FEATURE: Albums to Look Out for This Month



IN THIS PHOTO: Phoebe Bridgers 

Albums to Look Out for This Month


THE past few weeks have been pretty awesome…


IN THIS PHOTO: Prophets of Rage

for exceptional new albums. I just missed the wire but, the first day of this month was given a slice of genius with LCD Soundsystem’s American Dream. It is shaping up to be one of the most celebrated and acclaimed albums of the year. That is not to say the remainder of September is a gangrenous wound of crap...far from it, in fact!

Over the coming few weeks; we will see some spanking releases from The National, Tori Amos and Sparks. Throw into the mix some Foo Fighters, Miley Cyrus and Prophets of Rage and it promises to be a pretty impressive!



The NationalSleep Well Beast

Release Date: 8th September

Label: 4AD

Why You Should Buy It: In a year that has seen Indie stalwarts Grizzly Bear and Arcade Fire stage returns (with mixed results); it is the turn of Ohio’s The National. Initial buzz surrounding the album – their first since 2013’s Trouble Will Find Me – suggests it will be one of the year’s best. Many of the songs document lead singer Matt Berninger’s divorce – the fallout and complexities of it. It is sure to be a staggering, beautiful and troubled work – an album, oddly, 2017 really does need. Expect the traditional blend of sonorous and moody vocals; delicious astute and memorable lyrics – and an album crammed with some of the finest songs you’ll hear all year.


Toris AmosNative Invader

Release Date: 8th September

Label: Decca

Why You Should Buy It: It’s Tori Amos, dumbass! Okay…I shall expend a bit more consideration. We might see a new album from Björk this year: alongside Tori Amos; one of the most innovative and influential artists in the world. We do know for sure Native Invader is almost here – it is her fifteen studio album. Unrepentant Geraldines was her previous record (released in 2014) and, whether addressing vengeful women or something else – an album that resonated with critics. Like that album; Native Invader was recorded in Cornwall (at Martian Engineering Studios). Unlike her previous release; there is a very different story behind Native Invader – as Amos herself explained: “The songs on Native Invader are being pushed by the Muses to find different ways of facing unforeseen challenges and in some cases dangerous conflicts. The record looks to Nature and how, through resilience, she heals herself. The songs also wrestle with the question: what is our part in the destruction of our land, as well as ourselves, and in our relationships with each other? In life there can be the shock of unexpected fires, floods, earthquakes, or any cataclysmic ravager -- both on the inside and outside of our minds. Sonically and visually, I wanted to look at how Nature creates with her opposing forces, becoming the ultimate regenerator through her cycles of death and re-birth. Time and time again she is able to renew, can we find this renewal for ourselves?



Release Date: 8th September

Label: BMG Rights Management

Why You Should Buy It: This is the twenty-fifth album from Ron and Russell Marl. The guys seem to be in peak form as, on Hippopotamus, they look at everything from Shakespeare to camper vans. Sparks are renowned for their innovative and off-kilter songs – work that differs from what is out there by delivering intelligent and imaginative tracks. This collection, from what we have heard so far, shows Sparks have lost none of their, well…you know?!


Gary NumanSavage (Songs from a Broken World)

Release Date: 15th September

Label: BMG Rights Management (UK) Limited

Why You Should Buy It: There are few artists who have endured like Gary Numan. He remains one of those special and unique talented that, through the decades, is able to adapt and amaze. The new album, Savages (Songs from a Broken World) documents a global warming-like disaster. The songs deal with serious subjects but, as we can hear in new single My Name Is Ruin, there is plenty of energy, Rock demand and huge quality. I am not a big Numan fan but will definitely be getting this album – it will inspire many artists to up their game and reinvent their music. Numan is a pioneer and leader who, thirty-nine years since his debut record, is still turning heads.


Wyclef JeanCarnival III

Release Date: 15th September

Label: Legacy Recordings

Why You Should Buy It: The Knocks and Emile Sandé are among the collaborators on the latest albums from the former Fugees man. Jean, speaking with Rolling Stone, talked about the concept of his Carnival albums: "My Carnival albums have always been about celebrating music culture from all parts of the world and Carnival III is no different,” the former Fugees member said in a statement. "It's outside the box. There’s genre-bending. There's new talent on there. Carnival III is more than just an album. It's a celebration of what I love about music: discovery, diversity and artistry for art's sake... It's about putting music together that will outlive me and live on for generations to come that is full of emotion, vibration and fun. Get ready."


