The New Zealander's debut album comes out September 30.

James Klowe


Pure Heroine
Release date: September 30
This 16-year-old New Zealand indie pop artist made history last week, as the first solo woman artist in to top Billboard’s alternative charts in 17 years. Rooted by her wildly popular bourgeois track “Royals,” and with sold-out shows on her first American tour, the young gun’s fanfare is reminiscent of Lana Del Rey’s rise—without all the drama.


The Weeknd

Kiss Land
Release date: September 10
Sure JT’s The 20/20 Experience part deux comes out this fall but it’s this Canadian crooner who should be drawing everyone’s attention. With a high register on par with Michael Jackson, Abel Tesfaye infuse R&B with chilling synths and brooding lyrics. Look for this one on many best of the year lists.



Days Are Gone
Release date: September 30
Not since TLC has a lady trio been so crazy, sexy, and cool. The sisters Haim are like the Lost Boys after a weekend bender, full of attitude but oh so vulnerable. Songs like “The Wire” mix Fleetwood Mac arrangements with early ‘90s R&B melody. It may sound like a weird mix, but it works.


Yamantaka // Sonic Titan

Release date: October 29
Until airlines start flying people to the moon, this is the record to lead your otherworldly adventures. Blending kabuki with J-pop, gritty NYC trash punk with melodramatic opera, psych rock with philosophy, the Canadian experimentalists are a course in the beauty of humanities. Study them diligently to prepare for the live spectacle.


Deap Vally

Release date: October 8
Welcome to the dollhouse of Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards. Legend has it the L.A.-based garage rock duo met at a crochet class but their combined musical prowess has them ripping it to shreds. Saucy vocals, wailing guitars, and panic room drum solos draw comparisons to Heart and Zeppelin—and White Stripes if you must.


Danny Brown

Release date: September 30
Sorry Eminem but it’s another Detroit emcee whose got the goods this decade. After significant delays, Brown returns with new album Old, which follows 2010’s lauded debut The Hybrid as a return to raw, skin-and-bone rap with original barbs and tantric flow.



Release date: November 5
Let’s all give thanks this November that M.I.A.’s fourth album finally comes out. It’s been ready for a good year but after pressure from her label to change the tone, there were more delays than United on a bad day. Single “Bad Girls” sums it up – don’t mess with the princess of global hip-tronica. She knows what she’s doing and does it well.



Defend Yourself
Release date: September 17
It’s a return to form for the Massachusetts trio, one of the colonists of lo-fi indie rock. Although the band has played live in recent years, it’s been a good fourteen since its last recorded material. Principal songwriter Lou Barlow (also a member of Dinosaur Jr and The Folk Implosion) suggests that Defend Yourself has literal meaning for a band that is adamant on realigning with its un-influenced early material.


Arcade Fire

Release date: October 29
It’s been three years since the eclectic ensemble made a strategic move to The Suburbs and now the Fire has moved to the streets, launching a graffiti campaign for new album Reflektor that had everyone in a daze until this week. Whet your appetite with the band’s scoring contributions to Spike Jonze’s new movie Her and take the day off to get this one when it’s released.


Janelle Monáe

The Electric Lady
Release date: September 10

Prince-recommended (he's featured on the scorching "Givin Em What They Love,")

  Diddy-endorsed (she's signed to his label), with the dance moves of James Brown, the ArchAndroid is ready to take over the world.  Monáe’s latest album, a combination of funk and soul, may finally will put her in the control seat where she belongs.