The 10 Albums You Need to Hear in October


The end of the year is approaching, but naughty journalists who’ve already started cobbling together their best-of-2013 lists may have some revising to do over the next four weeks, because October looks to be a month that’s well stocked for quality album releases. As ever, we’ve put together a list of the ten albums we reckon you need to hear over the next month, along with a roundup of everything else that’s due out, be it good, bad, or just flat-out weird. The experimental electronic genre is particularly well represented this month, but there’s also plenty in the way of good guitar music and other interesting tidbits, so click through, and also let us know what’s on your shopping list this month.

Oneohtrix Point Never — R Plus 7 (October 1)

Daniel Lopatin really hasn’t put a foot wrong in his career to date — his three letter-r-centric studio albums (Rifts, Returnal and Replica) have all been excellent, and in between the latter two he also released a fantastic collaborative album with Tim Hecker, of whom more shortly. This is his first album for Warp, which seems like his spiritual home.

Grails — Black Tar Prophecies Vols. 4, 5 and 6 (October 1)

Portland-based moodists Grails have long used their ongoing Black Tar Prophecies series as an outlet for their more experimental tendencies, but since the records in this series have been released as limited editions, they’ve often been hard to get a hold of. Rejoice, then, in the release of this album, which collects Volumes 4 and 5 in one place, and also adds three previously unreleased tracks in the form of Volume 6.

of Montreal — Lousy With Sylvianbriar (October 8)

Anyone who was tiring of Kevin Barnes’ lascivio-funk direction will be pleased — the first couple of tracks come across like Goldfrapp’s Seventh Tree, replacing randy synths and sex karma with gentle acoustic psych-folk. Barnes being Barnes, this album isn’t all quite so neat — the likes of “Belle Glade Missionaries” and “Heigra Émigré” are relatively upbeat foot-stompers — but on the whole, this is another fascinating change of direction from one of music’s most enduringly fascinating artists.

Glasser — Interiors (October 8)

Glasser’s 2010 debut Ring was an excellent album, and one that perhaps didn’t quite find the audience it deserved. Hopefully this somewhat belated follow-up will set things right — first impressions are that it’s full of the same oblique, liquid pop sounds that characterized Ring, which is an entirely welcome development.

Lee Ranaldo and the Dust — Last Night on Earth (October 8)

No one’s ever gonna argue that the breakup of Sonic Youth was a good thing, but one unintended benefit is that the various band members have proven more prolific in their solo endeavors than the band ever was. The last year has seen the release of albums by Thurston Moore’s Chelsea Light Moving, Kim Gordon’s Body/Head, and, perhaps best of all, Lee Ranaldo’s excellent solo album Between the Times and the Tides. Now he’s back with a full-band album, featuring his new ensemble The Dust, which is also home to one Steve Shelley. Huzzah.

Tim Hecker — Virgins (October 15)

Ravedeath 1972 was a sneaky highlight of 2011, one of those albums that kinda flies under the radar on its release but works its way onto your stereo in the months after, until you suddenly find yourself listening to it constantly and saying to yourself, “Fuck, this is really good.” With that in mind, Virgins is a release that I’ve really, really been looking forward to — what we’ve heard so far (the gorgeous “Black Refraction,” above, along with the sort-of-title-track “Virginal II”) has been great.

The Avett Brothers — Magpie and the Dandelion (October 15)

For people who like banjos but want more out of life than Mumford and Sons.

Laurel Halo — Chance of Rain (October 29)

This month seems to be particularly good for experimental/generally cerebral electronic music — as well as Tim Hecker, Glasser, and Oneohtrix, there’s new work from the ever-excellent Laurel Halo. This is her second album for erudite UK label Hyperdub, and intriguingly enough, the cover art features a drawing done by her father back in the 1970s.

Juana Molina — Wed 21 (October 29)

And there’s a new album by Argentinian experimental doyenne Juana Molina. Happy days.

Primitive Calculators — The World is Fucked (November 1)

Finally, sneaking in this 1st-of-November release, as it may well pre-date next month’s roundup. It’s the first studio album by Australian post-punk noiseniks Primitive Calculators, some 30 years after the band first came together — before now, all that’s been available is a single 7″ and a bunch of ear-scraping live recordings. If you think that age might have mellowed the band, though, the title alone should be enough to disabuse you of that notion — as should first single “Dead,” which is above. (The album also contains songs called “No,” “Why,” “Cunt,” “Sick,” and “Nothing.”)

Also out this month:

Deltron 3030 — Deltron Event 2 (October 1) The Warhammer 40k of hip-hop franchises returns.

Korn — The Paradigm Shift (October 1) Sadly for comedy purposes, this is not another dubstep album.

Justin Timberlake — The 20/20 Experience, Part II (October 1) If you hit play on this today, it should be over by November.

Joan Jett — Unvarnished (October 1) May she never change.

Melt-Banana — Fetch (October 1) Melted ears, too.

Yuck — Glow and Behold (October 1) Definitely featuring in upcoming listicle “10 Bands With Entirely Appropriate Names.”

Polvo — Siberia (October 1) Old school math rock represent!

Stone Temple Pilots With Chester Bennington — High Rise (October 5) Where is your god now?

Born Gold — I Am an Exit (October 8) Montreal weirdness. In a good way.

Alex Chilton — Electricity By Candlelight (October 8) If, like me, you never got to see the great man play live, then this live recording from 1997 promises to be the next best thing. It has a great version of Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line,” too.

Alter Bridge — Fortress (October 8) I mean come on, what do you expect me to say about this?

Pusha T — My Name Is My Name (October 8) Still not gonna be as good as Clipse, sadly.

Miley Cyrus — Bangerz (October 8) Twerkers of the world, unite.

Panic at the Disco — Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die (October 8) Sadly.

Sleigh Bells — Bitter Rivals (October 8) Urban Outfitters angst for the masses.

The Dismemberment Plan — Uncanney Valley (October 15) Back after a 12-year absence. Curiously, this is the second album called Uncann(e)y Valley this year (the first was by Australian duo Midnight Juggernauts).

Cass McCombs — Big Wheel and Others (October 15) A modern-day wandering balladeer par excellence.

Gary Numan — Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind) (October 15) The man just gets darker as he gets older. This, clearly, is not a bad thing at all.

Pearl Jam — Lightning Bolt (October 15) Something to ponder: if Pearl Jam had split after Vitalogy, how much more fondly would they be regarded?

Paul McCartney — New (October 15) At least it’s not called “Kisses on the Bottom.”

Kwes — ILP (October 15) Debut album by new Warp prospect (and thoroughly, endearingly nice dude) Kwes.

Best Coast – Fade Away (October 22) La la la California la la la weed la la la cats zzzzzzz.

Omar Souleyman — Wenu Wenu (October 22) Real talk: it’s really rather inspiring to see Souleyman still recording and performing with everything that’s going on his home country, Syria.

Sky Ferreira — Night Time, My Time (October 29) A debut album, at last. Hopefully it will put the spotlight back on her music.

The Arcade Fire — Reflektor (October 29) World domination continues.

Los Campesinos! — No Blues (October 29) More kitchen-sink indie pop from exclamation-point-toting Welsh misanthropes.

Vaura — Missing (October 29) Excellent Brooklyn-based four-piece whose sound falls somewhere between post-punk and dark, rust-flecked metal. Definitely worth hearing.

Bad Religion — Christmas Songs (October 29) Um, so this really is an album of Bad Religion doing Christmas songs. I look forward to listening to it while I watch Bad Santa again.

Ed Kowalczyk — The Flood and the Mercy (October 29) Remember when people actually liked Live? I do. It all seems so long ago now.