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What’s Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

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fall40albumsfall2013feat Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

This year has already seen new releases from (ahem) David Bowie, Daft Punk, My Bloody Valentine, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, Jay Z, Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Boards of Canada, Atoms For Peace, Depeche Mode, Vampire Weekend, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The National, Black Sabbath, Sigur Rós, Tyler, the Creator, ASAP Rocky, The Flaming Lips, How to Destroy Angels, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and Local Natives. What could possibly be left, you ask? A lot, actually. Forty, to be exact. So, don’t go making those year-end lists just yet, because the best is yet to come. Maybe.

Ladies and gentlemen: The 40 Most Anticipated Albums for the Rest of 2013…

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Arctic Monkeys AM artwork Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Arctic Monkeys – AM

September 10th via Domino

Arctic Monkeys draw inspiration from G-funk legends Warren G and Mac Dreis on their latest 12-track effort. Produced by James Ford and co-produced by Ross Orton, the album was recorded at Sage & Sound Recording in Los Angeles and Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree. Guest contributors include Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme, Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello), and Bill Ryder-Jones (The Coral). What’s more, the words of poet John Cooper Clarke are featured on the track “I Wanna Be Yours”. -Michael Roffman

Stream: iTunes

Buy: Amazon
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janelle monae electric lady Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Janelle Monáe – The Electric Lady

September 10th via Bad Boy/Wondaland/Atlantic

Grab your tuxedos. Our favorite funk/R&B diva, Janelle Monáe returns with The Electric Lady, a 19-track continuation of her futuristic dystopian saga of androids and those who would oppress them. Social commentary aside, we’ve also been anticipating danceable, grooveable tunes and collaborations with artists like Erykah Badu, Miguel, Prince, and Esperanza Spalding. Judging by Monáe’s first two singles — “Dance Apocalyptic” and “Q.U.E.E.N.” — her usual genre-bending fusion of everything from pop and hip-hop to funk is in top form. –Erin Carson

Stream: VH1

Buy: Amazon
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London Grammar If You Wait Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

London Grammar – If You Wait

September 10th via Columbia

Combining ambient instrumentation a la The xx and soaring, cavernous vocals akin to Florence Welch, UK newcomers London Grammar have easily turned countless music heads in just the last few months. And, thanks to a string of successful singles like “Hey Now” and “Strong”, their Metal & Dust EP, and even a collaboration with buzzy electronic duo Disclosure, anticipation around the band’s debut full-length is at an all-time high. Eighteen months in the making, the new record is a critical next step for the trio. Listen now: “Wasting My Young Years” –Michelle Geslani

Stream: Official Site

Buy: Amazon
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the weeknd kiss land Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

The Weeknd – Kiss Land

September 10th via Republic

It just this second (read: a couple days ago) dropped as a stream, so you’ve likely already heard the latest from Drake’s on-again off-again musical collaborator, the appropriately titled Kiss Land. But if you a.) haven’t or b.) need the sweet, sweet smell of liner notes and compact discs in your life, then that’s going to drop next week. It’s everything you’ve come to expect from Abel Tesfaye: sensuous, dark, grimy, maybe even a little offensive, but the Toronto musician’s anti-ballads are still sure to inspire hookups, both wanted and regretted. -Chris Bosman

Stream: NPR

Buy: Amazon
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mgmtart Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

MGMT – MGMT

September 17th via Columbia

“We’re not trying to make music that everyone understands the first time they hear it,” warns Ben Goldwasser in a Rolling Stone interview. “I don’t even know if it’s music we would want to listen to,” Andrew VanWyngarden recently explained to the same publication. So, it’s anyone’s guess how MGMT’s self-titled third studio album will fare. Though their recent performance of “Your Life is a Lie” on Letterman left us nauseous, album opener and this year’s past RSD exclusive “Alien Days” ushered an alluring electro-psychedelic atmosphere that’s still under our skin. Maybe the album’s accompanying portfolio of CGI images and videos they’ve dubbed, “the Optimizer,” will offer some clarity. Maybe. –Henry Hauser

