Ahhh, autumn: The summer drifts away as school stars, cooler temps blow in and the leaves change brilliant colors and drop. Also dropping: A ton of awesome new music!
Hip hop veterans, buzzing indie bands, diva crooners, EDM mixmasters and much, much more: Fall 2013 is jam-packed with must-hear new releases from across all genres. And Fuse is here to help! We've compiled the 30 most-anticipated albums, complete with their vitals stats and details.
Check it out and mark your calendars!
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Who: Uptempo funk/soul songstress Janelle Monae.
What: The Electric Lady, Monae's guest-filled sophomore album following 2010's The ArchAndroid.
When: September 10
What We Know: Monae is expanding on the alt-R&B sound of Solange and Erykah Badu by positioning herself as a sci-fi-loving alien with immense vocals and tireless energy. Proof of her talent: "Givin' Em What They Love," her collaboration with Prince, who rarely appears on other people's albums. Badu, Solange, Miguel and Esperanza Spalding all appear for noted duets, but it's Monae's alternative, unique take on pop, soul and funk that make this one one of the best of the year.
Who: British indie rock darlings Arctic Monkeys, led by the suave singer-guitarist Alex Turner.
What: AM, the quartet's fifth studio album.
When: September 10.
What We Know: Produced by James Ford, who's worked on all the Monkeys' releases, AM finds the lads rocking with swagger and confidence on single "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?" and b-side "Stop the World I Wanna Get Off With You."
Who: Chicago DJ/producer Kaskade.
What: The EDM vet's ninth LP Atmosphere.
When: September 10.
What We Know: While fellow heavyweight DJs like Calvin Harris and David Guetta battle to land the biggest pop stars for guest features, this 42-year-old opts for mostly-unknown vocalists on his "very personal" new record. Kaskade told Fuse last month that the album's title track/lead single was so personal, he felt compelled to record the vocals himself—his first time on the mic ever. The Chicagoan also promised more chilled-out EDM, with many "quieter moments" on the LP, after claiming he was "snare roll-ed out" after wrapping his Freaks of Nature summer tour in August.
Who: Montreal's sexy-steamy R&B experimentalist The Weeknd, born Abel Tesfaye.
What: The Canadian crooner's much awaited debut studio album Kiss Land.
When: September 10.
What We Know: We've been bumping the Weeknd's mixtapes since 2011's House of Balloons, but this is the first official studio album from the FOD (Friend of Drake). The singer told Complex, "When I think about Kiss Land, I think about a terrifying place... A lot of it is inspired by filmmakers like John Carpenter, David Cronenberg and Ridley Scott... [The album is] an environment that's just honest fear."
Who: K-pop rapper/singer G-Dragon.
What: His second full-length solo album, Coup D'Etat.
When: September 13.
What We Know: G-Dragon is leader of one Korea's most-popular boy bands BIGBANG. But the 25-year-old is a budding international solo artist, too, recruiting impressive Western superstars like Diplo, Baauer, Missy Elliott and Sky Ferreira (who sounds ultra sultry on collabo "Black") to appear on his new album. Billboard reports that the LP features tracks dabbling in dubstep, hip hop, trap, R&B, disco, synth-pop and more.
Who: Singer-guitarist Andrew VanWyngarden and keyboardist Ben Goldwasser, the core Brooklyn duo behind MGMT.
What: Their third album, MGMT.
When: September 17 via Columbia.
What We Know: MGMT are getting progressively weirder, funnier and simply more awesome. After their 2007 breakout debut, Oracular Spectacular, soundtracked headband-wearing hipster dance parties with singles "Kids" and "Electric Feel," MGMT took a sharp turn to vintage psych-rock with its followup, 2010's Congratulations. Now they're diving deeper down the rabbit hole with MGMT, a keyboard-heavy trip inspired by house music and Aphex Twin, recorded over a year with producer Dave Friddman (Flaming Lips). Now MGMT are delivering goofy Letterman sets with giant cowbells, screwball-genius music videos for "Your Life Is a Lie" and teasing new tracks in a super-weird video starring rabid possums, aliens and NSA spies.
Who: Swedish DJ/producer Avicii.
What: #TRUE, his first full-length LP despite almost five years in the EDM world.
