The 10 Albums We're Most Excited About in October

Music Lists Best Albums
Share Tweet Submit Pin
The 10 Albums We're Most Excited About in October

October proves there are still plenty of big name records on the way this year. Kurt Vile is due to release his first record in three years, Swearin’ will drop their first album in five years and Cat Power is set to release her much-anticipated 10th studio LP. From the classic rock leanings of Elvis Costello to the dreamy modern R&B of Tasha, this list has something for everyone. As chosen by the Paste music staff, here are the 10 albums we’re most excited about this month, along with a list of additional notable releases.

OCTOBER 5

Adrianne Lenker: abysskiss

Big Thief singer Adrianne Lenker released her last solo album, Hours Were The Birds, back in 2014 and her newest effort, abysskiss, is both warm and familiar. Through just vocals, acoustic guitar and intermittent keyboards, Lenker conjures up something magical and weighty. The 10 songs that make up abysskiss toggle from intoxicating love to somber grief and it spans many feelings in between. Fans of Big Thief should latch on to this record as Lenker’s evocative storytelling, oneness with nature, unique vocal tones and her ability to arouse grandeur from the mundane are all apparent on this record. Lenker has proved herself to be one of today’s most captivating songwriters, and her new record includes some of the best songs she’s ever released. —Lizzie Manno

Cat Power: Wanderer

Chan Marshall is preparing to release her 10th album under the alias Cat Power. While she’s known for her inventive covers (her latest triumph a take on Rihanna’s “Stay”), Marshall has remained an independent and innovative songwriter since debuting in the ’90s, recently influenced by big changes: motherhood, a six-year musical hiatus and a new label, Domino (her former label, Matador, passed on Wanderer). Despite a somewhat winding road since her last record, 2012’s Sun, Cat Power is poised to make a victorious return. If “Stay” and the record’s other two singles, “Woman” and the title track, are any indication, Wanderer is headed for husky pop glory. —Ellen Johnson

Phosphorescent: C’est La Vie

Five years after the release of his best-selling and highly praised album Muchacho, Phosphorescent’s Matthew Houck is returning with C’est La Vie, which he produced at his own Spirit Sounds Studio in Nashville, Tenn. Like Muchacho’s starchild single “Song For Zula,” the happy-go-lucky “New Birth in New England,” the first single from C’est La Vie, is an overwhelming display of color and genre. Backed by a gospel choir and cheerful acoustics, Houck expertly layers stellar slide guitar and distinctly soulful twang and keys work with hula-like sways of what can only be described as island rock—curious, considering New England is about as far away from the tropics as you can get. Houck’s crackly vocals are reminiscent of Jim James’ or M.C. Taylor’s (Hiss Golden Messenger), but his voice cannot be easily categorized as southern or Americana. On C’est La Vie, Houck doesn’t lean wholly into one sound or style; rather, he capitalizes on a wealth of them. —Ellen Johnson

Swearin’: Fall Into The Sun

Indie rockers Swearin’ are due to release their first album in five years, Fall Into the Sun. In 2015, the band split and singer/guitarist Allison Crutchfield released her debut solo album, Tourist in This Town, last year. Following the release of their 2012 self-titled debut and 2013’s Surfing Strange, Swearin’ are back with perhaps their most riveting and urgent work so far. “Untitled (LA),” is a spunky and rousing slice of guitar-pop, “Grow Into a Ghost” is a punchy, fuzzy jab of punk. “Anyway” is an introspective, inquisitive acoustic ballad. And “Future Hell” is one of the most animated mid-tempo jams you’ll hear this year. The lyrics that make up Fall Into The Sun approach touching, intimate and nostalgic storytelling with such care and the peppy, dynamic riffs, earnest vocals and pounding rhythm section will keep you dancing all night long. —Lizzie Manno

Kikagaku Moyo: Masana Temples

If Stereolab and Cornelius walked into a bar together to discuss the modernity of Anoushka Shankhar and the evolution of Burger Records, you’d begin to extract the essence of Kikagaku Moyo. A psychedelic project of the highest order, Masana Temples is released on Amsterdam’s Guruguru Brain label and represents the most complete collection of the journey that the five-piece band has been on since their first release in 2013. As the group begins to scatter around the world, their music represents the spiritual results of these treks through ruminations led by standout guitar, sitar and drum work. Look no further than lead single “Gatherings” for a representation of the mind-boggling, transcendental music that this band is creating. —Adrian Spinelli

More notable Oct. 5 releases: Molly Burch: First Flower, Ron Gallo: Stardust Birthday Party, Fucked Up: Dose Your Dreams, mewithoutyou: [Untitled], Cursive: Vitriola, Death Valley Girls: Darkness Reigns, Tokyo Police Club: TPC