Listen: “Your Life is a Lie”

Buy: Amazon
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rootscostellocover Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Elvis Costello and The Roots – Wise Up Ghost

September 17th via Blue Note Records

By now, it’s hard to be surprised by much of anything Elvis Costello does. Over the course of more than 35 years and countless records, he’s built an iconic reputation for being something of a pop music rennaisance man, someone as at home with playing new wave and straight up rock and roll as he is delving into the arenas of soul, country, jazz and bluegrass. That said, maybe it was only a matter of time that he turned his attention toward hip hop, assuming that’s what will materialize when Costello partners up with The Roots. But more likely, the collaboration on Wise Up Ghost will be as much of a venture down a new musical path for The Roots as it will be for Costello. What’s exactly in store is anyone’s guess, but it’s almost certain to be worth a listen. –Ryan Bray

Listen: “Walk Us Uptown”

Buy: Amazon
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 Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe

September 24th via Glassnote

It’s hard to believe this Glasgow-based synth pop outfit CHVRCHES has yet to gift its fans with a full-length album. After coming in as the fifth most promising act on BBC’s Sound of 2013 list, debuting on American national television with a rendition of “The Mother We Share” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and making the globe-spanning tour and fest rounds, they’re more than due for a proper album. The information at hand: the record will have 12 tracks, it’s titled The Bones of What You Believe, and it hits shelves (screens, whatever) on September 24th. Frontlady Lauren Mayberry joked with us back in April of their studio time: “For all you know we are sitting around in chinchilla coats like in American Gangster and using butlers as human chairs.” So, time will tell what CHVRCHES has been up to, but start shining those dancing shoes on for what will undoubtedly be one of the year’s best electro pop records. -Amanda Koellner

Listen: “The Mother We Share”

Buy: Amazon
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mazzystar seasons Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Mazzy Star – Seasons of Your Day

September 24th via Rhymes of an Hour

California dream pop veterans Mazzy Star return with their first studio album in 17 years — and yes, that slide guitar’s tagged along, too. Seasons of Your Day, the long-awaited follow up to 1996’s Among My Swan, was co-written and co-produced by founding members David Roback and Hope Sandoval. They’ve summed it up as ”music for lovers, music for broken hearts,” which couldn’t be more apt. Lush ballads like “In the Kingdom” or “Sparrow” sound stripped from the porches of a desert town, while a meditative track like “Common Burn” requires nothing more than a lonely moon and a wool blanket. It helps that My Bloody Valentine’s Colm Ó Cíosóig and the late U.K. folk legend Bert Jansch guest, too. Win-win. –Michael Roffman

Listen: “California”

Buy: Amazon
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drake nothing was the same Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Drake – Nothing Was the Same

September 24th via OVO/Young Money Cash Money/Republic

Drake’s 2013 has been packed with more Drake things than you could Drake a Drake at. First there was that hilarious Eastbay catalog tracksuit, then he dropped that The Carter by way of emo self-seriousness album cover. Now, it’s been announced that Drizzy is collaborating with James Blake, which is so obvious you’d be forgiven for thinking that Blake guested somewhere on Take Care. Somewhere in all of this, Drake figured he had the clout to respond to Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse not with bars but during a Billboard interview. The only more Drake thing that could happen is for his new record, Nothing Was the Same to be another enduring radio record. –Chris Bosman

Listen: “Hold On, We’re Going Home”

Buy: Amazon
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kings of leon mechanical bull Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Kings of Leon – Mechanical Bull

September 24th via RCA

The Followill brothers and their Nashville band are at an interesting crossroads in their career. Kings of Leon are major festival headliners, but that’s come on the back of two successful mainstream LPs that have polarized fans. Jared Followill’s comments on the new album’s sound, however, should be intriguing to long-term listeners. Comparing Mechanical Bull to 2003’s Youth and Young Manhood and 2007’s Because of the Times, the bassist said, “I thought we were going to make a really mature album but I’m amazed how youthful it sounds.” If the rocker “Supersoaker” and the mid-temp “Wait for Me” are indications, he might be on to something. –Ben Kaye

