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Along with the late September autumn breeze that’s rolling in, so is the flurry of new albums that hit stores and streaming services every Friday. At Much, we’re always chatting about music, so we thought we’d help you decide which upcoming albums to pre-order for those open window drives down leafy roads. Whether pop, R&B, indie or experimental, it’s safe to say the Much crew has eclectic enough tastes to offer something for everyone.
Here are six albums to get your hands on this fall.
Although revered New York City indie-rock vets The Walkmen announced their “indefinite hiatus” in 2013, die hard fans like myself haven’t had time to feel too much loss, considering gravelly-voiced frontman Hamilton Leithauser has been steadily releasing (pretty Walkmen-ish) projects ever since. Dropping his own solo album prior to an LP with Walkmen bandmate Paul Maroon and now this new collaboration with ex-Vampire Weekender and songwriting mastermind Rostam Batmanglij—Leithauser has stuck around, much to our delight. Batmanglij has written and produced for the likes of Carly Rae Jepsen, Charli XCX and Frank Ocean, adding a polished pop touch to Leithauser’s coined doo-wop-rock approach on I Had A Dream That You Were Mine, which hits stores tomorrow. Like some sonic lovechild of Paul McCartney and The Flamingos, the album’s third single “When The Truth Is…” is a must-hear heartbreaker.
Jess, Web Producer
22, A Million is frontman Justin Vernon’s first full album as Bon Iver in five years. When I heard he was releasing more music, I wasn’t as excited as I would have been if I was still an angsty teen listening to “Holocene” to mend a broken heart, but the singles he’s released so far are actually more similar to the music I listen to these days. His new creative approach hasn’t been well-received by all of his fans, but I personally love that he’s experimenting with styles. One of the three leaked singles, “10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄,” is stunning. While it retains some of the complicated layering and saccharine vocals that Vernon put into the first two Bon Iver albums, this single is much more minimalist. I love the clear influence of Kanye, who Vernon has worked with before, and I’m really excited to hear what the other nine songs have in store.
This is a big deal. From the girl who brought us the soundtrack to our middle school break up, JoJo’s comeback album Mad Love is madly anticipated by her loyal fans who’ve stuck with her through her unfortunate hiatus. Due to legal problems with her last record label, JoJo was unable to make new music for almost a decade. Just think about the amount of heartbreaks that could’ve been healed by her powerful vocals during that time. Now, JoJo is signed with Atlantic Records and has since given us a taste of what’s to come by releasing a new tringle (and single-handedly coining that term) in August. Fans have been eagerly awaiting her full-length album, and on October 14 the wait is finally over. The return of JoJo is NOW.
Hilary, Web Producer
I’ll admit that I’ve always been a peripheral Lady Gaga fan—someone who would listen to her albums here and there, dance along to singles and get excited for whatever blockbuster music video she was currently crafting. But, I never considered myself part of the Little Monster crew—while I respect the theatrics, it’s just not my jam. This fall, I was interested to see what the return of Gaga would sound like, especially hearing she was working with Mark Ronson, but when “Perfect Illusion” dropped earlier this month, I was less than impressed. At first I could only focus on the song’s awkward key change halfway through. After many, many more listenings of the earworm (there have been a few mornings when I’ve woken up singing “Perfect Illusion”), the key change still bothers me, but I can now hear the genius in the song. When Gaga announced she was branching out on Joanne and working with a wide span of artists including Florence Welch, Josh Homme, and songwriter Hillary Lindsey, I was intrigued, if not excited, and thinking this might be the album to make me a bona fide Little Monster. Plus, the new video shows how captivating Gaga is with just a pair of jean shorts and a mic.
Comprised of Wavves frontman Nathan Williams, his lil bro/Sweet Valley co-pilot Joel Williams, and Andrew Caddick (aka Jeans Wilder), Spirit Club is a dreamier and headier side project than you’d expect from one of surf punk’s leading mascots (that would be Williams). However, open-minded fans who gave the band’s 2015 self-titled debut a spin were treated to a psychedelic pop odyssey infused with distorted instrumentals, Beach Boys-channelling melodies, and inspired experimentation. While I still consider myself a fan of Wavves’ current output, their increasingly polished sound makes me yearn for those fuzzier days. Spirit Club fills that void quite nicely. Their sophomore album doesn’t drop for a few more weeks, so here’s a fresh track to win you over in the interim.
Neil, Senior Producer
Tove Lo is sexy, cool and a little bit raunchy—so, we can only hope the pop songstress’s second studio album encapsulates all of the above. If Lady Wood is anything like Queen of the Clouds, expect a plethora of feminist I-don’t-give-a-f*ck lyrics and dance tracks sure to keep you warm during your winter living room dance parties. Lady Wood releases October 28, and until then, here’s edgy lead single “Cool Girl” to tide you over.
Cherylann, Assistant Producer
Following yesterday’s exciting announcement, I’m most excited for The Weeknd’s album Starboy to release in November. He stated in a magazine interview with VMAN that this project will be his “best sounding album” yet and the beginning of a new musical journey, which so far consists of three mixtapes, three LPs and a compilation album. I’ve been a fan of his work since his 2011 mixtape House of Balloons, and have always appreciated his grungy R&B vocals, which you can hear on the title track. As the weather gets colder, my music taste mellows out—so I can’t wait to get comfy after a long day and vibe out to these new grooves.
Sydney Masonovich, Intern