When: September 17.
What We Know: "This is about me being true to my sound," the 23-year-old DJ told Billboard. "But also to my own influences and musical preferences." Those preferences include eclectic collaborators like Adam Lambert, Chic guitarist/Daft Punk collaborator Nile Rodgers, Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger, 71-year-old country legend Mac Davis, bluegrass singer Dan Tyminski and more. Not your typical EDM, eh?
Who: Scottish electro-pop outfit CHVRCHES.
What: The rising indie stars' debut album The Bones of What You Believe.
When: September 24.
What We Know: The 12-track standard edition of their debut will include all the singles (like the exuberant "Gun") this arrestingly moody band released in 2012 and 2013 (not including their covers or remixes of other artists). The expanded edition will feature two new songs and two remixes.
Who: Arena-rockin', panty-droppin' Southern band of brothers (and one cousin) Kings of Leon. Hell yeah.
What: Their sixth and most appropriately-titled album, Mechanical Bull.
When: September 24 via RCA Records.
What We Know: After the chart-dominating, mega success of 2008's Only by the Night and its singles "Sex on Fire" and "Use Somebody," the Followills went all country-rock on 2011's Come Around Sundown and met lackluster sales. They're aiming to reverse that with Mechanical Bull. Its first single, "Supersoaker," is classic KoL with jangly guitars, lock-step rhythms and hyper-hooky choruses with frontman Caleb Followill's whiskey growl. It's custom-made for radio and arena domination.
Who: 26-year-old smooth Canadian rapper/singer Drake.
What: Nothing Was the Same, Drake’s third studio album and first since 2011's Take Care.
When: September 24.
What We Know: Critically maligned album art aside, Drizzy's latest finds the musician blending hook-friendly hip hop ("Started From the Bottom") with previously uncharted musical territory (note the New Wave-y "Hold On, We're Going Home"). Longtime collaborator Noah "40" Shebib is still onboard, but the album also features production by current go-to hitmakers Hit-Boy and Mike Will Made It. Jay Z, 2 Chainz and Big Sean all are confirmed to appear.
Who: President of Pop Justin Timberlake.
What: The sequel to his blockbuster album The 20/20 Experience, entitled The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2.
When: September 27.
What We Know: Like the first 20/20 album, it's produced by Timbaland and features Jay Z on one song. Unlike that release, this album features 11 tracks and an appearance from Drake. All we've heard so far is "Take Back the Night," a sleek Michael Jackson-esque throwback to the club music of New York's Studio 54. A deluxe edition will feature two bonus tracks.
Who: Los Angeles-bred sisters sisters Este, Danielle and Alana Haim.
What: The trio's debut album, Days Are Gone.
When: September 27 via Polydor Records.
What We Know: With a pair of EPs and a handful of catchy pop-rock singles, HAIM have become the buzziest buzz band in the game. In addition to owning the hearts of many a male music fan (especially nerdy rock critics), the trio have played big festivals like Glastonbury and Lollapalooza and just signed a deal with Jay Z's Roc Nation management group. All before releasing a full-length album. But the success is well deserved: Have you heard the power-pop awesomeness of first album single "The Wire" or seen its man-eating music video? Can't. Wait. For. More. And if "Mr. I'm a Business, Man" Jay Z is betting on HAIM, so should you.
Who: Detroit rapper Danny Brown.
What: His third studio album Old, following 2011'sbreakout XXX.
When: September 30.
What We Know: It features an eclectic roster of guests: A$AP Rocky, Purity Ring, Charli XCX, A-Trak, ScHoolboy Q, Freddie Gibbs and SKYWLKR. As for the album itself, Brown contrasted it with his last one in an interview with Fuse: "With XXX, you laugh throughout it, and by the time it was over with, you were like, 'Oh that wasn't too funny.' This one, when it's over, you're laughing hysterically. It's not necessarily what's being said on the album, but [more] like, 'I can't believe he made this.'"
Who: Kentucky alt-rockers Cage the Elephant.
What: Their third album Melophobia.
When: October 8.
What We Know: The first track released from this album, "Come a Little Closer," showcases a poppier direction for the band with prominent shades of Brooklyn psych-pop duo MGMT. In case you were wondering, Melophobia means "fear of music," which is also the name of a classic Talking Heads album.
