10 New Albums You Need to Hear in September


Good news for music lovers: there’s a wealth of new releases in September, and a lot of them look pretty fine indeed — so much so that it was more difficult than usual to prune our regular monthly selection of the best upcoming releases back to just 10 selections. But we’re a discipline bunch here, so we’ve restrained our urges and pared down our wishlist — the result is what you’ll find after the jump, the 10 records that Flavorpill’s most looking forward to getting hold of this month. What’s on your shopping list?

HTRK — Work (work, work)

Release date: September 5

This London-based Australian group are one of our favorite bands, and it’s particularly heartening to see them return given the tragedy they’ve endured over the last 18 months (founding bassist Sean Stewart committed suicide in March last year). Their new album is a dark and thoroughly intoxicating piece of work, exploring themes of dominance and submission, all set to the sound of echo-laden beats and narcotized synth pads. We really, really like it — and recommend it thoroughly.

Grace Jones — Hurricane Dub

Release date: September 6

A dub version of Grace Jones’ most recent studio album? Hell yes!

Wooden Shjips — West

Release date: September 13

We’ve already got an advance of this, thanks to its earlier overseas release date, and are pleased to report that it’s most excellent. On one level, it’s pretty much more of the same – extended psychedelic jams built over freeway-friendly basslines and relentless drums. But on the other, it’s a pretty profound and interesting piece of work, with a constant underlying lyrical theme that explores the idea of the West and its enduring power as American cultural mythology.

Wild Flag — Wild Flag

Release date: September 13

Happily, you can hear this album already — as we noted earlier this week, it’s streaming at NPR. It’s safe to say that if you miss Sleater-Kinney, then Wild Flag — which includes two-thirds of the late and much-lamented Olympia band – will almost certainly be to your liking.

CANT — Dreams Come True

Release date: September 13

Given that Chris Taylor is the man responsible for the pristine production on Grizzly Bear’s albums, we regard his solo releases under the CANT label with great interest. While “Ghosts,” which he released on a split 7″ with Arthur Russell in 2009, sounded a lot like Grizzly Bear themselves, it looks like he’s branched out substantially with his debut full-length album Dreams Come True. The album’s first track, “Answer,” shares the same spacious, warm feeling as Grizzly Bear, but the mix is much busier, combining layered vocals, a bunch of samples, and a decidedly danceable beat. If it’s indicative of where the album’s going, it’ll definitely make for interesting listening.

The Drums — Portamento

Release date: September 13

Is there more to The Drums than “Let’s Go Surfing”? On the evidence of Portamento, the answer appears to be “yes,” thankfully. We certainly never thought we’d hear Jonathan Pierce singing about religion and the nature of life, but that’s exactly what he does on album opener “Book of Revelation,” which is possibly the slickest existentialist pop anthem you’ll ever hear. And also, check out the title track — it sounds more like old Doctor Who incidental music than East River faux-surf pop. It’s nice to be pleasantly surprised, eh?

Das Racist — Relax

Release date: September 13

Honestly, this could be a pile of monkey shite, and we’d still like it for the simple fact that Das Racist have followed mixtapes called Shut Up, Dude and Sit Down, Man with an album called Relax. We’re guessing their next album will be called …And Pass the Corn Chips or somesuch. Anyway, it’s all the better that from what we’ve heard so far, this record — which is their official debut studio release — sounds excellent. Particularly the bit that goes, “Yes! I’m fucking great at rapping!”

Jens Lekman — An Argument with Myself EP

Release date: September 19

We are all for pretty much anything Jens Lekman-related, and even if we’re not huge fans of the title track to this new EP, we’re still very much looking forward to getting our hands on it and hearing the other new songs contained therein. He previewed at least one of them at his shows here earlier this year — namely “Waiting for Kirsten,” which is about waiting for Kirsten Dunst’s arrival at a club in Gothenburg, and segues into a meditation on the erosion of the egalitarian nature of Swedish society. Honestly. And it’s great. There are also three other new tracks, all of which is getting us excited to see Lekman again when he’s back here in October.

Zola Jesus — Conatus

Release date: September 26

It wouldn’t be a Zola Jesus record without a cryptic Latin title, would it? You can read all about the word “conatus” here, but basically it refers to the desire of living things for self-preservation. We’ve already heard the first single, “Vessel,” while a studio take of a new song called “Avalanche” surfaced on YouTube last week. Both bode well for the record, combining some thumping electronic beats (which remind us of Björk, curiously) with suitably ominous bass and synth sounds. And, of course, there’s Danilova’s constantly astounding voice.

Björk — Biophilia

Release date: September 27 October 11

We have to say that despite all the crazy creativity that’s gone into this record — the applications, the cosmology, the whacked-out instruments — we weren’t huge fans of first single “Crystalline.” Hopefully the rest of the album will prove us wrong, and either way, we’re still dying to hear it.

Bonus list! Also out this month:

Mary J. Blige — My Life II: The Story Continues (Sept 3) Dear diary, etc.

The Rapture — In The Grace of Your Love (Sept 6) Um.

St. Vincent — Strange Mercy (Sept 13) Inspired by Marilyn Monroe, apparently. And did you know she used to be in The Polyphonic Spree?

Cymbals Eat Guitars — Lenses Alien (Sept 13) We quite like this.

Black Francis — Paley & Francis (Sept 13) Collaboration with Reid Paley recorded in Nashville. Will not be as good as The Pixies. Sigh.

Girls — Father, Son, Holy Ghost (Sept 13) Does the title mean that Christopher Owens is addressing his Children of God childhood? We’ll be fascinated to see.

Tom Vek — Seizure (Sept 13) Hey, remember him?

Neon Indian — Era Extraña (Sept 13) Sept 13 seems to be the biggest release date in living memory.

Boots Electric — Honkey Kong (Sept 20) Like “bending over George Clinton and raping the shit out of him with Gary Numan, using Little Richard for a dick”, allegedly.

Mastodon — The Hunter (Sept 26) The band says this is “a little more stripped down”, although with Mastodon that probably just means the riffs won’t actually melt your stereo.

Twin Sister — In Heaven (Sept 27) Debut album. May actually warrant the oft-abused epithet “much-anticipated”.

Spank Rock — Everything Is Boring and Everyone Is a Fucking Liar (Sept 27) Album title of the year, already. And there’s a track with Big Freedia!

Wilco — The Whole Love (Sept 27) Wilco’s first album on their own label.