Now that it’s officially fall, those who love the season have a lot to look forward to: changing leaves, cooler temps, apple picking, and pumpkins galore. But September brought more than just autumnal vibes; it also unleashed a ton of new great new music. Here are seven of the month’s best new singles and albums.
St. Vincent’s Masseduction is set to be a pop sensation
St. Vincent, a.k.a. Annie Clark, has a new album coming out on October 13. The singer announced Masseduction on September 6 with a mock press conference that was art-directed to within an inch of its life. It’s worth a watch for its tongue-in-cheek nods to the standard music industry hoopla that tends to surround new records — and to hear Clark stress that the album’s title is pronounced “mass seduction, not mass education” (or “ass education”).
She produced the record with Jack Antonoff, who sings in the bands Fun and Bleachers and recently produced songs for Taylor Swift and Lorde. He’s known for making pop hits, and while Masseduction’s second single “Los Ageless” retains St. Vincent’s edgy sound by weaving screeching guitars through the track, the single definitely feels poppier than most of her previous efforts, thanks to a super-catchy hook and thrumming backbeat.
Weyes Blood is the latest artist to cover “Everybody’s Talkin’” — and the result is great
Weyes Blood — a.k.a. Natalie Mering, who took her stage name from the Flannery O’Connor novel Wise Blood — has recently been experimenting with a new style of psychedelic folk, but her new 7-inch is a nod to the past. She covers Fred Neil’s 1966 “Everybody’s Talkin’” by stripping out all traces of the original guitar, leaving just melodic, chalky organ chords behind her dreamy voice. If you’re most familiar with the song’s Harry Nilsson cover from Midnight Cowboy, you’re in for a treat. As a bonus, the flip side of the release is a spiffed-up cover of Soft Machine’s “A Certain Kind” from 1968, also worth checking out.
The National’s Sleep Well Beast shakes the band out of their comfort zone
Sleep Well Beast is the National’s seventh album, adding 12 more tracks to their catalog of somber, sometimes depressing songs. But on this record, singer Matt Berninger departs a bit from the band’s more typical rock songs or ballads — letting loose with “Turtlenecks,” a jangly, rollicking song, and the more beat-heavy “I’ll Still Destroy You.” Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something more familiar, “Carin at the Liquor Store” is a piano ballad in the sad, plodding style the National is known for.
Ibeyi’s new single projects power and invincibility
Ibeyi’s new song “Deathless” has already had a long life: The duo, composed of French-Cuban twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz, wrote it right after Lisa was wrongfully arrested by French police when the two were 16. Now it’s finally been released — several years later — on Ibeyi’s second album, Ash. The single is half autobiographical, speaking to the arrest experience, and half “anthem for everybody,” says Lisa.
The accompanying music video is mesmerizing, a perfect match for the lyrics: As one sister lies on the ground, the other sister, digitally miniaturized, crawls out from under her dress in a matching outfit, over and over again, as they chant, “We are deathless.” Then as the song nears its conclusion, saxophonist Kamasi Washington lifts it out of a synth-heavy chant with jazz riffs.
Diane Coffee’s “Poor Man Dan” mixes fun with creepy vibes
Diane Coffee makes California pop, full of psychedelic sounds and big, fuzzy melodies. The band is probably best known because its leader, Shaun Fleming, was the drummer for Foxygen, another California band with a loud sound.
“Poor Man Dan” is Diane Coffee’s new single off their upcoming 7-inch, Peel. The song is full of horns and a resounding chorus of voices, while the verses sprinkle in a hint of the Beatles’ Abbey Road. Fleming told Spin the song has a dark meaning, with lyrics based on an urban legend about how “a neighborhood man who loses his daughter starts killing kids from the block to give her someone to play with.”
Peel drops on October 20.
Charlotte Gainsbourg releases her first new music in six years
The daughter of two artists, singer Serge Gainsbourg and actress Jane Birkin, Charlotte Gainsbourg has been making music since she was a child, as well as acting. Her new single, “Deadly Valentine,” is her first music release in six years, since her 2011 album Stage Whisper. The song is an electro-pop meditation on wedding vows, repeating the words you’d say at a marriage ceremony atop an all-encompassing beat. The effect is stirring — just try to stop yourself from bopping along.
Gainsbourg’s upcoming album, Rest, is due out November 17.
Zola Jesus’s new album isn’t for the faint of heart
Zola Jesus’s new album Okovi is dramatic — full of intense sounds, wailing vocals, and dark themes. In other words, it’s fairly typical stuff for the artist often described as industrial-goth. But it’s strikingly beautiful all the same.
Jesus — whose real name is Nicole Hummel, but who also goes by Nika Danilova, due to her Russian heritage — says Okovi is about loss and death. In “Siphon,” for example, she sings about depression and suicide through pounding drums. “Exhumed,” the album’s standout track, opens with thundering strings that meet their match in Jesus’s howling voice. According to the singer, the song is a “reflection on loss, heritage, and the often painful personal growth we must harness in the face of life’s constant evolution” — a feeling you can’t miss.
Here’s a Spotify playlist of all the tracks above.