Fall's Most Anticipated Album Releases
The year in music started off with a bang, with new albums from the likes of St. Vincent, Beck, and Jack White, but it somehow dwindled into a rather quiet summer, a calm only broken by the ferocious debut of FKA Twigs. October 1st signals more than the time to dust off your spooky Halloween decorations, it also marks the beginning of the music industry’s fourth quarter, the time to press out the year’s last remaining albums before we begin to tally the year’s best. It seems that the lackluster summer will be forever shattered by the upcoming steamroll of albums soon to be released in the coming three months. To help prepare for the tsunami of long awaited music, we have compiled our very own list of Fall’s Most Anticipated Album Releases. Get ready.
7. Solange: Aside from the fact that this will be her first release post-ElevatorGate, very little is known about Solange Knowles’ upcoming third studio album. She has been releasing music since 2003, but it was her collaboration with producer extraordinaire Dev Hynes that led to the critical darling, and groooovy, 2012 EP True. Though only six songs long it left a huge mark in the worlds of both R&B and electronic music with tracks like ‘Losing You’ and ‘Lovers in the Parking Lot’ being such sugary delicious pop-funk that we are more than ready for the follow up. There is still no official release date but please God let it be soon.
6. Flying Lotus: For the past decade, Flying Lotus has been our go to artist for tripped out avant-garde dubstep rap electronica, but what happens when he starts adding Snoop Dogg into his elaborately constructed megamixes? The answer will be revealed early next week with the release of his fifth album, You’re Dead!, an album with a guest roster that includes the aforementioned Snoop as well as Kendrick Lamar, Herbie Hancock, and former Dirty Projectors member Angel Deradoorian. Our minds have already been sufficiently melted by the tracks he’s dropped just to tease us, but hearing the full symphony will surely finish the job.
5. Panda Bear: Master of psychedelia and chief architect of indie rock legends Animal Collective, Panda Bear, aka Noah Lennox, returns with his first solo work since 2011’s Tomboy. Tentatively titled Panda Bear vs. The Grim Reaper, the new album will be a marked departure of his previous sound, as evidenced in a recent live show. Panda’s earlier albums are among the most highly acclaimed work in the 21st century, so needless to say expectations are high, as are most people who will listen to it.
4. Kendrick Lamar: With his 2012 album Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City, Kendrick Lamar went from ‘really good underground rapper’ to ‘Grammy nominated bona fide superstar’ in a meteoric rise that’s about as close to overnight stardom as it gets. We know neither the title nor the release date of his upcoming album, but we have heard ‘i’ which dropped last week, and it is superior. The new track hints at a very different Kendrick sound, one that is far more sample-centric and soulful than his earlier material, but it has the potential to surpass all of his previous efforts.
3. TV on the Radio: They remain one of the most mystical alternative bands out there; a band that can draw high praise from someone like David Bowie and title an album about a place called Cookie Mountain. TV on the Radio own a sound like no other band, a fusion of synthpop with old school punk rock staples with vocals straight out of a James Brown backing band. So when they dropped a track called ‘Happy Idiot’ in early September along with the announcement of their fifth album Seeds to be released on November 18th, the indie world rang out in unanimous praise: the spirit of art rock still lives!
2. Azealia Banks: Dare we hope that 2014 will be the year that Azealia Banks finally emerges with her long awaited debut record? A loooongtime in the making with delays cited to record label issues, contractual disputes, and Banks’ controversial public persona, Broke With Expensive Taste is finally circled to land relatively soon. The constant repeat of instant classic ‘212’ over the past three years has caught up with us, and to appease our ever growing appetite Banks released ‘Heavy Metal and Reflective’ over the summer. Although it’s a bouncy jam, enough is simply enough. We need this album, and if delayed again we might lose all hope.
1. Kanye West: Can it be? Another Kanye album already? Yes, it can be. It has only been just over a year after the polarizingly regal Yeezus, but it has been one hell of a ride for Ye. The past year has seen the birth of his child North and his official marriage to the one and only Kim Kardashian. This of course begs the question, what will his new material as a husband and father be like? Will Kanye’s run of superb albums finally come to an end or will this be yet another masterpiece? We have so many questions, but therein lies the enigma that is Kanye West. All we can do is wait.