Listen: “Supersoaker”

Buy: Amazon
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old Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Danny Brown – Old

September 30th via Fool’s Gold

After a series of setbacks and delays, much to the frustration of the Detroit emcee, Danny Brown’s finally ready to drop his third studio album and follow up to 2011’s critically-adored XXX. Due out September 30th, Old features guest contributions from ASAP Rocky, Purity Ring, ScHoolboy Q, Rustie, A-Trak, Charli XCX, Freddie Gibbs, and many more. Fans needn’t worry about his scandalous funk, however, as recent questionable album cuts “Kush Coma”, “Dope Song”, “#ExpressYourself”, “Hand Stand”, and “Dip” prove he’s still smart ‘n’ sleazy. His latest anthem, “ODB”, bites with the sort of acid rap that burned our ears from the get-go. -Michael Roffman

Listen: “ODB”

Buy: Amazon
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HAIM Days Are Gone Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

HAIM – Days Are Gone

September 30th via Columbia

California’s Haim sisters have been a buzz band for over a year now, so there’s no doubt this debut is hotly anticipated. The long wait for the record comes, as the 21-year-old Alana tells Rolling Stone, due to their perfectionist natures. “It took a lot of strength for us to say we wanted to wait. People dangle a lot of stuff in front of you…” Nearly every single they’ve released, like “Falling”, “Forever”, and the recently released “Wire”, finds a spot amongst the album’s 11 tracks. After supporting everyone from The XX to Phoenix and holding down spots at pretty much every major festival worldwide, it’ll be interesting to see what else they can perfect, and how much higher their star can climb. –Ben Kaye

Listen: “The Wire”

Buy: Amazon
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20 20 experience 2 timberlake Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience Pt. 2

September 30th via RCA

Justin Timberlake has reigned over pop since the release of The 20/20 Experience in April, capitalizing with over 968,000 copies sold in its first week, two number-one singles, and, most recently, being crowned as the “President of Pop” with the VMA’s Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award. …. And it all started with only 20 days in the studio. While taking advantage of these flavorous sprints of musical inspiration, JT & the Tennessee Kids will unveil the second half of their pop gold rush on September 30th, spawning guest appearances from Jay Z and Drake, singles worthy to spark some thunder under your dancing shoes, like “Take Back the Night” and, hopefully, the same impressive, long-winded pop journeys. Might he be the next King of Pop? –Sam Willett

Listen: “Take Back the Night”

Buy: Amazon
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 Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Lorde – Pure Heroine

September 30th via Universal Republic

Ella Yelich-O’Connor, a.k.a. Lorde, is a 16-year-old pop singer from New Zealand who has steadily (and swiftly) grown from underground artist to mainstream radio’s next big thing. Off-kilter, progressive pop sounds, alluring vocals, and heart-on-the-sleeve lyrics populate her two 2013 EPs, The Love Club and The Tennis Court, a formula that’s gained her an immense fanbase and even nods of approval from Grimes and The Weeknd. Now, she’s prepped to release her debut full-length, Pure Heroine. If the rise of her hit single “Royals” is any indication, the record’s likely to propel her fledgling career to the next level. Listen now: “Royals” –Michelle Geslani

Listen: “Royals”

Buy: Amazon
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fuzzselfcover Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

FUZZ – FUZZ

October 1st via In The Red

Ty Segall is coming off an incredibly productive 2012, with no fewer than three albums bearing his name. 2013 has so far seen mostly reissues of old efforts, plus his solo LP Sleeper, but the debut LP from his collaboration with Ty Segall Band’s guitarist Charles Moonheart, FUZZ, will remind people just how prolific this Bay Area rocker can be. A few one-off singles have been released, with our first true tastes of the self-titled album coming with the tracks “Sleigh Ride” and “Loose Sutres”. What’s it sound like? News Editor Chris Coplan described the latter cut as “if Black Sabbath wrote a psych-punk song after spending a week in the desert consuming acid like Skittles.” Well, there ya go. –Ben Kaye

