St. Vincent (Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images), Beck (Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for CBS Radio), and RZA (Photo: Rick Kern/Getty Images for Samsung). Graphic: Nicole Antonuccio.

Every Friday, dozens of new records are released into the wild. Some make big splashes, and others sink almost immediately. For most music consumers, it’s almost too much information, and save for those precious few who spend their hours glued to review sites and release calendars, it’s hard to know what’s coming out when. Thankfully, The A.V. Club is here to help those struggling souls. Each month, we offer a fairly comprehensive list of what’s coming to record stores and streaming services in upcoming weeks, complete with capsule previews so interested parties can know what to expect.


October 5

Waka Flocka Flame, Flockaveli 2

On the eighth day, God created “Hard In Da Paint,” Waka Flocka’s 2010 neighborhood-leveling assault vehicle of a single. Producer Lex Luger may’ve fallen out of favor in intervening years, but their collaboration was enough to keep both sustained throughout that year’s blistering Flockaveli. Neither has done terribly much in the seven years since, but who knows? Maybe they’ve got another knockout blow with this sequel. [Clayton Purdom]

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October 6

Blue Hawaii, Tenderness

Blue Hawaii’s full-length debut, Untogether, was one of the sleeper pleasures of 2013—a dance-pop record made for standing alone, as the coldly clipped beats and ethereal vocals of duo Raphaelle Standell-Preston (also of Braids) and Alexander Cowan swell and recede like the ghosts of parties past. Judging by the new “No One Like You”—preceded by the singles “Get Happy” and “Get Happier”—Tenderness promises to, well, get happier. There’s an uncomplicated disco vibe here that’s a little underwhelming, but given that Blue Hawaii has described Tenderness as “Björk meets The xx and DJ Koze,” maybe this is just the sunshine that creates the album’s deeper shadows. [Sean O’Neal]

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Alessandro Cortini, Avanti

In his main gig with Nine Inch Nails, Alessandro Cortini turns synthesizers into blunt-force weapons, but his solo work revels in their delicacy. The new Avanti, like the albums that precede it, was recorded live on a single instrument: the EMS Synthi AKS, the “suitcase” synth beloved by Brian Eno and Pink Floyd, whose otherworldly pulses Cortini wrangles into something surprisingly homey for a record inspired by a recently discovered cache of old Super 8 home movies. Lead single “Vincere” evokes melancholy nostalgia through its wistful watercolor swirls, layered with sweet choral harmonies. [Sean O’Neal]

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Cults, Offering

Brother-sister duo Madeline and Richie James Follin, a.k.a. Cults, have been relatively quiet since the release of their 2013 album, Static, releasing just one single in the four years since. Based on the self-titled single off their new album Offering, though, the break has been good for them, with the song adding a slick, sun-kissed sheen to their deceptively simplistic pop songwriting. [Katie Rife]

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The Darkness, Pinewood Smile

Any momentum The Darkness is still riding from 2003’s “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” has pretty much sputtered out, and early singles from the band’s fifth album show the Brits still aiming for the Pyromania-era Def Leppard energy it swiped years ago, even though it’s clearly waning. At least the “Solid Gold” video earns some points for singer Justin Hawkins’ metallic-jumpsuit bombast, even though it hosts the worst chorus line in memory—“And we’re never gonna stop / Shitting out gold”—all while Hawkins waxes rhapsodic about the “sacred promise of fellatio.” That falsetto only goes so far, man. [Gwen Ihnat]

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Deradoorian, Eternal Recurrence

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After the swirling rhythms of her debut album, The Expanding Flower Planet, former Dirty Projector Angel Deradoorian has gone the opposite direction on its follow-up, forgoing percussion of any kind. Less a collection of songs than a kind of meditative sound collage—“thoughts in sound,” as she describes them—Eternal Recurrence combines her interests in ancient music and Eastern melodies with synth-based, trance-like murmurs. Single “Mountainside” stands out for having a recognizable structure, though that makes it an album outlier. [Alex McLevy]

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Ducktails, Jersey Devil

Matt Mondanile’s solo-project turned full band has always been a sleepy affair, but it feels like the former Real Estate guitarist has finally taken the plunge from “dreamy” into positively somnambulistic with his latest release. The follow-up to 2015’s St. Catherine, Jersey Devil put its most hypnotic, synth-heavy foot forward last month with the release of “Map To The Stars.” The 10-song album occasionally picks up the pace, but only relatively, never getting its heart beating faster than a pleasant, whispery stroll. [William Hughes]

