The 10 Albums We're Most Excited About in September

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The 10 Albums We're Most Excited About in September

Last month’s album releases didn’t let us down. We heard new records from favorites like Bon Iver, Whitney and Jay Som, new standouts like Clairo and Queen of Jeans and the legends themselves, Sleater-Kinney. September’s album release schedule promises just as much star power. We’ll get new full-lengths from one of the world’s biggest pop culture forces, Kanye West, plus the much-hyped country supergroup, The Highwomen, everyone’s favorite lo-fi indie madman, (Sandy) Alex G, and much more. Scroll down to preview the records we’re most pumped about this month, and you can revisit our favorite albums of August here.

September 6

The Highwomen: The Highwomen
Low Country Sound/Elektra Records

The new (but long-teased) supergroup/collective/movement led by Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris and Amanda Shires are finally ready to share their debut, self-titled album as The Highwomen. One of the highlights is the swinging, empowering country tune “Crowded Table,” a harmonic ballad about family—or, at least, whoever it is you go home to—and inclusivity that will probably make you cry. Think of The Highwomen as the bigger and twangier Americana/country boygenius that packs just as much girl power and lyrical finesse while simultaneously helming a movement. Other features on the record include Jason Isbell, Miranda Lambert, Sheryl Crow, Tanya Tucker and Ray LaMontagne, and that’s not even the whole lot. The Highwomen took the hands of many. —Ellen Johnson

Moonchild: Little Ghost
Entertainment One

Equally appropriate for the bedroom or an intimate evening in the chic lighting of your living room, Moonchild are back with Little Ghost, their third LP of sensually jazzy R&B grooves. The biggest takeaway from Moonchild has always been singer Amber Navran’s gorgeous vocals that tip-toe around the spoils of love, longing and desire, but Navran also flashes on flute, tenor sax and more. Rounding out the trio are Max Bryk and Andris Mattson, who alternate between a bevy of instruments including clarinet, trumpet, guitar, keys, drum programming and even a freakin’ flugelhorn! Moonchild’s sound is fit for R&B purists, as much as modern jazz aficionados and pop enthusiasts, and the group has managed to operate within cross-cultural lines with more grace than most recent outfits. First single, “Too Much To Ask” is a perfect starting point for the uninitiated. —Adrian Spinelli

More notable September 6 releases: Death Cab For Cutie: The Blue EP, Bat For Lashes: Lost Girls, Iggy Pop: Free, Frankie Cosmos: Close It Quietly, Husky Loops: I Can’t Even Speak English, Mahalia: Love and Compromise, Lower Dens: The Competition

September 13

(Sandy) Alex G: House of Sugar
Domino Records

(Sandy) Alex G (aka Alex Giannascoli) is prepping his ninth album and third for Domino Records, House of Sugar. The album’s lead single “Gretel,” which came with a Zev Magasis-directed music video, is one of the year’s best tracks, and it was his first new music since last year’s one-off single “Fay.” It’s an amalgamation of Giannascoli’s strengths—showing off both his penchant for melancholy, country-tinged acoustic ballads and his more experimental side with warped vocals, electronic percussion and freakish sonic whooshes. Giannascoli’s heartwarming vocals yearn with brooding nostalgia as he sings, “I don’t wanna go back / Nobody’s gonna push me off track.” On his new album, Giannascoli worked closely with Jacob Portrait, who mixed both 2017’s Rocket and 2015’s Beach Music. Per a press release, “House of Sugar emerges as Giannascoli’s most meticulous, cohesive album yet: a statement of artistic purpose, showing off his ear for both persistent earworms and shifting textures, and the out-there sonic adventurism that’s made previous (Sandy) Alex G records so singular.” —Lizzie Manno

Devendra Banhart: Ma
Nonesuch Records

Devendra Banhart has been an enigma since he first performed onstage 20 years ago. His lyrics frequently border the absurd, while his music takes so many twists and turns that it’s no wonder why he became the supposed leader of the freak folk genre in the mid-2000s. But fast-forwarding to 2019, Devendra Banhart is returning with Ma, a surprisingly straightforward and touching new album, his first since 2016’s Ape in Pink Marble. It’s frequently beautiful, occasionally sung in different languages (three in Spanish and one in Portuguese) and represents perhaps his best work of the decade. Ma explores the concept of motherhood, but also addresses his childhood in now-crime and recession-ridden Venezuela. It all leads up to album finale “Will I See You Tonight?,” a stunning collaboration with the legendary Vashti Bunyan, one of the most gorgeous songs you’ll hear all year. —Steven Edelstone

Alex Cameron: Miami Memory
Secretly Canadian

Australian singer/songwriter Alex Cameron came out swinging on his theatrical 2017 LP Forced Witness (which featured guest spots from Angel Olsen and Brandon Flowers) as well as his recent live album Live in San Francisco, covering material from that album and his debut Jumping the Shark. Cameron announced his new album Miami Memory alongside an impressive title track, a steamy bit of baroque pop that explores Cameron’s relationship with the city of Miami and his girlfriend Jemima Kirke. It came with a vibrant, lustful new video directed by Cameron himself that also stars Kirke and Cameron’s sax player Roy Molloy. “Miami Memory is a story about how we audition in the present for our future selves to enjoy in retrospect. In that way, tender memories that we share together are captured in thought and stored with the same electricity that keeps our heart beating,” Cameron says. “It’s a gift for my girlfriend Jemima, and it is dedicated to the artist Greer Lankton and her partner Paul Monroe. I am lucky to have learned that a group of people can be a shining light.” —Adam Weddle