Listen: “Loose Sutres”

Buy: Amazon
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innocents Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Moby – Innocents

October 1st via Little Idiot/Mute

He might have reined in his live presence recently, only scheduling a few shows close to home, but techno wizard turned vibe technician Richard Melville Hall remains one of the busiest kids in L.A. Moby’s forthcoming album, Innocents, comes wrapped up in photographs and videos the producer took himself, like many of his previous releases. Produced by Mark “Spike” Stent, the album swaps out soul samples for a full roster of guest artists like Wayne Coyne, Damien Jurado, Mark Lanegan, Skyler Grey, and Cold Specks. The just-released video for single “The Perfect Life” showcases Moby and Coyne parading around in mariachi outfits with a troupe of skateboarding ghosts and yeah the song is as joyful as all that sounds. But previous singles “The Lonely Night” and “A Case For Shame” indicate that Innocents will touch on the melancholy stuff that Moby does best as well. –Sasha Geffen

Listen: “A Case For Shame”

Buy: Amazon
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Oneohtrix Point Never 2013 Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Oneohtrix Point Never – R Plus Seven

October 1st via Warp

If new single “Problem Areas” is anything to go by, the next full-length from Oneohtrix Point Never is about to clear out a lot of drone to make room for something like melody. The song careens through clear, flat tones that cut a new face on Daniel Lopatin’s airless nostalgias. His first solo effort since 2011’s watershed Replica and his Warp debut, R Plus Seven will steer the closest OPN has ever gotten to traditional song structure. The album arrives nearly a year after Lopatin’s collaboration with Tim Hecker, Instrumental Tourist. Like earlier Oneohtrix Point Never, R Plus Seven doesn’t seem to betray too much of what it draws from or how it was made. It can only tell where it’s taking you. –Sasha Geffen

Listen: “Problem Areas”

Buy: Amazon
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yuck artwork Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Yuck – Glow & Behold

October 1st via Fat Possum

Following the departure from frontman Daniel Blumberg, Yuck rose above such a loss with contagious optimism, and it certainly shows. After unveiling a strong start to their sophomore release, Glow & Behold, with “Rebirth” and “Middle Sea”, the outfit breaks new territory from walls of shoegazey feedback and subtle vocal hums while still revisiting the alternative vibes of their phenomenal debut, stemming from bands like Pavement and Dinosaur Jr.. “Rebirth” recalls lyrics of the newly-appointed frontman Max Bloom, stating that roadblocks like these “[happen] all of the time,” and instead of sulking in a corner, Yuck is determined to impress and disrupt alternative rock barriers once again. –Sam Willett

Listen: “Rebirth”

Buy: Amazon
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Melophobia Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Cage the Elephant – Melophobia

October 8th via RCA

“Musically, what we’re trying to do is to be super thoughtful but blend that with the playfulness,” Cage the Elephant frontman Matt Shultz recently told us. “It became a game to juxtapose and blend those polar opposites. We wanted to see how we can take those odd spectrums and marry them cohesively.” The Bowie, EDM-inspired record is titled Melophobia, comes stocked with 10 tracks, and re-teams the Kentucky rockers with longtime producer Jay Joyce. What’s really at the core of Cage’s latest, though, is heart. As Shultz added: “I wanted it to be like drawing your childhood house from memory.” Hey, that should do something for the nostalgics and the diehards. -Michael Roffman

Listen: “Come a Little Closer”

Buy: Amazon
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Sleigh Bells Bitter Rivals Cover Art Hi Res 1024x1024 Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Sleigh Bells – Bitter Rivals