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Liam Gallagher, As You Were

Noel Gallagher may boast that he was the brains of Oasis, but Liam Gallagher’s new solo release puts that brotherly rivalry to the test (yet again). “Wall Of Glass” boasts some jagged guitars and an angry harmonica solo, adding some welcome alt-country sensibility to the Britpopper, while the pared-down “Chinatown” lets Gallagher’s vocals masterfully ponder our current political landscape. And “For What It’s Worth” is so hooky and affecting—reminiscent, yet not reductive of Gallagher’s former outfit—it almost makes an actual Oasis reunion redundant. [Gwen Ihnat]

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Andrew Hung, Realisationship

Realisationship is the first standalone LP from Fuck Buttons’ Andrew Hung. While his bandmate, Benjamin John Power, has taken up Buttons’ penchant for producing beautiful, menacing noise as Blanck Mass, Hung’s solo efforts, whether the Greasy Strangler soundtrack or his chiptune-inspired Rave Cave EPs, have managed to be both weirder and more welcoming. On Realisationship, he makes another leap and puts his versatile singing voice at the center of his pulsating music. [Matt Gerardi]

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New Politics, Lost In Translation

Danish alternapop band New Politics insidiously inserted itself into the nation’s unsuspecting ears with “Harlem,” the ubiquitous hit from 2013’s A Bad Girl In Harlem that soundtracked everything from the Frozen trailer to a Taco Bell commercial. The new “CIA,” from the band’s upcoming fourth album, has an even more maddeningly catchy chorus, promising placement in any number of trailers and commercials over the next year. Will Shazam’s servers be able to handle the traffic? [Kyle Ryan]

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Kele Okereke, Fatherland

Kele Okereke is best known as the frontman of Bloc Party, a band that has sort of mutated itself out of the public eye over the past few years through some not-great records and lineup changes. Okereke’s solo albums to date have been relatively weightless electronic affairs with occasional flashes of his Bloc Party brilliance. With Fatherland—the first solo album to which he’s also attached his last name—Okereke goes singer-songwriter, a massive but not unwelcome change. The first single, “Streets Been Talkin’” has a Nick Drake vibe. [Josh Modell]

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Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, The Kid

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Following a momentous 2016—which saw the release of the breakout EARS and the Suzanne Ciani collaboration Sunergy—Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith offers up the ambitious concept album The Kid, which traces the life cycle from birth to death in four distinct stages. It’s a fitting subject for the Northern Californian composer and synthesist, whose albums have always incorporated the rhythms of the natural world; on The Kid, she continues to blur the line between the natural and artificial. Take the vibrant, percolating lead single “To Follow And Lead” as evidence that this will be one of the year’s strongest albums, experimental or otherwise. [Kelsey J. Waite]

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Weaves, Wide Open

The Toronto-based four-piece Weaves feels poised for a breakthrough with its upcoming sophomore album, Wide Open. Singer Jasmyn Burke says it’s full of songs that look at how everyone in her age group is “having a tough time with life in one way or another” and blow those feelings up into “something like an anthem.” That’s certainly true of the band’s latest peek at what Wide Open has in store, the furious, freaky rocker “Scream.” [Matt Gerardi]

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Wolf Parade, Cry Cry Cry

After a half-decade hiatus, much-beloved indie rock group Wolf Parade reformed last year behind a number of shows and a new record, its first since 2010. While Cry Cry Cry’s songs show an evolution in structure and sound, those old churning verses and anthemic choruses feel like the band just stepped back into its practice space after a week’s vacation. If first single “Valley Boy” is any indication, devoted fans—or new listeners, brought in by Dan Boeckner’s excellent interim groups Divine Fits and Operators, or by Spencer Krug’s Moonface—will be very happy with the results. [Alex McLevy]

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October 13

Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile, Lotta Sea Lice

It must have been impossible to resist—a duo so easily called Kurt and Courtney. But fans of the two laid-back indie rockers will find no grunge throwbacks on Lotta Sea Lice, which will hopefully bring out the best in both: his stoner jams and her fantastic talk-sing melodies. If the first single from Lotta Sea Lice, the lengthy groover “Over Everything,” is any indication, the whole thing should be fantastic and thoroughly not in-your-face. [Josh Modell]

