Fall means pretty leaves, delicious pumpkin-flavored food, and great new music! This is what we'll be blasting from our iPods all season.
On sale nowÂ (Matador)
Cult favorite and bona fide indie-rock dream woman Chan Marshall, better known as Cat Power, hasnât released an album of new material since 2006âsÂ The Greatest. Hardly anything Marshallâs done has sounded optimistic, but if the titleÂ Sun is any indication, her ninth LP might just find her singing a happier tune (in her signature smoky voice, of course). First single âRuinâ is almostâno kiddingâdisco-ready, with pulsating drums and a buoyant piano line. But for those who prefer the gut-wrenching heartbreakers Marshall does so well, fear not. She finished the album at the same time she broke up with her longtime boyfriend, so the collection mixes a little melancholy amidst the newfound brightness.
Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra
Theatre Is Evil
On sale nowÂ (8ft)
Punky cabaret singer and sometime Dresden Dolls frontwoman Amanda Palmer made headlines in June when the Kickstarter campaign to raise money for her new album became the first musical project on the site to raise more than a million dollars. The headlines probably wonât abate after the release of her third solo album, Theatre Is Evil, another collection of piano-led pop tunes full of Palmerâs trademark in-your-face lyrics. Singles âDo It With a Rockstarâ and âWant It Backâ find Palmer treading new ground with a noisy band and dreamy synths but eventually settling into the balls-out, anthemic choruses for which sheâs rightfully known, indicating that Theatre Is Evil will be another Palmer sing-along classic.
On sale now (Young Turks)
Following the massive success of the xxâs 2009 debut, itâs probably safe to say that their second record will be just as huge, if not more so. These things tend to happen when you produce songs for Drake and get sampled by Rihanna. After a seemingly endless tour cycle and a short break, the band built their own studio in their hometown of London and got to work. The chilling combination of Romy Madley Croftâs and Jamie Smithâs voices has always been one of the highlights of any xx song, and their newest effort delivers more of the same quiet but intense jams beloved by music critics and pop superstars alike.
On sale now (Vice)
For their 10th-anniversary album, Danish duo Sharin Foo and Sune Rose Wagner decamped to Los Angeles in search of a sunnier, warmer sound. But when Wagner was diagnosed with clinical depression, the band found themselves moving in a gloomierâbut still beautifulâdirection. Recorded with legendary producer Richard Gottehrer (who also worked on 2003âs Chain Gang of Love) at the equally legendary Sunset Sound, Observator will find the group further perfecting their matchless brand of Jesus and Mary Chain-esque shoegaze while they explore a more nuanced and mature set of emotions.
Dum Dum Girls
End of Daze EP
On sale September 25 (Sub Pop)
On last yearâs full-length Only in Dreams, the Dum Dum Girls completely ditched the distorted, fuzzed-out sound of 2010âs I Will Be for a clearer, richer sound. On their End of Daze EP, that blissful, modernized girl-group sensibility is still in place, with frontwoman Dee Deeâs â60s-inspired vocals ringing out over layers of moody guitars. Closer âSeason in Hell,â with its decidedly â80s drum rhythms and Cure-like melodies, finds the Girls mining for influences a couple decades ahead of their usual signatures, and suggests that the band has far more up their black lace bell sleeves than the same old retro-pop sound thatâs been everywhere recently.
On sale September 25Â (Self-Released)
For their third album, Toronto-based Dragonette expand on the ecstasy-laced electropop they developed on 2009âs Fixin to Thrill, upping the volume of the â80s synths and adding even more danceable, throbbing beats. Lead singer Martina Sorbara has refined her vocals in the past few years so theyâre smoother, stronger, and ready to compete in a crowded field of female-fronted electro bands. First single âLet It Goâ is an impossibly upbeat ode to relaxing in the face of adversity, a necessary tenet of any good dance record. When Sorbara sings, âWe donât need a cure for the weight of the world,â itâs hard not to think that Dragonetteâs carefree jams might be a good substitute.
On sale October 2 (Deutsche Grammophon)
Itâs been 20 years since flame-haired singer, songwriter, pianist, and â90s icon Tori Amos released her debut solo album,Â Little Earthquakes. To celebrate the recordâs platinum anniversary, Amos has rerecorded some of her classic songs with the Netherlandsâ Metropole Orchestra, giving gems from her expansive back catalog a lush, epic sound previously only hinted at in her spare arrangements. Fans of last yearâsÂ Night of Hunters, a classical-inspired song cycle also produced with the venerable label Deutsche Grammophon, will delight in Amosâ continued forays into deeper musical territory. All of this experimentation might put off new listeners, but Amosâ willingness to keep evolving and pushing herself this far into her long, already impressive career is admirable.
TenderÂ New Signs
On sale October 16 (Mexican Summer)
When Tamaryn released her debut album in 2010, it was hard not to accuse her of capitalizing on the renewed fervor for early-â90s dream pop from artists like Mazzy Star and the Cocteau Twins. But her latest album should put any fears of Bush One-era plagiarism to rest. Full of more of the same distorted, acid-trippy guitar slow jams first heard onÂ The Waves, the record firmly establishes Tamaryn in her own genre: a mix of shoegaze, psychedelic folk, and straight-up alt-rock. Her sophomore effort proves that her eyeliner-ringed, goth-inspired sound is more than just homage to a passing craze.
Bat for Lashes
The Haunted Man
On sale October 22 (Astralwerks)
In the three years since Bat for Lashes (aka Natasha Khan) released her sophomore album, Two Suns, sheâs been mostly off the grid, popping up only occasionally to record a song for a Gucci ad campaign (her excellent cover of Depeche Modeâs âStrangeloveâ) or a Twilight: Eclipse soundtrack addition (her duet âLetâs Get Lostâ with Beck). But thankfully, sheâs back for real this time, with another album full of haunting ballads and dark dance songs. Her brand of brooding goth-pop has exponentially increased in popularity since 2009 (along with similar-sounding acts like Zola Jesus and Austra), so donât be surprised if Bat for Lashes rises to the top of the heap and reasserts herself as rightful heir to the throne of Siouxsie Sioux.
By Eliza C. Thompson
All images courtesy of their respective record labels.
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.
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