October 8th via Mom + Pop

Last year was their Reign of Terror and now Sleigh Bells want the blood of their Bitter Rivals. Come October, they’ll get just that with 10 self-produced tracks that were mixed by Andrew Dawson (YeezusWolfWatch the Throne). So, what the hell comes in the wake of Terror‘s destruction? Guitarist Derek Miller says things this time around are “a lot more clean…it might sound surprising.” Singer Alexis Krauss even used words like “melodically” and “traditional” to describe her vocals. One listen of the album’s title track has us thinking otherwise. We’ll see, though. -Michael Roffman

Listen: “Bitter Rivals”

Buy: Amazon
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pusha t my name is my name Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Pusha T – Sound City – My Name is My Name

October 8th via G.O.O.D. Music

With last month’s Christian move Hear Ye Him, No Malice beat his older brother as the first half of Clipse to release a solo album. There is no doubt, however, that Pusha T’s LP will be the bigger draw in all but evangelical circles. Its title a reference to The Wire, My Name Is My Name follows monolithic mixtapes like 2011’s Fear of God and January’s Wrath of Caine and includes the foreboding singles “Pain” and “Numbers on the Board”. Production credits belong to the likes of Kanye, The Neptunes, Young Chop, Hudson Mohwawke, and, no shit, Joaquin Phoenix. -Mike Madden

Listen: “Numbers on the Board”

Buy: Amazon
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magpie and the dandelion the avett brothers cover art Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

The Avett Brothers – Magpie and the Dandelion

October 15th via Republic

The Avett Brothers fans thanked their lucky banjos upon hearing the news that the folk rock band would release a quick follow up to 2012’s The Carpenter on October 15th. Magpie and the Dandelion will feature not only songs written during The Carpenter sessions, but also songs dating seven or eight years back, which could please those who still pine for the Ramseur Records days. The Avetts released the first single, a characteristically energetic tune called “Another is Waiting”, as well as album artwork featuring brightly-colored, well, magpies and dandelions. Once again, Rick Rubin produces. –Erin Carson

Listen: “Another is Waiting”

Buy: Amazon
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ec1714d75192b68d871c2b03393d58d1 Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

The Dismemberment Plan – Uncanney Valley

October 15th via Partisan

The phrase “uncanny valley” describes the unsettling feeling caused by robotics, 3D effects, and the like coming extremely close to mimicking human features, but not quite getting the whole way there. Though they added an e, that could be a sly wink to the fact that Uncanney Valley is the first Dismemberment Plan album in 12 years, they’re pretty damn close to recapturing the D-Plan’s glory days. And, if phone-in track “Waiting”, and early cut “Invisible” are any indication, they’re not far off at all. Rabid fans have been clamoring for new material since the reunited heroes started touring two years ago, and crowd-shot videos have revealed even more endearingly goofy, high-energy, sincere indie rock that we’ve come to expect from The Plan. -Adam Kivel

Listen: “Invisible”
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cassmccombs2013 Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Cass McCombs - Big Wheel and Others

October 15th via Domino

While Cass McCombs’ brother-sister effort Wit’s End and Humor Risk explores opposite spectrums of wallowing in despair and finding grace in personal solitude, respectively, Big Wheel & Others journeys through scenes of the many worlds beyond. Shedding inspiration from such adventure, the double album encompasses a variety of moods, whether it’s an energetic rock song, heart-felt love ballad, or intimate, lone poem song. Lead single “There Can Be Only” serves as a perfect first impression as a road song, shedding light to the optimistic growth developed through the passing and admired beauties of the world around him. Needless to say, Cass McCombs has been through hell and back, and Big Wheel will encompass the many moods surfaced on such a journey. -Sam Willett

Listen: “There Can Be Only”

Buy: Amazon
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paul Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Paul McCartney – New

October 15th via Concord

Over the last year-‘n-change, Sir Paul McCartney’s been in and out of London’s AIR Studios working on his 16th solo LP. And because Macca gets to work with whoever Macca wants, it’s no surprise that the album’s been linked with a slew of marquee producers, including Mark Ronson, Paul Epworth, and Ethan Johns. According to Johns, he and Sir Paul held a “very low-key” session where the pair speedily recorded an analog tape track, which they dubbed “Hosannah”.