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Beck, Colors

A new album from Beck has been delayed enough times to become a running joke in these previews, but by all official accounts—and barring any last-minute tinkering—yes, Colors finally arrives this October. As things tend to go in his creative cycle, he’s currently in between Sad Beck periods, having previously channeled his more introspective muses into the winner of 2014’s Album Of The Year Grammy, Morning Phase. This time, Beck intentionally set out to make something “really happy,” inspired by his belief that we could all use a little uplift right now. The early tracks certainly bear that out: “Dreams,” “Wow,” and “Up All Night” don’t have anything on their mind beyond funky good times and getting totally blissed out. [Sean O’Neal]

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William Patrick Corgan, Ogilala

There may be no modern rock star with more baggage than Billy Corgan, whose reputation—for being egotistical, for being insufferably pretentious—only grows with each interview or his latest eight-hour raga. The Smashing Pumpkins frontman looks to strip all that away on his second solo effort, Ogilala, abandoning both his famous name and the goth-electro textures he normally favors, and instead recording a set of sensitive, singer-songwriter ballads with producer Rick Rubin, abetted solely by acoustic guitar, piano, and a string quartet. Lead single “Aeronaut” finds Mr. William Patrick Serious Grown Man Corgan laying hard on both the piano and his vibrato, creating a mournful lullaby that’s both unlike anything he’s done before, yet—with that voice and lyrics like “Can a boy float through time and space?”—still unmistakably Billy. [Sean O’Neal]

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Dead Leaf Echo, Beyond.Desire

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For its sophomore record, Brooklyn collective Dead Leaf Echo builds upon the 4AD-indebted shoegaze it debuted with 2013’s Thought & Language, this time enlisting the expertise of My Bloody Valentine engineer Guy Fixsen and Jorge Elbrecht (Ariel Pink) to capture something closer to the four-piece’s live sound. “Temple” is a prime example of its self-described “nouveau wave” aesthetic, with layers upon layers of warped guitars enveloping yearning vocals—a sort of heartsick, acrophobic wooziness you don’t want to recover from. [Kelsey J. Waite]

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The Front Bottoms, Going Grey

Full of clever, hook-laden indie rock, The Front Bottoms’ 2015 album, Back On Top, was one of the year’s best, and the New Jersey duo’s upcoming sixth album, Going Grey, builds on that momentum. Standout track “Bae” is typical, marrying insightful lyrics (“When you realize / The crew you roll with / Is actually / What makes you nervous”) with a massively catchy, “Buddy Holly”-esque chorus. Singer-guitarist Brian Sella is also once again on point with his song-title game: “You Used To Say (Holy Fuck),” “Don’t Fill Up On Chips.” [Kyle Ryan]

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Iron Chic, You Can’t Stay Here

Iron Chic renews its status as one of the best punk bands out there with its third full-length, which nails the center of a Venn diagram where catchy, cathartic, and clever overlap. The Long Island quintet has been at it for nearly a decade, and its melodic punk is now fully honed and nicely nuanced, never settling for de rigueur chord progressions and pat construction. [Kyle Ryan]

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King Krule, The Ooz

After a four-year hiatus from solo work, 23-year-old wunderkind Archy “King Krule” Marshall returns with his second full-length album, The Ooz. His music is as tense and grimy as ever, an eclectic mix of despondent rock, woozy trip-hop, and adventures in jazzy instrumentation, all bound together by Marshall’s distinctively deep voice and depictions of the dark, dripping innards of South London. [Matt Gerardi]

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Pink, Beautiful Trauma

A lot has happened in the world since Pink’s last album, 2012’s The Truth About Love, and as she said at the recent MTV VMAs, motioning to her husband, Carey Hart, “I think everyone’s sick of hearing me write about our love.” Instead, Pink uses the trauma of the 2016 election to express herself more politically than ever on Beautiful Trauma, with first single “What About Us?” capturing a collective national anguish—“We are billions of beautiful hearts / And you sold us down the river too far”—to create an effective rallying cry. [Gwen Ihnat]

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Robert Plant, Carry Fire

If “Going To California” is your favorite Led Zeppelin song, you should be all over Robert Plant’s latest solo effort, Carry Fire. Early track “The May Queen” proves that all Plant’s voice still needs is a little acoustic guitar, while the more spirited “Bones Of Saints” protests the war machine with a multi-layered chorus wail of “no”s. Plant’s powerful screams are now few and far between, and his legendary voice is scratchier than ever, but that actually lends itself well to these decidedly lo-fi cuts. [Gwen Ihnat]

