPink Floyd – The Endless River

Release date:November 10th via Columbia Records

Christmas came early for Pink Floyd fans this year when it was announced that the band’s first album in two decades, The Endless River, will be released in October. Based on 1993-1994 recording sessions that began as a side project to 1994’s The Division Bell, the band’s last album of new material, The Endless River (original title: The Big Spliff) features guitarist David Gilmour, drummer Nick Mason, and late keyboardist Richard Wright creating “mainly ambient and instrumental music” at London’s Britannia Row Studios and aboard Gilmour’s grand houseboat Astoria. According to Gilmour’s wife and Pink Floyd lyricist Polly Samson, The Endless River is a “swansong” to Wright and “very beautiful.” To which I say, bring on the beauty in existential breakdown. –Leah Pickett

Listen: Teaser Trailer(s)

Buy: Amazon


fucked up glass boysDamien Rice – My Favourite Faded Fantasy

Release date: November 11th via Warner Bros. Records

Eight years is a long time to take between albums, but for Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice it appears that time was well-spent. With “My Favourite Faded Fantasy”, the just-released title track of his first album since 2006’s 9, the result is a dose of orchestral folk that’s both grandiose and gorgeous. It’s the same kind of music that made Rice win over countless ears and hearts with O, specifically the mid-‘00s movie and wedding soundtrack mainstay, “The Blower’s Daughter”. However, with Rick Rubin co-producing the record and the booming strings on the lead single, there are sure to be moments of maximalist, studio-refined emotion and catharsis on the forthcoming LP. If Rice is going to wait almost a decade to release new material, he might as well go all in. –Josh Terry

Listen: “My Favourite Faded Fantasy”

Buy: N/A


fucked up glass boysVarious Artists – Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes

Release date: November 11th via Electromagnetic/Harvest

Despite the motorcycle accident that nearly took his life in 1966, Bob Dylan returned to his mile-a-minute songwriting pace the next year – a level of productivity so unstoppable that he’s never found time to release or otherwise publish all the material. Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes is one more step toward comprehension, built from handwritten lyrics Dylan gave to T Bone Burnett last fall. Together, the roster of Burnett, Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Jim James, and Marcus Mumford spent two weeks at Hollywood’s Capitol Studios and recorded more than 40 songs, 20 of which make up Lost. It’ll be out the week after Dylan releases The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11, a six-disc, 138-song set. –Michael Madden

Listen: “Nothing to It”

Buy: Amazon

fucked up glass boysTV on the Radio – Seeds

Release date: November 18th via Harvest

For awhile, it appeared as if TV on the Radio weren’t interested in releasing albums anymore. That all changed this past summer, however, when they announced Seeds, the long-awaited proper follow-up to 2011’s Nine Types of Light.  Judging from Tunde Adebimpe’s comments, fans should expect a pretty deep LP: “We’ve been through a lot of stuff in the past few years that could have stopped the band cold, but I’m glad we got it together and took stock of the unique connection we have between each other because the record is, 1000%, without a doubt, the best thing we’ve ever done.” One listen through the hyper-kinetic “Mercy” and you’ll realize he’s not bluffing. They’re alive again. –Michael Roffman

Listen: “Mercy”

Buy: Amazon

fucked up glass boysCharli XCX – Sucker

Release date: December 12th via Neon Gold/Atlantic

Charli XCX may portray herself as a recalcitrant, flippant teen, but the 22-year-old singer-songwriter has done way more than her guest spot on Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” suggests. After co-writing numerous hits over the years — from Icona Pop’s “I Love It” to this year’s “Fancy” — in addition to her own songs, she’s finally got the spotlight on herself, as she deserves. With feel-good hits for wannabe rebels like “Break the Rules” and “Boom Clap”, Sucker should turn out to be a record full of Spice Girls’ sass, Siouxsie Sioux’s darkness, and Charli XCX’s own brilliant finger-wagging at the world. –Nina Corcoran

Listen: “Break the Rules”

Buy: Amazon


fucked up glass boysGrimes

Release date: TBA via 4AD

Grimes aka Claire Boucher has been working on her follow-up to 2012’s Visions since at least January. While we don’t know exactly when the project is going to drop, we have heard “Go”, its lead single. A collaboration with Blood Diamonds, “Go” was originally meant for Rihanna, but ultimately was turned down. RiRi’s loss, because “Go” is one of the most confident releases of Grimes’ short career. If the rest of her forthcoming album carries out on that single’s promise, Grimes is going to find herself catapulted to superstardom. –Josh Terry

Listen:  “Go” feat. Blood Diamonds


fucked up glass boysKanye West

Release date: TBA via Def Jam/GOOD Music

Could marriage and fatherhood actually soften Kanye West? The Chicago mastermind may no longer have quite the fervent need to push buttons and boundaries. Following last year’s provocative Yeezus, West looks to return this autumn with something a little more thoughtful, a “mixture of soul samples and tamed Yeezus-esque darkness … nothing abrasive.” Still, even as he returns to his warmer, more playful roots, West remains his own biggest fan/hype man, deeming his seventh LP to be his own Born in the U.S.A.. So, what does the world get when romantic Kanye meets hard-edged Kanye? Tracks like “All Day”, where the swagger and the sentimentality are in perfect alignment, and maybe Yeezy has at last found his happy place. –Chris Coplan

Listen: “All Day”


fucked up glass boysFrank Ocean

Release date: TBA via Def Jam

Channel Orange stuck with listeners longer than a call to discontinue Comcast services. It was much more entertaining, too. But now Frank Ocean is back and inching closer to the release of his sophomore LP. The artist has been playing it cool, sharing few details about the new, yet to be named record. But we do know this: Ocean cleaned house, firing both his manager and PR team. He has also recorded at least 11 tracks. When asked about the album’s progress, Ocean responded, “That shit is fire.” –Dan Pfleegor


fucked up glass boysKendrick Lamar

Release date: TBA via TDE/Aftermath/Interscope

Everyone’s eyes are on Kendrick Lamar, rap’s prodigal son, and some pretty heavy expectations have already been placed on the upcoming third album from the Compton native. Luckily, it seems Kendrick is more than up to the challenge, having said in interviews that he has somewhere in the range of 30-40 songs already recorded.

“If I keep focusing on, ‘I need to make something better than good kid,’ it’s going to be just that,” the rapper said. “That’s not challenging yourself. I don’t want to become that person reflecting on what has been done. What I’m doing now is the question. I’m only as good as my last word, my last hook, my last bridge.”

So, we can only assume that he’ll put out the cream of the crop and deliver another effort that maintains the quality heard on 2012’s good kid, m.A.A.d city or 2011’s Section.80. With likely collaborations alongside Flying Lotus, Dr. Dre, and Pete Rock, coupled with the insanely high standard we’ve come to expect from Lamar, there’s little chance that his next effort will disappoint. –Pat Levy

Listen: “i”