Impressed by McCartney’s impeccable vision and seemingly effortless approach, Johns, whose father worked with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who, opted to record straight to tape, and within four hours (!) the duo had cut “a really evocative piece of music.”  Just last week, the ex-Beatle released the album’s titular track — the jangly, upbeat single, “New” . The cut features a bubbly piano, perky horns, and carefree Macca confidently asserting, “We can do as we want/ We can live as we choose.” -Henry Hauser

Listen: “New”

Buy: Amazon
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PJ boltcover Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt

October 15th via Republic

Pearl Jam don’t just up and release records anymore. So when they decided to follow up 2009’s Backspacer, they turned the entire process into an event — from the album title, to the artwork, the tracklist, and the tour. “Mind Your Manners” was our first glimpse into the Seattle collective’s tenth album, and much like the album’s title, it surged into our skulls like an erratic Lightning Bolt. A punk track? Who the hell thought that would happen? While not their angriest track in recent memory — that honor still goes to “World Wide Suicide” — it’s by far their loudest. And judging from the eclectic 12 songs already listed, two of which were debuted at Wrigley Field in July (“Lighting Bolt”, “Future Days”) and another yanked off Vedder’s 2011 effort Ukulele Songs (“Sleeping By Myself”), it looks like we’re in for one more memorable chapter in Pearl Jam’s  acclaimed catalogue. Spooktacular release date, guys. –Michael Roffman

Listen: “Mind Your Manners”

Buy: Amazon

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katyyperryroar Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Katy Perry – Prism

October 22nd via Capitol

Back in April, Katy Perry told Billboard she was halfway through her Teenage Dream follow-up, working with producers Max Martin, Dr. Luke, and Greg Wells. Then came that gold truck over the summer, parading the title Prism and the release date of 10-22-13 across Los Angeles, and all of a sudden everyone’s singing Katy Perry again. Exactly what still remains hidden behind the cherry pink curtains, though if Perry’s to be consulted — and why not? — we’re in for a “stripped down” album void of “any darkness.” Well, that’s obvious after one listen through “Roar” or glancing at a title like “Walking on Air”, but what about that track “Dark Horse”? Something tells us there’s a little evil to be had; after all, she is being wooed by John Mayer these days. –Michael Roffman

Listen: “Roar”

Buy: Amazon

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polica shulamith Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Poli̤a РShulamith

October 22nd via Mom + Pop

Minneapolis electro-R&B outfit Poliça spun sensual, slow jams on their debut album, 2011’s Give You The Ghost. Their new album, Shulamith, retains some of that silken magic, but sounds decidedly more robust and aggressive, tapping a newfound energy and darkness. Take for example the Justin Vernon-aided “Tiff” and its gritty and gruesome accompanying video, or the propulsive new single “Chain My Name”. But whether the music’s smooth or rough, sincere or shadowy, frontwoman Channy Leneagh continues to use her unique vocals to tempt, enchant and surprise. -Michelle Geslani

Listen: “Tiff”
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arcade fire reflektor Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Arcade Fire – TBA

October 29th via Merge

Although Arcade Fire’s album is slated for October 29th, something is going down at 9 p.m. on September 9th. Graffiti with the word “Reflektor” inside of a circle-surrounded diamond sprung up in various cities throughout August (with them, this Instagram account). A giant NYC billboard recently revealed the date, which signaled to us that we’ll soon get a taste, likely in the form of a song, of what James Murphy recently called “Really fucking epic.” Murphy’s other thoughts on the album, part of which he produced? “It sounds like Arcade Fire in the way that only Arcade Fire sound like Arcade Fire, you know?” Considering the Canadian collective is fairly inarguably three for three on albums, we know, James. –Amanda Koellner
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index Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP 2