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St. Vincent, Masseduction

Masseduction (read: “mass seduction,” not “mass education”) is being heralded by an amount of po-mo cheek that’s become standard for new works released under Annie Clark’s St. Vincent moniker, all retina-searing hues, pop-art tableau, faux interviews, and literal cheeks. Beneath the glossy surfaces, Clark promises a record that’s “all about sex and drugs and sadness,” one that matches the singer-songwriter’s typically wide emotional range and fearsome guitar playing with the nouveau-stadium-rock sensibilities of producer Jack Antonoff. The transcontinental trek of “New York” and “Los Ageless” turns up some of the biggest choruses in the St. Vincent catalog, the piano balladry of the former and the industrial thump of the latter making good on Clark’s promised Masseducation themes. [Erik Adams]

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Stars, There Is No Love in Fluorescent Light

It’s been a busy year for the many individual acts who make up Broken Social Scene, marked by strong releases from Feist, Emily Haines, and the flagship collective itself. After contributing to the resurgent rumble of BSS’ Hug Of Thunder, the romantic radicals of Stars return with their ninth studio album, There Is No Love In Fluorescent Light. It’s the group’s first LP to be recorded with an outside producer—Peter Katis, known for his work with The National, Jónsi, and Japandroids—but There Is No Love In Fluorescent Light retains the push-pull that’s defined Stars’ music for nearly two decades: Between the personal and the political, between contemporary concerns and synthpop throwbacks, between the voices of Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan. [Erik Adams]

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TUSKS, Dissolve

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U.K. songwriter Emily Underhill makes her full-length debut as TUSKS with the promising Dissolve, an alt-pop album of emotive, wintry expanse that calls to mind the likes of Daughter and Sigur Rós. These songs feel intimate and meticulously crafted, and Underhill excels at turning from pin-drop moments to explosive ones. The way standout “Last” shifts suddenly from the drowsily strummed verse to the massive, kaleidoscopic chorus is enough to make you keep hitting repeat. [Kelsey J. Waite]

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Wu-Tang, The Saga Continues

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It’s important to note that this isn’t exactly a proper Wu-Tang record, but rather an “affiliated” one, “presented by” the RZA and “crafted by” Mathematics. What that likely means is a bunch of Mathematics beats compiled over a long span of time with verses by various members of the Wu-Tang Clan—as well as their friends—none of whom may have ever been in the same room. But hey, Math has produced some great shit, including some of the better tracks off post-millennial Wu-Tang projects, so this might work out after all. [Clayton Purdom]

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October 20

Bell Witch, Mirror Reaper

The thunderous, deliberate Bell Witch already makes music that sounds like the sonic distillation of grief. One can only imagine how crushingly blue things are going to get on Mirror Reaper, the first album the acclaimed Seattle group has released since the death of founding member, drummer, and vocalist Adrian Guerra. 2015’s Four Phantoms, which Guerra helped record before leaving the band, was as slow and heavy as shifting tectonic plates, riding a glacial groove over four epic bummers. Something tells us that the new record—a single 83-minute track, laid down by surviving founder Dylan Desmond, plus two new members—will really put the funeral in funeral doom. [A.A. Dowd]

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Bully, Losing

Nashville’s Bully sounds like a band out of its time, its gritty punk—anchored by singer-guitarist Alicia Bognanno’s raspy howl—recalling stalwarts of ’90s alternative such as Mudhoney and Nirvana. Since Bully’s solid 2015 debut, Feels Like, Bognanno has faced that reckoning of true adulthood everyone faces in their 20s, reflected in the album’s title and themes. That some of the songs could’ve soundtracked a movie scene where an ambitious Gen Xer’s plans for a high-speed rail system in Seattle are shot down is incidental. [Kyle Ryan]

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John Carpenter, Anthology

Hot off a series of sold-out shows, America’s finest director/composer is finally collecting many of his most beloved movie themes in a single place. Newly re-recorded with the team that helped Carpenter produce his recent Lost Themes albums, Anthology includes 13 tracks from throughout the director’s storied career. Songs range from synth masterpieces like “Escape From New York” and “Assault On Precinct 13,” to more conventional tracks like the metal-heavy “In The Mouth Of Madness” or the honky-tonk overtones of Big Trouble In Little China’s “Porkchop Express.” [William Hughes]

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Circuit Des Yeux, Reaching For Indigo