Gucci ManeMr. Davis

Release Date: 15th September

Label: Guwop Enterprises/Atlantic

Why You Should Buy It: The rags-to-riches rise of Gucci Mani is one that demands focus and revelation through music. Collaborations with Nicki Minaj (Make Love) and Big Sean (Changed) mean there are bodies in the mix: the focus is very much of the rapper and his eleventh album. He was released from prison a year ago: this is his third release since that release. Friends like Chris Brown and Monic help make the album a success – their input and personalities are all part of the incredible brew.


Phil SelwayLet Me Go

Release Date: 15th September

Label: Bella Union

Why You Should Buy It: The Radiohead drummer is no stranger to solo territory. He has already released two sole L.P.S – 2010’s Familial and 2014’s Weatherhouse – and, in two weeks, prepares to release the music composed for the soundtrack to the film, Let Me Go. The title-track is especially impressive but the album as a whole shows what an accomplished composer and songwriter he is. One wonders, if Radiohead release another album, Selway might be afforded a rare lead vocal – perhaps greater writing responsibility. He has shown – as George Harrison proved during his time with The Beatles – there are often three great songwriters in a band. Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood are not the only Radiohead members capable of making a huge impact away from the band.


Prophets of RageProphets of Rage

Release Date: 15th September

Label: Guwop Enterprises/Atlantic

Why You Should Buy It: The supergroup are touring their native U.S. at the moment but, when their eponymous album is released; let’s hope they find time to come to Europe. The fact the band brings together legends Chuck D and (Rage Against the Machine’s) Tom Morello almost pales into insignificance when you consider how charged and angry the record is likely to be. A band that are not exactly ‘friends’ of President Trump, on their debut, will have much to say about his style of leadership. Prophets of Rage is likely to be one of the most combustible, gripping and exciting albums of the year.


Foo FightersConcrete & Gold

Release Date: 15th September

Label: Guwop Enterprises/Atlantic

Why You Should Buy It: Recent singles The Sky Is a Neighborhood and Run suggest Foo Fighters are on fire right now. They are a lot heavier than on recent releases and seem to have revived some of their early energy and quality. Sonic Highways, released in 2014, garnered mixed reviews and was seen as a bit bloated and contained too many collaborations. Concrete & Gold – despite the crap title – is a more stripped and focused album. In a year when some of Rock’s more promising artists are failing to live up to the hype: Foo Fighters seem ready to deliver an album that could kick Rock’s butt awake. It will be interesting seeing whether critics agree!


Phoebe BridgersStranger in the Alps

Release Date: 22nd September

Label: Dead Oceans

Why You Should Buy It: Producers Tony Berg and Ethan Gruska did not have to work too hard to make the ten songs on Stranger in the Alps sound haunting and staggering. Phoebe Bridgers is a stunning young talent and a fine writer. Her songs tap into the personal and manage to articulate common themes with a unique insight and incredible sense of wordplay. A confessional and tender singing style mean her music, on the surface, would not sound dissimilar to anyone else. One need only hear a few lines (of any song of hers) to realise that is a myopic determination – her magic and vocals are racemose and highly intoxicating. Bridgers wanted the songs to represent who she is and what stage she is at: someone discovering their voice and taking the first big steps through music.


The HorrorsV

Release Date: 22nd September

Label: Caroline Distribution

Why You Should Buy It: With Paul Epworth on production duties; The Horrors’ fifth album sees the boys at their most progressive and dark. There is Dystopia (on V) but plenty of nuance and layers. Machine, the lead single, is one of this year’s best: the album is likely to contain the same level of quality and assuredness. This year, for British bands, there have been few standout releases. Few expected new material from The Horrors so, from out of nowhere, the band might well (already) have produced the best British band album of 2017.


Miley CyrusYounger Now

Release Date: 29th September

Label: RCA Records

Why You Should Buy It: The sixth album from Miley Cyrus is a more matured and settled affair. She is, and one can tell, happy, healthy and fondly in love. This does not mean her new album is a sappy and saccharine affair. The biggest shift is away from 2015’s experimental, Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz. Younger Now, with a more sensible and mature cover, is a calmer and less scattershot work – more focused songwriting and a woman tired of the party, controversy and troubles. The album title seems ironic and clever at the same time – she is wiser and more grown-up; aware of the reputation she still holds. Those who struggle to get past her former image – from Hannah Montana to her infamous Wrecking Ball video – will be pleased to see, before us, a serious artist utilising her Pop and Country roots. Singles Malibu and Younger Now are two of her biggest and finest singles to date. It seems this ‘new’ Miley Cyrus – a '2.0' or a natural maturation – is a lot more stable, secure and likable than some of her former incarnations. I suspect many critics will have some fond words to pay to Younger Now.