Who: Princess of Twerk and National treasure/nightmare Miley Cyrus.
What: Her fourth studio album, Bangerz.
When: October 8.
What We Know: Since Miley's last album, 2010's Can't Be Tamed, a lot has changed: She got engaged, chopped off all her hair, made friends with rappers and learned how to twerk (sort of). The Rihanna-esque first single "We Can't Stop," one of the most popular songs of Summer 2013, put the ex-Disney star back on the map. Bangerz should be a departure for the formerly saccharin teen, to say the least.
Who: Athens, Georgia's long-running indie outfit Of Montreal.
What: Their 12th album in 17 years, lousy with sylvianbriar.
When: October 8.
What We Know: The album's title (and all its tracks) are intentionally lowercased. Because, like fellow Athens band The B-52's, they're unrepentantly quirky. As for the music, what we've heard so far sounds less like the glam rock or psych-pop of their last few efforts and more like a bad-ass '70s bar band. Which is awesome.
Who: Las Vegas emo princes Panic! at the Disco.
What: Their fourth album To Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die.
When: October 8.
What We Know: Surprisingly enough, PATD's new album was actually inspired by hip hop. Frontman Brendan Urie told MTV, "Hip hop is doing the new rock thing; there are no rules. They can do anything, really. And that's inspiring." Urie might be the only recognizable face when the band tours for the album through the end of 2013—after recently revealing a years-long struggle with substance abuse, drummer Spencer Smith has taken a break from the band to focus on recovery.
Who: G.O.O.D. Music rapper and Clipse member Pusha T.
What: His debut solo album, My Name Is My Name, which follows four albums and five mixtapes with brother No Malice as Clipse.
When: October 8.
What We Know: One of the highest-profile hip hop albums of the year, My Name features production by Kanye West (who designed the album's bar code cover art), The Neptunes, The-Dream, Just Blaze, No I.D. and Swizz Beatz among others. Chris Brown appears on recently released "Sweet Serenade," while Rick Ross, Future, Big Sean, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar all are confirmed to appear on the album. Given that the album has been pushed back multiple times, hip hop fans have been fiending for this one.
What: His first album of all-original material since 2007, New.
When: October 15.
What We Know: The title track is an exuberant, buoyant slice of sophisticated pop. No other New songs have been released, but we know producers Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse), Paul Epworth (Adele) and Giles Martin (son of Beatles producer George Martin) all worked with Macca on this album.
Who: Seattle alt-rock vets turned stadium rockers Pearl Jam.
What: Lightning Bolt, the band's tenth album and first since 2009’s Backspacer.
When: October 15.
What We Know: "Mind Your Manners," the group's punky, frenetic opening salvo, allowed PJ to re-spin the black circle, though guitarist Mike McCready said in a recent interview that the album would have a "Pink Floyd vibe." Brendan O'Brien, the producer behind five Pearl Jam albums, noted that the songs on Lightning Bolt would be longer than the band's previous efforts, though so far, only three songs from the project have been released.
Who: Record-breaking SoCal chart-dominator Katy Perry.
What: Prism, the follow-up to her third album, 2010's incredibly successful Teenage Dream.
When: October 22.
What We Know: How do you follow an album that earned you five No. 1 singles and put you in the record books next to Michael Jackson? With "Roar," Prism's first single and Katy's eighth No. 1 song. With collaborations from the likes of Sia, Diplo, Bonnie McKee and Emeli Sande (to name a few), Prism is bound for No. 1, too.
Who: Party-starting Swedish duo Icona Pop.
What: Their second album This Is... Icona Pop.
When: October 24.
What We Know: Since the mega success of the electronic duo's hit song "I Love It," fans have been banging down Icona Pop's door begging for a new album. This Is... Icona Pop is the band's second album, and singles "All Night" and "Girlfriend" are already gaining traction.
Who: Montreal art-rock collective Arcade Fire, which won the Album of the Year Grammy in 2011 for their third album, The Suburbs.
What: Reflektor, AF's much-anticipated fourth album.
When: October 29.