Twin Peaks: Lookout Low
Grand Jury

Chicago-based indie-rock outfit Twin Peaks have unveiled the details of their newest studio effort Lookout Low. Described as their most deliberate and seamless record yet, the follow-up to 2016’s Down In Heaven was pieced together with the intent of capturing the raucous energy of the band’s live shows. Prolific alternative producer Ethan Johns (Paul McCartney, U2) helmed the project to help refine and solidify the band’s live recordings. The announcement arrived with the album’s first cut, and the band’s first track since wrapping their Sweet ‘17 Singles series in 2018: a lounge-lizardy groove set ablaze by heavy bass, swelling horns and warm organ tones titled “Dance Through It.” “Writing and arranging ‘Dance Through It’ felt like a dive into and embrace of experimenting with a new palette for us,” guitarist Cadien Lake James said in a statement. “After having been directly involved in the creation and direction of all of our videos, it felt fitting to allow this song the breath of collaboration in having Ariel Fisher take the helm and run with it.” —Savannah Sicurella

More notable September 13 releases: Belle & Sebastian: Days Of The Bagnold Summer, Chastity: Home Made Satan, Long Beard: Means to Me, Jenny Hval: The Practice of Love, Gruff Rhys: Pang!, Surf Curse: Heaven Surrounds, Charli XCX: Charli, Pixies: Beneath the Eyrie, Joseph: Good Luck, Kid

September 20

Chastity Belt: Chastity Belt
Hardly Art

Feminist rockers Chastity Belt are gearing up to release their self-titled LP, the fourth full-length record from the Seattle-based group. It follows 2017’s I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone, which spawned the popular singles “It’s Obvious,” “Different Now” and “Caught in a Lie,” among others. Chastity Belt album opener “Ann’s Jam” features their signature electric riffs, tinges of lo-fi sounds and nostalgic, introspective lyrics. “We were driving South in your parents’ car singing aloud to scratched CDs,” Julia Shapiro sings, “feeling meaningful, thinking this is a start and it’ll go on.” —Marissa Matozzo

Vivian Girls: Memory
Polyvinyl

Dream-pop heavyweights Vivian Girls came out of the woodwork earlier this summer to announce their first new album in eight years. Memory marks the band’s first return to performing as a trio since parting ways in 2014, and welcomes back their core lineup of vocalist-bassist Katy Goodman, vocalist-guitarist Cassie Ramone and drummer Ali Koehler. Described as an album filled with personal reflections on toxic relationships, mental health struggles and accepting oneself, Memory captures a sense of desperation and longing and the “trademark mystery that set the band apart during its first incarnation,” per a press release. You can hear inklings of the band’s new direction on their newly unveiled first single “Sick,” a frenzied, strong return to the band’s familiar jangle-pop instrumentation, fleeting, twisting harmonies and dark lyricism. —Savannah Sicurella

Monster Rally: Adventures on the Floating Island
Gold Robot Records

Sometimes, you don’t have to physically go to a tropical paradise to feel like you’re there. On Monster Rally’s wavy and idyllic productions, there might as well be an island bum in the room, playing lounge music atop the whimsy of Adult Swim style hip-hop beats while you sip on a Campari soda in the shade. Monster Rally’s Ted Feighan is also an adept visual artist: The dimensions of the collage artwork he creates for the vinyl covers of his many Gold Robot Records releases (including Adventures on the Floating Island) just heightens the escapism of his music. Press play on “Menagerie,” and see you at the bar. —Adrian Spinelli

More notable September 20 releases: Brittany Howard: Jaime, Hiss Golden Messenger: Terms of Surrender, M83: DSVII, Molly Sarlé: Karaoke Angel, Liam Gallagher: Why Me? Why Not, Blink-182: Nine, Zac Brown Band: The Owl

September 27

Kanye West: Jesus Is King
TBA

To say it’s been a rough couple years for Kanye West is a bit of an understatement. Coming out as a Trump supporter, he lost nearly all public goodwill he still had following his nightly rants and outbursts on the Life of Pablo tour in late 2016, a rash of outbursts that landed him in a mental institution. He underwhelmed with 2018’s ye, a 23-minute album that left a lot to be desired. Although KIDS SEE GHOSTS, his collaboration with Kid Cudi, and his production work on Pusha T’s DAYTONA and Teyana Taylor’s K.T.S.E. showed that he still has a lot left in the tank. And as much as we may want to, it’s impossible to completely give up on Kanye, even as he delivers clunkers like “I Love It” with Lil Pump. While he’s routinely promised albums that have never materialized—2016’s Turbo Grafx 16 and 2018’s Yandhi (not to mention his philosophy book, Break the Simulation and his “Only One” video game where the objective is to fly his late mother into heaven)—a new record, Jesus is King feels a bit more likely, this time coming via a Twitter announcement from Kim Kardashian with a tracklist and a release date. We have no idea what it’ll sound like—let alone if it’s a real LP—but we’d wager it sounds something like Kanye’s 2019 surprise Coachella and Sunday Service performances, full of gospel choirs and warm keyboards. Say what you will about him, but even in 2019, it’s still impossible to look away. —Steven Edelstone

More notable September 27 releases: Sturgill Simpson: Sound & Fury, Tegan and Sara: Hey, I’m Just Like You, Temples: Hot Motion, Moon Duo: Stars Are The Light, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds: This Is The Place, Girl Band: The Talkies, Mystery Jets: A Billion Heartbeats, Michaela Anne: Desert Dove

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