November 5th via Aftermath/Interscope

In 2000, The Marshall Mathers LP appalled at least as many as it impressed (1.76 million units moved in the first week), leaving the listener to negotiate rampant homophobia and the autobiographical horror story “Kim”. After swiftly dividing audiences for altogether different reasons with 2009’s Relapse and the next year’s Recovery, Em returned this summer with MMLP2 singles “Berzerk” and “Survival”, both relatively innocuous in their subject matter (minus the stabs at Khloe Kardashian and, um, Kevin Federline) and anachronistic in their sonics (trad ‘80s-rap drums drive the former, hair metal guitars the latter). Whether or not the rest of it sounds as deliberately outdated, the Detroit native, who will turn 41 before MMLP2’s release, won’t fail to create conversation with his eighth album. –Mike Madden

Listen: “Berzerk”
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M.I.A. – Matangi

November 5th via Interscope

After testing her most stubborn fans with 2010’s cacophonous MAYA, M.I.A. returned in early 2012 with the powering pop of Matangi’s lead single “Bad Girls”, her biggest hit since 2007’s breakout “Paper Planes”. Of course a great many international political concerns will inform the LP, her fourth, but presumably so will her deepening journey into motherhood (she gave birth to a son in 2009). In addition to “Bad Girls” producer Danja and “Bring the Noize” sculptors Switch and Surkin, the 38-year-old has worked with Hit-Boy (he of “Niggas in Paris” and “Backseat Freestyle”), Swizz Beatz, and Polow Da Don since MAYA dropped. -Mike Madden

Listen: “Bring the Noize”
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ladygagaartpop Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Lady Gaga – ARTPOP

November 11th via Interscope

Lady Gaga was most recently seen attempting the time-honored tradition of the VMA comeback, which may have been more successful if Miley Cyrus hadn’t racially appropriated her way into the headlines of the blogosphere. Still, there’s time for Gaga’s excitement over the record– the title of which she had tattooed onto her arm— to carry over to the public, and Gaga is hoping that tracks like “Applause” and “Swine” will get them there. She’s not the chart destroyer she was even five years ago, but Gaga’s still has a singular spin on radio pop, which makes all of her records an event. With a title as ambitious as ARTPOP (Gaga’s Yeezus?), it’s a lot to live up to, but the more stripped down Gaga has the chops and the history to pull it off. –Chris Bosman

Listen: “Applause”

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screen shot 2013 02 20 at 10.30.38 pm Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

R Kelly – Black Panties

December via RCA

Robert Kelly, who if we’ve learend anything from the continuing adventures of Trapped In a Closet is probably an alien, actually releases albums like clockwork. Last year, he dropped Write Me Back and the Barry White disco jam “Share My Love”. This year, he’s got the 2 Chainz collab “My Story” and the Future collab “Tear It Up”, the latter of which is as hilariously depraved as Kelly’s best work ever is. This comes out in advance of an album that could only be called Black Panties, a sure-fire bet to heat up 2013’s winter; the record is due out in December. –Chris Bosman

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angelhazenewpromo Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Angel Haze – Dirty Gold

TBA via Universal Republic

It’s been over a year since we first let you know that you needed to get up on Angel Haze, but with major label debut Dirty Gold about to drop, its time for those of you not yet familiar with the MC to start paying attention. While she’s dropped her own brutal version of Kanye’s “New Slaves” and non-album cuts like the vicious, rapid-spit “No Bueno”, the tracks taken from the LP suggest an undeniable rush for the top of the game. As Haze says on synth-burner “Echelon (It’s My Way)”, “just alert the freakin’ masses and let them know it’s coming.” -Adam Kivel

Listen: “Echelon (It’s My Way)”
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beyonce 2013 tour1 e1359950279855 Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Beyoncé – TBD

TBD via Columbia

Queen Bey might not truly deserve a spot on this preview, as recent reports reveal that the singer scrapped more than 50 potential songs for her follow up to 2011’s 4, delaying what could have been a November release (though her people deny that a release date was ever set). While she embarks on her Mrs. Carter tour, producer Ne-Yo has said in interviews that she’s still trying to figure out what direction she wants the record to go in. Little else is known, aside from the fact that Bey reportedly spent time in the studio with Sleigh Bells, and then there was that random photo with Death Grips. Time will tell, and until then, there’s one of the few new Beyonce songs to be heard in 2013, “Standing on the Sun”. -Amanda Koellner
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captainmurphy thumbvideo1 Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Captain Murphy – V