Haley Fohr, alias Circuit Des Yeux, returns with Reaching For Indigo, her first release under Drag City. Coming after a phenomenal run of releases—including 2015’s mesmerizing In Plain Speech and last year’s Jackie Lynn persona/storytelling vehicle—the Chicago-based singer-songwriter sounds as compellingly meditative as ever in the single “Paper Bag,” which adds a trippy layer to her already distinct sound. [Caitlin PenzeyMoog]

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Colleen, A Flame My Love, A Frequency

On her seventh album, French artist Colleen, a.k.a. Cécile Schott, trades in her viola da gamba for a newfound affinity for synthesizers. The eight-song A Flame My Love, A Frequency was written in the aftermath of the 2015 Paris attacks—an event Schott came chillingly close to herself—and the album’s eerie, offbeat compositions reflect the out-of-body introspection of this time. “Separating” suggests that Schott’s delay-laden process on 2015's Captain Of None carries over effortlessly to her new tools, but this time the Arthur Russell influence meets that of Delia Derbyshire. [Kelsey J. Waite]

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Destroyer, Ken

After a startling but ultimately enjoyable shift toward lite-FM cheesiness on 2011’s Kaputt and a return to the band’s lush, rambling rock on its follow-up, Poison Season, Destroyer’s upcoming 12th album pulls from both poles and adds a surprising, pervasive third element: cold, pulsing electronics. Early single “Tinseltown Swimming In Blood” is a winning combination of New Order rhythms and Kaputt’s gentle, echoing horns, while “Sky’s Grey” kicks off the record with a jittering Casio preset beat. [Matt Gerardi]

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William Eggleston, Musik

Proving it’s never too late to follow your own musical dreams, famed photographer William Eggleston will release his debut album at the age of 78. The Warhol cohort known for his groundbreaking, deceptively ordinary, yet deeply revealing color photos is also a dedicated pianist and fervent admirer of Bach who eschews most modern things, yet he found something to like about the 1980s Korg synthesizer on which he wrote and recorded the entirety of Muzik. The result is a collection of mini-symphonies that, like his pictures, feel elegantly composed yet contain hidden surprises. [Sean O’Neal]

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Grooms, Exit Index

It’s safe to assume no other album released this October (or year) will also have its own accompanying guitar-effects pedal, but that’s what happens when a band member co-owns pedal company Death By Audio. The “fucked-up-sounding” tremolo pedal, as described by Grooms singer-guitarist Travis Johnson, reflects the pervasive tremolo effect on Exit Index, the band’s first since 2015’s Comb The Feelings Through Your Hair and first with the same lineup for two consecutive records. Early songs “Magistrate Seeks Romance” and “Turn Your Body” show the band’s spectrum: The crunchy, distortion-laden “Magistrate Seeks Romance” recalls Ride’s heyday, and “Turn Your Body” floats with airy synths and Johnson’s breathy vocals. Pick up the limited-edition pedal and play along. [Kyle Ryan]

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GWAR, The Blood Of Gods

As long as anger remains in this world, GWAR will be there, projectile-squirting blood from their prosthetic cocks. On its forthcoming 14th studio album, The Blood Of Gods, GWAR continues to thrash out the soundtrack for a violent, hopeless planet, led by single “Fuck This Place” and a righteous cover of AC/DC’s “If You Want Blood (You Got It).” [Kevin Pang]

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Aris Kindt, Swann And Odette

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Downtempo duo Aris Kindt—a collaboration between producer/performers Gabe Hedrick and Francis Harris—returns with the follow-up to 2015’s Floods, one of the more elegantly composed ambient albums of recent years. Swann And Odette doesn’t stray too far from Aris Kindt’s entrancing formula of deep house textures; dub techno pulses; and layers of washed-out, subliminally felt synths and guitars, delivered with a persistent portent flickering around its gray-blurred edges. [Sean O’Neal]

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Lindstrøm, It’s Alright Between Us As It Is

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Lindstrøm’s still best known for his 2008 debut, Where You Go I Go Too, a three-track odyssey of crisp, breezy electro. Since then, he’s alternated between exploring much wider, denser instrumentation, as on 2012’s Six Cups Of Rebel, and more comfortable returns to the sparkling style of his debut. It’s Alright Between Us As It Is marks his first proper record in five years, and it’s preceded by an echo-laden space-disco cut carried by Grace Hall’s emotive vocal. [Clayton Purdom]