OCTOBER 12

Kurt Vile: Bottle It In

Philadelphia rocker Kurt Vile is back alongside his band, The Violators, for his seventh solo album and his first since 2015’s b’lieve I’m goin down. Two tracks have already been released: “Bassackwards” is a sprawling, hypnotic foot-tapper, and “Loading Zones” is a distorted guitar assault with a playful lyrical ode to the humdrum exercise of parking. Across the album’s hour and 20 minutes, the record captures the bare bones beauty of Smoke Ring For My Halo, the guitar prowess of b’lieve I’m goin down and the lyrical transparency of Childish Prodigy. Vile doesn’t shy away from eight- to 11-minute track lengths, and he creates enthralling grooves at the center of each track as other instruments weave in and out, creating a dreamy, sonic transcendence. —Lizzie Manno

Anna St. Louis: If Only There Was A River

The first two singles from Anna St. Louis’ debut album If There Only Was a River (“Understand” and “The Bells”) introduce us to the songwriter’s subtle fingerpicking style, but on “Desert,” the third, her husky tenor absolutely steals the spotlight. Low-lit by slow-burning electric guitar, St. Louis’ bewitchingly deep voice is a commanding force on the track and on the entire record. If There Only Was a River is St. Louis’ proper full-length debut, the follow-up to First Songs, a tape of songs she released last year on Woodsist/Mare Records (now available digitally, too). St. Louis’ warm, dusty acoustic renderings need no introduction, but her new record arrives with a few familiar names attached: Kevin Morby and King Tuff’s Kyle Thomas are producers, and Night Shop’s Justin Sullivan, along with Pavo Pavo’s Oliver Hill, are both featured on the album’s 11 tracks. —Ellen Johnson

Elvis Costello: Look Now

The last time Elvis Costello put out an album, he was backed by The Roots on 2013’s largely underrated and flat-out spectacular Wise Up Ghost! It saw the London New Wave songwriter opening up his repertoire to a collaboration with hip hop’s most famous live band. Now five years later, Costello returns to the form that made him one of the most well-respected names in music. In tow, are The Imposters, a band whom he most recently recorded 2008’s Momofuku with, as well as legendary songwriter/pianist Burt Bacharach, a longtime collaborator of Costello’s who helped thread multiple tracks on the album. “I had all of the orchestrations and vocal parts in my head or on the page before we played a note,” the ever-methodical Costello said in a press release. And if latest single “Suspect My Tears,” is any indication, Look Now (out on Concord Records) promises more of Costello’s timeless lyricism through and through. —Adrian Spinelli

More notable Oct. 12 releases: The Dodos: Certainty Waves, Yowler: Black Dog In My Path, Dave Davies: Decade, Valley Maker: Rhododendron

OCTOBER 19

Notable Oct. 19 releases: Peter Bjorn and John: Darker Days, Cloud Nothings: Last Building Burning, Lil Yachty: Nuthin’ 2 Prove, Elle King: Shake The Spirit, Richard Ashcroft: Natural Rebel

OCTOBER 26

Robyn: Honey

Ever since its forthcoming was teased in the final season of Girls last year, we’ve been waiting for this. We’ve pleaded, with the relentless hashtag #RELEASEHONEYDAMMIT and with our sweaty, dance-floor-induced tears, for Robyn to release Honey—her first new album in eight years—and the ever-gracious queen of pop has finally answered. The two already-released singles, “Missing U” and “Honey,” are each a delicious, cathartic slice of electronic cake, satisfying distractions, if solutions, to the chaotic world in which we live. It was a long eight years of waiting, but Robyn is wiser than you and me: Honey’s release was carefully calculated, and it’s likely going to be a special one, especially for her fiercely devoted fans. —Ellen Johnson

Tasha: Alone at Last

With a voice that’s equal parts soaring and soothing, Chicago singer/songwriter Tasha readies her debut album, Alone At Last for release on Father/Daughter Records. Also a poet and activist in the Chicago area, Tasha writes music about falling in love with yourself first, before confronting the constructs of the world around us with confidence. With the gently empowering “Lullaby” and the flashy vocal stacking, alongside gripping riffs of “Kind of Love,” Alone At Last feels like the start of something beautiful and lasting for Tasha. —Adrian Spinelli

More notable Oct. 26 releases: IAN SWEET: Crush Crusher, Unknown Mortal Orchestra: IC-01 Hanoi, Devon Church: We Are Inextricable, SRSQ: Unreality, Razorlight: Olympus Sleeping

Recently in Music
More from Best Albums