What We Know: Former LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy helped produce the Montreal collective's October release, and dropped nuggets to the frothing press, calling it "It's really f-cking epic." He added, "It sounds like Arcade Fire in the way that only Arcade Fire sound like Arcade Fire, you know? It sounds awesome. Really." The band have been revealing albums details in mysterious videos, confirming the LP's self-titled first single will drop September 9.
Who: Detroit hip hop veteran Eminem.
What: The Marshall Mathers LP 2, the rapper's eighth album and a sequel to 2000's The Marshall Mathers LP.
When: November 5.
What We Know: Only two songs—the Rick Rubin-produced and Beastie Boys-influenced "Berserk" and the angry, rock-inspired track "Survival"—have been released and the whole album has been shrouded in mystery. Dr. Dre, 50 Cent and producer No I.D. have all confirmed working on the album, but Mr. Mathers seems poised to surprise us all.
Who: Controversial, London-born rapper-singer Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam, aka M.I.A.
What: Matangi, M.I.A.'s fourth studio album.
When: November 5 via Interscope Records.
What We Know: The album, M.I.A.'s follow-up to 2010's Maya, was long-delayed because, M.I.A. claims, suits at Interscope found its sound to be "too positive." "I finished it and then I handed the record in," she said in January. "It's like 'We just built you up as the public enemy No. 1 and now you're coming out with all this positive stuff.'" After months of tweaks, the album, which M.I.A. describes as sounding like "Paul Simon on acid," is now wrapped and its latest single, "Come Walk With Me," has arrived with a lyric video.
Who: New York City's reigning pop drama queen Lady Gaga.
What: Gaga's much anticipated third album, ARTPOP.
When: November 11.
What We Know: Since cancelling her Born This Way Ball tour early this year due to a serious hip injury (and surgery and recovery), Gaga kept relatively quiet until the release of ARTPOP's first single, "Applause," in August. Gaga later hit up the iTunes Festival, revealing a slew of new songs from the album, including a surprising collaboration with T.I., Twista and Too $hort.
Who: British boy band One Direction.
What: The quintet's third album, Midnight Memories.
When: November 25.
What We Know: After coming in as runner-ups on 2010 British X Factor, Harry, Zayn, Niall, Louis and Liam have been working nonstop to get their music in the hands and ears of ceaselessly-screaming teenage girls across the globe. Their third album, Midnight Memories, follows their first two albums, Up All Night (2011) and Take Me Home (2012), leading us to believe their fourth album might be called something like Hangover Mornings.
What: His sixth, and possibly last (gasp!), album X.
When: November, after original August 20 release date was scrapped.
What We Know: Sonically, Breezy is delivering straightforward R&B in lead single "Fine China," which riffs on Michael Jackson's smooth style. Plus, there's a collabo with late R&B siren Aaliyah on "Don't Think They Know." Lyrically, Brown told Fuse, "X represents something more... deep... What I've been through in my life, relationship problems, everything that I'm dealing with. It's me being honest with myself." He's enlisted super producers Timbaland, Danja and Diplo, and collabos with Kendrick Lamar, Brandy, Kelly Rowland and Wiz Khalifa are expected.
Who: Australian rapper/model Iggy Azalea.
What: Her debut album, The New Classic.
When: November, after she wraps up her opening up slot for the Australian/New Zealand leg of Beyonce's Mrs. Carter world tour.
What We Know: The 23-year-old described her debut LP as "fairly electronic, moombahton mixed with hip hop." That description—along with singles "Work" and "Change Your Life" featuring mentor T.I.—means we're anticipating a record filled with twerk-to-able anthems.
Who: Super diva Mariah Carey.
What: The Art of Letting Go, Mimi's 13th (!!!) studio album.
What We Know: Her Miguel collabo "#Beautiful," gave the former Idol judge her biggest hit since '09. Despite a successful kickoff, details are sparse on the full LP. There's a lengthy list of rumored collaborators (from R&B producer Bryan-Michael Cox and Jermaine Dupri to dancefloor maestro David Morales to R. Kelly), but it's unclear who will end up on the album or when it will actually drop. Carey indefinitely delayed the LP after she scrapped the initial July 23 release date, saying, "I got so immersed in the creative process that I just don't feel I would be doing it justice to release it [in] July."