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October tends to be a busy month for new album releases. It’s the final month of the year in which big national holidays aren’t distracting music journalists, radio personalities, and other influential figures from properly paying attention to new music, so record labels tend to cram some of their most important releases of the year into this one month. Next month is certainly no exception to this rule, with a few of the biggest names in electronic, rock, hip-hop, and pop dropping hotly anticipated new albums. Get to know four of the most exciting October albums below.
1. Angel Olsen: All Mirrors
(October 4, Jagjaguwar)
When Angel Olsen first began releasing music in 2010, she was a lo-fi artist making disturbing folk songs for a small audience. Over the course of the cycle for her third album MY WOMAN, which she released just over three years ago, she became known as one of the most furious voices in rock music, with her full-band live shows all but inescapable on the festival circuit through mid-2018. With her fourth album All Mirrors, she’s adding a 14-piece orchestra into the mix (and bringing strings on tour), and if its two singles “All Mirrors” and “Lark” are any indication, the album will go down as one of the year’s very best.
2. Danny Brown: uknowhatimsayin¿
(October 4, Warp)
At the beginning of the decade, Danny Brown was known for being an outlier in hip-hop, someone whose weirdness took center stage in a genre that’s less known for strangeness than for machismo. With his fifth studio album, uknowhatimsayin¿, Brown seems to be shifting toward a much more digestible direction. The album’s two singles to date, “Dirty Laundry” and “Best Life,” have a much stronger classic hip-hop feel to them than does the vast majority of Brown’s expansive catalog. This change is thanks in no small part to the album’s executive producer, Q-Tip, famed for his production and rapping in the influential, ever-classic hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest.
3. Big Thief: Two Hands
(October 11, 4AD)
Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker is nothing if not prolific. She and Big Thief put out their debut album, Masterpiece, in 2016 and followed it with sophomore effort Capacity just over a year later. Lenker released a solo album, abysskiss, in late 2018, and she and Big Thief re-recorded two songs from it for Big Thief’s third album, U.F.O.F., which came out just seven months after abysskiss. U.F.O.F., however, dwarfed all prior Lenker works in terms of critical acclaim – its enthusiastic reception certified Big Thief as one of the most acclaimed rock bands of the past few years. Two Hands will follow U.F.O.F. by not even half-a-year, because the band knows to keep its folk-infused, free-flowing rock coming while it’s hot.
4. FKA twigs: MAGDALENE
(October 25, Young Turks)
When FKA twigs released her debut album, LP1, in 2014, she changed the trajectory of electronic, R&B, and pop music forever. Her unparalleled, uncompromising sound – skittering percussion that rarely falls perfectly on-beat, gossamer vocals delivering lusty, lonesome lyrics, and synths that lack any discernible shape – all but certainly influenced artists ranging from NAO to Billie Eilish (plus, the brief fashion trend of baby hair started with her). MAGDALENE is her first full-length release since LP1, and it focuses on lamenting someone she’s already had rather than pining for someone unattainable. Its first single, “Cellophane,” is her most barren, devastating song to date.
Which October albums are you most excited about? Sound off in the comments!