TBD

Steven Ellison has said the origins of his formerly anonymous Captain Murphy sojourn came inadvertently, occurring while playing beats for and then kicking freestyles with Earl Sweatshirt in the studio. But the reception of last year’s Duality tape – one of 2012’s best-constructed psych-rap releases, proving Ellison an artful MC as well as shining light on SoCal prospects like Jeremiah Jae and Azizi Gibson – was far too positive for this to a one-off side project. In May, Ellison told The Village Voice the production for the follow-up proper, V, is done but he’d been having trouble finishing its verses (“When it comes to words, it’s very difficult for me to write songs,” he said). If he’s since been half as meticulous with this one as he was with his LPs as Flying Lotus, the patience – his and ours – should be rewarded. –Mike Madden

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cutcopy showcover Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Cut Copy – TBD

TBD via Modular

We’ve come to expect plenty of lights, music, and happy-tempoed yet somber dance numbers from this Australian quartet. Their 2004 debut, Bright Like Neon Love, demonstrated a refined new-wave synth that was further fleshed out on their Top Star-earning follow ups like 2008’s In Ghost Colours and 2011’s Zonoscope. The band has been treating summer audiences to a few sample tracks off the upcoming fall release and even granted 120 lucky fans a limited edition vinyl pressing of new single “Let Me Show You”. –Dan Pfleegor

Listen: “Let Me Show You”
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four tet beautiful rewind Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Four Tet – Beautiful Rewind

TBD via TEXT Records

Between remixes, production, DJ’ing, collaborating, and more Kieran Hebden has been (as always) incredibly busy over the past few years. That said, the upcoming Beautiful Rewind is the first LP of original material under the Four Tet moniker since 2010’s There Is Love In You. The only track yet to be released from the album is the appropriately retro-titled “Kool FM”, a track that works turntable scratches, wobbly bass, and a choppy sampled “hey” into a grimy dance track. Though it’s only one of 11 tracks, it suggests that Hebden might be leaning a little more on EDM than he had in some of the eclectic, even jazzy material in the Four Tet catalog. –Adam Kivel

Listen: “Kool FM”
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schoolboy q Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Schoolboy Q – Oxymoron

TBD via Interscope

If ScHoolboy Q isn’t already on your radar, he will be soon enough. The 26-year-old Compton native is one of four heralded MCs making up the Black Hippy crew alongside Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock. While Lamar has dominated the headlines for the last two years, the attention is now turned toward Q’s major label debut, Oxymoron. It’s set to feature appearances from ASAP Rocky, Danny Brown, and the rest of Black Hippy — including Lamar who appears on the lead single “Collard Greens” — and production from Pharrell Williams, Flying Lotus, and The Alchemist. Q says he couldn’t eat or sleep during the recording sessions, and those extreme efforts seem to have paid off; fellow rapper Mac Miller has already declared the end product better than Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city. -Alex Young

Listen: “Collard Greens” feat. Kendrick Lamar

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wu tang Whats Left? 40 Albums to Anticipate for the Rest of 2013

Wu-Tang Clan – A Better Tomorrow

TBD via SRC/Universal Motown

Wu-Tang promised a new album to coincide with their 20th anniversary this summer. So far we’ve gotten a title (A Better Tomorrow), a song (“Family Reunion”), and even a hologram of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, but the album’s previously-announced July release date passed with no explanation. As evidenced by the group’s appearance at North Coast Festival last week, they’re still together. Might they pull off an end-of-year surprise, or will A Better Tomorrow become the latest in a long line of unfulfilled Wu-Tang releases. Our fingers are crossed.

Listen: “Family Reunion”

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