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Makthaverskan, III

The Swedish post-punk band Makthaverskan started to gain some more international attention with the 2014 release of its second self-titled album and standout single “No Mercy.” That track’s power came largely from singer Maja Milner’s gut-wrenching introspection, something that bled deeply into the rest of the record as well, but the band’s upcoming third album promises to look outward, “chasing hope and understanding in a time when it can seem impossible to find either.” [Matt Gerardi]

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Margo Price, All American Made

Margo Price’s second full-length, All American Made, strengthens her foothold as an emerging Nashville star. Gutsy autobiographical songs are paired with traditional country twang and western swing, and the two released singles are both boot-tapping tunes grounded by Price’s clear voice. Her songwriting and straightforward production calls back to when country wasn’t hyphenated with -pop, though it’s not strictly throwback country, either. This album is also her second on Jack White’s Third Man Records, and with that behind her, and with her funny, raw lyrics leading the way, this could be a breakthrough. [Laura M. Browning]

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Tegan And Sara, The Con X: Covers

It’s an intriguing concept: Turn what’s arguably your most artistically ambitious and experimental record over to a bunch of other acts and see what they do with it. Tegan And Sara’s 10th-anniversary edition of classic The Con finds every song covered by a different artist, a guest list that includes Ryan Adams, Bleachers, Paramore’s Hayley Williams, and more. The initial results are promising, with Chvrches’ take on “Call It Off” turning the original acoustic lament into an ambient, haunting dirge. [Alex McLevy]

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October 27

Julien Baker, Turn Out The Lights

Singer-songwriter Julien Baker stunned with her 2015 debut, Sprained Ankle, which the 18-year-old recorded over the space of a few days with help from a friend. Sparse and haunting, it was one of the year’s best, setting the stage for the upcoming Turn Out The Lights. Recorded in her hometown of Memphis at the legendary Ardent Studios, Turn Out The Lights is also spare and haunting, but Baker—again self-producing—expands her palette by building a few songs with piano and adding light strings and other instruments here and there. It’s gorgeous, heavy, and once again, excellent. [Kyle Ryan]

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Bootsy Collins, World Wide Funk

Intergalactic funkateer Bootsy Collins returns with World Wide Funk, the former James Brown and Parliament-Funkadelic bass player’s first solo effort since 2011’s Tha Funk Capital Of The World. Collins tells Billboard that he wants the album to “[make] you feel good and sexy, like them old house parties, sharing a Coke and a smile while doing a bump ’n’ grind.” That seductive vibe is certainly evident on lead single “Worth My While,” featuring Kali Uchis trading vocals with Bootsy over deep funk bass and cosmic guitar. [Katie Rife]

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John Maus, Screen Memories

Is John Maus serious? That’s a question that tends to turn up a lot in reviews of his live shows, especially, where the Ariel Pink collaborator’s wild performances run counter to the laptop sterility of his new-wave Muzak. Maus is a smart, bookish guy capable of making music of uncommon gloomy beauty—check “Hey Moon” or “Believer” from his 2011 breakout, We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves—yet he also writes some incredibly dumb lyrics over stuff that sounds like a Casio preset for “Joy Division.” The new Screen Memories promises to reignite that debate—and maybe settle it—with songs like “Touchdown” (where Maus literally describes what happens in football) bumping up against hypnotic lead single “The Combine,” a Leonard Cohen-esque apocalypse ballad atop an ’80s horror theme. [Sean O’Neal]

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Smut, End Of Sam-Soon

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The Cincinnati band Smut fuses the best parts of hard-charging shoegaze with a muscular early ’90s indie-rock roughness, creating songs that are noisy yet hummable. Singer Tay Roebuck’s voice is both soaring and sassily off-kilter over the distorted guitars and swirling synths, as though Sonic Youth were covering Veruca Salt while Swervedriver tried to steal their instruments. It’s dark and roiling, catchy and cool, and immensely appealing. [Alex McLevy]

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Weezer, Pacific Daydream

Rivers Cuomo’s fascination with the West Coast has been around since the Blue Album’s “Surf Wax America,” and Pacific Daydream doesn’t show any interest in broadening those horizons. Songs like “Mexican Fender” and “Feels Like Summer” are as attractive yet shallow as a Malibu model who spends all their days working on their tan, and even the “Beach Boys” ode just reminds you how much better Cuomo’s inspiration got when they quit writing about the beach. [Gwen Ihnat]

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